The Legend-News

Monday, 2003 April 7 : Volume 6, Number 7

What We Got Here


We're making changes to the web site. If you're reading this issue of The Legend-News while online, then you've probably noticed that the page layout is simpler: the former table-happy pages are being redesigned to use Cascading Style Sheets, the right-hand menues have been removed, and the site links are now at the top of the page.

As of April 6, only a few pages have been switched to the new layout. We had planned to have the entire site renovated by April 1st (no foolin'), but, as usual, reality interfered with our life. (More on that in the next section.)

We hope that these changes will make our site easier to read on small-screen devices, such as PDAs and cell phones. You never know when you'll need a C.W. McCall info-fix!

If you notice any problems when viewing the new pages, send a message to <> and tell us (1) the URL of the page that you were viewing, (2) the browser that you're using, and if possible (3) a screenshot of the problem. Although we're designing this site using standards, that isn't a guarantee that the pages will display correctly in every browser.

Making Lemonade

The members of the Other Wild Places list already know this, but for the benefit of those who didn't see that message, here's a recap.

Ed. Floden, the guy that runs everything here at The World's Original C.W. McCall Web Site!™, is currently not participating in the daily 9-to-5 grind. According to the persons responsible for this state of non-employment, his position was "eliminated": that's boss-speak for "we didn't make enough money this fiscal year, so your 13-year experienced @$$ is too expensive for us to employ".

C'est la vie. Ad astra per aspera. So it goes.

We do not expect that his new position as a Man of Leisure will cause any problems in the operation of this web site, or in the publication of The Legend-News. However, if changes are necessary, we will promptly inform our readership.

In the meantime, if you know of anyone who's looking for a web guy, tell them to write to <> and we'll send to them a copy of Ed.'s résumé. Ed.'s looking for work in the northeastern Illinois / southeastern Wisconsin area.

Thank you for your time.

Oh, yeah, about making lemonade: get a quart of lemon juice, such as ReaLemon, a plastic gallon milk jug (without the milk), and sugar. Into the jug, pour 16 fluid ounces (2 cups) of lemon juice and 1 ½ cups of sugar. Fill the jug halfway with cold water; cap the jug, and shake for about 30 seconds. Fill the jug to the ¾ point, cap and shake again. Then fill it almost to the top, cap and shake once more. When you're done, put the jug in the refrigerator until the lemonad is cold, then serve it over ice.

'Cuse Me, While I Kiss This Guy

In the past couple of issues, we've once again dealt with Ed.'s alledged hearing problem and his mis-interpretation of the words in some of C.W.'s songs. Our current selection is a line from "Gallopin' Goose", which Ed. transcribed as "He declared a busted drive shaft / On the pass at Lizard Head". Disagreeing Critters have said that the verb in question is "acquired", not "declared". Well, the votes are in; and in a 5-to-2 victory, the winner is…


However, as in the U.S. presidential election of 2000, the declared (that's a joke, son) winner may not be the actual winner. Upon consultation with The Source, The Legend-News hereby reports that the actual word is…


The Source is the source, of course, of course; and so this dispute is ended. We thank all of the participants for their participation, and better luck next time.

By the way, regarding the title of this section: "'Cuse Me, While I Kiss This Guy" is an example of a mondegreen, or misheard lyric. This particular mondegreen comes from Jimi Hendrix' "Purple Haze", which contains the line "(ex)cuse me, while I kiss the sky". For more mondegreens, see, where you'll also find an explanation of the word "mondegreen".

Meanwhile, Back At The Critter Ranch

Quartzsite Critters

In a case of life imitating art, Stephen Handwerk tells us

I have a little footnote about the song "Crispy Critters". Part of it became a true story in Quartzsite, Arizona in 1996. Fortunately, they didn't take over the town.

A friend of mine who lives there told me about it. A group of people came to the outskirts of town in a schoolbus. They called themselves "rainbow people". From what this friend of mine told me they looked like throwbacks to the Sixties, or "hippies". The town sheriff at the time managed to chase them out once but they came back a week later. This was around January and February of 1996. Usually there is a big swap meet in that town around that time. They had camped themselves right at the edge of town though. Now that would be something if the whole story depicted in the song came true. But that incident came close though.

[The Legend-News has not yet verified this story.]

Also, Stephen has a peripheral connection to C.W. McCall: he lives in Yucaipa, California, which was the starting point for Convoy 2000. The Convoy officially began at the Wildwood rest area on I-10, just south of Yucaipa.

New Critters On The Block

From a small town in Colorado, on the west end of Black Bear Road, it's Tom Wirth of Telluride; and a bit further east, Chris Starks of Milan, Pennsylvania.

Mack Daddy

Another of those coincidences that make you wonder if a conspiracy is in the making: Chris Doyle first directed me to this site, and within hours I received a message from Dan Bruno, the site's owner.

Dan's got a page or two on CONVOY's Rubber Duck Mack Truck, an exploration of the trucks that were used in the 1978 movie, CONVOY. Dan has a lot of pictures, plus the specifications of the Mack RS700L on which the Duck's Mack is based.

Trivial fact: the Mack that drove into the jail in Alvarez, Texas, was not the same truck that backed out of the jail. More Hollywood magic, apparently.

Facts With Fiction

The March/April 2003 issue of RoadKing contains an article by Michael Perry, "Semi Songs", a short list of tunes about trucks. It's informative, even if he does state that Bill Fries was "a professional disc jockey". Of course, we have e-mailed the editor of RoadKing with the correct information.

Old Home Café: The Next Generation

Episode XIV

Jon sat at the counter of the Old Home Café, sipping a Coke and relaxing. This was his first break since the Breakfast Riot earlier that morning.

Only two customers were in the Café at that moment, both working their way through bottomless cups of coffee. Jon couldn't recall if they were on their fifth or sixth, but he was fairly certain that one of them would be using the restroom in the next ten minutes.

Larry was washing the dishes and his brother Jerry was cleaning the tables. Jerry Too was out back, smoking a cigarette. The time was 10:34 A.M., and they were anticipating the lunch crowd. They hoped that crowd wasn't as large as was the breakfast one.

Jon heard a low rumble. He looked out of the Main Street window, puzzled. The day was bright and sunny, with no thunderstorms in the forecast.

The rumble increased in volume.

Song A’ Th’ Week

Last Friday, me and Lisa took a drive through many small towns to the far southwest, west, and northwest of Chicago; 360 miles in twelve hours. Our conclusions: Pontiac, Illinois seems like a very nice town, and DeKalb is a highway with too many strip malls.

But once upon a time, about 160 years ago, you couldn't travel 360 miles in half a day. You couldn't even travel 360 miles in a week, at least not without changing horses several times. Horace Greeley had yet to say, "Go West, young man," and railroads were almost non-existent in North America. Wagons, ho!

Oregon Trail
(C.W. McCall, B. Fries, C. Davis)
From the album Black Bear Road

Did you see me at Westport Landing
On the wide Missouri shore?
Did you hear the west wind calling
In the spring of forty-four?

If the mud don't stay and the cattle don't stray
We can make Fort Kearny by the middle of May
If the mud don't stay and the cattle don't stray
We can make Fort Kearny by the middle of May

Did you see me at old Fort Kearny?
Did you hear my trumpets blow?
Did you write your name in stone, boys
On the great Platte River road?

If the wolf don't howl in the dark of the moon
We can make Scotts Bluff by the middle of June
If the wolf don't howl in the dark of the moon
We can make Scotts Bluff by the middle of June

Did you see that endless prairie
Blowin' clean and pure and free?
Did you hear that rollin' thunder
On the wild Nebraska sea?

Did you climb the shining mountains?
Did you cross that Great Divide?
Did you pray to God Almighty
To let you down the other side?

[Chorus, C.W. only]
Roll wagons, rollin' rollin'
Roll wagons, rollin' home
Roll wagons, rollin' rollin'
Roll wagons, rollin' home

Did you see me out on the desert?
Did you see my oxen die?
Did you find a drop of water?
Did you hear my children cry?

If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July
If the sun don't shine and the river don't rise
We can make South Pass by the fourth of July

Did you see the high Sierra
Far beyond the burning sand?
Did you find that golden valley?
Did you reach the Promised Land?

If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry
We can make that valley before we die
If the snow don't fly and the river don't dry
We can make that valley before we die

Next Issue

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The Legend-News is published fortnightly — unless the fortnight is the fifth Monday, in which case it's published fortnightly-and-a-half — by TechRen Enterprises, licking its wounds and plotting sweet, sweet revenge. Contents Copyright 2003 TechRen Enterprises, except for anything that we borrowed from someone else. Thanks to Bill Fries and Chip Davis for the words and music. "Oh, god! I'm pathetic!"