austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

There are places I'll remember

The thing I liked best about the Baseball Hall of Fame when I visited years ago was their selection criteria seemed to be ``we had this stuff laying around'' and so they featured the moderately weird like the last legally thrown spitball and why wouldn't baseball keep track of its legally thrown spitballs? (There's a story there.) By this standard much of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame lived up to my expectations because they threw together some things with clear and indisputable relevance to the history of rock and roll and some other stuff which was clearly just laying around.

For example, a ticket to Elvis Presley's 23 November 1956 Cleveland ticket (ticket price a hefty $2.00, which back then could buy you a car) is the sort of detritus of ordinary life that I like. It captures a specific moment and yet was not by intention going to be saved for a moment past admission. Elvis's Screen Actors Guild card is also on display, complete with what I assume has to be his social security number (409-52-2002) and another number which I couldn't decipher (42838A), and one of the cars that Elvis bought for someone just because she happened to be nearby the day he strode into a car dealership, undoubtedly a model my father used to own at some point.

Incidentally another ticket for the Cleveland Municipal Stadium for 1965 put an upper-box seat for some concert at $5.00, which shows what inflation was like back then, although I don't seem to have written down who the concert was for. I'll go ahead and pretend it was the Beatles, then. I also have, as notes which might have made sense if I wrote this up immediately after the event, the phrases ``Bag One'', as well as ``In My Life'' --- which is itself in quotes, and not just quoted to stand off here --- and ``Docker's Umbrella''. This means something, and the logical supposition is that mischievous pixie spirits are breaking into my notepad and changing my notes to obvious gibberish.

Trivia: New York City Mayor George B McClellan took the first subway car for its public ride on 27 October 1904. It reportedly took quite some time to get him away from the controls. (They didn't crash.) Source: 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York, Clifton Hood.

Currently Reading: San Francisco Is Burning: The Untold Story Of The 1906 Earthquake And Fires, Dennis Smith.


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