Culinary no-no #653

THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!

Once again this week we are suspending our usual format to provide important related information about the coronavirus.

Cormeilles-en-Parisis, near Paris

A woman drinks her coffee at a cafe in Rome, Italy. Italy is slowly lifting restrictions after a two-month coronavirus lockdown.
Rome

The restaurant industry is still alive…barely.

This past week the Nation’s Restaurant News posted an article with this headline:

How the restaurant consumer will change in a post COVID-19 world

The headline very well might have either read:

The restaurant model we’ve known for a long time is dead, and it’s not coming back

The article contains a fair amount of gloom and doom, opening with:

It’s a bustling Saturday night at your local neighborhood restaurant. The dining room is only half full, but you know it’s a busy night because in-house delivery drivers — formerly bussers and dishwashers — are whisking dozens of orders in and out of the store, delivering family meals and wine flights to regulars. While barstools are mostly empty, patrons wait for their tables dutifully six feet apart, most wearing face masks. Someone coughs and customers shift nervously — several even get up and leave.

It’s a restaurant scene experts say is likely to become familiar over the next six months to a year…

That’s the stark reality about restaurants of the future. The Jetsons it ain’t.

For as much as people are clamoring that they’re ready to run screaming into the streets at the thought of reopening, consider this Catch-22:Consumer_stats_2.jpg
But restaurants can’t afford to wait.

Also from the reality file: Chef Michael Feker who owns Zesti in Hartland and Americas Continental Eatery in Delafield told the Milwaukee Business Journal “To-go was secondary to the dine-in,” Feker said of pre-pandemic business. “Now, it’s the other way around.”

How long will/could that last?

The clampdown by government has turned municipalities into police states. Restaurants didn’t have to worry because they were closed, except for takeout. Until now.  Police in Ohio and God knows where else consider restaurants potential criminals.

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Finally, Jennifer Bartolotta of Bartolotta & Associates says radical changes are needed in the restaurant business. Unlike so many analysts Bartolotta sees light at the end of the tunnel. She wrote a column in the Milwaukee Business Journal directly addressing her colleagues:

“I would like to point out that this is your moment as an industry. You have been gifted the golden goose of our lifetime. There’s a short, medium and long game here. As you ponder viability and sustainability, it has to be with a new model where you have coalesced to offer your employees fair compensation, 40-hour work weeks, meaningful benefits, and solutions that offer the entrepreneurial owners better than ‘less than 10% net profit’.”

The column requires subscription. But here are some of her suggestions as she challenges her industry partners:

Please coalesce and build your new model.  Consider:

• Joe (Bartolotta, her late husband) was famous for saying his most expensive cost was an empty seat – and that is more true today than it ever has been. See each seat that way by maximizing its potential.

• Train, train and train. Make sure that “the experience” is the best you can offer. It’s true that the best server can make up for the worst food, but the best food can’t make up for even an average server.

• Five-day-a-week operations, requiring only one crew only opening for one service a day, instead of two or three. 

• Smaller menus, find your niche and settle in there.

• Look to the theater industry and copy “set” performances/showings. Consider having “performances” at 5 p.m. (and like grocery stores, the earliest seating for vulnerable populations), 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

• Go back to “the book” and manage your own reservations.

• Only take paid reservations, or at least a per-person deposit of your check average.

• Offering in-unit diners pre-ordered and pre-paid food “to go” for the services you do and don’t offer (breakfast and lunch as an example) – you’re now in competition with delivery services offering meals and meal kits, and we want to support local.

• Most important — raise your prices. We’ll come because Covid-19 gave us a glimpse into your world. We’re armed with new perspective on what it takes to create the experiences and sustenance you offer. While we won’t likely come as often, when we do, we’ll have a far greater appreciation for you and the much-needed respite you offer.

CULINARY NO-NO BONUSES

Restaurants rebel against delivery apps as cities crack down on fees

Colorado shuts restaurant that told customers: If you’re scared to break social-distancing rules, don’t enter

THIS also happens when restaurants close

Photos of the Week (05/24/20)

A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.

1) President Donald Trump addresses a ceremony honoring veterans ahead of the Memorial Day holiday at the White House in Washington, May 22, 2020. Photo:  REUTERS/Leah Millis

2) A veteran from AMVETS (America Veterans) who is participating in “Rolling to Remember: Honoring our Nation’s Veterans and POW/MIA” salutes President Donald Trump with a thrust fist as he rolls past the president, watching from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House, during a ceremony honoring veterans ahead of the Memorial Day holiday at the White House in Washington, May 22, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis

3) A veteran from AMVETS (America Veterans) who is participating in the “Rolling to Remember: Honoring our Nation’s Veterans and POW/MIA” event rides past as President Donald Trump watches from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House during a ceremony honoring veterans ahead of the Memorial Day holiday at the White House in Washington, May 22, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis

4) Actor Robert Hammond Patrick Jr stands with veterans prior to President Donald Trump hosting a ceremony honoring veterans going into the Memorial Day weekend at the White House in Washington, May 22, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis

5) Members of the U.S. Army Old Guard place small American flags in front of the headstones of U.S. service members buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, May 21, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Tom Brenner

6) Cub Scout Colten Short, 10, of Arlington, salutes a grave after fixing a flag in front of a headstone ahead of the Memorial Day weekend at West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee, May 19, 2020. Max Gersh/The Commercial Appeal/USA TODAY NETWORK via REUTERS

7) Margot Bloch stands in a line of fake body bags while holding flowers during a funeral procession demonstration for COVID-19 victims, outside of the White House in Washington, May 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters

8) The body of Valnir Mendes da Silva lays on the sidewalk of the Arara favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 17, 2020. When Silva complained that he could not breathe, locals said they called an ambulance for him, but he died before it arrived. His body lay on the sidewalk for 30 hours, according to relatives and neighbors. Although they may never be sure, they suspect the 62-year-old was an uncounted victim of the coronavirus outbreak tearing through Rio’s marginalized communities and stretching public services past their limits. Photo: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

9) Police officers ask people to keep their distance in front of Les Invalides in Paris on May 21 as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Photo: Getty Images

10) People crowd Bournemouth beach on a hot day in Dorset, England, May 20. Photo: Getty Images

11) Residents jump off a bridge while swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking in Barton Creek in Austin, Texas, on May 20, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that bars, wine tasting rooms, bowling alleys, skating rinks, bingo halls, aquariums, and equestrian events will be allowed to open on May 22, despite a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. Photo: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

12) People wait in line to go to the Long Branch beach, as New Jersey beaches reopen ahead of the Memorial Day weekend following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in Long Branch, New Jersey. Photo: Reuters

13) Two women sunbathe on a grassy slope at Brooklyn Bridge Park during the coronavirus outbreak, on May 17, 2020, in New York. Photo: Kathy Willens / AP

14) A visitor walks through the miniature theme park Madurodam after its reopening following the coronavirus outbreak in The Hague, Netherlands, on May 18, 2020. Photo: Bart Maat / ANP / AFP / Getty

15) The city’s landmark Eiffel Tower is seen through unmown grass along the Trocadero Fountains on May 20, 2020 in Paris, France. Photo: Alain Jocard / AFP / Getty

16) Kady Heard performs a burlesque routine during a drive-thru theater performance at the Majestic Repertory Theatre in Las Vegas on May 16, 2020. The theater held interactive performances for people in their cars as they sold masks to raise money, while closed during the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: John Locher / AP

17) Dolphins perform during a preparation period at the Aquarium of Genoa, Liguria. The aquarium is set to reopen on May 28 after over two months of being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: AFP

18) A man wearing a face mask and a cardboard house on his head with text that reads, in Spanish, “stay at home,” walks on the seafront in Montevideo, Uruguay, on May 20, 2020. Photo: Matilde Campodonico / AP

19) Tents are pitched to help slow the spread of the coronavirus at a sanctioned homeless encampment next to San Francisco City Hall on May 19. Photo: Reuters

20) Signs reading “no job, no rent” hang from the windows of an apartment building in Washington DC, on May 20. Photo: AP

21) Coronavirus patients George Gilbert and his wife, Domneva Gilbert, hold hands during a short visit. They are being treated in different areas at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England, where they are both part of the TACTIC-R trial, on May 21. Photo: AP

22) Carolyn Ellis (right) hugs her mother, Susan Watts, using the “hug glove” that Carolyn and her husband, Andrew, created as a Mother’s Day gift, in Guelph, Canada, on May 16. Photo: Getty Images

23) Varsha Thebo attends her online graduation ceremony in her bedroom at the International Student House where she resides at Georgetown University, in Washington, DC, May 15. Photo: Getty Images

24) George Washington University graduate Catalina Perez receives a paper copy of her diploma from neighbor Paula Lytle at a surprise graduation party in Washington, DC, May 17. Photo: Reuters

25) Ethan Brown, a graduating senior from Buckeye Union High School, celebrates during a drive-thru graduation ceremony on the race track at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona, May 16. Photo: AP

26) A child delivers candy to graduating seniors during a Class of 2020 parade in Wantagh, New York, May 15. Photo: Getty Images

27) A picture of a student is seen on a tablet that is placed on a robot during an event called “cyber-graduation” at a school at Taguig in Manila, Philippines. Photo: AP

28) Dexter Griffin, 9, of Foxborough, plants a flag outside of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on May 21, 2020. The Patriots Foundation partnered with the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund to plant 2,552 flags in honor of veterans from Foxborough who have lost their lives defending the country since the Revolutionary War. Photo: Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

29) Ford Executive Chair William Clay Ford Jr. and President Donald Trump tour the Ford Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on May 21. Photo: Getty Images

30) President Donald Trump holds a protective face mask with a presidential seal on it that he said he had been wearing earlier in his tour at the Ford Rawsonville Components Plant that is manufacturing ventilators, masks and other medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis

31) A man walks across a washed-out road in Sanford, Michigan, on May 21, after the area saw heavy flooding and damage from heavy rains. Photo: Getty Images

32) A woman uses a kayak to examine the damage at homes in her neighborhood on Oakridge Road on Wixom Lake in Beaverton, Michigan. Quickly rising water has overtaken dams and forced the about 10,000 people from their homes in central Michigan. Photo: Midland Daily News

33) Rose-ringed parakeets in a forest in Kathmandu. Nepal is a favored breeding destination for the migratory birds. More than 900 bird species have been spotted in the country. Photograph: Narendra Shrestha/EPA

34) A Eurasian hoopoe captured in flight while feeding its chicks at the entrance of their nest in a hole in a tree, in Gyeonggi province, South Korea.  Photograph: Jeon Heon-kyun/EPA

35) A man sits with a pelican in St James’s Park, London, Britain. Photo: REUTERS/John Sibley

AND FINALLY,

Scenes from opening night of drive-in theater at Ballpark Commons here in Franklin

Week-ends (05/23/20)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of  This Just In…

HEROES OF THE WEEK

President Trump

Shelly Luther

Mary Gillen

Sarah Rose and David Patrick

VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

The mayor of Racine

Michigan Governor Whitmer

Costco

UK  cheerleader coaching staff

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“It was imperative for Milwaukee County businesses to get open in a responsible way.”
Mike Drilling, owner of Panther Pub and Eatery in Greendale said it was important to reopen, especially since restaurants in nearby Kenosha and Waukesha counties had been open for indoor and outdoor seating for several days

“It’s grossly unfair to Milwaukee businesses. The only municipality that will not be open for business is the City of Milwaukee, and I say that’s crazy. ”
Milwaukee Alderman Mark Borkowski sent a letter to Mayor Tom Barrett, after hearing from business owners who are right on the border with other cities getting ready to reopen. Borkowski called on the mayor to reopen the city, as the county prepared to end their stay at home order.

“We know that there are a lot of people that want to act like life is back to normal. We’re dealing with a pandemic, so we have to be responsible and deal with this in a way where we think it’s not going to cause us to potentially have a huge setback.”
Mayor Barrett is holding firm on his decision to stay closed

“Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
Joe Biden in an interview

“That is as arrogant and offensive and demeaning as I can imagine in this time we are living.  Race-baiting in the 21st century is an ineffective tool to attract one of the most intelligent voting blocks in the nation.”
Tim Scott of South Carolina,  the sole black Republican serving in the US Senate

“Biden’s remarks sent shockwaves across social media and in the political press, but it shouldn’t have shocked anyone. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party have long sowed racial division and promoted identity politics in order to maintain power and control.

“His condescending remark is indicative of the Democratic Party’s overall attitude towards blacks and minority groups — Shut up and listen. We decide what you think and how you vote.”
Ambassador Ken Blackwell is a best-selling author and a visiting professor at the Liberty University School of Law

“VP Biden’s statement today represents the arrogant and out-of-touch attitude of a paternalistic white candidate who has the audacity to tell Black people, the descendants of slaves, that they are not Black unless they vote for him. This proves unequivocally that the Democratic nominee believes that Black people owe him their vote without question; even though we as Black people know it is exactly the opposite. He should spend the rest of his campaign apologizing to every Black person he meets.”
Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television & RLJ Companies

“As far as the president is concerned, he’s our president and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists, especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group, morbidly obese, they say. So, I think it’s not a good idea.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., chastised President Donald Trump on Monday for his decision to take hydroxychloroquine, saying that health experts have warned about its effects and that it could be harmful to the president

“Pelosi is a sick woman. She’s got a lot of problems, a lot of mental problems. We’re dealing with people that have to get their act together for the good of the country.”
President Trump responding to Pelosi

OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

‘Massacre of a helpless population’

New York’s $21 million field hospital being dismantled without treating one patient

MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK

Biden’s gaffe (latest)

Dems more likely to snitch

MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK

Trump says he is taking unproven drug hydroxychloroquine

MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK

‘Masks on, clothes off’ party

 

Lockdown losers; the politics of fear; and homeschooling on the rise

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (05/2/20) Homeschooling Thrives in the Face of Coronavirus

Today’s highly interesting read (05/21/20): The Politics of Fear

Today’s highly interesting read (05/20/20): It’s OK to Say It: The Lockdown Was a Catastrophic Error

Today’s highly interesting read (05/18/20): Why the Lockdown Lost

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (05/23/20)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:   Cloudy early with thunderstorms developing later in the day. Gusty winds and small hail are possible. Chance of rain 90%.  High of 71.  “A” in the morning and early afternoon,  “D” in the late afternoon.

SUNDAY
:  Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High of 81.  “A-”

MONDAY MEMORIAL DAY: Party cloudy. High of 86. “A”

Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer, with this week’s main blog.

A poll done on behalf of the University of Phoenix showed 57% don’t know.

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Most Memorial Day parades and ceremonies, sadly, were canceled. If you ask me, those who lost their lives would have asked that the events go on.

Dog lovers would be happy to know there are many memorials around the country that honor the dogs of war. One is right here in Wisconsin.

Neillsville is a city in Clark County, located 230 miles, about 3 1/2 hours from our home in Franklin. The Highground Veterans Memorial Park is a 155-acre premier park located three miles west of Neillsville along Highway 10 that pays tribute to Veterans of the past, present, and future.

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The Fountain of Tears is one of four rooms within the Meditation Garden. The GI statue is the genesis of the tears in the Fountain of Tears tribute which reflects the spirituality of the Meditation Garden. In one hand the GI is holding dog tags of his fallen comrade. His other hand rests on a helmet and impaled rifle. His tears flow through the fountain under the bridge and into the pond. The wife and child of the fallen soldier sit at the end of the pond holding a folded flag.

There’s more.

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From the memorial’s website:

Many lives were touched/saved by the work of dogs and dog handlers during conflicts. Be it the work of a scout dog, sentry dog, or tracker dog —the efforts of these animals and their trainers made a profound impact on our military.

The dream of this tribute originated with the story of a young Vietnam Veteran. He was a Scout Dog Handler, married just prior to his service and killed in action just 90 days into his tour of duty. This tribute (honors) this dog and handler and all other Military Working Dogs who have served in our armed forces.

The Goal:
Our goal being to honor all Military personnel and their dogs who have served in the Vietnam and other conflicts past, present, and continuing. We hope this will provide a place of healing for those affected by these wars, and educate others regarding the effects of these wars on everyone.

On the day the memorial was dedicated, in June 2018, people from across the country attended. In attendance, three Korean War vets who discovered that they had served in the same unit at the same location, but during three different years. Amazingly, they had all handled the same dog.

God bless the people of Neillsville, those who served, and our hero war dogs.
—-Jennifer Fischer

Thanks Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Adoptable dogs harder to come by as travel restrictions slow shelters’ supply.

Dog Training In A Time Of Isolation.

When Cadaver Dogs Pick Up a Scent, Archaeologists Find Where to Dig.

Veteran reunited with military working dog that saved his life.

This painting dog’s artwork sales yielded 2,000 pounds of food donations to Second Harvest.

This ambulance has gone to the dogs, and the occasional cat.

8 Things We Do That Really Confuse Our Dogs.

THAT’S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.

HERE’S OUR DOG PHOTO(s) OF THE WEEK.

Wednesday was National Dog Rescue Day. Yes we have photos.

Expressive Pup Portraits Capture the Unique Personalities of Comical Canines.

We close as we always do with our closing video.  And we have a few.

First, I wouldn’t be surprised…

NEXT,  atta boy Moose!

Moose, who has been with Virginia Tech since 2014, is one of the school’s four therapy animals and ambassadors for mental health awareness.

Along with attending football games, club events, and new student orientations, Moose also helps students cope with anxiety, trauma and other mental health issues. The fluffy pup has helped thousands of students and assisted in more than 7,500 counseling sessions, according to his owner, licensed counselor Trent Davis.

And, meet Dude, the skateboarding dog. Watch the video in this article.

That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

We kindly ask that you please share with other dog lovers you know.

See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!

Image may contain: outdoor and naturePhoto: Elke Vogelsang

Goodnight everyone, and have a here comes summer weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

Saturday, June 20th marks the official first day of summer, meteorologically speaking. This weekend, however, is considered the first weekend of the summer season. With many communities reopening it’s bound to be active. Lots of sunshine would be most welcome. We get a musical head start on summer this week.

Let’s begin as we take some creative license (nothing weather-related in the instrumental) with a video of four of the best saxophone players today who teamed up for an album and tour in 2013, “Summer Horns.”

Here, the quartet does a great version of a late 60’s Beatles tune that when it first came out was the subject of many rumors and clues circulating about Paul McCartney’s death. One blog writes:

“The theory suggests that Paul McCartney died in a car accident on the 9th November 1966, and was replaced by someone, named Billy Shears, who had surgery to look like Paul McCartney. The evidence was contained in clues in the albums released by the Beatles, in the words and pictures they contained. From Revolver, there are more ‘clues.’ ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ states ‘I was alone, I took a ride, I didn’t know what I would find there’ – interpreted as meaning the drive before the accident.”

While we’re on the subject, in the late 60’s through early 70’s, bands like Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and Tower of Power mixed rock, even soul with tight horn sections to bring a new sound to pop music. A Canadian band at the time threw an additional component into the mix: strings.

Lighthouse had a huge hit back then, “One Fine Morning.” A far less popular but minor hit followed. Here’s the band from a recording session not that long ago with that follow-up tune.

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Called “Canada’s Chicago,” Lighthouse  made its live debut at Toronto’s Rock Pile on May 14, 1969, introduced by the legendary Duke Ellington.

Now another visit from the Hollyridge Strings, an orchestra of studio musicians that recorded easy-listening covers for Capitol Records in the 1960s and 1970s. They became quite popular after releasing an album totally devoted to the Beatles that led to more Beatle renditions and tributes to other artists.

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Getting anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face 2-3 times a week is enough to enjoy the vitamin D-boosting benefits of the sun. In a 30-minute period while wearing a swimsuit, the vitamin D made thanks to the sun plays a big role in bone health.

Caroline Sky was a contestant on Season 12 of NBC’s top-rated music reality show, “The Voice” in 2017. Narada Michael Walden, a Grammy-winning producer of the year, featured her in his Spring Fling show at the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley, California on April 21st, 2013 when she was just 12.

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Formed in 2004, the Narada Michael Walden Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supporting music appreciation and education for Bay Area youth. Through grants, scholarships, educational programs, performances, mentorships and collaborations with community organizations the Foundation provides opportunities for emerging young artists.

Now onto a large ensemble I’ve featured in the past.

Best known for recording the hit theme to Soul Train, “MFSB” signified Philadelphia soul, backing several popular groups (The O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Stylistics and the Spinners) while recording on their own as well.

The lush, orchestrated Philly soul sound was very popular in the 1970’s, and the studio musicians that comprised MFSB had plenty of work to keep them busy until they disbanded in 1981.

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That’s it for this week.

Goodnight sleep well.

Have a great holiday weekend.

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Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Woodstock, then and now

Woodstock?

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That Woodstock?

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That’s the feature this week?

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But there’s no special anniversary going on. The 50th was last year.

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So what gives?

Jeffrey A. Tucker is the Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages. Sounds like he’s pretty sharp.

In a nutshell, Tucker brilliantly observes that we practically made nothing of the filth and germs that surrounded the masses at Woodstock, and survived …during a pandemic.

This month Tucker wrote:

The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.

Nothing was closed by force. Schools mostly stayed open. Businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants.

Stock markets didn’t crash because of the flu. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses attributable to flu. 

Media covered the pandemic but it never became a big issue. 

There’s more in his column that I strongly encourage you to read, whether or not you were around back then. One more Tucker point:

If we used government lockdowns then like we use them now, Woodstock (which changed music forever and still resonates today) would never have occurred. How much prosperity, culture, tech, etc. are losing in this calamity?

One of my all-time favorite bands played Woodstock on the final day. But you probably  wouldn’t know or remember. Blood, Sweat, and Tears, jazz-rock pioneers, performed for about 60 minutes, but like many groups that weekend were not paid at all because the concert organizers had no money.  Management for BS & T presumed the band would be getting $12,000, a lot of money for 1969. David Clayton-Thomas, the lead singer, said they had no idea the magnitude of Woodstock.

“No, we didn’t much keep track of the itinerary or where we were going,” Clayton-Thomas said. “If you’ve ever been on the road, you wake up in the morning and you look at the telephone book beside your bed to find out where you slept last night and ask the road manager where you’re going next. And of course on the road the most valuable thing is trying to get enough sleep. You go to bed at midnight after a show. You have a 3 o’clock wake-up call to get to the airport, so you get your sleep an hour or two at a time.

“So no, we didn’t really know where we were going; we just knew there was a gig in New York. We didn’t really understand what was happening until we landed at LaGuardia Airport. And the road manager said, ‘I don’t think the show tonight’s going to happen. All the traffic is jammed. Nothing is moving. There are 600,000 at this concert.’

“There were 600,000 people and maybe six cops and a couple of state troopers for the little local surrounding towns. How do you control 600,000 people with six cops? And if the artists didn’t show up, there might be a riot. So, we got about a third of the way there before the traffic completely stopped and we went to a little motel and they brought in a National Guard helicopter and flew us into the site.”

Here was a band that peppered its set list with pieces containing lots of jazz solos. How could that possibly go over?

“Everybody there knew us, said Clayton-Thomas. “I would say 70 percent of the people in that audience were from New York, and we were a New York City band. That was our base. They’d seen us play in clubs and colleges around the New York area.”

You won’t find BS & T in the “Woodstock” movie. How come? Clayton-Thomas answered  it was all about the money.

“Backstage there was a lot of controversy going on. The managers were in a trailer with the promoters, going, ‘How does my band get paid?’ They [the promoters] said, ‘They broke down the fences. We don’t have any money.’ So some of the managers, in particular Albert Grossman, who managed Dylan, the Band and Janis [Joplin], said, ‘OK then, no pay, no filming.’ The headliners, in their contracts, had a percentage of the film rights. Since there was no money to give them [the bands], they simply just edited us out of the film. I think they actually recorded only one song at Woodstock. But the quickest way to not pay the headliners is just edit them out of the film. I’ve got to live with that, with my daughter going, ‘Dad, I thought you were at Woodstock. I saw the movie and you weren’t in the movie.’ The managers felt that was the only leverage they had to get their bands paid. And it’s not just greed. I mean, it was financial reality. We had airfares to pay, we had musicians to pay, we had road crew to pay and we weren’t going to get any money for this gig. Normally, if we we’re doing a concert and the promoter didn’t come up with the money you just don’t put the show on. It’s his problem. You can’t do that with a half a million people.”

Yes, things were a lot different during the late 1960’s pandemic as compared to today. Just listen to this BS& T Woodstock performance of one of their biggest hits, their last song before their encore.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text that says 'WOODSTOCK MUSIC & ART FAIR PRESENTS AQUARIAN EXPOSITION IN WHITE LAKE, N.Y. Hendrix 3 Days of Peace & Music AUGUST 1969 Janis Joplin Music Starts at 4:00pm Fri. and 1:00 & Sun. Friday 15th Saturday 16th Sunday 17th Joan Baez Canned The Band Arlo Creedence Clearwater Jeff Beck Grateful Dead Blood, Sweat Havens Sly and The Stone Tears Tim Benes Jefferson Airplane Cresby Stills Nash Santana Jimi Hendrix Who Iron Butterfly Harrison Ten Jonny Winter HUNDREDS OF ACRES TO ROAM ON Ticket Prices, One Day $7.00 Two Days $13.00, Three $18.00'

“That generation approached viruses with calm, rationality and intelligence. We left disease mitigation to medical professionals, individuals and families, rather than politics, politicians and government.”
Jeffrey Tucker