Thursday, May 17, 2007


This picture reaches back into my memory: My old man takes me to the tavern on the left (with the HAMM's sign) for some quality time with his pool-shark buddies, some of the best in the midwest. Beyond the SCHLITZ sign one can barely read the SKIG's sign. Ol' Skigarelli serves up the slime while we utilize a large speaker magnet to guide the pinball to high scores, thus securing free games.

Eleven year-old punks, Miller and I ride our bikes through this former downtown Des Moines long-since eclipsed by the shiny new business district across the river. The city closes down at business-dusk so we ride through the emptiness, longing for something, finding nothing but the romance of our own limitations. Maybe we traverse the tracks looking for something come in on the rail... probably nothing. It was always nothing. KC coins it: DEAD MOINES.

I had hoped this was a photo of a genuine, old-school hobo come in on the rail, but was then let down by the revelation it was actually JOHN CARRADINE walking sadly through a bit part in a 1967 low-budget movie shot on location in Des Moines called THE HOSTAGE (oh, how the mighty have fallen). But spirits were raised by the realization I could perhaps procure this shitty movie gem on the world-wide-web and take this nostalgic trip to the next level, provided there were a few more revealing shots like this one.


William said...

excellent...with Harry Dean Stanton as Eddie!

Toestubber said...

Cool post! You wrote me an email the other day that contained the same story and photo, and I actually physically stopped myself from writing to ask you if I could steal it for my site. That's how fucking lazy I have become, grabbing at my friends' content so I won't have to write anything. It's like the fat kid reaching with pudgy, chocolate-stained fingers for a box of Wheat Thins because he's too tired to make himself a sandwich and too bored to not stuff something into his face while he's watching Dr. Phil.

Hmmm... I'm not sure if that metaphor works. Let's just say for rhetorical purposes that the kid lives in Los Angeles, and pretend that Wheat Thins are really good for you.

Aw, forget it. Give us more crazy pictures of Dead Moines! And welcome to my blogosphere, bitch.

Jakob said...

We should make a trip to this place and come by that old tavern. Wonder if they are selling Brennivin.