A Life of Letters

Mittens

Posted in 1986, Kim, Loves by southpawcom on March 9, 2012

I was firmly going with Julie by Christmas of 1986, engaged even, when Kim sent this card from Washington, D.C., where she had taken a writer position with USA Today. She had no business suggesting a holiday get-together, but moreover I had no business not discouraging her.

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Jazz Butcher

Posted in 1986, Friends by southpawcom on February 3, 2010

I don’t at the moment recall just how or when I became acquainted with “Intense Jim” or “Intensity.” I believe he hung out with Keith and Jamie and that crowd, and that I met him in the Dippity Doo-encrusted days of the early spring of 1984. But he was a ruggedly handsome guy with an athletic build, who loved baseball and rock and roll with an equal…well, intensity. He got his name because he always wore a rather scrutinous or analytical expression on his chiseled, Clutch Cargo face and seldom, if ever, laughed or smiled.

For some reason, he looked up to me, perhaps as a guy who he believed might possibly have known more about the aforementioned topics than he. He was a good guy and apparently taught himself to play the guitar pretty well. He was one of those types of guys, like Jeff F., who would for a period of time — weeks or months — hole themselves up in their rooms, not eat or pay heed to the outside world, and teach themselves how to play guitar. And when they emerged, they could play the guitar just as well as they please. Guys can do this, but I think the acetic thing is not for women or girls. It’s intense. I think it might be the same mentality shared by the guys that go to prison and then spend their days and nights in their cells doing stomach crunches and pull-ups until they’re ripped.

Anyway, he was evidently smitten with an artist named the Jazz Butcher. He sent me two cassette tapes with this letter filled from capstan to capstan with the music of the Jazz Butcher. As I recall, I never listened to either, and they were pretty highend cassette tapes, Maxell Metals or something, and I believe I recorded over them pretty shortly after I received them. Sorry, Intensity.

It was unfair of me to do that, because I can recall vividly being so instantly taken with an artist (Social Climbers or Gun Club, for example) that I too had to write or talk about the artist in breathless adulation to any audience I could find and research everything ever written about them in the most obscure of DIY publications.