Boston (England)

There’s a lot of crime fiction about Boston, America, but is there any about Boston, UK?  I went looking and was directed to the works of Colin Watson, who writes about a fictional town, Flaxborough, which is based on Boston (UK version)?

I can’t say it was totally compelling to me but cheers to Colin Watson.

Watson was the first person to successfully sue Private Eye for libel, for an article in issue 25 when he objected to being described as: “the little-known author who . . . was writing a novel, very Wodehouse but without the jokes”. He was awarded £750.


WARNING TO MASSACHUSETTS DRIVERS!

Discovered a serious error in my DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer

You can’t actually drive from Moon Island to Long Island!  There’s a road on the map that’s just not there!

Be careful out there guys and ALWAYS double check visual clues before attempting to drive from one island to another.


Bob Marley in Boston

Because people were talking about Baby Driver, I started singing it in my head to the tune of Bob Marley’s Slave Driver.

What a song.  So then I went looking for Slave Driver on Spotify. I found a recording of Bob Marley and The Wailers, Live At The Music Hall, Boston, 1978.  “Easy Skanking In Boston ’78” is the title, which I don’t love saying.  “Bob Marley and The Wailers Live At The Music Hall – Boston – 1978” seems like it gives you what you need?

The Music Hall is now the Wang Theatre. Photo from Wikipedia by Tim Pierce.

Somehow shocking that Boston would be the scene of a legendary Marley concert.  Who was in the crowd?!

Steve Morse wrote about this recording for The Boston Globe when the album was released in 2015:

My one meeting with Bob Marley was memorable. I was sent by the Globe to interview him at the Essex Hotel in New York before his show at Boston’s Music Hall in 1978. I walked in to Marley’s room, which looked out over Central Park, at 11 a.m. It was a chaotic scene. Four or five members of his entourage were kicking a soccer ball that banged off the picture windows. Two king-size joints were being passed around. Bob sat on a couch, reading aloud from the Book of Revelation.

Realizing I was in over my head, I waited a while before daring to ask Marley about his music. He agreed to talk, shut the Bible, quelled the soccer noise, and stated his worldview: “Everything is going to be united now. Everything is going to be cool. Forget the past and unite.”

Marley’s response to a country politically divided and stricken with gun violence was notably cooler and more Christian than the NRA’s response.

Two months later he’d be in Boston.

(Minute 34-38 or so a good sample)

June 8, 1978 was a Thursday, a hot night,  89 degrees.  The Red Sox had an off day, but that weekend they’d start a ten game win streak on the road in the West Coast.

The Sox would win 99 games that year, but lose a one game playoff to the Yankees at home in Fenway Park.

Ned Martin would call the game for WITS radio.

Years later he’d die of a heart attack in a shuttle bus at the Raleigh airport on his way home from Ted Williams’ memorial.


Coaches for Super Bowl LI

MORE ON public lands under Trump to come, but first we have to address a reader email:

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Dear Helytimes,

Will you continue your tradition of discussing the Super Bowl coaches, in anticipation of Big Game LI?

So writes reader Abigail J. in Wellesley, Mass.

Thanks for writing Abigail!  Last year, we profiled the somewhat dim personalities of Ron Rivera and Gary Kubiak.

Photo Credit: Reginald RogersParaglide Carolina Panther head coach Ron Rivera, left, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Carolina Panthers player Mike Rucker sign autographs and photos for Soldiers at the 1st Brigade Combat Team dining facility Friday during their visit to the post.

Photo Credit: Reginald RogersParaglide Carolina Panther head coach Ron Rivera, left, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Carolina Panthers player Mike Rucker sign autographs and photos for Soldiers at the 1st Brigade Combat Team dining facility Friday during their visit to the post.

Rivera’s Panther’s may have controlled their APE but it wasn’t enough.

This year we have a return for Bill Belichick, whom we investigated to the edge of known facts before the epic XLIX game.  In that battle he squared off against Pete Carroll, the most compelling coaching figure in the NFL and subject of an in-depth Helytimes profile.

This year comes Dan Quinn.

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He won a Super Bowl under Pete Carroll in 2014, and seems more Carroll than Belichick for sure.  Here’s an article about him from the AJC by Jeff Schultz.  Bumper stickers are a theme:

Quinnisms: Iron sharpens iron. Do right longer. Do what we do. It’s about the ball. It’s about the process (Former coach Mike Smith left that one behind.)

Quinn also has had a dozen T-shirts or hats with punchy thoughts made up during the season, the latest being, “Ready to Ride, Dog.” The week of the first playoff win over Seattle, players wore shirts reading: “Arrive violently.” Those words were referenced by Neal after the game.

Don’t have much more to add.  In light of Belichick’s Trump support perhaps this a revealing moment, from Inside the NFL:

We’ll see what happens in Houston.

At the moment, who can fail to find NBA coaches more compelling?:


F Minus

I don’t like to give bad reviews to books on Helytimes.  Why call limited attention to bad books?  However I must condemn this book.

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Let me admit that I didn’t read it.

I oppose it because:

1) I was not consulted on it and didn’t hear about it until it was published

2) I was not included in it

3) many geniuses were not included in it, and the selections don’t represent anything like a best of.   

Impossible in an anthology to please everyone.   But I suspect anyone familiar with the Lampoon will find the table of contents to be the funniest part.

(That’s the only part I read.)

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4) No art?

The Lampoon is full of beautiful art that makes the words tolerable.

Example I happened to find here.

Example I happened to find here.

A mistake to print an all words anthology.

5)  the whole point of the Lampoon is you can write and “publish” dumb bad practice material that no one will ever see.

On the other hand: I was lucky and was given issues of the Lampoon by my cousin when I was a senior in high school.   That gift changed my life.  So maybe this book will do that for someone.

Still, I must grade it an F minus and recommend that you not purchase it on Amazon or your local indie bookstore.  For example The Harvard Book Store:

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found on the website of Dr. Barbara Long

Here’s a funny review by one Helen Andrews of Sydney, Australia in the Weekly Standard.  (Shoutout to Chris McKenna who I guess reads The Weekly Standard?)

I think you’ll get more value for your book dollar in:

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available at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.  You’ll enjoy it.


A Description Of Distant Roads

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Another incredible title for a travel book.  This one from the missionary Juan Crespí, who in 1769 took a walk from Baja California to San Francisco and back.

Really appreciate the translation with careful annotations by Alan K. Brown.  Here’s Crespí on the origin of the name Carpinteria.

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Carpinteria

I wonder if he stopped to get a burger at The Spot.

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My favorite part of the book so far though is this poem.

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I found it a soothing pastime late one evening to make a map of Crepsí’s trip.

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He must’ve seen some interesting stuff.

Much boring stuff as well.

Much boring stuff as well:

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That photo from the collection of Harry Crosby, who photo’g’d much of Crespí’s trail in Baja California.

Not to be confused with the other Harry Crosby:

But he yearned to escape the rigidity of everyday life in Boston. His experience in France made it unbearable to live among what he called “dreary, drearier, dreariest Boston” and to put up with “Boston virgins who are brought up among sexless surroundings, who wear canvas drawers and flat-heeled shoes.” He wanted to escape “the horrors of Boston and particularly of Boston virgins.” Any sense of propriety was wiped out by a lust for living in the moment, forgetting all risks and possible consequences.

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The Fire Princess

On July 9, 1928, Crosby met 20-year-old Josephine Noyes Rotch, the daughter of Arthur and Helen Ludington Rotch in Boston. Ten years his junior, they met while she was shopping inVenice at the Lido for her wedding trousseau… “She was dark and intense… since the season of her coming out in 1926-7, she had been known around Boston as fast, a ‘bad egg’…with a good deal of sex appeal.”

They met for sex as often as her eight days in Venice would allow.

 


Feejee mermaid

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To go on display!  But back in Massachusetts.  Is is worth a trip?

The original object was exhibited by P.T. Barnum in Barnum’s American Museum in New York in 1842 and then disappeared. It was assumed that it had been destroyed in one of Barnum’s many fires that destroyed his collections…

There is controversy today on whether the Fiji mermaid actually disappeared in the fire or not. Many claim to have the original exhibit, but Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, has the most proof that their exhibit is the actual original. It does not look completely the same, but it does have the same flat nose and bared teeth. The thought that the fires could have altered the appearance of the mermaid are reason for it not looking completely like it did in Barnum’s possession.

Well, if I can’t make it to Cambridge I can always make my own:

A guide to constructing a Fiji mermaid appeared in the November 2009 issue of Fortean Times magazine, in an article written by special effects expert and stop-motion animator Alan Friswell. Rather than building the figure with fish and monkey parts, Friswell used papier mache and modelling putty, sealed with wallpaper paste, and with doll’s hair glued to the scalp.