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Home » Comments about Shep » JEAN SHEPHERD–His Now and Future U.S. of America Part 1 of 2

JEAN SHEPHERD–His Now and Future U.S. of America Part 1 of 2

“…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.”

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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.”

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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)

SUSTENANCE

 Food    Beer

Ice Cream Parlor    Drive-through    Diners

hot dogs & hamburgers    elegant dinners (escargot, lobster, filet minion)

ethnic foodAfro-American Spain.Germ.Ital.Chinese.Mex.Hisp,Jap, etc.

take-out and eat-in eating Italian, Chinese, etc.

restaurants–varied decor

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.)

±

HOLIDAY CUSTOMS

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)

±

PLACES

Alaska    Florida    Hawaii    Wyoming

Okefenokee Swamp    South    Death Valley    New Orleans    Chicago

New York    San Francisco    Las Vegas    Dallas    Wash.D.C.    Hawaii    Boston

±

ACTIVITIES

 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

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