THE KISSING POST

I am in favor of preserving the French habit of kissing ladies’ hands–after all, one must start somewhere. –Sacha Guitry, French actor, playwright and film maker

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The title of today’s post is THE KISSING POST– not to be confused with THE HITCHING POST, which would be a post about the ceremony of getting hitched (after kissing went to the hand-kisser’s head). Alternatively, THE HITCHING POST could be a post about a post to which you tether your horse….as opposed to your spouse (pardon my horse play).

Be that as it may, it may interest you to know that anthropologists believe kissing is a learned behavior. But they believe above all in science, so what competence could anthropologists possibly have in the field of kissing….with the likely exception of Parisian anthropologists, who are said to have French kissing down to an art….in the interest of science? C’est une bonne planque!*

Knowing that many of my readers are serious about science, you would no doubt like to know where I came up with what “it may interest you to know” — so, just so you know:

https://people.howstuffworks.com/kissing2.htm

As for the romantic barbarians among you, far be it from me to kiss you off. Kiss on!

*Nice work if you can get it!

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I’LL MEET YOU AT THE OLD CAMP MEETING

It has been some time since I devoted a post to one of my passions, namely CLASSIC JAZZ, so what say we ramble on down to the old camp meeting and get some jazz religion? If you’re not a classic jazz lover, perhaps it’s because you’ve never been exposed or open to the sound of America’s own indigenous music, with its roots in late 19th century ragtime, gospel and blues, among other influences. So I’m making it my mission (and New Year’s resolution) to deliver you from that sin of omission in your musical faith upbringing.

One of the greatest pioneering jazzmen was New Orleans-born Joseph “King” Oliver, mentor of Louis Armstrong, who made a number of historic jazz records beginning in 1923, including CAMP MEETING BLUES. Here is the beginning of that primitive recording, which transitions beautifully (after 37 seconds) into the PERUNA JAZZMEN’s 1988 faithful-to-the-original rendering:

Next, we turn to an even more recent rendering of an even older Camp Meeting song:

:

Our last Camp Meeting is a Swing era classic from another king, the King of Swing, Benny Goodman:

Now that you have seen the light, go and sin no more.

Amen.

Oh….and Happy New Year!

 

SCAT!

Wait — don’t scat! Stay where you are and let scat come to you — scat singing, that is — and who better to lay the scat on you than two of the best: Mel Tormé, whose birthday (9/13/25) we celebrate this month, and the First Lady of Scat, Ella Fitzgerald:

Man, if that didn’t knock your socks off, you’d better put your shoes on and scat back to Squaresville, because you’re just not with it! To say scat singing is little more than vocal jazz improvisation with nonsense words is like saying The Donald is just improvising when he lets loose with nonsense tweets (to use a reverse perverse metaphor).

So, who was the cat who ‘invented’ scat? There seems to be no definitive answer, but some say it began 2/26/26 when Louis Armstrong supposedly forgot the words to this song and began improvising a little more than halfway through the recording:

Let’s wrap it up with this recent scat-iteration (which, I kid you not, ends with tweets):

And now you can scat! Come back any time.

MAY IS OLDER AMERICANS MONTH (and don’t you forget it!)

May is OLDER AMERICANS MONTH. I’m pretty sure I qualify as an older American because, as George Washington told me, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves”….or maybe I’m thinkin’ of Lincoln (incidental details, like who said what, can get a bit hazy at my age). No matter — either way, it proves I’ve been around long enough to establish my bona feces.

As long as I’m quoting bigwigs I have known or could have known (as the case may be), no doubt you will be interested in other memorable quotes that I remember, most of which admittedly weren’t said to me directly, but which I either overheard, or were whiskered to me in confidence by the quotees under their goatees (or beards, as the face may be):

Old age is no place for sissies. –Bette Davis (whose facial hair at the time was confined to a mustache, as I recall)

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. –Truman Capote

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. –Jennifer Yane

If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. — variously attributed to  Eubie Blake, Adolph Zukor and Mae West, among others

There is no cure for the common birthday. —John Glenn

You’re only as old as the girl that you feel. –Groucho Marx

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. –Chili Davis

Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. –Anonymous

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. –Anonymous

So there you have the story of my anonymous existence: just when I’m on a roll, I run flush out of time. C’est la vie. Take it on out, Pops (Louis) and Schnoz (Jimmy):

 

 

 

 

 

EAST MEETS WEST DAY

EAST IS EAST, AND WEST IS WEST, AND NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET. –Rudyard Kipling

The above quote notwithstanding, it’s not too late if you want to meet Twain. Forget East/West, and return to the site of my previous post (MARK TWAIN ON DONALD TRUMP), where Twain still lives. I could quibble that you should have met him there then, but I am magnanimous enough to forgive those of you who didn’t read that post (so long as you promise never to let it happen again).

Be that as it may, this is April — April 24th, to be exact, which just happens to be East Meets West Day, which just happens to give me an excuse to engross you with some of my favorite East and/or West songs, such as this old standard by an old favorite:

Keely Smith (born Dorothy Keely) died four months ago at age 89, one of the best (though underappreciated) female vocalists of the 1950s-60s.

Next, we change directions for this Kurt Weill classic from the 1943 musical ONE TOUCH OF VENUS:

Let us end, fittingly, with WEST END BLUES by Louis Armstrong, one of the all-time great recordings in jazz history:

That performance was recorded in 1928; 90 years later, you can travel far and wide, east and west, and never the same shall meet.

 

02/20 VISION

In the tumult of men and events, solitude was my temptation; now it is my friend. What other satisfaction can be sought once you have confronted History? –Charles de Gaulle

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Indeed.  Where else but in my solitude can equilibrium’s vision be sought (much less found), if the following selection of February 20 events from “confronted History” is representative of “the tumult of men and events”:

1513 Pope Julius II (aka The Fearsome Pope and The Warrior Pope) died and was laid to rest in a huge tomb sculptured by Michelangelo [In those days, Catholic artists regarded such Popes as ‘Patron’ Saints

1839 U.S. Congress prohibits dueling in the District of Columbia [What a bad idea this turned out to be, given that since then, no one in D.C. has had a clue how to better resolve differences]

1907 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an immigration act which excluded “idiots, imbeciles, feebleminded persons, epileptics, and insane  persons” from being admitted to the U.S. [Unfortunately, there has not been a comparable act excluding such persons from becoming politicians]

1909 F.T. Marinetti, Italian poet, published the first Futurist Manifesto in the Paris newspaper Le Figaro and in Venice, including the statement “We want to glorify war – the only cure for the world.” [Evidently a utopian exception to “The cure is worse than the disease”]

1927 Golfers in South Carolina were arrested for violating the Sabbath [Talk about playing a-round!]  

1933 Congress completed action on an amendment to repeal Prohibition in the U.S. [and “I’ll drink to that!” rang out across the land]

1942 Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, was born [Coincidentally, the cartoon character Pruneface premiered (in a Dick Tracy comic strip) the same year]

1996 Gangsta rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg acquitted of murder in 1993 shooting of alleged gang member [Draw your own conclusions]

2002 The Pentagon stated that its recently created “Office of Strategic Influence” would not spread falsehoods in the media to advance U.S. war goals. Office was shut down six days later (Feb. 26) [Apparently the bummed guy in this snapshot was the last to get the message]:

Love’s labor lost. Lament in SOLITUDE. But despair not. It seems that Love, like the passions and madness of history, is where you — and a buoyantly young Julie Andrews — find it. So don’t be [Venetian] blind, it’s/all around you/everywhere.

 

 

STONE COLD DEAD

Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me. –Mary Shelley, author of FRANKENSTEIN

Because I could not stop for Death — He kindly stopped for me. –Emily Dickinson

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    grave stone 2Have you given any thought to what you want on your tombstone after you’ve gone to that great big pizzeria in the sky? I wouldn’t wait until the last minute if I were you, because ye know not the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36, or thereabouts), and once ye’re at the pearly gates, it’s too late. Now, it’s possible, before getting the gate, that your spirit may remain a while in the grave to consider what far-out gems of wit you might have come up with — but dream on. Afterthoughts aren’t written in stone….and if you don’t write your own epitaph, others may use the occasion to pick a bone “After you’ve gone.”

All of which brings me to SWI and its impending death. SWI, the blog for which I wrote many posts up to a few years ago, will bite the dust in November, according to its editor. Two of those remaining posts (published in early 2012) deal with real epitaphs not deserving of being left to vanish forever into the cold November ether or….wherever. Here are some of my favorites:

Here lies the body
Of poor Aunt Charlotte.
Born a virgin, died a harlot.
For 16 years
She kept her virginity
A damn long time
For this vicinity.
–DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Here lies Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

Beneath this smooth stone
by the bone of his bone
sleeps Master John Gill;
By lies when alive
this attorney did thrive,
And now that he’s dead he lies still.

Here lies Anna Mann
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.

MARGARET DANIELS
She always said
Her feet were killing her
But nobody believed her.

SIR JOHN STRANGE
Here lies an honest lawyer
That is Strange.

This is the grave of Mike O’Day
Who died maintaining his right of way.
His right was clear, his will was strong
But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.

Beneath this stone my wife doth lie
Now she’s at rest and so am I.

JOHN BROWN, DENTIST
Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity!
John Brown is filling his last cavity.

Here lies the body of W. W.
Who never more will trouble you, trouble you.

Here lies the body of Mary Ford
Whose soul, we trust, is with the Lord;
But if for hell, she’s exchanged this life,
‘Tis better than being John Ford’s wife.

Owen Moore
Has passed away
Owin’ more
Than he could pay.

I’ll close with one I wish one and all could say in the end:

Been Here
and Gone There.
Had a good time.