You Rascal You

Last night was the beginning of the end of another wonderful summer on Point Pleasant Beach.  Sure, it’ll formally end tonight with a fireworks display.  But the culmination of another summer really happens with the Finals of the Big Joe Jersey Talent Show.  Big Joe, who dubs himself as the only disc jockey big enough to be visible from outer space, was up on stage last night introducing amateur talent form all over the Great Garden State to compete in front of a panel of celebrity judges.  Any idea who the smiling judge in the hat is?

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Why that’s Gene Cornish, of course.  What?  You mean you don’t know who Gene Cornish is?  Well after this you will.  Let me give you a hint.  Ever here of Steven Van Zandt?  That’s Little Stevie, of  Bruce Springsteen’s “E Street Band”, a Jersey Shore musician at the core.  (You may also be familiar with Little Stevie in his role as Silvio on The Sopranos, another iconic Jersey show biz undertaking.)  Turns out Little Stevie was a huge fan of a ’60s rock n’ roll band called The Rascals (who debuted in 1965 as The Young Rascals), of which Gene Cornish happens to be a founding member.  Us boomers happen to associate Felix Cavaliere’s name with the band, but Cornish was the brilliant guitarist who helped give the band its signature sound.  Here’s Cornish on stage two years ago, showing he can still handle the guitar licks from their first big hit, “Good Lovin'”.

I hadn’t realized back in the day that Good Lovin’ wasn’t an original Rascals hit, but was recorded a year earlier in 1965 by The Olympics – absent Cornish’s slick guitar, naturally.

Steven Van Zandt almost single-handedly campaigned to have Cornish and The Rascals inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and gave their induction speech in 1997.

 

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Historic Trip to Philly

It was a great time for Ethan, as a first grader in Chicago, to re-visit his East Coast roots and in particular the historic birthplace of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.  He’s just getting to that stage where he can process more pieces of Society’s jigsaw puzzle, and has the appetite to be whet.  Thankfully the weather cooperated, and it was a perfect day to do some touring of a City that I appreciate all the more now that I return to it as a visitor.  An early start to last Friday enabled us to cover the Liberty Bell and Constitution Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art  (also known as Rocky’s Steps), the Philadelphia Zoo, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (why they allow no photos there is beyond me), culminating with the beautiful National Museum of American Jewish History.

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E-A-G-L-E-S … EAGLES!

Fun to indoctrinate Ethan Press, a 4th generation Eagles’ fan, with a wild 38-31 preseason victory over the Dolphins at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday night.

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Woodstock for Nerds

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That’s a great description of the social phenomenon that the eclipse has quickly turned into today, as I’m watching ABCs live coverage of “The Great American Eclipse”.  An all-time record for the number of “Oh—My—-God”s and “Awesome”s will be uttered today.  And today, even Donald Trump would be forgiven for saying that this is “the best”, “the greatest”, “the most spectacular” event …  believe it.  Of course the media is doing a fine job feeding into the celebratory mania.

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Unfortunately Bill Nye is broadcasting right now from Beatrice, Nebraska, where the sun wasn’t bathing him – instead being obscured by clouds that were raining on the parade there.

But the sun was out in St. Joe’s Missouri, where a would-be-astonomer bride timed her nuptials for this special cosmic event.

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Weekend Scenes

 

 

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State of Mind

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The cover of the summer issue of Granta speaks to a series of short essays on State of Mind, my favorite among them by Siri Hustvedt though I can’t share it beyond the subscription lock and key.  But the best piece in the summer issue is freely available, and it is Penelope Lively’s “Books Do Furnish a Room”.  Apparently still lively at 84, she writes:

“At eighty-four, I have to see my relatively meagre assortment of around three thousand books as a record of where my mind has been over about eighty years (the Beatrix Potters of my childhood are battered but cherished, a seminal influence, I know, for their linguistic elegance). I seldom get rid of anything; I need this confirming backdrop. There is an element of intertextuality, too; here and there, what has been read meshes with what has been written – that book on the shelf primed the writing of a particular novel or story. But, mainly, this is the accumulation of interest and influence over a lifetime.”

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Puntastic

Energizer Bunny arrested – charged with battery.

A pessimist’s blood-type is always b-negative.

Practice safe eating – always use condiments.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

Shotgun wedding: a case of wife or death. (probably from Lodz)

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

Sea captains don’t like crew cuts.

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

When you dream in color it’s a pigment of your imagination.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

Dijon vu – the same mustard as before.

When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.

A bicycle can’t stand on its own because it’s two-tired.

What’s the definition of a will? (Come on – it’s a dead giveaway!)

A backwards poet writes inverse.

In democracy, your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don’t pay your exorcist you get repossessed.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

He often broke into song because he couldn’t find the kkey.

Every calendar’s days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted – t’aint yours and t’aint mine.

The shortest fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

Once you’ve seen one shopping center, you’ve seen a mall.

When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

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