Monthly Archives: July 2014


A “mobile community of transient spectators”
Daniel Boorstin in “The Discoverers”

Optimist or Realist?


James Garner Dies

James Garner in "Grand Prix"
James Garner in the 1966 film “Grand Prix”

Noted film and television actor, and all-around car guy, James Garner passed away on Saturday. He was 86.

James Garner Baja Race 1969
Garner racing a Ford Bronco in Baja 1969

Noted for his television roles ranging from “Maverick” to “The Rockford Files”, and film roles that included: “Grand Prix”, “The Great Escape”, “They Kill Their Masters”, and “The Americanization of Emily”, Garner was also one heck of a driver. He raced a Ford Bronco and a super-modified Olds 442 called the “Goodyear Grabber” in the Baja 1000. Garner also drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 three times, in 1975, 1977 & 1985.

The 1970 Olds 442 "Goodyear Grabber"
Garner’s “Goodyear Grabber” racing in Baja

James Garner at Daytona 1969
James Garner, Daytona, 1969


“That’s All Right” at 60

Sun Records 45 "That's All Right"
Sun Records released “That’s All Right”, July 19, 1954.

Sun Records Studio, Memphis 1954
The Sun Records Studio, Memphis 1954. The legendary Sam Phillips is in front, with guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and some singer named Elvis in the back.


Blues Legend Johnny Winter passes

Blues legend Johnny Winter

B.B. King once described the albino from Texas as, “Extra white”. Johnny Winter was known for his lightning fast electric slide playing. Muddy Waters said of Winter, “…that guy… He plays eight notes to my one.”

Winter was 70. RIP.

Minneapolis hosts All Star Game

Target Field

Target Field in Minneapolis is host to MLB’s All Star Game tonight. It is the third time the summer classic has been held in Minnesota.

The Killer ties up the 1965 All Star Game at Met Stadium
Harmon Killebrew ties up the 1965 All Star Game with a shot over the fence.

The 1965 game was played at the Erector Set in Bloomington, officially known as Metropolitan Stadium. The Met saw what is arguably the best team ever to play a baseball game, in a National League team that had 11 future Hall of Famers. The American League had 7 future Hall of Famers on its roster that year.

Target-Field M&StP

Practically practical

I was at a fish fry tonight. Fresh caught halibut and salmon. One of the wonderful perks of an Alaskan summer. I was suppose to go on the trip out of Seward, but the recent rains had my schedule so out of whack, that I had to cancel.

At one point tonight, the conversation took a particularly nasty turn, and someone admitted that they were looking to sell their pickup truck to get a “more practical vehicle”. I shook my head at the absurdity of such a thought, and at the exact time when a friend of mine said, “Well, don’t look to him for advice on ‘practical'”, while pointing at me.

I would have been hurt, if it wasn’t so accurate.

Another friend said, “I don’t know… he has that old Land Rover and he drove it all across the country and down to Mexico and back. Seems pretty practical to me.”

I thanked him for the support, and admitted that a Series Rover and Practical go “almost hand in hand”.

The friend who knows me better then came up and quietly asked, “Has he ever been for a ride in that old Rover of yours?”

“No. He doesn’t have a clue.”

Leave it to the Sourdoughs

I love the sourdough reference:

“In the spring and summer of 1910, as (Hiram) Bingham sat in New Haven sifting through the evidence about Vilcabamba (Peru) … the newly self-described explorer would have found it almost impossible to pick up a newspaper without reading about one expedition or another. (Dr. Frederick) Cook and (Robert) Peary were feuding publicly over who had reached the North Pole first. Norway’s (Roald) Amundsen sent England’s (Robert Falcon) Scott a telegram announcing that he planned to beat him to the South Pole. And a group of amateur “sourdoughs” shocked the mountaineering world with their claim to have climbed the north summit of Mount McKinley, fueled by doughnuts and hot chocolate.”

from: “Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams

Alaska Sidenote:

Frederick Cook claimed, in 1906, to have been the first to summit Mt McKinley. His claim has since been discredited.

Fake Peak

Noted explorer and photographer (among other trades) Bradford Washburn, later proved that none of the photographs that Cook took on his 1906 McKinley Expedition had been taken anywhere near the summit. In fact, the peak in the photo above, which Cook claimed was Denali’s summit, is now known as Fake Peak.

The four locals, Tom Lloyd, Peter Anderson, Billy Taylor, and Charles McGonagall, which became known as “The Sourdough Expedition”, attempted the North Summit in 1910, while carrying a spruce pole. Two of the Sourdoughs did make the summit. Their claim was not believed until 1913, when another team climbed the North Summit, and found the spruce pole that the Sourdoughs had erected near the top. The team of sourdoughs had absolutely no climbing experience whatsoever.

A special shoutout to Mr Mark Adams. Love the book so far. Don’t forget your second pair of socks.

“Something hidden. Go and find it. Go and look behind the Ranges —
“Something lost behind the Ranges. Lost and wating for you. Go!”

Rudyard Kipling from “The Explorer”

Fullscreen Thunderbird

“You better not look down if you want to keep on flying
Put the hammer down keep it full speed ahead
You better not look back or you might just wind up crying
You can keep it moving if you don’t look down…”

B.B. King – “Better Not Look Down” Lyrics
’66 Thunderbird courtesy of MGM.

Happy 4th

Saipan July 4, 1944

Saipan, July 4, 1944

Marine Private First Class Raymond Hubert, shakes a three-day accumulation of sand from his boon docker, while using an unexploded 16 inch naval shell as a resting place.

Photo courtesy of U.S. National Archives

And at Yankee Stadium in 1939:

Lou Gehrig @ Yankee Stadium

Lou Gehrig gives the most famous speech in baseball history. “I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for.” Gehrig would die in less than two years after saying those words from the disease ALS.