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  • DANICA

    I am a racing/motorsports aficionado.

    Be it Formula One, Indycar, NASCAR. TUDOR United, Rolex, LeMans- I follow them all. I will get up early and I will go to bed late, watching races from Australia, to the streets of Monte Carlo (The Principality), from Motegi, or Abu Dhabi, to the high banks of Talladega.

    For more than forty years I been following the men who put the pedal to the metal, and for the past ten years, I have been following Danica Patrick, as well.

    In Indycar Danica had a rain-shortened win and three poles.
    In NASCAR’s Nationwide, Xfinity series, she earned a pole.
    In NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Danica has one pole (a Daytona 500), but she has neither won, nor finished in the top 3 in any race.

    Tomorrow, Danica lines up on the 10th row of the grid, for the 2015 Daytona 500. Like always, it’s a big deal.

    I am here to tell you that Danica Patrick is a gutsy driver who gives as good as she gets. She belongs.

    Some, however, think otherwise, including some of the very same drivers she rubs fenders with in NASCAR every week.
    To make matters worse, Richard Petty, the aging NASCAR legend, doesn’t hide his misogynistic disdain for all things Danica.

    On the other hand, the legendary Darrell Waltrip has not been shy in defending her. And DW is, of course, a mensch.

    If you go through the history of women who have raced in the upper echelons of motorsports, there are pioneers such as Lyn St. James and Janet Guthrie who paved the way. There were quite a few others, like Denise McCluggage, wo raced over the decades, going all the way back to the 1920s.

    These days, Katherine Legge pilots the experimental and semi-competitive DeltaWing in the Tudor United racing series, Jennifer Jo Cobb races in NASCAR’s Truck series, while Susie Wolff is slated to see track time with Williams, in F1, this season.

    Still, Danica stands out among them. For one thing, she is photogenic and chooses to market herself, or be exploited (depending on your viewpoint), as an object of desire and attention. She has gotten pretty rich being pretty.

    I think that Danica Patrick is among the best “interviews” in all of sports. Answering questions directly and usually unfiltered, you can tell that she is a hard-nosed competitor who wants to win every time she straps in.

    There are rumors floating out that Danica will be headed to Formula One in 2016 with Carl Haas’ Racing. If and when she goes, I’ll be cheering her on, as always.
    – Harry


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  • David Carr: 1956-2015. Media columnist at The New York Times

    carr I am extremely sad to hear that David Carr passed away tonight at age 58, dying while at work, shortly after moderating a New York Times podcast. This tragic news comes on the heels of Bob Simon, of CBS, dying when his limo crashed in Manhattan 24 hours ago.

    Great losses both. And all this within the same week that Brian Williams is banished, for good reasons, from NBC’s Nightly News and then the announcement that John Stewart, resident genius of the Daily Show, will be walking away later this year, ending an incomparable 17 year run which had an influence beyond easy measurement on our culture and society. 

    Now more than ever, we, the public, need fearless reporters/newspapermen/TV anchors who aren’t afraid to find the unvarnished Truth and give us informed analysis on politics, politicians, breaking news, as well as the latest information regarding health, energy, business, and technology.

    We need intrepid reportage that can be found on battlefields, and in far flung outposts. We need the news, good or bad; determined and explained by those we come to trust in media, in print, on the web, or on TV.

    Farewell to Bob and David. So long Brian. Thank you, John.
    It has been a terrible week.

    -photo of David Carr courtesy of Chester Higgins/The New York Times.


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  • Brian Williams

    I stand in modest defense of Brian Williams.

    I am not eager to hop on the bloodsport bandwagon’s career destroying “gotcha-ness” of the Vox Populi.  A feeding frenzy has surrounded Brian Williams and the damage is likely irreparable.  In Brian’s case his “misremembering” and exaggerations have been self-destructive, so the scorn and ridicule are well earned, so it seems.

    Brian, projecting a likable guy-next-door casualness, now tenuously holds on to a very shaky seat as the longest serving of the three network news anchors, where he is also the Managing Editor of the Nightly News on NBC.  He is on a “self imposed” short break from the Nightly News, to which he likely will never return.

    Nonetheless, through momentous occasions, Brian Williams has been a steadying and comforting presence.   I don’t know whether he merits, or will be thrown a lifeline, a second chance, a get out of jail free card.  But I think we will be missing him long after the tarring and feathering ceases.

    We are no longer a society that forgivingly appreciates the better qualities of a lifetime of work and competency.  Brian Williams screwed up.  We caught him.  Now all that is left to do is decide whether he will be thrown overboard to the sharks, or tossed off the mountain from an unsurvivable height.   We, the Circus Maximus, are pointing  thumbs down.

    There is joy in Mudville tonight.  Another man done gone.  Perhaps we would be better, and better served, by having a humbled Brian Williams sitting at the anchor desk, rather than starting again with the next one up.  Whether it is Savannah Guthrie or Lester Holt, or Jerry Springer, we might look ourselves in the mirror and study the reflection.

    Harry Lipson,  2-8-2015


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  • P1030194

  • FINAL GAMEDAY THOUGHTS

    I am pumped up for the Super Bowl. So come ON New England! On the other hand, I am a little deflated about you know what. Tom Brady may have made the first mistake in his life. We’ll have to see.
    I will always love the Patriots, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick. Winners, Winner, Winner. I grew up with Bear Bryant so when I say that Belichick is the real deal, you can take that to the bank.
    I am not apologizing for Deflategate but I will wait for the NFL head office to let us know what happened and what didn’t. If they broke rules, then they will be penalized pretty harshly.
    Nonetheless, I wear Red, White, and Blue and I am a Pats Fan – last century, this century, next century. Let’s Gronk this thing.


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  • A Super Bowl Ramble

    P1030194I live in Boston.   Like Tammy Wynette said, I am standing by my man.   I am standing by Tom Brady and The New England Patriots.   Now, would I rather be cheering a football team that all of you admire and respect?   You betcha.   Am I a tad bothered by some of the things we’ve been accused of doing?  Yes.

    On the eve of the Super Bowl here are my thoughts. First, what I know is that the New England Patriots are the winningest NFL team in the 21st Century.

    On “SpyGate”: – The Pats were caught taping the sideline signals being relayed by the hand signals and gesticulations of our opponent’s assistant coaches.  This was in 2007, in the first week of the football season.  In our defense, I will say three things.
    1.  We did this.   2.  We did not hide the fact that we were taping them since it was done in plain sight.  3.  Many other teams were also doing exactly the same thing. That doesn’t make it right, but we had a lot of company, we got caught.  

    The practice of taping opponents sideline signals was shut down after that first week of that season. New England went on to win it’s next 17 games, and were 18-0, undefeated, and played in the Super Bowl.  We did that without spying on anyone for those final 17 games, and we won them all.  Should we have been taping and did it really make much, if any, difference?   The answer to both is No. It was small potatoes, no big deal in actual fact. But, for that we were labeled “cheaters.”  That was SpyGate.

    Fast forward 8 years and here we are in the Super Bowl, and it was determined that our footballs were a bit low on air pressure in a game we played against Indianapolis two weeks ago.   I don’t know what happened but here is my guess.   It has been 15 years since Tom Brady became our quarterback.   Way back when, I suspect that Tom Terrific told some equipment manager who prepared his game day footballs, that he preferred footballs that weren’t over-inflated (FYI, Aaron Rogers of the Green Bay Packers has said he liked them on the over-inflated side).   Tom liked the football a little under-inflated. That was his preference and that was all very legal.  League rules allow for footballs to be legal and in regulation if they have between 14.5 and 12.5 psi (pounds per square inch).  

    Nonetheless, I can’t justify or entirely explain how some of, or most of, the Patriot game footballs were up to 2psi off, when checked during halftime.  None of our opponents footballs were off when they too were simultaneously checked.  Our amazing coach, Bill Belichick, says that atmospheric conditions could have caused this. As the rules allow, each team brings their own game balls that are prepared ahead of time to the liking of the quarterback.   This is legal and all teams do it.  Depending on whether a game is going to be played in rain/snow or in dry conditions, each time provides either 12 or 24 balls to the referee several hours before every game.  It was a rainy game so each team in this case supplied 24 footballs to the refs, who supposedly inflated all the footballs to the legal preference of the two opposing quarterbacks.   We don’t know yet what the psi of Andrew Luck’s footballs were.   The legal range was anywhere between 14.5 and 12.5.   Let’s say he preferred 14.5psi.   If, at the half, his footballs, when checked again by the officials, was say 12.5psi, they were legal still, but they had already lost 2psi.   Now if Tom Brady’s footballs started out at 12.5 and they too lost 2psi, then they were at 10.5 and were therefore underinflated and no longer legal.   Still and all, both teams footballs would have lost the same 2psi.   There is a tape, apparently, that shows a ball boy retrieving the Patriot game football and then disappearing for 90 seconds in a bathroom, before taking the footballs out on the field. Could the footballs have been tampered with right then? Maybe. This is DeflateGate.

    Belichick has said, as has Tom Brady, that nothing illegal was done by us to the game footballs.  Belichick went further and said that he, personally, had little interest in and was unaware of football psi and Brady’s personal preferences.   I believe Belichick on this.   He had many other, more important, things to worry about. I believe him.   He may be cranky and have a dry sense of humor.  He may not suffer fools gladly.  But he is at the top of his profession and to some extent, lives in a fishbowl during football season.   He and Tom Brady are the two most recognized and famous people, outside of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, in all of New England.

    As for Tom Brady, who has had a squeaky clean image for his entire career, I believe Tom, but I also think that the equipment managers knew and were aware of how Tom liked his game day footballs.   Sticky, not sticky.  The breaking in of footballs is apparently a multi-day process that every team, every quarterback goes through and ends up with footballs that are handpicked by each QB.  All perfectly legal. Every team every quarterback does this.   I don’t think that Tom was always reminding the equipment guys how he wanted the game balls prepared.   Over the years, they became familiar with his preference and proceeded accordingly. Maybe his preferences changed over the decade and a half he had been playing. Maybe finger strength lessens as you age. I don’t know.   So somewhere along the line, what Tom liked was understood by the equipment managers and they always set things up on the lower end, say 12.5psi, of the scale, all perfectly within the rules. I believe Tom chose his 12 or 24 game day footballs by throwing each of them and finding some he liked and others he didn’t.   That is what every QB does.

    So I stand by Tom Brady.   I stand by Bill Belichick.  As a result of all of this, Belichick has said that in the future, we will overinflate our game day footballs to the maximum legal limit of 14.5psi, so that if the footballs naturallly deflate a couple of pounds that they will still remain legal. I also stand by Robert Kraft.   It may not surprise you that I also stand by my New England Patriots.   Was some air let out of the footballs by some equipment guy?   Could be.  We await the NFL’s final jugdement when the investigation in Deflategate is finished. Finally, I have never known a more friendly, goodhearted, well-spoken athlete than Tom Brady.   I have seen him interviewed a few hundred times. He wears the white hat.  He is a good guy.   He remains my guy.

    I know that many of you will root against New England because of perceived notions about our coach and about our quarterback.   I wish that were otherwise. – Harry


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  • The Equalizer

    Alabama’s less than stellar New Years performance left me in a less than stellar mood. When our football season is over, it flat out is.
    I love the wonderful expression “I was just beside myself.” That is pretty much where I was for most of January 2nd. Beside myself, or is it “besides my self.” I think the former.

    Anyway, I was just going through the motions for the better part of the day, and when I get that way, what I have to do, sooner or later, is push the refresh button and get back to being myself, as they say.

    What does it for me, these days, is an action movie. Once I watch it, I push the refresh button and pick up where I left off, before the ballgame started. I think it is one of Newton’s Laws.

    Coincidentally, I just read one of my friend’s FaceBook posts in which he (Leigh Montville) mentioned that he’d enjoyed The Equalizer, Denzel’s current movie.

    Now I happened to think that Denzel deserves an Oscar on an annual basis, just call his name, let him walk up there, hand him a statue, let him flash his world class smile, say a few offhand asides, and we can send his extraordinary ass off to make another fine film. Denz got my vote for Flight, a really cool, Oscar nominated effort, starring the coolest actor since Jack, Brando, or Bogey. Come to think of it, that would be a pretty good Mount Rushmore of actors. I would make that pilgrimage.

    If you consider the leading women actors… Hepburn, Kidman, Blanchett, and Streep, would make a nice foursome. Of course, that’s off the top of my head, you know, bang, bang, slam bam thank you m’am. Equal pay for equal work. Just the way it oughta be.
    <

    In fact, The Equalizer equalized my equilibrium and now I can completely accept that Ohio State just ate our lunch and it’s time now for the NFL playoffs. I have moved on. The page is turned.

    Still, Alabama should have run the ball down their throat for two and a half quarters which would have opened things up for Amari Cooper, and we could have closed the sale in the last third of that game, and we’d be on to the Fighting Ducks of Nikeville. And I would not have seen The Equalizer yet, which happens to have been filmed in my current hometown of Boston.

    Since The Tide didn’t win, and since I wanted to move on, let the pain go, I went and watched Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down, one right after the other. Olympus was a lot better, but neither one will win a popularity contest, unless it’s just against each other, and then Olympus takes that one. This further helped me clear my head and bring me back to being a reasonable semblance of what I normally pass for.

    It’s not hard to be a Bama fan, but when we lose with such a lousy effort, I have to go to the movies, a triple feature, to make life, once again, worth living. -

    Harry, January 3rd, 2015


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  • Some Thoughts and Wishes

    hl3The GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, Wes Anderson directing, is a wonderful little respite, a magical little movie.

    SONY CAMERA REPAIR is beyond terrible. I love their pro-cameras, but the service department sucks.

    I am going to watch (live probably, or possibly TIVOed) Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin in Times Square on CNN, New Year’s Eve. It is funny, risque, and fascinating every year. I have not yet tired of the interplay between a respected reporter/Anchor and a crazy, funny, free-spirited comedienne.

    I sure like the musical resonance of the accordion. More and more I hear them in the music I listen to, which is primarily “Americana.”

    I recommend Austin SUN RADIO if you are a fan of Americana. Jessie Scott has a show weekdays that reminds me of Cross Country XM 12, the now defunct satellite radio channel that had a cult following, myself among them.

    Thinking about losing weight. Of course I am, it’s New Years. Checked out some elliptical machines and rather liked the NordicTrac A.C.T. Elite from Sears. It turns out that Sears is now the exclusive sales company of all NordicTrac stuff.

    If you have HBO, and if you don’t I recommend it highly; check out the HBO Sports documentary “Glickman.” What a life, what a guy.

    DON LEMON at CNN. I watch CNN regularly and like them. But Don Lemon is less than brilliant. He has minimal grasp of facets of what he is discussing. Good looking guy. Good voice. But he does not ask probing, intelligent followup questions. He is a lightweight without a shred of gravitas or expertise. And he seems to think it’s all about HIM. Don, it isn’t. It’s about the NEWS, the ISSUES, the EVENTS. He needs a lot of seasoning and CNN gives him a prize time slot which he does not merit, at least at this point in his career. May I suggest Jim Schiuto in his place or Hala Gorani, or Candy Crowley, if they can convince her to unretire. I also could recommend Richard Quest. He is bombastic and seems to have swallowed the Energizer bunny, but he knows of what he speaks and he deserves a prime time slot, whereas Don Lemon does not. CNN would be better for reading this blog post.

    I wish you a Happy New Year. A healthy one too. If you have wealth, share some of it with others. If you send some to me, I will be eternally grateful and will try to pay it forward. You will be forever anonymous and unmentioned, but an angel you will be.

    I hope you will love yourself, something I need to be better at doing.
    Good luck in 2015. Let’s be safe out there.
    Harry
    PO Box 245
    Arlington, MA 02476


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  • My 2014 Dear Santa Letter

     

    MY DEAR SANTA LETTER 2014
    These are my Christmas Wishes, my New Years’ Hopes, Etc.

    OK, Santa

    Hopeful Harry writes….
    P1020345I am a long way from perfect, so it’s hard to say precisely whether I’ve been entirely good or bad, naughty or nice. As time passes, I don’t see much in black and white. I see greys, nuances, shadings, gradations, arguments, plusses and minuses in living, in the world, in my life, in the way things are, etc., etc.

    So with random thoughts in my head, maybe a vision of a sugar plum or two, here we go:

    Can we feed everybody. Can’t we end world hunger. I know that’s a biggie Santa, but heroic effort is required. I see this as black and white, no grey area. Starvation shouldn’t happen.

    OK, Santa, ready for more? How about referees not getting assaulted, battered, threatened. Whether it’s pee wee football or FIFA World Cup, fans have to respect the refs, umps, and officials. A lot of us are intensely loyal fans, but I humbly ask that you, dear Santa, bring sanity to the sports world, even though we call ourselves “fans,” which is shorthand for fanatics, which brings into question our sanity; big ask, but a civil society is one of my wishes.

    I wish freedom was available for all that are oppressed.

    I wish freedom was available for all that feel depressed.

    I wish freedom for all that live in fear.

    I wish that the world’s religions could bask in harmony and equality.

    I would like to see illiteracy wiped from the face of the earth.

    Maybe fracking isn’t such a hot idea, Santa. Illness and earthquakes that seem to result, as a by product, are reasons to give pause.

    I wish prescription medicines were available, at no cost, to all of us.

    I wish that we could cure cancer, heart disease, lupus, asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and all known diseases.

    Santa, I think you should promote brussell sprouts as excellent in many ways, and a good source of natural health. A little butter, some chopped garlic, a dash of salt, and you’ve cooked a healthy item. And they’re so easy to eat with your hands. A double bonus.

    I want gender equality to spread around the world. Men and Women equal in societies the world over. That’s another big ask, but you’re a big guy, Santa, so I’m asking you to make it happen.

    I want animals to be treated better. Life is precious. All life. Spread that around Santa; get the word out. Harm an animal, be very unlikely to get into heaven, a concept that may or may not be manmade, but that should be a Commandment everyplace, everywhere.

    I want all the worlds’ children to be loved and raised with kindness and understanding. That is going to be the game changer. Future generations would be less likely to go to war so easily, take from others, do violence, cause mayhem. Kindness and Understanding are right up there near the very top on my list.

    Money. Rich folks should give something back. That gets them bonus points.
    Let’s revere Philanthropists like we do athletes.
    At this time of year, it is a message that should be stressed all year long. Philanthropy, anonymous or otherwise, can cure a lot of unhappiness in the world. So here’s to those that share good fortunes.

    toastyBut Then, Cynical Harry chimes in:

    I dismiss you, Santa Claus. A child’s fantasy. Whimsy.
    But, you can prove to me that you exist.
    I demand that you, Santa-man, show up at my house on Christmas Eve, with a new Ultra High Def 65″ TV.

    Then you better bring along a new 5K 27″ Apple IMAC computer. Load it up with apps, Santa. Get the 3TB version.

    I’ve been good all year (a lie) so I deserve more stuff.

    Bring me a brand new La-Z-Boy electric recliner with auto heat and massage. In fact, give me two of them. One cherry red and one in mustard yellow. Those things can’t be beat for comfort.

    Come to think of it, I could use new wheels. Santa I need a Tesla. Shiny dark blue, cream colored interior. Every options checked.
    I want it ALL. Stat.

    Clausy, stick Bad Santa in my blue tooth player and press “play.” Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.

    P.S. – IF you actually show up with all of my toys, (which you know I totally deserve), AND there is no MasterCard/AmEx/Visa statement coming; the UHD TV, the Imac, the Tesla, and the La-Z-Boys; if it’s all mine – gratis, compliments of the House…. Santa, if you come through then I promise that I’ll believe in you, Tinkerbell, magic Hobbits, Rudolph with his ruby red nose, and the Jolly Green Giant.

    P1050839Then, Hopeful Harry returns :

    What else would I like for Christmas? Let’s see. What I want for Christmas?…. well, a nice fire in the fireplace. The Kings College Choir singing English carols on the stereo.
    Just a few candles glowing. No presents expected, but perhaps I find something simple, meaningful, given with thought, sitting under the tree.
    A little mulled cider would be nice. I’ll get settled into a comfortable chair and begin to think about it all. Plus all those important wishes to come true in 2015.
    That’s what I want this Christmas, and all my Christmases to come.
    There’s a lot that I believe in. It fills my head with visions of… ..sugar plums.

    Harry, in Boston. 12-23-14


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HarryShotsRadioIcon

“Calling Trains

“CALLING TRAINS”

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Click here for this mp3 download

INTRODUCTION TO THE SONG:    I’d like to say thanks to a friend of mine.   This song, “Calling Trains” is on one of his many record albums, and it is his photo and album cover that you see down below.  He was the real Dos Equis guy.   Bruce  Phillips  (1935 – 2008) was his name, and he was in the running for the most interesting man in the world.   “Utah” was the name he answered to.  His nom de guerre was  U. Utah Phillips.

In this little adventure, Utah was my personal tour guide at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, on a day, just months before the Gardner Museum was robbed in what was, and remains, the biggest art theft in American history.  That is all I have to say on the subject of robbery until they up the reward, wink wink.  I’m kidding.

There are individuals and there are INDIVIDUALS.  Bruce Phillips was the latter.  Ask anyone who knew him, and plenty did.  He had merriment in his eyes and a benevolent aura about him.  His hair and beard were snow white.  He wore a flannel shirt and painters overalls.

Utah Phillips was a less well known American icon, a railroad man, a hobo, a gandydancer, a writer and performer, a Wobbly, a pain in the ass to conservatives and bosses, and a people person of the highest order.  Utah got paid to travel the world and sing songs, and tell his always hilarious stories.  He was far more of a story teller than a song singer.

On this particular day, at the Gardner Museum, Utah Phillips was piss full of vinegar and details about Rembrandt this and Rembrandt that.  He morphed into a museum tour guide, as versed as if he worked there.

Bruce was telling me exactly how many self portraits Rembrandt had painted as we stepped  into the beautiful home of the late Isabella Stewart Gardner, a 19th century Patron of the Arts, who would eventually own one of the great private art collections in the world.  It is now a museum in Boston’s Back Bay.

Utah pointed out a small painting on the wall to the right and blurted, “Ah, the ‘Storm on the Sea of Galilee.’   Harry did you know that Rembrandt painted himself into this very painting.  Look in the lifeboat, right there.  It’s  Ol’ van Rijn himself.”

About a half hour earlier, Utah and I had been at a nearby conference and the proceedings were sliding downhill into Pedantics 101. He got my attention, gave me a thumb sign, and motioned toward the door, with a jerk of his head.  I had no idea where we were going.  He obviously did and it was off to the Gardner Museum.

THE SONG ITSELF

As mentioned above, this is about a song that appeared on one of  his many records.  He didn’t sing the song.  We don’t know who did.   It is titled “Calling Trains” and it is all of 46 seconds long.  It is spoken word.

It is a chant by an unidentified gentleman, inside the Union Railroad Station in New Orleans, circa 1935 give or take five years, announcing the departure of the City of New Orleans passenger train bound, eventually,  for Chicago.

This is not an express train to say the least.  It is the Local, making stop after stop (forty in all) as it rolls north from New Orleans toward Chicago, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois.  “Calling Trains” calls out each of the  forty scheduled stops the City of New Orleans was scheduled to make on its journey.  The recording is from the Library of Congress.

When I listened, at first, I couldn’t decipher much of what was being said.  But I stayed with it,  trying to understand the whole “call from start to finish.    After studying  old railroad maps and Mississippi atlases, I have a written complete precise translation  of the  “call.” Absolutely correct.  Guaranteed or your money back.

As the gentleman is calling out for passengers to board the train on track four, you can probably pick up some of what he say on first listen.  After you hear it a few times take a look at the transliteration below and then listen again as you read along.  I think it is pretty cool.  And it is historic as well.

So enjoy the listen.  However, I still need some help with the transcription.  If you can figure out the last three words spoken, you will get credit for doing so in this post.  It sounds to me like SAL A MATOO.    Obviously, that is not English.  He may be saying “That’s all of my tune”  It has me stumped.  So if you have any idea, please let me know

 

HERE ARE THE LYRICS, which are absolutely spot on except for the last line.

“CALLING TRAINS” 

transcription by Harry Lipson III

“ALL UP FOR ILLINOIS CENTRAL, LULING, PONCHATOULA, HAMMOND, AMITE, INDEPENDENCE, FLUKER, KENWOOD,

OSYKA, MAGNOLIA and MCCOMB, BROOKHAVEN, WESSON, HAZELHURST, CRYSTAL SPRINGS. TERRY, BYRAM, to JACKSON, to

TOUGALOO, RIDGELAND, LUX, and MADISON, CANTON, VAUGHN, PICKENS, GOODMAN, DURANT, WINONA,

GRENADA, SARDIS, MEMPHIS, DYERSBURG, FULTON, to CAIRO, CARBONDALE, Centralia, Effingham, Mattoon, Champaign,

Kankakee, and Chicago.  Train on Track Four.  Sal a matoo.”

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A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFO ABOUT THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS AND THE ROUTE IT TRACED:

 I found it a nice coincidence  that one of the forty en-route stops for the  The City of New Orleans was in  Goodman, MS,  given that Steve Goodman wrote the Grammy award winning song about this famous  train.

One of the  mysteries, to me, is why the gentlemen  calls out “Lux”, Mississippi as one of the train stops.  The  train rolls along the Illinois Central Railroad tracks and Lux was located northwest of Hattiesburg and southeast of Jackson.   It was many miles away from the railroad line, no where near it in fact.   I have looked at  original Mississippi railroad maps and old state maps and you won’t find Lux anywhere near the tracks.  To add to this mystery, Lux disappeared and is no longer found  on maps after a certain date prior to 1950. .    Could the gentlemen have been from Lux and wanted to give a shout out to his hometown?   We will never know how Lux makes the list of train stops, for sure the City of New Orleans never once stopped in Lux.

Deciphering the audio was initially challenging.  I misunderstood the gentleman at numerous points, but eventually it became clearer to me.  Mapping and repeated listening ultimately solved the puzzle of the lyrics.

“Luling” was initially difficult for me to ascertain what he was saying.  I found Luling on an old map right on the train line.

“Amite” was another that took additional time to understand and transcribe.

“Terry” and “Byram” were initially tough to determine.  I thought he was saying
“Cairo bound for Jackson”.  If you listen to it, you might hear him say that too.

I also had trouble understanding an earlier portion that I thought was “Westhaven”.   But there is no Westhaven MS.  It was “Wesson”, “Hazelhurst”.

And as mentioned previously I am unable to understand the last three words that are spoken which sound like  “Sal A Matoo.”    ANY THOUGHTS ?

Vaughn, MS, one of the forty stops along the line in “Calling Trains,” is oft forgotten as the place where famous railroading “disaster” occurred in 1900.
It was near Vaughn that Casey Jones, veteran Illinois Central conductor, died, the only fatality in that accident, (Casey was at fault for rear ending a freight train) forever immortalized in song.    Listen and enjoy and try to catch the words (you can follow along with my transcription above).    

Harry Lipson III @ HarryShots.com







“Calling Trains” by unknown train announcer

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A Library of Congress recording, circa 1935, by an unknown gentleman, recorded at Union Railroad Station in New Orleans.  He gives the “all aboard” for the City of New Orleans local train departing shortly, bound eventually for Chicago.  A rare audio and a great audio glimpse into American history.  See my blog CALLING TRAINS for the whole story.  I invite you to see my blog on this historic audio track.  Check out my Ramble in this blog, scroll down to Calling Trains.  This is cool as hell and rare. Check it out.   HL


 


The Quotes of "Whatever"

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  • In an understatement, he said, ‘I ain’t no rocket surgeon’

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  • goalposts-150x150I’m happy now!” - Nick Saban, 3-time National Champion Football Coach of The University of Alabama




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  • Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.” – Andy Rooney




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  • Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” – Francis Bacon




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  • You don’t paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.” – Kris Kristofferson




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  • ukeI knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture” – Bob Uecker

     

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  • Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.” ― Lily Tomlin




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  • I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.” – Elaine Boosler




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  • hudI laugh so hard ’til the tears run down my leg - a rare Delta Blues joke, from the seminal blues tune, Silverado in My Pathway

     

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  • Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” – Satchel Paige




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  • I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” – Ken Venturi, U.S. Open Golf Champion




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  • Good pitching will always stop good hitting, and vice versa - Casey Stengel

     

     

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  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and it looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

     

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  • When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us” – Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone

     

     

     

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