The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 18, 1941


Site Ed. Note: "Baron Petrillo" was not the first editorial in The News which had taken the measure of the American Federation of Musicians president, James Petrillo. "Censor", probably, as we thought a couple of years ago in December 2006, by Dowd, appearing December 27, 1939, had also found less than hospitable to democratic ideals one of his moves, censoring references to John L. Lewis from two Chicago plays, "Hellzapoppin'" and "The Man Who Came to Dinner". This time it had to do with his refusal to allow his union musicians play on radio stations which did not maintain a full complement of at least eleven musicians in the studio.

Why eleven? one might ask, as did the editorial. Well, one might as well ask why there are eleven on a football team, we should suppose, or nine on a baseball team, or five on a basketball team--or even 27 or so, depending on the volubility of the boxes, on your average hockey team. (Well, come to think of it, the latter is simple--too many bloody, puckish fights. Which is why, we suppose, our papa used to refer to it as "puckey".)

Anyway, we think that some of today's gabbissimos on the radio might profit from this requirement of the old days and have their own eleven studio musicians, as long as they don't then turn into 33, by thirds. A little muse now and again to break up all that miserable talk they normally do might do many of them some good and keep them and their listeners from climbing quite so high into the trees, as do the crows.

So, we'll start tonight's program with Fats Waller's "Your Feets Too Big". You'll have to read the page and figures out whys. (By the way, we knows that lyric is "outside"--but we's always heard it the other ways abouts.) If you've never'd an occasion to hear one of Mr. Waller's songs, then we recommend that you give a listen to one or two somewheres.

And should you think his 1920's honky-tonk sound is a little outmoded, bear in mind that the Beatles used to listen to him back in the sixties, for some muse, as they read the news, oh boy. (Once, it is said, as brought to mind by the piece "Gang War", on the perditious shootleggers in and around Charlotte, Mr. Waller was kidnapped by one of the Chicago gang bosses, Al Capang, Leggs Diamondocane, one of those footbeggars, and made to play all night long into the dawn at some spokesleazy party, then accorded a handsome payola and sent on his way. He had little option, having been abducted at gunpoint, and, he said, played the upright with tenacity all that night.)

Moving along now, we take a study of "N.C. Chromite", indicating the need for the metal for the hardening of steel, and reminding that the town of Democrat in North Carolina had a quantity hidden in its rocks, while cautioning against tapping it by hydraulic mining for the damage such would do to the environment. As the editorial indicates, Raymond Clapper also makes mention of chromite in his column of the day, indicating that the bulk of it for American production of those shiny bumpers, trim, and hardening of steel came from Africa, that by Mr. Clapper's way of reminding his reader of the need to protect Britain against absorption of its Navy by the Nazis, which could and probably would lead to a blockade of that and other precious materials acquired by American industry from around the world, slowly thereby choking the United States into submission.

We note that this hardening of steel by chrome is not so much evident in the bumpers and trim of old, as on your papa's or grandpapa's or great-grandpapa's Lincoln chasing your V-8 Ford choking its pan or flat-head motorvating over the Blueberry Hill with Shorty at the wheel of both simultaneously, as usual.

Hardening of steel by chrome still takes place in automobile engines, for instance--valve rockers, pushrod ends, where pushrods are still in use, such as was the upper and lower case in your older VW's and Porsches, any engine which had its jugs hanging off the side, such that its pushrods had to go through the tubes between the rocker arms, the inner cups of which were chromed, and the valve keepers, the cylinders of which also were chromed for hardening, moving in and out, in and out, against the cams, also chromed, forged out of the ingot to produce the camshaft twisting, ever twisting the night away in constant revolution in its oil bath fed by the sump, filled with the devil to pay, the shaft's turning interconnection formed by the cam's sprocket meshing to the ring press-fitted on the crank, held in place amid the revolutions via the halfmoon key, in turn spinning in its bearings on the half-shell, though front rear were whole, all encompassed by the bolted halves of the crankcase back in your suitcase days, so-called by the cooling shroud, except on Fridays when you arrived without one, onto the sides of which hung those jugs with the cooling fins, for instance, top piston rings, also chromed, for compression, scraping the sides of your chrome-hardened cylinders encased in your jugs, each in its turn awaiting TDC, bang, you're ignited and off, with the flywheel, center of which, being pressed hard to the clutch, turned, ground and polished but sans chrome, docked into which is that long moly-buttered polished end of the shaft sticking out of the transaxle projecting from its inverted case where all the gears and ball bearings are which provide ratios of differential torque--and other such uses are common.

Even the balls in your ballpoint pens are often smoothed by chrome, just as the old ink pens had their points chrome-plated. Ooo-wee, baby. Cannons go boom, with the dreamers.

The decorative form is a thin film applied through electroplating processes, over a copper or nickel base, a tricky enough process. But chrome hardening is accomplished instead in several layers to build as much as an eighth of an inch of hard, hard, shiny, shimmering in the sunlight or ferrying you to the other side of the bridge by the light of the moon, chrome onto the base metal, which can be just about any old thing, depending on the base coat used before the chrome is posi-charged onto the negative part, the anode and diode method. Ooo-wee, baby.

So, if you worry that your old truck's painted bumper would be improved practically by chrome-plating of the cosmetic variety, forget it. It was just decorative, no more resistant to bending or crash-absorption than the painted type. Our little blue roadster, for instance, came in 1973 with a choice of a painted pair of bumpers or the chrome-plated variety for about a hundred bucks extra. We sprung for the chrome, maybe because we bought it across the street from where O. Henry was born there in Greensboro, not too far from where Dr. Pepper was born as well. Ah, but those bumpers, both of them, poor, poor things. They went through a lot, and were replaced a couple or more times, each, by the miracle cure of which we have recently made mention. Solid oxygen. Ooo-wee, baby.

We still have all three or four or five of them, in fact. (One rear one was demolished by a cop, yet an honest one who, in the still of the night beneath the moon down by the sea, whilst we were 2,865 miles away from the scene of the accident, left us a long note on a short piece of paper which said, by his own confessional, that he was on Tylenol when it happened, hit it while the roadster was at rest by the curb's generation, back during the Tylenol scare--we kid not.)

If you should need one of those spares, by chance, we'll be glad to make you a good deal on ebay. But, caveat emptor: don't try to fasten them to your roadster, as they would likely no longer fit very well. They are useful only as a conversation piece, objet d'art, you know. We'll send, free of charge, if you like, the text to go with it though.

Well, all that said, and without further ado, we'll just leave you with a little medley of "Shine On, Harvest Moon", "Good Day Sunshine", "Let the Sunshine In", and "Sunshine" for your evening's entertainment. Again, you'll have to figure out why. There's always a reason.

Here's a lyric we just made up: Sunfish, sunshine, all the roes and does, rays and days, all the time. Your feets and your noses go together as bad meats and sore toeses. White wrapper, that be bad, but no good, save it for the hood, which was also damaged, as things stood, yet not brawl's Poe rampaged. Ram bows don't Ty no stows, in the underground, way down, way down.

We think a little heavy metal beat might make it all go just right. Chrome it up, maestro. We'll call the little ditty "Red Rum Rhapsody Mostly in Wolley". The gabbissimos are free to take it without royalties. It's sure to make all that talk a little less, yet a little more.

We'd say that you're all drifting a little too far from shore. For "Drill, Baby Drill" rhymes, we opine, with "Kill, Wabe, Kill".

Oh, what a slithy tove.

Thrills-a-minute kills the Senate, and sends Brutus to the fore on the floor, drippingly, hands in the gore.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

Jackmandora, nearby Jackaranda. Cook that dinner, Zorro. We'll have it with some Flavia beans. Finish it off with a little #'s12 & 35 'round the foggy mountain. One stoneless cherry was for our cousin Zack. That's the Price.

Tip our canoe, and we'll tip our hat right back.

Chicago: October, 1962.

We'll say it again: We can see in the dark, you know. We've been here quite awhile.

A year from now, we predict, should you not read this til then, you'll have very little idea, maybe, at least we hope not, of what we are saying, but it actually may make slight sense right now, believe it or not, as that's the way it is on Saturday night, neither in Roxboro nor even in Person, October 19, 2008.

By the way, though we missed the appearance, we heard that Senator McCain was on tv the other night with a former Weatherman. Now, this definitely calls for an investigation as to just what the deal is here with such radical ties as that.

They said that it was really a camera...

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