Wednesday, March 2, 2011

DOING MY BEST "JAMES DEAN"

.
Just yesterday, I received an Email from my dear old friend Pooh, who included an ancient photograph that he had taken of me in downtown Los Angeles once upon a lifetime ago.

Below is his comment and the photo:

Hey Steee-heee-phen,

I remember when you been had been Mr. Intense. See attached photo of a trip to downtown L.A. long, long, ago. I found some old slides as I was tossing stuff so I had it scanned. Time has ravaged us....that and the things we did to our selves as well.

Love ya, (JW)
Pooooohregard
.
[Note: The "JW" stands for "John Wayne". Those are the initials we guys always place right after we use the word "love", just to ensure that the other bloke understands you haven't gone all "Boy George" on him. It ain't easy bein' heterosexual... in an increasingly homosexual/gender-mixed-up world! Ha!]
.

 .
And my reply to Pooh:

Ha! Thanks for the photo of me "doing my best James Dean".


I remember when I learned they were going to raze that "Jesus Saves" sign - I was so ticked off. Not because Jesus meant all that much to me then, but because the sign was like a great old landmark downtown. ...Hmmm... Come to think of it, I'm STILL ticked off about it. (See? Dogged if I don't still have a spark of the old intensity! It just doesn't see the light of day very often anymore.)


~ Mr. Intense

Pooh's nickname for me back in the day was "Mr. Intense" because... well... because I was. But then I got old and tired, and didn't look so cool in black leather anymore.

"Oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone."

~ Stephen T. McCarthy


YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
.

21 comments:

mousiemarc said...

Stephen,
Awesome picture. and I'm stealing the pic by the way. Never have I seen a sign that big saying Jesus Saves in a pic, and never in LA. Gotta have it. Sorry to steal your pic, but gotta gotta do it. Plus, hokey smokes you look like a guy not to be messed with. Good look for you brother. Oh, and I would be very surprised if you didn't have some success with the ladies back then. You had that James dean thing going on which was really popular back in the 80's, and heavily copied by the S.E. Hinton movies that came out during that time (The Outsiders and such, though I preferred Rumble Fish when I had to read them in school).

Love ya brother, ya know as a fellow brother in christ.

Brer Marc

Marjorie said...

Well, Weren't we a good looking youngster!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BR'ER ~
Thanks! :o)

>>.....Awesome picture. and I'm stealing the pic by the way.

"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do". Steal away, with my blessing.

>>.....Never have I seen a sign that big saying Jesus Saves in a pic, and never in LA.

There were actually two! An identical sign was also on the roof at the other end of that old building.

Another thing I loved about that sign... it can't be seen in this picture, but somewhere I have some others that show the skyscraper in full behind the "Jesus Saves" building, and at the top of the skyscraper it says "A.T. & T."

I always thought that made for an interesting juxtaposition: a photograph of the modern A.T. & T. building dwarfing the old "Jesus Saves" building. You know, how the materiality of "this world" often seems to sell the illusion that it overpowers or has greater influence than the spirituality of the "real world".

>>.....Oh, and I would be very surprised if you didn't have some success with the ladies back then.

SURPRISE! I did not! Not much anyway. (I think I was too "intense" for 'em ;o)

>>.....The Outsiders and such, though I preferred Rumble Fish when I had to read them in school

Never saw the movies; I was more of an "East Of Eden", "Rebel Without A Cause" and "Giant" kind of guy. Ha!

I remember, however, that my 6th grade teacher read 'The Outsiders' to the class. (Mr. Oldham: best teacher I ever had! He died very, very young.)

>>.....Love ya brother, ya know as a fellow brother in christ.

Love ya too, man - ya know, as a fellow brother in "JOHN WAYNEISM"!
;o)

Hey, glad to see you're starting to blog a bit again. I'll have to get over there and see what this new one is all about.

~ Stephen
"As a dog returns to his own vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11

DiscConnected said...

You guys are getting a little too bromantic for me...

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MARJORIE ~
Ha!-Ha! The jig would be up if you were able to see the places that the shadows conveniently covered.

Nah, I wasn't hot - I just dressed like I was.
;o)


DISCDUDE ~
>>.....too bromantic for me

Love the pun!
But don't worry, it'z all goo-- er... "John Wayne"!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Look at you-- all glum and intense and all that--- and young. Ha.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BOID ~
I like the way Pooh shot it, with all the deep shadows. He later took photography pretty seriously and got quite good at it.

This was taken (I'll say, circa 1984) before he really had any real, formal knowledge about photography. But I think it's nicely framed and I dig the light/shadows contrast.

It was undoubtedly me who suggested the location, as I had a kind of inexplicable fascination with that "Jesus Saves" sign, and '84 was exactly 10 years before I "found" Jesus.

One more thing: I was definitely "performing" for the camera. I know this not because I remember the moment, but because of the position of my jacket collar...

I never - EVER! - wore my black leather jacket with the collar up. I would have considered that ridiculously pretentious. The fact that the collar is standing up tells me that I was "posing" for the lens - indeed, "doing my best James Dean"!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Sheboyganboy VI said...

"Never saw the movies; I was more of an "East Of Eden", "Rebel Without A Cause" and "Giant" kind of guy. Ha! "

Oh, yeah? Name another one!

GROOVY PIC... er... I mean, AWESOME pic, man!

I loved that Jesus Saves sign on that old building, too, and I had no idea it was gone now. But I did not think about it and I've not been there in decades. I guess if someone had asked me if I thought it might still be there I'd have said NO WAY. The powers in control now would not let that stand.

I didn't live in LA, but in San Diego county. LA was close and I'll bet I got up there a couple of times a year all those years. I always liked seeing that sign.

Too many good things from the past disappearing. Like our good looks!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

MR. SHEBOYGANBOY SIX ~
I confess it: I'm clean outta James Dean movies.

I can rate the ones I do have, however:

#1: "East Of Eden" ...easily. Probably the silver screen's all-time best performance!

#2: "Giant" ...just a supporting role but he totally stole the whole freakin' movie, and anybody what don't recognize that also don't recognize giant acting when they see it.

#3: "Rebel Without A Cause" ...yup. Dean's most famous movie is also the weakest. Not that it's bad - or even "weak", really - but just the most lightweight of the three.

>>.....Too many good things from the past disappearing. Like our good looks!

That's why I drink, Brother! To make me and my friends look better.

Hey, thanks for visiting! And please know that I haven't "forgotted" about you at all. In fact, the last two mornings I have gotten out of bed with the intention of finally getting my long overdue Email to you written and sent. But stuffs just keeps happening to prevent it.

Email comin' soon though, and I means it!

[Now if I could only get you to visit my REAL blog. Yeah, you know the one I mean: The one you rarely seem to find. How does that old saying go? "Friends Don't Let Friends Blog Drunk". To which I will add: "...Or Blog In A Vacuum".]

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Nice picture, Mr. Intense (the nickname still fits you!). May seem trivial but the "BANKCA" sign got my attention quite a bit...

Doris

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

DORIS ~
Thanks! But I'm afraid I've quite mellowed out with old age and the Intensity Factor has diminished considerably. And maybe that's a good thing.

I'm not sure what that sign read in its entirety. BankCalifornia? BankCardServices? BankCaDoodleDoo? (I'm now outta BankCa ideas.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

DiscConnected said...

Hey, McDogg, I just gotta point out that the title of this post quotes John Cougar's "Jack And Diane."

See, I knew you wuz a closet Mellenfan!

Larry DiscConnected Mellencamp

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

McL.C. ~
Correct you are!

But it's not just the title that quotes Mellencamp's "JACK AND DIANE" - so does the final line of this blog bit:

"Yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone."

I don't recall having said that I dislike Cougar's/Mellencamp's stuffs.

In fact, I can still remember the night that Twinkie walked into the Bay Street house carrying a copy of Cougar's new album, "American Fool".

We put it on, played it loud (so the neighbors would hear), and all agreed that it was a winner!

Other than Cougar/Mellencamp being a typical, loser, liberal, Rock 'N' Roll entertainment freak, I can't recall ever having said anything negative about him.
;o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

Stephen,
Nice post...mousiemarc...that's a copyrighted pic...you owe me $100. Downtown just ain't the same, what with Jesus gone and all, the Staples center and talk of a new NFL stadium. I've heard that before. Nonetheless, Stephen, we had some good times...even some times we can remember.
JW,
Pooh

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

...AND POOH...

>>.....Downtown just ain't the same, what with Jesus gone and all

Is that Central Market still there, where you can buy Menudo and calves heads and all sorts of stuffs you can't pronounce but are expected to put in your mouth?

I'll never forget the Saturday that Cranium and I spent the whole day drinking in bars downtown and a couple of different bartenders insisted that we were undercover cops. (It was our white skin and short hair that gave us away. ;o)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground Undercover'

ahhsome said...

So, Outsiders, I agree with another comment.

I really enjoy when people aren't afraid to post photos themselves/family.

Costco has this deal where you can place pictures onto canvas, resembling a painting. I think you should do that with this photo, but enlarge it and place in a hallway or above your couch.

Sandi
http://www.ahhsome.wordpress.com

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

AHHSOME ~
Oh yeah, I know the "canvas photo" thang you're referring to. They ARE pretty neat looking.

>>.....I think you should do that with this photo, but enlarge it and place in a hallway or above your couch.

Ha!-Ha! Surely you jest!
Er... I mean, "Sandi, you jest!"

Well, I don't have a couch, for one thing. And the light bulb in the hallway burned out 4 years ago, so no one would even be able to see the picture if it was hanging in the hallway.

Yes. I'm a bachelor. No couch, no light in the hallway, and the toilet seat is always left UP!

I have never found my dining room because I refuse to stop and ask for directions.

However, I do have a microwave oven, a bottle cap opener, and a case of canned beer in the refrigerator. What else does one guy need? (Sandi, do you want a bottle cap opener? I don't need mine - I drink canned beer.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

Central Market is still there and you can get all that stuff you mentioned along with other stuff I cannot recognize nor pronounce. Coles on the otherhand was bought by some hipsters who went ahead and gentrified the place. Even took away the cafeteria style service. Now you gotta talk to a surly waitress who hates you not matter how nice you are.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

AND POOH...

>>.....Now you gotta talk to a surly waitress who hates you not matter how nice you are.

...she hates you and your friends...but you can't get served without her.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Pooh Lynth said...

Okay, last comment....yep I stole the thought...NOW what you gonna do about it..You see at my age it is easy to forget what I stole.....Now move it, now move it, now move it. Oh and one more memory before I ferget...Zucky's while it may never close, you may never get served.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

>>.....Zucky's ... while it may never close, you may never get served.

That's 'cause you can't find your waitress with a Geiger counter!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'