Chairman, Senator Sam Ervin, and Counselor, Samuel Dash

PBS ran a special on the Watergate hearings the other night and it was a real eyeopener to visit that period of history when the chicanery of the presidency was revealed for all to see, live on TV. Riveting. I watched every minute. Every day brought another dastardly deed into the open. It's worth another looksee at this time in history.

Presidential advisor, John Erlichman

I dubbed off some of the sound and put it on an mp3 file. You can listen by clicking on:


Capn, thanks for the What-are-gate? clip.

In 1973 I was a carnie, working a joint on the Murphy Brothers Carnival circuit, doing State Fairs and County Fairs across the Midwest and the South. I built ball-toss  game we called "The Watergate Game, which consisted of several 4-foot tall painted plywood faces of Nixon, Kissinger, Spiro Agnew and Martha Mitchell, with huge gaping mouths. The object of the game was to toss a softball through the mouths and win a stuffed animal. It was a big hit- we made the local TV news practically everywhere we went. All manner of folks from rural and small-town America were able to exercise their righteous outrage, and let off steam, and nobody got hurt. A few hundred dead presidents in my pockets at the end of every night didn't hurt, either.

I don't have any pictures of the Watergate Game, but I did find my sketchbook from that time, and I enclose a jpeg of the original simple sketches I used to build the heads.

Somewhere on the most deserted stretch of freeway in Indiana, or somewhere, I experienced a very long, slow stretch or road with no rides for a day and a half. I walked. Dead center in the middle of nowhere, USA, on a stretch of Interstate, miles from the nearest ramp or sign of habitation, someone had wrapped a gigantic ball of discarded quarter-inch tape around the top of a fence-post, (the tape no doubt coming from some discarded 8-track chucked out of a car window at high speed).
Below the massive wad of tape, someone had posted a large piece of cardboard on which he or she had scrawled the words 18-MINUTE GAP.

-- Ali Bob




photo by Stephen Newton and Chad Harder

I was at a Rainbow gathering in 1994 shortly after Richard Nixon died.
I remember wandering the woods, high, and singing:
Ding dong the Dick is dead
Which ol' Dick?
The wicked Dick.
Ding dong the wicked Dick is dead.
He's gone where the goblins go
Below, yoho
Let's laugh and dance and sing
And ring the bells now
Ding dong the the Dick is dead.

photo by Chad Harder and Zig Zag man

Anyway, this guy who called himself Brother Light and was considered to be an elder, organizer or whatever came up and told me to stop singing.
Not everybody felt that way, he said buzz killer serious.
He accused me of spreading negativity and got me to promise to stop.
I figured he was forever after, Brother not-so-Light or Brother Needs to Lighten up.
One of the two.

aka Hammer Slammer
aka Jake Brake
SPC #60