Friday, May 29, 2009

it's swell - it's Mattel!

As a kid I liked toy guns. I especially liked the toy guns that looked real enough to rob a bank. What's keen about this fanner 45 is that it actually shoots "safe" projectiles. That means you can aim at all your sibling's eyes without worrying about putting an eye out. I wonder why these Shootin' Shell 45s were taken off the market?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Roy Rogers Trick Shot Hat

I never had one of these. I don't remember ever seeing this commercial. I do remember the cowboy belt buckle that had a pop out derringer in the buckle. The only thing with the Trick Shot Hat - you need to make sure you're pointing the hat in the right direction to keep from gut-shooting yourself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the Jesus Movement

Here's a nice little YouTube video reflecting back on the Jesus Movement. There are several glimpses of Fred Field (Love Song) within these photos. Fred came to Alabama in the late seventies to play at our festival as well as tour around a little. During that time he played at our coffeehouse meeting which was at the time being held at Central United Methodist Church's youth hut. He had an album out at the time called Last Train To Heaven.

Though most of these photos are of the Jesus Movement in California - Jesus was moving among the youth here in Alabama too. I have a lot of good memories of that time.

Monday, May 25, 2009

john michael talbot

This song is called Would You Crucify Him. This is one of the first songs I ever heard John Michael Talbot sing. Though his life and music took a different path as he followed God - I loved his earliest work the best. I would like to find his album The New Earth. I would love to hear it again. I used to have a cassette of it but wore it out many many many years ago. His music was among my most favorite of the Jesus Music era.

I first heard John Michael Talbot when Brook, Don Rakestraw and I drove out to Atlanta to hear him. That night Mike Warnke fronted for him. I had never heard of either of them. We stayed over at John Zeller's house after the concert. John Zeller was a Bose rep that Don befriended while Don still worked at Laverty Music. John let us sleep on the floor in his living room during that visit. I didn't get much sleep on that hard floor but would not have missed the experience for the world.

We (Christian Brother's Association) later invited both John and Terry Talbot to headline at our first No Jive Jesus is Alive Falls Festival back in 1977. They really sounded great together.

I would love to hear John Michael Talbot live again. I'd love to hear him do some of his old stuff. He is an incredible musician - an incredible songwriter - and a true servant of God.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

andy kaufman

The first time I saw Andy Kaufman was on Saturday Night Live. He did this act as well as the Mighty Mouse bit. His humor was quirky - no one ever knew what this guy was going to do next. This clip is from the Johnny Cash show. Good stuff.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Super Dave Osborne

The first time I ever saw Super Dave Osborne was on a show that aired on a show from the early to mid-eighties called Bizarre starring John Byner. Super Dave, like Evel Knievel, did many death defying stunts. If you've never seen Super Dave defying death - here's your chance.

Conjunction Junction

School House Rock aired from 1973 to 1986 on Saturday mornings when kids were watching their favorite cartoons. These educational and very entertaining cartoons taught math, grammar, history, economics, science and more.

A few minutes ago Katie was working on her homework and asked me what a conjunction was. My mind quickly sped back 30+ years and the song Conjunction Junction immediately started playing in my head. I was sitting next to the computer here at work and quickly went to Youtube and typed in Conjunction Junction. I told Katie to come and sit by me for a quick lesson in conjunctions. She said, "I know what you're doing dad - I remember that."

These little animation shorts are cleaver and fun to watch. Maybe seeing this video will bring back some memories for you - as well as help you brush up on your grammar.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bazooka Joe

Like Cracker Jacks always had a free nifty gift inside - Bazooka Bubble Gum always had a comic strip inside. It was a little something extra for the money spent - making it a smart selection at the candy counter. Bazooka Joe started back in the 50's and for all I know still in there. I don't chew gum like I used to. I once heard that Bazooka Joe started his career as spokes-toon for the Daisy Red Ryder B-B Gun but lost his job due to mishap.

Monday, May 18, 2009

leisure suits everywhere

Leisure suits came into fashion around the mid-seventies and didn't make it past 1979. I never wore a leisure suit - nor did I ever want to. Leisure suits were for disco dancing fools, sleazy lounge lizards, and Baptist preachers. I never saw the attraction. Leisure attire to me back then was a pair of faded blue jeans and a t-shirt. If I wanted to make it into a leisure suit - I'd simply slip on my corduroy jacket. It was comfortable and I didn't have to look like a Ken doll.

I will admit that I did have some shirts with big collars. Remember the big collars of the seventies? Heck - you could hang glide wearing those shirts.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

the unclean 12

The Dirty Dozen (1967) was an all star cast. Brook took me to see this one at the Pitman Theater down on Broad Street in Gadsden, AL. I was eight years old in 1967. The movie was unlike any war movie I'd ever seen before. Believe it or not, I'd seen A LOT of war movies (I called them army movies when I was a kid). The Dirty Dozen ended with lots of machine gun fire, explosions and a huge body count. My favorite part of the movie wasn't that last battle, rather the maneuvers in which the convict soldiers had to prove themselves.

A year after The Dirty Dozen, Brook and I went to see The Devil's Brigade (1968). The Dirty Dozen spawned a new kind of war movie. Instead of men fighting for mom's apple pie and the girl they left behind - these movie G.I.'s were misfits that had to be whipped into shape to fight. The Dirty Dozen is the better movie (my personal opinion) but The Devil's Brigade is a movie based on a true story. The combat group was known as The Black Devils and were disbanded after WWII. Like The Dirty Dozen - The Devil's Brigade ended in a hail of gun fire, explosions with a huge body count in the end. Like in The Dirty Dozen - this wasn't my favorite part. My favorite part was when the brigade (to prove themselves) slipped into an occupied village to quietly and systematically seize it.

Both movies are still fun to watch after all these decades. These are definitely guy movies.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Brook, Jennie, & Irene

This is a picture of my three older siblings dressed up like old people. This looks like it was taken Pat's front yard in Macon, GA. Actually - I am sure of it. This is a great photo - worthy of a good chuckle and posting it so that everyone else can get a good chuckle from it.

My sister Jennie (in the fancy hat) is in town with her husband Don this weekend. We all got together for lunch this afternoon. She gave me a CD of a bunch of family photos that she scanned. This is one of them. I'd either seen most of the photos before or have them already. I don't recall ever seeing this one before.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tom Terrific

I didn't like Captain Kangaroo when i was young. I did like the Tom Terrific episodes that were part of the Kangaroo program. It's a very simply done, yet very imaginative.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

more quirky kid show from the sixties

Fireball XL5 ring a bell? Gerry Anderson filmed this in Supermarionation. He's also responsible for the other futuristic shows - Captain Scarlet, Stingray, and Supercar He's most known for the show Thunderbirds. Several years ago a VERY obscene but funny Team America World Police movie was released by the same guys that make South Park.. Team America paid tribute to Anderson's earlier work. At the same time, a Thunderbirds movie directed by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek Next Generation) came out starring real people was also showing. I enjoyed all of the old super puppets of Andersons growing. They were creepy then and creepy now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

another funny lip cartoon

This is an entire show (25:32) SPACE ANGEL. It's a pretty good copy. I haven't seen Scott McLeod as Space Angel in well over thirty years. Like Clutch Cargo - each Space Angel story was divided into five short cliffhanger episodes. They were originally made to show Monday - Friday with the grand finale on Friday. The artwork is pretty good - but the animation was as low budget as a cartoon can get.

Space Angel was produced from 1962-64 and employed the same Syncro-Vox lip technique as Clutch Cargo. Syncro-Vox was a method in which combined moving images with static images. You might recall that comedian Conan O'brian used the same technique on his late night talk show.

Even though the animation is terrible - both shows have an appeal. By the way, the show predates Star Trek and notice how the the ship's engineer Gunner precedes Scotty of Star Trek. Both engineers are Scottish. I just read where it's Hal Smith that did Gunner's voice. If the name doesn't ring a bell then Otis Campbell (Andy Griffith's) will. Hal is most known for his role as Otis Campbell, Mayberry's town drunk. Hal did a lot of cartoon voice over work down through the years.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

cigarette vending machines

Growing up, I remember seeing cigarette vending machines all over town. There was always a huge selection of smokes from which to choose. Why I haven't seen one of these monsters in years. I don't know why the big brewha over those machines. All the kids loved them. Why I remember during recess at R.A. Mitchell elementary school - me and the boys would gather around the school's Clark Gable Memorial Cigarette Vending Machine for an RC and a smoke. Man, those were the days, weren't they?

You know - I don't get what's wrong with people today. My kids keep coming home from school with all kinds of fundraiser objectives for kids to meet. It seems that schools are always in need of money. Heck, I read the paper and see where such and such mega-school was built - and such and such a school got a new gym added on. Schools are building up - adding on like I've never seen them - but I keep getting these slips of paper from my kids asking me to buy or sell cookie dough, scented candles, wrapping paper, home accents, candy etc. Kids today are being used as bait for parents to put out yet even more money.

What we need are vending machines. Not just any vending machines. We need cigarette vending machines everywhere. The Gadsden City School System needs to put cigarette vending machines all around the community with slogans on them that will encourage parents to SMOKE FOR KID's SAKE. This idea can also be used to carry over into gambling for kid's sake. Let's legalize gambling so these machines can be used to bring needed school supplies and equipment to our education system.

I just had a brainstorm. Let's take all those recently abandoned schools around the county and turn them into little learning casinos! Yes, we've got one in Southside, AL, right on Highway 77 (the old Southside High School) that would be a perfect spot for such a grand fundraising endeavor. We could fill the place with all kinds of vices that will bring much needed revenue for our children. Heck, we might even be able to give our educators a much needed raise!

There might be a legal issues that might come up - so we'll want to keep this on the hush-hush. Remember, what goes on in Etowah County - stays in Etowah County...for your kid's sake.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Davy Crockett

Fess Parker was Walt Disney's Davy Crockett. Boy did that series go over. Fess had every little boy in the United States wearing faux coon skin caps. What was it about that show? Later, Fess took on the role as television's Daniel Boone. Talk about a big leap. Come to think of it...did Fess ever play a character that didn't wear a coon-skin cap? Oh yeah - he was in Hell Is For Heros. He probably wore the coonskin under his helmet.

I used to get Fess Parker and Clint Walker mixed up. Clint was the guy that couldn't sing but shared the same soul as Fess. Okay Okay - so people can't share souls. Maybe Fess Parker and Clint Walker are actually twins separated at birth. They are two actors that are too much alike. I really think that if one of them were sick, they could fill in for each other and no one would be the wiser.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Clutch Cargo

The low budge high adventures of Clutch Cargo

No, this isn't the real's a spoof.

Creepy cartoon with human mouths!

Clutch Cargo with his pal Spinner and dog Paddlefoot. I used to watch this show all the time. I don't know why. There was also another show called Space Angel produced by the same company. It was animation on a shoestring. It's probably where Conan Obrian got the idea for his shtick.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

1975 JC Penney catalog page

Back in the day, the JC Penney catalog sold virtually everything you could dream of....and hallucinate with.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

band of brothers

Mother called early yesterday morning to tell me that my cousin Eric Chunn was going to be in town. I hadn't seen Eric in well over 12 years. We spent a lot of time of our youth together...a lot of time. Eric is two years younger than I am and he looked up to me. Two years was a big difference in age back then. We spent many many days together playing Army in the woods, playing with our G.I. Joes, little green army men, or reading Sgt. Rock or Sgt. Fury comic books. We shared the same interests. We both fought Nazi's - from full scale imaginary combat to 12" action figure combat - to 1.5" scale little green army men scale combat. Our time together was spent continuing the fight that was won decades before.

It was great seeing Eric again. We shared a lot of memories - talking like kids as if childhood were not that long ago. We talked about politics. We talked about life. We talked about God and where He has brought us safe thus far.

I realized yesterday while coming home from our reunion that Eric isn't just a cousin - but my brother.  I realized that Eric and I share so much together in this life - that we are closer akin than I previously had thought.

Driving homeward down Rainbow Drive - I was thinking about all my brothers that I share through the blood DNA of Jesus Christ. I have a larger family than I had previously thought. I have many brothers that I have come to know and love like brothers born of the same womb. Thank you God for my comrades, my friends, this band of brothers.

Thank you God for Jose'. Jose' was there amid the hardest years of my life. God used this man to reach out to me to keep my spirit from being broken. Thank you God for Jerry - all the laughter through every season. All those days I spent with Dan - sharing poetry, song, and all the laughter - tears of laughter. Laughter is good medicine. Michael is my brother that never seemed to mind my rough edges. He too was there to laugh, soar high above me with his guitar, sing harmony to my awkward early attempts. Doug Moore is my brother that I rarely see. We can easily pick up the conversation after years of not seeing one another other. Yes, Bruce is a brother that I love to worship along beside, he gave me the opportunity to first lead in freedom. Donnie is my brother. He was my neighbor in Bowling Green and I still miss him being my neighbor. We had such a great time together. Brook is my brother. I appreciate all that you are. We have the longest history together. Arnie and Jim are gone - but I still love them and tear up thinking about them.

I don't see brothers as much as I'd like. I am here for each one of you nevertheless. I promise to love and give you cover as you have loved and given me cover down through the years. You are each special to me - and words fail to express my thankfulness that I have for these kind men in my life.

I am so very blessed.

A friend loves at all times, a brother is born from adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

Friday, May 1, 2009

my sea sled

Here's a functional submersible toy that I had as a kid. My on-line pal Scott Van Sant (whose father served with Uncle Pat aboard USS LST 312 during the war) posted about this on facebook today. This is the G.I. Joe Sea-sled that really did work. Again, this toy might have worked, but the closest thing I had to the sea was my bathtub. This toy accommodated at 12" action figure and so this toy too didn't travel very far in the tub. This toy, like the Life Guard boat I had as a kid, had batteries in the hull. The tanks on the side would fill with water and this toy really ran least as deep as a bathtub would allow. The propellers churned the scuba diver to the other side of the tub in a matter of a half a second...big thrill.

I was disappointed at the time that the sled didn't come with a joe inside the box. I was always wanting to recruit new joes into my ranks. The sled did come with complete scuba diving gear. It was orange and didn't quite suit my uses for blowing up Nazi ships and subs. What commander would be so stupid as to send a G.I. Joe to blow up something dressing in bright orange wet suit? I wanted a black suit. I don't recall using the wet suit that much because it was so hard getting it on and off the figure. I'd just get a joe to take off his shirt and put the tanks on...wear the fins and masks. Sure the sea was frigid cold but he was tough - he could TAKE IT!!! Scott's little post today brought back some fragments of childhood memories.

I believe I once read where the G.I. Joe Seasled was only available through J.C. Penney back around 1966. I got a lot of my G.I. Joe stuff from Penney back in the day. The store used to be downtown before they relocated to the mall in 1974. There wasn't a toy department at J.C. Penney - mostly clothing. You could however order anything from the catalog and go down to the store and pick it up after a two or three weeks. I remember several times earning enough money for something I saw in the catalogue and thinking it a big deal to place the order by myself. The anticipation of waiting for the order to come in was agonizing.

I can still easily remember what that store looked like back then. Remember the huge old portraits hanging on the wall? Later, when I became a Boy Scout, J.C. Penney was where we'd go to get out official Boy Scout gear. The Boy Scout section was against the back wall.