item 1 >>> I said it before and I’ll say it again..if you haven’t tried that Open G tuning on your gee-tar yet, time’s a wastin’. You know, I always wondered why I had such trouble getting “Brown Sugar” to sound right…now I know why.

item 2 >>> BTW, re yesterday’s item on “The Name Game,” if you’d forgotten how it goes, let’s do it with Dutch…Dutch Dutch Bo Butch…Banana Fana Fo Futch…Me Mi Mo Mutch…Dutch. Which calls to mind a lady named Cat Futch…no, not Cat Ballou…Cat Futch, ring a bell? Here’s the scoop, from an article by George C. Wilson, National Journal, March 12, 2001.

“Given the encouragement from the top to be competitive, Cmdr. Connelly D. Stevenson, skipper of the attack submarine USS Finback in 1975, thought he was safe in pulling a caper to one-up a missile-carrying sub tied up near his own boat in Port Canaveral, Fla. As the Finback glided past the boomer on the way to sea, a go-go dancer named Cat Futch danced topless on the deck of the Finback in full display for the boomer’s crew. The admirals did not laugh, however, when they read about it in my story on the front page of The Washington Post. They relieved Stevenson of command.”

item 3 >>> How well I remember my good old transistor radio…sneak it into bed at night, turn the volume up just a smudge, press it against your ear, and listen to Johnny Most calling Celtics games. His raspy commentary was heard from 1953 to 1990, he died in 1993. And what teams they were, with Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K. C. Jones, John Havlicek, Satch Sanders, Larry Siegfried, Bailey Howell, Emmette [sic] Bryant, Wayne Embry, Don Nelson, Willie Nauls, and before that in the 50s, Tommy Heinsohn, Bill Sharman, Bob Cousy, Frank Ramsey, and Johnny Most, bye for now…

item 4 >>> Red Auerbach (first name Arnold) coached the C’s from 1950 thru 1966, then to the front office till his death in 2006. Boston’s first coach, starting with the NBA’s inaugural season in 1946, was Honey Russell (first name John)…he was replaced in 1948 by Doggie Julian (first name Alvin)…sure loved their nick-names, didn’t they?

item 5 >>> I should also mention that all the grief the Red Sox would get for being the last Major League team to integrate, in 1959…shouldn’t that be offset somewhat by the fact that they were the first team in the NBA with a black player? Well, technically, that’s not quite right. Celtic Chuck Cooper was the first black to be drafted. Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton was the first to sign a contract, with the Knicks. And Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols was the first to actually appear in a game, a day before Cooper and 4 days before Clifton.

item 6 >>> Back in the day, a “pyro” liked to start fires, but there were 2 others. The movie “Pyro, the Thing Without a Face” from 1964, a co-production of the US and Spain, starring Barry Sullivan and Martha Hyer. Then there were Pyro plastic model kits, cars, planes, you name it, competing with AMT, Revell, Monogram…who am I leaving out? Oh yeah, Aurora. I was pretty much an AMT regular, but I did a few of the others too, how could you help it?

item 7 >>> One mystery about model kits…I distinctly remember seeing a kit in a store, a customized Corvette called the Hellcat. I remember it so well because I thought: Can they call it that? I mean, it may seem like nothing today, but H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks wasn’t a word you wanted to be caught dead saying around my house, I can tell you. All I can find on the web is the WWII Hellcat fighter plane. Any hints?

item 8 >>> There’s a website about how to speak Bostonese, one of many out there, where the guy gets all snarky about Boston’s “First Night” celebration on New Years Eve, and how come it’s held on the last night of the year, the dopes. Well, the dope is the writer, who doesn’t realize that in olden times, the day started at sundown, which meant a 24-hour calendar day consisted of night + day, not day + night as we reckon it now. Thus, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were on the same day, not 2 consecutive days…same with New Years Eve and New Years Day. I know, wicked pissah…

item 9 >>> Are you watching HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”? Not too bad, I guess…anything with Steve Buscemi. One thing I noticed on last Sunday’s episode, the 1920 Presidential election, with Warren G. Harding. Apparently he really was a terrible womanizer, and the young lady with the baby, Nan Britton, was a real person. In 1927 she wrote a book called “The President’s Daughter,” the first tell-all book in the modern sense, claiming Harding was the father. The show assumes this to be true, but I should point out that historians agree there isn’t any real concrete evidence. After all, it went to trial, and she lost. She died in 1991, the daughter Elizabeth in 2005, and of course Harding died in office in 1923.

item 10 >>> You might be a Baby-Go-Boomer if…you recall when any department store worth it’s salt had a stamp collecting section, chock full of packets, albums, hinges, magnifying glasses, perforation gauges, watermark trays, everything you could possibly need. Plus some stuff you didn’t need but wanted anyway, like those sheets of US Presidents or Flags of the World. They were called “seals” not “stickers,” remember?  I’d ask my Dad: “Can I buy these Upper Volta high values used? Only  $1.29! Huh, please?” And he’d say: “Well, it’s your money,” which to me was a ringing endorsement, boy.

Wicked Ballsy

Was it just me, or did your sister’s magazines have some pretty snazzy chicks on the covers? I’m just sayin’…

shameless plugamabobs…

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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