“…ONE MAN’S VERSION OF HEAVEN IS A SUPER HOWARD JOHNSONS
WITH 28 FLAVORS AND NO LINES FOR THE REST ROOMS. MINE IS A FAST-MOVING STREAM.”
A fast-moving stream in Maine. His version of heaven. One of Jean’s childhood joys was fishing for crappies in northern Indiana. And fishing for crappies is just another name for snagging hooks on beer cans and old submerged tires. The “dream” was to fish from the banks of the Kennebec River. And that’s what he finally gets to do. That’s not all you’ll hear about, because Shepherd doesn’t just follow the camera around, explaining what’s being seen. And he is definitely not into show-and-tell. When you see an unbroken stand of Maine forest, he’s telling some great fishing story. And it’s beautiful. Shepherd himself puts it this way, “If a guy sees a glass of beer on the screen, he knows what it is and I don’t have to tell him. My series isn’t a documentary. It’s going to be hallucinogenic.”
I’ve commented before that Shep’s two series of Jean Shepherd‘s America
are the flawed beginnings of what had been a potential Great American Television Documentary.
What more should be added to the subjects of this series? Here’s a few I’ve thought of to help fill the near-infinity of possibilities in our culture.
(Existing programs 4/11/1971 Existing programs 4/1985 Future subjects)
Ice Cream Parlor Drive-through Diners
hot dogs & hamburgers elegant dinners (escargot, lobster, filet minion)
ethnic food—Afro-American Spain.Germ.Ital.Chinese.Mex.Hisp,Jap, etc.
take-out and eat-in eating Italian, Chinese, etc.
Jewish delis, pastrami vs. corned beef, Cel-ray soda, Shep’s whitefish sandwich
breakfasts around the U.S. and in restaurants
Drinks–coffee weak/strong, wine, milk, mixed drinks, hard liquor, specialty (Kahlua, etc.)
Santa Claus and Easter Bunny in varied stores, malls
SPECIAL STORES OLD FASHIONED VS MODERN
Hardware, drug stores (from only medicine, then ice cream fountains, to lawn furniture)
Alaska Florida Hawaii Wyoming
Okefenokee Swamp South Death Valley New Orleans Chicago
New York San Francisco Las Vegas Dallas Wash.D.C. Hawaii Boston
Trains Driving Flying 28 Flavors (This is about fishing)
Vacations Cruise Ship Cars
Surfing Skating Factory work Hiking Tourist-vacations Cooking
Fastfood-work Exercise(with/without machines) Kite-flying Frisbee throwing
Camping Dog shows Horse & harness racing Greyhound racing Sailboat racing
State fair-going Street fair going Off–road riding Square dancing
Concert-going: classic, jazz, rock Buying a house Automated factories
Two-wheeler biking the countryside Motor biking
WAYS OF LIVING
Filthy Rich Houseboat Mobile Home Guam
Artists of any/all kinds Retirement home living Poverty
More to come–plus suggestions and new thoughts