Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mark Ross sent this along. Thought you might enjoy it.

Utah's Speech

Friends and Brothers, for many years now we have all understood that railroads exist solely to carry persons such as ourselves from one place to another. The business of transporting freight simply helps to defray the expense of this noble and much needed endeavor. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly commend the Union Pacific,Burlington-Northern, Denver-Rio Grande and Western and similar charitable organizations for their benign efforts on our behalf and to offer heartfelt thanks for affording us the opportunity to spend so many carefree hours watching the pleasant landscape flow by. Oh, the rich pageantry! The bracing mountain air, sparkling lakes and snow-capped peaks spread out before us like a handful of jewels. Lulled into blissful reverie by the gentle swaying of our noble chariots, we gaze enraptured at the panoramic splendor of America.Exaggeration? Ah no, my friends. I cannot believe that so heady a delight as we have enjoyed for lo these many years could simply be the result of economic necessity. Surely the Almighty has penetrated the hearts of railroad executives, and through them his divine purpose moves: that we homeless vagabonds are permitted to advance that spirit of adventure for which our mothers bore us and which is so firmly rooted in the very heart of our great Republic. Indeed, I affirm without fear of contradiction the belief that God, Motherhood, The Founding Fathers and the Railroad are committed to permitting the hobo his humble existence.I hasten to add, however, that all is not rosy and bright with our Brotherhood of the Road. On every hand villains and assassins assault our way of life, indeed our very persons. High-binders and cut purses sap our meager resources as the necessities of life (wine, a humble crust and a quiet corner in which to enjoy well-earned repose) continue to soar in price. Organized authority (which any sensible person must assume was constituted for our protection) now falls upon us cloaked in the foul disguise of "custodians of law". Where, I ask, will it end'? Will we, in the final extremity, be forced to abandon our historic mission of bringing the divine law of "Freedom in Mobility" to the benighted heathen cringing meekly in factory and barnyard? Will we (oh dire presentiment!) be driven to join them in that abomination against our class and kind- WORK? No, I Say, a thousand times NO! Take heart, noble companions! Share with me a sacrament of our sacred beverage, shoulder your bindles and once more plunge into the fray, secure in the knowledge that we carry with us the future of the Republic, indeed the hopes and dreams of all mankind. Let us sing.(Speech to be delivered at the 1976 bicentennial Hobo Convention in Britt,Iowa, where I intend to be elected King. Campaign staff positions are now being filled and all donations are gratefully accepted and can be forwarded to Philo Records. They are, of course, tax deductible.)


Anonymous said...

A GREAT speech by a GREAT man. Thanks for sharing that with us. Take err easy Keith Bednar

dan osterman said...

can anyone tell me where the term 'bushwa' - as in 'bullfeathers' comes from, is it a iww political term? -dan

Manhattnik said...

I've been meaning for awhile to share a few of my memories of Bruce. I'm Eric Taub, Mike Taub's younger brother. As did Mike, I spent many nights hanging around Caffe Lena in Saratoga, although it seems all the guitar-playing genes in my family went to Mike. I didn't know Bruce as well as Mike, but I do remember Bruce's wit.

Back in the Seventies, it must've been, Bruce was playing Lena's. My brother, being a budding guitar whiz, was in the habit of watching performers' hands on their guitars, to see what licks he could borrow, I suppose. So Bruce was singing something or other, and saw Mike watching his hands. Bruce was a great man, but nobody would accuse him of being a guitar virtuoso, so looked down at Mike and said, "What are you looking at? This is all there is. It doesn't get any better."

It wasn't hard to become a straight man for Bruce, as I did a few times:

"Bruce, why do you have that dollar glued to your guitar?"

"So I know it'll always be worth a dollar."

Once time, probably at the late, lamented Executive, he ordered tequila or vodka or some decidedly not-brown liquor.

"Bruce, I thought you drank whiskey?"

Slight pause. Looks at me like I'd asked a stupid question (I had).

"I've done whiskey."

My parents took me as a child to his first gig at Lena's, where, until that night, he was thought to be a figment of Rosalie Sorrell's imagination. It's hard to believe he's gone, but he certainly lived the hell out of his life.

Mark Ross said...

"bushwa" is probably a euphemism for bourgeois bullshit.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe he's gone, but he certainly lived the hell out of his life.
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