A Rocky and Bullwinkle Thanksgiving

Graciously gather round the big table or snag a cozy seat, this is one for the books, well remembered and well-deserved treat. Feast your ears and listen to my tale, if you please. I have a Rocky and Bullwinkle Thanksgiving as inspiration. This jive talkin’ turkey is on the scene, spare my neck and my giblets, in turn receive some “delectable” mentions. Better than gravy, less calories, gluten, soy, and dairy.

“What do you wear to Thanksgiving dinner? A har-vest.”

“Who uses jive turkey? In contemporary speech and writing, jive turkey is a humorous, deliberately outdated way to call someone a “fool.” (i.e., me) It’s often used nostalgically for the groovy 1970s, funk-a-licious music, and old-school TV characters like George Jefferson. (Shout out to dictionary.com, Marla Gibbs as Florence Johnston, high-rises, cleaners, and after-school programs!) Jive turkey jokes are common puns around Thanksgiving, since everybody’s got turkey on the mind. The turkey’s sure wished it stayed that way! A minute on the lips a lifetime on the hips … I digress and these hips don’t lie!

“It’s getting near dawn
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you, my love
Give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you, darling, soon
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling
I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love”
(Cream Live at Winterland)

Back to the story and Thanksgiving being right around the corner, awkwardly and bashfully staring at us; “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is an American animated comedy streaming television series produced by DreamWorks Animation Television which is a reboot of the 1959–64 animated television series of the same name.”

“[Rocky and Bullwinkle have been flattened by a truck]
Bullwinkle: This movie’s getting kinda…
Rocky: Don’t say it!
Bullwinkle: Two-dimensional.”

“The series sees Rocky and Bullwinkle “thrust into harrowing situations (just like the Holidays every year) but end up saving the day, time and again”. As Rocky and Bullwinkle’s innocent and silly ambitions to become rock stars or find lost treasure end up dovetailing with Fearless Leader’s sinister plans to take over the world, our heroes are set on a collision course with his notorious superspies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.” (Source Wikipedia, my husband’s awesome impersonations, and childhood cartooning around, about, and everywhere on-line to boot.)

“Bullwinkle: Rocky’s right, Karen, and two rights don’t make a wrong!
Rocky: Bullwinkle, that’s not what you mean!
Bullwinkle: You mean two rights do make a wrong?
Rocky: No!
Bullwinkle: I always thought two rights made a U-turn.
Karen: I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
Bullwinkle: Well, let’s find out. Two U-turns make a circle, two circles make a figure-8, two figure-8’s make a butterfly…
Karen: Look, all I want from you guys are results, okay?”

Now this isn’t an episode like “Director Peachfuzz and her new faithful sidekick Rocky racing to the Le Grand Yum-Yum Finale in Prague to stop a brainwashed Bullwinkle from using his pie to “stinkify” the World Leaders’, but you have to admit, sounds exactly out of today’s headlines. Just one squirrels opinion, or maybe I have already partaken in too many sweets. I like to munch on the ingredients and claim quality control to justify my actions.

The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism. The traditional feast for the day of Thanksgiving typically includes 3,000 to 4,500 calories and 150 grams of fat! We won’t discuss how much this meal costs on average, more ways than one.

This particular Thanksgiving wasn’t that long ago, but yum-yum for sure! No spies, that I know of, but of course they wouldn’t be spies if I knew. Now, I know; they were there, and supreme evil plans are sinister. However, please allow me to introduce to you a musical, familial, and godly legend; our Rocky was a trucker, a drummer, a pilot, a preacher, and an actual rockstar of epic proportions. My husbands beloved uncle and he saved the holiday by picking up his guitar, playing, more like channeling or performing Jimmy Buffet, Elvis, The Everly Brothers, and in perfect tune. Time stopped and shuffled his feet while harmony flung back her hair and hummed a divine strum.

“Headin’ out to San Francisco
For the Labor Day weekend show
I got my Hush Puppies on
I guess I never was meant for glitter rock ‘n’ roll
And honey, I didn’t know that I’d be missin’ you so
Come Monday, it’ll be alright
Come Monday, I’ll be holdin’ you tight
I spent four lonely days in a brown L.A haze
And I just want you back by my side”
(Jimmy Buffett 1974 Genre Country)

From the golden farm days to the mostly neon nights in San Francisco, at The Warfield and The Winterland Ballroom, but originally from St. Paul Minnesota; made his way the youngest of four, all the way out to Modesto California.

“You’re sick of hangin’ around and you’d like to travel
Get tired of travelin’ and you want to settle down
I guess they can’t revoke your soul for tryin’
Get out of the door and light out and look all around
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been
Truckin’, I’m a goin’ home
Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and patch my bones
And get back truckin’ on”
(Grateful Dead, Album: American Beauty, 1970, Genre: Psychedelic)

“The Warfield Theatre, colloquially referred to as The Warfield, is a 2,300-seat music venue located in San Francisco, California. It was built as a vaudeville theater and opened as the Loews Warfield on May 13, 1922.”

Top 5 Songs in 1922: “1. Swanee – Al Jolson. 2. West End Blues – Louis Armstrong. 3. Rhapsody In Blue – Paul Whiteman featuring George Gershwin. 4. Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Fats Waller / Louis Armstrong. 5. T For Texas (Blue Yodel #1) – Jimmie Rodgers.”

“Called “the heart of American show business”, vaudeville was one of the most popular types of entertainment in North America for several decades. Although women were the highest-paid and most popular Vaudeville entertainers, many men also rose to fame. Martin Beck, the Orpheum Circuit founder, discovered magician Harry Houdini. Vaudeville emerged as an independent theatrical genre during the Great French Revolution and soon became wide-spread in Europe.”

“Magic is the sole science not accepted by scientists, because they can’t understand it.”
“Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American escape artist, magic man, and stunt performer, noted for his escape acts. His pseudonym is a reference to his spiritual master, French magician Robert-Houdin. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the United States and then as “Harry ‘Handcuff’ Houdini” on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it.”
“My Brain is the key that sets me free.”

Today we have so-called magicians and otherworldly musicians who levitate, evaporate, and mysteriously propagate all over this wonderous world. “In the 1920s, The Warfield was a popular location that featured vaudeville and other major performances, such as Al Jolson, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie Chaplin. New Life came to the Warfield in 1979 when Bob Dylan played 14 shows at the start of his first Gospel Tour in November 1979, and again 12 shows in November 1980 during his “A Musical Retrospective Tour”. The Warfield had an appeal as a rock concert venue because it has more intimacy and better sound quality than an arena. The venerable hall has been rocking ever since.”

“The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying
“I love you”
I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world”
“First recorded in 1967 by Louis Armstrong, and with sales of over one million copies, “What a Wonderful World” has become a poignant message of hope for people everywhere.”

Uncle Rocky played the scene, like a pro, late 60’s, real early 70’s and was a stagehand for an out-of-this-world, extraordinary, exceptionally talented crew. Hendrix, Cream, The Doors just to name a few all agree Rocky was everything and then some. I don’t know about you Boo-Boo, but Rocky could play the best with the best, for sure! Stories so good, they were better than pie, and a song to always get you by. Of course, that’s another day of ghostwriting when I have more time, spicy rhymes, and way more pies.

“You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
We chasing our pleasures here
Dug our treasures there
But can you still recall
Time we cried
Break on through to the other side
I found an island in your arms
Country in your eyes
Arms that chain us
Eyes that lied
Break on through to the other side
Made the scene
Week to week
Day to day
Hour to hour
The gate is straight
Deep and wide
Break on through to the other side”

“Winterland Ballroom (more commonly known as Winterland Arena or simply Winterland) was an ice-skating rink and music venue in San Francisco, California. The arena was located at the corner of Post Street and Steiner Street. It was converted for exclusive use as a music venue in 1971 by concert promoter Bill Graham and became a common performance site for many famous rock artists”, including our Rocky! “Starting on September 23, 1966, with a double bill of Jefferson Airplane and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Bill Graham began to rent the venue occasionally for larger concerts that his nearby Fillmore Auditorium could not properly accommodate. After closing the Fillmore West in 1971, he began to hold regular weekend shows at Winterland.”

“And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice”

“Various popular rock acts played there, including such bands and musicians as Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, The J. Geils Band, The Who, Black Sabbath, James Gang, Mahogany Rush, Quicksilver Messenger Service, UFO, REO Speedwagon, Queen, Slade, Boston, Cream, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Van Morrison, The Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, The Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Ten Years After, Rush, Electric Light Orchestra, David Bowie, Genesis, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Sons of Champlin, Sex Pistols, Traffic, Golden Earring, Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Robin Trower, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Sha Na Na, Loggins and Messina, Lee Michaels, Heart, Journey, Deep Purple, J.J. Cale, Spirit, Chambers Brothers, Alice Cooper, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Foghat, Mountain, B.B. King, Montrose, George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers and Elvis Costello. Led Zeppelin first performed their song “Whole Lotta Love” there.”

“Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well, the night’s busted open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real, to trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven’s waiting down on the tracks
Oh, come take my hand
We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh, Thunder Road, oh, Thunder Road!”

“Many of the best-known rock acts from the 1960s and 1970s played at Winterland or played two blocks away across Geary Boulevard at the original Fillmore Auditorium. Peter Frampton recorded parts of the fourth-best-selling live album ever, Frampton Comes Alive!, at Winterland. The Grateful Dead made Winterland their home base, and The Band played their last show there on Thanksgiving Day 1976. That concert, featuring numerous guest performers including Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and many others, was filmed by Martin Scorsese and released in theaters and as a soundtrack under the name The Last Waltz.”

“How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must the white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they are forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind”

“Winterland closed on New Year’s Eve 1978 / New Year’s Day 1979 with a concert by the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Blues Brothers. The show lasted for over eight hours, with the Grateful Dead’s performance, documented on DVD and CD as The Closing of Winterland; lasting nearly six hours, beginning at midnight with Bill Graham’s favorite Dead tune, Sugar Magnolia. After the show, the crowd was treated to a hot, buffet-style breakfast.”

“She can dance a Cajun rhythm
Jump like a Willys in four wheel drive
She’s a summer love in the spring, fall and winter
She can make happy any man alive
Sugar Magnolia
Ringin’ that blue bell
Caught up in sunlight
Go on out singing
I’ll walk you in the sunshine
Come on honey, come along with me …”

Now apartments, but I’m positive, the ghosts still play the blues, and when the bay’s fog rolls in, a purple haze appears, and a faint electric guitar can be heard. The torch has been passed and my husband and Rocky’s son will carry his music, memories, and well-treasured wishes onto the future rocks of the world.

“Would you know my name?
If I saw you in heaven
Would you be the same?
If I saw you in heaven”

Can’t think of Thanksgiving without him, and sadly this will be the first year, on the day, not physically with him. Though his spirit is as bright and as sunny as his disposition was, dearly missed, and greatly loved. Such a profound loss, we’ll carry his candle and pray too above. Hope your Holiday is blessed beyond measure and your cups runneth over. Filled to the rims with joy and heaps full of love. Turn the music up, whistle while you work, skip some beats, and be merry this Thanksgiving!

God, we thank you for the blessing and joy of family. Thank you for those who are gathered with us today and those who are far away. May we all see the many ways you provide for us, comfort us and protect us. ~ Amen

Published by SiriusSea

Many moons ago and in a faraway land, I used to write about all things wonderous to the world and I am back to stir the seven seas of wonderment once more. As the storms pass through, I set my compass and my sights upon and beyond Sirius Sea! Welcome aboard!

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