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HIWAY AMERICA – ALL ABOUT HOBOS AND THE HOBO MUSEUM, BRITT, IA

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HIWAY AMERICA – ALL ABOUT HOBOS AND THE HOBO MUSEUM, BRITT, IA

Hobo’s Meditation by JIMMIE RODGERS (1932)

http://youtu.be/HQ_xj3aDjWU

DEDICATED TO DAVE CHRISTY 

Hobo, 1894

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Hard Times in America
In the period from 1893 to 1896 America suffered a severe economic meltdown that was surpassed in its tragic impact only by the Great Depression that followed four decades later. The causes were complex. They included a public panic to cash in paper currency for gold, a subsequent depletion in the country’s gold reserve and bankers calling in their loans to private industry as the value of the dollar continued to decline.
Members of Coxey’s Army on their way
to Washington, 1893

A domino effect resulted as major companies such as the Northern Pacific Railway, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe declared bankruptcy. An estimated 15,000 companies failed. The price of farm products plummeted, forcing many farmers to loose their farms and their livelihood. The crush of so many defaulted loans led some 500 banks to close their doors – taking their depositors’ life savings with them. Unemployment soared.

There was no government assistance. In Ohio, Jacob S. Coxey – owner of a failed business – decided to take matters into his own hands. In a move that foreshadowed the Bonus Army of 1932, he began a march on Washington in order to force the government to provide relief for the unemployed. As he made his way to the capital he was joined by what he proclaimed was an army of 100,000 destitute. However, when he entered the city he had a following of only 500. His plea fell on deaf ears as both the President and Congress refused to meet his demands. Coxey and his followers were subsequently arrested for trespassing.

The nation’s roads and railways were filled with the unemployed searching for a better life. They became hoboes, panhandling their way across the country in search of a job. Among them was eighteen-year-old Jack London, future author of Call of the Wild (1903).

“Thirty days, said his Honor, and called another hobo’s name.”

London described his experiences as a hobo in a book entitled The Road. We join his story as he arrives in Niagara Falls, NY aboard a freight train. Walking into town in search of food, he runs afoul of the law:

‘What hotel are you stopping at?’ he queried.“The town was asleep when I entered it. As I came along the quiet street, I saw three men coming toward me along the sidewalk. They were walking abreast. Hoboes, I decided, like myself, who had got up early. In this surmise I was not quite correct. . . The men on each side were hoboes all right, but the man in the middle wasn’t. . . At some word from the man in the centre, all three halted, and he of the centre addressed me. He was a ‘fly-cop’ and the two hoboes were his prisoners.

He had me. I wasn’t stopping at any hotel, and, since I did not know the name of a hotel in the place, I could not claim residence in any of them. Also, I was up too early in the morning. Everything was against me.

‘I just arrived,’ I said.

‘Well, you turn around and walk in front of me, and not too far in front. There’s somebody wants to see you.’

I was ‘pinched.’ I knew who wanted to see me. With that ‘fly-cop’ and the two hoboes at my heels, and under the direction of the former, I led the way to the city jail. There we were searched and our names registered. I have forgotten, now, under which name I was registered.

From the office we were led to the ‘Hobo’ and locked in. The ‘Hobo’ is that part of a prison where the minor offenders are confined together in a large iron cage. Since hoboes constitute the principal division of the minor offenders, the aforesaid iron cage is called the Hobo. Here we met several hoboes who had already been pinched that morning, and every little while the door was unlocked and two or three more were thrust in on us. At last, when we totaled sixteen, we were led upstairs into the courtroom. . .

In the court-room were the sixteen prisoners, the judge, and two bailiffs. The judge seemed to act as his own clerk. There were no witnesses. There were no citizens of Niagara Falls present to look on and see how justice was administered in their community. The judge glanced at the list of cases before him and called out a name. A hobo stood up. The judge glanced at a bailiff. ‘Vagrancy, your Honor,’ said the bailiff. ‘Thirty days,’ said his Honor. The hobo sat down, and the judge was calling another name and another hobo was rising to his feet.

The trial of that hobo had taken just about fifteen seconds. The trial of the next hobo came off with equal celerity. The bailiff said, ‘Vagrancy, your Honor,’ and his Honor said, ‘Thirty days.’ Thus it went like clockwork, fifteen seconds to a hobo and thirty days.

They are poor dumb cattle, I thought to myself. But wait till my turn comes; I’ll give his Honor a ‘spiel.’ Part way along in the performance, his Honor, moved by some whim, gave one of us an opportunity to speak. As chance would have it, this man was not a genuine hobo. He bore none of the ear- marks of the professional ‘stiff.’ Had he approached the rest of us, while waiting at a water-tank for a freight, we should have unhesitatingly classified him as a ‘gay-cat.’ Gay-cat is the synonym for tenderfoot in Hobo Land. This gay-cat was well along in years — somewhere around forty-five, I should judge. His shoulders were humped a trifle, and his face was seamed by weather-beat.

For many years, according to his story, he had driven team for some firm in (if I remember rightly) Lockport, New York. The firm had ceased to prosper, and finally, in the hard times of 1893, had gone out of business. He had been kept on to the last, though toward the last his work had been very irregular. He went on and explained at length his difficulties in getting work (when so many were out of work) during the succeeding months. In the end, deciding that he would find better opportunities for work on the Lakes, he had started for Buffalo. Of course he was ‘broke,’ and there he was. That was all.

‘Thirty days,’ said his Honor, and called another hobo’s name.

Said hobo got up. ‘Vagrancy, your Honor,’ said the bailiff, and his Honor said, ‘Thirty days.’ And so it went, fifteen seconds and thirty days to each hobo. The machine of justice was grinding smoothly. Most likely, considering how early it was in the morning, his Honor had not yet had his breakfast and was in a hurry.

But my American blood was up. Behind me were the many generations of my American ancestry. One of the kinds of liberty those ancestors of mine had fought and died for was the right of trial by jury. This was my heritage, stained sacred by their blood, and it devolved upon me to stand up for it. All right, I threatened to myself; just wait till he gets to me.

Jack London

He got to me. My name, whatever it was, was called, and I stood up. The bailiff said, ‘Vagrancy, your Honor,’ and I began to talk. But the judge began talking at the same time, and he said, ‘Thirty days.’ I started to protest, but at that moment his Honor was calling the name of the next hobo on the list. His Honor paused long enough to say to me, ‘Shut up!’ The bailiff forced me to sit down. And the next moment that next hobo had received thirty days and the succeeding hobo was just in process of getting his.

When we had all been disposed of, thirty days to each stiff, his Honor, just as he was about to dismiss us, suddenly turned to the teamster from Lockport — the one man he had allowed to talk.

‘Why did you quit your job?’ his Honor asked.

Now the teamster had already explained how his job had quit him, and the question took him aback.

‘Your Honor,’ he began confusedly, ‘isn’t that a funny question to ask?’

‘Thirty days more for quitting your job,’ said his Honor, and the court was closed. That was the outcome. The teamster got sixty days all together, while the rest of us got thirty days.

References:
London, Jack, The Road (1907).

How To Cite This Article:
“Hobo 1894: Hard Times in America”, EyeWitness to History, http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2007).

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 Boxcar Willie Getty David Redfern 1989

BOXCAR WILLIE : Hank And The Hobo (train country song)

http://youtu.be/oh5hV2M22nk

Death of the American Hobo (Documentary)

http://youtu.be/LWHh9W5IeBo

THE HOBO MUSEUM

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Strangest Museums: Hobo Museum

Rachel Freundt
The Hobo Museum, Britt, IA
Housed in the former Chief Theater, the Hobo Museum celebrates the vagabond lifestyle, which happens to have a stringent code of ethics. It’s full of drifter memorabilia from the likes of Frisco Jack, Connecticut Slim, and Hard Rock Kid. Hobo crafts, art, photographs, and documentaries depicting the unorthodox way of life are also on display. It’s brought to you by the Hobo Foundation, which hosts an annual convention in town. hobo.com

What are Hobo Signs ?
Depression era symbols used by hoboes. In their travels for work, hoboes made marks with chalk, paint or coal on walls, sidewalks, fences and posts. The signs were meant to let others know what was ahead. (some call them the secrete language of the hoboes)

1. Good road to follow
2. Religious talk will get you a free meal
3. These people are rich (Silk hat and pile of gold)
4. Camp here
5. You may sleep in the hayloft here
6. Warning: Barking Dog
7. House is well-guarded
8. This is not a safe place
9. Good food available here, but you have to work for it
10. If you are sick, they’ll care for you here
11. This community is indifferent to a hobo’s presence
12. Authorities are alert: Be careful
13. Officer of the law lives here
14. Courthouse, precinct station
15. Jail
16. Free telephone (Bird)
17. Beware of four dogs
18. No use going this direction
19. Dangerous drinking water
20. Doubtful
21. A judge or magistrate lives here
22. Here. This is the place
23. A kind old lady (Cat)
24. Hit the road! Quick!
25. A beating awaits you here
26. A trolley stop
27. “Ok, alright”
28. This way
29. A gentleman lives here (Top Hat)
30. Police frown on hobos here (Handcuffs)
31. A man with a gun lives here
32. There is nothing to be gained here
33. The road is spoiled with other hobos and tramps
34. Good place to catch a train
35. Hold your tongue
36. A crime has been committed here. Not a safe place for strangers
37. Halt
38. Dangerous neighborhood
39. An ill-tempered man lives here
40. Be prepared to defend yourself
41. A doctor lives here. He won’t charge for his services
42. Keep quiet (Warns of day sleepers, babies)
43. The owner is in
44. The owner is out
45. There are thieves about
46. A dishonest person lives here
47. An easy mark, a sucker
48. Good place for hand out
49. There is alcohol in this town
50. Fresh water and a safe campsite

The hobo signs were copied out of a book called
“Hobo Signs by Stan Richards & Associates”

 

This is a rare example of tramp art in that I have found no references
in tramp art books to this wonderful pillow form.  Its rarity is further
exemplified by the materials used: cloth, heavy carpet-like fabric and a
stuffing of sawdust.  A great deal of time, skill and passion produced this
sturdy object.  It has the classic pyramidic shape repeated with precision in
row after row of a deep red heavy fabric on the top.  The edges where the top
meets the bottom are notched similar to tramp art woodcarvings. The bottom
exposes a smooth fabric that probably covers the entire object and displays a
light rust color.  The dimensions are 9″ x 9″ square and 4.5″ high, in the
middle. The pillow weighs just under two pounds – 1lb. 15 oz.

The following is a beautiful example of bottle art

done by Carl Worner at some time in the early 1900s.
see more at  http://sdjones.net/FolkArt/worner.html

 

The following are some examples of beautiful old
time wood carving.  Notice the intricate detail and the skillful carving of the
balls in cages and chain links.

 

   Next are some great carvings by our modern day
artist “The Tanner City Kid”.  Note that the chain links are fully functioning
links as in a steel chain and the balls in the cages are loose movable objects
that are carved from the interior wood during the hollowing out process.  I
think you’ll agree with me that Tanner’s work is as skillful as any of the old
timers.

HIWAY AMERICA – COWBOYS, AND THE NATIONAL COWBOY MUSEUM, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

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HIWAY AMERICA – COWBOYS, AND THE NATIONAL COWBOY MUSEUM, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

Cowboys

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I had nothing to look forward to in civilization, I was crazy about guns.
Frank Mayer, buffalo hunter
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In 1865 thirteen million buffalo roam the Great Plains. This vast untouched wilderness divides America but the rail road cuts through the continent. And on the trains come a million unemployed Civil War veterans.

Their targets are the 900 kilo buffalo, each capable of stampeding at 55km an hour and crushing man and beast before them. So hunters shoot from 180m. A good shot aims for the lungs and drops the target without the rest of the herd even noticing. In this way, 8,000 buffalo a day are slaughtered. And they’re all killed just for their hides. Worth $3 each, one million are shipped out in 1872 from Kansas alone. The long strips of buffalo leather are used in Northern factories as drive belts, and other pieces become coats and shoes.

The Native American tribes on the Plains had depended on the buffalo.

“The buffalo were our strength. From whence we came, and at whose breast we suck as babies all our lives.” Black Elk

The buffalos’ sinews become bow strings, bones become cups and spoons, and its skin is used for clothing, tepees and coffins. Native Americans have co-existed with them since the last Ice Age. In just a few decades, the source of their entire culture is destroyed. In 1865, thirteen million buffalo roamed. By 1889, just 85 wild buffalo exist in the whole of the United States.

COWBOYS AND FARMERS

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“For a brief moment the cowboy was king of the West…(He) was created and sustained by the railroad.” Hugh Brogan

Cattle replace buffalo. In Texas, there’s six million. Worth only $4 there, they’re worth ten times that back east. But in 1868, the rail-road stops 1600km short of the herds. To transport them across the west, the cowboy is born. After the civil war, 60% of the South’s population lives in rural poverty. You could either farm, or try to find work as one of the 35,000 cowboys around which now iconic towns like Dodge City are born. For a dollar a day they need to be skilled horseman enough to guide wild herds prone to stampede through even wilder lands: And good enough with a gun to fight off rustlers after their $200,000 herds. In 1873, Colt releases the six shooter, Colt 45, also known as ‘The Peacemaker’. It costs $17, half a cowboy’s monthly salary, with its six bullets costing half a day’s pay.

“Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal” Post Civil War slogan

One out of three cowboys is Hispanic or African Americans. Many, such as Nat Love, go from slavery to a dangerous, but undeniable freedom:

The buffalo and other game, the Indians, the delight of living, and the fights against death that caused every nerve to tingle, and the everyday communion with men, whose minds were as broad as the plains they roamed, and whose creed was every man for himself and every friend for each other, and with each other till the end.

But barbed wire signals the end of the cowboy’s way of life. In just twenty years, two and a half million settlers have covered over 2 million square km of open range with farms, setting cattle rancher against homesteader. In the same year Colt releases the gun that will make the ‘Wild West’ famous, an unknown farmer invents something that will end forever the cowboy. In autumn 1873, Joseph Glidden, using a coffee grinder, crudely fashions some steel bars, and binds some barbs between two lengths of wire. His barbed wire design divides the plains into farms and ranches and blocks the cattle trails. Within 10 years, Glidden sells enough barbed wire to go around the world, 25 times. The open plains end forever.

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The Last Cowboy Song-Ed Bruce

http://youtu.be/GKeDcF1v_Y4 

“When you call me that, smile,” the hero said to the bad man in that first of thousands of cowboy novels, Owen Wister’s “The Virginian.” Even before that book’s publication in 1902, the cowboy had become a part of the American psyche. Something there was about him—tall in the saddle, alone, facing danger, one man against nature’s vast, treeless plains and humanity’s outlaws—that appealed to people and made the cowboy a folk hero, a half-real, half-mythological symbol of the American West.

NationalCowboy.jpg - © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

 © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

Billy the Kid : Documentary on the Outlaw Billy The Kid (Full Documentary)

http://youtu.be/peMYV393xLQ 

THE COWBOY MUSEUM

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Background:

Established in 1955 with the purpose of honoring the American cowboys, what was then called the Cowboy Hall of Fame has become today’s National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The 200,000 square foot facility features Western and Native American artifacts, sculptures, art and historical galleries. It is one of Oklahoma City’s more popular attractions and one of the most respected museums of its kind in the United States.

BEATNIK HIWAY – HAIGHT ASHBURY IN THE 60’S-A VIBRANT HIPPIE HISTORY- AND TODAY’S KIDS

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BEATNIK HIWAY – HAIGHT ASHBURY IN THE 60’S-A VIBRANT HIPPIE HISTORY- AND TODAY’S KIDS

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“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival

http://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS-“SAN FRANCISCAN NIGHTS”

 http://youtu.be/g2JwiusEyPQ

“San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” is a song, written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie. It was written and released in June 1967 to promote the Monterey Pop Festival.

http://youtu.be/bch1_Ep5M1s

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dave and myself in San Francisco

Posted: 10/15/2012 2:20 pm EDT Updated: 10/16/2012 2:21 pm EDT
HAIGHT ASHBURY 1960S
  A stroll down Haight Street today will undoubtedly evoke a certain 1960s nostalgia.

Live guitar music still warbles from street corners, tie-dyed t-shirts are hawked by the handful, the smell of pot permanently wafts, colorful peace signs adorn windows of businesses like the Red Victorian Bed & Breakfast — institutions better suited to an earlier time.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

But said nostalgia is often overshadowed by the sad realities of a neighborhood that has long since evolved from the remnants of a revolution: the wayward teenagers, the tourist traps, the vagabonds, the $6 corporate ice cream cones sold at precisely San Francisco’s most famous intersection.

During its heyday, which culminated in 1967’s infamous Summer of Love, young dreamers converged in the Haight by the thousands. Historians deem the neighborhood the birthplace of the hippie movement, marked by peaceful protests and psychedelic experimentation. The era’s greatest luminaries, from Jerry Garcia to Allen Ginsberg to Jimi Hendrix, all lived nearby.

Then the movement waned, and the area began to decay along with it. “By the fall of 1967, Haight-Ashbury was nearly abandoned, trashed, and laden with drugs and homeless people,” blogger Jon Newman wrote in his essay Death of the Hippie Subculture. “With the Haight in ruins and most of its residents gone, it was simply unable to operate as a hub for music, poetry and art.”

Of course, the Haight still has a certain appeal. There’s no better jazz-and-pizza combo in the city than at Club Deluxe, Amoeba Music offers a truly epic collection, a parklet just popped up in front of Haight Street Market and the 12-piece band that assembles in front of American Apparel on Sunday mornings always move crowds to dance in the street.

Yet we can’t help but heave a sigh while pushing past gaggles of gawking tourists or stepping over the man sleeping on the sidewalk at noon. While a stroll down Haight Street today certainly evokes nostalgia, it also makes us yearn for a place that was once the epicenter of peace and love and youth in revolt, a place we never had the chance to experience ourselves but will be forever engrained in San Francisco’s complex, progressive history.

A History Of Hippies

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 This collection is part of a new HuffPost SF partnership with the San Francisco Public Library’s History Center, “Tales From The City,” which features various images from throughout the city’s past. Visit the San Francisco History Center in person to view original photographic prints and negatives as well as tour other relics from SF’s earlier days.

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This is a short documentary about the Haight Street kids living in San Francisco.

http://youtu.be/sIHa8QyU2Ok

The Culture High

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Check out “The Culture High – Trailer” by Adam Scorgie on Vimeo.

The video is available for your viewing pleasure athttp://vimeo.com/107305488

If you like this video, make sure you share it, too!

Vimeo is filled with lots of amazing videos. See more athttp://vimeo.com.

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Journeying across the North American landscape, The Culture High is the riveting story that tears into the very fiber of modern day marijuana prohibition to reveal the truth behind the arguments and motives governing both those who support and oppose the existing pot laws. With budgets to fight the war reaching billions and arrests for simple possession sky rocketing to nearly a million annually, the debate over marijuana’s legality has reached epic proportions. Utilizing the quirky yet profound nature of its predecessor, The Union: The Business Behind Getting High, The Culture High raises the stakes with some of todays biggest names, unprecedented access to footage previously unobtainable, and incredibly moving testimonials from both sides of the spectrum. Top celebrities, former undercover agents, university professors and a slew of unforgettable characters from all points of view come together for an amusing yet insightful portrait of cannabis prohibition and the grasp it has on society as a whole. The Culture High will strip search the oddity of human nature and dare to ask the question: What exactly is going on here?

BEATNIK HIWAY- THE SPAM MUSEUM, AUSTIN TEXAS

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A Brief History of Spam, an American Meat Icon

 For a six-ingredient food product, it’s taken on a life of its own. Spam — the square-shaped mash-up of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate — recently celebrated its 77th anniversary of being alternately maligned, celebrated, musicalized, or the subject of urban legend (one particularly pervasive myth insists that its name is actually an acronym for “Scientifically Processed Animal Matter”). And despite today’s more locavore approach to food and some unkind memories from soldiers who were served Spam during WWII, Spam has entered its third quarter-century on the rise. More than eight billion cans have been sold since the Hormel Corporation unleashed the product in 1937; it’s currently available in 44 countries throughout the world.

For a six-ingredient food product, it’s taken on a life of its own. Spam — the square-shaped mash-up of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate — recently celebrated its 77th anniversary of being alternately maligned, celebrated, musicalized, or the subject of urban legend (one particularly pervasive myth insists that its name is actually an acronym for “Scientifically Processed Animal Matter”). And despite today’s more locavore approach to food and some unkind memories from soldiers who were served Spam during WWII, Spam has entered its third quarter-century on the rise. More than eight billion cans have been sold since the Hormel Corporation unleashed the product in 1937; it’s currently available in 44 countries throughout the world.

Spam’s ability to straddle highbrow and lowbrow is apparently in its DNA: Since its early days, even Jay Hormel, the man who Spam made rich, had a vexed relationship with the lunchmeat. In a 1945 “Talk of the Town” profile published in The New Yorker, Hormel met writer Brendan Gill over noontime drinks, during which Gill “got the distinct impression that being responsible for Spam might be too great a burden on any one man.” The piece sees Hormel waffling on his brand’s association with Spam, spending equal time distancing himself from it (“Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t have…”) and defending it (“Damn it, we eat it in our own home”).

Spam’s ability to straddle highbrow and lowbrow is apparently in its DNA.

The budget-friendly meat has enjoyed a recent upswing on the American mainland in part thanks to rising meat costs and a floundering economy: When the recession hit in early 2008, Spam saw its sales jump 10 percent compared to the previous year. ACBS News report noted that the increased numbers were seemingly accompanied by a cultural shift: Even consumers who continued to purchase expensive organic vegetables were adding cans of Spam to their pantries. The meat, once relegated as a quirk of Hawaiian or Asian cuisine, started appearing on haute restaurant menus as a nod to that highbrow/lowbrow mash-up, or perhaps to the chef’s feelings of nostalgia for the ingredient. (A quick search of Spam recipes from the ’60s reveals dishes like Spam upside-down pie; and Spam sandwiches topped with baked beans.)

Today, its sometimes-kitsch factor is a point of pride, for both Hormel and Spam fans: You can show your affection for Spam with everything from Hormel-authorized T-shirts (reading “I think, therefore I Spam”) to crocheted, cat-shaped Spam musubi (available for purchase, naturally, on Etsy). Here’s a look back at how Spam first got canned, why it’s currently beloved in Hawaii and South Korea, and why Spam remains on many restaurant menus today.

SPAM-MONTY PYTHON

http://youtu.be/anwy2MPT5RE

THE SPAM MUSEUM

SEE WHAT SPAM CAN DO

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#BreakTheMonotony Rally Cry

http://youtu.be/XVC-l9z2HSg

COOL PEOPLE -KEN KESEY and Alison Ellwood Captures The “MAGIC TRIP” Of Ken Kesey

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Ken Kesey

American writer, who gained world fame with his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962, filmed 1975). In the 1960s, Kesey became a counterculture hero and a guru of psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary. Kesey has been called the Pied Piper, who changed the beat generation into the hippie movement.

Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, CO, and brought up in Eugene, OR. Kesey spent his early years hunting, fishing, swimming; he learned to box and wrestle, and he was a star football player. He studied at the University of Oregon, where he acted in college plays. On graduating he won a scholarship to Stanford University. Kesey soon dropped out, joined the counterculture movement, and began experimenting with drugs. In 1956 he married his school s…more

Alison Ellwood Captures The “MAGIC TRIP” Of Ken Kesey

& the Merry Pranksters’

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http://youtu.be/irgq4NP8zWs

FRESH GUACAMOLE IS THE SHORTEST FILM EVER NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR. IT IS EXTREMELY SATISFYING.

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FRESH GUACAMOLE IS THE SHORTEST FILM EVER NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR. IT IS EXTREMELY SATISFYING.

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WATCH THIS REALLY COOL VIDEO

http://youtu.be/dNJdJIwCF_Y

PES is the creator of some of the most widely viewed stop-motion films of all-time. In Fresh Guacamole, he prepares the homemade dip using a baseball, dices and a lightbulb to represent the diced onions, tomatoes and jalapeño peppers.Watching this video should make you hungry for guacamole!

COOL PEOPLE – JOHN STEINBECK AND CANNERY ROW

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CHAPTER 1 CANNERY ROW

John Steinbeck is one of the best-known and most revered American literary figures. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Grapes of Wrath (1939), highlighting the lives of migrant farm workers in the Salinas Valley, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Seventeen of his works, including Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), and East of Eden (1955), were made into Hollywood movies.

Best Of Cannery Row

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Monterey County Beginnings

Steinbeck was born about 30 miles from Cannery Row in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902. He graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and attended Stanford University, about 90 miles north of the Monterey Peninsula. He married his first wife, Carol Henning, in 1930. They lived in Pacific Grove next to Cannery Row, where much of the material for his books was gathered.

Cannery Row Characters

Steinbeck’s strong personal attachment to Monterey was perhaps inevitable. Living in Pacific Grove, in a house owned by his father, Steinbeck wrote stories spiced with the vibrant tales of cannery workers and roughnecks he knew.

Cannery Row ignited Steinbeck’s imagination and his affection for the colorful mix of people there influenced a number of stories and characters. Tortilla Flat (1935) received the California Commonwealth Club’s Gold Medal for best novel by a California author and marked a turning point in Steinbeck’s career.

Cannery Row (1945), one of Steinbeck’s best and most widely read fictional works, immortalized Cannery Row as a one-of-a-kind neighborhood of fish packing plants, bordellos, and flophouses, and made it the most famous street in America. Sweet Thursday, the sequel to Cannery Row, was published in 1954.

Steinbeck & Ed Ricketts

In 1930 Steinbeck met Ed Ricketts, an accomplished marine biologist who operated the Pacific Biological Laboratory at 800 Cannery Row. Ricketts was the inspiration for the character ‘Doc’ in Cannery Row, although he wasn’t called Doc in real life. Ricketts brought Steinbeck along on his outdoor adventures studying the biological mysteries of the “Great Tidal Pool” near Asilomar Beach, and on a voyage to the Sea of Cortez.

In 1948 Ed Ricketts was hit by a train after his Buick stalled on the tracks near Cannery Row. Today, the location of the train accident is memorialized with a bust of Ricketts at the street corner adjacent to the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa.

Steinbeck died on December 20, 1968, in New York City. His ashes were placed in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Salinas.

For more information about John Steinbeck’s life and work, visit the National Steinbeck Center.

FROM CANNERY ROW (1982) – FORGOTTEN TREASURE

 Uploaded on May 5, 2010