Weird history

Several months ago, my dad and I were in a car for a couple of hours, driving up to a cousin's wedding. It was a rare opportunity to have a talk with him, and the discussion eventually turned to family history. I was wondering why his father hadn't been in World War II, since he was about the right age. Apparently it was my father's doing. He was born in 1942, and was the second child. Having two children pushed my grandfather to the back of the draft line.

We talked a bit about my father being in Milwaukee during the race riots in the 1960's. He was working third shift on computer systems in a bank, and would be locked in by the curfew.

After Milwaukee, my folks moved to Clintonville, a small town in central Wisconsin, where I was born. My dad said one of the strangest things he had seen was a tank rolling down Main Street in Clintonville. I was flabbergasted. I had never heard of this. Apparently, a militant group of Native Americans had taken some sort of Roman Catholic complex hostage, leading to a major standoff. The closest town of any size was Clintonville, and the National Guard was basing their operations out of there. Then he dropped the nugget that made me certain he was pulling my leg: Marlon Brando had been brought in to negotiate. I couldn't believe it.

We pulled into Wisconsin, met up with my mother and brother, and a couple of my parents' friends from Clintonville. I had to bring up the Brando thing. They all readily corroborated. I had grown up in Clintonville, and had never heard of this incident.

I made a few sporadic websearches, seeing if I could dig up any more info, but coming up dry. Until last night. Thanks to Playboy. A Googlesearch of "Marlon Brando" and Wisconsin turns up the intro to a Playboy interview with Brando with the following quote: "...in Gresham, Wisconsin, he ducked bullets along with radical Indians from the Menominee tribe demanding a return of disputed land."

It was January, 1975. I was two. And the incident was probably something the community would rather forget. Wow.

The Playboy interview. (relevant section about two-thirds of the way down the page)
Alexian Brothers Novitiate.
  • Current Mood
    impressed impressed

Breaking with tradition

Hmm. For the first time in several years, it looks like I'm not going to Cornerstone this year. Not that I've got anything else going on this weekend, but I've kind of been craving a nice, quiet three-day weekend home alone.

Part of it has been all the travel I've been doing this summer. Three trips already for work, with another one on the way. Plus the impending Milwaukee trip, and a visit by the folks (I'm not travelling, but those... throw off my routine).

'Sides, I'm not blown away by the band listing this year. Sixpence is playing the main stage, but I've been disappointed by their last several concerts (they've refused to play anything off their first two albums). No 77s, The Choir, or Mike Roe solo (though the Lost Dogs will play). I suspect Allen Aguire has given up trying Spy Glass Blue at Cornerstone, after two very poorly-attended years in a row (though I'm pleased to note there's a new EP out). I caught Violet Burning for the first time last year, and surprised myself by how much I liked them--and they aren't playing.

I know, part of the fun of Cornerstone is finding new bands. But I'm still mostly going to see a number of the performers that I like. Add to that, my most promising lineup is tomorrow--The Crossing, Skillet (who I haven't seen but would like to), and Over the Rhine--which means I'd have to skip work. And there's just too freakin' much to do. *sigh* I'm getting old.
  • Current Music
    Spy Glass Blue, "Blue EP"

Ancient history

What's a Wuzzit, astute observers may ask? To grok that, one must first learn about Fluffy. What (or who) is Fluffy?

Short answer: A six-foot mutant rabid hamster.

Long answer: About a decade and a half ago, I was a freshman at college. The whole Internet thing was still in its infancy, the World Wide Web was still years in appearing. I was applying for my login for the school's computer system. My usual computer game handle, Falcon, was already taken. I scowled, and spat out the next name that came to mind. Fluffy. See, the last RPG I had been playing was Palladium's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My character was a mutated hamster, named Fluffy. He was six feet tall, had a bad attitude, fought with a pair of mace-and-chains, had dragonscale armor, and was a trained assassin. Did I mention I was in high school at the time?

Anyway, it was a pretty small community on the local computer, buhub. The anonymity was kinda cool. It was fairly easy to envisage someone as a giant hamster typing away on the keyboard, so I stuck with it. The legend of Fluffy grew. His backstory included the Hamster God, Wuzzit.

I kept that same email address for close to ten years. The nick tends to stick after a while.

Since Fluffy is a common-enough name these days, I'll occasionally drop back to Wuzzit, as a nod to the old fuzzball.
  • Current Music
    16 Horsepower: Folklore