Suitable home town for an LGBT lady?

One of the things I’ve got into on You Tube since my brain failure gave me more time to view these things, is those silly 10 places you should/shouldnt do various things in. One guy I really enjoy is someone by the name of Briggs, who does these things. They tend to be lengthy, (as in more than 5 minutes) but tend to be amusing, and informative to me about places in the US that I really ought to see/live in, and about places I really need to avoid at all costs. If I can find the relevant one easily, I’ll post it after the song.

Anyway, of late he’s been doing a couple about affordable towns/cities in the US that you might actually want to live in. Well, given I’m going to (almost certainly) need to do medical retirement anytime soon, these hold special appeal to me. OK, 2 issues, the big one being that I dont currently have the right to live permanently in the US, due to being British, and I dont see Dopey Don letting me do that in the near future, and besides with my medical issues getting worse, its not the ideal country for me, lets face it.

The snag with most of these affordable places for me, even if I could move there? Well, lets say that to my eyes, and ears, most of them are not in what you would term LGBT friendly states. So given he asks for ideas for future videos, I mentioned that a more LGBT friendly list of this kind might be handy. I also mentioned that it was a shame that 2 of the towns suggested (which sounded nice) were in an area of interest to me. One was McPherson, in Kansas, the other was Muskogee, Oklahoma, which isnt a million miles from Clara Johnson country.

Anyway, along with a few less than charming words about my comments, someone made this comment

Oklahoma City, and Kansas City are as liberal/diverse as NYC

 

Now maybe I’d be safer in this area than the ‘bible belt south’, (not hard with what Alabama and Georgia have been passing of late), but as diverse as NYC? Maybe these 2 big cities are approaching that, but the surrounding area, including Muskogee isnt? Or is Muskogee fine, really? I must admit, I had no issues in KC, survived fine in Cherryvale, for a visit, but to live in the area? Fine, given my residence issues, living there is only hypothetical, but now I’m curious. I’d love feelings from ‘locals’ (if any see this) on this whole matter.

But yes, I hope this is the only time in my life I’m ever accused of being a right wing, white racist bigot! Mind, there was the Lillian Gish, movie history issue recently, too, so who knows, lol?

OK, video time. Given I then went and checked out Muskogee on Wikipedia, I found out there was a song about the place, so guess what you’re getting. Maybe Clara wont be the only Okie in the physical line yet!

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Black is black

For those of those fortunate enough to see both blogs, this is the more cheering event, though its also the one, like so many LGBT related events that I wish we didnt have to celebrate. I know, things were very different in 1947 America, though in truth, it took decades after that before things really improved, and rather like LGBT issues, I’m not certain that its really been settled as yet, especially with the current political situation there. For more details of the events than I wish to just repeat, go see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Robinson

for all of the details. The only thing of which I can be really proud is that it was my beloved Dodgers (then in Brooklyn) who took the first move to right matters. His shirt number was 42, and this is why today, all players, on all teams, and tomorrow, for the teams not playing today, will be wearing that shirt number for 1 day. Yes, the first game played by Jackie Robinson, African American baseball player, in the Major League was on April 15th, 1947.

The funny thing is, as the article points out, he wasnt actually the first African American to play Major League Baseball, he was just the first to do so since 1884, and fine, media was pretty limited back then, and segregation was pretty awful back then, so they were conveniently swept over. In truth things werent great in 1947 for Robinson, as players, and teams refused to play with/against him back then, with little impunity. To be fair to the Dodgers, and the MLB they came down relatively firmly on these people, but only so much could be done at a time when racism was sadly rife. Funny thing is, he never played in Los Angeles. He retired in 1956, and it was 1958 before they moved across the country, to become Hollywood’s team.

Oh, and to say the Dodgers have always been forward on equality matters? First team to let a female journalist into the locker room (1974), the first team to have a female lead trainer (2012), and way back in 1941, the first team to get their players to wear helmets! Oh, and probably the only team that will ever have the same person commentate on the team for 67 years too. Yes, Vin Scully, of course.

No, the Dodgers play tonight in the middle of the night, my time (3.00 am start) so I wont see them play, but there is one extra thing for me tonight, a player of course for once, wearing 42, Clayton Kershaw. He makes his first start in the Major League tonight, after injury, having spent the last couple of weeks amusingly, in Oklahoma. I suspect he flew to Los Angeles, unlike Clara, who I assume arrived by train, though that was from Texas, according to her Census records. When she moved to Texas, I have yet to discover, all I know is she left for LA in 1925 at this point. That might need to be one of my challenges in life, discovering more about her, assuming my retirement is made official, after the neurologist has checked me over. So I might yet find her married name, and later life, lol!

Alright, the video is corny, though it might appeal to my male readers. And yes, I’d love a pair of those gold trousers, if anyone is offering…?

 

Divine interference?

Alright, warning, this may not mean a lot to anyone other than US readers, but anyway… Seeing they are the vast bulk of my readers going by the stats…

Most championships are decided by merit. Either the team that wins the most games against the others teams in their league, or in their continent, wins the title, or they end up with a series of knock out deciders to settle the matter. Then you get College Football (Gridiron type, for any non US readers still going) where there are about 12 top rank divisions (including a supposed Big 5), plus some independents who dont play in any other divisions, of which 4 teams go to the playoffs.

Yes, thats right, the maths dont add up well, do they?

Earlier this weekend, all of the championship games got played. One of the supposed top 4 isnt in a division, so they just rested up. Even more complex, the ‘number 1’ team were playing the ‘number 4’ team, as both play in same conference!

Lurking outside of all this, sitting at number 5 going into the weekend, were Oklahoma. Yes, I know, I support Kansas State, and Kate supports Oklahoma State, both in the same conference, so I should hate them, right? Thing is, Oklahoma would be Clara Johnson’s team I suspect, as its the nearest University to where she was born, though she certainly never went there! Given she was moving to LA, from Texas at the age of 20, thats a safe bet! But anyway…

Last night, I watched Oklahoma beat Texas 39-27, getting revenge for their only defeat this season. Thing is, unless one of the top 4 drops out, they cant make the play off. So thank you, I thought, for Alabama (No 1) playing Georgia (no 4), as given logic, the latter should lose, drop down the rankings, only… when I went to bed last night, Georgia were winning 28-14. And yes, that would drop Alabama down the rankings, but probably not to No 5, and let Oklahoma in.

Apparently, with 6 minutes to go, that was still the score. The final score, you ask? 35-28 to Alabama! Now whether this was Alabama inspiration, yet another Georgia meltdown, or someone up in heaven intervening to let her local university get to the playoffs, who knows? My money is on that it wasnt the latter, but it would be funny to think so, wouldnt it?

No, I know, sport is just crazy!

Right, video time. Well given it feels like heaven may have played a part in events, how about this?

A heavenly dancer?

The next few days might be a let down for readers, but a bonus for me. Why, you ask? Because apart from Sunday, if you’re lucky, one blog will cover both versions! Tonight, because of the event, and next week, because of the holiday. But for now…

113 years ago today, in a small part of Pottawatomie county, Oklahoma Territory (as it was then, only became a state in 1907), a baby girl was born, to, I assume, a Mr and Mrs Johnson. They seemingly named her Clara Elaine, and the rest, in terms of Hollywood Chorus girl duties, and the like, are history.

Maybe one day, I’ll do more of a dig on Ancestry.com, and discover what her parents names were, and if there were any more brothers and sisters, as well as her. The only tentative suggestion (apart from the lack of birth control back then) that there was more than 1 child, was one of her actual film credits, when there was also a Peter Johnson listed in the cast. Of course, that might simply be a name coincidence, though her 1930 Los Angeles census record did mention 1 brother, so I am inclined to suspect it was probably him.

All I know of the early history is that she moved to LA from Texas in 1925, but when the move there, from Oklahoma, no idea. I need a long enough period of time to really work on Ancestry.com to dig into that sort of matter, and also I need the funds to buy a subscription for a few months at least, that I can get to really use to dig for info. So probably wont happen until I’ve finished working, whenever that is, but then… Even then, I suspect I’m only going to have the 1910, and 1920 census details, so unlikely to find exactly when the Texas moved happened is still going to be vague.

The other thing that needs a major digging through, is a list of marriages in the LA area in the late 30’s (most likely, as her work career seems to stop around 37/38), or perhaps the beginning of the 40’s, because for now, thats where my trail goes cold, with the lack of her married name. Given that her daughter she mentioned would now be in her 70’s, if still alive, it might be fascinating to follow the family tree from there. Probably grand children, and great grand children by now! I wonder if any know, or wonder what Grandma/Great Grandma did?

As I say, if I survive to retirement, and I’m mobile enough to still do it, I suspect it might be my post retirement challenge to try and find out more. I guess that nowadays, I could do a lot from the comfort of a computer at home, anyway?

I must admit, one thing I’d love to do, just once, especially at my age, is do the whole chorus girl thing. My dancing wouldnt be great, I’d probably look less than graceful in one of those flimsy outfits, but my attitude is, just once, I dont care, I want to do the whole Clara Johnson thing! I have 2 lovely friends who are trying to work on making that happen, so who knows, but I hope so?

Anyway, given this was the first year I actually have known her birthday, before the big day, I wasnt going to miss this chance. Its funny to think though, she had all the glamour of working in Hollywood, without any of the fame!

So, happy heavenly birthday, Clara Elaine Johnson, and hopefully, maybe one day, we can get to actually meet, though not in this world.

OK, video time. I have seen her dancing in numerous musicals of the late 20’s, and through the 30’s, including many of the famous ones. For all that, back then, unless they went on to make it, chorus dancers didnt normally get credits. One that Clara did, was a film named Strike Me Pink, though seemingly she was working under her middle name at the time, probably because Clara was a little ‘old fashioned’ name by 1936? Its also the best sighting of her, because she fills the screen between 4:13, and 4:17 in this clip

Soon be living in a brand new state

When I first started trying to find out more about Clara Johnson, it was a case of being in the right place, at the right time. That place, of course was Los Angeles, and a chance to look at the historical 1930 census, or the Los Angeles section of it at least.

And there she was, a certain Miss Clara E Johnson, living in town of course, and even without her giving her occupation as an actress, I might have suspected it was her. It gave me some details which I’ve posted before, the fact that she was born in 1905, in the state of Oklahoma (though it wasnt a state back then, not until 1907, was a territory before then), and that she had moved to Los Angeles, from Texas, in 1925.

I’m delighted to say that last year, I actually managed to find a few pictures of her, firstly from about 1934, then on Christmas day, some more from 1929! It was probably the latter, and some spare time over the holidays that inspired me to try another hunt for details. Remarkably, yes, it worked. Though full birth records didnt start before Oklahoma was a state, basic records were kept, and on one of the State history sites, putting her name, and year of birth into the website, and…bingo!

I now know she was born on 6th September, 1905, and I know she was born in Pottawatomie County! Unfortunately, as to where in the county, no idea, they didnt keep full records there until 1908! I managed to discover the 1920 census, and found 11 Clara Johnson’s living in Oklahoma, and Texas at that time, born in 1905. I assume the others were either born outside of Oklahoma (quite possible for the Texas ones), or their births werent registered properly (or at all), equally possible back then, before officially a state. Snag, Ancestry.com want a fee to see the details, though there is a free option, which might do for me, but its time limited, so I might do something when I’m off in a fortnights time. Hopefully, a date of birth might help to work out which one is her, but no idea if thats recorded, until I try! It wont tell me much more, other than telling me whether she moved to Texas before, or after 1920, I suspect. Parent names might enable me to see if there were any other children, I guess?

Funnily enough, my dear friend Kate is from Oklahoma! She has told me I might be underwhelmed by modern day Pottawatomie County, and I suspect she’s right. I doubt Clara would recognize it either! But yes, a lot of it would be the chance to stand in her footsteps, just once. So maybe next year, I might yet do that, but not before then, for sure! I know, she’s not really an ancestor, but she’s just so special to me, because well, she was me, in one sense at least.

The video? The most obvious Oklahoma one possible, just maybe?

Sudden death with Buffalo

No, dont worry, its nothing serious thats happened, just the opposite in fact. But I had to do something to fit in with the video lol!

Yes, within the next hour or so, all the American Football left this season will be sudden death, knock out stuff. As I write this, the last ‘normal’ Bowls are being played, the last NFL season games were played yesterday, so after that…

Firstly, tonight, we get the 2 college football ‘semi finals’ for want of a better word, where Georgia take on Oklahoma, and Clemson take on Alabama. A week later, the two winners get to meet for their Championship. The most interesting thing for me has been the multiple shots of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, to be honest. Well, except that with a little more discovery work today, I now know where, and when a certain young lady was born in Oklahoma! Yes, on 6th September 1905, a baby girl was born somewhere in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma. Thats right, a baby named Clara Elaine Johnson! Tried googling for Oklahoma birth and death records, tried her name on the site, then lo, and behold… Looking at a map, she wouldnt have been a million miles from where Oklahoma University would have been! Of course, given she left Texas for LA in 1925, how long she lived there, no idea?

Ah, the title of the blog? Yes, thats the NFL bit. For over 30 years, through thick and thin, I’ve supported the Buffalo Bills. The late 80’s, and most of the 90’s were pretty good times, but other than that, no! Until yesterday, they were the team with the longest interval since previously being in the play offs, 18 years. Not now!
It wasnt hard to see them winning before I went to bed last night, and Baltimore were losing, 2 facts which meant they would be in, but there was still about a half of football to go for each. Bills won, but until nearly the end, Baltimore were clinging on for a win seemingly, then Cincinnati scored, Baltimore lost, and Buffalo were in the play offs.

Oh fine, I found out when I opened my emails this morning (one was from team, mentioning they were in play offs), which made a nice way to start 2018! They now get to play Jacksonville, who were last in the play offs in 2007, and last played a home play off game in 1999, the last time Buffalo made the play offs! No, they didnt play each other then! Oh, and I’d better mention the Los Angeles Rams, who won their division, leading to the first play off game in LA since 1994, though for much of that time, no team was in town! By coincidence, leading to another Georgia team heading to LA!

Right, video time. For those of you who read both, I used this video on the other blog recently, so you’re not seeing things. For those who dont, enjoy a classic 30’s musical! And all those girls sharing sleeping berths, shocking stuff lol! 😛

Tornado Alley

If anyone should read both blogs, and you must be a very exclusive club if you do, then sorry, for the second time running, one blog covers both sites. I only wish this one didnt have to though

Sorry, if you only come here for the video selection, you might as well leave now, there wont be one. Why, because what I’m writing about doesnt really fit in with a music video for me somehow.

Yes, I’m sure that by now, you’ve heard the news about Oklahoma? And though in a sense I’m delighted to hear that the death toll has gone down from 91, to 24, its still not great news all the same. I’ve seen a tornado on TV, thankfully never seen, or experienced one in real life, and I hope it stays that way. The frightening thing, this was only an EF-4 tornado, which means there is one level of tornado more dangerous than that! Makes you think, doesnt it?

Yes, the Mid West is known as tornado alley for a good reason, they happen there on a regular basis, though mostly not as strong as this. And many just blast a 500 yard whole in a corn field, and vanish again, unfortunately this one didnt. Unlike lightning, they do seem to strike twice in the same place, Moore, OK suffering another very bad one just 13 years ago.

As I say, I wouldnt want to get caught up in one. Apart from a few crazy people in a TV show, I’m not sure who would?

Anyway, just to say that at present, my heart goes out to all those in Oklahoma, and the surrounding states at present. So, if you can spare some local currency, of whatever variety, feel free to do so. It doesnt have to be as large as Kevin Durant’s million dollar pledge, because lets face it, our salaries arent in his league in the first place. But just something, join with me.

Link is http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

Alright, pledging over, I promise the next blog will be more lighthearted…hopefully.