John Prine remembered one year after his death

John Prine died on April 7, 2020. I was fortunate enough to see him perform several times. I saw him at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in the early 1970s and remember that he sang “Please Don’t Bury Me” and “The Accident” before they were released on Sweet Revenge in 1973. I saw him at the Academy of Music around 1976 with Steve Goodman. They both performed solo with acoustic guitars and did the encore together. The last time I saw him was at Pier Six in Baltimore in 2011.

If you don’t know Prine, I would start with his first album John Prine from 1971. It has many of his best songs such as “Angel from Montgomery”, “Sam Stone” and Hello in There”. What a great singer and songwriter.

John Tyler still has a living grandchild

This is amazing. John Tyler was president from 1841-1845. He had eight children with his first wife and seven children with his second wife. His first child was born in 1815. His last child was born in 1860.

Biden’s infrastructure plan

This plan is a great idea. It will help rebuild and expand our infrastructure and benefit people at the same time.

I had a bachelor party at my apartment

I held a bachelor party in my apartment in 1983. We had two guys at work who were getting married. I lived in a loft apartment which was ideal for a party. I even temporarily had a beer kegorator that belonged to people who were renovating their building.

A friend and I planned the party. First, we went to see an old guy who had connections to the Block, where the strip clubs are located in Baltimore. There we were in the lobby of an apartment building (on St. Paul St. for anyone who knows Baltimore) looking at an album of photos of women with their legs spread apart so you could see their crotch.

We settled on a service that would write a poem about the groom and send a lady over to deliver it. She would come in a coat and down to a bikini.

We had about 20 guys at the party.

We ran two porno movies on my new Beta hifi VCR before she arrived. One of my coworkers was knowledgeable about porn and he selected I Like to Watch and 800 Fantasy Lane. He liked women in uniform and was married to a nurse. Two of the guys actually watched the movies like they had plots! They must have been very sheltered.

When the lady showed up, we took her aside to figure out how she was going to do her routine. She had a boombox with a cassette with “Flashdance” and similar songs. The first thing she said was “I don’t drink on the job.” The second thing she said was “Where’s the vodka?’ I got a glass and filled it for her. With hindsight, I don’t blame her if she was concerned about being alone with 20 guys she didn’t know and used a drink to help her.

She was dressed up, recited the poems, danced to the music and got down to the bikini. Later in the evening, she asked for more to drink. I assumed she still had the glass so I brought her the bottle. She drank right from the bottle! She got so drunk, one of the guys had to drive her home in her car.

It was very adolescent. It was like being 12 and having money. It reminded me of the time when I was 12 or 12 and three of us chipped in to buy a copy of Playboy. Each kid only had to pay a quarter.

The next day at work, our female coworkers wanted to know about the party. I just said “Can’t tell you.”

I will write another post with the aftermath.

Covers: Bluebird

“Bluebird” is a Buffalo Springfield song written and sung by Stephen Stills. It was a single in 1967. A much longer version was released years later. There was a blues-style version by Bonnie Raitt on her first album in 1971. She really made it sound like a different song.

Lack of IRS funding and enforcement lets rich people avoid taxes

The IRS doesn’t have enough money to audit many tax returns of wealthy people.

Column: 23,000 households reported income over $10 million last year. The IRS audited seven (yahoo.com)

John Cheever, Raymond Carver, and the liquor store in Iowa City

This site has several posts on the time authors John Cheever and Raymond Carver spent drinking while in residence at the University of Iowa.

LitCity (uiowa.edu)

My favorite lines:

Because Cheever had no car, Carver provided transportation on their twice-weekly booze runs. They liked to arrive at the liquor store just as the clerk was unlocking for the day.

Now that’s alcoholism.

They were both excellent writers. Carver wrote great stories. I haven’t read his poems. Cheever wrote novels and stories. I would start with his stories.

Collections by both are part of the Library of America

Raymond Carver | Library of America (loa.org)

John Cheever | Library of America (loa.org)

More on the filibuster