it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Johnny drove the half-track because we could not find a jeep.

The line quoted in the title always seems to me a perfect example of telling detail. It establishes so much, so arrestingly, so efficiently.

Dude. Wow.

The glamour! deserves a post all to itself today: Today, I slept until 9:30, got out of bed, showered, checked email, saddled up, drove to the bakery in Manchester to buy bread, had a slice of "stuffed potato" bread for breakfast while I was there, went to the gym, did 4 miles on the ski machine, lifted weights for 45 minutes (RAH!), went to fedex and sent Ethel back to HP for debraining/rebraining, came home, cleaned the kitchen and the bedroom, cleaned all the food out of the fridge that's turned because I haven't had time to eat it, took the trash out, scrubbed the trash can, did four loads of laundry (because I haven't done laundry since before WisCon), realized I didn't have enough quarters to wash it and dry it, hung *up* the laundry, and salvaged the last two blackening bananas by putting the ingredients for a loaf of banana bread in my bread robot. (I love having a robot that makes me bread. It is so totally awesome.)

Now, I am going to drink a lot of scotch and try to write this genocide. This should be the death of the Bunnicula. It died well, my friends. It died very well indeed.

Also, I have killed my lemon balm. Alas. I need to go buy a new one.

God Damn, well I declare:

Yanno, it occurs to me that the one joke in the Jenny books that nobody seems to have caught is Jenny's name. The last name, anyway. Okay, there's the Casey at the Bat thing, which she actually jokes about in Hammered.

The other one, of course, is the railway engineer Casey Jones, credited with not only a record speed run, but one of the most notorious wrecks in American railway history.

It seemed appropriate, somehow.

You probably know him from the Grateful Dead song. He was a real person, famed in song and story. Literally.

The Grateful Dead, like Jimmy Buffett, are a fondness I owe to my ex-boyfriend, The Jeff (wonder where he is, these days.). The fondness for steam trains, I come by another way: my great-grandfather was a conductor. Who, I believe, died in a derailment, although I may be confused about that.

Joe Hill seems to have confused him with the conductor who wrecked the equally notorious Ol' 97; Casey put his locomotive through the back end of a parked freight train; it was Steve Broady who jumped the track into the river bottom. And none of this happened in California.

You can hear a sample of Pete Seeger doing the Joe Hill version at Smithsonian Global Sound. Completely unfair to Mr. Jones, of course, who may have been a bit of a speed freak, but who was a good union man all his life.

Anybody wanna write a ghost story about the Ol' 97? Look:

Engine #1102 (left) , a 4-6-0 Ten Wheeler, was on the point of the doomed train. She was a Class F-14 locomotive, bought new from Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1903. After the wreck, she was rebuilt and served on the line for over 30 more years.  The engine was scrapped on July 9, 1935, at the Princeton shop.

She can't sing and she can't dance
She can't walk too well
She can't cook and she can't sew
But she can sure raise hell.

--J.J. Cale

Tags: footnotes to history, jenny casey, quotidiana

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