COOL PEOPLE – Dave Van Ronk

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Dave Van Ronk – Hang Me, Oh Hang Me

http://youtu.be/RjPmMgbJgUo

Meet the Folk Singer Who Inspired ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Dave Van Ronk’s memoir ‘Mayor of MacDougal Street’ inspired the Coen Brothers’ latest film

BY December 2, 2013

Dave Van Ronk performs in New York City.
Dave Van Ronk performs in New York City. Kai Shuman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

People who were close to Dave Van Ronk, the Greenwich Village folk-blues-jazz institution, had a feeling someone might be making a movie inspired by his life. A few years ago, Elijah Wald, who co-wrote Van Ronk’s posthumous memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, heard that an unnamed filmmaker had optioned the rights to the book — but wasn’t told who. Van Ronk’s widow, Andrea Vuocolo Van Ronk, heard of the interest too, and finally had it confirmed when she came home from work one day: “There was a message on my machine from Joel Coen saying, ‘We’re going to start shooting and want to talk to you.'”

The Coen Brothers’ Classic Folk Tale: Behind ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

The movie was Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel and his brother Ethan’s film about a turbulent period in the life of its title character, a fictional Village folkie, during 1961. (After months of industry buzz, the movie opens this week.) Technically speaking, Davis isn’t Van Ronk, a New York institution who died of colon cancer in 2002. Start with the way he looks. “I remember I got the audition and came in to the casting director,” says compact-sized Oscar Isaac, who plays Davis, “and I knew it was loosely based on Dave Van Ronk, who was a 6’5″ 250-pound Swede.” Davis is also a much different singer than Van Ronk, who had a gruff, commanding style that was 180 degrees removed from Isaac’s sonorous balladeering.

Yet the film has more than its share of nods to Van Ronk. In it and on the accompanying soundtrack album, Isaac sings three Van Ronk-associated songs, which he learned from one of the late singer’s Village folk buddies. The faux-cover of Davis’ “album” is a direct nod to Van Ronk’s 1963 LP Inside Dave Van Ronk. “Hopefully people will see this movie and make that connection,” says Jeff Place, head archivist at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Smithsonian/Folkways just released the three-disc retrospective Down in Washington Square, which includes Van Ronk recordings from the Fifties through some of his last sessions, cut shortly before his death. (One highlight of the latter is a bluesy cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Buckets of Rain.”)

Dave Van Ronk – Buckets Of Rain

http://youtu.be/babfyiMj5Bk

Born in Brooklyn in 1936, Van Ronk moved to the Village as a teenager and never left. Over five decades, he recorded scores of albums that blended blues, jazz, jug-band stomping, and sea chanteys. He was an early champion of Dylan and other up-and-coming songwriters like Joni Mitchell. When Joan Baez was beginning her own career in the Boston and Cambridge areas, she would hear reports of Van Ronk, who was a few years older than her. “He was already a myth,” Baez says. “He had terrible teeth, but he had the most astonishing pitch, sweet little notes amidst the growly ones. I knew thousands of people who sang the blues, but there weren’t many who did it well. He was the closest living offshoot of Leadbelly that I could get to see.”

Although Van Ronk never sold anywhere near the amount of records his protégés did, he accumulated many boldface-name fans. In Chronicles Volume One, Dylan wrote that he’d first heard Van Ronk’s records while growing up in the Midwest. “He was passionate and stinging,” wrote Dylan, “sang like a solder of fortune and sounded like he paid the price. . . I loved his style.” Tom Waits (whose voice recalls Van Ronk’s) has long been an admirer, and Stephen King dropped Van Ronk’s name in his novella Riding the Bullet.

PLEASE MR. KENNEDY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSwO-k-RqNA

Vuocolo Van Ronk, who met Van Ronk in the Seventies but didn’t hook up with him until the early Eighties (Van Ronk was married before, to Terri Thal), recalls the time she and Van Ronk had just returned home to their Village apartment after a trip. There was a knock on the door, and expecting it to be Van Ronk, who’d run out for an errand, she opened it — and found Dylan standing there. “Dave around?” he asked. She invited him in and offered him coffee, and the two waited for Van Ronk to show up, after which the two men talked for hours. “I thought, ‘Bob Dylan is sitting in my living room,'” says Vuocolo Van Ronk. “He seemed a little nervous, but he wanted to be alone with Dave, and Dave was very happy to see him.”

Inside Llewyn Davis slips in more than a few details from Van Ronk’s memoir. Like Van Ronk, Davis spends time in the merchant marines, schleps to Chicago to unsuccessfully audition for the famed Gate of Horn club, rejects the idea of joining a Peter, Paul and Mary-style folk group, and complains to the head of his record company that he’s so broke he can’t afford a winter coat.

‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ Soundtrack: The RS Review

Those close to Van Ronk insist that the troubled, largely solipsistic Davis, who spends the film dealing with a traumatic personal event, couldn’t be further from Van Ronk. “That character is simply not Dave,” says Wald. “People slept on his couch — he didn’t sleep on theirs. And the reason Dave became who he was in the Village was the way he welcomed anyone who cared about the music. Llewyn is clearly not that guy.”

Yet both Wald and Vuocolo Van Ronk think Van Ronk would have approved of the movie, since a part of Van Ronk always wanted to be more popular. (According to Wald, Van Ronk had the idea to record “The Gambler” before Kenny Rogers did but wasn’t able to convince a record company to let him cut it.) And even if Inside Llewyn Davisisn’t technically about her late, revered husband, Vuocolo Van Ronk says there’s a small, tangible part of him in the film. During scenes set in the Upper West Side home of some of Davis’ academic friends, she donated some of Van Ronk’s collection of primitive art from New Guinea and the Pacific Northwest. “That was my way of sneaking Dave in,” she says. “It’s funny to see the movie and see pieces of our living room in there.”

BEST SONGS FROM – Inside Llewyn Davis SOUNDTRACK

http://youtu.be/0XlRokV6M3w

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THE FLOWERING OF the Beat Generation

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f9afdcac57a301906e112e180e6402c1THE FLOWERING OF the Beat Generation in the late fifties was the result of a very slow germination process. The four original Beats, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Neal Cassady, met in New York in the late forties. More than a decade would pass before Ginsberg’s Howl ignited the explosion that would coalesce the disparate ideas, the sense of lifestyle, and the philosophical musings into a full-fledged literary movement.

The term beat was first used by Jack Kerouac in 1948 while talking to his friend Clellon Holmes: “So I guess you might say we’re a beat generation.” Holmes later wrote an article for the New York Times Magazine, entitled “The Beat Generation,” saying, “It involves a sort of nakedness of mind, and, ultimately, of soul, a feeling of being reduced to the bedrock of consciousness.” Soon Ginsberg and Kerouac were emphasizing the “beatific” qualities of the word, making of it a mystical, transcendental experience. Ginsberg explained, “The point of Beat is that you get beat down to a certain nakedness where you actually are able to see the world in a visionary way, which is the old classical understanding of what happens in the dark night of the soul.” Howl led the way; Kerouac’s On the Road followed with unprecedented media attention; Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, banned and vilified, broke through the barriers of censorship, and a literary movement was born.

Howl and Other Poems

Allen Ginsberg. Howl and Other Poems.
San Francisco: The City Lights Books, 1956.
Marvin Tatum Collection of Contemporary Literature

ORIGINALLY READ FROM the manuscript at the now famous Six Gallery reading of November 22, 1955, Howl was an immediate and resounding success, first among the poets associated with San Francisco’s literati and then throughout the hip community at large. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, owner of the City Lights Bookstore, had recently begun publishing avant-garde poetry; he wrote to Ginsberg that night saying, “I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?” Published in 1956 as Number Four in the Pocket Poets Series, Howl led to the arrest in May 1957 of Ferlinghetti and City Lights bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao on charges of selling obscene material. Against the background of heightened publicity, Judge Clayton W. Horn, a Sunday School bible teacher, found Ferlinghetti and Murao not guilty in October 1957. With a foreword by William Carlos Williams, Howl, often referred to as the “Beat Manifesto,” was the first successful publication of the Beat era, and became one of the most influential books of twentieth century American poetry.

Junkie:  Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict

William Lee. Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict.
New York: Ace Books, 1953.
Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature

JUNKIE, WILLIAM BURROUGHS’ first novel, was published under the author’s sobriquet, William Lee, and chronicled Burroughs’ descent into the underworld drug culture of New York, New Orleans and Mexico City. Burroughs drew from his personal experiences the scenes of a novel Jack Kerouac described as “imitating a kind of anxious Dashiell Hammett of William Lee.” Published as pulp fiction by his friend, Carl Solomon, who worked as an agent for Ace Books, Junkie sold an astonishing 113,170 copies, though most of the readers were not of the literary set that eventually admired Naked Lunch.

AFTER HIS WIFE Joan’s death in Mexico, Burroughs accidentally shot her while playing a drunken game of “William Tell”, and a trip into the Amazon jungles in search of the drug Yage, Burroughs settled in Tangiers where he fell into a state of drug addiction and spiritual lassitude. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to kick his drug habit, Burroughs succeeded with Dr. John Yerbury Dent’s apomorphine treatment in London. Returning to Tangiers, fueled by marijuana and coffee, Burroughs began typing at top speed for six hours a day, letting the pages of yellow foolscap fall to the floor as they were finished. He then called for his friends and in 1957 Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Peter Orlovsky arrived in Tangiers to help with the manuscript. With the assistance of Alan Ansen, Ginsberg worked six hours a day for two months putting the manuscript in order. Kerouac supplied the title explaining, “the title means exactly what the words say: Naked Lunch –a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.” Fearing censorship due to its graphic depiction of drug use, homosexual acts, cannibalism, and raw language, the novel was offered to Maurice Girodias and the Olympia Press in Paris who eventually brought out the book in 1959. Naked Lunch was banned in the United States, and only after Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer was cleared of obscenity charges in 1962 was Naked Lunch published here. Naked Lunch benefitted greatly from the notoriety of its author, his association with the Beat movement and the censorship trials it faced. Though it initially did not garner a single review from the established press, it became one of the most important novels of the Beat era.

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Also included is a typescript of a page from William Burroughs’ memoir of his life in Tripoli, Algiers, and most importantly Tangiers, where he writes of working on Naked Lunch and of visits by Ginsberg, Orlovsky, Kerouac, and Alan Ansen. He also mentions seeing Paul and Jane Bowles.

On the Road

Jack Kerouac. On the Road.
New York: Viking Press, 1957.
Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature

ON THE ROAD, conceived before Kerouac and Neal Cassady began their cross-country excursion in 1951, went through many transformations before it was finally published in 1957. The writing style, drawing inspiration from bebop jazz, modern poetry, and heavy doses of Benzedrine, captured the frenetic, beat-driven lifestyle of the urban socially displaced. Inspired by a letter from Neal Cassady and the in-progress manuscript of William Burroughs’ Junkie, Kerouac taped together rolls of tracing paper, lined up a supply of Benzedrine, cigarettes and coffee, and began a marathon nonstop writing session that lasted three weeks and produced 186,000 words. The manuscript, one long roll of paper, was too chaotic to be published. It was reworked over the next five years and finally published by Viking Press in 1957. The media had begun to look for alternative Beat material after the success of Howl, and On the Road was an immediate hit, staying five weeks on the best seller list. On the Road remains one of the most influential novels of its time and stands as the seminal novel of the Beat period.

The First Third and Other Writings

Neal Cassady. The First Third and Other Writings.
San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1971.
Alderman Library

ALTHOUGH NEAL CASSADY’S literary output was small, he was one of the major figures of the Beat period. He became the bridge between the Beats of the fifties and the fledgling psychedelic movement of the sixties, when he joined Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters in late 1962. Cassady was raised in a condemned flophouse in Denver, Colorado, and by his early twenties he had stolen more than five hundred automobiles, had been arrested ten times, and had spent fifteen months in juvenile detention. In detention, he discovered the prison library and upon his release he continued his self-education at the Denver Public Library. When he headed east in 1946 he had acquired the requisite knowledge to talk literature with the likes of Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg fell in love with him, Kerouac found him to be the quintessential modern American, and Burroughs was the first to make use of his soon-to-be-legendary driving skills, when he hired Cassady to drive his marijuana crop from Texas to New York in 1947. Cassady’s cross-country driving trips with Jack Kerouac became the experiences from which On the Road was written –Cassady was Dean Moriarty to Kerouac’s Sal Paradise. Although he was the larger-than-life model for so much of what was written during the Beat period, Cassady at times tried to maintain a middle-class existence –he lived with his wife and three children in suburban California whenever he was not on the road with his soon-to-be famous friends. Published in 1971, three years after his death in Mexico, The First Third and Other Writings is a compilation of excerpts from letters, fragments of writings, and short pieces from the memoir that Kerouac and Ginsberg encouraged him to write.

Bowles

From left to right, Paul Bowles, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and others, early 1950’s

HIWAY AMERICA – BODIE CA. BEST GHOST TOWN IN THE WEST

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Bodie, California: Best Ghost Town In The West!

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The Curse of Bodie: Legacy of Ghost-Town Ghosts?

Today, the ghost town of Bodie, California, is one of the most authentic abandoned gold- mining towns of the Old West (figure 1). It is also reputed to be a “ghost” town in another sense: Some claim, according to a TV documentary, that Bodie is inhabited by ghosts who guard the town against pilferers (Beyond 2000). Supposedly, a visitor who dares to remove any artifact can be plagued by the dreaded “curse of Bodie.”

Boom Town

The 1849 discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in the western Sierra foothills lured men and women to California from across the United States and indeed the world. Prospectors equipped with picks, shovels, and the ubiquitous gold pans searched for placer deposits-loose flakes and nuggets that have eroded and washed into streams.

These deposits were searched for by “panning” (an art I once learned in the Yukon) in which the lighter dirt is deftly washed out, leaving behind the flakes of “color” that are collectively called “gold dust.” The discovery of sufficient placer deposits sparked quests for the “mother lode,” involving hardrock mines laboriously dug, blasted, and shored up with timber (Williams 1992, 5; Smith 1925).

A decade after the gold rush began at Sutter’s Mill, four prospectors made a rich strike on the opposite side of the Sierras-that is, in the eastern foothills. They agreed to keep the discovery secret until the following spring, but one, W.S. Bodey, returned with another man, a half-Cherokee named “Black” Taylor. Having traveled to Monoville for supplies, the pair were returning to their cabin when they were caught in a blizzard and Bodey perished.

Named for its discoverer, camp Bodey was soon rechristened “Bodie” when (according to local lore) a sign painter misspelled the word and the new version was preferred (Bodie 2001; Misspelling 2003). At first Bodie was largely neglected due to other strikes in the area. Mark Twain was among the gold seekers who rushed to nearby Aurora, Nevada, for instance.

However, Bodie eventually boomed. In 1876, a freak mine cave-in exposed a valuable body of gold, and the Standard Consolidated Mining Company responded with a large investment in equipment and lumber. Another rich strike followed in 1878 in the Bodie Mine, which, in just six weeks, shipped gold bullion worth a million dollars. Meanwhile, Bodie grew rapidly, with boarding houses, restaurants, saloons, and other enterprises springing up (Williams 1992, 9-10).

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Camps like Bodie attracted a breed of adventurous types:

Besides the business and professional men, mine-operators, miners, etc., there were hundreds of saloon-keepers, hundreds of gamblers, hundreds of prostitutes, many Chinese, a considerable number of Mexicans, and an unusual number of what we used to call “Bad men”-desperate, violent characters from everywhere, who lived by gambling, gun-fighting, stage robbing, and other questionable means. The “Bad man from Bodie” was a current phrase of the time throughout the west. In its day, Bodie was more widely known for its lawlessness than for its riches. (Smith 1925)

There were other perils and hardships, including the savage winter of 1878-1879 in which hundreds died of exposure and disease, and mining accidents that claimed victims by falling timber, the explosion of a powder magazine, and other means (Smith 1925; Bodie Cemetery n.d.).

Given Bodie’s reputation, it is perhaps not surprising that one little girl, whose family was moving to the mining town, reportedly prayed: “Goodbye God! We are going to Bodie” (Smith 1925).

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Decline

Hardships and violence aside, Bodie was a thriving, bustling place, containing some 600 to 800 buildings and a population that reached over 10,000 (Williams 1992, 10; Johnson and Johnson 1967, 20). As it appeared about 1880,

The traffic in the streets was continuous and enlivening. There were trains of huge, white-topped “prairie-schooners,” bringing freight from the railroad, each drawn by twenty or more horses or mules, and pulling one or two large, four-wheeled “trailers”; ore wagons, hauling ore down the canyon to the mills; wood wagons bringing huge loads of pine-nut from long distances, for the mines and mills and for general use; hay wagons, lumber wagons, prospecting outfits, nondescript teams of all descriptions, spanking teams driven by mine superintendents’ horses ridden by everybody, and most exciting of all, the daily stages that came tearing into town and went rushing out; the outgoing stages often carrying bars of bullion, guarded by stern, silent men, armed with sawed-off shotguns loaded with buckshot. . . . (Smith 1925)

However, like other boom towns, Bodie’s period of glory was brief, lasting from 1879 to 1882. The decline was slow, with the two major mines-the Bodie and the Standard-merging in 1887 and operating successfully for the next two decades. A disastrous fire struck in 1892 and-with a steady decline in the interim, including additional mine closings and abandonment of the Bodie Railway in 1917-another devastating fire destroyed much of the town in 1932 (Johnson and Johnson 1967, 20-21). Although Bodie was already dying, further decline having resulted from Prohibition and the Depression, some mining continued. However, there were no new strikes and companies eked out only minor profits, largely by using the cyanide process to extract gold from old tailings (i.e., mine refuse). By the 1950s even this recovery operation ceased and Bodie became a ghost town. Explains one writer: “When people were leaving Bodie, there were no moving companies in the area. People simply packed what they could on one wagon or truck and left the rest behind.” He adds, “That is why many of Bodie’s buildings still contain belongings that were left here years ago” (Williams 1992, 36).

In 1962, after years of neglect, Bodie became a State Historic Park, and two years later the Ghost Town of Bodie was dedicated as a California Historic Site. It has also been designated a National Historic Site. Bodie is maintained in a state of what is termed “arrested decay,” which means the buildings are protected but not restored (Johnson and Johnson 1967, 21; Bodie 2001, 3).

Ghost Town, ‘Ghost’ Town

Old, deserted places inspire the romantic and the superstitious to think of ghosts, and Bodie is no exception. It represents an entire townful of potentially haunted houses and other premises-168 remaining structures-as well as the Bodie cemetery. It is, gushes one ghost-hustling writer, “A ghost town that is really a ghost town” (Myers 1990).

However, the reports of ghostly activity tend to fall into categories of familiar, well-understood phenomena. Consider, for example, occurrences at the J.S. Cain House at the corner of Green and Park streets. Once the home of a prominent businessman and then the residence of caretakers’ families, it is supposedly haunted by the specter of a Chinese woman, possibly a maid who worked for the Cains (Hauck 1996).

Reportedly, this “heavy set” Chinese lady appeared to children in their second-floor bedroom. Also, a ranger’s wife stated:

I was lying in bed with my husband in the lower bedroom and I felt a pressure on me, as though someone was on top of me. I began fighting. I fought so hard I ended up on the floor. It really frightened me. Another ranger who had lived there, Gary Walters, had the same experience, in the same room, except that he also saw the door open and felt a presence and a kind of suffocation. (Myers 1990)

All of these effects are well known and may occur when one’s consciousness shifts into a state between being fully asleep and fully awake. In this condition, seemingly realistic “waking dreams” often occur, involving ghosts, aliens, or other beings. Also in this interim state one may experience “sleep paralysis” in which, although the mind is awake, the body is still in the sleep mode. The sensation of being held or strapped down is a typical consequence (Nickell 2001).

Some apparitional or auditory experiences such as those reported at Bodie-for example “a woman peering from an upstairs window in the Dechambeau House” or “the sound of children’s laughter . . . heard outside the Mendocini House” (Myers 1990)-may be similarly explained. These typically occur when the experiencer is relaxed or performing routine work. Such a mental state may allow images or sounds to spring up from the subconscious and thus be superimposed upon the consciousness (Nickell 2001).

One man visiting the Bodie cemetery with his little girl noticed her giggling and apparently playing with an unseen entity. This was supposed to be “The Angel of Bodie,” a child who was killed when she was accidentally hit in the head by a miner’s pick (Myers 1990). Actually the dead child was Evelyn, the three-year-old daughter of Albert and Fannie Myers, who died in 1897. Her grave is surmounted by the figure of a child angel, sculpted of white marble (Bodie Cemetery n.d., 5)-an ideal model for a little girl’s imaginary playmate (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Investigator Vaughn Rees examines the tombstone of “The Angel of Bodie,” reportedly one of the resident ghosts.Figure 2: Investigator Vaughn Rees examines the tombstone of “The Angel of Bodie,” reportedly one of the resident ghosts.

I have found that some people seem especially susceptible to ghosts-because they are more inclined to believe or because they are especially imaginative. I continue to use a questionnaire that helps me analyze reported ghost encounters, and thus far I find a good correlation between those experiences and the number of traits associated with fantasy proneness (Nickell 2001).

This correlation continued with my research at Bodie, although colleague Vaughn Rees and I obtained only four completed questionnaires there. (A ranger stopped the project since I had not obtained official permission, something I usually try to avoid to keep employees from being told what to say.) Nevertheless, even with this limited sample, the highest ghost-experiences score was matched by a high fantasy score, and similar results were obtained with six questionnaires we obtained at another California ghost town, Calico.

In addition to perceived phenomena, photographs represent another form of “evidence” for alleged ghosts at Bodie. Again, however, there are familiar patterns. For example, streaks of light in some photos (Lundegaard 2002) are consistent with the camera’s flash rebounding from something-such as the wrist strap-in front of the lens (Nickell 2001).

Bodie Curse

Yet, if some people are to be believed, there are not only ghosts in the windswept town but, purportedly, spirits who are responsible for protecting its treasures by implementing the “Curse of Bodie.” Explains the narrator of one television documentary:

Bodie’s inhabitants were of hardy stock, fiercely possessive of what they had built in this barren desert, and it is said that the long-dead spirits want to ensure that what they left behind remains intact. According to legend, anyone who removes anything-large or small-from the town is cursed with a string of bad luck. Misfortune and tragedy are heaped upon the victim until the stolen item is returned. Some claim that the ghosts of Bodie patrol the crumbling ruins to guard against thieves. (Beyond 2000)

According to park ranger J. Brad Sturdivant, “The curse still exists today.” Spooked former visitors often return old nails and other souvenirs taken from Bodie. While “Most of it comes back in an unmarked box,” the ranger states, “We still get letters . . . from people saying, ‘I’m sorry I took this, hoping my luck will change’” (Beyond 2000).

The earliest use I have found of the phrase “The curse of Bodie” appears in the 1925 reminiscence of a former resident. However, he was speaking of something entirely different, namely what had befallen Bodie and caused its decline. As he wrote: “the curse of Bodie, as it was of ‘The Comstock,’ was the stock market, which was manipulated by stock gamblers in San Francisco for their own profit, regardless of the merits of the mines, and without thought for the thousands that found their ruin in the unholy game . . .” (Smith 1925).

The notion of a quite different Bodie curse-one that does not harm the town but instead defends it from pillagers-is of much more recent vintage. Not surprisingly, it appears to follow efforts to preserve Bodie as a historic site. Obviously the “curse” is being officially promoted today when a ranger encourages the idea on a television program and the museum/gift shop displays an album of letters from those believing themselves accursed.

Although these letters may be only a selection and three are undated, the earliest of the remaining twelve was sent in 1992. Having taken a nail from Bodie, the writer states: “Life since then has been a steady downward slide. It’s possible that all the unpleasant events of the past nine months are a coincidence, but just in case the Bodie curse is real I am returning the nail.” Another letter, from 1994, is addressed, “Dear Bodie Spirits”:

I am SORRY! One year ago around the 4th of July I was visiting the Ghost Town. I had been there many times before but had always followed the regulations about collecting. This trip was different, I collected some items here and there and brought them home. I was a visitor again this year, and while I was in the museum I read the letters of others who had collected things and had “bad luck.” I started to think about the car accident, the lost [sic] of my job, my continuing illness and other bad things that have “haunted” me for the past year since my visit and violation. I am generally not superstitious but . . . Please find enclosed the collectibles I “just couldn’t live without,” and ask the spirits to see my regret.

This was signed, “One with a very guilty conscience.”

On the TV series Beyond Bizarre (2000), a German man related how his uncle had removed a small bottle from Bodie and two days later had a car accident on the Autobahn. The next day his son took the bottle to school to show classmates and on the way home had a bicycle accident. Said the man, “Yes, I do believe in the curse of Bodie.”

Figure 3: Artifacts from Bodie - especially ones pilfered from there, like this old fork - supposedly attract the fearsome “curse.”Figure 3: Artifacts from Bodie – especially ones pilfered from there, like this old fork – supposedly attract the fearsome “curse.”

Belief aside, such anecdotal evidence does not prove the existence of a “curse” (or “hex” or “jinx”)-an alleged paranormal attack. Indeed, belief in curses is merely a superstition, a form of magical thinking. Once the idea takes hold, there is a tendency for any harmful occurrence to be counted as evidence for the belief, while beneficial events are ignored. Through the power of suggestion, the magical conviction spreads from person to superstitious person, until many believe, say, in a King Tut’s curse, a Hope Diamond jinx, or a Kennedy family propensity for misfortune (Nickell 1999).

A different mindset allows one to shrug off such nonsense. Skeptics sometimes hold “Superstition Bashes” during which they break mirrors and challenge other superstitions without fear of consequence. In attendance may be a resident spokesperson (such as myself), identified as a friggatriskaidekaphobiologist-that is, one who studies the fear of Friday the Thirteenth and, by extension, other supposed causes of bad luck.

I have even specifically challenged the Curse of Bodie-not by pilfering items from the site, which is appropriately illegal-but by collecting artifacts that have come from there. As shown in figure 3, these include an 1879 check, drawn on the Bodie Bank, and two 1882 issues of the newspaper, The Bodie Evening Miner. If it be argued that these were not pilfered from Bodie, the other item, an old fork, reportedly was: I bought it from an antiques dealer who said she picked it up herself at Bodie several years ago without apparent consequence.

I would like to donate these items to Bodie. I am only waiting for the time when the town’s custodians officially cease promoting superstition and disclaim the existence of any Bodie curse.

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to CFI Librarian Tim Binga, SI managing editor Ben Radford, and intern Dawn Peterson for research assistance, and to Paul Loynes for his professional word processing.

References

  • Beyond Bizarre. 2000. Travel Channel documentary, September 24.
  • Bodie Cemetery: The Lives Within. N.d. Bridgefort, California: The Friends of Bodie.
  • Bodie State Historic Park. 2001. Guide booklet. Sacramento: California State Parks.
  • Hauck, Dennis William. 1996. Haunted Places: The National Directory. New York: Penguin Books, 36-37.
  • Johnson, Russ, and Anne Johnson. 1967. The Ghost Town of Bodie. Bishop, California: Sierra Media Inc.
  • Lundegaard, Karen. 2002. Identifying spirit photos. Available atwww.karenlundegaard.com

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  • Misspelling of Bodie. 2003. Available at www.bodie.net/st/Bodey.asp.
  • Myers, Arthur. 1990. The Ghostly Gazetteer. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Contemporary Books, 40-48.
  • Nickell, Joe. 1999. Curses: foiled again. Skeptical Inquirer 23(6), November/December: 16-19.
  • —–. 2001. Phantoms, frauds, or fantasies? Chap. 10 of James Houran and Rense Lange, Hauntings and Poltergeists. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 214-223.
  • Poag, Larry. 1997. Poag’s Guide to Shopkeepers and Shootists of Bodie. Lake Grove, Oregon: Western Places.
  • Smith, Grant H. 1925. Bodie: The last of the old-time mining camps. California Historical Society Quarterly IV: 1; reprinted in Williams 1992, 11-24.
  • Williams III, George. 1992. The Guide to Bodie and Eastern Sierra Historic Sites. Carson City, Nevada: Tree By The River Publishing.

Joe Nickell

Joe Nickell's photo

Joe Nickell, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and “Investigative Files” Columnist forSkeptical Inquirer. A former stage magician, private investigator, and teacher, he is author of numerous books, including Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1998), Pen, Ink and Evidence (2003), Unsolved History (2005) and Adventures in Paranormal Investigation (2007). He has appeared in many television documentaries and has been profiled in The New Yorker and on NBC’s Today Show. His personal website is at joenickell.com.

COOL PEOPLE – Bill Murray on Gilda Radner

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oldloves:Bill Murray on Gilda Radner:<br /><br />
"Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?”We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know. And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”<br /><br />
- from Live from New York: an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live</p><br />
<p>So much love for this story, Gilda and Bill Murray for telling it. xo Maya

oldloves:

Bill Murray on Gilda Radner:

“Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.

So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?”

We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know.

And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.

It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”

– from Live from New York: an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live

So much love for this story, Gilda and Bill Murray for telling it. xo Maya

weird wacky and way out- check out my humorous blog

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want some laughter?

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weird news?

this blog has it

 https://tilliespuncturedromance.wordpress.com  

has it plus more

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Q: Why do Scottish people wear kilts? A: Sheep can hear a zipper from a mile away.

Two Irishmen friends are drinking together at one of their homes. One friend takes out a bottle of Irish whiskey and asks the other, “Will you pour this bottle out on my grave if I die first?” His friend replies, “Do you mind if I pass it through my kidneys first?”

Q: If a plane crashed on the Canada/USA border, where would the survivors be buried?
A: You don’t bury survivors.

Q: Why were the Indians here first?
A: They had reservations.

There was a preacher who fell in the ocean and he couldn’t swim. When a boat came by, the captain yelled, “Do you need help, sir?” The preacher calmly said “No, God will save me.” A little later, another boat came by and a fisherman asked, “Hey, do you need help?” The preacher replied again, “No God will save me.” Eventually the preacher drowned & went to heaven. The preacher asked God, “Why didn’t you save me?” God replied, “Fool, I sent you two boats!”

Q: What do a Christmas tree and a priest have in common?
A: Their balls are just for decoration.

A drunk staggers into a Catholic Church, enters a confessional booth, sits down, but says nothing. The Priest coughs a few times to get his attention, but the drunk continues to sit there. Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall. The drunk mumbles, “Ain’t no use knockin’! There’s no paper on this side either!”

Mother superior tells two new nuns that they have to paint their room without getting any paint on their clothes. One nun suggests to the other, “Hey, let’s take all our clothes off, fold them up, and lock the door.” So they do this, and begin painting their room. Soon they hear a knock at the door. They ask, “Who is it?” “Blind man!” The nuns look at each other and one nun says, “He’s blind, so he can’t see. What could it hurt?” They let him in. The blind man walks in and says, “Hey, nice tits. Where do you want me to hang the blinds?”

A boy is selling fish on a corner. To get his customers’ attention, he is yelling, “Dam fish for sale! Get your dam fish here!” A pastor hears this and asks, “Why are you calling them ‘dam fish.'” The boy responds, “Because I caught these fish at the local dam.” The pastor buys a couple fish, takes them home to his wife, and asks her to cook the dam fish. The wife responds surprised, “I didn’t know it was acceptable for a preacher to speak that way.” He explains to her why they are dam fish. Later at the dinner table, he asks his son to pass the dam fish. He responds, “That’s the spirit, Dad! Now pass the f*cking potatoes!”

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A boy is selling fish on a corner. To get his customers’ attention, he is yelling, “Dam fish for sale! Get your dam fish here!” A pastor hears this and asks, “Why are you calling them ‘dam fish.'” The boy responds, “Because I caught these fish at the local dam.” The pastor buys a couple fish, takes them home to his wife, and asks her to cook the dam fish. The wife responds surprised, “I didn’t know it was acceptable for a preacher to speak that way.” He explains to her why they are dam fish. Later at the dinner table, he asks his son to pass the dam fish. He responds, “That’s the spirit, Dad! Now pass the f*cking potatoes!”

A man gets on a bus, and ends up sitting next to a very attractive nun. Enamored with her, he asks if he can have sex with her. Naturally, she says no, and gets off the bus. The man goes to the bus driver and asks him if he knows of a way for him to have sex with the nun. “Well,” says the bus driver, “every night at 8 o’clock, she goes to the cemetery to pray. If you dress up as God, I’m sure you could convince her to have sex with you.” The man decides to try it, and dresses up in his best God costume. At eight, he sees the nun and appears before her. “Oh, God!” she exclaims. “Take me with you!” The man tells the nun that she must first have sex with him to prove her loyalty. The nun says yes, but tells him she prefers anal sex. Before you know it, they’re getting down to it, having nasty, grunty, loud sex. After it’s over, the man pulls off his God disguise. “Ha, ha!” he says, “I’m the man from the bus!” “Ha, ha!” says the nun, removing her costume, “I’m the bus driver!”

A little boy wants a bike for Christmas really badly, but the kid is a real bad seed, and he knows it. He writes a letter to Jesus. “Dear Jesus, if I get a bike for Christmas, I’ll be good for a whole week.” He thinks about it, crosses out what he wrote, and says, “I can’t be good for a whole week, I’ll be good for five days.” He crosses that out and writes, “I’ll be good for four days.” Then he thinks again and says, “Can’t do that.” He gets down to one day and says, “I can’t even be good for a day.” Then in frustration, goes in his mother’s room and get the statue of the Virgin Mary, wraps it up in a blanket, puts it in a paper bag, throws it in the closet and says, “Dear Jesus, if I don’t get a bike for Christmas, you’ll never see your mother again!”

 

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Three guys are at the gates of Heaven, and God tells them, “We have a special today! If you died a terrible death, you’re in for free.” So God asks the first guy his story. “I was a hard working man and a loving husband, but I began to suspect that my wife was cheating on me. One day, I called in sick to work and left for home to hide and closely watch my apartment. I saw a man go in, and I decided to wait a few minutes to catch them in the act. Then, I started banging on my door. They wouldn’t open it, so I broke down the door and walked in to see my wife sitting naked, but the man wasn’t in sight. I went to the balcony, where I saw a naked man hanging on the edge. I began to stomp on his hands until he fell down, but there were bushes, so I got my fridge and tossed it on him. In the process of tossing the fridge, I also fell over and died.” God replies, “Wow, that’s pretty bad, finding out your wife cheated and falling off your balcony. You pass.” The second guy says, “God, my only crime was that I enjoyed dancing naked in my apartment while eating pickles out of the jar. I was doing just that one day, when I slipped on a pickle and fell over my balcony. Luckily, I was able to grab on to the ledge below mine. After a few minutes, a man came and I thought he was going to rescue me, but he began to stomp on my hands. I fell, but luckily, I fell into the bushes. I thought I had survived, but that man threw a fridge at me and I died!” God replies, “Wow, that’s very cruel, being crushed to death.” The third man says, “I died naked in a fridge.”

Three guys are at the gates of Heaven, and God tells them, “We have a special today! If you died a terrible death, you’re in for free.” So God asks the first guy his story. “I was a hard working man and a loving husband, but I began to suspect that my wife was cheating on me. One day, I called in sick to work and left for home to hide and closely watch my apartment. I saw a man go in, and I decided to wait a few minutes to catch them in the act. Then, I started banging on my door. They wouldn’t open it, so I broke down the door and walked in to see my wife sitting naked, but the man wasn’t in sight. I went to the balcony, where I saw a naked man hanging on the edge. I began to stomp on his hands until he fell down, but there were bushes, so I got my fridge and tossed it on him. In the process of tossing the fridge, I also fell over and died.” God replies, “Wow, that’s pretty bad, finding out your wife cheated and falling off your balcony. You pass.” The second guy says, “God, my only crime was that I enjoyed dancing naked in my apartment while eating pickles out of the jar. I was doing just that one day, when I slipped on a pickle and fell over my balcony. Luckily, I was able to grab on to the ledge below mine. After a few minutes, a man came and I thought he was going to rescue me, but he began to stomp on my hands. I fell, but luckily, I fell into the bushes. I thought I had survived, but that man threw a fridge at me and I died!” God replies, “Wow, that’s very cruel, being crushed to death.” The third man says, “I died naked in a fridge.”

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job. So they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. Later they get together. The priest begins: “When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his first communion.” “I found a bear by the stream,” says the minister, “and preached God’s holy word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him.” They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast. “Looking back,” he says, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision.”

In surgery for a heart attack, a middle-aged woman has a vision of God by her bedside. “Will I die?” she asks. God says, “No. You have 30 more years to live.” With 30 years to look forward to, she decides to make the best of it. So since she’s in the hospital, she gets breast implants, liposuction, a tummy tuck, hair transplants, and collagen injections in her lips. She looks great! The day she’s discharged, she exits the hospital with a swagger, crosses the street, and is immediately hit by an ambulance and killed. Up in heaven, she sees God. “You said I had 30 more years to live,” she complains. “That’s true,” says God. “So what happened?” she asks. God shrugs, “I didn’t recognize you.”

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If Mary had Jesus, and Jesus is the lamb of God, does that mean Mary had a little lamb?

A gentleman is preparing to board a plane, when he hears that the Pope is on the same flight. “This is exciting,” thinks the gentleman. “Perhaps I’ll be able to see him in person.” Imagine his surprise when the Pope sits down in the seat next to him. Shortly after take-off, the Pope begins a crossword puzzle. Almost immediately, the Pope turns to the gentleman and says, “Excuse me, but do you know a four letter word referring to a woman that ends in ‘unt?’” Only one word leaps to mind. “My goodness,” thinks the gentleman, “I can’t tell the Pope that. There must be another word.” The gentleman thinks for quite a while, and then it hits him. Turning to the Pope, the gentleman says, “I think the word you’re looking for is ‘aunt.’” “Of course,” says the Pope. “Do you have an eraser?”

A husband and wife are in church. The preacher notices that the husband has fallen asleep and says to the wife, “Wake your husband up!” The wife answers, “You’re the one who made him fall asleep, you wake him up!”

Wilson runs a nail factory and decides his business needs a bit of advertising. He has a chat with a friend who works in marketing, and he offers to make a television ad for Wilson’s Nails. “Give me a week,” says the friend, “and I’ll be back with a tape.” A week goes by and the marketing executive comes to see Wilson. He puts a cassette in the video and presses play. A Roman soldier is busy nailing Jesus to the cross. He turns to face the camera and says with a grin, “Use Wilson’s Nails, they’ll hold anything.” Wilson goes mad, shouting, “What is the matter with you? They’ll never show that on television. Give it another try, but no more Romans crucifying Jesus!” Another week goes by and the marketing man comes back to see Wilson with another tape. He puts it in the machine and hits play. This time the camera pans out from a Roman standing with his arms folded to show Jesus on the cross. The Roman looks up at him and says, “Wilson’s Nails, they’ll hold anything.” Wilson is beside himself. “You don’t understand. I don’t want anything with Jesus on the cross! Now listen, I’ll give you one last chance. Come back in a week with an advertisement that I can broadcast.” A week passes and Wilson waits impatiently. The marketing executive arrives and puts on the new video. A naked man with long hair, gasping for breath, is running across a field. About a dozen Roman soldiers come over the hill, hot on his trail. One of them turns to the camera and says, “If only we had used Wilson’s Nails!”

Two nuns were riding their bicycles down the street. The first nun says, “I’ve never came this way before.” The second nun says, “Yeah, it’s the cobblestones!”

Two nuns were riding their bicycles down the street. The first nun says, “I’ve never came this way before.” The second nun says, “Yeah, it’s the cobblestones!”

Q: Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocaine during a root canal?
A: His goal: transcend dental medication.

A man walks into the ladies department of Macy’s, walks up to the woman behind the counter and says, “I’d like to buy a bra for my wife.” “What type of bra?” asks the clerk. “Type?” inquires the man. “There is more than one type?” “Look around,” says the saleslady, as she shows a sea of bras in every shape, size, color, and material. “Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only three types of bras,” replies the salesclerk. Confused, the man asks what the types are. The saleslady replies, “The Catholic type, the Salvation Army type, and the Baptist type. Which one do you need?” Still confused, the man asks, “What is the difference between them?” The lady responds, “It is all really quite simple. The Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Baptist type makes mountains out of mole hills.”

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A man walks into the ladies department of Macy’s, walks up to the woman behind the counter and says, “I’d like to buy a bra for my wife.” “What type of bra?” asks the clerk. “Type?” inquires the man. “There is more than one type?” “Look around,” says the saleslady, as she shows a sea of bras in every shape, size, color, and material. “Actually, even with all of this variety, there are really only three types of bras,” replies the salesclerk. Confused, the man asks what the types are. The saleslady replies, “The Catholic type, the Salvation Army type, and the Baptist type. Which one do you need?” Still confused, the man asks, “What is the difference between them?” The lady responds, “It is all really quite simple. The Catholic type supports the masses, the Salvation Army type lifts up the fallen, and the Baptist type makes mountains out of mole hills.”

What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.

Why do Mormon women stop having kids at 29? Because 30 is too many!

When Paddy’s dog died, he took it to the local Catholic church. He asked the preacher if he could have a funeral service for his much loved pet, but the preacher explained that they didn’t do services like that for animals. Paddy asked who would and the preacher suggested that the Baptist church up the road would probably give the dog a funeral service. Paddy asked, “Preacher, do you think $5,000 would be enough payment for the dog’s funeral?” The preacher relied, “Dearest Paddy, why didn’t you tell me that your dog was a Catholic?”

Q: Why did all the hippies go to church on the first day of Lent? A: They heard it was “Hash Wednesday.”

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Q: How does Moses make his tea?
A: Hebrews it.

Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic with insomnia who stayed up all night wondering if there really is a dog?

AUSTRALIANS DEAN AND EDUARD NITZ LAY CLAIM TO ‘WORLD’S OLDEST BURGER

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Mmm…..Casey Dean and Eduard Nitz have waited 20 years to taste this burger. Source: Channel 10

ONCE upon a time in Adelaide, Casey Dean, 14, and his good mate Eduard Nitz, 13, stopped off at their local McDonald’s to pick up some burgers. Among them was a Quarter Pounder with cheese they’d bought for another kid. That kid never turned up, but they didn’t eat his burger. Ever.

That was back in 1995. The boys have become men and the burger has turned 20 and to celebrate, Mr Dean and Mr Nitz are going to reveal it to the world for the first time with an appearance on The Project tonight.

To bite or not to bite? Casey Dean and Eduard Nitz have pondered this question for two de

To bite or not to bite? Casey Dean and Eduard Nitz have pondered this question for two decades. Source: Channel 10

“We’re pretty sure it’s the oldest burger in the world,” Mr Dean said.

“It started off as a joke, you know we told our friend we’d hold his burger for him but he never turned up and before we knew it six months had passed. The months became years and now, 20 years later, it looks the same as it did the day we bought it, perfectly preserved in its original wrapping.”

SO IF YOU LIKE THIS BLOG GIVE IT A LOOK AND GIVE IT A “LIKE”

A TOUCH OF ART -BEAUTIFUL SAND ART BY “YLADY OF THE SAND”

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CIRCUS” by Winner Kseniya Simonova!!! СТБ “Украина мае талант”

http://youtu.be/Eo4pPQZ-0vM

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My Story-Lady of the Sand

The very begining

Kseniya Simonova, a Lady of the Sand, was born on April 22nd, 1985 in Evpatoriya, a small city on the Crimean peninsula, in the South of Ukraine.

Kseniya was the first, beloved child who was surrounded with warm, creativity and beauty. Her mother, Irina Simonova, an artist, stylist, theatric designer and teacher of fine arts was sure that her daughter has to develop her talent since early childhood. Dad, Alexander Simonov, a former military man, officer who now runs a business in sphere of design and furniture, was a person who taught little Kseniya to be honest and strong. Kseniya who has Russian origins was born and lives in Ukraine and speaks fluently both Russian and Ukrainian. She is sure that her country is unique, and also because children are bilingual since childhood.

Since she was a child, Kseniya painted, drew and designed with her mother who was a real fairy for a little girl. There was no doubt for them about her entering the Volkoff’s Artistic School of Evpatoriya, one of the best schools in Ukraine. She graduated from the Artistic school of Evpatoriya with the highest scores. After that Kseniya realized she could not longer live without serious artistic studying and decided to continue. She asked the Headmaster of Fine Arts School for a permission to study in the Class of her mother and after finishing the course entered the specialized studio for young artists on the base of the School of Fine Arts in Evpatoriya.

Another passion of Simonova was poetry and literature. At school, Kseniya wrote a set of scientific research on English folk poetry, especially English folk songs and ballads of 15-16 centuries. After getting awards on tis research, she decided to make a more difficult one — make poetic translations of Ukrainian folk songs into English with the same rhythm and style.She also made an amount of poetic translations not only of the folk poetry but of great poets — William Shakespeare, Robert Burns, George Gordon Byron and others into Russian and Ukrainian. She translated American hymns into Russian and Ukrainian hymn into English. For her researches, Kseniya got many Republican Diplomas and a right to enter any University in Ukraine (on English Philology Departments) without entering exams.

But Kseniya knew she has to go another way and suddenly for everyone, in 2002 she has chosen a different specialization — Psychology and graduated (2007) from the Taurida National University (one of the best Universities on the territory of former USSR) with Red Diploma (the best scores at course). Her scientific specialization was Psychophysiology — a sphere between Psychology and Anatomy. And her diploma project was also connected with her artistic perception of reality — it was about a color therapy in Psychology. She made a presentation of her 4-year scientific research, being pregnant, and got ovations from professors and students. At the same time with studying in University, Kseniya entered Ukrainian Academy of Printing on the Graphics Department (2003) and had to study in two universities at once. She graduated in 2008 and proved her Diploma Project with a 6-mounth baby in her hands. She got the highest scores in the Academy for a project «Chocolate» bilingual magazine which then became her own business project.

In 2007 Kseniya got married Igor Paskaru, a person who she calles a Magician and the Most Talented Man in the World. He was a theatric director and glossy editor. He was a person who told her: «You will be a star. Believe me…» Their son Dmitry was born on November 27th, 2007 and became Kseniya’s muse. From the day he was born she drew him, his face, his tiny hands, saying that Dmitry is the most beautiful sight ever.

Hard work

Since 2006, being a student of two Universities at once, Kseniya worked in a «Crimean Riviera» glossy magazine (cultural and historical specialization) as an artist where she started her personal genre of Graphics — «Psychoanalytical Line Graphics» — mixture of sacrificed psychoanalytical images and reality shown in line graphics. It was the very place where she met her future husband. He worked there as an editor-in chief and his first proposal was not a job of an artist. He asked Simonova to pose as a model in a new chapter of the magazine about beautiful and creative people of the world. Kseniya agreed and her photos appeared in the magazine with a big success among public. In a small interview which was printed near the photo session, she said that she draws all the time. After reading that, people stated sending letters to the editors asking to print some of Kseniya’s pictures. In two mouth she got her job as an artist of the magazine. Igor was always nearby ready to help. She passed her annual exams in her University, then in the Printing Academy, made drawings and paintings for the magazine, danced hip-hop trice a week in her beloved dance studio, went to a gym and took lessons on boxing and Russian fighting. When she was asked about how she managed to do it all, she said: «I love it. I also go to disco-clubs and bars, I read in the Library and have good appetite.»

She was not working as an artist. She lived it and it was her air. Once Kseniya said that if someone tights her hands she would probably draw with her legs.

Since November 2007 Kseniya and her husband Igor Paskaru established a glossy magazine «Chocolate» which was edited in two languages — English and Russian. All materials there were original and specially made for this edition. Kseniya was absolutely against using anything from the Internet. Each chapter was presented with a beautiful drawing made by Simonova, each page had a drawn element which Kseniya prepared considering the text and photos that will be there. The project was honored as one of the most successful cultural editions for foreigners in Ukraine. But in autumn 2008, during the crisis, the team of Kseniya and Igor has lost the investors and they had to freeze the edition.

Becoming a Sand Artist. A path in the mountains

As well as her mother, Kseniya always dreamed of being more than just a classical artist, who draws and paints on the paper and is closed in the edges of using materials: «Since I was three, in my dreams I saw amazing pictures… when there was no Universe, just an eternal snow with huge long shadows of strange long people, mysterious and magic trails on the snow and strange pink light from a non-existing sun… It was so incredibly beautiful…» When little Kseniya woke up, she drew the pictures from her strange dreams in the air with her finger. She believed that anyone could see her drawings. Her mother smiled and said that Kseniya has more talent and fantasy than her Mom. Kseniya dreamed of becoming an artist who can draw by heart not by pencil, without edges and walls. «I believed that it was possible to attach a little twinkle or a star on my finger to make the pictures seen for everyone…»

It may sound surprising, but Kseniya’s parents didn’t want her to be an artist and follow her Mom’s steps. Kseniya explained: «Both Mom and Dad knew that the life of an artist is a constant struggle. I realized that and was ready to it. If you chose this profession, you’re fighting during all your life. You do not live ordinary life- like comfort, buying the furniture… You just have no time. You’re always looking for something more, for the essence… and I… Actually I was never interested in a life of comfort, buying furniture and household. Although I did all household as a wife and mother of my son. I cooked, cleaned, designed our interior. And I enjoyed it with a knowledge that I have something else to enjoy — my creative activity».

The idea of making a sand performance came not to Kseniya, but to her husband Igor Paskaru, who wanted to include that to a new project of his theatre «Private Collection». Firstly Kseniya refused: «Immediately I realized that this is the thing very difficult to perform with. It was sand — not pencils or paints. No fixation! How this can be used as a drawing material?!» But she felt she was close to her dream — being an unusual artist who can be free from a pencil and paints. At the same time, the situation was very severe — their magazine was frozen, the business collapsed. Kseniya and Igor were driving their ship on the wave of a crisis with a little son who was just 10 month. Simonova remembers: «I had a terrible depression. Nothing was interesting for me, no colors around, just grey world… I had problems with lactation and somehow had to calm myself. Igor said: «Either we will go crazy or let’s do something! What about the sand?» I said: «Why not?»

Firstly, Kseniya took some sand from the beach. But it was a too uncomfortable for sand animation — the structure and shape of the sanddrops did not fit for drawing. Then they tried to use river sand, but it also did not fit. Igor spent days sitting at the computer looking for the proper sand in the Internet and finally found it. There was a group of geologists selling a special volcanic sand but it cost too much. Igor had to sell all the printing equipment which was in the office of his magazine to buy 3 kg of sand. And it was the material Kseniya called «the most academical in the world».

Simonova started practicing drawing with sand spending for five or four hours a day in a small dark room in a house they rented. According to her words, it was so difficult that she wanted to give it up once in three days. But all her depression vanished into the thin air. Although her new job was physically hard — she had to stand for long hours. Ksenyia trained at nights for three month. From early morning till the evening she was an ordinary housewife, a mother of a little boy Dima, doing what all mothers do — cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, playing with her son. From 10 pm to 4 am she was a sand artist. To realize the essence of sand animation which was based in constant transformations the images, she had to rebuild her sight and start seeing all objects surrounding her in sand. The insight finally came to Simonova one night. There was a light in her window until morning. The dawn came and the true inspiration entered her brain. Kseniya felt like there opened a second sight in her eyes. In the dark spots she began to see new faces and stories. She confessed: «That evening was the most important. I had to decide whether I need it or not. If I could not feel how to do it, I would probably take all these frames and sand and take it to the basement. Thanks God, this feeling came to me and I realized I will never give it up.»

«Ukraine’s got talent». Winner who came not to win

The process was started. Since then the chain of images gave birth to a true sand animation and real sand show. At that time, Igor saw a TV advertisement of the casting for a show «Ukraine’s got talent». The prize was one million Ukrainian hryvna. It’s more than 110,000 dollars. Kseniya decided to enter the casting. Just to try. She says: «Everything in my life comes to me accidentally and bring me happiness without my expectations».

At the cast-shooting, she presented a sand story (2 min) called «Circus» and was chosen one of the 50 competitors of the semi-final. On the step of choosing the 50 participants of semi-finals, Kseniya got a terrible fever and doctors didn’t allow her to go to Kiev (1000 km from Evpatoriya). But she came. «When I knew I was among 50 most talented people in Ukraine, I felt much better and in an hour my fever disappeared. If I failed coming, according to the rules of the show, my place had to be given to another person. It is a wonder I managed to come».

In the semi-final of «Ukraine’s got talent», Kseniya was going to perform a sand story about the Great Patriotic War which she created in the memory of fallen soldiers who saved her county from the Nazi. Kseniya refused the proposals of the producers to choose a more popular theme. She said: «I just want to bring some immortal sense to this show. Not just pictures or video clips. Something close to all hearts… It was also a tribute to my great-grandfather who heroically died in 1943 defending his Motherland». The sand story Simonova presented in live TV shooting of the semi-final was called «You are always nearby». It was an 8-minute live sand story of a young couple who were separated by the war. The young Lady and little Son were waiting for the Man to come from war, but he was killed. In the end he came to their window and watched them with a sight of love and hope. There was not a single emotion on the face of the performer. Simonova’s hands worked incredibly fast. Nobody knew what was going on in her soul. From the interview of Simonova: «It was so emotionally hard, and I now still cannot think about those minutes without pain… My hands were dyeing and reviving making the images.» Kseniya was hoping to get a little advertisement for her as an artist, but it turned an emotional bomb explosion. Almost the entire audience was in tears. Applause came down just after a minute after she finished her performance. Everyone in the hall applauded standing. Kseniya passed the semi-final and passed the final of the contest. In the third round, at Final, the sand story of Kseniya was about parents who gave birth to a son, the son has grown up, became successful and adult and forgot his old parents. Kseniya wanted the children to remember their father and mother — people who gave them lives — and call them. The resonance was enormous — people came to her in streets saying: «After watching your story, I took the phone and called my mom. I haven’t talk to for her a year. I called my mom after your story. Thank you very much! » Simonova said that these words were more than winning the show. During the interview with the judges in super-final, she said: «I’m not sure I want to win the show. But if a single person who didn’t call his Mom, will do it after my sand story — I will be more than a Winner!»

Kseniya became the winner of the show «Ukraine’s got talent. » And got 100,000 euro. She was named an on-line sensation when during a day her video from the show received more than a million views. During a year it got over 25 million views. Kseniya understood what happened only when she returned to her native town Evpatoria. She could no longer walk freely in the streets. She was surrounded by people everywhere, and was always asked for an autograph. On the money they won, Igor and Kseniya have bought a house in Evpatoria. Immediately they got hundreds of invitations to come and make a sand performance from all over the world. In her interviews, Simonova said: «It’s not me who did it. It’s God who did it. I don’t know why, I don’t think I deserve so many wonders in my life. I am eternally happy!»

Charity

In 2007 Kseniya Simonova has started a social movement which received the name «Live, My Sunny». This organization was aimed to help children who need treatment and material help, pregnant women who were going to make abortion because of leaving in need but who desided to give birth to their children despite material problems. Also it helps people who suffer with oncology. Simonova also conducts educational work in matters of morality. Collaborates with the Crimean diocese.

— In the 2009-2010 school year, school teachers of Crimea held a competition for the best lesson «The lesson of morality». It was organized by Simferopol and Crimea Diocese , Ministry of Education and Science of the Crimean Republic, the Crimean Orthodox medical and educational center, «Life.» Simonova was the ​​patroness of the competition — thirty best teachers received original works of the artist, and those who took the top places received prizes, they got laptops and home appliances.

— At the invitation of the President of Malta George Abel Kseniya Simonova took part in a charity marathon which managed to raise 2.5 million euros for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

— In 2009, 2010 and 2011 Kseniya held several charity concerts, the income of which was transferred for the purchase of equipment for the maternity hospital of Evpatoriya.

— Collected and passed the money for treatment of Savva Pilipchuk — a boy who suffered with cerebral palsy (charity concert and exhibition «The Sand Personality» in Evpatoriya), for treatment for Olga Kravchuk, a young mother who suffered with cancer (exhibition and concerts in Simferopol).

— Created about fifty sand films for critically ill children and adults, and also films aimed to help medical institutions. In December 2010 created a series of charity films for Donetsk Center of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. A series of TV-films «Cancer is curable» (Ukrainian translation).

— Participant of the rally «Ukraine without abortion» (2011)

— Member of the Ukrainian action «Helping children to grow up healthy», in defense of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (2012)

— More than three years Kseniya Simonova actively helps Simferopol city orphanage house.

 

HIWAY AMERICA-GREENWICH VILLAGE WHAT REMAINS OF N.Y. BEAT GENERATION?

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Greenwich Village Sunday (1960 Documentary On The Counterculture / Beat

Culture In 1960’s New York)

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http://youtu.be/nBfJyGjtxRg

Greenwich Village: what remains of New York’s beat generation haunts?

Inside Llewyn Davis

http://youtu.be/R3v9pcQJZRU

A new Coen brothers film celebrates Greenwich Village in its 60s heyday, but what’s left of Dylan and Kerouac’s New York? Karen McVeigh takes a cycle tour of the area
Inside Llewyn Davis still
A still from the Coen Brothers new film, Inside Llewyn Davis. Photograph: Alison Rosa/Studio Canal
Karen McVeigh
@karenmcveigh1
Sunday 22 December 2013 01.00 EST Last modified on Thursday 22 May 2014 06.51 EDT

Five decades have passed since America’s troubadours and beat poets flocked to Greenwich Village, filling its smoky late-night basement bars and coffee houses with folk songs and influencing some of the most recognisable musicians of the era.

A few landmarks of those bygone bohemian days – most recently portrayed in the Coen brothers’ film Inside Llewyn Davis, out on 24 January – still exist. The inspiration for the movie’s fictional anti-hero, Davis, was Brooklyn-born Dave Van Ronk, a real- life blues and folk singer with no small talent, who worked with performers such as Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, but remained rooted in the village until he died in 2002, declining to leave it for any length of time and refusing to fly for many years. Van Ronk’s posthumously published memoir, the Mayor of MacDougal Street, takes its name from the street that was home to the Gaslight Cafe, and other early 60s folk clubs.

The Village stretches from the Hudson River Park east as far as Broadway, and from West Houston Street in the south up to West 14th Street. Its small scale makes it easy to explore on foot and perfect for a musical pilgrimage, but the arrival last summer of New York’s bike-sharing scheme, Citibike, makes for a more adventurous experience.

CitiBikers in Greenwich Village
CitiBikers in Greenwich Village. Photograph: Alamy
I picked up a bike outside Franklin Street subway station, south of the Village in Tribeca, and headed out to the river, at Pier 45. Looking south you can see One World Trade Center: at 541m, it’s now the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Cycle or walk to the end of the boardwalk that juts out into the Hudson, facing Hoboken, New Jersey, and look to your left and you can see the Statue of Liberty. From there, it’s a short cycle along Christopher Street, up Hudson and along West 10th, to Bleecker Street, where designer boutiques such as Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors and Lulu Guinness mark the area’s steep gentrification.

On MacDougal Street, a jumble of comedy cellars, theatres and cheap eateries have mostly replaced the old, liquorless cafes and basement bars of the folk scene. It is the hub of New York University’s campus and many of the bars, falafel joints and pizza houses are priced for students, with $2 beers thrown in.

But several older venues still exist, including the Bitter End, which staged folk “hootenannies” every Tuesday and now calls itself New York’s oldest rock club”. The White Horse Tavern, built in 1880, still stands on the corner of Hudson Street and 11th. It was used by New York’s literary community in the 1950s – most notably Welsh bard Dylan Thomas. It was here, myth has it, that the writer had been drinking in November 1953, before he was rushed to hospital from his room at the Chelsea Hotel, and died a few days later.

Dave Van Ronk
Folk singer Dave Van Ronk, the inspiration for the Llewyn Davis character. Photograph: Kai Shuman/Getty Images
The original Cafe Wha? remains at 115 MacDougal Street, on the corner of Minetta Lane. In the bitter winter of 1961, when the Coen brothers movie is set, cash-strapped artists similar to Davis would take their chances at the open mic. It was here that Bob Dylan made his New York debut, and Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac performed. Cafe Wha? continued to attract artists and musicians long after the Village folk scene gave way to rock’n’roll. A notice on the door catalogues a few of the famous names who played here: Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Havens, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and the Velvet Underground. It is still a popular music venue, with a house band playing five nights a week.

The real centre of the folk scene back then, however, was Washington Square, where musicians would gather on Sundays to swap ideas, learn new material and play. According to folk singer and historian Elijah Wald, the ballad and blues singers who sat around the fountain in the park created sounds that would influence artists from Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez to folk-rock groups the Lovin’ Spoonful, the Byrds and the Mamas and the Papas. The hero of the Coens’ film is not Van Ronk, according to Wald, but he does sing some Van Ronk songs and shares his working-class background.

When I visited on a sunny but cold December day, there was only one musician, a saxophonist, playing under Washington Square’s stone arch, but at weekends the park fills with rap and jazz musicians playing to tourists and students. Bikes are not officially allowed inside the square, but there are Citibike stations around it, so it’s easy to park and walk around.

A block north of the park, on West 8th Street, is a historic 107-room property once known as Marlton House and home to many writers and poets, who were attracted by relatively cheap rates and the bohemian neighbourhood. Jack Kerouac wrote The Subterraneans and Tristessa while living here and, in a darker episode, Valerie Solanas was staying in room 214 in 1968, when she became infamous for stalking and then shooting Andy Warhol.

The Marlton Hotel
The new Marlton Hotel
Sean MacPherson, who owns the stylish Bowery and Jane hotels nearby, has just reopened the building as the Parisian-inspired Marlton Hotel (marltonhotel.com). I popped in to its very comfortable lobby for coffee and a flick through its copy of John Strausbaugh’s The Village: 400 years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues. And I caught up with Strausbaugh later, to ask him about the village in the early 1960s, when young idealists were living hand to mouth and sleeping on friends’ couches.

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“In 1961, if you were in any way an artistic person in America, in that vast American landscape, you were a lonely figure,” said Strausbaugh. “You heard about San Francisco, you heard about Greenwich Village, and you went there. You didn’t play there to make money; you went there to be heard. Like Dylan, who played at the Cafe Wha?, then got another entry-level gig, then began playing at the biggest places.”

There were others, Strausbaugh said, like Van Ronk, who were talented, but whose ambitions were more modest than those of Dylan and Baez. The unique thing about the Village, he added, is that it survived so long as a bohemian enclave, from the early 1850s, when it attracted poets such as Walt Whitman, to the beatniks and folk revivalists of the 1950s and later.

“The left bank [in Paris] did not last 100 years, but the Village did,” he said.

Many of the buildings and sometimes entire streets in the Village have been preserved and are now home to some of the most expensive real estate in Manhattan and sought-after for their distinctive, old Greenwich Village look. A struggling folk artist might find a cheap meal in one of the student cafes around MacDougal Street, but they would never be able to afford to live in the area – or anywhere in Manhattan, realistically.

“It has not been completely finished off,” said Strausbaugh. “There are still a lot of theatres. But the people who make the music have not been able to live there for 20 or 30 years.”

Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation Q&A at DOC NYC 2012

http://youtu.be/28cc8qaI748

Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village in the ’60s traces and tributes the bohemian Mecca’s part in the emergence of singer/songwriters and the folk revival during the ’60s. The initial passion and sense of discovery in this music remains undimmed, as politically and emotionally conscious songs by Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Tim Buckley, Judy Collins, and Paul Simon are reinterpreted by contemporary artists like Chrissie Hynde, Ron Sexsmith, Beth Nielsen Chapman, and many others.

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LEGENDS OF FOLK: THE VILLAGE SCENE | Clip | PBS

http://youtu.be/VQjVXeUz7uI

THE VILLAGE MOVEMENT

http://www.nytimes.com/video/movies/100000003523696/this-weeks-movies-feb-20-2015.html?playlistId=1248069018693

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U.K. farmer breeds the tears out of an onion

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U.K. farmer breeds the tears out of an onion

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The Sweet Red has just hit grocery shelves, promising fewer tears and sweeter-smelling breath.

It’s hard to chop an onion when you have tears in your eyes. (Photo: Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock)

One of the most frequently used items in my kitchen is a pair of onion goggles. I need them because I’m incredibly susceptible to the sulfur that’s released when an onion is sliced. Within half a minute, my eyes burn and tear up, making it very difficult to chop an onion without harming myself with my chef’s knife.
A farmer in England may be on his way to making my onion goggles obsolete, at least when I’m chopping a red onion for dishes like Sourdough Panzanella or Guacamole. For 20 years, Alastair Findlay of Bedfordshire Growers has worked on creating a new type of onion, one he calls a Sweet Red, according to Yahoo.
Sweet Reds have a flavor that’s milder than other red onions. They also don’t leave your breath smelling as onion-y, and they don’t give off as much tear-producing sulfur.
I assume the Sweet Red is a hybrid vegetable. The hybrid process crossbreeds two different types or varieties of vegetables or fruits, creating a new, natural variety. This is different from genetically modifying foods, by the way.
Findlay isn’t done tweaking the onions. He’s working on improving the flavor of his Sweet Red even further.
For now, the first harvest of Sweet Reds is available only at the U.K. grocery chain Asda, so I suppose I’ll need my onion goggles for a while longer. I’d love to get my hands on one, though, and test the no-more-tears promise of the Sweet Red.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/uk-farmer-breeds-the-tears-out-of-an-onion#ixzz3S227VMer

HIWAY AMERICA – THE OK CORRAL TOMBSTONE, AZ.

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What Happened at the OK Corral?//

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Gunfight at the OK Corral (WILD WEST HISTORY DOCUMENTARY)

http://youtu.be/S7Jm9y2NjWE

WYATT EARP – THE REAL STORY OF THE LEGEND (WILD WEST HISTORY DOCUMENTARY)

http://youtu.be/ho4IT3G7Mk4

 O.K. Corral Shooting – Tombstone Arizona (Western Song)

http://youtu.be/PhkfO7xkHWs

On Oct. 26, 1881, four men met at the corner of Fifth and Allen Streets in the bustling silver mining town of Tombstone, Arizona. They walked north on Fifth, turned left on Fremont Street and headed toward a vacant lot next to the OK Corral.

Minutes later, three men would be dead, and the four men who had walked to the corral and killed them – Tombstone marshal Virgil Earp, his brothers Wyatt and Morgan, and Wyatt’s friendDoc Holliday – had unknowingly secured their places in history.

The Gunfight at the OK Corral is arguably the single most famous incident in the Old West. But what was it about? And why has it, above all the many other gunfights that took place in the era of frontier justice, achieved such infamy?

To understand the gunfight, you have to first understand the town. Tombstone in 1881 was a thriving, bustling silver mining community.

“There’s a huge misconception about Tombstone in the 1880s: that it was a violent, dangerous place,” says local author and historian Don Taylor. “It was extremely sophisticated and massively wealthy. Thirty-seven million dollars in 1880s dollars of silver was mined here; that’s $8.25 billion today. They had everything.

“They had fresh seafood every day. They would catch it in Baja California; pack it in barrels of salt, ice and seaweed at dusk; freight it by train to Benson or Contention City, immediately pack it on to wagons and bring it here by dawn every day. It was a very opulent town. But again, people don’t understand – especially if they come today – Tombstone was open 24 hours a day.

The miners worked rotating 10 hour shifts; everything had to be open when they got off, including banks. They were also pumping 2.5 million gallons of water out of the mines every day to keep them dry; so you had all the mining activity, all the milling activity, all the water rushing down Toughnut Street, and the town open 24 hours a day. It must have been noisy as hell.”

BIG PIC: The Mega Crystals of Naica Mine

As the mines thrived, so did all manner of supporting businesses: banks, bars, restaurants, hotels – and prostitutes, many of whom worked out of small ‘cribs’ that lined Sixth Street. The riches to be, had attracted plenty of would-be entrepreneurs — among them Wyatt, Virgil, Morgan, James and Warren Earp, and Doc Holliday.

Both Virgil and Wyatt had been lawmen; Virgil had recently been appointed deputy marshal for the part of the Arizona Territory that included Tombstone, and although some record-keeping at the time was poor, it is possible that Wyatt may have been a deputy marshal as well.

Certainly, it appears as if all the brothers were anxious to join the list of those profiting from Tombstone’s booming business: they invested in one of the mines, James tended bar, Wyatt rode as a stagecoach guard and dealt faro – the popular card game of the time – in a local saloon.

But Tombstone’s growth and growing sophistication grated with one segment of society: the ‘cowboys’, a loose confederation of ranchers and cattle rustlers. The cowboys – who were predominantly rural, southern Confederates – eyed the primarily Yankee mercantile class that was dominating Tombstone, and which the Earps typified, with suspicion. And the feeling was mutual.

It didn’t take long after the Earps’ arrival in late 1879 for tensions between them and the cowboys to develop, particularly with Virgil and Wyatt spending time in law enforcement positions. That tension reached boiling point when Wyatt helped in the identification and arrest of some cowboy members in a pair of stagecoach robberies, and the cowboys in turn asserted that Wyatt and Holliday had in fact been the ones responsible for the holdups.

BIG PIC: Rare Billy the Kid Photo to go on Auction

On the night of Oct. 25, 1881, one of the cowboy leaders, Ike Clanton, got into a heated, drunken argument with Holliday, and the next morning he wandered drunkenly up and down Allen Street, threatening to kill him and the Earps. A series of confrontations steadily escalated until Virgil was informed that a group of armed cowboys had gathered outside Fly’s Boarding House – where Holliday was living – in a vacant lot close to the OK Corral.

Carrying guns inside city limits was a violation of a town ordinance, and it provided Virgil, who was now town marshal, with an opportunity to arrest the cowboys. But there may also have been other considerations at play.

As the self-identified Dr. Jay, who leads historical tours of Tombstone, explains: “Ike Clanton had openly threatened to kill the Earps. And why are they in that alley? Because it’s right outside Fly’s Boarding House. So if you’re Doc Holliday, you show up and here’s a bunch of guys with guns outside your house. You might want to think about, ‘Are they going to get me tomorrow if I don’t get them today?’”

Virgil deputized his brothers and Holliday and they set off for the vacant lot.

“Throw up your hands,” shouted Virgil as they reached the alleyway’s entrance. “I mean to disarm you.”

There was a pause, and the click-click of a gun – or guns – being cocked.

“Hold on, I don’t want that!” shouted Virgil, but it was too late.

There were two shots fired simultaneously – it is uncertain by whom – and then, as Wyatt later testified, “the fight then became general.”

Ironically, Ike Clanton, who had instigated the confrontation, fled the scene, grabbing Wyatt and screaming that he was unarmed.

“The fight has commenced,” snarled Earp. “Get to fighting or get away.” Clanton promptly took off, as did another cowboy, Billy Claiborne.

Within seconds, two of the cowboys – Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton – lay mortally wounded, Virgil Earp had been shot in the calf, and Morgan Earp shot through the shoulder blades. A third cowboy, Frank McLaury, shot in the stomach, staggered into Fremont Street and leveled his gun at Holliday.

“I’ve got you now,” he said, mistakenly believing Holliday was out of ammo.

“Blaze away,” taunted Holliday. “You’re a daisy if you do.”

At that point both Holliday and Morgan Earp fired almost simultaneously; bullets from one or both of their guns struck McLaury in the head, killing him.

The entire gunfight lasted approximately 30 seconds.

The following day, the headline in the ‘Tombstone Epitaph’ newspaper read, “Three Men Hurled into Eternity in the Duration of a Moment.” The cowboys’ supporters insisted their men had been killed in cold blood. The Earps and Holliday stood trial for murder,but were cleared.

A hundred and thirty years later, the gunfight has been the focus of numerous motion pictures, and a part of many more – and was even pivotal to an episode in the original series of Star Trek. So we ask again: why has the slaying of three men on a misdemeanor firearms violation endured through history?

Don Taylor offers one explanation.

“In January 1881, (Tombstone mayor) John Clum joined the brand new Associated Press,” he explains. “So everything he wrote went to San Francisco, Chicago, New York. Everybody knew what was going on here.”

There was also, explains Tim Fattig, who works as a tourist guide at the OK Corral and has written a voluminous biography of Wyatt Earp, another factor: the fact that the gunfight did not mark the end of the Earp-cowboy feud.

On Dec. 28, 1881, Virgil Earp survived an assassination attempt, but lost the use of his left arm. The following March, Morgan was gunned down and killed while playing billiards.

In revenge, Wyatt, Warren Earp, Holliday and others set out on a “vendetta ride” for justice, in which they killed at least three cowboys, including the faction’s de facto leader, Curly Bill Brocius.

“It was the vendetta ride that truly elevated the gunfight in public perception,” Fattig says. “The idea of a brother gaining revenge for one brother’s murder and another being wounded is compelling.”

That’s one reason why Wyatt Earp dominates the history books and the mythology at his brothers’ expense: he was the one who led the ride for vengeance. There is also another reason: In 1931, two years after Earp’s death, author Stuart Lake published Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, a hagiographic account he had produced with Earp’s collaboration. After that came the movies – My Darling Clementine, Gunfight at the OK Corral and more – and the TV series, including The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp.

Wyatt is lionized above the others, in other words, because he outlived them all, and got to tell his story. The rest, as they say, is history.

Top Photograph: The purported grave site of the men who were killed in the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Middle: A display at the site of the gunfight shows how close the combatants were to each other when the fight commenced. Bottom: A tourist poses with reenactors playing the roles of Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers in modern-day Tombstone. Photos by Kieran Mulvaney