July 30, 2012
Well, here ‘tis, Week 63 of this get-together, brought to you in part this week by a generous grant from the Institute for the Chronically Goofy.
Some people have asked us about our little week-long trip to Wisconsin which concluded a few days ago. We had a great time with our family, branches of which are located in a couple different areas of the state, so this time we got to do a little additional traveling. It was especially fun to see our two three-year-old grandnieces. They are great fun to watch as they play together and it’s even more fun to talk with them. A three-year-old is just bursting with the joy of discovering the world around them, and every day is a whole new universe.
We also took a side trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum, something we had been wanting to do for years. The ‘MAM’, as it’s called, is a nearly new building right on the lakefront and is a striking addition to the city’s downtown area. It features an award-winning design by a Spanish architect, highlighted by a huge winged roof, which looks like a giant bird or a sailboat, depending on your point of view. The roof opens and closes three times a day and we were lucky enough to be there to see it go through its performance. Of course, the main thing about an art museum (or any museum) is what’s inside, and this summer’s headliner exhibit is ‘The Posters of Paris,’ featuring the original works of Toulouse Lautrec and others who produced the thousands of colorful ad posters that adorned the streets of Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Amazing.
There was one not-so-happy note: we were really struck by the appearance of the drought-stricken land as we flew northward at 30,000 feet from Wichita to Green Bay. Across Kansas and Iowa the land was brown and dead-looking; it got somewhat better as we flew across Wisconsin, but even they are having a tough time with heat and lack of rain. The temperatures, except for the first two days we were there, were well above normal, with a high of 100 degrees on my hometown beach on Monday July 23. In all the years we have traveled to Wisconsin I don’t ever remember a temp much above 85, especially near the usually-cool Lake Michigan. As I write this, however, they are getting cooler and wetter weather, so I’m happy for them. Just wish we could get some of the same in Kansas.
We’ll get to Trivia results in a moment, but first here are a few more tunes from my all-time favorites list:
1. ‘Dance to The Music’ by Sly and the Family Stone. Yeah, and they WERE dancin’ to this classic all summer long in 1968. Sly had some personal problems then and later, but the group turned out some great memory music over a span of several years.
2. ‘Green Green’ by the New Christy Minstrels. I guess there must have been an ‘old’ Christy group at one time; I’m sure you could Google it and find out. Anyway, this great sing-along song of 1963 was one of the last big ‘folk-type’ hits. Rock and roll was definitely taking over. Barry McGuire (remember 1965’s ‘Eve of Destruction’?) sang lead on this song. He sounded a heck of a lot happier on ‘Green Green.’
3. ‘Mockingbird’ by Inez and Charlie Fox and later by James Taylor and Carly Simon. The Foxs had great success with this song (based on a children’s rhyme) in 1963, and James and Carly did even better with it in 1974. Their version is smoother and slicker, but I still think I like the original better. All together now, “everybody, have you heard? I’m gonna buy me a mockingbird…”
Regarding the Trivia Questions, I apologize for misdirecting you on the Broadway and Kansas question. I updated and corrected the post a day or two later, but maybe you didn’t see the correct question, which asks about the business that was on the SOUTHEAST corner of that intersection, not the northeast. Terry was right; it was a funeral home in the 70s, but not Bryant-Fryberger just yet. Try again. Hats off to Vince who got the ‘Quint’ question. Burt Reynolds was the young actor who played the role of blacksmith Quint Asper in the waning years of Gunsmoke. Vince also provided some good details about the Broadway andKansas intersection. Yeah, I remember that yarn shop, and I definitely remember Great Bend Music and Ruth and Ray’s just west of it. Okay, back to business: congrats to Vicki who knew that ‘Leavin’ on a Jet Plane’ written by young John Denver was the hit that revived Peter, Paul and Mary’s career in 1969. You’re right, Vicki, it WAS a great song.
Alright, keep workin’ on that Broadway question whilst I lay out a couple more new ones for you: AMC had a car called the ‘Pacer’ in the 70s and 80s. What other car company had a ‘Pacer’ some years earlier? And in music, what artist in 1974 had a top ten hit with a polka-flavored song? In fact, it MAY have been the last top ten polka-oriented song of all time.
Well, it’s time for me to polka on outa here for today. See you next Monday.