Tag Archives: Jesse James

The Jesse James’ of the World

16 Oct

I was watching an NFL game and heard the announcer say something about a player named Jesse James. Obviously, this made me think about the famous outlaw, and I began to wonder something. How many people have this name?

In addition to the football player, there is the television reality star who was once married to Sandra Bullock. He made to it television as an customizer of motorcycles.

A professional wrestler also used Jesse James as a ring name. Of course, character names tend of change in professional wrestling, and he has also wrestled as Road Dogg and a few other things.

Locally, there is a country music singer named Jessie James. I do not know what she sings, but I know she is married to Eric Decker, who plays for the Tennessee Titans.

The list goes on and on, but you get the point. A lot of people are named Jesse James. This begs a question – why are people named for this criminal?

It is a question that has a few answers. In fact, I cover a few of them in class.

First, we tend to think of Old West outlaws as heroes. This could be because they represent independence and the ability to do as they please. It could also be because dime novels and movies convinced Americans that they lived a romantic lifestyle. This definitely happened with the original Jesse James.

However, there is one problem. I am not certain that Jesse James is an Old West outlaw. Some of his most famous robberies took place in Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky and Minnesota. Heck, he lived for a couple of years in Nashville. I am not sure those are places people have in mind when they think of the Old West.

Second, Jesse James is a cool name. It is alliterative and roles of the tongue. When people refer to Jesse James, they never say Jesse or James. They always say his entire name. Consider the brother of Jesse James. Frank James was involved in the robberies, but his name does not live on as a football player, motorcycle customizer, wrestler or country singer. The name does not draw the proper attention.

Yes, people are named Jesse James because of the original’s hero status and because it sounds cool. Heck, if the football player was named Frank James I would not even had heard it. I would not be writing this post, and you would not be reading it.

It sort of makes me sad for Frank James. Of course, Jesse was killed because he was the famous one, and Frank lived to a ripe old age. Frank James may be the cooler name after all.

Movie Wisdom – Hugh Ross Edition

21 Nov

I just watched the ending of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It has been years since I watched the entire thing, but I can remember the first time I watched the entire thing. It was at the theater, and the man behind me fell asleep. He also snored.

That says something about the movie. It is not a shoot ’em up Western. It is a work of art based on the interactions of Robert Ford and Jesse James.

This is not a review of the movie. It is about trivia. The narrator is my favorite part of the movie. His voice sets the tone, and he fills in some missing pieces. Heck, I am a big narrator fan. I like movies with narrators, and I like watching documentaries because they have narrators. I have always wanted to be a narrator. I wonder how people get into the line of work.

Anyway, Hugh Ross narrates The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Now, here is the trivia on top of the trivia. Ross plays the trainer in For Love of the Game, the movie where a retiring Kevin Costner pitches a perfect game. When he makes the decision to retire, he hands an autographed baseball to Ross. You know what it says?

Tell them I’m through, “for love of the game”, Billy Chapel

Wait, did I spoil the ending? I apologize.

Anyway, Hugh Ross, the all-knowing narrator in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, was the first one to learn that Billy Chapel was going to retire. He also had a role in Costner’s Wyatt Earp.

To honor Hugh Ross, here is some wisdom from a few of his movies.hugh-ross

From Wyatt Earp

I think the secret old Mr. Death is holding is that it’s better for some of us over on the other side.

Nothing counts so much as blood. The rest are just strangers.

From For Love of the Game

A lot of little bottles makes a big bottle.

If you give something your all it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, as long as you’ve risked everything put everything out there.

From The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

You can hide things in vocabulary.

 

 

Listeria – Significant Others

7 Dec

We went to the grocery store, which was deserted because no one needs groceries the day after Thanksgiving, and I bought a couple of magazines. In fact, my magazines accounted for half of the total cost. Anyway, the good folks at the Smithsonian have put together a list called “The 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time.”

People are always putting out lists like this, and I am always buying them. I look through them and wonder why they pick this person over that one. Then, I wonder how I can use it in this blog. Do I pick out the ones that I like and write about them? Do I pick out the ones I disagree with and write about them?

There are a bunch of Listeria posts on this thing, and I have probably already done all of that. This list is going to be different. In an attempt to change the pattern and pump up my state, I went through the list of “The Most Significant Americans of All Time” and picked out the ones who have a connection to Tennessee. Some of them are obvious, but a few may be surprising.Flag

Meriwether Lewis, along with William Clark, led the Corps of Discovery across the Louisiana Territory and to the Pacific Ocean. Upon their return, Lewis was appointed governor of that territory. Facing stresses of many types, he traveled the Natchez Trace on his way to see Thomas Jefferson. Just south of Nashville, he died of two gunshot wounds in a roadside tavern. Lewis remains buried near Columbia, Tennessee.

Those who have studied the Civil Rights Movement know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. However, they may not know that he received training in activism at the Highlander Folk School in Grundy County, Tennessee. Other activists, including Rosa Parks and Ralph Abernathy, also attended the school.

W.E.B. DuBois founded the NAACP. Before that, he graduated from Fisk University in Nashville. Upon graduation, he taught at the Wheeler School in Wilson County, where I live. According to the The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, his work at the Wheeler School influenced his work, The Souls of Black Folk.

Andrew Jackson was the first president from Tennessee and lived a life that could fill a shelf of books. In fact, my colleague is currently working on his third book about Andrew Jackson. To purchase a book and find out more information about Old Hickory, visit his website at jacksonianamerica.com.

Theodore Roosevelt visited Tennessee while he was in office and spent some time at Jackson’s home, The Hermitage. According to legend, the drank coffee brewed at Nashville’s Maxwell House Hotel and said that it was “good to the last drop.”

Before his presidency, Ulysses S. Grant commanded all Union armies during the Civil War. Before receiving those orders, he commanded troops at the Battle of Fort Henry and the Battle of Shiloh in West Tennessee.

Oprah Winfrey is an icon of television and other forms of entertainment. Before all of that, she graduated from East Nashville High School and Tennessee State University. After winning the Miss Black Tennessee pageant, she was hired as news anchor for Nashville’s WLAC-TV, which is now WTVF.

After a failed robbery attempt in Northfield, Minnesota, Frank and Jesse James needed a place to hide. They chose Nashville. With their families, they lived under aliases and lived quiet lives. Unfortunately, Jesse was not content and wanted to return to outlawry. They returned to Missouri where Jesse was killed.

Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi but spent most of his life in Memphis. A lot can be written about the life of “The King of Rock n’ Roll,” but, for the purpose of this post, his rise to fame started in Tennessee. It was a fame that took him to the greatest heights and the lowest depths.

I learned a lot about Bob Dylan while researching for my class on the History of American Music. He has been more influential than I ever realized. What connection does he have to Tennessee? Nashville Skyline was recorded here, and he spent time with several legends of country music. According to the stories, the home of Johnny Cash was one of his favorite places to be.

Jimi Hendrix grew up in Seattle and first gained fame in London. He introduced himself Americans at Monterrey and became a legend at Woodstock. However, he learned how to play guitar in Nashville. While in the army, he was stationed at nearby Fort Campbell and spent his weekends playing in the clubs on Jefferson Street. He met and learned from Johnny Jones, a local guitarist. Hard to believe? Watch this video of his first television appearance on a local R n’ B show.

As far as I know, Cornelius Vanderbilt never visited Nashville. However, there is a university in the city that bears his name. One of the school’s founders was married to a distant Vanderbilt cousin and met the Commodore at a time when he was considering several causes in which to donate. The timing was perfect because the meeting led to a $1 million gift.

Babe Ruth and his teammates used to barnstorm during the offseason, and one of those tours took him to Chattanooga. That is when he was struck out by a female pitcher.

13 out of 100. That is not too bad.

 

 

A Tale of Four Quarterbacks

26 Aug

This week marks the beginning of college football season, which means that I will be driving to Knoxville for another opening game for the University of Tennessee. This made me think about past seasons and other opening games. Then, I realized that it was 20 years ago that the Volunteers had one of their most interesting starts.

In 1994, Larry and I flew to Pasadena, California to watch the Big Orange play UCLA at the Rose Bowl. A few things about that trip stand out.

Our room overlooked Colorado Boulevard, the main route of the Rose Bowl Parade. It is too bad that we were there in September.

The temperature was super hot. It felt more like Tennessee temperatures than what you would find in southern California.

A man and his son brought their luggage to the game. Apparently, they did not have time to go to the hotel. They came to the stadium straight from the airport. Can you imagine someone trying to bring suitcases into a stadium during these times?

Larry upset one of the concession stand workers. We tried to get a cup of ice, and the guy said that it would be $10 or some other outrageous amount. That is when Larry said, “Damn, Jesse James carried a gun when he robbed people.” Apparently, the guy did not like the Jesse James reference.

There is something else I remember. Those were good times to be a fan of the University of Tennessee. Although we had lost Heath Shuler, who had finished second for the Heisman Trophy, we had a senior quarterback ready to take the helm. Jerry Colquitt had patiently waited his turn, and it was his time to shine.

Another upper classman, Todd Helton, was the backup. Everyone knew he would be drafted into the Major Leagues and had a bright future in baseball. He did not expect to play that often, but the team needed someone with experience because the other two quarterbacks were freshmen. They were also highly recruited.

One was Branndon Stewart, a son of Texas who came from the Heath Shuler mold. He could make things happen with his arm and his legs. The other was Peyton Manning, the son of a southern legend who played more traditionally. Everyone knew that there would be a quarterback battle in the future, but that was a year away.Quarterbacks

At least, everyone assumed it would be a year away. On the seventh play of the game, Colquitt injured his knee and was out for the season. Suddenly, Tennessee was down to a baseball player and two talented freshmen. Before the game was over, all of the quarterbacks would take snaps, and Tennessee would lose 25-23.

Helton became the reluctant starter and led the Volunteers to a big win over Georgia. However, he was injured in another game, and no one wanted to ruin his chances at baseball. He stayed on the team, but the freshman quarterback battle was at full force.

Stewart and Manning split playing time, and the fans were split, as well. Remembering Shuler, some fans wanted Stewart. Seeing a pro typical quarterback, other fans wanted Manning. Eventually, the coaches settle on Manning.

Stewart, seeing the writing on the wall, transferred to Texas A&M and led them to the 1998 Big 12 championship. In the title game, they beat Kansas State, which insured that Tennessee would go to the first BCS Title Game. The Vols won the National Championship, and, ironically, Stewart helped them do that.

Helton was drafted by the Colorado Rockies and recently retired after playing for them his entire career. Not long ago, they also retired his number.

Despite his injury, Colquitt by drafted into the NFL, but his playing career did not last long. He got into coaching and made it onto the staff of the Seattle Seahawks.

Manning is, well, Peyton Manning and is considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Like Shuler before him, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, which is one of the greatest travesties in that award’s history. Then, he was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts. Now, he plays for the Denver Broncos.

Thinking about the opening game of 1994 made me wonder about how lives were changed by one injury on one play. What would have happened if that injury had not taken place? Would Colquitt have gone on to a more promising NFL career? Would Helton have come in during a later game and gotten hurt more seriously? Would another year allowed Stewart to beat out Manning for the starting job? Would Manning have transferred? Would Tennessee have won the National Championship in 1998?

I have no idea, but I know what we were thinking when that injury took place. Holy crap, what are we going to do now?

What If Johnny Ringo and Bandit Darville Made a Porn Movie and Called It “Listoeia Dwnuwo Maexco”

24 Mar

Do you ever look at the Search Terms that pop up in your Stats and wonder a few things? Who looks this stuff up? How did they get to this blog? When did spelling get thrown out of the window? I just looked through the Search Terms from the past 30 days and saw a few that stood out.

I decided to list a few, but there will be some additions. I may have a couple of comments, but the real fun will be visual. I am going to do an image search of each one and pick out the best photo.

listoeia dwnuwo maexco – Understand?

So, this is what a listoeia dwnuwo meaxco is.

So, this is what a listoeia dwnuwo meaxco is.

what does dreaming about sailing into the sunset on a motorcycle represent? – It means that you have invented a new mode of transportation, the floating motorcycle. I suggest you get a patent.

Nice boat

Nice boat

funicello guns – Annette made a lot of beach movies, but none of them involved shooting her way through an amphibious invasion.

Not a gun in sight.

Not a gun in sight.

frank sinatra and jesse james – Now, those two would have had fun together.

Brad Pitt made a movie about Jesse James and was in a remake of a Frank Sinatra classic. That is as close as I can get.

Brad Pitt made a movie about Jesse James and was in a remake of a Frank Sinatra classic. That is as close as I can get.

johnny ringo porn girls – Why Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked over your porn ‘stache.

It is the safest picture I could use. I just do not know how it got in the mix.

It is the safest picture I could use. I just do not know how it got in the mix.

watch the porn version of smokey and the bandit – If this exists, then I must watch it while having a Diablo sandwich and a Dr. Pepper.

The movie he wishes he had made.

The movie he wishes he had made.

dickersonroadwhores – You have to be from Nashville to understand this one, but I guarantee the girls on Dickerson Road know how to put spaces between words.

Yep, that is what happens on Dickerson Road.

Yep, that is what happens on Dickerson Road.

tombstone az 1 square fot deed souvineer – I have always wanted a fot as a souvineer.

Just try not to end up six fot under.

Just try not to end up six fot under.

imbeciles poem – I am honored that someone has described the imbecility of the world in iambic pentameter.

I have to buy this book.

I have to buy this book.

Anyway, that was my “I cannot think of anything else so I will write this” post of the month. I promise that better content is on its way.

What Hath Bell Wrought

28 Feb

This week, I have been telling my classes about some of the technological advances of the late 1800s. That was a time when inventors experimented in labs throughout the world to develop the next great invention. One of those, the telephone, greatly impacted communication and continues to be an integral part of our lives.

(Interesting Trivia: The telephone was up and running before George Custer was killed at Little Big Horn; before Wyatt Earp became a lawman in Dodge City; before Jesse and Frank James attempted a failed bank robbery in Northfield, Minnesota; and before Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president.)

Alexander Graham Bell is known by most as the inventor of the telephone. Of course, there has been debate about who invented it first, but he is the one who took the invention and made it a part of everyday life. This post is not about who invented it. Instead, it is about what we discussed in class.

I took the students through the evolution of the phone. We talked about party lines and how neighbors could listen to your conversations if they were so inclined.Party Line

We talked about how operators used to connect calls by sticking wires in the proper sockets.Operator

We talked about rotary dials, when people had to stick their hands in the proper holes and turn the dial. Then, they listened to it click as it moved back into place.Rotary Phone

We talked about phones with long cords that became tangled and stretched.Phone Cord

In short, we talked about things that they had never seen.

The telephone was a great invention and has alter the direction of humanity. However, I noticed something as I talked about the history of the telephone. Several of the students were not listening because they were playing around with their iPhones and Droids. While I was going over the virtues of the telephone, they were taking part in the bad side of the telephone.

For teachers, or anyone else who needs to have the attention of a group of people, telephones are the work of Satan. They are distractions for the ones using them, and they are distractions for the rest of us. These things have become attachments that people cannot do without.

On the first day of class, I tell everyone to stay off their phones. No texting. No tweeting. Put them away and do not look at them. I may as well be whistling in the wind. People cannot put down their phones. I am convinced that Steve Jobs was the most successful drug dealer in the history of the world. We cannot do without his product.

Just once, I would like to go back to the old days and have a class where no phone was in the room. Students would still daydream or stare out of the window. At least there would not be the blatant act of picking up a phone and looking at it and providing physical proof that they just do not care.

Ironically, I had to stop talking about the history of the telephone to tell people to get off their phones. As I walked out of class, I began to wonder what hath Bell wrought.

It Was A Very Good Year

3 Feb

Due to events out of my control – namely, a trip to Cancun and the start of school – I never got around to analyzing my year-end fireworks show and review. As Frank Sinatra sang, it was a very good year.Frank Sinatra September

It was also a very interesting year because only one of the top five posts was written in 2013.

Into the Sunset (April 2013) is the one that got Freshly Pressed. If you ever wondered what happened to the cowboy after he rode into the sunset, then you may want to check it out.

Movie Wisdom – Burt Reynolds Edition (May 2012) is the first in a series of posts about bits of wisdom to be found in movie dialogue. You would be surprised at how many people want to know what Burt Reynolds had to say. That is especially true for one line in Smokey and the Bandit.

Listeria – Gunslingers Edition (November 2012) is exactly what the title says – a list of the great gunfighters of the West. It probably gets attention because of all the names tagged in it. However, the best part can be found in the comments. Somebody wanted me to know that I had the death date of Jesse James wrong. He faked his death and lived to be an old man.

Listeria – Western Actors Edition (October 2012) is also what the title says – a list of the great actors known for the Western genre. It also gets attention because of the names that are tagged. Check it out. If you can think of something who should be on the list, then let me know.

The Problem With Gas Pumps (November 2011) is one of the first posts I ever wrote. For a long time, it dominated the stats of the blog. For a while, it was like everyone was searching for gas, gas pumps, gasoline pumps or pictures of gas pumps. Its rule over the SBI world has faded, but it will definitely be the first inductee into my personal Blogging Hall of Fame.

The annual report also lists the top commenters of 2013. Feedback is important, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. These are the ones who commented the most.

Dying Note has been commenting on this blog almost as long as there has been a blog.

Marilyn over at Serendipity is someone I always like to hear from.

Manu Kurup is a frequent commenter and great blogger.

Front Range Scribbles posts great comments and has introduced new music to an old music lover like me.

My Favorite Westerns is a great place to go to learn about that movie genre, but a lot of great comments about other subjects also come from there.

Oh, you might like to know the top search terms for 2013. I wonder who many blogs have Johnny Ringo and Porno as the top two search terms. If you find one, then let me know. I would like to read it.