Show-Me Hollywood — Missourians in Hollywood on Missouri Day

Happy Missouri Day! I was not born in Missouri but I count myself fortunate to have grown up there, moving to the Show-Me State from Kentucky when I was four and staying until I was sixteen. Of course, I ended up moving west (St. Louis is the Gateway to the West after all) to the great … Continue reading Show-Me Hollywood — Missourians in Hollywood on Missouri Day

The Story of Frankie & Johnny — Happy Missouri Day

In recognition of Missouri Day, here’s a brief breakdown on Missouri’s second most famous couple (after the fictional Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher), a real-life couple usually referred to as Frankie and Johnny. After Frankie caught her man in flagrante delicto with another woman, Alice Pryor, and shot him dead, it was commemorated in numerous songs and … Continue reading The Story of Frankie & Johnny — Happy Missouri Day

Sounds of the Show-Me State — Happy Missouri Day

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography‘s Map of Missouri Missouri’s nickname, the “Show Me State,” first appears in print in the words of congressman, William Vandiver, who declared in 1889, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats. Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got … Continue reading Sounds of the Show-Me State — Happy Missouri Day

Happy Missouri Day! – Yup, It’s aready been a yurr since the last’n

MISSOURI DAY The 3rd Wednesday of the October, this year the 15th. Pendersleigh & Sons‘ Official Map of Missouri In my experience, when you’ins tell people you’re from Missouri, most people reply self-satisfiedly with “don’t you mean Missouruh?” or, alternately, “where is Missouri? I don’t think I’ve ever been there.” Whether Missouri is Lower Midwestern or Upper Southern (or … Continue reading Happy Missouri Day! – Yup, It’s aready been a yurr since the last’n

Southland Parks — Los Angeles’s State Society Picnics

From the 1900s through the 1970s, large numbers of migrants to Los Angeles gathered in themed picnics organized around their states of origin known as State Society Picnics or just State Picnics (although that sounds confusingly to me like an outdoor state banquet). They were known as “State Society Picnics.” The phenomenon was huge. One … Continue reading Southland Parks — Los Angeles’s State Society Picnics

Happy 909, or, Pomona Valley Day!

INTRODUCTION Readers are apparently loving these area code/valley posts. Last year’s 818/San Fernando Valley Day post was my most-read piece in 2021. That unexpected response inspired me to write this year’s 626/San Gabriel Valley Day post, which — two month’s after its publication — has already climbed to 2022’s number two spot. To be honest, … Continue reading Happy 909, or, Pomona Valley Day!

Thoughts on Interactive Fiction and Fantasy Cartography on the Anniversary of the Publication of the First Gamebook

Edward Packard‘s Sugarcane Island, is largely credited with kicking off the 1980s gamebook craze, exemplified by the beloved Choose Your Own Adventure series. Gamebooks, along with other forms of interactive fiction (including text-based computer games, fantasy cartography, and fantasy role-playing games) all flourished during my formative years and had a profound influence on my choice … Continue reading Thoughts on Interactive Fiction and Fantasy Cartography on the Anniversary of the Publication of the First Gamebook