item 1 >>> New book out called “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Writers and Artists Who Made the National Lampoon Insanely Great.”  There was at least one Lampoon-North Shore connection: illustrations by cartoonist & Danvers native Gail Burwen. I went to school with one of her younger brothers. RIP Lampoon, 1970-1998, spun off from Harvard Lampoon…say, anybody remember MIT’s VooDoo? Went out of business just when I arrived on the scene…bummer.

item 2 >>> Putnam Pantry, born the same year as me, 1951. Galo Putnam Emerson, 10th generation descendant of Gen. Israel Putnam, started the candy store on the 1st floor of the family shoe factory. The site on Rt. 1, “halfway between Boston and Newburyport,” was the birth place of the General. Growing up, it was nothing short of a magical place. But you know, they do need to paint the sign…

item 3 >>> You might be a Baby Boomer if…when you were young, no-one took phone calls when you were at the table eating. If it rang, your Mother would jump up to answer it, tell them: “We’re eating, call back,” and hang up, whoever it was. There were other rules too…no reading, singing, or wearing a hat at the table. TV in another room couldn’t be on, especially if some of the seated could see it from the dining room. I’ve also discovered that most large families had a regular seating arrangement that never varied, ours did that, altho a few families were catch-as-catch-can. And it was a place of honor to sit next to a parent.

item 4 >>> Come to think about it…you might be a Baby Boomer if…the only time you were allowed to eat in the living room (or parlor, or front room) was when “The Wizard of Oz” was on…and in some families, not even then.

item 5 >>> In addition, you might be a Baby Boomer if…you remember when the only person who drove a Jeep was the mailman.

item 6 >>> One of my sisters reminded me…growing up, we had a big, I mean BIG box down cellar, that contained nothing but boxes. Need something to put a Xmas gift in? Go see what you can find in the box box.

Item 7 >>> Where the NFL Came From, Part 2….whoa, whoa, whoa, what happened to part 1? We’ll get to that, but today we start in 1949. The NFL consisted of 10 teams, 2 divisions. East: NY Giants, NY Bulldogs, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles. West: Chicago Bears, Chicago Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, LA Rams. 1950 was a turning point, with the addition of 3 teams from the defunct All-American Football Alliance (1946-49). Paul Brown’s powerhouse Cleveland Browns joined the East, SF 49ers and Baltimore Colts joined the West, and the Cardinals and Bulldogs, renamed Yanks, switched divisions. Cleveland won the championship that year, and it was the old Colts’ only season. The Yanks were replaced by the travel-team Dallas Texans in 1952, then the new Baltimore Colts in 1953, beginning 7 years of stability, that ended in 1960 when the Cards moved to St. Louis, and the Dallas Cowboys were added. Then the Vikings arrived in 1961, and the foundation of the modern NFL was set, to the extent that when they talk of “expansion” teams, they start with the Falcons in 1966, the Pokes and Vikes being considered “established” teams.

item 8 >>> “Forfend”…I think the last time I used that word was with the high school Debating Society. Afterwards, they all beat me up. And the advisor joined it. I may have also said “limned,” I don’t remember.

item 9 >>> My brother-in-law in Middleton sez there’s a place that has even better fried clams than Sam and Joe’s…I say: bring it on, brother!

item 10 >>> POTUS…My sidekick Cool Daddy calls him Shipwreck, I call him The Hawaiian. But see, that’s the thing with nicknames…they’re totally beyond your control. Tell someone: “Call me Flash,” and they could very well reply: “OK, Flush.” In college, we had Fascist. He got that nickname at freshman orientation, when us Northeast snobs found out he was from Georgia. He turned out to be the nicest guy you could ever want to know, and hipper than the lot of us put together. But for 4 years he was Fascist, which startled his folks on Parents Weekend, I can tell you. And my high school nickname was Hulk, since I was so skinny, and it became so widespread that by my senior year, even teachers called me that. Should I sue retroactively?

Wicked Ballsy

The Jackson twins called their little brother “Termite,” as did most others in the strip. BTW, nice lady-like pose there in the 2nd panel, Jan or Jill. And yesterday’s Pict-O-Quiz was Mary Tyler Moore, no foolin’.

shameless plugomania…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Daily blogs at http://stolf.wordpress.com and  https://deepfriedhoodsiecups.wordpress.com

More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume and audio samples at http://home.rr.com/mastolfi

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