Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane.

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Restaurant 1 "The Actress"

As always, the recounting of the following is not meant as a criticism, or as a commentary on the behavior and life of the deceased. The events recounted here are for the purpose of study, and are in no way included for the mere sake of entertainment. The majority of the information provided comes from eye witness testimony.

Near the end of Wellington Street, towards a crooked four way intersection, perched on a sharp corner is a small sit down restaurant. It seems every town has one, and this one is of a far better quality than many. The staff are warm and though it seems little effort is made to learn people's name, there is a sense that everyone gets treated the same, whether you are a regular or not. That sort of treatment is usually hard to come by, and offers a welcome escape for those passing by.

I first arrived at the restaurant shortly after arriving at the strange crossroads, looking for directions. Even after getting instructions, I still ended up making a complete circle, before I arrived back at the intersection, and finally sorted it out. The exterior is rather unassuming, just your standard fare that one would expect of such a place. The interior is similarly uninspired, save for a long line of photos, recognizing some of the lesser talents that came from the theater nearby. Wellington Street has had its share of success stories, but most end up never seeing their desires fulfilled, the older waitresses more than willing to indulge in your curiosity if you ask about them.

If you look among the photos on the wall you will see one of a young woman. It is a black and white photo. The young woman has thick, curly hair, a perky nose, and a well formed neck and jaw. Her most surprising feature are her eyes. They are surprisingly unassuming, without any characteristic that ends up setting them apart from the rest of the people on the wall. Despite the lack of unique features, she was by all accounts a actress of significant talent.

Most assumed that she would go on to find great success. But as I said before, very few ever end up getting to that point.

I Got a New Aptitude

On Mapping Happenings

Thanksgiving here in the States has come and gone. While still the holiday weekend, I am on my way to St. Louis - not because of what is happening in Ferguson; it is all work related, although somewhat tangential to what has transpired there. I did not say much in my last post about Ferguson, and I won't here, either. But it will be interesting if songs are written about the tragedy. Actually, those songs were written in the 60s, so why write more, right?

There was a tragic and historic event that went largely unnoticed this year due to the overshadowing of events in Ferguson. 51 years ago, right before Thanksgiving, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. We had lost other sitting presidents in the 20th Century, but not since the turn of the century was it due to an assassin's bullet. I remember this tragedy. I was in grade school, 10 years old, and learned about it as I boarded the school bus at the end of the day. I did not believe it until I got home to see my parents, glued to the TV, as Walter Cronkite described what had happened. A few days later I was watching when alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was gunned down by night club owner Jack Ruby, live on TV. While I am sure there were some who were happy about this, it prevented closure since we were deprived of the opportunity to see Oswald tried and probably convicted, and a better chance to see if he really acted alone. The country was devastated. Conspiracy theories quickly sprung forth. Was Russia involved? Organized crime? Castro? Was Ruby sent to silence Oswald? Whether you loved or hated Kennedy, it demonstrated the vulnerability of America. Our President could be killed and the reason was not even clear.

President Johnson pushed through and signed civil rights legislation into law as part of Kennedy's legacy. But later he escalated our involvement in Vietnam. As time went on, the country became more divided on both these issues. But for now, the country was united and depressed. We had lost a president. We were vulnerable. Could the USSR invade us? I learned early on in grade school to fear "the Reds". Thankfully, my parents did not succumb to this fear and kept a pretty level head, and I learned early to not believe everything I was told in school. But many did fear that we were open to invasion. And, indeed we were; but no one would have guessed that the invasion would be musical, and from the country we broke away from in 1776.

Beatlemania had already begun in Britain. As early as October, 1963, there had been talk of the phenomenon and the question was when would it spread to America. In fact, the very morning of the day Kennedy was killed, CBS television ran a story about Beatlemania. On December 10, Walter Cronkite ran the story again, in need of something positive to report. It was inevitable; the song "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became a hit in the US. And, on February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived in the US. They appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9. The invasion had begun. And many more followed; Dusty Springfield hit the Billboard top 100 just a week after The Beatles, then came The Dave Clark Five and The Searchers. In the next year and a half, American television and rock n' roll charts were dominated by The Beatles and other British groups like The Animals, The Rolling Stones, The Zombies, Freddie and The Dreamers, Chad and Jeremy, Peter and Gordon, Herman's Hermits, Manfred Mann, and a host of others. A new sound and a new look, positive, youthful, and rebellious, had been discovered by America's youth.

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