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Sept 5th, 2008 friday Generations
September 5th, 2008

Joe Grant, everyone's friend and mentor, courtesy

By now some of you may be thinking, Sito is always paying tribute to this old animator who died and that, so how many &%$# father-figures did he have?!

Well, the reason is generational. The Golden Age Artists all got into the business with the big boom in studio production in the 1930s. They did their best work in the 1940s and 50s, began retiring in the 1970s in time to mentor us Baby Boomers, who were making it cool to be in animation again. Now the few remaining are in their 90s.

If you get serious about a career in cartoons, you will discover that you will have a family separate and apart from your biological family. You will have your Animation Family. Because of all the long hours and after work socials, you may be spending more time with them than your real family!

So I honor our mentors, the people who paused from their own work to pass on Sacred Knowledge to novices like me. I only hope I can be as selfless and generous as they were.

Quiz? Why are spiced chicken wings called Buffalo Wings?

Yesterday’s Quiz answered below: What is the Riddle of the Sphinx?
History for 9/5/2008
Birthdays: Louis XIV The Sun King, Jesse James, Cardinal Richelieu, Johann Christian Bach, Jacopo Meyerbeer, John Cage, Quentin de la Tour, Darryl F. Zanuck, Jack Valenti, Bob Newhart, George Lazenby, Raquel Welch is 68, Kathy Guisewhite, Dweezil Zappa, Werner Herzog, Michael Keaton is 57

1499- Former Columbus captain Alonso De Hojeda arrives in the New World on his own expedition. Along with him as pilot (Navigator) was a Florentine named Amerigo Vespucci. Vespucci made several more trips to the alien land and published a book about his adventures never mentioning Hojeda. His publishers spiced up his accounts with naked brown natives with lascivious morals throwing themselves on the Europeans. It was quite popular reading.
In 1538 when Columbus was dead and forgotten German mapmakers Martin Waldseemuller & Gerhardus Mercator published the first mass printed maps of the known world. They drew on Vespucci's books and called the new hemisphere "America". I guess that's better than the United States of Hojeda.

1698 - Russia's Peter the Great was determined to drag his kingdom into the modern world. Since the fashion in Europe at this time was clean shaven, he imposed a tax on beards. When Czar Peter spotted a boyar at his court who refused to comply, he personally jumped the old man with a pair of shears.

1781- BATTLE OF THE VIRGINIA CAPES- Arguably the real battle that won the American Revolution. French Admiral DeGrasse' navy drives off the English fleet attempting to save Lord Cornwallis's army trapped inside the port of Yorktown by Washington and Rocheambeau. For command of the vital mission the British admiralty had passed over a more aggressive fighting admiral named Rodney in favor of an semi-retired fossil named Graves. Graves caught the French fleet dispersed unloading troops and supplies, but instead of attacking he waited for three hours while the enemy formed in line. He then raised confusing signals – flags for “Attack” and “Maintain Position” being raised simultaneously/ The inability of the British navy to rescue Cornwallis sealed his fate and eventual surrender. If the British had won this battle scholars agree the French were tired of propping up the bankrupt American rebels who could barely muster a few thousand volunteers.

1812- The vanguard of Napoleon’s Grand Army came up upon a little hill outside the town of Borodino. They strained to see if they had reached Moscow. But instead they saw something else- the main Russian army preparing to stand and fight. Napoleons plan was to invade a country, destroy their army, occupy their capitol, then sign a peace treaty. But these Russians weren't playing by the rules. For months after retreating across thousands of miles of Russian soil, Napoleon would finally get the big battle he desired.

1867- After the Civil War the US experienced a beef shortage. This was answered by herding Texas longhorn cattle up to where they could be put on trains to Chicago and eastern meat markets. This day the first herd of Longhorns made it up the Chisholm Trail to the train depot of Abilene Kansas. A rancher who bought a thousand head of cattle at $4 a head could sell them up north for $40 a head. One cattle drive could net up to $100,000, well worth fighting Indians, rustlers and floods. This created cattlebarons and a new kind of hero in the public mind, the Cowboy.

1882- The first Labor Day parade occurred when 10,000 union workers marched in Union Square New York.

1885 - 1st gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer (Ft Wayne, Ind)

1917- The U.S. Government made nationwide police raids to close down the offices of the IWW (The International Workers of the World- or The Wobblies). They were a folk-song-singing radical labor union who came out against U.S. participation in World War One, ."The Master Class has always declared the wars, the Working Class must fight the battles"- Eugene Debs. Their apologists point out that while the Great War cost 166,000 U.S. casualties it made 200 new millionaires and if you had stock in petrochemicals like Dupont you made 400% profit.

1929- Wall Street stocks soared to unprecedented heights throughout 1929. Starting today they began to taper off and slide. Economist Roger Babson, the Sage of Wellesley , warned of an impending Stock Market crash but people laughed him off. They called his warnings "Babson-Mindedness". The market would continue to move downwards for the next several weeks climaxing Black Tuesday, the great crash of October 29th and the Depression.

1932- Paul Bern, the studio executive husband of sexy starlet Jean Harlow, was found lying naked on his bathroom floor with a bullet in his head. He committed suicide and left a note apologizing to Harlow for not being able to satisfy her. Harlow called the studio and her agent before calling the police. All jumped to hush up the scandal.

1923-FATTY ARBUCKLE- Ex-plumber turned comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle signed a $3 million dollar deal with Paramount Pictures. He celebrated by staging a wild three day party in the penthouse of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. During the wild goings on he pulled young starlet Virginia Rappe into a bedroom. Soon screams were heard. Arbuckle came out and said "Get her dressed. She makes too much noise". Friends found Rappe in agony with her clothes shredded. She died of toxemia from a ruptured bladder saying "Fatty Arbuckle did this to me! Make sure he doesn't get away with it." Arbuckle was tried twice for rape and first degree murder, but was acquitted after both were hung juries. To this day film historians argue if Arbuckle was framed. In the trial it came out that Rappe had had a botched abortion and was suffering from internal bleeding before the party.
But Fatty Arbuckles career was destroyed. Women tore down the screen whenever his face appeared. In Wyoming cowboys shot their sixshooters at the screen. At the suggestion of Buster Keaton he made a living writing gags under the pseudonym William or Will B. Good. Years later Santa Monica police pulled him over for drunk driving. He flung a champagne bottle out of the car and laughed "There goes the evidence again!"

1935- At a giant Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg Adolph Hitler told the world “We want Peace. Germany has no interest in harming her European neighbors .” uh-huh..

1935- Tumbling Tumbleweeds premiered, the film that made a star out of Gene Autrey, the Singing Cowboy.

1943- Young British cartoonist Ronald Searle is captured by the Japanese in Burma. He spent his time as a P.O.W. working on the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai and making sketches of the nightmarish conditions of his fellow prisoners.

1957- Jacques Kerouac’s ode to the beat life ON THE ROAD, first published. Kerouac wrote it in a white heat using one large roll of white paper stuffed into his typewriter instead of individual sheets. When the editor got the novel it had no paragraph breaks of chapter breaks. Another young writer of the time, Truman Capote, was unimpressed. “That’s not writing, it’s typing.”

1972- Palestinian Black September terrorists attack Munich's Olympic Village during the Summer Games. They kill 11 Israeli athletes of their national team.

1989- President George Bush Ist, does a major speech highlighting his war on drugs. He brandishes a bag of crack-cocaine he declares was purchased across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park. Later the truth came out that no crack cocaine is sold in Lafayette Park, the DEA agents had to talk a crack dealer into coming to the park. They even had to give him directions because he never visited the White House area before.

1994-Patrick McDonnell started drawing the comic strip MUTTS.
Yesterday’s Quiz: What is the Riddle of the Sphinx?

answer; According to Greek Mythology was a monster who stood outside the City of Thebes and asked travelers a riddle. If you got it wrong, it killed you. If you answered it, the Sphinx killed itself. The Riddle was " what has four legs at dawn, two legs at noon and three legs at sunset. The young hero Oedipus answered the question that destroyed the Sphinx. The answer is Man. At the Dawn of life man crawls on all fours, at the prime of life he walks on two legs, and in the sunset of life, old age, he walks with a cane, so on three legs.