Tom Laughlin as The Legendary Billy Jack

 One of my favorite movies when I was 10 or 11 years old was the classic “Billy Jack”.    

Apparently my parents did not pay close attention to what the content of the movies they dropped me off at the local 4-plex to see included.     

Billy Jack was about a “half-breed” American Cherokee Indian, Green Beret Vietnam War veteran, hapkido master who defended the hippie-themed Freedom School and its students from the racist and ignorant townspeople who did not understand or like the school or it’s students.   

Though originally released in 1971 I am pretty sure I did not see it until it’s wide and highly profitable re-release in 1973.    

It’s Marketing Taglines –    

Just a person who protects children and other living things.    


You’ve got due process, Mother’s Day, supermarkets, the FBI, Medicare, air conditioning, AT&T, country clubs, Congress, a 2-car garage, state troopers, the Constitution, color television and democracy. They’ve got BILLY JACK     


 When you need him, he’s always there!   

Some Highlights –   

The local rich boy jerk Bernard – dumps flour on some students denied in their attempt to buy ice cream because they are indian in order to make them “WHITE”.  Billy Jack finds out and goes BERSERK –   

  

There is the scene where the aforementioned Bernard is forcing a very well endowed female student with the nickname “Miss False Eyelashes” in to having sex with him and cuts her bra off and you see her large breasts DROP as the bra is cut away.  Trust me very cool when you are a 10 or 11-year-old boy.   

Billy Jack forcing Bernard to drive his Corvette in to the water on the count of three and then saying  ”1…2….FLOOR IT”.  Very cool when you are a 10 or 11-year-old boy.  Also worth watching to see how inflation has affected the price of Corvettes.   

  

Billy Jack kicking Bernard in the testicles when he confronts him prior to killing him in an act of revenge for raping the head of the school. Very cool when you are a 10 or 11-year-old boy.   

In general it was a very good movie for one that claimed to be about non-violence and acceptance.   

Here is the original trailer which will give you a nice overview.  Watch for a  young Howard Hesseman.  At that time a member of “The Committee” Improv group out of San Fancisco but more popularly known a few years later as Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati.  

  

And of course there was THAT SONG –  

  

I wonder if this movie could be considered to have a liberal agenda?

As always –    

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc    

cs

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It Ain’t Calphalon

February 20, 2010

Circa 1970's Cookware

Have you seen these pots before?

Maybe your mother had them.  Maybe you got some from your mother. 

Kitty Foreman on That 70’s show had them.  I’m Not kidding, watch a few episodes you’ll see them.  So it is possible you have seen these on TV.

It seems like everyone I show these pots to who grew up in the 70’s still owns or remembers them.

Growing up in Tampa Florida it meant your mother shopped at Winn-Dixie.  Which at that time bore the tagline – “The Beef People”.   In addition to beef, people were apparently buying lots of cookware from there.  I think they offered a different piece each week at a VERY LOW price with like an $8 minimum purchase.

My family did buy their beef at Winn-Dixie.  They didn’t buy their beef at Publix because it was too expensive and had something done to it which caused it to be labeled “proten” and included a little pat of butter.  Pantry Pride was just gross and was mainly where they bought beer and store brand soft drinks (click here for more details about my parents drinking habits).  In other words,  grocery shopping was “sport” during the recession wracked 70’s.  You drove from store to store in your 6 – 8 miles per gallon car to get certain items at the “best price” at 3 – 4 different stores.  I remember thinking one of my friends was RICH because their mother ONLY shopped at Publix.

These are the remaining three I have at my house.  I know at one time there were more.  Sources included my mother, my mother inlaw and a friend’s mother.  Today they are kept as backups in case the stainless steel or Calphalon is dirty.  All the lids are missing and the handles fell off the large pot probably 20 years ago.  I think my mother finally got rid of the last of hers.

So the next time you think you are so poor during this recession – look in your cabinets.  Does your cookware include any Calphalon, LeCruset or comparable brands?  If it does, then shut up.  Our parents bought their cookware at the grocery store.

As always – 

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc 

In the 1970’s it was fairly easy to buy liquor when you were underage.  Bad fake ID’s were the best bet.  Even major chains would sell to you with those.  Mine claimed I was from California.

The drinking age at the time was 18 and if you looked 14, a lot of places would sell to you even without the fake ID.

In our neighborhood prior to obtaining a fake ID, the place to buy the preferred brand of under age drinkers (Miller in a Bottle) was a Cuban Market in our neighborhood that had taken over the space of a closed convenience store. 

The owners did not speak english and asking for an ID in any language was not in their vocabulary. 

Once we got our beer we would walk down to a wooded area behind a taco place that had taken over the old Dairy Queen.  Sit on some rocks, drink our beer and listen to people order their tacos at the drive thru.  Then wander on someplace else.  The 70’s involved a LOT of walking from place to place.

Now that I work daily in marketing  I would say the owners of that store were marketing experts who had identified their niche market and were providing a service to them.  The risk of being caught by the police selling to underage drinkers was outweighed by the potential profit reward. 

Evaluating Risk vs. Reward  – the formula for any Entrepreneur.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs 

 

The Pickle Truck

January 15, 2010

My best guess is that very few people had a “Pickle Truck” selling pickles across from their school.

I did.

Being a child of the 70’s I was part of the great social experiment called “Mandatory Busing”.

It was an appropriate concept to address and remedy school segregation that was ludicrous in its execution.  In my area it included being bused to a “7th Grade Center” that was at a traditionally or should I say formerly minority school.

In my case this school could at best be described as being – in the ‘hood.  80% of the students were bused in from the suburbs and the remaining 20% came from the immediate area.

My biggest complaint about the school wasn’t  the the bus ride or location it was the LACK OF AIR CONDITIONING – IN FLORIDA.   That school was a total and complete sweatbox.  The only room I ever was in on a regular basis that had air conditioning was my homeroom which I was in for about 15 minutes a day.  It had air conditioning installed the year before because it was the chemistry lab, but my science class got to use the lab maybe once or twice during the year. It was probably some time in the 1980’s that the school district finally passed a bond issue to raise the money for air conditioning all the schools in the district.  Prior to that I guess they spent all their money on buses, drivers and gas.   

I don’t remember any security issues inside the school but it was a fairly common occurence to have to get down on the floor of the bus as we left to avoid the rocks and eggs thrown at the buses by the people and students in the immediate surrounding area.

Every single day as we came and went to school on the bus there was one primary thing we passed.  The Pickle Truck.  It was parked across the street from the main entrance of the school and was a local neighborhood gathering spot.  Since neither I or any of my suburban friends ever frequented The Pickle Truck, I have no idea if they sold anything else like chips or soft drinks. 

It was a common everyday occurence to see the non-bused students walking through the halls or in class with a whole dill pickle wrapped in wax paper which did not seem to have been purchased for eating.  The pickle was apparently purchased to bite the top off of and then the pickle juice be sucked out as desired.  These things, based on how late in the school day they were seen could last most of the day. 

I know some people who went to this same school read this blog.  Please leave a comment verifying that what I have just written is accurate.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

 

 

  

Time to spill more family secrets.  This time it is my wife’s family.  The topic of this post was kind of suggested by her.  I thought her and her family might be off-limits (click here to see why) but apparently not.

This is not some Queerbait¹ story about a family being on hard times and having to delay christmas so they could scavenge the dumpsters of local apartment complexes after christmas to check for other people castoffs until some guardian angel brings them presents.  My wife’s family was not Low Rent or Creekers.

Anyway – The first time I met my wife was the day after Christmas in 1978.  I had been working at the clothing store “Chess King” at the mall, I wasn’t cool enough or a hot female so I couldn’t get a job at  “Merry Go Round” and had just gotten off work and picked up a friend to go out to “the beach” (future blog post) to hang out and take part in underage drinking and other Dazed and Confused type activities.

My friend and I were parked hanging out and this COOL ’73 Firebird Formula pulled up alongside us in the adjacent parking spot. I was told “That’s Ross’s girlfriend, let’s go hang out in her car”.  Ross (fake name) had been my best friend since 7th grade but for some reason we weren’t hanging out together much at that time so I had never met his girlfriend.  I think he might have dropped out of school at the time and been working wierd hours or something.

We get in the car and first thing I am told is “I just got my ears pierced” by my future wife.  Which was a coincidence since she had just had it done at the “Merle Norman” at the mall just across from where I was working at “Chess King”.  She explained that her mother was old-fashioned and she had to wait until she was 18 to get it done because her mother felt “ONLY WHORES HAVE PIERCED EARS”.  This was one of those items that later became known as a “Francisism”  which was crazy things my mother in- law named Francis said. If you are doing math – yes I was underage, she was 18, so my wife is older than me.

We then reviewed what everyone had gotten for Christmas.  Her haul included – A new 8-track stereo for her car including Jensen Tri-Axial Speakers with a Power Booster.  That Stereo could be CRANKED UP.  Very cool in 1978.  We chatted a few minutes but then she had to leave because she had to get home to have CHRISTMAS DINNER.  This was at 10:30 at night on 12/26!! – Her excuse was “My father is a Sergent for the  airport police and he had to work Christmas and won’t be home tonight until 11:00”. 

It turns out, that was true but not the real reason Christmas Dinner was being served a day late and at 11:00 at night. 

 It would take a while for the REAL story to come to light.  

TO BE CONTINUED

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

¹ – Queerbait is used here as it was often in the 1970’s as a synonym for lame, stupid, boring or nerdy.  Not as the derogatory term for gays or effeminate men.  I am being 70’s style Politically Incorrect, not hateful. 

As a Point of Reference you may want to watch this scene from my favorite movie 1993’s “Dazed and Confused” before you read this post.

That clip is not just entertainment.  Within the group of people I grew up with it is known as a “HISTORICAL REENACTMENT”. 

The one in our neighborhood was known as “The Back Door” because the entrance was on the back loading dock side of a strip shopping center.

Some people were told by their parents to stay away because  “bad kids hung out at these places” and that “there were drugs”.  Both of those things were true, and I was there every weekend for a few years, until “The Beach” became the place to be (future blog post).

I was never banned from going there because my parents were big drinking buds with the owners.  (Click Here to get more information about my parents and their drinking habits).  Plus when it originally opened, it was billed as a “Teen Disco and Game Room” – The Teen Disco concept lasted just a few hours after opening but my parents always thought of it that way.

This was not Chuck E. Cheese.  There were mostly Foosball and Pool Tables with a few pinball machines sprinkled in.  This was a few years before Pac-Man.

I visited several of these places in that time frame and they were all the same and they were all just like the above video.  There weren’t usually any drugs actively being used IN these establishments.  The drug use which mostly consisted of drinking and marijuana took place driving/riding around in cars – so there was CONSTANT in and out.  If any of these places had tried to institute a policy of once you leave you can’t come back – nobody would have ever come back.   This was the place to meet up with your buds and go for “A Ride”.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

cs

Anyone reading this blog should know who Mrs. Robinson is from the movie  The Graduate.  I refuse to even give an IMDB link.  If you don’t know, do your own google search or “go rent it”.

In 1980 and 1981 I worked as a delivery driver for a local Pizza parlor in the Town & Country area of Tampa, FL.   It was fun work, decent pay and lots of fun experiences.   There was the private investigator whose house looked like something out of my Big Fat Greek Wedding,  ordered MULTIPLE pizzas and was a good tipper,  there was  the singles party scene at the The Racquet Club Apartments Clubhouse, our two most infamous customers however were older single women, both apparently widows.

Widow #1 had what we would today recognize as OCD and a hoarder.  She had a simple home stacked to the ceiling with magazines and newspapers.  Her weekly order which usually came in late Saturday night consisted of something along the lines of a small pizza, lasagna or spaghetti dish.  No big deal.  BUT it was her add on’s that were unique.  We were located next door to a Circle K and we did her weekly grocery shopping.  The normal list included  Bag of Dog Chow, Cat Food (Cozy Kitten), Two Lighters, Four Bic Pens, Notebook Filler Paper, Elmer’s Glue, etc… None of us knew exactly why she ordered these things or why she needed so many of them each week. We delivered them and she paid us a fair but not overly generous tip.  It was a good deed for a crazy little old lady who probably just needed some Prozac.

Then there was the one I still call Mrs. Robinson.  She lived in one of the better areas of our delivery zone and was the widow of an Air Force Colonel and at the time I thought she was REAL old.  Looking back she was probably a rough mid 50’s.  Large home (at least by 1980 standards) on the waterfront, boat dock with boat on davits (never used), Screened pool.  No carpet all terrazo floors. Pretty cool digs.  Drove a Lincoln Mark IV.  

 She usually answered the door with a cigarette and/or cocktail in hand.  Her cigarettes were the long brown one’s called “More”, her cocktails were always “on the rocks”.  Whether her cocktails were scotch, bourbon or whiskey I never knew, just that they were brown.  She had Marilyn Monroe styled messy Platinum Blonde Hair and was usually wearing one of a coterie of Bikinis including a leopard one and most famously the silver lame’ one mentioned in the title of this post.  Not that she had the body for it but she was proud of what she did have.  Her skin was the texture and color of shoe leather which was so popular in Florida back then. 

 The entire effect was very Cocktail Nation, Aged “Rat Pack”.  She could have been one of Frank Sinatra’s “BABES” back in the day.  Just imagine  an aged Angie Dickinson lying around the house with “The look of Love” playing on the stereo and you have a complete picture.  

She was a GENEROUS  tipper.

You can follow me on Facebook at “I am Dazed and Confused” or Twitter – www.twitter.com/iamdandc

This Post is dedicated to Uno Pizza where I proposed to my Wife and Denny Nickerson who kept it open as long as he could.

cs