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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870. The "xothique" portion of the web address is a nod to Clark Ashton Smith's fictional continent of Zothique.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Alice's Restaurant Massacree Doesn't Live Here Anymore


The name of Alice has a recurring association with restaurants, in a song, in (unrelated) movies,  and in the TV series of the same name (based on the Martin Scorsese movie). During the original run of the show, I was aware of it, but only viewed it a few times. In 1975 or 76, 1977, for example, the show would not have formed part of my gestalt. Rather than watch  television, I might have been ranging in the deep forests and creeks of the area where I then lived, in the midst of the Boring Lava Buttes. I could have been occupied reading comic books, or books.  I might have been on family trips, to California, Nevada, eastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana.  I had also started on some initial creative projects, including collages, and a bit later, writing. The world of waitresses in old school utilitarian uniforms, humor, drama, failed romance and jokes based on the bad quality of Mel’s cooking, would not have drawn me in. The signals from the broadcasts remained unseen, passing the atmosphere, and drifting into the outer spaces.

The show was threaded with light (if often repetitive) humor, guest spots by celebrities such as Martha Raye, Joel Grey, Telly Savalas, and Robert Goulet, and topical references which would have hit the spot in their day. I’ve written elsewhere of how my family often brought up the sudden death of Frank Sutton (who played Sergeant Vince Carter, on Gomer Pyle). Vic Tayback, as his diner-owner character Mel Sharples,  even eerily foreshadowed his own relatively early passage, on one episode. There is a cluster of premature, or tragic deaths with the series (including Tayback, Philip McKeon, and Charles Levin). – JF, 9/2022

The Mystery of Frank Tayback; digital collage by JF, September 2022

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