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Share but CREDIT

Smoking Hot Floor Show in the Second City! Club Soho Matchbook Chicago Smut


Club So-Ho was a 220 seat theater on lovely Madison Street in Chicago that was hotter than the matches they gave away.  They spelled "glamorous" on the inside of the match cover wrong, so the printer must have been given a free pass to check on the show and smoke got in his eyes. 

In 1948, The Chicago Tribune apparently published a "shocking" report on the nude dancing in W. Madison dives, and Chief Pendergast said he found the report shocking!  On the other hand, Police captain Harry Penzin claimed there was nothing immoral about the shows, insisting the girls stripped to only their bras and G-Strings.  I will let you guess which one might have been on the take. 

I would report more, but unfortunately the Chicago Tribune is one of those papers who charges to let you read them.  Humpf.  Even Club So-Ho had "NO-COVER and NO- MINIMUM"

A few more tales of Second City Smut are HERE

Original pack of matches, figural!  Club So-Ho W. Madison Street Chicago Collection Victor Minx

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Bettie Page for the Artist and Photographer Gene's Pub. Co Fifty Cents

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"Gene" wraps Bettie Page in the brightest color known to man (Highway Roadsign Danger Color)  Primitive "Figure Study" Digest circa 1958  50 Cents.

Enroll NOW in the Keyhole Korrespondence Kourse of Kankakee



Voyeur?  Like to watch? 

The phrase "I like to watch" once indicated just that...someone admitting they derive sexual pleasure from watching others, usually, but not necessarily, in secret. Today the phrase has been neutered by television.  Once a perversion aka "Peeping Tomism" today's voyeur never leaves the couch and watches the moving flatscreen instead of getting up to peep out a real window.  The actual keyhole is long gone.  So are Skeleton Keys.

Cam to Cam?  The closest we have to a keyhole today.


Keyhole  Korrespndence Kourse (Inside front cover of The Keyhole Digest, Youthful Magazines Co. 1952 Collection Victor Minx

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Full Text of Jim Linderman VINTAGE SLEAZE is now on KINDLE

Jim Linderman's Vintage Sleaze the Blog is now available on Kindle from Amazon.  This truly is the age of miracles!  Vintage Sleaze the Blog now has over 20,000 Facebook followers and is approaching 2 million hits! 

CLICK HERE TO order or SEE VINTAGE SLEAZE on KINDLE

Bill Ward as McCartney Pseudonym for Satan Magazine Cartoon

Bill Ward working under his pseudonym McCartney takes on the Desert Island Gag in Satan Magazine 1957. 

Photographer William Schmidt Polaroid Works from Lonesomeville Contemporary Vintage Sleaze the Series #24

William Schmidt Courtesy the Artist
William Schmidt is a thoughtful and accomplished photographer I first became familiar with through his lovely series of beach photographs from several years ago.  Some were taken with a toy camera, others were not, all are pure and clean.  Many depict surfers and their tools, but these are not the usual "big wave" shots you may bring to mind.  They are a literal snapshot of the citizens of this country enjoying a freedom they are fortunate to have...and in each photograph Schmidt shows each individual knows it.  I return to them often.  They are linked below.

The sultry Bellocq New Orleans feel in Schmidt's latest work is no accident, and in the notes to his recent exhibition HERE he admits they were a tribute.  An unusual tribute which enlisted the help of the models: 

"My description of the project to potential models was simple. I sent them some of the images Bellocq had taken. I asked them to bring clothing that might approximate the costumes they saw there, vintage or vintage-looking garments or things, at least, that did not appear too contemporary. I also told them that we would shoot as Bellocq had, aping the long exposure times by having them hold poses for five or six seconds. I wanted to capture that sort of dignified awkwardness that I saw in his photographs..."

William Schmidt Courtesy the Artist

William Schmidt Courtesy the Artist
Encouraging their participation was a successful strategy.  They pose with no shame, usually masked, with the same matter of fact honesty seen in Bellocq's work. There is no sign of resignation or despair.  Schmidt captures poses that approximate the work of the master.  The photographer keeps studio props to a minimum...just enough to create a look which alludes to the past, yet these are far from recreations.  They are astoundingly sexy and human in equal measure. 

These are Polaroid photographs with a remarkable soft and etched-like surface, part implied and part the result of a film no longer made.  As such, immediate but timeless relics.

William Schmidt Courtesy the Artist
There is an extraordinary 120 individual images in the slideshow HERE.

The artist maintains a commentary on his work, techniques and influences HERE.  The beach photographs I admire so much are HERE.  The complete "Lonesomeville" exhibition is HERE

NOTE:  THIS IS NUMBER 24 in the Series CONTEMPORARY VINTAGE SLEAZE.

"Contemporary Vintage Sleaze" is a series which profiles artists and cartoonists working today. All art is copyrighted by the respective creator, distributor or publisher and therefore should not be reproduced WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE ARTIST. NO cribbing and I ain't fibbing! Each and every post in the Vintage Sleaze Contemporary Series links to the artist's portfolio, website, publisher or representative. EACH POST IN THE VINTAGE SLEAZE CONTEMPORARY SERIES WAS CREATED WITH THE ARTIST'S PERMISSION AND CONTRIBUTIONS. Serious artists are participating in this series, please respect their efforts and intellectual property. Artists who have contributed so far include: Lena Chandhok, Gary Panter, Vanessa Davis, Jane Dickson, Astrid Daley, Antonio Lapone, Leslie Cabarga, Trevor Alixopulus, Paul Swartz, Rebecca Whitaker, Denis St. John, Zahira Kelly, Fairfax and Emery, Elizabeth Watasin, Stephen Adams  Jane Dickson, Mala Mastroberte and many more. If your work is influenced by the girlie cartoons or pinup models of the past, we would love to see your work.
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Jerry Warshaw Influential cartoonist of Mid-century Modern




Jerry Warshaw appears to me to be as much cartoon stylist as cartoonist.  To say he "emerged" from the pack of Chicago Playboy magazine cartoonists would be incorrect, as he never really broke out.  From all accounts much loved (See HERE for example) but ultimately not one of the big guys. His work did appear in Playboy, of course, and also here in Fling, another attempt at the upscale smut market for men.  Cute little modern sophisticates catering to a cad.  He is known most as the editorial cartoonist for the Evanston Beacon in Illinois, and he did children's books as well.

Artists will remember his instruction books including "A Funny Drawing Lesson".  He studied at he Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and was a member of The National Cartoonists Society.  He influenced many other cartoonists, some quite active today.

He didn't do it enough, but when he did sell work to men's mags, they were right of the time.  His work looks like the era they came from...and his work looks best in 1950s mid-century modern like these figures.

Mr. Warshaw passed away in 2007

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French Strip Tease with Bilbrew and Betty Bonne THE RARE DIGESTS Number 29 Vintage Sleaze



 
In which a remarkable, artful composition featuring a Frenchie doing the "No, No, No" with wagging finger by illustrator Eugene Bilbrew introduces us to a great series of black and white photographs of Gay Paree strippers.  Truly erotic for a change, the photos are credited to "M. Gaspard" (4 x 5 press camera, Tri-X film, flood lights and reflectors) and I suspect, not confirmed, but suspect...this is a Leonard Burtman digest with no publisher indicated.

There was a time Lenny was importing photos of and from abroad (get it?) under the eyes of the watchful...sorta....officials who were trained to sniff out smut.  These got through.

An exceptionally scarce publication.  Typos.  Includes a first-person account of French stripper Betty Bonne doing her thing.  Relic.

French Strip Tease  Gene Bilbrew cover  No Date (circa 1955-1960) No Publisher Digest-size 35 pages.   Collection Victor Minx

THIS IS NUMBER TWENTY NINE IN THE SERIES 'THE RARE DIGESTS' Small essays on hopelessly obscure and scarce soft-core publications of the 1950s. Enjoy them All!

Appropriated Bettie Page Hot as "Frisson"

Few people in the history of smut and sleaze have been ripped-off more than Bettie Page.  I just did a search on eBay, once home of cool antiques one could happen upon,  and now home of brand-new crap you can get anywhere but don't need.  12,000 hits.  Who knows how many I would have found if I had spelled her name wrong?  Buttons, pins, lighters, dresses, copies of copies of copies of copies of copies of "original" photographs, bad painted "tributes" and more.  Clearly Bettie has achieved the much coveted  "worth more dead than alive" status we value so much here in the land of the dollar.

It didn't start yesterday.  It started when she was alive.  Not too smart maybe, but alive.  The example above pairs her image with an advertisement for a cruddy potboiler titled "Lust" by Gerald Foster in a mail-order brochure from the 1960s.  Needless to say, Bettie Page is not in that book.  "Lust" was a piece of crap originally published in 1934, and shilled in later editions simply because the title was hot.  Paired with a sultry "come-hither and boff me big boy" Bettie, it probably sold enough to make the sleaze who swiped her picture a few bucks.  No wait...MANY bucks.  I just converted 1962 dollars to 2012 dollars.  The rube who was tricked into buying "Lust" here was paying the equivalent of $37.61. His money went to a PO Box...so Bettie couldn't have even dropped in to collect her share.

I believe the first time Bettie Page was ripped off financially was HERE when unscrupulous neighbors stole her swimsuit designs, a sordid tale of trust betrayed I discovered earlier.  

I suppose the "coolest" rip-off was accomplished by contemporary artist Richard Prince.   Here is a description of the Prince project...or at least the book/catalog which was published in conjunction with the exhibit:

     RICHARD PRINCE: BETTIE KLINE. New York: Gagosian Gallery, 2009. First Edition. Small Folio. Pictorial Boards. Artist's Book. Fine/No Jacket - As Issued. np (108pp), profusely illustrated in color and b&w. Richard Prince's artist's book entitled "Bettie Page". Starting with the premise that painter Franz Kline and Irving and Paula Klaw both pursued their "artistic practice" at the same Manhattan address during the fifties; perhaps sharing models, Prince juxtaposes appropriated images of Bettie Page alongside those of Kline and his works to set up a frisson between the pin-up legend's limbs/torso and the pioneering Abstract Expressionist's bold calligraphic brushstrokes. Previously shrouded art history revealed, or wry revisionist stroke book for sexy sophisticates - you decide!

See?  Cool!  And from now on when I post a picture of the model on my website, I'll not be posting dirty pictures, I'll be setting up a frisson.

Page from a mail-order brochure, circa 1962  Collection Victor Minx


Chet Warner Missing Postcard Artist Any help out there? Vintage Sleaze Cartoonist Illustrator





I first posted about the wonderful postcards of one Chet Warner way back in 2009, and yet no one has come forward with information on the artist.  Which is too bad, as his work for the mundane world of the risque gag postcard was far above average.  What I do know, which isn't much, is that a large quantity of his postcards were "rediscovered" in a warehouse in the 1970s, and as such they are fairly common at postcard shows and such.  I have also found that in addition to the common 'Asheville Post" cards, some of his work was also published, or at least printed by "The Dexter Press" of Pearl River, NY.  Were these farmed out, or just bootlegged?

No one has found anything about the artist?  Any help out there?




Group of Risque linen postcards, circa 1950 by "Chet Warner" collection Victor Minx

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A Tiny Nude from Wartime South Sea Islands WW2

A miniature snapshot of a primitive portrait from World War Two.  Found in a soldiers scrapbook from the South Sea Islands.  

Original Photograph 1 1/4" x 1 3/4"   Collection Jim Linderman

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Fat Freddy Goes to the Library of Congress The Mystery of the Delta Collection of Obscene Books

Gilbert Shelton's Fat Freddy visits the library
  
The Story of the Library of Congress Delta Collection

I recall reading a hilarious episode of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (underground comic by Gilbert Shelton from the late 1960s) in which Fat Freddy Freetowski went to the local library and asked the librarian "where are the F*** books?" 

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers may have been the funniest comic book in history, and if you missed it back then, I'm sorry, as there is nothing remotely like them today. Imagine Chumlee from Pawn Stars high on weed stumbling towards the reference desk.   I think she told him "There ARE no F*** books."

I have considered doing the same for decades, not to actually obtain any books, but just to see what happens.  Fat Freddy had more guts than I.  It was the times, man...we were all rebels on dope.

Well, I seem to have found them, and they were in the mysterious "Delta collection" at the Library of Congress. 

Just like those giant salvation army bins for dumping trash, I think the Delta collection is gone now. Just about anything would end up in the bins, including a few dead bodies, and eventually the homeless were using them as clothing stores.  I imagine the Delta collection worked about the same.

For a time, the Library of Congress maintained the bin for smut seized by over-zealous customs agents.  Films, books (fiction, non-fiction and "picture only" things) and who knows what else.  

There is a big, inherent problem with holding obscene books in a library, especially one purportedly owned by us all.  A dichotomy if you will.  If the government considers a book obscene, how is it that a copy is kept by my library?  And if they have it, why can't I read it?

Well, you could.  There were a few institutional obstacles in the way, but as long as you requested it, read it  (or "used" it) in the big reading room like Woodward and Bernstein and didn't razor out any good parts, the material was treated like any other book.

Still, the Delta Collection was a nuisance.  Each truckload of crud impounded like stray mutts had to be cataloged (presumably by a professional librarian wearing gloves) and filed away.  Plus, word started getting out.  I don't think there was a line of drooling patrons at the door each morning, but it could happen. 

I don't know how or by whom, but the Delta collection was dispersed.  Some was allegedly burned in 1957.  (That hardly seems right...the Library of Congress burning books?)  Other books were transfered to the general collection.  (What was once special enough to be segregated was now just boring...as advocates of intellectual freedom knew it eventually would) Other portions were doled out to the Institute of Sex Research at Indiana University...the NEW "bin" of lewd.

"Ugh...THAT'S a Kinsey thing...put in in their mailbag."

Book Review The FBI's Obscene File: J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau's Crusade against Smut by Douglas M. Charles

Book Review The FBI's Obscene File: J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau's Crusade against Smut by Douglas M. Charles 

According to "Unlocking the Files of the FBI..." by Gerald K. Haines, since 1953 the FBI Bureaus  "Fifty-nine field offices reported opening 37,631 cases..." related to the classification number 145, Interstate Transportation of Obscene Matter.  So we can hardly expect Douglas M. Charles to discuss them all...But he did miss some mighty big ones.

Any new work exposing how the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover worked to subvert freedoms and rights guaranteed to citizens under the Bill of Rights is welcome, and particularly so when the topic is the spicy sauce of smut.  From Playboy Magazine to the lyrics of "Louie Louie" the agency has a history of ignoring those rights and invading privacy as they go about it.  Charles does a good job of sharing some of these abuses in the new book "The FBI's OBSCENE File: J. Edgar Hoover the the Bureau's Crusade against Smut"  It is a university press publication, so you can expect a dry read...and that is what you get.  As difficult as it must be for any writer to avoid smarmy double-entendre comments when discussing smut, the author manages it.  Not to the reader's advantage. 

Omitted is Bettie Page no less...in this day how can any book about obscenity avoid at least mentioning one of the most influential models of the century?  Although the FBI "did not investigate Page" according to their website The Vault they have still posted no less than thirty pages of documents about her they created, including one placing Bettie in the room with riding crops and ping-pong paddles.  I have written about it HERE and HERE. It seems to me one way to juice up a book on nearly anything would be to include Bettie Page, especially as the FBI documents indicate the hapless model is such a darn good story.

Also not "caught" is the story in my own modest (and self-published) book The Thousand Dollar Book which details as much as I could the story of the FBI confiscating 101 books from a bookstore owner in Milwaukee.  One of the book titles for which a man was sentenced to prison in this sordid affair was "Bandit in High Heels!" That title alone is worth a paragraph in any book about obscenity and the FBI, whether Hoover dressed up in them or not.

Admittedly, I lack the bona fides of a scholar and am a mere ham-fisted writer...but even I can find and tell some interesting stories.  There are over 30,000 such stories hiding in the FBI files, and finding a few more with some flavor shouldn't have been too hard.

To the author's credit, Edward Mishkin is mentioned, but only ONCE.  Mishkin not only had an obscenity case go all the way to the Supreme Court, he was involved with the fascinating Nights of Horror books reprinted by Craig Yoe in Secret Identity.... but Mishkin shows up in only one paragraph of the Charles book and his name doesn't even appear in the index.  I was hoping for more. 

Likewise the New York Times reported story of 8 million "Tijuana Bibles" being confiscated in New York City by FBI agent P.E. Foxworth in 1942 is missing here. It was a huge, multi-city coordinated event by the Bureau, and certainly that would have generated at least some documents...plus Tijuana Bibles are funny!  A missed opportunity.

The story of befuddled agents trying to decipher the lyrics to Louie, Louie is funny too, and Charles has that one.  No quibble there.  He has the FBI bothering Andy Warhol, but he certainly could have filled that story out.  He has Bud Abbott and Lou Costello's porn collections. But those documents have turned up on The Smoking Gun website.  He has various Republican administrations trying to stem the flow for political reasons, and he also tracks the inevitable, futile and ultimate failure of the FBI to quench anyone's thirst for smut.  But with a few more good stories, this could have not only been definitive, it could have been more fun.

140 pages, 19 pages of footnotes.  No Illustrations.  University Press of Kansas  2012.  No illustrations.

Reviewed by Jim Linderman 

Note: in the original version of this post, I mentioned the FBI files on Steve Jobs and mistakenly said he had a porn collection.  This was not true.  Abbott and Costello had a porn collection and they are much funnier than Steve Jobs.
  
Why the FBI HAD a file on Steve Jobs is still a mystery, to me anyway.  If a web-crawler sends you here to this article, you have found an inherent flaw in the design of the internet, and should disregard any mention of Steve Jobs. 

Peep Show Charlton Comics Cheesecake Pulp Magazine






Browsing around the internet digging up useless facts about Peep Show, I was quite surprised to see how few copies have made to a Google image search.  A half dozen!  Which is unfortunate,  as it is such a lovely example of 1950s cheesecake, even if it was a cheap rip-off of Whisper and Stocking Parade. Then I realized the problem.  It's too big to fit on a SCANNER! 

I have owned my share over the years, and have a few around now, but you'll only find fuzzy images of full size covers online as it was 13" tall.  I cribbed a few of those online to supplement my chopped up versions.  Most crappy scanners, like mine, are built for 12" so there you go.  Who wants to cut off any cleavage?

I am sure it did stand out at the magazine store.  Such COLORS, yet the guts were all black and white.

There have been rumors since forever that the publisher was tied in with the mob.  Whether this is due to the Italian surname of the founder (Santangelo) or that the idea for publishing was cooked up in prison (true)...but I don't have proof.  Where there is pulp smoke burning, there is often mafia fire, and the more I dig into the sordid history of sleazy publishing, the more it is obvious how much was "influenced" by some most unsavory characters, and I do not mean the characters in the cheap comics Charlton was best known for.
Santangelo's first publishing efforts were stealing the lyrics of popular songs and moving in on the highly profitable music publishing business, but he got caught and sent to the big house for a year, and from there he went into legitimate publishing.   Or maybe I should say he "went legit?"  Either way, his first legit publishing was doing the same thing he did before, but on the level, with Hit Parader magazine.  It lasted decades.  The music publishing business in the 1950s?  Okay, now THAT was a squeaky clean line of work.  Pffft.  On that basis alone, we should figure the operation as crooked as a straight line in a Charlton comic.

So okay...I'll say it.  Yes.  There were probably some greasy fingers on the newsprint.

Peep Show was actually published as by N.E.W.S Publishing Corporation, but they were done at the Charlton plant in Derby, just like Hit Parader and all the comics.  At one time they had well over 50 titles, but the company ran out of luck around 1990.   

The average issue of Peep Show is 50 pages of fragile, bottom of the trunk pulp, with nearly all of them filled with babes in bikinis or a bubble bath. Well...I hate to use "average" in the same paragraph as Eve Meyer, the stunning and only true love of Russ Meyer, who sold them 4 pages worth for one issue alone, and the cover here.  Some of his earliest work.

Peep Show was a who's who of famous shutterbugs.  Earl Leaf, who I profiled just yesterday, Charles Kell, Bruno, Bernard...and these all in the one issue I am browsing. 

If my post can do anything, it may encourage someone to collect and publish the covers.  They had a great logo, totally indicative of the contents, and they are so fragile today if someone doesn't do it soon, they'll all be lost.











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Earl Leaf Pervy Photographer Fake Beatnik and Sexotique Specialist Vintage Sleaze

Here, wizened fake beatnik and photographer Earl Leaf poses with the far more attractive than he Jane Wilkinson.  Earl is often politely called "a leading paparazzi" of the 50s, but he was actually just a sleaze who put himself near any scene (or woman) who was younger and sexier than he was.    

No one was luckier than Leaf, and he admits it himself in the article "The Luckiest Photographer" he wrote for "Glamor Girl Photography" in 1959.  He describes stalking women as though they were wild beasts.  "I dogged her footsteps right into Columbia Pictures and began to harass the studio press chief for an okay to lens her in costumes simple or sexotique" he brags..then goes on to describe all the "dolls, hip chicks, starlets, feminine form devine" and such which catches his eye...a sort of  bogus beatnik be-bop hunter of female.  As in, like, "sexotique" man!

Leaf is most excited, however, about the "16 1/2 year old Angela Carnon" who he spots "pushing trays" at the Ontra after classes at Hollywood High.  The Ontra is where Leaf hung out...girl watching.  Literally.  He shares the encounter.  "A whiff of dewey fragrance lifted our faces off the plates in time to to catch a waitress, long-haired, slender, curvy and beautiful...bearing a try of dirty dishes to the kitchen like a vestal virgin bearing precious gifts..." 

Uh huh.  He forces his card on the teen, and promises to reveal this "chic chick" in the NEXT issue of Glamor Girl Photography.  What a creep.  He doesn't say if he checked with her parents or the size of the tip he left.

Sure enough, Angela Carnon goes on to make a dozen or so near skin flicks under a handful of names, including one role playing "Dr. Clitstone" and another as "Peggy" in Drop Out Wife.  Thanks for the GREAT start to my career Earl!

Earl seems to have started out as a SPOOK.  A "war correspondent" for the forerunner of the CIA, which may mean he was traveling with permission to take pictures of strategic places instead of starlets.  Or maybe it meant he could supplement his own pervy notions while on "the company" dole.  Either way, Earl began creating his portfolio while informing for Uncle Sam, and he traveled all over the far east apparently reporting back to our side.  He is reported to have once been "publicity agent" for the Chinese Nationalist Government.  I don't know...but I smell an agent, and not one booking talent into a Hollywood clunker.

Leaf later became an official photographer of sorts for Teen Magazine, certainly a most discerning audience for his artistic skills, where he took great works of art such as portraits of The Mamas and Papas.

After coming back from "over there" Leaf reportedly had a "hidden bamboo covered shack" where he enticed his models.  He would have been just another sex-crazed shutterbug had he not had the good fortune to encounter Marilyn Monroe on May 17, 1950, a stroke of luck he rode the rest of his life. He had Marilyn and his other conquests sign the door to his shack, and if you look him up that is the legacy you'll find most associated with him.  Original Marilyn Monroe pictures doled out by the owner of "The Earl Leaf estate" once Michael Ochs and now Getty Images.  

They don't own the one above.  Dingbat  Press did...they published it on the back cover of Glamor Girl Photography along with Earl's pervy recollections.  Glamor Girl Photography was the short-lived "serious" magazine from the fortunately now long gone publisher of the equally short-lived "humor" magazine girl watcher.

Photo from rear cover of "Glamor Girl Photography" September 1959 

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VINTAGE SLEAZE IS NOW AN OFFICIAL KINDLE BLOG !

PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE COMPLETE TEXT OF VINTAGE SLEAZE THE BLOG IS NOW AVAILABLE IN FULL ON KINDLE!  GIVE IT A TRY!  THANKS  JIM LINDERMAN