Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Open Letter to Governor Pat McCrory from Your Old Pal Billy Ingram

Hi Pat;

Long time no see. You may not remember me from Catawba College but I gave you a ride home a few times Sophomore year. I didn't vote for you for Class President or for Governor but I'm real happy to see you're doing so well. No surprise there.

I always tell anyone who asks, 'Pat's a really nice guy.' And pretty smart I'm guessing, surely intelligent enough to know you're surrounded by a bunch of numbskulls and crackpots who don't have the people's best interests at heart. Is that the price you pay for power, for a seat at those rarified tables, that you lose your soul in the process? Because it's difficult to imagine you can feel comfortable in your skin being the face of draconian policies that you have to realize are not going to make life better for the common folk. Of which I'm one. No surprise there either...

NC used to be number 2 in the nation for film production, employing thousands. After the cast of Hee-Haw took over the legislature they did a stellar job of chasing those jobs away and into the grateful arms of Georgia where TV and movie productions generated an economic impact of more than $6 billion dollars last year. Conservatives have been in total control now for a year and a half, legislative control for the two years before that, where are the glowing returns? Shouldn't we be seeing a revolution of economic activity now that the job creators got their massive tax cuts that we paid for by gutting public education and universities?

We were supposed to see some positive results, right? The third largest city in your state is the hungriest in the nation. Did you forget everything we learned about critical thinking, cause and effect, what works and what doesn't? Or has that been replaced with every man for himself and an eye for an eye?

As you travel our state looking to get reelected you're proposing a pay raise for North Carolina teachers. That's a great idea. Hey, I've got another crackerjack notion! Why don't you and the Republican houses in Raleigh call an emergency session and fucking do that. What's stopping you? You're the Governor, Republicans control both houses and Democrats like the idea too. Because otherwise you are saying this Bathroom Bill is more important than our hard working educators and the future of our kids.

About that Bathroom Bill hemorrhaging millions of dollars, hundreds if not thousands of jobs, along with what little respect North Carolina still possessed. Have you never met a transgender person? They aren't drag queens, they're men and women. The men have penises and the women boobs and vaginas, at least those who've completed that journey. It's a difficult concept to grasp, it was for me, that someone could be born a woman yet, for all intents and purposes, be a man. Harder to believe is that your wife wouldn't mind sharing a shower at the gym with a 200 pound hairy guy who's attracted to women because it says 'Female' on his birth certificate.

Maybe you didn't think that thing all the way through. See, those religious kooks and undereducated inbred millionaire hillbillies you associate with just made you their bitch. In the movie business we had a saying, "It's not how you fuck up it's how you fix it that counts." Someone needs to show some leadership right about now. Maybe it should be our Governor.

All the best, your pal, Billy Ingram

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Comic Book Artist Murphy Anderson

He was one of the greatest comic book artists of all time - Murphy Anderson, best known for his work on Buck Rogers, Superman, Batman, Atomic Knights, Adam Strange, Hawkman, and worlds of science fiction stories. Part of the team that saved the Batman comics from cancellation before the TV series aired. 

Read the story of this amazing gentleman, Murphy Anderson in Yes! Weekly...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve 1947 Massacre

Christmas Eve 1947 was one of the most unforgettable in Greensboro, NC history - a madman on a murderous rampage with the city on lockdown. Relive the puzzling events of that night.  Also: Nationally renowned firefighter Calvin "Moon" Wyrick was the city's beloved Santa for generations... why did he abruptly stop wearing the suit in 1969?  It's the cover story in the latest Yes! Weekly. 
Peering into the kitchen, the shadowy figure first notices Mrs. Ollie Martin, for whom this Christmastime is so very merry. With sugar and flour shortages a thing of the past, three multi-layer cakes sit cooling on the piano. After some last minute shopping for her two baby grandchildren Mrs. Martin is overall quite happy with the carefully wrapped packages she’s placed under the tree. She’s ironing her husband’s Santa Claus suit for a big to do in the morning when, from outside the window, DeSantis unloads his shotgun twice into David Martin who’s relaxing nearby in his rocking chair. Two more rounds tear through Martin’s daughter-in-law Madella as she tries to stand. Attempting to make it out of the home, Ollie Martin cries out when the gunman appears in her path, pumping two buckshot charges through the glass front door. She falls backward into the gaily decorated entrance hall spattered now in blood and shards.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A 'Poole's Paradise' Christmas with Bob Poole!

Take the ratings for every locally produced morning radio program, total them all together and you still won't come close to the audience share Poole's Paradise enjoyed for a quarter of a century in Greensboro, NC. Bob became a sensation in the 1940s broadcasting a nighttime show from New Orleans that forever changed radio. He was the first modern radio DJ - first to combine (corny) jokes, guests, live bands and recorded music.

He made no bones about being a small town boy at heart. In fact, he made it his schtick and paved the way for The Andy Griffith Show that came years later on television.

Bob moved to New York in 1948 to join the Mutual network. Although his down-home program wasn't heard in The City Poole's Paradise was a nationwide smash hit. By the time he left in 1952 the Mutual network was beginning to unravel. Bob Poole imitators were flooding local radio markets all around the USA, eschewing expensive network programs. That's when Poole returned to his radio roots, WBIG.

When Bob Poole moved back to Greensboro, NC he became the reining morning radio man there until poor health forced his retirement in December of 1977. He died weeks later.

Gloria & Bob Poole on a mid-fifties cruise

This is from the December 10, 1948 broadcast of Poole's Paradise on Mutual:

This clip has a clever mash-up of different versions of Jingle Bells that I believe he brought, along with his theme song, to Greensboro.

Poole's Parlor, a half-hour variety show on Wednesday nights over WOR in New York. I believe this program aired from the fall of 1948 until January 1949. These clips are from the New Year's end show, December 28, 1948.