Friday, July 19, 2013

The Stork Club Bar Book

The Stork Club Bar Book

Beebe, Lucius
(Holliston, MA, U.S.A.)
Quantity Available: 1
Price: US$ 250.00
Book Description: "Rinehart and Co., New York, 1946. Handsomely bound in finely woven red cloth stamped brightly in green, white, and black with art design by Paul Rand. Name in ink at the top of the front endpaper; otherwise, very clean and tight throughout. With bright white and black lettering on the spine. In a very good minus dust jacket with the original price of $3.00 at the top of the inside front flap. The jacket has the same art work by Paul Rand on the front panel and a photo of Lucius Beebe and Sherman Billingsley on the rear panel. The jacket is lightly rubbed along the spine edges. And a few short pieces of tape have been applied to the verso to strengthen the spine folds. With light chipping to the top and bottom of the spine ends and little nicks at the corners. A wag once remarked that the three most engaging phenomena of the contemporary New York scene were Mrs. Vanderbilt, the Stork Club and Lucius Beebe.Here is the Stork Club. Not the whole of it, for its legend has achieved Homeric proportions. But here is the essence of its being, a brandied core of its reality, a soufflé flavored with its personality atmosphere and glamour. Lucius Beebe, originator of the phrase "saloon society," was first introduced to the Stork Club back in 1930 in the brave old East 58th Street days by Heywood Broun.Of him Stanley Walker has written: 'Mr Beebe will drink a double bottle of champagne without batting an eye whenever the mood comes over him, and, from my personal conviction, he mood comes over him agreeably and often." First Edition with matching dates of 1946 on the title and copyright pages as well as the Rinehart colophon. Bookseller Inventory # 201"
OH2:  So imagine my surprise when searching for a good cocktail recipe the other evening and happening upon this old beauty, originally the property of one "H. E. Balfour", on the shelf in my wetbar!  Not only does it make wonderful reading (and the recipes wonderful drinking) but my copy appears to be in better shape than the above $250 one.  It even has the original recipe for a Prairie Oyster ... yum!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Stork Club

     The Stork Club was owned and operated by Sherman Billingsley (1896–1966) an ex-bootlegger who came to New York from Enid, Oklahoma.  From the end of Prohibition in 1933 until the early 1960s, the club was the symbol of cafĂ© society. Movie stars, celebrities, the wealthy, showgirls, and aristocrats all mixed here. Other New York City clubs had the sophistication (El Morocco) and drew the sporting crowd (Toots Shor's Restaurant), but the Stork Club mixed power, money and glamour. Unlike its competitors, the Stork stayed open on Sunday nights and during the summer months.
     The Stork Club first opened in 1929.  Billingsley's hand-written recollections of the early days recount his working in his New York real estate office when two gamblers he knew from Oklahoma came to him, saying they wanted to open a restaurant. Billingsley went into partnership with them. This was the beginning of the Stork Club, but he could not remember how the club's name was chosen.
     One of the first Stork Club customers was writer Heywood Broun, who was also a neighborhood resident. But Broun's first visit to the Stork was actually made by mistake; he believed it to be a funeral home. Billingsley wrote, "Broun walked in quietly, put his hat down on a table and went back in the rear room to pay his respect to the body but instead of a body he found a bar. He walked over to the bar, had several drinks, liked the place and came back very often, bringing his celebrity friends." Before long, Billingsley's Oklahoma partners sold their shares to a man named Thomas Healy.
     Eventually Mr. Healy revealed that he was a "front" for three New York mobsters. While now aware of the situation and uncomfortable with it, Billingsley was kidnapped and held for ransom by Mad Dog Coll, who was a rival of his mob partners. Before the ransom money could be collected by Coll, Billingsley's gangster partners put a bounty on his head; Coll was lured to a telephone booth where he was shot to death. The secret gangster partners reluctantly allowed Billingsley to buy them out for $30,000 after the incident.
     Prohibition agents closed the club on December 22, 1931. In 1934, the Stork Club moved to 3 East 53rd Street, where it remained until it closed on October 4, 1965. When the Stork Club became a tenant in 1934, the building was known as the Physicians and Surgeons Building. Many of the medical tenants were unhappy about the night club moving in. Billingsley purchased the seven story building in February 1946 for $300,000 cash, evicting the doctors to expand the club. By 1936, the Stork was doing well enough to have a million dollar gross for the first time. From the physical layout of the club, as described by Ed Sullivan in a 1939 column, the Stork should have been doomed to failure, since it was strangely shaped and far from roomy in places. Billingsley's hospitality with food, drink, and gifts overcame the structural deficits to keep his patrons returning time after time. When the East 53rd Street building came down to make way for Paley Park, one of the artifacts found in it was a still. Today the ornamental bar of the Stork Club is to be found in Jim Brady's Bar in Maiden Lane.
     Another New York nightclub owner named Tex Guinan (Mary Louise Cecilia Guinan) introduced Billingsley to her friend, the entertainment and gossip columnist Walter Winchell in 1930. In Winchell's column in the New York Daily Mirror, he once called the Stork Club "New York's New Yorkiest place on W. 58th". Winchell was a regular at the Stork Club; what he saw and heard there at his private Table 50 was the basis of his newspaper columns and radio broadcasts. Billingsley also kept professionals on his staff whose job was to listen to the chatter, determine fact from rumor, and then report the factual news to local columnists. The practice was seen as protective of the patrons by shielding them from unfounded reports, and also a continual source of publicity for the club. Billingsley's long-standing relationship with Ethel Merman brought the theater crowd to the Stork. A feature of the club was a solid 14 karat gold chain at its entrance; patrons were allowed entry through it by the doorman. The dining room featured live bands for dancing; Billingsley kept control of the action through a series of hand signals to his help.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Uh-oh: Flaherty's Canadian "Bail-in" Scheme!

Coming to Canadian banks soon?
Think a Cyprus-type confiscation of your money in your bank account can't happen in Canada?  Here's a direct quote from pages 144-145 of our Canadian "Economic Action Plan 2013": "Establishing a Risk Management Framework for Domestic Systemically Important Banks ... The Government proposes to implement a "bail-in" regime for systemically important banks. This regime will be designed to ensure that, in the unlikely event that a systemically important bank depletes its capital, the bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital. This will reduce risks for taxpayers. The Government will consult stakeholders on how best to implement a bail-in regime in Canada. Implementation timelines will allow for a smooth transition for affected institutions, investors and other market participants." Does this remind you of Cyprus?  Does "certain bank liabilities" mean your hard-earned deposits?  Remember, this "action plan" (budget) was written well before the Cyprus mess!  Unbelievable.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

At Last, God's Representative Confirmed!

And it's Higgs Boson! (from The Daily Beast):  "Scientists Confirm Higgs Boson:  OK, for real this time, guys. On Thursday, March 14th, scientists announced that they are confident that an elementary particle discovered in July 2012 was most likely the elusive Higgs Boson. The European Organization for Nuclear Research’s July 4 announcement of the discovery thrilled the science world, ending a decade-long hunt for what came to be known as the “God particle.” Scientists say a gray area that remains lies in determining whether the particle was the simplest form of Higgs or an “exotic” version. A meeting on the topic in Italy points toward the simply theory. Insert your own pope joke here.?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Oh, Now I Get It (The God Particle)

Daylight Savings Time Paradox

Maybe I should drive!
Apart from messing with sleep cycles, daylight savings time can create some downright unusual situations. Last year, an Ohio man was arrested for drinking and driving twice at the same time on the same day by the exact same police officer.  While it recalls Groundhog Day, the 1993 comedy starring Bill Murray about a man who keeps reliving the same day, it's actually a case of simple math.  The Ohio man was arrested at 1:08 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2012, taken to the police station and released a short time later.  However, at 2 a.m. that morning, the clocks were set back to 1 a.m.  The man was arrested exactly one hour after his initial booking by the same officer, again for drinking and driving.  The time was 1:08 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2012.  His blood-alcohol level, however, was slightly lower.  (from

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Water, Water, Neverywhere ...

From Casey Research: "Peak oil we can handle. We find new sources, we develop alternatives, and/or prices rise. It's all but certain that by the time we actually run out of oil, we'll already have shifted to something else. But "peak water" is a different story. There are no new sources; what we have is what we have. Absent a profound climate change that turns the evaporation/rainfall hydrologic cycle much more to our advantage, there likely isn't going to be enough to around. As the biosphere continually adds more billions of humans (the UN projects there will be another 3.5 billion people on the planet, a greater than 50% increase, by 2050 before a natural plateau really starts to dampen growth), the demand for clean water has the potential to far outstrip dwindling supplies. If that comes to pass, the result will be catastrophic. People around the world are already suffering and dying en masse from lack of access to something drinkable... and the problems look poised to get worse long before they get better. With a problem of this magnitude, there is no such thing as a comprehensive solution. Instead, it will have to be addressed by chipping away at the problem in a number of ways, which the world is starting to do. With much water not located near population centers, transportation will have to be a major part of the solution. With oil, a complex system of pipelines, tankers, and trucking fleets has been erected, because it's been profitable to do so. The commodity has a high intrinsic value. Water doesn't – or at least hasn't in most of the modern era's developed economies – and thus delivery has been left almost entirely to gravity. Further, the construction of pipelines for water that doesn't flow naturally means taking a vital resource from someone and giving it to someone else, a highly charged political and social issue that's been known to lead to protest and even violence. But until we've piped all the snow down from Alaska to California, transportation will be high on the list of potential near term solutions, especially to individual supply crunches, just as it has been with energy." And don't forget, Canada is in-between Alaska and California.  (On second thought, it might be instructive to see how thirsty Americans deal with environmental/aboriginal pipeline protesters and the BC government.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Gold is Moving! (From West to East)

Eric Sprott (Sprott Asset Management): "... we are so well into the financial crisis, there’s not a week that goes by that’s there’s not some event that comes up, whether it was three weeks ago, Banco de Monte Paschi [Belgio], and two weeks ago the third largest bank in the Netherlands gets taken over, over the weekend. And last week the ECB lending money to Peugeot, which seemed totally ridiculous. And I think everyone’s trying to keep it together, even though it would appear from the reading of the economy that things are not going well at all here. And everyone’s ignoring things. But I think in their hearts the Central Bankers must know [that] what they’re doing is totally irresponsible. And the tell of that irresponsibility, the debasing of the currencies, is the fact that real things will go up in value. It would start with the price of gold and silver. I’ve done a lot of work on the flow of metals. I come up with a net change of 2300 tons a year in new buying in gold when the supply of gold hasn’t even gone up in the last twelve years. And you keep wondering, where’s all this gold coming from? And when I see China buying 95 tons of gold in December and I read that India bought 100 tons in the month of January, when we all collectively know there’s only about 200 tons a month available – one of the things we saw in December was that the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that U.S. exports of gold were $4 billion dollars. We exported 2.5 million ounces of gold. And where it comes from, God knows. The country only produces 8.8 million. And most of that’s used internally. So I don’t know how you just come up with 2.5 million ounces that you’re able to export.  So I believe that even though it’s described as non-monetary gold, my guess is that it is monetary gold. So there’s lots afoot here in central banking to try to keep it organized. And I think one of those things is to keep the price suppressed. But the non-G6 nations have been huge buyers of gold, and I think the more anybody looks at the system from outside looking in, they realize they have to have gold and silver, notwithstanding the nonsense that goes on in COMEX and the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association)."

Friday, February 22, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Outbreak of "Virtually Untreatable" TB

By Daily Mail Reporter: "The world could be on the brink of an outbreak of a deadly and ‘virtually untreatable’ strain of drug resistant tuberculosis unless immediate action is taken, doctors have warned.  The first cases of 'totally drug-resistant' tuberculosis have been found in South Africa, according to a new paper published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases journal.  Clinics across the country ravaged by the bacterial lung infection, have reported an explosion in the number of patients struck down with a virulent strain.  Fears are mounting that conventional treatments would be next to useless in the face of the new disease, which killed 1.4 million people globally in 2011, according to the World Health Organisation.  The disease is particularly prevalent in South Africa, where high rates of HIV means the immune systems of many more people are susceptible to infections.  But compounding the problem is the higher cases in which the illness is only partially treated.  This has led to the disease evolving into a strain which is not vulnerable to antibiotics. As far back as March 2010, the World Health Organisation warned that in some areas of the world, one in four people with tuberculosis were being struck down with the 'disease that can no longer be treated with standard drugs regimens'.  After widespread vaccination in much of the developed world, the disease has been largely isolated in 22 so-called 'high burden' countries - including South Africa.  These poorer regions account for around 80 per cent of global cases of TB.  But it is feared not enough is being done to tackle the growing problem, which is not limited to South Africa.  A New York hospital was hit by a multi drug-resistant TB outbreak in the early '90s.  Of the 32 patients who caught the infection, 29 died (over 90%).  Serious outbreaks have also been reported in Peru, Russia, and India during the last ten years. Read more: outbreak

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Finished" and "Complete"

No English dictionary has been able to adequately explain the difference between these two words. In a recently held linguistic competition held in London, England attended by the best in the world Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese man from Bachelors Adventure was the clear winner with a standing ovation lasting over 5 minutes.  Here is his answer which made him receive an invitation to dine with the Queen, afterwards who decided to call him after the contest. He won a trip to travel the world in style and a case of 25 year old Eldorado rum for his answer.  His final question was this.... How to explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand. Some people say there is no difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED.  Here is his astute answer ...  When you marry the right woman, you are COMPLETE. And when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED.  And when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013