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Saturday, 2005 December 24 : Volume 8, Number 2

“All the filler that fits.”

What We Got Here

A Very Special Christmas Edition of The Legend-News.

Okay, so’s that’s a lot of hype for very little content. I’ll refund your subscription fee.

Anyway, this is the Holiday Edition, because today is 24 December, a.k.a. “Christmas Eve” or “the first day after Saturnalia.” I’ve promised myself that I’d publish something at least once per month, even if I had to arise before noon.

In This Issue: news about an interview with Bill; a new addition to the Crispy Critters; the continuation of the current Old Home Café storyline; and the lyrics to — what else? — “Sing Silent Night.”


Thirty Years Later, And He’s Still Getting Airtime

There’s a new Bill Fries interview, and it’s online!

In early November, Shadoe Steele of MADPOD asked me to put him in touch with Bill, and the result is a new interview with Bill Fries on MADPOD.com. James Donnelly and Shadoe (they’re partners in MADPOD) conducted the interview on November 15th, which was — coincidentally? — Bill’s 77th birthday. Bill talks about the creation of C.W. McCall, his life in Iowa and Colorado, and he delivers a live presentation of “Audubon.” Of course, “Convoy” is also mentioned, because that was the Big Hit.

MADPOD is, if you haven’t yet discovered it, a podcast from New York City, specializing in interviews with old and new artists and celebrities. Bill’s interview is the 105th episode, promoted as the “30th Anniversary of ‘Convoy’.”

As of December 23rd, MADPOD has reached show 107, with Neil Sadaka. Check out the site, and listen to some great interviews. And, if you’ve got iTunes version 6 or later, you can subscribe to MADPOD’s podcasts.

I recommend show 100, too: if you think that interviews with Bill Fries are rare, that one is with Carly Simon!

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New Critters On The Block

James Herring of Boonville, Missouri!

That’s the only one, folks. The month’s been slow.

And, whilst you’re in the neighborhood, pin the Crispy Critters map at Frappr. James did, and he’s a better person for it! [Well, there was a Frappr map, but Frappr was bought and the buyer closed it down. — Future Ed.]


Old Home Café

The stranger looked at Carol with a “what kind of stereotype are you?” look. Carol had been playing the part of a waitress for years. She could phone it in, but teasing the out-of-towners was a lot more fun.

“The boss doesn’t hang around much on the night shift,” said Carol. “But if you’ve got questions about this operation, I can answer ’em.”

The stranger, who shall remain nameless until the next sentence, pulled a business card from his wallet and held it out to Carol. “Paul Schaffle,” he said. “I’m with Backyard Productions, and we’re considering making a movie about this place.”

Carol took the card and examined its fancy typeface and its fancy logotype (some kid on a tire swing), all printed on fancy pasteboard. Skepticism filled her eyes. She filed the card in a pocket of her apron and said “A movie? Here? Must be a non-action flick, ’cause nothing’s happened here in years.” She thought for a moment, then added “’cept for that tanker explosion, but that was years ago.”

Schaffle sipped at his coffee. He nodded and said “Might fine cup of coffee.”

Carol said, “I’ve seen that television show. You want some cherry pie, too?”

“Maybe later,” said Schaffle. “Right now, I’m here to check out the area; see what we can use for locations.” He swept his arm towards the window and the parking lot. “Check out the scenery; and figure out what this project will cost.”

“You must be low-budget, if you’re comin’ out here,” said Carol. “And what sort of movie could you make about a truck stop in Iowa, anyway? It better not be one of those ‘rural comedies’, full a’ rejects from The Dukes of Hazzard. I hated that movie.”

“Well, it is a comedy,” said Schaffle, “but it’s about a trucker who drives around this part of the state, delivering bread. It’s a spec script; someone wrote it, we got a copy of it, and we’re investigating whether we should make a movie of it.”

“A guy who delivers bread?” asked Carol. “That’s been done, honey, thirty years ago. ’Cept then it was a dozen teevee commercials. They made a rich man outta some local boy.” She pointed to the glass case on the eastern wall of the room. “Just take a look at the pictures and newspaper clippings in that display, and you’ll see what I mean. Your idea ain’t exactly original.”

“I’ll agree with that. I haven’t read an original idea in years,” said Schaffle. “But every tire could use a good retread.”

Carol frowned. “That’s an interesting suggestion, comin’ from a La-la Land type like yourself. Have you ever seen a retread? They occasionally fall apart.”

“Any movie’s a gamble,” said Schaffle.

Carol freshened up Schaffle’s coffee. “One question, though. Why are you out here at 3 A.M.? Those guys,” said Carol, pointing to the drivers in the booth, “needed a caffeine boost. Me, I’m working. But you? Why are you here? We’re lucky to see tourists during the day, and I’ve never had one show up after midnight.”

“I wanted to see the sunrise,” said Schaffle. “‘Dawn over the Old Home Café’. It’s a scene in the movie.”

“Then sit back, honey, ’cause you’ll have to wait. Sunrise ain’t ’til about a quarter to six,” said Carol.

To be continued…


Sing Silent Night
(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)

When the snow falls on Christmas Eve,
And everything’s white
I sit by the window,
And remember another night
When Mama played the organ,
And we turned off all the lights
And we all stood around her
And sang Silent Night

The organ is quiet now,
And Mama’s gone
The sound of that Christmas Eve
Will live on and on
We sang all the old carols,
The hymns she loved to hear
And she played them over, one by one,
From memory, and by ear

And then she’d find the ancient album,
With its pages turned gold
And the crayon-colored paper star
I made so long ago
But brighter than any star
Was the love in Mama’s eyes
As she said, “Merry Christmas, kids,”
And she kissed us goodnight

And the organ’s quiet now,
And Mama’s gone
But the sound of that Christmas Eve
Will live on and on
The years have gone by now,
Since that last Christmas Eve
But the joy is still with me,
And the love will never leave

When Mama played the organ,
And we turned off all the lights
And we all stood together
And sang the last Silent Night


The Legend-News is published randomly by TechRen Enterprises, way down upon the ocean. Copyright 2005 TechRen Enterprises, except for the stuff that we borrowed from elsewhere. Send complaints, kudos, suggestions and news to legend-news@cw-mccall.com. “Sweet.”