Saturday, October 27, 2007

One Wife, One Life

Having been marrierd to the same person for a very, very, very long time, there is a big part of me that needs to believe in that terribly old fashioned "Til death do us part" kind of matrimony. Yet I keep running into couples who seem to have finally got it right after the second, third, fourth or fifth time. Go figure.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Salem Weather Report

Massive flooding today in Salem, someplace in soapland. John Black croaked and today's funeral has caused rivers of tears across the country.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Radio Humorists

This refers only to the radio work of the following. Their written stuff is a whole different thing.
Jean Shepherd gives me sore sides from laughing so hard. Garrison Keillor makes me smile, chortle, guffaw and laugh out loud once in a while. David Sedaris leaves me colder than a Mackerel that's been out of the water too long. His voice and delivery are so off-putting that I lose whatever appeal his stories might have. Don't like "This American Life" for the same reason. Ira Glass puts me off. I think it's a generation thing. I'm too damn old to understand or appreciate contemporary delivery.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Who's the greatest humorist?

The Damfinos, members of the International Buster Keaton Society, have left town. The next big thing at the restored downtown theater here in Riverdale, Mishconson is David Sedaris. I am so far out of touch with today's pop culture that I had never heard of him. He is hyped as America's greatest humorist. Like Garrison Keillor (I do know about him) he came to fame on Public Radio. Also like Lake Wobegon's gift to radio, Sedaris is compared to Mark Twain. So is Jean Shepherd. Jean who, you say? Marshall McLuhan, who wrote a pretty famous book about media, "The Medium is the Message," called him the first radio novelist. You heard Shepherd's voice if you ever saw "A Christmas Story" about young Ralphie, his air rifle and his dad's sexy leg lamp.
I wonder what Sam Clemens would have to say about all this comparing?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


There I was in the spotlight, riding the massive red and gold theater pipe organ console up out of the orchestra pit. A thousand people behind me waiting to watch a silent film starring the great Buster Keaton, the action accompanied by the grand organ.
Does anybody remember the old, turn of the century song, The Lost Chord? The words go, "My fingers wandered idly over the noisy keys."
Right in the middle of a mighty organ sforzando, the blower that supplies the air to the pipes died. My fingers wandered frantically over the silent keys. Nary a sound came forth.
A newspaper review of the show said, "Mr. Martin's organ lost its air."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007




It's time for the Damfinos, the International Buster Keaton Society, to convene in Muskegon, Michigan, where Buster and his family had a summer lakefront home in the 20"s. In the photo, you see Eleanor Keaton, Buster's widow. She was much younger than Buster but they had 28 good years together. She passed away in 1998. Behind her, that's me, the organist for the silent films shown that night. Next to me, Al Flogge,
show business afficiando and friend of the stars. In front of him is his long time friend, Adrian Booth, Buster's co-star in one of the films shown that night. As of this date, she is still with us and Al Flogge attended her recent birthday celebration.
I'm at the console of the Frauenthal Theater's 1930 Barton Pipe Organ. The bright red and gold console was typical of the Barton organs. The company's founder loved the garishly painted circus wagons of that era and his consoles, designed to look as theatrical as they sound, are referred to as "circus wagon" style.
This year's organist is a real pro from Chicago, Dennis Scott. ..