Monday, January 30, 2023

Concern Peeked When

    What happened in Dallas was unusual National Television. Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald in the Police Station basement. 12:20 PM EST. Quick, even for a hall parade. Right there, then, the hatted man, at point-blank range, distorting Oswald's terrorized face. As were we all. 

    Timeline marked by our President's Assassination. While November 24's drama theoretically narrowed conjecture with wanton patriotism and netherworld alibi. Neither subtracted from the convincing case for the whole of deceit's nature spanning so far, and wide, to conclude as Mick Jagger had in 1968. "After all, it was you and me." 

    Never held myself or all ya'll that responsible. But I was in on this much. I'd not watched for days and that one began wanting to hear what the television had to say. Deciding against Saturday morning cartoons, I eventually reminded myself and found out there'd been a TV moratorium. Because, after why-notting my mother's "don't turn it on" she literally, short minutes later, responded "Malcolm" from the kitchen to my father in the living room. After I'd wailed from the TV room that that man was just shot. Right now. My father said he'd thought they weren't letting me watch television. Whereupon I protested. 

    President and accused assassin killed. My parents and I disagree. Though they somewhat concede shielding me isn't an answer. Imagine my father said her fault for reading so much to me. Caring how much I'd wonder. 

    Couldn't remember the children's books. Just absolutely treasuring the US Presidents coloring book. Washington to Kennedy. Sponsored by Planters Peanuts. Their very own page for each US President. Knew them all. Memorized. Except for some years either side of Lincoln, where their order could get confusing. But the assassinations were nowhere near as weird. Garfield dead because someone didn't get a job, brought Civil Service reform. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. A platform history's ghosts mark up a lot. 

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    I remembered all of them. Actually thought of my eyes as ceremoniously looking, back-and-forth, from the TV screen to my red, white and blue US Presidents coloring book, behind me, on top of the cornered toys. No. Never close to digging in. For a short while read Mark Lane in the Winter Park Library, confirming the rabbit hole's a sinkhole. So many ballparks, Oliver Stone's one. All history's history. Especially the ghosts strewn between the pages. Confirming heritage is who everyone is Earthlings. Answer, how'd this come about. Original's fantasy.

    Everything sparkles in sunshine is how Florida felt back then. Despite tragedy, modernity appeared bright. Numbed by my parents' passings, to our honor, our home became Golden Funeral Home. Where Black Citizens' funerals were held a block from racist symbol Sheriff Willis V. McCall's home. Federally removed in 1972, from his repeatedly re-elected office, the same year I had to leave town.

    Strategically, Golden Funeral Home supported my latter 1970s ambition of perpetual university attendance. Curtailed once the idea of novelist held and discovery outside the hallowed halls deemed indispensable. 

    University Highlight: Reverend Ralph T. Abernathy shook my hand and conversed after his African-American Week speech. Symbolically encouraging taking up this authentically cool sounding challenge, Soapbox View

    My uncle, "Advertising Legend," JK Fraser inspired Soapbox View. His Spotless Town, Sapolio Soap advertisement, was the first nationally seen Streetcar campaign as the 19th turned 20th Century. What I've always remembered most was my mother's "your uncle was big in advertising." She wouldn't tell me much, insisting I should ask my father about his older brother. Not a chance. No one's bigger than my father. She understood. 

    What can be recalled is, after persistence, she said, "Sapolio Soap." And right away I thought polio's association doomed the account. She showed skepticism and, as since read, Sapolio lost prominence due to stopped advertising. Household items survive, while Sapolio Soap's household name's century-gone. Consumer Imagination purchased, measured and fickle. Except where impervious is law, for example, as was understood in Stalin's time. If only.

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    Uncle Kenneth visited (my office) our TV room once in my earliest memory. He'd driven alone from Bradenton where he wintered, retired with Aunt Aurora. I'd not heard him arrive and my father stood. James K. Fraser sat on the couch and leaned in wondering how I was figuring things.  

    Distinctly recall enjoying our conversation, and extreme disappointment when announced they'd leave to talk alone. I wanted to listen and tried hard to convince them. Promised without a peep. They were amused. Uncle Kenneth didn't say goodbye. Malcolm didn't. My mother Janet neither. We had our moment, but not before she died. And not goodbye. So much is represented about cherished goodbyes, I feel lucky leaning on their never having left. Wishing they'd never gone. As are we all going on. 

    No cliffhanger. But it was a whole decade, after my parents' passings, before JK's historical status in advertising started clearing up for me. And only October 1st, 2000, age forty-three, was I truly hit with his significance. Back then, understand, were the last days before the population, as-a-whole, found most anything clicking a mouse. Information could trickle in. 

    1984. My eldest sister Helen's short explanation included the dynamic punchline, Cornell University treated her extremely well at a Founders Wall ceremony. The Founders Wall chiseled block, James K. and Aurora S. Fraser, right of Laurance Rockefeller. As if in testament to where their vast enough fortune went. More precisely years on the Board of Directors capping a long, distinguished, association since his 1897 graduation when he'd been Editor-in-Chief of the very first Facebook as that era came to call yearbooks including photographs. 

    Illustrious career. Thirty years helming a 10 East 33rd St., New York Agency. Adjacent Madison Avenue, January 18, 2023 announced its last large advertising agency left. With offices globally, obviously not what bringing down Madison Avenue meant. Disheveling towns, unfortunate theme. 

    Surveying back, my puzzle was The Cold War and JK wasn't investigated as my mother suggested. Well, ah, at least momentarily, story's   

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remaining more personal. After all, what's more to know than J. K. was of his time? Duke University's John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History cites his housed papers for "... salesmanship and advertising strategies for gasoline, tobacco, ... ." Sure loads of etc. He'd gotten the 20 Mule Team BORAX account, remembering, for their founder, the formula purportedly learned in college. But that comma between, gasoline tobacco, insinuates.

    Fraser (J.K.) Papers, 1924–1941 President of the Blackman Company, a New York advertising agency founded in 1908 by Oscar H. Blackman and Frank Hermes, renamed Compton Advertising in 1937.

    Always assumed business meant business. No shock or surprise my uncle's memory collected dust behind the modern eras' Advertising Heads lauded for muzzling industry's open wounds. Not the complete picture but somewhat. Expensively Free Speech.

    Belligerent sarcasm regardless. Late-1988 a rich guy peeked my Uncle Kenneth curiosity. In meeting the rich guy I reflexively repeated "richest man in the world," that he had to correct. Pointing out my mistakenly associating him with his FORBES Magazine Richest List. He appreciated my telling him I'd thought of thanking him for promoting capitalism as fun if we ever met. Cheerleading, but nonetheless more on board's better than everyone else off where we're still. 

    So we talked. Malcolm Forbes and I. Said I reminded him of someone and he recalled my uncle. And upon my mentioning, grinned "You have to see that wall." So as remarked earlier, decade later, 2000, I visited Cornell University and was blown away by Founders Wall overlooking the City of Ithaca's Fall Creek. 

     Aspirationally Soapbox View doesn't bite hook, line and sinker. So ingrained is not speaking on behalf of any side, that, conceptually, I'd convinced myself taking positions wasn't necessary. That throwing an entire mess against the wall, questions spoke for themselves. Wishes ...

    Uncle Tony van der Vliet launched New York's ambition balloon. My mother between us, we were eating at the Mt. Dora Motor Lodge Restaurant. Where the lights were kept sophisticatedly dim. His money made in Produce as he was also grown on a New Jersey farm. 

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Where he drove as a kid before Drivers Licenses were a thing. He wintered in Lake Worth with my mother's sister Aunt Maria. Their daughter Janet gifted my National Geographic Explorer magazine subscription. And with her family first saw Disney World's The Hall of Presidents. Disney that, because I was too short, denied my being one of 76 Trombones Opening Day. 

    Something how we don't forget? At my age five, visiting my mother Janet's niece Janet, her son Harry woke me from our tent sleep. Prompted by older brothers, from their tall hill, he showed me glittering Washington D. C. below. Majestic. Posed on the lawn of the Potomac side of Martha and George Washington's Mt. Vernon home.

    Anyway. That time, Mt. Dora Motor Lodge Restaurant, just Uncle Tony and my mother didn't look at me when he said, to her, with a nod at me "he should go to New York." Always someone to watch. My father had died and it was us two. And how's a kid turning out is on older adults' minds. My parents are my maternal grandparents who adopted me. Born in the 19th Century, they were around when the history happened I wondered about. Chasing history's incessantly done in New York. Still, I'd see. Unequivocally first business dinner. Still, could be said, illustrates hick from the "sticks."

 But bare bones? Broader understanding's how posturing conforms, not posturers conforming

    Posturing my parents had their own handle on. There was this drive to Sanford that we, too often, took.  Where my father always kept to his original story that, the stadium, we passed was just the New York Giants Spring Training Facility. I knew them. Moved from New York to San Francisco and I'd seen Willie Mays hit the first pitch of their season for a home run. But failed the test, not finding, then asking, what they knew of the rest of the story. My mother even asked, "Aren't you going to tell him" once. And he smiled with his eyes on the road. Another brother to discover on my own. 

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    So this idea happened. Written by history where I'll read, from the pitcher's mound, in that previously alluded to novel, in Historical Sanford Memorial Stadium. Honoring both the, read, 1972 Happening during a high school football halftime show and Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. In 1946 he endured a harrowing racial intolerance episode at that site. Knighted by pitcher Buddy Lake, as in his confiding in me, to continue his apology for the whole sordid affair. Answering "yes I do" to "understand how wrong it was?" 

    Yeah. Appreciate the heck out of being raised in smaller America. What much of the country, even back then, was never anymore anyway. With metropolises absorbing local identities all across the land. You know. World's awash in how great it used to be. 

    Muddled greatness when facts faced. Entities Pandora Boxes of intent and misdirection. Intelligence scarred. How enough explanation isn't? When broader public understanding was on the horizon decades back? To be honest, the the time accumulated since, highlights the blind-discrepancies in our present day successful culture's reverence for Full of Gas Party politics. 

    Political Group Domination. Consider News Broadcasting across all venues and political-spectrums. News continuously crafted to explain our lives as less better off when less brand spanking new gasoline engines are sold? Congressional Lobbying on a Culture-Wide scale. Advertising's Finest Hour(s). Everyone wash(es)ed their hands. The broader public tuned out. While we're all locked in that moment Cliff Robertson sympathetically looks at Robert Redford at the end of 1975's Three Days of the Condor film. Where Redford's face had lit up with recognition, getting Robertson to see the marquee of the world-wide viewed publisher about to expose the transgressive interests Robertson's, and our, government protected. That you still don't get it look on Robertson's face, that said owning means controlling everything. It won't matter. Going on two-and-a-half generations from then, not caring remains lucrative. 

    Because the right solution if backs aren't turned, is phasing out the gasoline engines already sold. Replace, transform, become what we're capable of. What's happened was/is rammed down everyone's throats for competitive convenience. 

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    Because for generations now, mired in conflated egos and intrigue, arrogance replaced ethics. Hence bandwagons behind shameless tokens of aristocratic indifference. I know, drove us into the future and right down the hugest pothole of all. Hit the brakes.

    Politics are not societies' backbone. Culture is. Politics is an instrument and therein one cultural reflection. Embelish-sized. Embarrassingly hypnotic. Hence, where else could political celebrity have taken us, other than it has, with circus as basis for coalesced human relations? Spectacle. Roger Stonitized

    No matter how control is willed on responsibility, enthusiasm's willfulness overwhelms. Saner heads prevail? Hardly. Centuries of non-stop war emphatically disproves that. Unfortunately. 

    Impossible changing humanity's mired trajectory, considering how super smart we've become about most everything. The frictional points are so embedded, there's no out-from-under? None? Why I frame things as I have, since looking from back then. 

    But those events are as wild as things got. However strange everything that's  followed, happened. Really, the only story to possibly know intricately enough to tell is your own. Making it interesting the challenge. 

    Shaped publicity's racked the world for ages. The Fine Society. All of it. A president with the status of a luminary, eliminated? Amiss wasn't hard to see. 

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Notes & THE END

Soapbox View of American History

    My Profiles In Courage vote is cast for the January 6th Committee, not their opposite allegiances.

    I've a deeper voice of anger, deep down inside. Against history's abuse beyond mere propaganda game people sidestep, if they can. 

    Want a cold drink? Early sixties, collect ten penny redeemable bottles for the dime for the filled compatriot. Civilized progress. Today can't intrude on laborers' territory. Uh huh. Seems a price on all the garbage should have been worked out all along. 

    So the world's more full of reasons to not go outside than there are reasons to be outside. And with the weather more oppressive, whose to know when all the windows are closed? There's no idea. 

    Yeah. There's a key that unlocks the mysteries of poverty. 

    Yeah. Gone so far back, and out of here, readers are unaware there's a chase. Scrounging around all the way back there? Where relevance can't be of more value than say, the rather enjoyable, considering, 1970s.

    Today's date maybe. Previous likely. But dates change. Will. This generation is awash in digital convenience. Say, "Digital convenience." Eyes gloss over at least twice. 

    The leaves were off practically all the trees and that's how things last for months. Till the routine never changes then weather does. Leaves come back. But nothings been the same 

    Plan began at the office. Thought out. Us there, safe open, boss laughing with us in absolute trust. 

    But. No one believed the other. Stakes too huge for the small margin. Throughout yore, more's expected. Oil's death and destruction hangs on for the money. Tactical. Less money loses. So unfortunately, not caring whether one goes to prison isn't a deliberate option where money's at stake and ethics lost. Amen. 

    So, at the office, between this and that, we wondering why unable to cross the street wasn't enough, such that redemption required the extra punishment of uncivilized housing conditions? Which isn't amusing so on to other things. Like what was #78456's relationship with the politician. 

    "Mind-blowing," he described it when the tube finally gelled and he saw the face that went with the picture. That brought back his child hood and how that schmuck owed him something. Now that he'd become someone and #78456 wasn't.


    Right. General sense is that generation cascaded forward, frictionally against itself with more velocity than a society could absorb. In a sense, yes, battling for America's souls. More real than today's pontificated culture war. Pontificators going redundantly as preachers of yore established as crowd pleasing. reliving the battles as commercially conveyed.  Except no one would knows exactly where GOD comes down in judgement on "forgive them for they know not what they do," plea that technically gives everyone a pass as all are virtual idiots at times. Especially anyone who'd deny, ba dump bump. 

    It's something how life's about finding out things. Peered at close enough. That's who we are. The accumulation of what we can remember. Not complicated at all. But circumstances surround us that adapt to contrivances that narrow what needs to be understood to dimensions every head can't possibly get around.  

     Let's take a walk. Travel memories. Remember when my father first walked me to school. Now parents do it full time. But back then, he was able to tell me I had to learn, younger than others, to take care of myself so this was the last time he'd walk me to school. He understood my disappointment we'd not be talking, but I was making it my walk. Modeled on his every evening past the cross-street to my, block away, elementary school to Lake Eustis. 

    Rummaging through history the numerous flags planted are of an arc pointing in the arc's direction. Take Judge Robert Bork for example. Martyr to a Conservative Supreme Court banner.  Quite the distinction not allowed to be further martyred by ana just as significant symbolism as the third in line Justice Department man who fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. Yes. In itself quite a distinction among the Roger stone end of Fake-Republican pseudo-significance. ...

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    For History's Sake

    Another fantastic thing about our new modern world is worn thin from working, I'm listening to Side Two of Mort Sahl Live after One for lunch. 1973. What's dated is fun. Fabulous. 


    Yes. History's been focus since I remember. Sixty years later? Now? Imagine yourself taken out by the pool as Dustin Hoffman was told "plastics" is the financial future in The GraduateOne word describes now.  Impervious.

    Impervious is precisely our political world as of early 2023. Always so, but currently now everyone's noticing how politician George Santos', even confronted again, face is impervious. A dictatorial posture. No secret why the se lies' celebrity serves purposes beyond righteous indignation. Imperviousness diffuses.

    And something how nothing matters and tomorrow's face doesn't understand why yesterdays' questions apply. For one thing, the district can't guarantee a conservative who'd do anything told. That okay to lie theme as long as patriotism's claimed. that politics is the refuge of scoundrels is fact. Russia's congresspersons are immune to prosecution, hence. 


    Thirty-eight New York City Years On, sophistication's prime teaching moment's back there in the bonafide upscale hinterlands. People will possibly always stoke contrived consequences embers.

    ... Then in-between fills history. 


Soapbox View honors "Advertising Legend" James K. Fraser,

Cornell University's first Facebook Editor-in-Chief,  

whose advertising break was creating