Friday, November 30, 2007
Dual doppelganger reflections
Third letter to Jackie Jura of Orwell Today
It was twicely nice to read your personal website narrative about how you, our Canadian Cousins, shared in
Did you realize that some of your American Cousins are now pretending to double as Canadians when traveling abroad? Seems to be the accepted wisdom to claim that we are Canadian these days, with the way we’ve changed the world’s barometer reading so fast, toward many American relations.
I was thinking today about how I was around the same age as John-John (double name) was, when he gave his father that famous final heart-wrenching salute.
I forgot to mention that the wax mold I bought from that era was of John Kennedy. I carried it around for years, when I lived in
Last year, I started corresponding with my sister about those good old days. We talked about how our parents were fearful during the tumultuous times, which was a major factor in our migrating out further into the supposedly safer suburbs. Although the riots following Martin Luther King’s assassination, were downright terrifying, it should never be stuffed down the memory hole, how that civil strife had the potential to explode into a full out race war, and likely would have, had it not been for the non-violent pleas hearkening from the great Doctor and his group in their peaceful crusade for equal justices.
Out of the communication with my sister came three lighter stories, which seemed interesting enough that other people might find them enjoyable. While looking for a place to submit these, I discovered The Arlington Forester community newsletter. The Forester logo matched exactly my memory of the shopping center, all the way down to the old ESSO station.
The third story, I submitted to the newsletter was about Batman:
I always admired dad for the choices he made buying houses adjacent to wilderness areas. The house he purchased in the mid-sixties at
During this era, Batman became one of our favorite shows on TV. One sunny afternoon, I dressed up in my yard as a caped crusader in my miniature Batman costume. Wandering over to the park entrance, I noticed that some “bad teenagers” had furled up the metal “No Parking” signs, so that they were illegible. With all the tremendous strength my six-year-old body could muster, I tried unfurling the bent signs, so that the good
I emerged from the rock with a meek, “Who me?”
“Yes, what are you doing damaging that sign?”
I started to whimper, explained that I was fixing it and added, “I’m Batman. I’m a good guy!”
The officers politely laughed, saw that it was a misunderstanding, sternly thanked me for trying to mend the sign and drove off in the dust to fight some larger crimes.
I always thought that I would like to tell this story to Adam West, the actor who originally portrayed Batman, since I am a writer living in the same
When I blew up the above photograph of me donning the Batman costume, I noticed for the first time, that there was a strange phantom image in the peripheral area of mirror. A Joker of some sort -if you will. I certainly don’t remember seeing anyone dressed up as a clown at the time, so I do find the strange image to be haunting. Coupled with our recent doppelganger correspondences, the seeing of this reflected back in the looking glass after 39-odd years, gave me cold chills.
I hope that it does not portend bad news. However, if this to be seen as a signal for change, it could mean that the Idaho half of my adult life is closing to an end and I should go back to spending more time more with my eastern American cousins. I can certainly feel that tide tugging.
I now have a quixotic dream that beats in my ticking heart. One day, some Fourth of July, I would like to share your firework story, in a tremendous sky overlooking the eastern seaboard with cousins throughout the world. A day when Love American Style fireworks are used more for celebrating peace, freedom and real justice, rather than the fizzling out effects they are being used for in today’s awful shocks & awe of half-thought out wars.
…to go along with this story. If our government is going to start regulating us, from tiny ship to shore, then they should also be looking into some sort of improved life-preserver inspection protocol.
In fact, some of the funds from this potential license fee could be set aside, for Fish and Game boating officers to donate life preservers and other safety equipment to the public, as they best see fit –In boating safety seminars, etc.
The Statesman could even join in by setting up a boating safety essay contest, with wetsuits set out as splashy first prizes.
Any seaworthy captain can tell you how bad the news is, when you have discovered your boat has sprung a quick leak and you’re too far from shore to swim. Even atheists in these situations sometimes make quick prayers in hopes of soon landing safe near a warming holiday hearth-place.
Not all the floatable cell phones in the world can replace proper boating safety precautions and procedures. If we find that we must be newly tethered with the regulation of Huck Finn canoes and rafts, then let us also toss some real life-preserving measures into the vast sea of congressional bills-of-burden.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Generic blog post example
for the benefit of Ms. Dani
That's what we say in Idaho. Boy Howdy!
I've been working on a story about Thornock's hunting trip all today. Also got an eerie two-part story onto Orwell Today this week:
Forget if I told you this, but a writer in the U.K. e-mailed me, seeking information about Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider movie. He's working on a book about Clint Eastwood Westerns. Evidently, he picked up my Enlightening Eastwood post, while web searching Pale Rider. Apparently, my story shows up first or second, whenever "Pale Rider Idaho" or the question "Where was Pale Rider filmed" is entered into a Google-search. By my site meter, I can see that nearly one hundred readers have looked at the story since it posted. –More than any of my other posts. Now there is even a German version. I was surprised that the WR Journal didn't pick it up when I submitted it to them last spring.
Anyhow, since there seems to be such an interest in that Eastwood story, I'm going to resubmit it, this time to Idaho Magazine. I should out there writing interesting books, so if I can get one or two magazine articles published, I think it will help my cause.
"I like you just the way you are" -Mr. Roberts
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In dire need of a dentist, I found myself hesitating, after hearing some horror tales from three separate hygienists of proper cleaning methods not being utilized at some Idaho dentist operating rooms. If the hygienist’s tales of hasty substandard cleaning methods were true (as I believe they are), this would naturally result in a high potential for transference of communicable diseases in between patients.
I e-mailed these jawbone questions over to the South Central Idaho Health District, seeking if they kept records of which dental practitioners have & have not been proven to use proper cleaning methods. Further, I asked them if the Idaho Health Department ever conducts spot-check inspections to ensure the public that proper cleaning procedures are being utilized on regular basis’s within local dentist operating rooms. Or is it the health department’s policy to allow dentists to police themselves regarding this crucial cleanliness crusade, until someone first complains?
I haven’t heard back from the Health Department yet, but after reading this story in today’s Statesman about this law providing lack of accountability for police or the State Health Department’s industrial hygienists at houses contaminated by meth, I think that I can easily guess what their answer will be.
If it’s a budget problem that we have, I would like to suggest a low cost solution to this insidious problem under the light of the examination table. There seems to be a plentiful amount of patriotic Government foot inspector’s at every airport entrance. Instead of dedicating so many of our precious funds to imagn’d threats in the sky, why don’t we transfer some common horse sense to this more down to earth danger and begin cross-training these devoted surplussed sentries to protecting us from misplaced diseases and poisons openly dripping in the bibs right under our very chins?
Perhaps the Pat riot Act 2, will ultimately help set us free, since Freedom is just another word for Nothing Left to Lose.
The whole anonymity factor makes for some interesting arguments, too. Demands for face-to-face facsimile debates counterbalanced with the potential for personal attacks and even identity theft. Even Clint Eastwood was occasionally asked about what his real name was when he portrayed nameless preachers and outlaws.
Synchronisticly “Old West Action” is a fitting anagram for “Clint Eastwood”
I wish I had a Liberty Dollar to toss aside, for every time someone pointed out, how often out of the mouths of innocent babes, the destitute and old-timers something is apt to come blurted out, which most closely resembles the truth. Those with no fear of being sued for their meager worldly possessions, who courageously attend so many community meetings, walking in fresh from unseen parts, far from the quagmired groupthink, with great new ideas to spread around left and right.
Okay, so you might say that is actually a seldom seen phenomenon, happens about once every other blue moon - but it does happen. How farfetched is it that someone camps out for 40 days and nights in the wifi-less Boulder White cloud sage and then comes back to the tribe with a winning invention?
Oh, that’s right; camping is restricted to 18 days in these cheer parts, just when it was starting to get fun too. If there was only some way to get around those dalbarned boxing in restrictions…
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Brian, Greg F. & Arne, -yoose guys are my favorites and I truly appreciate how all three of you go out of your way so often to do some positive things for our community -each in your own unique fashionable ways.
However, I do believe that The Buzz on the street is that SVO has begun losing their razor edge. It’s not like anyone else out there is immediately eclipsing them, but sometimes Pluto’s left-handed power slowly prevails – not unlike wise tortoises, which dreamily breeze past unshielded hares below:
Meaningful content seems to be more limited than before. Our supposedly enlightened community barely responds to sincere messengers, such as Alison Poulsen. With so many negative waves resounding out there tightly in our local cyberspace, it’s no wonder she has contributed only once, since our fiery Wagon Daze.
Then again, it was nice to see our community come together so well, during that challenging near-tragedy. Folks coming out of nowhere, offering their homes to strangers, stables to horses, free pet-sitting services, etc. And everyone knew that SVO was the place to go for the freshest fire updates. (Until that funny little server problem)
As I mentioned before, a lot of people out there, chewing hemp seeds are wondering with this latest downturn, just what are SVO’s intentions? Are they hoping to keep up with the hottest innovations or are they just happy enough to just rest upon their profitable laurels through a few more holiday seasons before cashing it all in so speedily like so many Lie-all-Lanley’s?
More over the misplaced furor over Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple
(RE: Dan Heed’s comment in this thread)
After Janet Jackson’s halftime Super Bowl slip-up revealed her silver starburst on the boob tube, the FCC waited less than 24 hours to start a couple of million $$’s investigation.
Compare this to the several months delay before a 9/11 commission was even set up, and then the paltry money invested there: http://www.unknownnews.net/030329911.html
Then again, maybe our media was once again, just breast-feeding us all exactly, what the overwhelming majority of us were looking for: http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=36676
On the third hand, would anybody say I flipped if I pointed out that one Wacko activist group is responsible for 99.8 percent of the complaints of this nature: http://www.unknownnews.org/04120705fcc.html
In the sober fourth quarter of this commentary, I feel compelled to point out that naturally, human breasts aren’t bad at all: http://www.unknownnews.org/070516a-AnnUK.html
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Carl Sandburg documented this in his 1926 book:
From the wikipedia entry for “doppleganger”
Carl Sandburg's biography of Abraham Lincoln contains the following:
A queer dream or illusion had haunted Lincoln at times through the winter. On the evening of his election he had thrown himself on one of the haircloth sofas at home, just after the first telegrams of November 6 had told him he was elected President, and looking into a bureau mirror across the room he saw himself full length, but with two faces.
It bothered him; he got up; the illusion vanished; but when he lay down again there in the glass again were two faces, one paler than the other. He got up again, mixed in the election excitement, forgot about it; but it came back, and haunted him. He told his wife about it; she worried too.
A few days later he tried it once more and the illusion of the two faces again registered to his eyes. But that was the last; the ghost since then wouldn't come back, he told his wife, who said it was a sign he would be elected to a second term, and the death pallor of one face meant he wouldn't live through his second term.
(Sandburg, Carl. Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years. Harcourt, Brace and Co., New York, 1926. Volume 2, Chapter 165, pp.423-4)
This is adapted from Washington in Lincoln's Time (1895) by Noah Brooks, who claimed that he had heard it from Lincoln himself on 9 November 1864, at the time of his re-election, and that he had printed an account "directly after." He also claimed that the story was confirmed by Mary Todd Lincoln, and partially confirmed by Private Secretary John Hay (who thought it dated from Lincoln's nomination, not his election). Brooks's version is as follows (in Lincoln's own words):ll day and there had been a great "hurrah, boys," so that I was well tired out, and went home to rest, thr with a swinging glass upon it (and here he got up and placed furniture to illustrate thn), and looking in that glass I saw myself reflected nearly at full length; but my face, I noticed had two separate and distinct images, the tip of the nose of one being about three inches from the tip of the other. I was a little bothered, perhaps startled, and got up and looked in the glass, but the illusion vanished. On lying down again, I saw it a second time, plainer, if possible, than before; and then I noticed that one of the faces was a little paler — say five shades — than the other. I got up, and the thing melted away, and I went off, and in the excitement of the hour forgot all about it — nearly, but not quite, for the thing would once in a while come up, and give me a little pang as if something uncomfortable had happened. When I went home again that night I told my wife about it, and a few dfterward I made the experiment again, when (with a laugh), sure enough! the thing came back again; but I never succeeded in bringing the ghost back after that, though I once tried very industriously to show it to my wife, who was somewhat worried about it. She thought it was a "sign" that I was to be elected to a second term of office, and that the paleness of one of the faces was an omen that I should not see life through the last term.
Lincoln was known to be superstitious, and old mirrors will occasionally produce double images; whether this Janus illusion can be counted as a doppelgänger is perhaps debatable, though probably no more than other such claims of doppelgängers.
Synchronisticly the first photographs I ever took were at Kennedy’s funeral procession in
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Continuing Clint Correspondence
You’re welcome. I’ve been finding this enjoyable -keeping my Clint Eastwood research skills up to snuff!
As far as obtaining a better photo of the Wood River mining / Clint Eastwood sign, I have been meaning to do this for myself too. I don’t have a good camera, but this presents a good opportunity for me to ask one of the instructors at the local community college out for a lunch & photo excursion with her camera. I’ll ask for the good nameless preachers blessing at church tomorrow to see what I can do for us in the upcoming week.
For now, here is that link to Brad Nottingham’s comments. Brad lived here when they filmed Pale Rider. Besides the elusive Mt.Express newspapers, his must be one of the most interesting accounts of the fabled movie. Brad and I should probably consider submitting his telling to the Internet movie database to share with enthusiastic Eastwood fans.
Brad mentioned in his Pale Rider recounting that David Butterfield is still around. Actually though, Mr. Butterfield has passed on, just a few years back. I would wager that Evelyn Phillips at Typographics -the place where Brad used to work- has an old copy of Mr. Butterfields field guide to potential movie locations in Idaho, which Brad mentions. Evelyn’s work phone is 208-788-0022. Amongst her vast talents, Evelyn is a master mapmaker who holds a great historical interest in the area. In addition, she was the first publisher of the Mt. Express newspaper. Again, if you do call Evelyn, it might be helpful to mention my name, as she and her husband Jim were kindhearted enough to invite several of us outcasts of the community who had no other place to go, over to their house for Thanksgiving Dinner this past week. (This too came rather unexpected and felt like something quite helpful out of a classic Eastwood Western)
Dave, I hope to get back with you later next week with that photo, and yes, I am interested in hearing how your book is coming along. I’ve been planning to rewrite the Enlightening Eastwood story into perhaps a more succinct version, for submission to an Idaho newspaper or magazine and would like to see if I can squeeze in a mention of your upcoming book, whenever I do so.
From: Solo Publishing [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007 6:21 PM
To: Jim Banholzer
Subject: Re: Pale Rider
Thank you so much for a prompt response - and what a response! There is definitely enough information there for me to follow up on, and I'm sure I will be able to locate a couple of photos from someone associated with the area. Also, thank you for offering to share your information too. Very kind. Can I ask another favour? I would love a better quality (hi res) photo of that sign you took on your camera phone!
Once again, your efforts are much appreciated and I will keep you posted on my discoveries.
Heh Jim ! I remember Pale Rider (1987? really? that long ago?) and was here in the valley when it was filmed. I had a friend, Lon Plucknett, (since moved back to his home town of Casper, WY) who worked at Anderson Lumber on Lewis & Warm Springs, and they got quite a big sale out of the lumber used to build the set of "the bad guy's town", while in Hailey, Idaho Lumber got the lumber sales for the "good guys town."
Locals got to try out for background parts, screen testing at what was then "Slavey's" but I remember I was too chicken at the time, and definitely felt too nerdy for a rugged Western character, plus I wore glasses. Also, as always there were scads of ex-Californians living in Ketchum even then, who knew how to grease the egos in the film biz and get into the mix.
Eastwood had an old restored light yellow Buick station wagon he drove around Ketchum back then. My co-worker, LouAnn Hess (now in Challis) was at Sun Valley Motors waiting a long time for them to bring her a car part. Clint was waiting at the parts counter, and she this way of eating huge amounts of sunflower seeds, shelling them, and loading up one side of her cheek with the shells. She bent over into the spitoon, (remember spitoons?) and unloaded a wet glop of shells there, and bent back up there to see Clint, who turned to her, and muttered, "that's disgusting!" LouAnn turned beat red from embarrassment and couldn't utter a response. This was around 1988. LouAnn had a cute figure, pretty much Daniella's physique, but also an Idaho girl all the way, but she had that sunflower seed habit. I'll never forget the continual cracking sounds of her personal mini-seed processing plant next to me at the terminal (as we used to call the monitors) back at Typographics for at least 6 to 7 years.
For Pale Rider, there were some filming issues evident in the film as you see it today, which brought comment: it was filmed in our typically beautiful late Indian summer, and some of the riding scenes were filmed just before and after an unpredictable early season snow, which frosted the upper parts of the ranges, while quickly melting off the lower elevations. As a film viewer, a period of time that seemed to be about a week, appeared to toggle from summer to winter, which brought some criticism, I remember, but any of us mountain folk wouldn't give it a second thought.
Also, Clint made tremendous effort to restore the site that was disturbed by the building fronts, construction crew, and later the feet pounding of the actors and production crew on the little ridge and river drainage near the aspen groves. Winter seemed to come quickly that year and for a bunch of us, it was really hard to spot evidence of the film set trampling that next spring, though we tried. We also tried to find some kind of film crew item or something. Lon and I located "the rock" that one of the miners was chipping on in an early scene from the film.
When it finally came out, Pale Rider sort of stunned people, because it was a break from the Eastwood tradition. He played an even quieter, low-key character, and I remember people being confused about connecting a "preacher" role to him. Others, expecting the active dashing and violent Dirty Harry traditions found this movie kind of slow and spacey, features I didn't mind at all this time. I just soaked in the scenery that I knew was almost in my backyard. I had driven my old Buick Wagon up there, and forded the rocky river crossing half a dozen times, hiking up to some of the "real" old mining cabins and diggings.
Soon afterward, a local man, David Butterfield had us typeset and produce an exhausting field guide to good locations across Idaho, including information about accommodations, prices, in order to drum up more film-making interest from Hollywood. After the book was published, I remember that there wasn't much response, until the Bruce Willis engine began churning up sleep Hailey in the 90s. I still have not rented that weird, forgotten-about movie filmed in Bellevue that included Warren Beatty that had a fly-fishing connection, nor the one about Hemingway, but I did see that odd Twin Falls picture that Willis was working on when his marriage to Demi was fast unravelling.
Butterfield is still around. He had lost all of his hearing in a wave slam while surfing out in California sometime in the 1980s. He was always kind of an entrepreneurial type that as far as I know, hasn't really stuck to anything yet, but I admire that type of drive. He might have had some family money in a bank account to "allow" him to exercise that spirit, cause you still gotta pay the living expenses.
Joyce and I loved hearing your message on the phone about the razing of that little house on the corner. Wow, kinda gulped over that one. I am so thankful you offered it to me, and those few days formed an unforgettable memory for me.
Next Idaho trip, I will also road trip up through McCall and then to Moscow to visit Cale.
Next week, if not earlier, I will fill you in on the details of my current job, which I like, but because part of it is sales commission, I am waiting to find out how the paychecks pan out.
Return letter to Dave Worrall, regarding his book on Clint Eastwood Westerns
I am glad that you enjoyed my blognotes on Pale Rider and look forward to seeing your book on Clint Eastwood westerns come to fruition. Perhaps you could subtitle your book “Clint Eastwood = Old West Action” since they are equal anagrams of each other. Perhaps the “=” mark could even be transformed into an ancient gun barrel of some type, pictured within the title.
Clint has a home up here in the Sun Valley area, but I do not believe he travels up here as much as he used to. I think he does still come up at least for the Danny Thompson celebrity golf tournament though.
A few years back, while I was working for the Idaho Mountain Express newspaper, I searched through their bound edition archives and discovered several newspaper articles from late 1984 regarding the filming of Pale Rider in this area.
As this was before I had embarked on my own writing career, I photocopied the articles and passed them on to one of the editors, Dana Dugan, as a suggestion for a twentieth anniversary story about the film. I don’t believe the story ever ran, because when I talked to another reporter (Michael Ames) about doing this same story, we could not find the photocopied articles anymore. Although the online archives do not extend that far back, the Pale Rider articles are still there to be found again in the Mt. Express bound editions. However, as I recall, it took me the better part of a day to painstakingly search through well over a thousand pages to photocopy these. If I still worked there, I would do it again, for your good cause.
Nevertheless, I think there is still good news for you regarding finding some photos of the village and mining areas. The Mountain Express does have a photo archive separate from their bound archives. The best person to talk to there about this would be either Willy Cook or Jeff Cordes. The staff phone number is 208-726-8060 and their “contact us” port is at http://www.mtexpress.com/contact.php
You are welcome to use my name (Jim Banholzer) anytime as a reference for your research.
Other useful resources you might consider utilizing are the Ketchum, Idaho’s Community Library regional history department, http://www.thecommunitylibrary.org/regionalhistory/
Or Tom Trusky, the Idaho Film Collection director:
"The Only Tough Part about Having To Film in Idaho Is When You Have To Leave" (Clint Eastwood)
Hailey, Idaho’s Wood River Journal
Sometimes useable photos are found on the Internet movie database:
Kathy Wygle, who had a role in the Pale Rider film, remains active in local theatre and may be able to direct you to some good photos:
A final resource you might consider is talking with somebody at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters.
Back in the day, they made a short ten minute film clip about the making of Pale Rider within the recreation area and may have a small photo collection.
As I understand it, the Government required the film studios to tear down their western movie sets and restore the areas to their original conditions, once they completed filming Pale Rider.
Pale Rider was filmed mostly in the old Boulder City mining area and the Silver Lake Drainage, just north of that. I’m told that a nearby area called Vienna Mine is where a few scenes were filmed, along with a few studio scenes from California.
The Boulder City area is quite rugged. I drove up there ten years ago on a mission to jump-start a young rascal who had attained a dead battery camping in the cold with his 24- volt Mercedes Unimog.
Replete with wicked switchbacks, the accepted wisdom for traveling in this area is to use a small ATV or off-road motorcycle (or pale horse) rather than the small truck I scratched up, on my escapade,while trying to negotiate tight turnarounds. I do have some photos from the remaining mining structures from my 1997 adventure, but will need to dig before finding them.
Another notable aspect of this area is that some of the privately owned land there was generously donated back to the Forest Service only a few years back: http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=10202
My goal of writing the original Enlightening Eastwood missive was to try to convince the Idaho Transportation department to recognize the filming of Pale Rider with a commemorative sign. Although they did not install a sign up on the highway leading to Boulder City’s nearby rugged turnoff, they did modify a lower valley sign, which mentions the movie. Here is a rough photo of that sign taken last week from my cell phone:
Dave, I hope that some of this information has been helpful. If there is anything else I can do from this end to assist with your book, please don’t hesitate to ask. You have my permission to use anything from my Enlightening Eastwood article that you might find useful.
Again, I look forward to enjoying your book in the near future.
From: Solo Publishing [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007 12:00 PM
Subject: Pale Rider
I just read with interest your notes about Pale Rider being filmed in the
Sun Valley area. I'm currently researching for a book on Clint Eastwood's
western films and hope to include a photo(s) of locations used as they are
today alongside a still from the film. Would you know who I could contact to
get a good shot of the area where the village was built and the mining area
by the river? I would be very grateful for any assistance on this.
Obviously, any address and promotional information for the area would be
included in the book.