Sunday, June 27, 2010

People of sterner stuff than we


On a lighter note for a change...temporarily.

The plain Plains in my section of the Plains, was just plain hot yesterday...and I wish I could have gotten on a plane and outta here. It hit 101, according to my car temp thingy. Humidity was right at 70 some odd percent. It was grim dudes and dudettes. Our A/C was working overtime, not to mention using fossil fuel to the nth, no doubt. But God it was just too hot to not use it.

How hot was it? It was so hot, our words melted as they came out of our mouths. We had to stick our heads in the freezer to see what we were saying.

I have a great deal of respect for all those pioneer types back in the 19Th Century passing through, not far from where I currently live, on their way to Oregon, or Californicate and other places of promise at the time. That, I suppose, would include, Utah...beautiful state, fucked up religion. But then, what religion isn't. No, no, no, no...different post.

The people of that time were of a different cat breed. They not only crossed the plains, and desert...endured storms, heat, locust, mosquitoes and rattlesnakes, but they did it mostly in the high collared duds, and other modest clothing for the women folks. Holy about hot. Oh...and they weren't riding in those ox pulled wagons, shaded by the tarp...they were walking along side. Their belongings were in the wagons. This shit went on for MONTHS.

OK, so these wagons are being pulled by horses. So shoot me.

I will readily admit that I am not of that ilk. I like my fan, a/c, and toilet paper. Fuck a pioneer life. I kept trying to tell the army this when I was a guest of theirs, but, alas they have that Ft. Leavenworth thing hanging over one's head while you are participating in defending the world from the Red Menace...or ragheads. Prison appeals to me even less than bivouacking in swamps and such. True, one could get killed in the army, in the swamps, but it is less likely than prison. At least in the swamps, one is probably not going to get tattooed, not to mention the other thing...the BF thing. You know what I am talking about.

This is a long way to arrive at my point of this post...but I am a long way kind of guy when I want to be. Today is one of those days.

Sooo, it was so hot that it simply didn't cool down very much last night. Even with the air cranking, and moaning, at about 2 or 3 a.m. or so, I woke up in a pool of sweat and couldn't get back to sleep.

I didn't want to boot the computer and get involved with that, so I turned on the T.V. and watched an old movie. It starred Abbott and Costello of Who's on First fame. It was their first film, Buck Privates, 1941 prior to the U.S. entry into the war. High propaganda, with some glaring prejudices regards blacks in the film, but that was the tenor of the times. The plus side of the film was of course, A & C, and The Andrew Sisters. The Andrew Sisters were a musical singing group who were...sisters. They had a unique sound that reflected Boogie Woogie music, a popular genre of the 1940's.

The connection between the pioneers and Americans of the 1940's is, both groups were made of sterner stuff than we, methinks.

This whole post was just so I could stick one of my favorites of theirs (as martial as it is) into this blog. Here it is, and that's all I have to say:


Doug said...

So why didn't you just say, "I feel like some boogie-woogie. Here's the Andrews Sisters"? Bette Midler did a nice job on that song, too.

jadedj said...

Doug---Jeez, you know nothing about verbosity.

Bette Midler is a re-incarnated Andrew Sister...I love her. NO, really, I love her. I could expound on that, but...

Mr. Charleston said...

Remember those hot summer days in school before air conditioning? It would be so hot, and smelly, that you just laid your head on your desk cradled on your arms and awoke in a pool of sweat. Then when school was out we would run outside and play all day in the heat never minding it a bit.

Chimp said...

Isn't it interesting that in those days the whole world was black and white and all of a sudden one day it turned into "technicolor"? Wonder what a child born today to HD digital colors thinks when he or she sees a black-and-white video for the first time? I believe the swing era of the forty's was a giant leap into the music of today. They were hardy souls also: no a/c in those dance halls in the summer!

PENolan said...

They were more practical, too. Like - if their electric bill was so high from running the A/C, they might have tried to invent a more efficient one. It wasn't until the 50's that we got complacent, self-congratulatory and short sighted.

I wonder if the folks in the sixties who took to the streets over Civil Rights and The War were made of sterner stuff as well?

Sorry to piss on your "lighter note"

Punch said...

Every time I hear that version of that song a smile comes to my face. Thanks for the grin. We are living in the I, Me, Mine generation. WTF is a skateborder gonna do when they pull the plug on that passtime.

Doug does have a certin point, though.

Doug said...

Verbosity here is usually left to city councils debating the merits of doing something-we'll-get-sued-for vs something-we-can't-afford.


first of all i loved abbott and costello and the andrew sisters..and i know we're a bunch of wussy's compared to the old folks and what they had to endure...we'd last about 3 days..tops..ha

Debra She Who Seeks said...

No excuse is needed to play The Andrews Sisters! Love them!

Land of shimp said...

Heh, as tempted as I am to entertain the thought that I am made of sturdy stuff, I think the reality of it is that there is very little reason to believe I am made of pioneer stock.

Besides, I'd likely belt someone with a corset if they told me I needed to wear one in the middle of July, or January, for that matter. I start to feel ill-done-to if I'm out of moisturizing body wash, I feel certain I'd bawl a river if I had to wash my dishes with water I not only had to pump (or carry from one place to another) but I also had to heat.

I'd be in a permanent mood, I'm telling you, and far more likely to be packing heat, as was the way of the Frontier. Bad combination.

Luckily I'd be far more likely to die in childbirth, so it at least wouldn't last all that long. Eek.

Long way of saying, "Move over and make room for me on the Wimpy Bench, would you?" There we can listen to the Andrew Sisters in air conditioned splendor ;-)

jadedj said...

Mr. C---Yes, and if you wanted a/c, you went to a movie. I also recall having to drive with every window down in the car during the Summer.

Chimp---My children still can't quite get into b & w films. It's olden times tantamount to dinosaurs to them.

Tricia---OK, seriously. Credit cards and eeeeeasy payments did our asses in, along with fear-mongering, on-the-take politicians and meism. I'm not sure the 60's types (oops, that's usins, well me) were tougher...there was simply more political awareness of knowing a pack of lies when we heard least eventually. Wait, what the hell do I know...I'm going back to light.

Punch---Paragraph one passes muster. Wid ya.
Paragraph two: IDJIT! How else was I going to speak of oxen drawn wagons...sticky drawers...swamps...the red menace...and...toilet paper in the same post as the Andrew Sisters?

Doug---It would seem politicians are universally of the same mold...useless.

YDG---No question in my mind. Plus, I'd already be dead...they all died at about age 29 I think it was.

DSWS---Hey, thanks for coming by. I'm glad this made you smile.

LOS---Yep, give me my conveniences. Also, I'm in the same mind looking at old pioneer photos, as I am at porn films (mind you I've only seen one)...I think to myself, these folks are/were probably damned stinky. A dose of reality is always good for romanticized ideas.

intelliwench said...

You forget -- the pioneers traveled waaaaay before we had global warming. Maybe it only got up to the 80s back then...

Punch said...

Intelli, is most likely right. No black asphalt roads to soak up heat, no concrete buildings to soak up heat. Not every house was running a/c, reefer for the ice, tv for the kid, computer for everybody in the world. lighting at night, cars driving around with heat sinks under the hoods, jet planes leaving heat trails across the sky. Space rockets , blasting heat into the statusphere, etc. Oh and then there is the Fox News and the heat of anger 24 hours a day. WTF.

On and there was a mini ice age about the time of the american revolution.

just musing.

Those Andrews chics were somethin' else.

tnlib said...

I doubt if many women wore corsets out on the trail. Decorum wasn't an issue under those rugged circumstances.

There are several charts on the Net with searchable data bases showing how the average high temperatures have risen since records were kept. Of course I can't find the link now - knew I should have kept it.

I thoroughly enjoyed your entire article. It's your blog and you can put up whatever you please and take as long as you want to get there.

jadedj said...

intell---You are way too intelligent, wench. Don't forget though that they did have spontaneous combustion quite frequently. And the vapors...and...and...and, stuff.

Punch---OK, you scored intell points. Does that make you feel more like a man?

I was not talking about the American ferking Revolution...they didn't even wear drawers that far back. They were too busy poking their female slaves to be interested in crossing the plain Plains.

Andrews chics? You just lost your intell points!

jadedj said...

tnlib---Once again, the Blogger imp was at play. Posted a reply as you were posting a comment.

I had forgotten about the lack of decorum out there on the trail. Sort of like this blog, and certain comment contributors...I mention no names...keep the initial "P" in mind, though.

I am glad you haven't the actual links to the temp thing, as this "P" person would have jumped right on it (no, really, if you find it, please come back and post it...just do it in code so that "he" doesn't pick up on it).

Thank you for the kind words. There are certain people who do not understand the nuances of blog verbosity as well as yourself. No names, mind you.

PENolan said...

Whaddaya mean P??????

jadedj said...

Tricia---TRICIA...when was the last time I called you P? What other P is there trolling this blog? The swamp "P".

Punch said...


jadedj said...

I rest my case.

Heidi Germanaus said...

I think to myself all the time what marshmallows we've turned into but I also would never want to give up my modern luxuries.

And you can blame my generation for the swells of apathy that run through our society now. Damn grunge music.

PENolan said...

Oh, right. My name is Tricia here. It's tricky when you've got a couple of different names rolling about. I'd blame my ex-husband, but I'm sure it's really all for the best, If I ever really do send out my real writing for real publication, it wouldn't do to have my real name associated with that story about the black man with a dick like a maglight.
The last thing I need are a bunch of lonely heart stalkers.

jadedj said...

Heidi---Wid ya. As to your generational apathy. Just a reminder that it's MY generation that formed the idiotic tea bag "movement". Give me apathy any day.

Tricia---Wait...a shining dick? No, no, no...I'm sorry I asked that. Nevermind.

Sue said...

I LOVE Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy!!!!!
We are hotter than a blue moon here in NJ too. But we get humidity readings in the 90's with temps in the 90's! I can not survive without my AC!!

Tom Harper said...

There's a fully illustrated history book that tells all about America's Westward migration. It's even bleaker than your description. It was a fascinating book. I don't remember the name of it or the author; I was reading it in the doctor's office waiting room a few years ago.

In addition to Indian attacks and diseases, there were constant gun fights and knife fights in these covered wagon convoys. And each convoy had a set of strict rules, and a person in charge who ran everything. Anyone who violated one of these rules would be banished or executed.

Land speculators and real estate hustlers conned most of these people into making the journey Westward. They convinced them that the West would be Paradise when they arrived, and that the journey itself would be a barrel of fun too.

jadedj said...

Sue---Alright! Glad you do. As to humidity in the 90's? That's almost underwater, methinks.

Tom---There's also the cannibalism thing. Actually that was because a so-called trail guide didn't know where the hell he was going, and took the wrong trail, ending back up near where they departed in what is now Utah. That put them way behind and caused them to be caught in the High Sierras in the dead of winter...with no meat...except each other.

I actually read somewhere on line, Harvard ebooks or some such, an Oregon trail participant's diary, written in the late 1840's or so. And you are correct, it was mostly a hell on earth experience. Certainly not one I would want to endure.

Harlequin said...

the Andrews sisters are sublime. and I have to agree with the Bette Midler fans, as well.
as for the wagon train, I imagine that most everyday folks get to tasks that they have no idea about in terms of their hardship or endurance. And, then it seems that some endure the hardship and may not even realize that this is what they were doing while it was going on.
that being said, most of the literature and accounts from that period indicate that it was awful and those involved in the venture knew it at the time.
Still, they persevered.... perseverance is still something hang onto,perhaps??