Monthly Archives: July 2022

Postcards from summer camp

If you’re wondering, yes, the dry spell continues deep into summer.

Christmas with the Mexicali Brass LP cover

That this cheesecake Christmas record, found last weekend among the cheesecake records at the mighty Stardust Records in Thiensville, Wisconsin, is perhaps the highlight of the summer’s record digging, well, there you go.

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Nor have I found a great summer song this summer, one you play over and over and blast from the car speakers. (No, Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” doesn’t count.) Have you?

Heard this one on WXPN on Saturday morning. It’s in the running.

“Don’t Bother Me,” by The Suffers out of Houston. Been digging them for several years now. Kam Franklin is the lead singer. They played the always delightful Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake, Wisconsin, in early June. We’d have been there, but we were in Ohio at the time.

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We did, however, have a wonderful evening of music at the Thrasher three weeks ago. We traveled an hour or so south by southwest — appropriate — to see Texas-Louisiana piano pounder and singer Marcia Ball.

Pizza, Marcia Ball and fireworks

Although, when I posted it to Facebook, most folks were most wowed — and rightly so — by our sausage-and-mushroom pizza from Christiano’s Pizza.

As we left the show, Green Lake’s Fourth of July fireworks — postponed five days because of weather — had just started. What you don’t see of the fireworks is the spectacular view as we drove along the lake, not only of what was in the sky above but also of hundreds of boats on the lake, their running lights sparkling on the water like so many stars in the sky.

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For those who appreciate Gone in Threes, the long-running annual year-end roundup of noteworthy deaths that appears here each January, this year seems like one of the busiest. I’m constantly adding to my running list or sending notes to myself to remember this one or that one.

Today, especially, has been a day. Bill Russell. Nichelle Nichols. Pat Carroll, too.

That’s Sam Gazdziak, one of my regular reads at RIP Baseball, wishing only the best for baseball great Willie Mays, who is 91.

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Which brings us here. Though the record digging hasn’t been great lately, the baseball card finds have been spectacular. (Yes, I’m still seeing someone else.)

Willie Mays baseball cards, 1963 and 1964

In just the last week, I’ve found these Willie Mays cards, all reasonably priced. You never see Willie Mays cards reasonably priced. It’s a bit like finding the butcher cover of the Beatles’ “Yesterday and Today” LP in the wild.

The first two are from 1964, the first year I ever collected baseball cards. (I suspect they were thrown out as we moved from Missouri to Wisconsin the next summer.) The third one is from 1963.

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Finally, if all this seems a bit disjointed, please consider that I spent much of this weekend moving everything from our basement rec room into our laundry room in preparation for carpet cleaning next week.

Part of that entailed unearthing two sets of speakers — yes, speakers from THAT stereo — the compact Bose speakers and the desktop Cambridge SoundWorks speakers, both with speaker wires intact, both 30-plus years old.

Part of that entailed removing the old but solid bar in the corner of the rec room. The previous owners left it for us 31 years ago. They probably built it in the late ’60s or early ’70s. That thing was put together. Knocking it apart and hauling it up the stairs and outside in pieces was quite a workout.

That’s right, Senator Blutarsky …


Filed under July 2022