The Legend-News

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Monday, 1999 November 8 : Volume 2, Number 44

San Juan Odyssey
If you've been a long time reader of The Legend-News, then you may have read an occassional mention of "San Juan Odyssey", a multimedia presentation that was presented at the Wright Opera House in Ouray, Colorado. The 35-minute "Odyssey" was narrated by Bill Fries, and he frequently appeared to open the show and hang around afterwards to talk to the audience. "Odyssey" ran for twenty years -- until 1997 -- when Bill and his sons packed up the slides, projectors, and audio equipment and placed them in storage.

You can almost experience the San Juan Odyssey through a videotape -- VHS, NTSC formats -- that's still in print. The tape can't duplicate the actual experience, but unless Bill reopens the live show, it'll have to do. You can get the tape from Ouray V&S Variety, 970.325.4469. Tell 'em that you heard about it on the Internet, and they'll understand. :) The price is $29.95 plus tax and shipping (I'm assuming that you're not planning to drive to Ouray); the total cost for me was $35.86, which including U.S. Mailing to McHenry, Illinois.

The surface address for Ouray Variety is 700 Main St., Ouray, CO 81427.

Who Are These People?
Yet another thread on Other Wild Places concerned TV Land, a division of Nickelodeon. If you've got cable television, you may have seen TV Land. It specializes in reruns of old shows like "My Three Sons", "Gunsmoke", and other programs that you may have grown up with. Well, if you were born before 1960, anyway.

One of TV Land's features are "retromercials": television commercials from long ago that you haven't seen in years but still remember. Well, you may know that the character of C.W. McCall originated in a series of commercials for Old Home Bread. With that in mind, Miles Lumbard wrote to TV Land and asked them to add the Old Home Bread commercials to their rotation.

This was a good idea, in my opinion. So I posted the relevent address to the Other Wild Places mailing list, and other members -- myself included -- followed Miles' lead and wrote to TV Land. Now you'd expect that there'd be some faceless clerk answering the mail, tallying the requests. But as we discovered, there's a real person out there: when Cary Dodson sent his request, he got a reply.

From: "NickOnline, Postmaster Tvland"
To: "'Carey Dodson'"
Subject: RE: Retromercials

What is up with this? All of a sudden his fan club is writing about a commercial? I have passed the info on, please tell the others.

To paraphrase Arlo Guthire, "If one person does it, they'll think he's crazy and they'll ignore him. If two people do it, they'll think they're both crazy. But if three people do it, they'll think it's a movement." And that's what it is: the C.W. McCall Old Home Bread Retromercial Movement.

So write to <postmaster@tvland.com>, use a subject of 'Retromercials', and tell 'em that you want to see the '70s Old Home Bread commercials with C.W. McCall. Let's show 'em just how many crazy people we have out here!

Surfin' With The Rubber Duck
The Duck's nursing a sore shoulder, which he got from falling asleep on the sofa while sitting in a not-too-upright position. He's really annoyed now, but he'll be back next week.

Happy Birthday To Bill
Just a reminder: only one week until the anniversary of Bill Fries' birthday, which is 15 November. You can write to him at P.O. Box E, Ouray, CO 81427-0589; but anything sent to "C.W. McCall, Ouray, CO 81427" will find its way to Bill. He'll be 71 this year.

I'm sending a letter to Bill, and if you want to add your greetings to it, pass them on to me at ed@cw-mccall.com. I'll be posting the letter on Tuesday the 9th, so get your birthday wishes in now.

Song A’ Th’ Week
Parodies of C.W. McCall songs are hard to find, probably because "Weird Al" Yankovic's career was only beginning as C.W. McCall's was ending. If only "Weird Al" could have done his version of "Wolf Creek Pass" or "Convoy"...

Anyway, this week's song is one of those rare parodies. Mike Madonna promised to play it on today's (7 November) edition of St. Louis Brain Sandwich on KDHX FM 88.1, a fact that you would have known if you subscribed to the Other Wild Places mailing list. (Hint, hint.) Well, Mike forgot, but Brain Sandwich did play "Old Home Filler Up An' Keep On A-Truckin' Café" and "Weird Al"'s "Truck Drivin' Song". Mike swears that "Car Phone" will be played on next week's (14 November) show.

By the way, if you've got RealPlayer installed, you can listen to KDHX on the web.

Oh, yeah. The words to the first two lines of the last stanza may be incorrect, because they don't make sense to me. Correct me, if you know the truth.

Car Phone

(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis; parody lyrics by Karen Sheeler and Wade Sheeler)

Which can be found on the album Dr. Demento’s 25th Anniversary Collection