Elizabeth Montgomery Haunts My Dreams

I’ve had a little more time to think about things since I got laid off. When I was in the grind—in that constant, daily routine—thinking didn’t come easily. I mean, we are talking about important things that I had never even bothered to consider before I found myself inundated with all of this time.

For example: Elizabeth Montgomery is an incredibly underrated actress. If she hadn’t been typecast as a square, straight-laced, suburban housewife witch in a sitcom that spanned the period during which black and white television turned to Technicolor, she could have been on a par with Meryl Streep. I’ve caught her acting in a couple of programs—one was an old gangster flick called Johnny Cool, and the other an episode of the Twilight Zone featuring Montgomery and a young and striking Charles Bronson.

Goddamnit, she is haunting. In both those performances, Montgomery is beautiful, vulnerable, and fractured. I don’t know how many pictures she acted in other than Bewitched, but I’m going to make it a random, meaningless goal of mine to watch every one of them.

Rhythm is Lead

I don’t think they label the instruments right in modern rock ensembles. The singer and guitar soloist are most often referred to as the “lead players,” but really those are the following instruments. The bass guitar, drums, and rhythm guitar lead the music. The main vocalist and the guitar player follow along with the structure, rhythm, and tempo laid down by the “rhythm section.” Trish tells me this might stem back to orchestral music, wherein the best player, the “first chair,” could also be referred to as the “lead” player, but I’m not buying it—because if that were the case, then all players on stage would be “first chair.” Most indie bands, rock bands, punk bands—there aren’t multiple players lined up and vying for a given position within the bad. Generally you find yourself playing with whomever is willing to put up with your bullshit.

The Good Old Days

Back in the days of the Old West, at least according to television, a couple of guys could play out a personal pissing match on the streets of the city’s main drag. No one would bat an eye if the pair decided to blow apart Old Man Howard’s split rail fence—first with a punctuating stream of fine leaden rifle shells, and then by a single well-placed blast from a 10-gauge shotgun. Then the cocksmen would saunter on down to the bar, not a concern in the world for why the fence they’d just demolished might have been there in the first place. Ah, the good old days.

The Old West Comes to Chico

I’ve heard reports of vigilante committees being formed in Chico: legions of private, armed security guards assembled, and paid, to clean up the city’s mean streets. Call me a flaming liberal, but this sounds like a terrible idea; one of the worst in recent local history. Is this some kind of an early April Fools’ joke? Private parties are going to fund armed guards who will go out and “shoo” homeless people, some of whom are mentally unstable and/or on heavy drugs, out of the downtown area? Where are they “shooing” them to? Is anyone involved considering the legal, civil, and human tragedies this sort of action could give rise to? It seems so ludicrous on its face I can’t really believe I’m writing about it.

Bob Howard has been living, working, and writing in Northern Califonria since he moved to Chico in early 2000. In January 2011, he and his wife Trish relocated to Los Molinos, 30 minutes north of Chico, where they are the proud proprietors of the Double Happiness Farm. There they grow organic food, ornamental plants and trees, and generally work to enjoy the beauty of this great region.