item 1 >>> It’s interesting to think how folklorists and UFOlogists might find common ground in the existence of “little people.” These stories come from all parts of the world, dating to a time when there was very little contact between geographically distinct populations, even if it was just “beyond the mountains.” On the other hand, extreme care must be taken, as when modern day researchers who interview primitive, isolated cultures sometimes get just the answers they were looking for. That having been said, one must feel a chill of recognition at this description of American Indian’s little people…lanky humanoid, thin arms and legs, six fingers, big heads and eyes, no nose. Sound familiar? Variously called Mannegishi and Gahonga…supposedly sighted at times in Massachusetts.

item 2 >>> I noticed it in the Sunday advertising supplements…Christmas now begins the day after Hallowe’en, and was going to mention it. Then I read an in article from the Scripps-Howard News Service: “Stores are edging toward making Halloween the starting line for holiday shopping. In many stores, seasonal sales and promotions begin this weekend.” You might note the scrupulous omission of the word “Christmas,” but it was used earlier in the story, and many writers still cling to the silly fetish of “every time you mention it, use a different word for it.” I think of this as the Fire Blaze Inferno Conflagration Syndrome. Sure, and Hallowe’en starts in August…Back-to-School, somewhere around July 4th. When I was a kid, I kept a diary off-and-on, but I always noted the dates we put up and took down the Christmas tree…never earlier than a week before, and down on Jan. 1, for a maximum of 2 weeks, which seemed fine to me. And I’ll bet some of you put up the tree, or at least put off decorating it, till Christmas Eve, with no ill effects.

item 3 >>> She told me to scram, beat it, take a hike, fly the coop, hightail it, make yourself scarce, skedaddle, vamoose, split, burn the breeze, make tracks, clear out, kindly vacate the premises, make like a tree and leave. So…I made like a tree and left…heh-heh…

item 4 >>> The 1959 movie “The Tingler” was on Turner Classic Movies yesterday…one of the most ingenious, preposterous, flat-out fun horror movies of the Fifties, with Vincent Price and LSD (in 1959?…”it’s not a drug, it’s an acid.”) And in glorious black-and-white, well, mostly…Don’t miss it the next time. Or Netflix it…

item 5 >>> What do these people have in common: Dinah Shore, Neil Young, Mia Farrow, Jack Nicklaus, Donald Sutherland, Alan Alda, Ben Bradlee, Wilma Rudolph, Joni Mitchell, Vic Wertz, Tenley Albright, Mel Ferrer, Martin Milner, Lord Snowden, James Drury, Bill Cullen, and Paul Winchell? They were all survivors of infantile paralysis…also known as polio.

Item 6 >>> Let’s take a stroll up and down the isles of your old A&P supermarket, and remember all the store brands…Yukon Club sodas, Marvel crackers and bread , Sail laundry detergent, Ahoy dishwashing detergent, Super Right, Allgood, Worthmore, Sunnyfield, Iona, Crestview, Sultana, Cap’n John, Sparkle, Regalo, good old Ann Page, Jane Parker, Cheeri-Aid, and those coffees: Red Circle, Eight O’Clock, and Bokar.

Item 7 >>> Anybody remember the Welcome Wagon hostess and her basket of goodies? That ended in 1998, altho Welcome Wagon still markets to new home-owners thru mail, telemarketing calls, and online. Back in the 60s, they had an ad with the slogan: Help Stamp Out Strangers.

    Item 8 >>> Direct snap to Woodhead…touchdown Patriots…Sweeeeet. And every time they wear the old school uniforms, everybody loves ’em…why not pull the trigger and go back for good. Then re-re-name them the Boston Patriots. I know, “New England” is supposed to reflect them being half-way between Boston and Providence, but it always reminds me of when the New England Mafia was controlled from Providence, not Boston. This was primarily due to the ongoing war with Boston’s Irish mobsters…in addition, the Providence headquarters presumably facilitated the Patriarca family’s ties with New York’s Profaci-Columbo family.

    item 9 >>> Answer…Carl Stokes was elected the first black mayor of a major US city in November, 1967…which city?  Cleveland.

    item 10 >>> There’s a word for it: pejoration…it’s the process of one euphemism being replaced by another, and then another, as each takes on the negative connotations the original euphemism was supposed to assuage. Examples include:

    shell shock battle fatigue operational exhaustion post-traumatic stress disorder…

    and… lame → crippled → handicapped → disabled → physically challenged → differently abled…

    Baseball owner Bill Veeck, with one leg, always said he preferred to be called crippled…to him, “handicapped” had a negative connotation that “crippled” did not.

    Wicked Ballsy

    OK, so whoozis?

    shameless plugoroonies…

    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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