Monday, March 9, 2009
Howard Menger RIP on Venus
First off, let me tell you about my friend Louis, an astronomer in Albany. He overheard (kinda what you end up doing on Twitter) me and Sid discussing Four Sticks. Poor Louis, he wanted to know more, and sadly, he is now part of this horrible mess. He has sent me several 1111 photos in the last month. I feel for him, I do, because the Four Sticks will follow him around FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. Anyhow. Howard Menger. I have way too much crazy shit in my head, and a lot of it involves UFOs and the books about them. Whenever the subject comes up--you know, like when I'm wearing my blood-spattered clown suit in the Skydeck of the Sears Tower--I'll point out that, whereas all the books in the 80s and 90s wanted to one up the last, the "contactees" of the 1950s were content to tell their stories without bashing the next guy. George Adamski, goofy polak that he was, started the whole "tall, blonde Fabio-looking dudes from Venus" thing, always meeting in the desert, I guess to keep that Fabio-bronze working. Then there was Howard Betherum, a guy whose last name screams "Make me an element!" There were others, even one guy I never heard of until today, Calvin Girvin, who met a guy from Venus named Cryxtan. Thanks, Internet, another name I'm stuck with now. Howard Menger died over a week ago, he didn't see his saucers in the desert, he saw them in central New Jersey, so yay for him. (Then again, the aliens from Saturn might have been street tough). I have an old pb of his book somewheres; sadly, I don't have the LP of the space music. Any chance I see one of these books from the 50s, I grab them up. The story's may seem far-fetched, but you get a glimpse of the lives people had two generations back, before airplanes filled the night skies and it seemed logical enough that you could walk down a street and see a glowing light in a field, my point there being that I can't walk ANYWHERE without seeing strip malls and four lane main streets. And, like I said, Menger would not have written of his story by making it more fantastical to make it sell because the space girl he met (space girls always accompanied the Fabios) had bigger boobies than the ones in the desert, and I always thought that was a cool thing. And now he has gone on to our sister planet and maybe, just maybe, if I tilt my head near the constellation of Leo, I might hear his music bopping out from the rings of Saturn. And if there was any single reason for me to riff on this dude tonight, it was because of his obituary from the NJ paper. I could only cut & paste, but here is the opening paragraph. Going back to Louis, man, I'm on that ride with you, let's keep those four sticks coming...
Howard Menger, 87, beloved husband, father, retired Army veteran of World War Two, business owner, inventor, author, speaker, and long time resident of Vero Beach, transitioned peacefully at 11:11 PM on Wednesday, February 25, 2009.