Proposed Dartmouth Linguistics monument for Chicago skyline

sky chi

bluf: all things — as Chief Seattle says — connected such as previous long post and now WikiHow and Wah-hoo-Wah, huh?

Anna Eshoo wah-hoo-wah for standing up for judicial independence, or so say the search-injuns. A woman named Bull stood with her, no sit lie, and as wampum gifted me two Anna placards — yard-signs, or yardsigns — one for me, in Downtown North and presumably I could find a Confederate for the lagniappe. Kari Bull is the name of Anna Eshoo’s campaign director this time — is it Anna’s sixth campaign?* It was sort of like Tom Sawyer in that, in effect, I was volunteering to do something that she is usually paid to do. The author Daniel Pink might call this the Tom Sawyer effect.

Bull was, at least that day, using space in the office of Karen Hughes, the political consultant (and not merely incidentally married to County Supe Prez Joe Simitian, who, as I described somewhat obliquely yesterday likewise spoke out AGAINST THE RECALL — JUNE 5.) This is on Cali Ave, near the former Keystone Palo Alto nightclub, also formerly known as The Edge. I rode my bike over and the two placards made it necessary to walk home not ride.


My grandfather Morton B. Weiss helped build the Powhatan in Chicago, and I visited it in 2016.

Coming up Park Boulevard, past Peers Park — that of the new Dog Runs — I noticed an alley tht cuts thru to Castileja Street. Peering further thru it, I actually thought I could see the College Terrace Library? Was it a mirage? I saw red tiles and stucco and about 30 feet of height. I walked in that direction, with bike and placards.

Fifteen ten Portola was the large,  stylish private residence. To me, the house is near that of Mark and Nancy Shephard, she being our former Mayor and an ally. (He’s a lawyer and a pretty darn good songwriter, and from Rancho Nicasio in West Marin, which is either a music venue or a small town — like the Vatican, or Monaco).

As timing is everything — in music, politics and family planning — a contractor rang their bell and a white woman, presumably Mrs. Herrick, appeared, to him and to me, from the sidewalk, the public accessway.

“Hi, do you support Anna Eshoo?” (She is after all, our U.S. Representative since 1992 and has like a 90 percent awareness rating here).

Sure, she said. Or maybe it was merely a nod.

“Um, there’s an election…would you like a yard sign?”

Sure, she said, or merely nodded and took said sign.

I retreated back towards dog park and my premeditated (I alsomost said “pre-medicated” which means the Warriors were to play the Rockets seven hours later and I had two Albitas to drown my sorrow or soften the blow) route along the tracks and Alma (means “soul”) and back to home sweet home and dog near pup and friend who was excited about the new dog park, and tried to leap into his harness like a dolphin at Marine World, before Oracle. (And now the Shaggy Dog or SHA-GGY-DOG sign is illuminated)

I thought of the fact that Dartmouth College was founded in 1769 and that coincidence or not that same year, 1769 a Spanish soldier and shot-caller named Portola left San Diego with forty mules and forty men and went looking for Monterrey Bay — they’d seen it by sea — and got as far as just about here, where I sit this early a.m, a Friday, and said “Christ let’s call it a day” and marked a tree — as Duffy do — and high-tailed it back to San Diego. I’ve been saying this for a whiles and will keep doing so: 2019 ist the 250th for Portola and El Palo Alto. Let’s Fiesta! (Judy Kleinberg, if you excuse the digression, also says that 2019 is the 125th for Palo Alto Incorporated, and I will help her choose the band, which is my just desserts so to speak, inside joke, 535 Bryant and all that).

So the search-functions of the computer proliferation matrix tell me that a fellow Dartmouthian Jack Herrick owns 1510 and he also had a website with 20 million hits per month, which is how you end up owning a house visible from four blocks away (and the Anna sign, at least for that 10 minutes was visible from 3, from 339 Manzanita). In comparison, as I like to say, Plastic Alto is the blog with 500,000 words and no readers, or roughly so: I have 40 followers, and 50,000 hits all in, since 2011. On my 10th anniversary of doing this, and I shouldn’t even be dong this, I will hire an Ornette Coleman Tribute band, to perform at Stanford Park, the astroturf soccer fields.


I was born same day as Claes Oldenburg and therefore promote his proposed monuments like this one for the Thames.

So far no one has complained about my Anna sign. (We are actually an HOA and I need sign-off to prevent sign off).

I’m also ringing doorbells but not likely 1510 Portola for John Hirokawa our new sheriff.


It looks bigger from 4 blocks away thru the alley from Park Avenue and looks better with an Anna Eshoo sign

The illustration above is a linotype drawing conceived of my yours truly in 1988, the year Dartmouth basketball lost to Princeton by 2 points and thus came in second not first for Ivy Title, would have been their first since Rudy LaRusso in 1957. I wrote to Paul Cormier pledging to fly in and cheer in person next time we get within one bucket of Ivy League Championship. The stars were Jim Barton, who turned down his local team University of North Carolina Tar Heels with Michael Jordan to be As Green As Me, and Bryan Randall, from mean streets of New York and a tragic hero in the end. Very sad. Cathy Geenan did the carving, unless it was Elizabeth Hutchinson from Yale and now Columbia who did a 5751 reclaim the swastika thingy for me the year or so prior.

My grandfather and quasi-namesake Morton B. Weiss helped build a Art Deco Indian motif — think Hiawatha by Longfellow and not can of stew by Ryan Singer — luxury apartments in Indian Village near University of Chicago Powhatan: It’s the last building in Chicago with an elevator operator, and it has an indoor pool, a nice lady walking her dog gave me the 25 cent tour, in 2017, while Terry and I decamped at the Omni on Miracle Mile, near a Shake Shack, it’s progeny is enrolling in Stanford or at least the mall , replacing or displacing a Wells Fargo, this summer, next to a P.F. Chang with its fake terra cotta troops.

I apologize to Mrs. Herrick (and to Anna and to Kari) if its weird that I would speak to her from the sidewalk and make that ask. I said I would ask a friend and neighbor to show the second Anna For Congress sign and instead I picked the biggest house in Evergreen I think and in retrospect claim them as my Dartmouth friends. (There’s actually another John Herrick who worked with me at the Daily Dartmouth — I wonder who else confuses those two).

Also, I have been thinking lately about artist-developer Theaster Gates in Chicago and what would he do if he could take a crack at 30 acres in Ventura or North Ventura where Fry’s is but is leaving.

“Wah-hoo-wah” is Dartmouth vernacular for “hurrah”.  Some Native Americans find it offensive. (In one of the 30 or so indigenous languages it references female hygiene, or so some say, which is where I entered this show, speaking of Cape Fear). Jim Newton, a Paly Grad and former LA Times editorial editor once disseminated a culture-jamming bumper sticker that says “Wah-who-cares?”

I care, and in the George Packer sense keep on winding. Packer who also wrote a book of essays on George Orwell, his namesake that which I have finally procured, just the other day at the venerable Kepler’s.

Get the Vote Out and Right the F_ On, sister. Or sisters.


*The star part is that although I am endorsing Anna Eshoo for Congress and trying to help, I actually walked a precinct for Tom Campbell in 1988. Annas’s ads at the time were a turn-off: she posed next to an illustration of a bovine and it said something about not being a Sacred Cow. Huh? I’m presuming Karen Hughes did not direct that campaign or write that creative execution, or they have both grown since then. It’s good to be a lifelong learner. Shabbat shalom and may the land rise to meet you.


My yard, my car, my wife’s red roses, although technically it is 3-member HOA


edit to add, later that morning, but before our coffee, I swear: this is getting too weird, even by Plastic Alto standards, but Jack Herrick ’91 the founder of WikiHow and owner of a nice house in Palo Alto I’m assuming people confuse with John Herrick ’88, I worked with briefly at The Dartmouth, who later worked for George Bush and now owns a Steel Container Company and is from Cleveland. I believe I saw an article about Jack Herrick a couple years ago and WikiHow in the Chronicle and was confused about the two Herricks. But fact-checking all that one or both of them must be related to the John Herrick ’60 who was in AD, a tennis star, donated I think money for the new to me Berry Center where basketball plays and almost won league in 1991 catalysing my lino-carving (WAH-HOO-WAH, or here HAW-OOH-HAW) squash courts, and is also a champion race car driver — I’ll spare you the picture. Get it? Wha-Hoo-wah to all 3 Big Green gents! Herrick was also president of Psi U.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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