In the late 1960s, the legendary and greatly missed Charles Rocket and the equally legendary painter Dan Gosch were attending RISD. For years, a group of artists that eventually coalesced into the rock band the Fabulous Motels, The Stevie Thunder Bad Taste & Immaturity Hour radio show on WRIU, The Anal Roberts/Maharudi Cheeks Healing Revue, and a bunch of other dubious enterprises, had been attempting to bum rush the local mainstream media. Through its front organization Blue Moon Enterprises (under the colorful leadership of the "business brains" of the gang, Ron Lavey), we would basically try anything — the more ridiculous the idea, the better.
One of those ideas was Charlie and Dan as Captain Packard and Lobo. They got themselves capes, masks, and tights (RISD was full of people who could produce great costumes) and convinced someone at WICE (this was in the waning days of AM Top 40 radio and WICE and WPRO were the two dominant stations) to let them do a segment featuring The Adventures of Captain Packard & Lobo, Ecology Superheroes. Neither of the superheroes had any knowledge of environmental issues, just the notion that people were concerned about the environment.
At one point Captain Packard and Lobo appeared (uninvited) at the opening of a local Kentucky Fried Chicken where Colonel Sanders was appearing. The Colonel was a bit startled to see these two guys in superhero drag signing autographs (despite the fact that the autograph seekers were not at all sure who they were — "Hey, there's two weird-looking guys! Let's get their autographs."
P&J's favorite Captain Packard and Lobo adventure was the time they took a camera crew (no sound people, however) to the State House. They had a trophy with then-Governor Frank Licht's name on it, designating him a friend of the environment (he had been getting hammered by environmentalists for benign neglect of their issues). The film shows the duo busting into legislative chambers with querulous legislators in the background, craning their necks in disbelief at what was breaking out in the chamber. There's a scene in the Governor's office with a not-exactly-beaming Licht (he had to know that there was something very wrong here) the trophy, perhaps because anyone claiming that he was doing something positive for the environment was welcome, even if it was two lunatics in tights and capes.
PRESIDENTIAL PROTECTION, BLOCK ISLAND-STYLE
Reflecting on the recent Michaele and Tareq Salahi party crashing/security breach episode at the White House, Casa Diablo regular and man of letters and the sea, Joe Houlihan, penned an interesting item for the Block Island Times on an earlier experience with White House security. Here are some excerpts:
Several years ago while working at my job at the ferry landing in Point Judith, I witnessed something that I'll never forget. The word around the campfire was that President Bill Clinton was going to visit Block Island the upcoming weekend. One morning, I noticed two F-16s flying over Galilee. That same afternoon, two men dressed in brand new, gaudy, Aloha shirts, new baggy ill-fitting shorts, and poorly designed sandals (these men also wore fanny packs) approached me while I directed cars onto the ferry. They asked me questions regarding the type of people who rode our ferries from Providence and Point Judith. I gave them a vague answer, and they walked on, scanning the ferry terminal. I noted the exchange as rather incongruous to the normal tourist questions that I answer, for example, "Where can we get clam cakes?"