Welcome to Geoff’s Blog Archives! Any and all previous blogs and individual articles contained therein may be accessed here. To read any of them, just click on the title. Enjoy!
GRANDPA’S FIRST TRIP
“Grandpa’s First Trip”… Call it what you may, Pot, Weed, Grass, Ganja, Bud or Herb… or in Geoff Nate’s day, Reefer, Tea, Gage or Mary Jane, marijuana has been around for a long time. Louis Armstrong called it “Muggles” in his song by the same name. Geoff Nate stayed clear of the wicked weed for sixty-eight years… that is, until he bought that damn cookie. Blog 17, “Grandpa’s First Trip,” was a “high” to remember.
“Grass: History of Marijuana”… The best documentary on the early history of marijuana was produced by a Canadian company in 1999 and narrated by Woody Harrelson. We’ve cherry-picked some of the “highlights” (pardon the expression) for our Begged and Borrowed segment.
Cab Calloway’s “Reefer Man”… Many marijuana songs have been written and recorded and filmed over the years by such greats as Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles and even the Beatles, but Cab Calloway’s short video is our favorite. Be our guests.
THE STATE FAIR
“The State Fair” … Minnesota’s State Fair is the nation’s largest and occupies 350 acres in West St. Paul. In just 10 days it draws over 2,000,000 visitors, many of whom were potential customers for this fledgling ice cream salesman.
“The Stewardess”… Miami Beach sounded great to this Minnesota college boy back in the cold cold winter of 1950. He and his buddy just couldn’t pass up the chance when offered an opportunity to drive some Minneapolis millionaire’s Cadillac south for the season. Adventures follow, as does romance, in the high skies.
“A Cable Merger Too Far” … The proposed merger between cable TV powers Comcast and Time Warner would be a big big mistake. The New York Times editorial page back on May 27, 2014 is a short and sweet explanation of why.
THE BLACK BOX
“The Black Box (How Hollywood’s Movies Wired America)” … Nobody wanted anything we were selling back in the early 1970s. Cable television was in its infancy, but “Pay TV” was forbidden fruit. We just couldn’t resist the challenge.
Animation Adventure… A little side story, featuring a famous mouse’s evolution into a pot-smoking hippie.
“The Wall” … Gerald Scarfe, the cartoonist who created our pot-smoking mouse, was to later win accolades for his amazing animation in Pink Floyd’s hit movie, “The Wall”.
THE “GOODNIGHT JOHNNY”
Chapter 1: “The Mellow Yellow Plymouth Convertible” … Geoff Nate’s first car, a sturdy little love boat he drove all over the U.S. and Mexico with adventures to share. If only the little rag top could talk. Come drive with us…
Chapter 2: “The $250 Jaguar” … “Yes, really,” said Elayne and her girlfriend Soni together, “He really did say he would sell us his big white Jaguar for $250. We promised you would call tomorrow.”
Chapter 3: “The Mercedes Convertible Saga” … But, Elayne and Soni never gave up. From a $250 Jaguar to a Mercedes convertible. What were those ladies smoking?
“I’ve Been Everywhere” … If you have ever motored around western America in search of a static-free radio station, you could always find Johnny Cash and a bunch of his buddies.
Route 66 Video… Now Buckeroos… Join us as we ride out of this Blog on Route 66.
“Tri-Polar Express” … Global warming’s vicious sub-zero bite back is no stranger to this blogger, who spent his early years actually enjoying those famous Minnesota winters. The temperatures may have been sub-zero and the snow a foot deep, but no one ever called off a football game because of the weather.
“The Chinese General” … The year was 1944. The United States was at war. Follow our 14-year-old ninth grade cadet as he prepares to defend his country at a Catholic military school on the banks of the Mississippi.
“Colonel Bogey” … Flash mob does the Colonel Bogey.
Geoff Nate’s grandfather Ike Nathanson came from a family of seven sons and only one daughter. Ike and my grandmother Rose raised seven handsome boys and no daughters. This blog is all about their very colorful family of “Stout-Hearted” ladies’ men.
“Benjamin Nathanson: Midwestern Patriarch” … Hats off to cousin Iric Nathanson for chronicling our family’s early history as they shipped out of Lithuania and somehow wound up in Minnesota.
Carol Bruce Sings to the Troops… Uncle Milt, the family’s great lover, did the Nathansons proud when, after a whirlwind courtship, he married Carol Bruce, a beautiful movie actress, nightclub singer, and Broadway star.
Chapter 1: “Cigar Stories”… The early life of a non-smoking boy from a family of smokers that sell what they smoke.
Chapter 2: “Tobacco History”… Chewed, sniffed or smoked, the habit dates back to the time of Columbus.
Chapter 3: “Adventures of a Tobacco Salesman”… Young Geoff Nate tries his hand at selling the product to those who make a living selling the habit.
Chapter 4: “Smoking: Perils and Politics”… Tobacco kills. All it took was 600 years to figure that out.
“The Magazine” … Back in the 50s they called it “Elevator Music” or “No Fi.” Why not? There were no commercials and it was free, so who really listened? That is until Burt Harris and Geoff Nate gave FM radio an identity.
“KLFM” … The acronym for Kept Losing Family Money. Our first adventure in broadcasting from the top of an old abandoned oil derrick on Signal Hill in Long Beach, CA.
“Seldom Seen Historical Photos” … Some wonderful old seldom seen photos, courtesy of our friend Alan Stamm. Be Alan’s guests.
IN SEARCH OF A NICE JEWISH GIRL
“Elayne Spelled Elayne” … In a city loaded with “Angels,” how could a young man surrounded by beautiful Hollywood starlits-to-be ever fall into the proverbial “Tender Trap?”
“The Bris” … Tradition?… Not to the Catholic sisters. “What’s done is done.” But Baby Boy Nathanson’s grandfather had other ideas with the help of an uninvited Sunday morning mohel.
“Democracy in Egypt Can Wait” … A sane perspective on the Egyptian “coup” from Charles A. Kupchan for the New York Times Saturday, August 17, 2013.
Memory Test… A short drill for Geoff Nate’s aging readers who think (or know) they are losing it.
“The Pimple Pills” … Save the the youth of America from the teenagers’ curse and make millions. What could be easier? All it took was two pills a day to drive their pimples away.
“Eighty-sixed in the Restaurant Biz” … Success stories are hard to come by, but young Geoff Nate was never one to shy away from a chance to make the “Big Score.” Why not the restaurant biz?
New Yorker Cartoon… A senior’s no-no.
MISADVENTURES IN PARADISE
“The Turkey Farm” … One man’s “Turkey” is another man’s bonanza. Welcome to the “I Shoulda’ Club”.
“A Tough Year in the Hood” … “The customer is always right”. Really? Two brothers’ 50s baptism of pain in South-Central Los Angeles.
“Warren’s Way” … Wall Street moguls don’t always make their mark on Wall Street. My hero lives in Omaha, Nebraska, enjoys a hamburger and fries for lunch and has a passion for chocolate sundaes.
Burning Man… One of the “Beat Generation’s” unique contributions to American counter-culture is the annual ‘Burning Man’ festival. Join us as we visit this extraordinary event in the Nevada desert.
WELCOME TO SHOWBIZ
Chapter 1… “Hollywood Calls” … Geoff Nate’s big chance… Movies, TV, beautiful women… What more could a Minnesota boy ask for?
Chapter 2… “So This is Hollywood” … Our very own network show by the same name bombs, but we learn how to con the TV viewer.
Chapter 3… “Arthur Godfrey” … Big Time television: Arthur Godfrey and the realities of sex and sin, and the education of a new kid in the Biz.
Chapter 4… “The Marx Brothers” … A wild day with a couple of Hollywood’s famous characters.
Chapter 5… “The Secretary” … A sad saga of innocence deflowered.
Chapter 6… “Out in the Cold” … From big-time network television to the ranks of the unemployed.
“Hollywood Seducer Revisited” … Big-time showbiz ladies’ man unmasked, thanks to the LA Times.
“You Never Even Called Me By My Name” … Geoff Nate loves country. Thanks to Youtube he can share this short David Allan Coe classic.
Chapter 1: Forget Korea. This story’s war hero plays golf with the Brass for big money, and somehow manages to bust a couple of GIs out of a Mexican jail.
Chapter 2: A Buck Sergeant bucks the system and unwittingly challenges Washington’s pursuit of communist infiltrators and sympathizers, threatening our American way of life.
Chapter 3: The Korean War nears an end. Civilian life beckons, only to be thwarted by a dreaded social disease diagnosis.
Joseph McCarthy and the Hollywood Ten… Highlights of the famous Joe McCarthy-driven anti-communist purge broadcast live on TV and featured in the newsreels. Not to be missed.
“Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” … War stinks!… “When Will We Ever Learn?” Nobody does a more beautiful job of singing that message than Pete Seeger. This poignant YouTube selection tells it like it was and unfortunately still is.
Chapter 1: My ‘Breezy Point’ welcome… The story behind Captain Billy’s ‘WhizBang’… Two-hundred male-hungry sorority girls take over this Catskills-type resort.
Chapter 2: I discover a trove of ‘WhizBangs’… My first run-in with the Chicago hoods… And a coming-of-age misadventure with a beautiful Mambo dancer.
Chapter 3: Breezy hires a Borscht Belt comedian… Doc and I manufacture an epidemic… I become pals with a baseball Hall of Famer and thwart a near-death experience.
Chapter 4: Miss Minnesota comes into my life… We run into trouble with one of the Chicago guys… The Hells Angels take over Bar Harbor and descend on Breezy Point in the wee hours.
Good and Bad Exercises for Lower Back Pain… A few simple back care exercises from Web MD.
“Faster Horses” … A little ditty about the secret of life from an old cowboy.
Chapter 1: “The Fire”… The Bel Air Fire of 1961. Our young family’s home burns down along with hundreds of others. We lose everything.
Chapter 2: “Malibu… From Out of the Ashes”… We rebound and discover a new life on the beach in Malibu with the rich and famous.
“Marijuana: The Other Side of the Story” … The case against legalization of marijuana by the nation’s foremost authority on teenage addiction… What if it was your kid?
Video: Gorilla Reunion… An African YouTube love affair between man and beast… Beyond belief.
“Girard Avenue” … A six-year-old boy faces his first real test of survival.
“Paper Boy” … Two character building ‘life and growth’ experiences of a very young entrepreneur.
Coffee Story… There’s coffee and then there’s real coffee. Fascinating woman… fascinating story.
“Back Care Tips” … ‘Flare-ups’ are the product of ‘Screw-ups’. Avoid the pain by avoiding the strain.
Cartoon of the Blog… Aging… Yech!