Back of the Book — July 20, 2013

It's Friday night, August 2, 2013, 21:44, and I've updated this page with a few things. We covered the below topics and more on this program. I have a little more to do and I'll actually have finished this Web page! The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Not much up here this time! We're rushing out now!

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do, and I've recently updated some of that.

I have also posted a whole lot of the minutes of the Pacifica National Finance Committee. I'm a member of that committee because I'm the WBAI LSB Treasurer.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to happen on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, at 7:00 PM at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

We didn't get to a Treasurer's Report at this meeting but I had posted a written Treasurer's Report the night before.

The LSB rescinded a badly worded and ill considered motion to set up a Program Director Search Committee, which had been passed at a previous meeting. The station can't afford to hire a Program Director at this point anyway.

The LSB had a report from the General Manager on the state of some things, and then LSB went into executive session for a while. The official report out of that executive session is that, “The WBAI LSB met in executive session to discuss personnel, financial and operational issues in relation to the PNB mandate.”

At a previous meeting the WBAI LSB voted to hold its meetings on the second Wednesday of every month and/or the last Thursday of that month, subject to change by the LSB, which gives us the following schedule:

All of these meetings are set to begin at 7:00 PM.

WBAI has a program schedule up on its newly revamped Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Because WBAI was forced out of its studios by the flood waters' destruction of the building's electrical system we still have this alternate, temporary stream for the radio station! I do not know how long this emergency stream will be up for. If this stream isn't working let me know.

New WBAI stream! WBAI has put up an experimental stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This is a brand new, experimental stream. So if you have one of those devices you might try the link out. And let us know how it works for you one way or the other. That way the folks implementing it can iron out any kinks in the system.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to this program any time for the next couple of months. You may need to scroll up one line to see the audio archive. Let me know if you find this feature useful. There is also another version of the archive here.

If you want to listen to any part of the WBAI archive click here to go right to the archives. When you first go to the Web page you'll only see the WBAI programs for the past 7 days. If you want to see older programs you can click on one of the “See ALL Shows” buttons. Or to see only the two shows in this time slot click here.

Back of the Book is one of the programs that you can download, as well as listen to on line.

In the table on the archive Web page Back of the Book and Saturday Morning With the Radio On are both in the “Show” column. The “Date and Category” column shows the date of the program. After the program I go in and write the details of the program and say which program it is. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

In the Summer of 2009, there was a Pacifica National Board meeting held in New York. Here's the Web page I did about this PNB meeting and the amazing things that went on at it.

And the PNB has also met in Houston from Friday October 9th, through Sunday October 11th, 2009. The official audio archive of that meeting is here. It was not disrupted as the New York meeting was, although some of the same miscreants got out there to say stupid things.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Manhattan the weekend of October 1-3, 2010. The audio has been posted for the first day of the meeting, the second day of the meeting and the third day of the meeting.

We had a heat wave! In fact we've had a couple of them now. We talked about the global warming that will make things hotter, and about the shifting Jet Stream that is in the process of changing Greater New York's Summer weather to something much warmer than it has been in the past.

R. Paul likes the heat, and Pickles can't wait for the cooler weather.

And since we're talking about Summer, and feeling it, we'll enter mid-Summer, astronomical mid-Summer, on Monday, July 22, at 6:17 AM (ET). The exact minute when we'll be at mid-Summer this year will be on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, at 8:54 PM (ET). For more on the dates of the seasons, and sub-seasons, look here.

Apollo 11 first step on the Moon
July 20, 1969, On The Moon

Pickles of the North talked about the Apollo 11 Moon landing that happened 44 years, and a couple of hours, ago. We talked about our experiences with the event.

Pickles was home with her parents watching it all on TV as it happened, and then she went outside, in the wee hours, and looked up at the Moon and just thought about how there were actually people up there as she was looking at the familiar sight of the Moon.

R. Paul was on his year-long, most-expenses-paid, trip to the Republic of Viet Nam and learned about the Moon landing hours after it had happened. R. Paul was eating his turkey loaf sandwich for lunch when he listened to the AFRTS broadcast on his tiny transistor radio. He hadn't known that the Apollo 11 mission had been underway. Most folks at the Ho Nai railhead didn't care about the event at all that day.

We got through a bunch of the mail on this program. We have not received any snail mail since December, when we were last at 120 Wall St. We figure that it's unlikely that no one has written any to us for seven months, but whatever is happening to it we haven't gotten any of that sort of mail in all this time. You can still write to us via E-mail.

B&B carousel May 30, 2013
The Newly Re-Opened B&B Carousel

On this program Pickles of the North talked about this carousel which has been rebuilt in Coney Island. Here's some of what she had to say.

Riding on the old B & B (Bishoff & Brienstein) carousell was one of the favorite things my kindred spirit Ratgirl of the West and I liked to do on our Coney Island excursions in the decades up to 2007, when the City bought the carousell and put it in storage.

Years back, the paint on the horses was not glossy and their tails were getting very wispy. But the horses still were beautiful, and the outer horses so massive it took determination to stay atop them when the carousell was in full spin. You really had to hold on!

We'd take the F train to Stillwell Avenue, then plod down the ramps in the cool dark station, past vendors selling beach balls and blow up toys on a stick, past the diner full of transit workers on their breaks, finally emerging next to Philip's Candy which filled the air with the smell of freshly made fudge and other sticky sweets. Then we'd turn left onto Surf Avenue and as we walked toward W. 12th Street, the sound of what we called the calliope wafted on the air. Laughing and talking, and munching on fudge, we'd reach the carousell. The same man was always there, rain or shine. The music was always playing, the carousell always whirling. Much later we found out that the man who ran the carousell was Mike Saltzstein, co-owner of the B&B along with James McCullough, who owned and ran McCullough's Kiddie Park, with the wonderful giant bee ride.

Mr. Saltzstein always had the horses galloping and the Gebrüder Bruder Elite Apollo organ playing. It didn't matter if there were twenty people or two in line, you got a good ride, usually two songs worth. Often Mr. Saltzstein would let us stay on without paying extra, especially if there were only a couple of riders and especially if one of them was a little kid. Around and around to Sweet Rosie O'Grady and Columbia, Gem of the Ocean and other assorted pre and post 20th century gems we'd go, little and big kids pretending to be trick riders or circus performers waving majestically to the big top crowds. We were jockeys, cowboys and cowgirls, and knights.

And Ratgirl would gracefully rise from her mount and grab the brass rings until she wore them on every finger. We dizzied ourselves looking from the white lights to the mirrors, leaning in to watch the music play, watching the paper rolls spin like a giant's music box. The castanets shook and clacked, the drums beat, the triangle tinged, we heard and saw it all.

Finally, as the carousell slowed, Ratgirl slipped each ring from her fingers one by one and threw them into the large wicker basket Mr. Saltzstein would hold out next to the brass ring arm. Slowly, slowly, the carousell came to a stop. The bell that rang out as we began our ride rang again. We would pat our horses and dismount.

The great difference now with the refurbished carousell isn't the glossy new paint or the full and glorious horse hair tails or the digitization of the organ music — it happened years before the carousell was sold. It's that Mr. Saltzstein is gone. Even though the folks who ran it after he died did a pretty good job, it just wasn't the same.

We'd had the privilege of riding a merry-go-round that was run by someone who really loved it, loved the almost one hundred year old horses and the old time music and being out there in the ocean air and sandy sidewalks. That's what made it such an extra special ride. And the difference between owning something and caring for it yourself and enjoying it, and the way it's run now... well, some things just can't be restored.

B&B Carousell Facts: Built in Coney Island circa early 1900s, horses carved in the Coney Island style (Charles Looff) by George Carmel and frame by William Mangels, who spelled carousel “carousell.” Sold and moved to New Jersey, bought by William Brishoff and Herman Brienstein and brought back to Coney Island during the 1930s. Sold to Mike Saltzstein and James McCullough in 1973.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even though the gag rule was lifted in 2002. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

One popular list the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list is sometimes lively and as of mid-2011, has 687 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand. UPDATE: The bleepin' blue board has had to add a step for folks to get onto it because it's under attack by spambots. When you click on the above link you may be asked for a username and password. Type in Username: poster Password: enternow

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Saturday Morning With the Radio On alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

My voice mail number at WBAI is no longer functional. This is probably a permanent situation. It was nice while it lasted.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2013, R. Paul Martin.