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Chicken Boy and Bacon!

Today’s episode, “Chicken Boy and Bacon,” is on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

It’s SEPTEMBER. There are officially 21 days til Fall, 61 days til Halloween, 87 days til Thanksgiving, 116 days til Christmas, and, perhaps most importantly, 122 days til we can slam the damn door on 2020. People were shaking their heads saying, “What a year!” starting in March, we’re pretty sure, but now humankind is getting super close to closing it out for good. Has anyone checked the Mayan calendar to be SURE they weren’t actually talking about 2020? No? Could…you…you know…could someone do that just to be sure this isn’t actually the year we blow to smithereens?

But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves. Today, it’s still September, and only just, so we’re kicking off the month with a slew of subjects you can celebrate each and every day of the month. September kind of puts August to shame in its American and International days of observance, tbh. In today’s podcast, we mention some of the more quirky days such as No Rhyme or Reason Day, Lazy Mom’s Day, multiple Pizza Days and National Cheeseburger Day. But National Food Bank Day, World Beard Day, National Read a Book Day, National Ants on a Log Day, and National Teddy Bear Day are runners up if you’re interested in observing the off-beat. You can find the entire list of fun, sublime, and serious topics at nationaldaycalendar.com.

Although there were tons of days to talk about, Kym and Kris chose one day each to discuss in-depth, and you can’t get more adventurous and fun than CHICKEN BOY and BACON. As we said in the show, it really sounds like a fantastic premise to a new comic book and if anyone decides to do it just give us credit for the concept ya’ll!!

CHICKEN BOY

The statue of Chicken Boy in Highland Park, Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Marilyn Nix. License info here.

Today, September 1 is National Chicken Boy Day. We’ve never heard of it, and it’s got its roots here in California! For more information about Chicken Boy, and even better…how to observe this amazing day (including that link to the downloadable art to color and hashtag), go here or click on the sub-head above for the Wikipedia page.

But the place to be for all things Chicken Boy is at chickenboy.com where you can buy your fill of souvenirs, tee-shirts, and really geek out reading the blog. We seriously don’t understand how we’ve never known any of this before.

Talking about the Chicken Boy statue prompted a whole discussion about the various statues we’ve grown up with here in Orange County, CA:

Bob’s Big Boy

How many of our listeners and readers ate at a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant growing up? We miss that good old burger and fries diner experience. There are a few left in Southern California, but not many (5 to be exact). You can get a complete list of the restaurant’s locations throughout the United States here.

Photo of Big Boy, from a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant, courtesy Wikipedia (public domain).

Jack’s Chicken Broaster

As we discuss in the episode, the rooster that used to be in front of Jack’s Chicken Broaster in Orange, CA, is now sitting atop the same building, but with a new eatery called Taqueria El Nuevo Perico #2. That broasted chicken and potato wedges dinner was the best we’ve ever had.

The rooster is still atop what used to be Jack’s Chicken Broaster, and is now a Mexican restaurant in Orange, CA. Photo courtesy Kris Core. All rights reserved.

Hitch-N-Post

And just up the street from the rooster (literally, they are about a mile and a half apart on East Chapman Ave as you head for the hills), you’ll see the Red HP Horse standing proudly on top of the old Hitch-N-Post tack and feed store.

The red horse atop the Hitch-n-Post tack store in Orange, CA. Photo courtesy Kris Core. All rights reserved.

Western Exterminators

Apparently the Western Exterminators statue (named, ironically, “Little Man”) that we remember seeing on the 55 Freeway South (in Santa Ana, CA) is well documented along with it’s fellows in other locations throughout California. Roadside Architecture’s website is devoted to, well, roadside architecture, and they have a nice history about Little Man toward the bottom of the page, with dates and statue locations.

The 17′ tall Little Man statue in Santa, Ana, CA. Photo courtesy Roadside Architecture at roadarch.com

Truly Nolen

Kym brought up the yellow, mouse-costumed cars we see zipping around and we got half the name correct. The company is Truly Nolen, and while their cars are not the same as the huge fiberglass statues we discussed, they have an honorary place in this discussion because CUTE!

There’s something odd about being a pest exterminator riding in a car disguised as a mouse. Very meta. Photo is courtesy Wikipedia and is in the public domain.

BACON

There was almost as much to talk about bacon as there was Chicken Boy. Literally, we’re still hungry from all that good food talk. International Bacon Day is celebrated worldwide the first Saturday of September, so this year it’s September 5th. And because bacon is so perfect, it is celebrated TWICE a year in America, with NATIONAL Bacon Day on December 30! Here is a list of all the things we discussed about bacon (and a couple Kris forgot):

  • WHATEVER Day. Do you really need to know whether it’s international or national? Just remember….SEPTEMBER 5 and DECEMBER 30 are BACON DAYS. Here is the website with more information about this week’s day of baconalia.
  • Chug-a-Lug! Kris was going to discuss bacon-flavored drinks, but forgot. So here’s maple-bacon flavored coffee, bacon-flavored soda, and bacon-inspired cocktail recipes. You’re welcome.
  • Time to Pig Out. (Sorry not sorry). Today.com has a list of recipes to cook up for bacon day and foodformat.com has weird recipes with bacon. This should tide you over til December 30.
  • Do You Smell That? Bacon perfume. It’s real. In the 1920’s, John Farginnay, a Parisian butcher, perfected a secret formula to happiness and it smelled like bacon. The formula was lost in a fire, but apparently years later someone has figured it all out and now you can buy the scent, aptly named “bacon” (with a line above the o that we can’t add, because stupid editing software), which you can buy at farginnay.com
  • Pucker Up! Click here for bacon flavored lip balm.
  • Mouthwatering Bacon Facts. Website bacontoday.com has the article, 17 Mouthwatering Facts About Bacon.
  • More Bacon Facts. And more information at fee.org in this article, 15 Economic, Historical, and Health Facts about Bacon.
  • And…More Bacon Facts. Website littlethings.com brings us Bacon Facts: 10 Things You Seriously Never Knew About the Delicious Strips.

ALL THE OTHER THINGS

This is where we clarify, correct, and generally eat crow for the things we say without actually knowing what we’re talking about.

  • Private Label. This is what the “Private Label” is that Kris has never heard of. It’s NOT the name of a company, but refers to a third party manufacturer. Hey, we aren’t business majors, so pffffffft.
  • The Rabbit Didn’t Die. Apparently Welsh Rarebit was originally called Welsh Rabbit, but changed to Welsh Rarebit because no rabbits were ever harmed in the making of it and it was misleading to name it as such. Good to know! Actually, it sounds yummy.
  • Shout of Dolores. Wow. We had no idea. Mexican hero Miguel Hidalgo is credited with the battle cry for independence in the town of Dolores. Shout of Dolores Day is September 15, followed on the 16th by Mexico’s official Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo, on the other hand, is NOT a day to celebrate Mexican independence, but in fact is in remembrance of one battle during the Franco-Mexican War. It’s not celebrated so much in Mexico, but is very much a thing here in the states.
  • Psychological Disorder. Pica is a psychological disorder, and is outlined here. AND yes, eating ice is considered part of this disorder, and is called pagophagia.
  • What’s Yours? My Strange Addiction is the TLC show Kris was referencing. Do you have a strange or weird addiction? Let us know!
  • Ewwwww! So if you’re interested in seeing that pimple popping, um, toy (?) featured on Shark Tank…here you go. And EW.
  • If You Haven’t Lost Your Appetite. Hopefully we haven’t crushed your soul with that last entry. For that Weinerschnitzel restaurant offer for pumpkin spice goodies, check out their specials page. Apparently they had a coupon for last year for a free dipped soft serve, but we can’t find one for this year. It’s worth following them on their Twitter account if you’re interested!
  • True Crush All The Time. If you’re into true crime, you’ve got to give True Crime All the Time and True Crime All the Time Unsolved podcasts a listen. The production for both shows is great, the hosts (Mike Ferguson and Mike “Gibby” Gibson) have great charisma and charm, but most importantly they really sincerely honor the victims and their families as they tell the stories. Just don’t tell Gibby Kris is crushing on him. SHHHHHHH. It’s our secret. ShhhZIPIT.

Ok, that’s it. Whew!

Check out The Mugly Truth Podcast’s episode “Chicken Boy and Bacon” on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or (almost) anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast!

Don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Please also follow Kym on Tiktok at kymtok.

© The Mugly Truth 2020 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2020. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso, Inc. through premiumbeats.com.

Featured photo Chicken Boy Statue by Marilyn Nix, from Wikipedia.

Uncategorized

That’s Amazing! Huell Howser Archives

Today’s episode “That’s Amazing! Huell Howser Archives” is on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Today we visit the Chapman University exhibit of the archives of broadcaster Huell Howser, of “California’s Gold” PBS fame. If you don’t recall the name, you’ll probably remember the face: iconic sunglasses perched on a pleasant tan visage, cheerful smile (with perfect teeth), all solidly topped by steely (and precisely) cropped hair. There’s that linebacker build, those muscular arms and barrel chest, clad in a Polo or button-down short-sleeved shirt and a pair of chinos (or shorts). He looked like he should be playing football on a beach somewhere in Southern California. You know. HUELL HOWSER. Ok. Well, then, the voice will jolt you back to memory lane…you didn’t expect it when you saw him, but as soon as you heard his Grand Ol’ Opry Nashville roots “That’s amazing!” catchphrase, you couldn’t help be settle down for a homestyle good time as Huell presented – with all his heart and soul – his latest find somewhere in the state of California.

Kym finds Huell’s catchphrase. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.

If you grew up in the 80s and 90s in California you would have to work pretty hard to miss seeing a Huell Howser human interest piece. At one point his shows aired 6 nights a week on KCET, with over a million viewers, including overseas military via the American Forces Radio and Television Services. If you weren’t learning about the next hidden gem in “California’s Gold” you could be “Visiting…With Huell Howser,” taking a “Road Trip With Huell Howser,” learn about all the county fairs, parks, and vast coastline in “California’s Golden Fairs,” “California’s Golden Parks,” and, you guessed it, “California’s Golden Coast.” Huell may have originally hailed from Nashville, TN, and even worked in New York for CBS and CNN for awhile…but when he landed in Los Angeles, CA, in 1980, broadcast gold was made. Forever.

The world became a bit less bright, and definitely less amazing on 7 January 2013 when 67 year old Huell succumbed to the prostate cancer he’d been privately battling. After he was diagnosed with cancer, he began making arrangements to leave over 5,000 videos of raw and edited footage as well as show notes, personal papers, knickknacks, mementos, books, art and furniture to Chapman University in Orange, CA, which was finalized in 2012. He never got to see the exhibit as it is today, which he originally intended to just be a donation for digital archival purposes. He had no idea his death would lead hundreds of loyal fans searching for his much-needed goodness to traipse into the Chapman University library, disrupting students’ studies to view the lobby displays of his legacy. University top-brass took note and (thankfully) dedicated a permanent archival exhibit just one floor down in what is now known as the California’s Gold Exhibit and Huell Howser Archives.

So. That’s where we went Saturday (Leap Day!) with our trusty Tascom digital recorder. Oh… yeah. Well, Kris hasn’t learned the ins and outs of recording on the fly with the digi handheld. So, sound quality is a bit…meh, BUT! It’s real, it’s raw…just like our morning walk episode, you’ll feel like you’re right there with us as we descend the echoey stairs in search of the archive only to discover Huell’s AMAZING industrial found art…seriously. Probably the best thing we learned that day – and there were a LOT of a-ha moments – was that the man saw beauty in EVERYTHING. He took junkyard scraps and transformed them into gallery-quality art pieces and functional furniture that he kept in all his houses (yep, plural…including a Volcano Rock House).

Walking through the door of room B11, the first thing you notice is the prominent “THAT’S AMAZING!” photo of Huell greeting you. At your feet, the black floor contains a large white outline of the state of California with labels overlapping each other pinpointing name after name after name AFTER NAME of alllllll the towns Huell visited and showcased over the years.

That 70’s Huell with Porky the Pig and family. This is the segment that started the magic back in Nashville.

Along the wall is a timeline mural and in the center of the room are thick columns – all of this covered with photos and blurbs about all the wild, whimsical and wonderful characters Huell met along the way. You can see what his office looked like – right down to the hand-drawn calendar, and the homemade coffee mug used as a pen holder. And right there right in front of you is The Camera. Yep, the one Luis Fuerte used to film all the episodes of “California’s Gold.” In the Artifact Room there are displays of personal items from childhood (Boy Scouts handbook, a miniature pop gun), broadcasting gear such as his camera bag from his early days in Nashville, favorite baseball hats (the SPAM hat is the best), art and findings from his travels, a boatload of books, and even an original John Romita hand-drawn comic of Huell meeting Stan Lee.

And because we’re kind of getting the hang of this interview stuff, we took advantage of being the only visitors left in the room, and asked the resident pro, John Carlo, Archivist, if we could pick his brain and man, he was a wealth of knowledge. So BONUS! You don’t have to listen to us gab for 45 minutes like we usually do. If you visit the archives, DEFINITELY see if John is available to chat you up.

So, folks, if you remember Huell fondly, we hope you enjoy this episode. Yes, we realize we did a poor imitation of Huell’s accent too many times (KRIS), but rest assured, we did it out of pure joy and love for the man, never, ever as ridicule. And of course, we unironically say, “That’s Amazing!” all throughout the episode because the archives truly are…amazing.

It’s fitting that the man who spent 30+ years highlighting little-known, quirky treasures up and down the state of California would inspire exactly the kind of place he avidly searched for and shared with the world. We can almost hear Huell walking down those stairs, stopping often with Southern-boy giddiness, asking Luis, “did you get that?” as he wanders and wonders through the three-room hidden gem showcasing his life.

If you’re local or visiting Southern California, you can’t miss a visit to Old Orange. If you want to visit the archives (Yes. Yes you do.) they are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. You might want to call ahead just in case to be sure the archive isn’t closed for a special event. Large groups can call ahead to make arrangements with the archivist. The displays rotate some items every few months, so multiple visits are totally necessary.

Leatherby Libraries building, Chapman University, Orange, CA.

Chapman University is just north of the circle (The Plaza) on Glassell. You can park in the lower level of the parking garage off Walnut street (at the time of this writing you can get 4 hours for $3) or you can find a spot in one of the many parking lots in the area (and another new parking structure off Chapman near Ruby’s). That means you can enjoy the neighborhood as you make your way to the school. Just be very careful if you want to try your luck parking on the street. There’s some funky rules about who can park where, and if you park in the wrong place without a parking permit, the fine will set you back over $30 (uh…last time Kris checked, about 6 years ago that was the going price for not paying attention to her surroundings…so it’s likely the fines have gone up). Just watch for the signs. Leatherby Libraries (yep, not library, it’s plural) is right next to the field. To access the archives, take the stairs or the elevator to the basement (not gloomy whatsoever…true story) and you’ll find yourself face to face with that smiling photo of Huell.

When you’re finished with those archives, be sure to check out the Center for American War Letters Archives display near the entrance to the Huell Howser Archives. Each month they highlight the service of a soldier, sailor, marine or homefront warrior, displaying letters and other personal ephemera. The actual archives room has the same hours as the Huell Howser Archives, and their entrance is to the immediate left of the stairway.

To rejuvenate after you visit with Huell, Old Orange is chock full of delicious restaurants, antique stores and small shops selling art, pottery, home goods, comic books, vintage clothes, and toys. There’s even TWO Starbucks.

We urge you to visit the archives. And we urge you to watch reruns of Huell’s shows. This world needs more Huells…we need more unabashed joy in the adventure of discovery and human connection.

Today’s episode is released twice: in audio-only mp3 format AND in an image-enhanced mp4 format. Not all podcast apps support enhanced podcasts (Spotify, for instance), and we discovered if we only release an enhanced episode, it’s not that the images don’t show up, the entire episode won’t publish to that platform! So…two versions it is. If you are interested in viewing the images while listening, you can go to your app store and download Apple Podcasts, Overcast, or Pocketcast. We’re not sure if Google Play or Stitcher support enhanced shows, so let us know if you listen on those platforms and can view the photos.

As an added bonus, here’s some of the images we share on the episode today:

The anteroom of the Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
The memento cabinet housing some of Huell’s favorite gifts and mementos.
The camera used to film “California’s Gold”. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Huell’s tape viewing desk. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Huell shoveling sauerkraut. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Huell’s Herald’s of Peace Torch, 1996 Olympics, Los Angeles, CA. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Huell, Nita the Elephant, and Charlie. This was Huell’s favorite segment in all his years of broadcasting. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Huell got Simpsonized. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
John Romita’s personalized drawing of Huell and Stan Lee. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Huell’s 1957 copy of the Boy Scouts Handbook for Boys. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
A fine example of the industrial art Huell loved. Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Some of Huell’s books and mementos in the artifacts room of the Huell Howser Archives, Leatherby Libraries, Chapman University, Orange, CA.

Check out The Mugly Truth Podcast’s episode “That’s Amazing! Huell Howser Archives, regular and enhanced versions, on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast and bring you richer content.

And don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

© The Mugly Truth 2020 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2020. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso Music through premiumbeats.com.

All photos are courtesy Kym Wagner and Kris Core. All rights reserved.