Category Archives: Roadrunners

Hot Air: Mustang Sallies

Hah! Cathi Crabtree, The Pencil’s Philly correspondent all next week was in such a hurry to begin her trek to the Democratic National Convention that she loaded her pooch into the car early this AM so as to get him over to the kennel and neglected to note that the place wouldn’t be open for another hour. Oops.

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(L-R) Martha Hilderbrand, CC & Jeanne Smith

Got the hound back out of the car and then loaded the big lug back in, all the while Duke the Dog looked at her, thinking, “This dame’s whack, man!” I know this because Duke emailed this global communications colossus w/o CC’s knowledge while waiting to be re-loaded, just to vent.

Personal to Crabtree: Don’t be mad at Duke for using your smartphone, okay? I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse to join the team as a second correspondent. Don’t be shocked when you see a semi full of Milk Bones parked in front of your crib when you get back later in the week.

Stay tuned here Monday through Friday this coming week for Crabtree’s reports from the historic convention.


Why not? Goin’ faster miles an hour.

Scare Me Into Loving You, Donald

The most terrifying line from the just completed Republican National Convention?

I alone can fix it.

Kiddies, this mofo has to be stopped, dig?

Four Dead In Oh-Hi-Oh

Just picked up a copy of the new book entitled Above the Shots by IU Lilly Library archivist Craig S. Simpson and his co-writer Gregory S. Wilson.

It’s an oral history of the Kent State University killings of four protesters by Ohio National Guard soldiers in May, 1970. Simpson and Wilson spoke with and recorded people from all angles of the incident including the then-mayor of the town of Kent, witnesses, protesters, a Guardsman, and many others.

The myth that’s grown up around the tragic incident is that the four were sweet and innocent little lambs who were slaughtered by savage mercenaries for no good reason other than to see their blood flow. The truth, as always, is far more complicated.


Guardsmen Advance At High Noon At Kent State

The town of Kent had been wracked by riots and arson in the days before the ultimate confrontation on the campus green. In fact, many of the country’s campuses had experienced violent, frightening upheavals as students and agitators rebelled against the draft. Overwhelming fear and tension put cops and Guardsmen on a neural tripwire. As the skirmish line of Guardsmen pursued the crowd of protesters around the green that fateful day, they found themselves backed into a corner at one point, so it was inevitable that the trigger finger of at least one scared rifleman would twitch.

If you want to blame anybody for the deaths, blame the commander who allowed the Guardsmen to carry loaded weapons. They could have controlled the crowd just as easily with only fixed bayonets. I’m looking forward to reading this book, now that I’m just about finished with Larry Tye’s Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon.

July 23 Birthdays

Arthur Treacher — Who here is old enough to remember Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips fast food restaurants? Who here would even know who he was? Treacher was a Sussex, England-born stage actor and singer who specialized in butler and valet roles. He was noted for playing Jeeves, based on the character in P.G. Wodehouse’s series of Bertie & Jeeves short stories. At the end of his career, he served as the second banana to Merv Griffin on the latter’s 1965-70 talk show. BTW, there are still several ATF&C franchises in Long Island and Ohio.

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Treacher (L) With Griffin

Vera Rubin — Born Vera Cooper, she was a groundbreaking astronomer who discovered discrepancies in the expected angular motions of galaxies. Many other astronomers scoffed at her findings until they were proven by advanced technology and more precise measurements. Her findings led to astrophysicists advancing the hypothesis of dark matter.

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Tony Joe White — Songwriter who gave us, among many others, Rainy Night in Georgia, made a hit by Brook Benton in 1970. Here’s White’s recent version:

Dino Danelli — Drummer for the Rascals. I’ll use any excuse to post a Rascals vid:

Philip Seymour Hoffman — Why do you think they call it dope?

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On this date in 2012, Sally Ride died. The first American woman in space. The Russians had launched a woman into space as early as 1963 but the land of the free and home of the brave refused to let an astronaut with a vagina suit up until June 18, 1983. Researching this, I also discovered she was the youngest American astronaut to go into space, flying on STS-7, the Challenger, at the age of 32. Oh, she also remains the only acknowledged queer astronaut.

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