Updating some previous stories in this space, after-the-jump …..
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After the distressing events of yesterday-and-beyond ….. here’s hoping for a change-of-pace, some humor and perhaps even some hope for the future. Don’t hesitate to comment on those events, to be sure ….. we need catharsis, too.
Seven years ago, I wrote about visiting Memphis … and one of the highlights was visiting the Stax Records museum. This is the home of the legendary Memphis record label with its own recording studios, which launched the careers of Booker T and the MG’s, Otis Redding, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Albert King, Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes and numerous others. Though the actual record label went bankrupt in 1975, it survives as a legacy label, plus (as already noted) it now acts as a museum … and also has an active music academy on its premises. A must-see if you love their music. You can read the previous essay on it at this link.
Now …... an update
One of the subsidiary labels that Stax maintained (if only for a short time) was The Gospel Truth — with cutting-edge R&B sounds in addition to more traditional Gospel themes. Just a few months ago, all thirty-four tracks it released are now in a compilation album entitled The Gospel Truth: The Complete Singles Collection with detailed liner notes, including a new interview with former Stax co-owner Al Bell (who is still alive at age eighty).
Last month, the Library of Congress (LOC) added a major one-off project by Stax Records to its National Film Registry. This was arranging a major concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1973, with the name Wattstax - which drew 100,000 attendees and resulted in a film version chosen by the LOC (as well as an album).
To mark the 20th anniversary of the school founded as the Stax Music Academy — the local PBS station last month ran a live student performance, interpreting some of the classic songs from the label.
And for the 2021 NBA season that recently began: the Memphis Grizzlies debuted a uniform style called the Memphis Soul City edition. Its black background and vertical stripes represent the grooves in the vinyl records Stax produced, while the vents on each side of the shorts accent the uniform with a Stax logo.
In 2012, I profiled the career of the legendary amateur wrestler/coach Dan Gable, who lost only one match in his combined high school/Iowa State university career (in his final collegiate match) then went on to Olympic gold and later a very successful 20+ year coaching career at rival University of Iowa. Interestingly, the GOP tried to recruit him into running for governor — even bringing him to George W. Bush’s White House — but decided against for this reason:
I was in meetings with (George W.) Bush's top advisor Karl Rove. When I walked out of that meeting, I said, 'no way', because his only words to me in the White House was ….. 'Coach, you can never be yourself again.'"
I said ... “Well, that's not what got me where I'm at. I had pretty good support systems but I'm going to have to use my own brain and make my own decisions."
You can read my original essay at this link … with a 2018 update (the legacy of the one match that he lost, often called the “Match of the Century”) at this link.
Now …... an update
Just last month, he was presented by you-know-who with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — in what surely will be one of his few presentations that have gone to a deserving person …. I hesitate to think who else might get them.
And while Dan Gable later said that he didn’t mind: when reporters starting asking the Trumpster political questions, he left in a huff as seen in this video ….. leaving Dan Gable standing there (not quite sure of what to do). (The Trumpster did that to the former college football coach Lou Holtz, a few days earlier).
Finally, just a year ago I noted what many referred to as near the top of the Architectural Crimes of the Century list — the 1963 demolition of New York’s majestic Penn Station, turning it into merely a subterranean rail depot, and building the 4th iteration of Madison Square Garden in its place. The reasons cited included the reduction of rail travel, leaving the station underutilized. What was not foreseen was the dramatic rise of suburban rail travel in the following years, leading to major congestion throughout the resulting space.
When visiting family/friends in the NY area, I often tried to board/leave at a different station (especially at holiday time). Perfectly clean and safe, in part due to the congestion and also (post 9-11) due to a large police/military presence.
Just felt like a sardine can.
1963 awoke many New Yorkers to what had happened, and in the 1970’s: the city’s other rail hub (Grand Central Terminal) was rescued from a similar fate — in part due to a (rare) public campaign led by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
I concluded on an optimistic note: as there was a project in-progress to adapt the General Post Office building (across the street) that was also majestically designed by the firm McKim, Mead & White (of Stanford White) to serve as an annex for the existing station. The GPO was designed in part to act as a mail-sorting facility for trains departing … and the decision by the Eisenhower administration to move to truck traffic helped reduce the need for the Post Office to occupy such a large space. This grew even more pronounced over the years, very underutilized.
And thus: the plan by the late senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan (who was actually born in Tulsa, Oklahoma) to keep a small portion of the GPO as a working, full-service post office, and convert the rest into an extension of the current Penn Station … and restore its old grandeur.
That extension was functioning last year, and I was able to walk in and see its usage by the suburban Long Island Railroad (LIRR) — yet it was bare-bones; there was minimal signage, and the interior was quite a work-in-progress. The plan was that in 2021 the operations of both the LIRR and Amtrak would move into the new space once completed … while still having the existing station space functioning, so as to permit wider access (and further reduce congestion).
You can read the original, comprehensive station history at this link.
Now …... an update
As has already been documented in the DK diary by GrafZeppelin127 — the new Moynihan Train Hall formally opened on New Year’s Day (some twenty + years after the senator’s death).
I look forward to someday entering/leaving this new space …. hoping that it will somehow capture the grandeur that my father told us about. Let’s close with the CBS morning show report that (in just seven minutes) is truly comprehensive.
Now, on to Top Comments:
In the front-page story about pressure building on the VP to invoke the 25th Amendment — this response coming from T Maysle is perfectly true … and hysterical at the same time.
And from Ed Tracey, your faithful correspondent this evening ........
In the front-page story about the FBI having some success in asking for the public’s help in identifying the rioters — ProgressivePenguin cited an earlier diary’s advice in how not only to identify but also serve as a future deterrent.
January 6th, 2021
Next - enjoy jotter's wonderful *PictureQuilt™* below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo.
(NOTE: Any missing images in the Quilt were removed because (a) they were from an unapproved source that somehow snuck through in the comments, or (b) it was an image from the DailyKos Image Library which didn't have permissions set to allow others to use it.)
And lastly: yesterday's Top Mojo - mega-mojo to the intrepid mik ...... who rescued this feature from oblivion: