Voir Dire #atozchallenge

voir dire

Voir dire, at least in the United States, is the way lawyers in a jury trial choose jurors. The jurisdiction (which could be a state, county, city, district, or the federal government) will select a jury pool at random, usually from people registered to vote in that area, and a group of them will be assigned to a case. The judge might ask questions up front that might have a bearing on the case, such as whether a person has done business with the defendant or respondent, whether they know either of the parties, and if there will be a problem if the case runs several weeks. That usually eliminates some members of the pool. Then, each potential juror is called and interviewed by the lawyers, who ask them questions that might reveal a predisposition that could work against them.

I was called for jury duty by the Cobb County Superior Court. Even though I’m disabled and could have gotten out of it, I wanted to do it. On the first day, a couple hundred residents of the county (including me) were sworn in and divided into groups. My group was called to hear a civil case between a homeowner and a builder. As we walked in, the judge and all parties to the suit were standing and facing us. The judge asked us if we knew either the plaintiff or respondent, and also asked if any of us did business with an insurance company that was involved. Those of us who did were told we were eliminated from the pool and we could go home. Had I not been eliminated, the lawyers would have had a chance to ask me questions and to either accept or reject me for the jury.

Most people see jury duty as a huge pain in the ass, and the courthouse wasn’t completely handicapped-friendly, but I felt like my being there was appreciated. The Sixth Amendment guarantees everyone a trial by an impartial jury, and, as they told us when we were sworn in, the county couldn’t guarantee that unless we were there and willing to hear a case. They didn’t need me, as it turns out, but they needed me and everyone else to be there in case they did.

The day my mother-in-law died, she was called to jury duty. They were very understanding when I called and told them she couldn’t make it, and just asked for a holy card from the wake. We had plenty of them, fortunately…


#1LinerWeds from Allan Sherman

Before The Beatles came along, Allan Sherman was my favorite recording artist. In fact, he was tremendously popular in the early Sixties with his parodies of popular tunes. Then, along came The British Invasion, and his records were shoved out of the limelight. (One of his last recordings was “Pop Hates The Beatles.”) He died ten days shy of his 49th birthday while playing the piano and entertaining friends.

One-Liner Wednesday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. Now a word about GE Flashbulbs. Get those once-in-a-lifetime pictures every time.

Two For Tuesday: Freddy Cannon

Freddy Picariello was born in Revere, Massachusetts and lived in nearby Lynn most of his early years. After graduating from Lynn Vocational High School, he made a couple of records, singing and playing rhythm guitar on “Cha-Cha-Do” by The Spindrifts and lead guitar on “Ka-Ding Dong” by The G-Clefs, which reached #24 on the Hot 100 in 1956.

Now married and with a child, he launched his solo career as Freddy Karmon with his backup band, The Hurricanes. His mother wrote the lyrics to a song called “Rock & Roll Baby.” He recorded a demo of the song, which was passed along to the songwriting team of Bob Crewe and Frank Slay. They rewrote the lyrics and changed the arrangement, the result being “Tallahassee Lassie.” The song came to the attention of Dick Clark, who was also part owner of Swan Records, who suggested some production changes and also that Freddy change his name to Freddy Cannon. One of the production changes was to emphasize the bass drum, earning Freddy the name Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon. The song was a hit in Boston and Philadelphia, and soon received national airplay. It peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and #13 on the R&B Singles chart in 1959.

Freddy’s next Top 10 single was a rock version of the classic 1922 song “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans.” It reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #14 on the R&B Singles chart later in 1959.

After that, the highest Freddy charted was #28, until “Palisades Park” in 1962. Written by Chuck Barris of game-show fame, it was a tribute to New Jersey’s Palisades Amusement Park, which was advertised for years in DC Comics. The song reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B Singles chart.

Freddy left Swan Records for Warner Brothers Records in 1963 and stayed with them until 1968. His highest-charting single on WB was 1965’s “Action,” which became the theme song for Where The Action Is, a Dick Clark-produced after-school TV show that featured Paul Revere and The Raiders as hosts. He has continued to perform and record, most recently in 2016, when he recorded “Svengoolie Stomp” with Chicago’s Rich Koz, who, as Svengoolie, hosts the Saturday night horror film on MeTV.

Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, your Two for Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Maybe I should make it “THREE for Tuesday”…

Ubiquity #atozchallenge


Ubiquity is the condition of being ubiquitous, i.e. omnipresent. Always there.

Mary used to carry her knitting projects (and everything else she needed if she was out) in canvas tote bags. After a while, I called them her “ubiquitous bags” because she always had one and sometimes several of them with her wherever she’d go. I’m not sure whether that would make them “ubiquitous,” but it was close enough for me.

We’ve had one or two cats who were always where we wanted to go. We said that one was ubiquitous. Again, not sure if that was the appropriate word, but hey, close enough for folk music.

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks did a song about “Moody Richard,” who always seemed to be around… From 1972’s Striking It Rich

The Internet is a sort of ubiquitous presence, following you wherever you go, always there to bring you news, entertainment, selfies, cat pictures, and, of course, the ubiquitous trolls. Before the Internet, they rode on buses, mumbling to themselves and making everyone nervous. The Internet has made it possible for them to do all their trolling from the comfort of home. They don’t even have to put pants on…

Seriously, we’re bombarded with pictures of people we don’t even know, pictures of places we have no intention of visiting, food we think is disgusting and would never eat. This goes on 24 hours a day, 365.2425 days a year. There’s a meme going around that shows a beautiful, rustic house in the middle of the woods, the caption reading “‘like’ if you’d give up the Internet and all mass media if you’d live here for a year.” Or something like that. Would you? I would. As long as I could take books with me, I’d love it. Or if there was a library in the house.

You know, I bet they don’t have Internet in heaven. You just know they have it in hell.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: (Rare) Earth

You just knew I would come up with a different slant on the theme, didn’t you?

Rare Earth was the only white band ever to produce hits for Motown Records. When Berry Gordy signed them in 1969, it was his intention to start a separate label for white acts. One of the members suggested “Rare Earth Records,” and, surprisingly, it stuck. They were known for their covers of Motown hits and their extended jamming on them (for example, the single for “Get Ready, ” their biggest hit, was just over three minutes, while the album version came in at almost 22 minutes). Just so you know, this is a longish playlist.

  1. Get Ready: Title track to their 1969 album, it was their biggest hit, it reached #4 in the US and #1 in Canada in 1970.
  2. I Know I’m Losing You: Their followup single, reached #7 in the US, also in 1970. From 1970’s Ecology (which fits with the actual theme for today).
  3. Born To Wander: Also from Ecology, their third single from 1970, peaking at #17.
  4. I Just Want To Celebrate: From their 1972 release, One World. Their first of four singles in 1971, it reached #7.
  5. Hey Big Brother: After two singles that failed to chart, this reached #19 late in 1971. Also from One World, it was their last Top 20 hit.
  6. Smiling Faces Sometimes: From their 1973 album Ma, a cover of The Undisputed Truth’s 1971 hit.
  7. Tobacco Road: The classic 1960 song by John D. Loudermilk, it was on Get Ready.
  8. Feelin’ Alright: Also on Get Ready, the often-covered song by Dave Mason that was done originally by Traffic in 1968.
  9. Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone: I can’t find the album this was on, but it’s a cover of The Temptations’ 1971 hit.
  10. Big John Is My Name: Couldn’t resist this one. From Ma.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for April 23, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.