American Royalty: The Hatfields and McCoys (White Lightning)

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At a time when it seems that the USA isn’t (the USA,) the Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel takes us back to America’s roots. Not as far back as the Founding of Jamestown, Columbus or even Geronimo – but back to the time when two families of the “West Virginia–Kentucky area along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River” were involved in The Hatfield–McCoy feud (1863–1891.)

“The Hatfield–McCoy feud (1863–1891) involved two families of the West Virginia–Kentucky area along the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River. The Hatfields of West Virginia were led by William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield while the McCoys of Kentucky were under the leadership of Randolph “Ole Ran’l” McCoy. Those involved in the feud were descended from Ephraim Hatfield (born c. 1765) and William McCoy (born c. 1750). The feud has entered the American folklore lexicon as a metonym for any bitterly feuding rival parties. More than 100 years later, the story of the feud has become a modern symbol of the perils of family honor, justice, and vengeance.” Read more…

“To this day, the Hatfields and McCoys still live along the West Virginia and Kentucky border on the same land where their ancestors waged America’s most notorious family feud. 150 years later, they are still working the coal mines and still making moonshine. Divided by the Tug River and generations of bad blood, they still don’t get along. Sure, over the years treaties have been signed and handshakes exchanged, but none of that can erase their violent past.”

“Now, the legendary clans are trying to put aside their hateful history and come together, even as old tensions run high. HATFIELDS AND McCOYS: WHITE LIGHTNING, [premiered] Thursday, August 1 at 10 p.m. on HISTORY®, follows the current real-life descendants of Randall McCoy and Devil Anse Hatfield as they face an opportunity that could rewrite history – or further propel their hatred well into the 21st century.”

“With moonshine now legal in West Virginia, seasoned liquor executive Monsell Darville is looking to bring an authentic new moonshine brand to market. He approaches McCoy patriarch Jim Quick, a direct maternal descendent of Randall McCoy, to boldly propose a business partnership with the Hatfields – one that would create a Hatfield & McCoy moonshine. This would require Jim to work alongside patriarch Mark Hatfield, the great-great-great grandson of Devil Anse Hatfield. It would also demand that both families reveal their secret moonshine recipes, supply their legendary well water and most importantly – work together and get along!” Read more…

Probably the slickest and best liquor advertising campaign in the history of liquor, advertising or even campaigns in general is – the marketing of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s White Lightning. How cool is that? What American wouldn’t drink a glass of White Lightning? Who cares if the American haters, who would call these fine folk dumb-hicks or hillbillies, don’t get the importance or meaning of this legendary family, or don’t get the fact that the terms hillbilly and hick are not necessarily negative. New Yorkers have to invent a lifestyle; these people from the Appalachian mountains actually live life. Their roots run deep in the fabric of America. I’ve got to do research to see if that lackluster TV series The Hatfields and McCoys with Kevin Costner was just a lead-up to the ad campaign for The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning. *Was the TV show American Pickers the genesis?

Courtney McCoy in Historys Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning.
Courtney McCoy in History's "Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning."

Courtney McCoy is the femme-fatale, star of this fascinating series. “It is only fitting that Courtney McCoy, the daughter of Jim McCoy, has business acumen and a fiery temper to match. Courtney is the organizer of the family and keeps everyone in line. She is an alumnus of Marshall University and graduated with a degree in history and international affairs, with a minor in Political Science. Courtney is currently working toward her master’s degree in Business. Courtney is the family historian, who hates the Hatfields but appreciates the legacy that their families share. Like a true McCoy, she loves four-wheeling and carries her .22 at all times.”

No disrespect meant, but this young woman has a derriere that’s the Real McCoy. I’m talking rock star a–!

Find more about Courtney and the other family members at The History Channel here.

Scotty May Hatfield
Scotty May Hatfield

Another emerging star of The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning
“Known for his country character and backwoods charm, Scotty May loves moonshine almost as much as he loves his family. As one of the proudest descendants of Devil Anse, Scotty May has made his home up Devil Anse’s old hollow. Like his cousins Mark, Missy and John T., he is proud of his family’s history and will defend it against the McCoys. His best friend is his dog, Toto, who sits on his shoulder like a parrot.”

Verbal gemstones of brilliance are offered, every-so-often, from this coolest of cats. Just try to best him.

 The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel - Family Members
The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel - Family Members

The Hatfields and McCoys may be here to show us the way back home. We need someone to (moon) shine that light (ning.)

White Lighting
“Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly. The word “moonshine” is believed to derive from the term “moonrakers” used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey.” Read more…

Stills & Recipes for homemade moonshine “for informational purposes only.”

*The History Channel’s, American Pickers, featured a show about collectible items belonging to the Hatfields and McCoys.

The Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning show on The History Channel

GB Fish & Chips: In Cod They Trust

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GB Fish and Chips
GB Fish and Chips

GB Fish & Chips
5325 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220 ‎

The fourth location for GB Fish & Chips is in the old Park Hill hood, on East Colfax. This is the former home of package-liquor store, Continental Liquors.

GB Fish & Chips is a English-style fish & chips restaurant with football (soccer) on the TV, soccer jerseys on the walls (Broadway location,) wooden picnic tables, beer and wine?, and for sure, Fish & Chips ($6.50 – Just Fish to $15.10 – Full Meal.) Also on the menu, they offer: Bangers (Al La Carte, $5.95 – Meal, $8.45,) Shepherd’s Pie ($6.95 – $9.45,) Pork Pie ($4.15 – $6.65,) Pasties ($6.50 – $9.00,) Sides (Chips, Beans, Slaw, Potato Chips $1.50) and Soup (Clam Chowder $3.95 – $5.95.)

Back to the Swimmers, battered and deep fried: Cod, Tilapia, Prawns, Oysters, Squid, Scallops and Combinations: Half (Just Fish $5.50 to $7.65,) Half Meal ($8.00 to $10.15,) Full (Just Fish $9.95 to $14.25,) and Full (Meal $12.45 to $16.76.)

View the complete menu on GB Fish and Chips Official Website

Wine/Beer/Specials – Sides/Soups/Kids Meals – Street parking on Colfax

Different location, same good English fare.

Other locations in Denver area: Washington Park, Sloan’s Lake and South Broadway

August’s Full Blue Moon: The Full Sturgeon Moon August 20

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Blue Moon
Blue Moon

August’s Full Blue Moon: The Full Sturgeon Moon will be 100% full August 20 at 6:45 P.M Las Vegas time.

Full Moon Names
August is the month of the Full Sturgeon Moon. Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon or the Grain Moon.

The following video, featuring Amy Nieskens, is from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

By Tom Weston
"In 2013, the August moon will REALLY be a Blue Moon. That is, it will be the third full moon in the summer season which has four full moons in 2013. This is the original, correct definition of a Blue Moon. The definition about the second full moon in a month is a more recent simplified usage."

Historically, the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons. Each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred. These names, and some variations, were used by the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior.

Me-Na-Wa, a Creek warrior, McKenney and Hall, 1837.
Me-Na-Wa, a Creek warrior, McKenney and Hall, 1837.

Southeast, Alabama, Georgia
According to WWU, in the Creek language the name for August's Moon is: "hiyo-rakko" “Moon of the Big Harvest.”

From Western Washington University:
American Indians gave names to each of the full moons to keep track of the passing year. The names are associated with the entire month until the next full moon occurs. Since a lunar month averages 29 days, the dates of the moons change from year to year. Here [is the information from one tribe.]

Kalapuya Tribe Member
Kalapuya Tribe Member

Pacific Northwest, Oregon
According to WWU, in the Kalapuya language the name for August's Moon is: "akupiu" “End of Summer Moon.”

"The descendants of the Kalapuya tribes and bands married extensively into other tribes throughout the northwest and within the reservation, and most now have multiple native ancestries. Most Kalapuya descendants are enrolled at The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. There are an estimated 4,000 Kalapuya descendants." Read more...

"Clothes washed for the first time in the full Moon will not last long."
"If you glimpse the new Moon over your right shoulder, you will have good luck."
"To have a project prosper, start it during the new Moon."
"Babies born a day after the full Moon enjoy success and endurance."

August's Blue Moon: Lunar Oddity of Night Sky Explained
by Joe Rao, Skywatching Columnist - Space.Com | August 16, 2013 01:25pm ET

When the moon rises Tuesday night (Aug. 20), it brings us the August full moon and in addition, it will also technically be a "Blue Moon."

"But wait a minute," you may ask. "Isn't a Blue Moon defined as the second full moon that occurs during a calendar month? Tuesday’s full moon will be the only full moon of August 2013. So how can we call it a 'Blue' moon?"

Yet it still is a Blue Moon, but only if we follow a now somewhat obscure rule of astronomy. In fact, the current "two full moon in one month" rule has superseded the rule that would allow us to call Tuesday’s full moon "blue." Read more...

The Old Farmer's Almanac
Western Washington University

The Edgewater Inn: Last of the Continuously-Operated/Owned by the Same Family Italian Restaurants in The (Near What Used to be Denver’s Little Italy) Hood

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[Some links have been removed or changed since The Edgewater’s website was changed – 2014]
Update 2014 – The Edge is now serving excellent, Sweet Potato Fries.

The Edgewater Inn
5302 W 25th Ave
Edgewater, CO 80214
(303) 237-3524

The Edgewater Inn
The Edgewater Inn

Every so often I have a need to drive across town to the soothing neighborhood of Edgewater across from *Sloan’s Lake. The lake was dredged some time back, and surrounded by (cleaned-up) verdant Sloan’s Lake Park, it’s a beautiful spot. The view across the lake, from Sheridan to the east, is one of the best views of Denver’s skyline. Most nights the reflections of downtown building lights paint the water – even though the lake is miles from downtown Denver. I know there’s an explanation for that phenomenon, something about bending light waves. Whatever the science, she’s drop-dead gorgeous.

Sloans's Lake at Edgewater, photo by radare
Sloans's Lake at Edgewater, photo by radare

When one first enters the City of Edgewater, the instant vibe is Mayberryesque, however, it’s changing fast.

At the extreme north-west end of the lake, at 25th Ave & Sheridan Boulevard, through the overhead sign (Edgewater) declaring its boundary, down a block and on the left, you’ll find a fairly plain building with green awnings and a HOWDY PAISANO sign on the east wall. This is The Edgewater Inn.

[Update 2014 – The Edgewater’s website has been changed, the following paragraph is from the old website. A link to the new website follows.]
“The Edgewater Inn is a small pizza tavern in the heart of Edgewater, and for many years been one of the highlights of the town. The Inn, most famous for its pizzas and family atmosphere, has graced the neighborhood for over fifty years. The owners, Ben and Josephine DiPietro started the business back in 1953. The Inn, now located on the southwest corner of 25th Avenue and Ames was initially located at the building due west of it’s present address. In 1957, the building next door went up for sale. The buildings previous occupant, the post office, moved into a newer quarters. Ben and Josephine purchased the lease and began their work. They realized they wanted to turn their 3.2 bar into a regular bar. To accomplish this task, many hours of hard work were required. Ben and Josephine had to petition everyone in the neighborhood, meaning they had to go to every household to ask the residents if they were or were no[sic] in favor of a bar going into the community. This amounted to a total of 96 blocks, this was no easy task. They did however succeed in getting enough signatures and community support to acquire a license.”

The Edge’s Official NEW Website

Interview with Brandon Bucci, general manager [A paragraph (here) was removed, it was part of the old website.]

The main dining area of The Edgewater Inn
The main dining area of The Edgewater Inn

Close, but never quite in the heart of Denver’s Little Italy, The Edgewater was a bit too far west. The Bonnie Brae Tavern (DU area), Romano’s in Littleton and several others around Denver are good restaurants, just not in the epicenter of Denver’s Little Italy, which pretty much hugged the area bounded by 32nd Avenue to 46th Avenue and Broadway to Zuni streets. There were a half-dozen-plus red-sauce places within a mere 2-mile stretch along 38th Avenue, and down connecting side streets of the Little Italy area, many within just a few blocks of each other. Longo’s Subway Tavern (shuttered in 2012,) Gaetano’s (new corporate owner) and Carl’s Pizza (new owners) were on 38th Avenue. R. Carbone’s Pizza (now Lechuga’s – For Sale in 2014) and The Alpine Inn (John “Skip” LaGuardia’s tavern – long closed) shared Tejon Street with Gaetano’s. Patsy’s Inn is still on 35th and Navajo (family-member of the founder is the current owner, however, there have been non-family owners.) Little Pepina’s was at 34th and Osage St (the building stands – soon to be an Asian restaurant,) Pagliacci’s was at 33rd and Osage (raised last year.) Three Sons was located at 44th and Federal ( 3-sons moved to Arvada,) Ernie’s Pizza Bar was at 44th and Elliot (new corporate owners,) and Carbone’s Sausage Market and Deli (closed) was catty-corner to the Subway, across 38th. I’m getting dizzytized.

Perhaps by default, The Edgewater has worked it’s way up the list and is the last of it’s kind left standing. To the folks from the neighborhood, The Edge is an institution. The Edgewater Inn, The Subway Tavern and The Bonnie Brae Tavern were the three premiere Denver pizza joints for years – before NY Pizza came to town. In fact, Longo’s Subway Tavern boasted about installing the first pizza oven in Denver. Ernie’s Pizza Bar was in a quieter neighborhood.

I’ve been going to The Edgewater for years – mostly for an 18 oz.? goblet of beer. The original owner Ben DiPietro usually had a long cigar protruding from the corner of his mouth.

The late Ben Dipietro, sans cigar
The late Ben Dipietro, sans cigar

Recently, I had a decent house salad. The spaghetti is acceptable (other pastas on the menu,) a bargain for about $7.50 including salad and bread. The pizza and calzones (canolis) are unmistakably Colorado style – sort of a hard, crunchy crust. The calzone I had was different. I’m a NY Pizza fan, so… Also on the menu: appetizers, including fried-ravioli, wings and more, salads, and classic meatball and sausage sandwiches served with marinara.

OK, the food is Edgewater/Denver style. It’s not California cuisine or NY fine-dining, so get over it – this is bar food.  The Edgewater is still a good watering hole, reminiscent of a coastal bar. Well, it is sort of on the coast, the coast of Sloan’s Lake. There seems to be a new “feel” to the restaurant. Next time I’ll order something else to see if the food has been elevated.

In naming more of the good qualities of this restaurant, one would have to mention the cleanliness, the clever U-shaped bar, the copper Moscow Mule mugs hanging like relics from bar racks (The Edge offers premium Vodka Mules), and gracious, friendly and attractive waitresses. These women have perfected the art of public relations.

The restaurant/bar is one, in other words the restaurant tables surround the perimeter of the U-shaped bar. The exception being the new covered patio addition, which is a bit different. The main dining/bar area has a number of very cozy booths nestled up against quality, rich woods. The only thing I’d change is the worn, grey veneer of the lower bar. Wood matching the window trim would complete the interior.

From the Neighborhood Gazette
“As the reputation of the Edgewater Inn grew, it was rumored that high ranking Denver police officials would usher celebrities like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra into the Inn after hours. Frank was said to have proclaimed that the Edgewater Inn had the best pizza in Denver.” Read more…

I’m all for supporting this Edgewater/Denver institution.

Happy Hour specials! Customers can park across the street in The Edgewater’s lot.

*Doing research years ago I ran into some documents suggesting that the lake and park were simply called Sloan Lake and Sloan Lake Park, rather than Sloan’s.

The Edgewater Inn is a TrueItalianTable recomended authentic Italian restaurant.

Rollye James is Back – And Art Bell is Returning

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Rollye James
Rollye James

Over the years, since the beginning of rock & roll – in the 50s, I’ve personally known people who are experts in the field. No one knows the business like Rollye James. Mention a few facts or whistle a tune and this dynamo will tell you the name of the song, who the artist is, who wrote it, who the musicians are, and she’ll name the label to boot. By the way MS James is also politically astute. These are the ingredients for cooking up a show for radio. And Rollye James is cooking again, on the air, one more time. She’s doing a 5-day podcast from her home-studio in Philadelphia: “Rollye revived her show, broadcasting weeknights 10pm – midnight via live stream / podcast on June 19, 2013.” “She hosted The Rollye James Show nationally and on international shortwave on WWCR from 2000 to 2011.” Although the show is broadcast live only two hours per day, the daily podcast can be accessed at any time through her website.

A cool factoid about this light-years-beyond-hip, attractive blonde is that she reportedly drove the entire Interstate system – Coast to Coast – alone in a Corvette. For the Denver folks, Rollye James was on KOA in the 80s.

From TuneIn.Com
“Paranoid to the max, Rollye holds a front row seat in the world of the Lunatic Fringe. The Rollye James Show is a strange brew of socialist panic, crackpot guests, devoted callers and music trivia. James tackles controversial and provocative issues and her loyal listeners can’t get enough of her intimate conversation. Rollye’s vampire lifestyle and unusual hobbies, such as driving the entire U.S. Interstate System, bring late night intrigue to Philadelphia’s talk radio audience. James vents her frustrations with “Republicrats” and “Demopublicans” by listening to obscure R&B oldies. The Rollye James Show is weird, wonderful and worth-it!”

The Rollye James show is: Politics, pop-culture, science, trivia, music and just talk, including the best bumper music on the planet: “In 2006, Wired Magazine cited The Rollye James Show as having “the best bumper music”. “In 2005, Philadelphia City Paper bestowed a similar award.”

Rollye James’ Official website

Access the main pages of LasVegasBuffetClub.Com


Big News has just unfolded! Art Bell is Going Back on the Air on SiriusXM!
July 30, 2013 — jcrottyccrane

Mark your calendars for September 16th at 10pm Eastern (7pm Pacific) he will premiere on SiriusXM Radio channel 104 with his new show, “Art Bell’s Dark Matter.”

Art Bell’s Official Website