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Notable Ithacan-Americans

Tiny Town Artist Pimps his Pad on Yoville Now Looking for Pick-Up Truck

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TINY TOWN, USA – Local rock n' roll artist, filmmaker and floral engineer Joe Bice isn't wasting time these days.

No sooner did he pimp his pad on Facebook's Yoville when he started looking for a pick-up truck so he can get some extra work and cruise for chicks. 

At the same time, he scored a "Not Spoiled, Gifted" yellow ribbon award on Facebook's Farmville for being such a great farmer. 

When asked if he would comment on his successes, Bice the artist demurred, saying he didn't want to steal thunder from the headlines about Michael Jackson's alleged homicide and Ted Kennedy's final farewell to Chappaquiddick. 

We look forward to more good works from Joe B. as he expands his holdings in Yoville and prepares to haul in a blue ribbon harvest down on his virtual farm.

– C. Penbroke Handy 

A MAN'S MAN: (Right) Speaking of Chappaquiddick  -- Joe Bice outside Club Xeno in Tiny Town where his band "The Chapped Ass" performed in June. 

Last Updated on Friday, 28 August 2009 10:21
 

Tiny Town Man Recalls Getting Snubbed by George Harrison

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heesh←PAINFUL MEMORIES: Frank Heesh with a copy of George Harrison's "I Me Mine" which lacks any explanation of the motives behind the singer's B-side tune "I Don't Care Any More." 

 

TINY TOWN, USA – The sight of George Harrison's autobiography "I Me Mine" brought back painful memories for Frank Heesh, a local bibliophile and Beatles archivist. 

According to Mr. Heesh, Harrison was on a call-in radio program once and lucky Heesh was lined up in the caller queue with a very important question for the mystic Beatle.

"I wanted to know what ever happened to his song "I Don't Care Any More," released in 1974 at the time of his Dark Horse album," said Heesh. "He just glossed over some of the lyrics and I wanted to know what those lyrics were." 

Indeed, "I Don't Care Any More" appeared alongside such Dark Horse smash hits as "Ding Dong Ding Dong"  and features Harrison on 12-string guitar droning away about banging down doors (a thing he surely was incapable of doing) and holding someone in his arms again.

Beatles scholars like Heesh recognize in the song's title the crooner's heartbreak over loss of his wife Pattie Boyd who went on to shag Eric Clapton following the latter's "Layla" tune which seduced the trollop who also inspired "Something."

Point of fact, says Heesh "Dark Horse is a term for a guy who runs around on his wife," hinting at deeper intrigues in the Harrison-Boyd-Clapton menage a trois.

Were Harrison and Clapton sleeping together as well? It's possible. Everyone knows all British men are bi-sexuals if not outright poufs. It's their Roman heritage. 

Whatever. Heesh is still recovering from those anguished moments when he had none other than George Harrison almost in the palm of his hands ... He waited and waited. And then ...

"I got disconnected," says Mr. Heesh, barely containing his blistering rage-grief. "I never spoke to him and I still don't know what he is saying on that song." 

 The lyrics are posted on numerous web sites, but that doesn't help Mr. Heesh. He almost spoke to George Harrison. Think about it folks. THE George Harrison, who got the last dig on the Claptons when their offspring defenestrated.

 All things must pass. In this case, like kidney stones. 

– C. Penbroke Handy

Last Updated on Friday, 21 August 2009 12:16
 

In Memoriam: Steve Waring, beloved Tiny Town transplant

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TINY TOWN, USA –– It's an impersonal fact that's hard not to take personally: We die.

Steve Waring did it on July 21 and apparently, he did it suddenly. On Friday, July 24, a memorial service was held for him in the Atrium of the DeWitt Mall. He was beloved by the  "Moosewood Community" a suburb of Tiny Town that takes its name from the Loyal Order of Moose -- the latter an entirely different community here. Many of the Moosewood folks, whose headquarters are in the DeWitt, as well as other Ithacan-Americans, gathered for the observance. 

According to attendees, the service was at times humorous, moving and -- yes, the word is correct -- educational.

"There were two through-lines for me," said Gary Weissbrot, owner of Buffalo Street Books in the DeWitt building. "One was -- how little we know of someone we see all the time. The other was, typewriter ribbon tins."

With that Mr. Weissbrot guided the reporter to this excellent YouTube video titled "Typewriter Ribbon Tins: Packaging imagination" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxkDOI-Q1rw. 

According to sources Waring possessed one of the largest collection of typewriter tins on the face of this planet. It's a hard fact to corroborate and therefore harder to refute, so we stand by the claim here at TTT.com. All the tins features on the video belong to the Waring estate and the collector himself makes a sort of Hitchcockian cameo at the end of it. Waring loaned a batch of his collectibles to Mr. Weissbrot's bookstore and they remain in a display case there (pictured below). 

Weissbrot also was struck by Waring's past. The Tiny Town bookstore mogul knew Waring as a likable if crotchety old man, a familiar face in the DeWitt Mall scene. What he didn't know was that Waring was the first male preschool teacher in New York City and taught kindergarten there for nearly 30 years.

Waring also was a long haired freak in his time and photos at the memorial attest to his participation in the counter-cultural stylings of his youth.

Waring was born in the Bronx -- a pedigree for crotchetyiness -- attended the Bronx High School of Science, CCNY and the Yeshiva University in New York City. After spending many summers in Tiny Town and its environs, he moved here after retiring from the unarmed education forces.

According to loved ones he was a passionate reader and a theater and movie and donated a chunk of his time and energies to the Friends of the Library. 

Waring is survived by his brother, Robert Waring; sister-in-law, Barbara; nephew, David; niece, Fran; and his many friends. 

Among them, Ruby Max Fury, who said this of the deceased: "He called me toots and said I had a  mushy tooshie. (He was) an original Chelsea queen from the Bronx."

waring3

–– C. Penbroke Handy

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 July 2009 12:41
 

Ithacan-American Alum finds his Niche as Tiny Town Martyr

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TINY TOWN USA –– A former Ithacan-American briefly manifested in a niche facing the parking lot of a downtown church Wednesday evening, July 22. 

The man, allegedly identified as Little Larry, former lead singer for Little Larry and the Limitations, a Tiny Town Christian rock band of some repute back in the day, manifested inside the niche for about 45 seconds, witnesses say.

Mayor Carolyn Peterson was on vacation and could not be reached for comment. 

Larry lived among us for many years and is remembered fondly by some, less fondly by others but by one and all as a fine water color artist whose good works, especially his Fishing Penis Series, are keepsafes in the Finger Lakes Museum of Storage in the Tiny Town Satellite of Trumansburg. 

Far from sporting wings and a golden halo, the transmigrated figure appeared in shorts, New Balance Sneakers, white gym socks, a black tee shirt, wearing a wristwatch and puffing a Marlboro cigarette.

The martyr also was smiling and seemed serene and harmless.

A young woman who observed the phenomenon said the supernatural manifestation offended her religious sensibilities and didn't believe that any self-respecting saint would smoke inside a niche these days. 

"I mean, yes, it is outdoors, but it's indoors too -- it's an outdoor niche, sure, but a niche is closed space, the open area being like the fourth wall referred to among thespians," she said. 

The image, shown at left, was shot just seconds before the martyr disappeared in a cloud of noxious smoke among a crowd of patriarchal men wearing straw hats and speaking in whispers.

The photographer pursued the phantom and was told by one of the straw hatted ones that St. Larry did not exist on this plane and the newsperson would have better luck tracking the Martyr of Marlboro down in Boca Raton, FL, which is not a Tiny Town satellite, and therefore out of our jurisdiction. 

–– Filed by an Anonymous source 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 July 2009 13:16
 

Tiny Town Man Goes for Electronic Bagpipes; Old Schoolers Resist

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TONY V.

NEW SCHOOL, OLD SCHOOL: Tony Vaughan, grooving on a modal melody played on his electronic programmable bagpipe on the Commons. RIGHT: A member of the Finger Lakes Pipers blowing a drone in the traditional sense during a practice session with the group at the Presbyterian Church.

 

TINY TOWN, USA ––Tony Vaughan is a familiar face in Tiny Town. He can be seen on the TCAT bus carrying any number of instruments. 

Occasionally he plays out on the Commons. Recently, sounds that strongly resembled bagpipes were emanating from this man's body, although no bagpipes could be seen. The wind changed direction, a woman sighed. Our TTT.com arts reporter's antennae were a-quiver. 

Yes indeed. There was the telltale drone and a Celtic modal melody floating out of Tony Vaughan's body -- but how? He was merely embracing a curious box on a stick. Tony finished his tune, a reedy wafting plaint that spoke of lyrical lochs and gray palls of ire, a lot like the weather here but with a Scottish hangover. 

He finished. We pitched him a few questions. Here is Tony's tale:

"I'm Native American and when I was young I started thinking: If I'm an Indian, how did I wind up with the last name of Vaughan? You know Native Americans don't go by surnames and Christian names. My dad said he had no idea how that happened. He said, 'go find out for yourself.' So I did. I traced the name to a Welsh family and eventually I contacted them and as it turns out, became friends with them.

"I even traveled to Wales, I got the money together and I went there to meet the Vaughans. They invited me to a wedding. I even bought a tux and brought it over with me. But it turns out that was unnecessary because they weren't dressing like that for this wedding. So they went out and bought me -- I mean fitted me out -- with traditional Welsh garb, a Tartan kilt, the whole thing.

"Then I heard them playing the Ulian pipes, that's a kind of bagpipe that is not blown but is filled with air by an elbow-powered bellows -- and it's hard to learn. But I wanted to learn and I took lessons" (with one of the Vaughans).

"I came back to the U.S. and one day I found this package on my doorstep, didn't know what it was. I opened it and there is a set of Ulian pipes, mailed to me from the Vaughans! I was warned it would take me at least a year to learn them and I practiced a lot. Then I got a chance to go back to Wales and I played with the Vaughans and eventually I got the knack of it."

Here we break from Tony's first person account to explain the advent of the electronic instrument: 

Having become an accomplished player and in demand from various folk groups, he started playing out with different groups, some of them amplified. That became a problem -- the pipes, originally meant to pass the time in fields and huts and to sooth the nerves of shepherd, sheep and coal miner alike, were drowned out by the other instruments. To solve the acoustic dilemma Tony did some research and discovered a Canadian manufacturer that had developed a programmable electronic bagpipe instrument. He ordered one and fell in love with it. Not only can it be heard among amplified instruments, it has the added virtue of being playable in any key, unlike most bag and squeeze instruments which are tuned to specific keys.

Tony plays other assorted wind instruments as well as the bass at weddings and special events, like Celtic festivals that pervade the region in summer. Some times he sits on the bus and plays his programmable bagpipe to himself through head phones. It's a nice way to travel. 

–– C. Pembroke Handy

 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 January 2011 20:34
 


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