Thanks to Charles P. Everitt, I can post this picture I took through the periscope of the Scorpion submarine that is docked next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach harbor. CPE and I walked around in the sub flipping switches and turning dials while Meredith and Ben sipped on the summer's signature cocktail in the Queen Mary.
The dude in the powerboat doesn't know it yet, but he's about to get hit by a torpedo.
The flagship of Hyde Park Cuisine: the Gunslinger sausage sandwich from Ribs 'n' Bibs.
Life in Hyde Park has a different rythym than life elsewhere. Example: tonight, buying groceries at the 55th street Co-op, I had to carry around a slip of paper and a pen and write down the prices of everything that I wanted to buy because the registers are down and have been down for at least a week or so. Then I had to wait in an extraordinarily long line while everyone either showed the cashier their little slips of paper or conspired with him to make up plausible sounding prices for items they forgot to write down.
I did have to pay more attention to how much things cost. One liter of Gerolsteiner mineral water costs $1.79. That's 20¢ less than 750ml of Perrier. And I think I actually like Gerolsteiner better.
While I was driving around with my dad taking all of the pictures of old, mid 20th century buildings and signs around Fresno, I started to wonder about the destiny of hundreds of hideous postmodern office buildings and strip malls around the city. The older buildings I was taking pictures of were probably unremarkable 50 years ago, but their age and decrepitude makes them interesting.
Inspired by reading some Ballard, I tried to look at some of the contemporary buildings as potential relics of the forgotten present. The example above looks like it must have been built before the second invasion of Iraq--it looks like it was modelled on a presidential palace or secret police headquarters. It's now home to my old eyedoctor and a restaurant. Maybe in 50 years it will be as charming as a Quonset hut.
Chicken pie, mashed potatoes with yellow gravy, cole slaw and biscuits. The waitress said that the gravy was made from the real chicken stock that results from boiling "like 60 chickens" in a big pot. I don't know if that's also where the yellow color comes from.
Apple crumble and rice pudding and coffee. Crumble was good; rice pudding was outstanding.
Producer's Dairy is an independent, Fresno based dairy. The owners are the Shehadey family, who lived next door to my family when I was growing up. I had lots of mock gun battles with the kids.
The spokesperson for Producers is Hopalong Cassidy. It still says "Hoppy's Favorite" on the sides of Producers milk cartons. I remember looking at the milk cartons one time in the Country Boy grocery store, sometime in the early 80s. My dad said that Producers would have a hard time convincing young people to drink their milk with Hoppy as their spokesperson, because no kids knew who he was. He suggested they switch to Michael Jackson.
The 'squire center in Fresno used to be called the 'Esquire Center', but a lawsuit from Esquire magazine put an end to that. Note the identical typeface. Those in charge of the 'squire center saved money by just removing the 'E' from the sign and changing the name of the shopping center, instead of cooking up a new name and logo. (See Fresno Sketchbook by Doug Hansen for more information.)
"Thousands of dollars were buried somewhere in Fresno and KYNO broadcast clues to guide the treasure seekers. One clue hinted that the map to the treasure could be found buried at a spot that was faced by the 'monk' on the Dale Brothers Coffee Can.
Persons unknown had stopped the rotating can so as to afford a clue. Owner Joe Dale Jr. was not amused at this interference and has his engineering department create fake treasure maps that showed the money was buried under KYNO's radio tower. The zealous treasure hunters were fooled by the dummy maps and nearly dug up the tower in a mad search for the money".
The Dale Bros. logo is a hooded, faceless figure holding a scimitar. Awesome.
Roasted in Fresno, indeed.
My dad told me that back when the Dale Bros. roasting company was in operation, a local radio station sponsored a competition involving buried treasure hidden somewhere in Fresno. One clue the radio station distributed involved the Dale Bros. coffee can, which led treasure hunters to continually pester the workers at the Dale Bros. plant. In retaliation, Dale Bros. distributed a fake clue that said the treasure was buried under the radio station's broadcasting antenna. Radio station service was interrupted as crazed citizens driven by lust for treasure dug under and around the antenna.
Villains struggle on the balcony of the Fresno watertower, the most recognizable landmark in the city. Though not quite recognizable enough: in Fresno: The Miniseries, they added "Fresno" in 10 foot tall vinyl letters.