The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The City: Reno #4

Original Caption:

Reno -- Believe it or not, these seedy looking 'Arabs' actually represent the cream of American manhood. They are the seven Mercury Astronauts, gathered for a group photo after completing rugged training at the U.S. Air Force Survival School at Stead Air Force Base in Nevada. Left to right are: Gordon Cooper; Scott Carpenter; John Glenn; Alan Shephard; Virgil Grissom; Walter Schirra; and Donald Slayton. (1962)


Brent McKee said...

And here I thought the one in the middle (Alan Shephard) looked like Ringo Starr in one of his more recent photos.

Testify said...

"seedy looking 'Arabs'"!!!!! Jeez

Tom Sutpen said...

Back in that wild and lawless time, 1962, terminology of that sort was tossed around pretty promiscuously. I only quote it; I don't endorse it.

swac said...

"Cream of American manhood"


Testify said...

Didn't for one minute think you did endorse that kind of talk Tom. I don't think you should censor it either, its a historical document after all.In drawing attention to it I simply wanted to register the distance we've travelled since those "wild and lawless" times.

And, yeah, 'cream of American Manhood' fnarr fnarr!!