Monthly Archives: January 2020



Hi Vinney:  The Bird-Dogging story at the end was inspired by an ex-classmate in commercial art class at Mount Vernon High School named Paul Visser.  At the time, I was adjudged by the teacher, Mister Milonzi, and most others with having considerably more talent than Paul.  My my my. I finally hooked up with the guy after some 50 years. He has made a lot of money and has raised three university-educated kids who now enjoy successful professional careers. He became an art director for two different agencies in the ‘70s, then ran his own art studio, (1980-2000) employing five full-time artists in one of the pre-emanate art/advertising venues in the USA: Westport, Connecticut*.

I’m figuring that he had a great sense/mission of responsibility, professionalism, self-worth, social awareness, and was, above all else, a team player. He has carved out a life of maturity, responsibility, and accomplishment. This guy was shaking and moving, opening bigger and bigger doors and raising a family while I was squandering my life away falling off of bar stools, watching reruns of I Dream of Jeannie, wolfing down bags of popcorn and indulging in endless self- delusion and dwelling upon useless introspections.

Vinney, I can hear your old accountant friend Irish Mike Connelly in one of his straight-shooting wry-smiling soliloquies: “Visser? That’s a Dutch name. Means fisher or fisherman.  It figures this guy did what he did. Accomplished what he accomplished. Don’t get me started. His lineage, his antecedents, goes way back to Holland. That’s a hands-on country if there ever was one. Used to be a world-conquering country. Sailing and navigation experts. Canal and dike experts. Ship-building experts. Road engineering experts. Architectural experts for chrisesakes. Art and design experts. Photography experts. Carpentry experts. No wonder that they settled New York City in the what? The 17th century?  A little like the English but without the literary or theatrical bent.   They’re hard-working. Industrious. Stout and mentally fit! Morally fit, for chrissakes   Happy people. Not miserable decadent miscreants like over here!   Whole villages in Holland where all the streets and sidewalks are made of bricks. Set in two or three different shades brick-red and grey! Arranged in artistic patterns, no less.  Think about that!  Civilization builders, for chrissakes! Not mere maintainers. Don’t get me started. Get me another beer, will you Vinney, how’s that success story Tommy Briggs doing?”

Paul has zero pretention and warrants the ‘it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy’ tag. During our emails, he swore by my ‘talent’ and went on that he had told many in the art community down through the years about ‘this guy I used to know named Tom Briggs. He could do it all. Paint, draw and design’ I was flattered but wrote that he was crazy in overrating my talents and artwork like that. In those days, for every piece I designed that had a shine, there were fifteen that didn’t cut it. On the contrary, I wrote, ‘your talent had wheels, and counted for a lot more than mine did, in the way it influenced others in important ways’ . I was especially surprised that he had placed me on such a pedestal because I remembered being a big flop working free-lance a few times at Commercial Decal, where he worked full-time as a commercial artist. It was then, at age 23, that I noticed that he had made significant strides since Mr. Milonzi’s class.
This kid was hotwired to the professional milieu.


I always liked the term bird-dogging. It’s what they used to call what major league scouts did in the old days before free agency and technology turned the baseball talent landscape into a billion-dollar business of lawyers and agents. Bird dogging scouts usually wore a straw hat and had an unlit cigar or toothpick dangling from their mouth. They were all over the USA looking for talent that had major league potential. They could be seen, usually in small towns, watching a high school game from small bleachers. If they saw exceptional talent, they’d be on the phone immediately, excitedly telling a major league team owner or scouting director about a phenom they’d just watched lighting up the field.

“Mister Stowery, Lucas here, from Visalia. How’s the wife? And kids? Good news. I think. Just watched a high school game here in town. Now there’s two pitchers may be worth following. One of them is this Briggs kid, six-one, about one-fifty, righty, falling-away, sling-armed delivery from Marysville High. He can bring it up there in a hurry. I believe he could put it through a wall. Fifteen strikeouts last week against Stockton High. About 92 with the fastball, and a good late hook on his curve though he telegraphs it. Trouble is he rattles when things don’t go as planned, and control may be an issue.  Don’t know if he’s a team player. Could be a million-dollar arm with a ten-cent head.  Of course, it’s still too early to tell. Now this other feller, Visser, Visalia High, lefty, tall lean kid, maybe six-three, one-sixty, may be a sleeper. I figure low 80s with the heater, but he may improve on that. Hard worker and knows what he’s doing out there. Cool as a cucumber with men on, spots his curve real well, and has a sneaky pick-off move that’ll keep the jackrabbits thinking twice, if you get my meaning….”

*The residence of advertising man Gart Williams (James Daly) in the Twilight Zone episode ‘A Stop at Willoughby’ was Westport.




















Pictured below are frustrated losers of Antifa who wear the mask of ‘social justice’ that covers their mission of hate. They are actually street terrorists and punk psychopaths, but are referred to by the media euphemistically as ‘activists’ and ‘justice warriors’. They have an insatiable appetite for destruction because they don’t know how to create anything except trouble. They are the perfect “soldiers” for professional Communists and Marxists who wish to destroy what’s left of (mostly) the middle-class and all decency and order. They are likely an incarnation of prior residents from hell, rejoicing here on earth in their duty to Satan. The name Antifa is an oxymoron, in accordance with the technique by communists of inverting the meaning of words and phrases. It’s known as doublespeak and was described in Orwell’s classic, 1984. The left-leaning media for decades has propagated the idea that fascism is strictly right-wing Hitlerian-style extremism. They have obfuscated the truth. The meaning of the term, according to Merriam Webster is: …a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition. A tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control…So they are only half right, at best. Maybe. Today’s left-wing fascists are very much seeking a “dictatorial leader and severe economic and social regimentation”, and especially ” forcible suppression of opposition”. But they are also using race as a tool to achieve their ends. They have designated straight non-progressive whites in general, and the white male of that demographic, in particular, and the goy-white male of that group even more particularly, as the “oppressor” who needs to be eliminated, squashed like a grape under the jackboot of their tyranny, or at least sent to re-education camps. So in reality, Fascism is very much alive and thriving in the USA. And don’t ever let the media fool you into thinking that it always wears a funny-looking mustache, has a swastika on its lapel and is thrusting a palms-out hand in salute of the fatherland.


Yeah, Vin. Was the desk clerk with the Satan tattoo behind the caged smoky office downstairs a guy or a girl? On a cracked, peeling and stained muted-green wall, next to a window that faced an outdoor alley wall three-feet away where water was dripping from somewhere above, a doomed fly was stuck on scotch tape on a three-year-old calendar that advertised Alameda County Hardware Supply Company. A ceiling bulb flickered while gasping for energy and a senile ceiling fan resigned to its lazy or arthritic repetition produced not a comfort in this sordid place of swelter with its yellowed sheets and pillow cases and unmistakable aura of derelict hopelessness. A liquor store with a perennially blinking neon sign and a checks-cashed place could be seen through a sliver where the alley let out to the street below where both mandatory city establishments sucked the blood out of many who entered. The former a portal into hell and the latter its ticket. Sporadic sounds of drunken disorder with its wild emotionalism could be heard not far away.  The radiator pipes played their post-modernist beats in the middle of July already, and how many tricks were turned in this sad box? And whoa the tales this frayed carpet, tattooed with traces of dried vomit and wine spill ghosts, could tell! Any suicides or murders here? This obscure room, this shabby hotel, this wanton street, this lost universe isn’t on a California postcard, but maybe some former residents or visitors might well have had their sullen countenances glowering from post office walls from time to time and earned some infamy for themselves. Is this San Francisco, Vin, or was that yesterday? Let’s tell Don Hendly that this is the real Hotel California, the end of the line maybe but not the beginning of the California Rainbow certainly, maybe more like where naïve dreams are snuffed out and nightmares rule waking hours and I was thinking of going out for hamburgers and a slurpy and something cheerful to read but somebody just banged loudly on the door and who-the-hell-could that be, the clerk?