Saturday, January 30, 2010

Letters Home: Give Blood

1/31/52  Fort Knox KY
Dear Mom Dad and all.
I haven’t heard from you for a few days so I thought maybe I owed you a letter. I got a letter from J_ two  days ago. He sent some pictures, so I am sending them on to you. [1]  I got some made and am sending them. Today is payday so in a couple of weeks a check will be coming.
It snowed Tue. About a inch and was down to zero. Today it's warm again.[2]
I got a chance to go to Nashville this weekend so I think I will go.
I broke my watch jumping off tanks so I will have to get it fixed soon. I started to write this before mail call and got your letter.
I didn’t send J__ a picture of him with a pack on his back so you can send him one.
Its too bad about Aunt Bertha.
We won’t have any training tomorrow. In order to get out of it you have to give a pint of blood. [3]  Only about 10 out of 200 aren’t giving any. Our Captain said it is best to start a blood bank now, because someday we might need it. I think I can afford a pint.
Did R_ ever get the fender skirt taken off my car?  I might sell my car if I can get enough out of it this spring.
I had two more teeth filled today. I am all done with them now for at least a year.
Its time to sign off for now. I will write the first of the week after I get back from my trip.

[1] The photos are long lost I'm afraid.
[2] Flood waters building.
[3] Current Army regulations regarding blood donations: link. I have tried on several occasions to give blood to the Red Cross but have been disqualified because of my residence time in Switzerland and then Germany in the early '90's.  Apparently, I am at risk for developing Mad cow disease (and just from consuming over-priced meat in Switzerland). I've always protested that I could barely afford to eat meat in those days but they never listen. It all seems a little unfair, rather like the Koreans refusing to eat American beef last year for the same reason.
My brain has always soaked up knowledge like a sponge. But my brain is not spongiform like those afflicted with Mad Cow are, as confirmed by a recent MRI.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beryllium Is A Sweet Precious Gift

Different variations of beryl, including 1. golden beryl crystal, 2. heliodore. 3. emerald, 4. aquamarine, 5. morganite

The root word of beryllium is old and familiar and lurks beneath the surface of the commonly used word brilliant:

1680s, from Fr. brilliant "sparkling, shining" prp. of briller "to shine" (16c.), from It. brillare "sparkle, whirl," perhaps from V.L. *berillare "to shine like a beryl," from berillus "beryl, precious stone," from L. beryllus (see beryl). In reference to diamonds (1680s) it means a flat-topped cut invented 17c. by Venetian cutter Vincenzo Peruzzi.

Beryl and emeralds were known to Pliny the Elder nearly 2000 years ago and he first observed a physical similarity between the two. In the Middle Ages, transparent, colorless beryl was used to make optical lenses, whence the German word Brille which today still means eyeglasses. The invention and manufacture of actual glass spectacles developed in Italy in the 13th century and improvements followed closely with the development of optics.

The minerologist R.-J. Haüy also observed the remarkable similarity between beryl and emerald (hardness and density), and he persuaded the pre-eminent chemist/pharmacist of his time (late 18th century) Louis Vauquelin (of Paris) to analyze the stones to see if they were chemically alike. In 1798, Vauquelin showed that both minerals contained not only alumina and silica as had previously been known, but also a new element, beryllium, which he extracted as the oxide from emerald. Fredrich Wöhler first prepared metallic beryllium by reducing BeCl2, with potassium metal. Thus the new element beryllium was discovered.

One caveat: until around 1948, beryllium (symbol = Be) was also known as Glucinium (symbol Gl), reportedly because of the sweetish taste of its chloride salts.

WARNING: Beryllium is considered to be highly toxic so do not, repeat do not taste or chew your precious emeralds!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"We heard that we were going to Germany"

January 20, 1952
Fort Knox, KY

Dear Mom, Dad and all,
I got your letter Fri, and the package Sat. I also got a letter from J__ on Sat. and will answer it tomorrow night. We heard that we were going to Germany when we get through basic but you can’t tell, for sure. [1]  I am going to Nashville the first of the month.
We got some more clothes today. 1 pair of socks, 1 cap, 1 jacket, 1 tee shirt, glove liners. I didn’t even dress up this weekend and go anyplace. It thundered and lightening Sat night and it rained quite hard. [2]
We have been having trouble lately with boys going AWOL. [3]  I guess some of them just can’t stand to be away from home. It isn’t so bad yet, but I think it will be a lot worse once we leave the states. We got one boy here from Penn. that never leaves the camp. I guess he was a farmer. I think Jim J__ is going skating next weekend at Louisville. The lights will be going out in about 15 min so will have to sign off for now.
P.S. J__ didn’t have much to say. Mostly about cars and what kind he wanted to get. Henry J can’t afford a Merc. [4]
[1] President Truman believed that the war in Korea might be a ploy to concentrate all American resources in Asia, thus leaving western Europe open to invasion by the Soviet Bloc. The Berlin Airlift had already occurred in 1948, along with the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1948. NATO was created in 1949 because of the perceived Soviet threat towards Western Europe. After the start of the Korean war, the United States deployed 4 divisions to Europe, culminating in the creation of the USAREUR in 1952. By this time, the US role in Germany had officially changed from an occupying force into an allied defender of the newly-formed German Federal Republic (West Germany).

[2] Heavy flooding occurred in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky that year, perhaps also due in part to heavier than normal snowfall. The flooding was bad enough to prompt a flyover visit from President Truman just a couple weeks later: ref.

[3] According to one source, 84 enlisted men from Fort Knox were disciplined for absences around that time. ref.

[4] I recall that the late '40s and early 50's Mercs were favorites amongst my dad and uncles. I'm not sure which particular year they lusted after, but I'm sure it was one of these: Link.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Can Lithium Help Detroit?

Bolivian Lithium

Back to chemblogging for a bit.  Hmmm, let's see...I left off quite a while ago with lithiumhelium, and hydrogen. I'll finish off lithium before moving onto beryllium, the fourth element.

Lithium Pharmacology
Lithium (or more accurately Li+) is pharmacologically active and is used to treat bipolar disorder. It's not at all clear to me (nor to Wiki) how this works.  Let's improvise. Here's my armchair analysis:
Observations: (1) In the body, Li+ is awash with lots of similar cations, namely, sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+). Moreover, there's realistically no way that one could swamp the body with so much Li+ that it would simply displace Na+ and K+; moreover, both sodium and potassium are essential and we'd die without them. Better to look for something that Li+ does better than Na+ and Kdo.
(2) Lithium is found in nature as lithium carbonate (in nature, elements tend to be found with other elements for which they have natural affinity). There is also experimental evidence that Li+ binds better to carboxylate groups, –CO2(-) than do either Na+ or K+ref.  In other words, Li+ has a higher affinity for the carboxylate functional group1 and could displace a greater concentration of Na+ and K+. The pharmacists already know about this special affinity and Li+ is commonly formulated as lithium citrate:

Notice that the citrate has three carboxylate groups. Lithium citrate was once an ingredient in 7-Up, the Uncola, but was removed in 1950. It's important to realize that once in the body, the citrate part is easily chewed up and metabolized, leaving three Li+ cations, each in search of a carboxylate. 
(3) Carboxylates are ubiquitous, being the terminal side chain of common amino acids aspartic acid and glutamic acid.
(4) Glutamate is implicated in all kinds of neurochemical functions.

Hypothesis: Li+ displaces Na+ to such an extent as to affect the role of glutamate. The carboxylate functional groups are intimately involved in how neurotransmissions occur.  Essentially what lithium does is to monkey wrench this somehow. Anyway, it's just food for thought. Prove it wrong. A cursory Google search suggests there is something to this: ref, ref, and ref.

There are other proposed mechanisms of action for lithium and, if interested, check out the Wiki page here.  I love ill-defined chemical mechanisms, especially when an element is involved.  I'll return to this theme when I consider the essential role of boron (element 5, after beryllium) in plants. Meanwhile, I hope a lithium expert finds this blogpost and jumps in to correct me. I will retract the hypothesis.

Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium ion batteries power lots of everyday electronic gadgets like cellphones, laptops and other electronic gadgets and, hopefully soon, lots of electric cars. Several generations of rechargeable batteries include lead-acid, nickel-cadium, nickel-metal hydride (NMH), lithium, and now lithium ion. By far and away the lithium ion battery is superior--enough to revolutionize the small gadget industry. Why is that?
First, it's very light. Lead-acid (think 12 V car batteries) and NMH batteries (think Prius batteries) are very heavy. Old fashioned carbon-zinc batteries are light but are not rechargable). Weight is very counterproductive deadweight when you're trying to move something around.
Second, lithium has a relatively high redox potential2 for conversion of Li+ to lithium metal. Early lithium batteries did in fact use lithium metal and lithium ions, however it was quickly realized that the dangers of using lithium metal could not be overcome.  Lithium is a highly electropositive element and would seem well suited for 3 V applications. If you consider that the nominal voltage of common batteries: viz., AA, AAA, C, and D is, 1.5 V you'll realize that a 3.0 V battery would be useful, given that 3 V is commonly acheived by using two 1.5 V batteries in series. (This is why so many devices use two such batteries head to tail).
Lithium’s exceptional light weight is currently wasted in present generation batteries, especially automobile-sized ones: the battery train for the Chevy Volt weighs about 600 lbs. Much of this weight is due to cobalt oxide present. However, next generation breathing batteries intend to do away with the relatively heavy cobalt or iron-based components. I really hope the Volt does well and I suspect it will. Detroit needs a home run like the Toyota Pruis. I think the Volt is especially suited for the urban coastal hipsters. Me? I'll stick with diesel for the time being.

Lithium in Synthetic Organic Chemistry
The wonderful and unique properties of lithium just go on and on. A single inorganic compound, LiAlH4 or LAH in the parlance, enabled the synthesis of entirely new classes of compounds, including pharmaceuticals. Organolithiums are a class of compounds wherein lithium replaces a hydrogen atom.  They are useful because they allow carbon in a hydrocarbon to behave as a negatively charged anion-a carbanion. Carbon normally engages in chemical reactions as an electrophile, i.e., having a tendency to attract negatively charged coupling partners. An obvious example of this is peptide synthesis in which donor nitrogen meets acceptor carbon.
Alkali metals, Li, Na, potassium, etc. dissolve in liquid ammonia to give intense blue solutions. Liquid ammonia itself is colorless, and so are solutions of Li+.  The blue color comes from solvated electrons:
              Na   --------> Na+ [e]
The compound is called sodium electride.  You can watch it form here

Worries About Lithium Supplies
Worries about Bolivia becoming the Saudi Arabia of lithium are overblown. First of all, the photos (see above) are deceptive: those miles and miles of white salt flats are not heaps of lithium salt: it’s mainly just dried up sodium chloride. The salts are enriched in lithium carbonates. Unlike fossil fuels, the lithium inside batteries is not destructively consumed. Lithium is not a source of energy: remember that the energy has to put back inside the batteries. We have ample domestic sources for the time being from the brines of Searles Lake, CA and in Nevada.

Last but not least, don't forget the dilithium crystals!
1Functional Group defined
2 Redox Potential is term of art and usually refers to chemical element's potential to gain or lose an electron. In lithium, there is a high propensity for the metal to lose one electron and thus obtain the noble gas electronic configuration of helium.

Guns and Newspapers

January 13, 1952
Fort Knox KY

Dear Mom, Dad and all,

If that check don’t come soon I will have to see the Capt. to see why it hasn’t been sent out. [1] Did you find any use for that apron like bag I sent?
It was my turn for K.P. I didn’t get out because I was late. One of the other boys folks sent the Dem.[2]  I see that show was on today in Center. Can you send the picture out of the Capital Times?[3]
According to my figures I owe J__ $290.00 that’s what you had figured too.
We won’t be driving tanks this week. We will be shooting .30 cal. machine guns and M1 rifles.[4] We have classes tomorrow and shooting 4 days. Next week we will be shooting 75 mm tank guns for 2 weeks. Our last 2 weeks will be out in the woods. We will have our full field packs that weigh about 50 lbs. I think we go out 28 miles and then each day come back so many miles till we are back.
Tell R__ as far as I am concerned he can use the pickup. Its kind of cold with one window gone and no heater. It needs 2 brake rods. Ask R___ if he knows how to take that fender skirt off that is bent. I might have him take it down to Wilson’s and have it ground it out and painted moonstone grey. You won’t have to put it back in till I get there. Loosen the two back bolts. Take out the middle one and slide that arm one way or the other. Think you can do it?
[1] Many servicemen sent part or most of their monthly earnings to designated bank accounts back home. Here he seems to be complaining about the slowness of his allotment account being set up. For a while it must have seemed that his money was disappearing into black hole. He must have thought it was a real SNAFU.

[2] The Richland Democrat, now defunct, was one of two newspapers serving the local Richland Center newspaper market. 

[3] The Capital Times was a Madison daily founded in 1917. The paper only ceased daily publication in April, 2008 and becoming an internet-based news entity. My dad worked for the Cap Times in the '60's and '70s, begining as a printer and then moving into graphic arts as a paste-up artist, assembling the pages, e.g. cutting the columns, getting all the news and ads to fit and flow correctly on deadline.  He actually worked for Madison Newpaper Inc., a jointly-owned entity which printed both the Wisconsin State Journal (the morning daily) and The Capital Times (the afternoon daily). When I was a kid, both newspapers were located in the same building just off the Capitol Square on 113 S. Carroll Street. I have fond memories of visiting the "composing room" which seemed one of those very busy, very grown-up places.

[4] The .30 cal machine gun was no doubt a Browning M1919, then the infantry standard; the M1 semi-automatic rifle was the standard infantry weapon of WW II and Korea. M16's replaced M1's during Vietnam and became the standard issue carbine.

Browning M1919 .30 caliber Machine Gun

Next to the bomb, the machine gun is perhaps the most wicked device ever invented.  Leonardo da Vinci, that celebrated renaissance man, gets the credit.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Familial Ties That Bind

A letter received from home prompted my father to send a second letter back home within a week.  Here he responds to news about the birth of a nephew (my cousin).  He avoids the topic at first, but then reacts with a mixture of mild derision and scolding:
January 9, 1952
Fort Knox, KY

Dear Mom, Dad and all,
I got your letter yesterday and couldn’t answer it that night because we was out on the tank range from 8:00 tue. morning till 8:00 that night. It takes about an hour to drive out. We went on a hike today and will be going out to drive again in about two hours. We won’t be back until midnight.
I am sending the income tax statement they gave us today. I suppose you will have to add it into my ’51 earnings. I hope I don’t have to pay any extra money. I shouldn’t have to.  It’s going to be a bad night because it’s raining now. I got all kinds of clothes so we don’t get to wet.
Sure was surprised to hear A__ had her baby.  J__’s tied down now. Ha! Ha! I don’t care for the name either.[1]  
I got my fatigues so now you can patch those ones in my trunk. I am going to use them instead of new ones they gave us. We have to turn them in at the end of training. That way I can bring a good pair home. I already got them put away. Send them next week if you can.  We have to turn in a lot of our clothes and get new ones. Wish I had an old field jacket so I could do the same thing.
11:00 Tues night

We just got back and I am going to get ready to go to bed. The mud out there was about 2 ft. deep.  We have been using 150 gallons of gas a day and about 5 gallons of oil. Part of the time we had to drive without lights. I will sign off for now. 

P.S. It didn’t rain but it is getting colder.

[1] "A" is his sister-in law and the wife of his older brother "J" who was then serving in combat in Korea. I think he's expressing his version of disapproval because J and A had been married just 3 months when their first child was born.  Premarital sex was still highly taboo in the 1950's, even more so if a child resulted. I mean, the innocence of Beach Boy's "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was still in place 15 years later.  I don't know the detailed circumstances of my aunt and uncle's marriage, i.e., whether it was delayed to so close to the birth of their first child because of his active deployment to Korea. But I do know that they eventually had 3 more children and that they both remain alive, well, and happily married 58 years later!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Carnot Knowledge: Rudolf Diesel's Awesome Idea

Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913)

Ordinary gasoline engines are powered by the sparked ignition of gasoline vapor compressed with air. The heat of combustion and increased exhaust gas pressure drives pistons, doing useful work derived from the chemical energy stored in the fossil fuel. Gasoline engines behave according to the Otto Cycle and the ideas originally date from the mid-19th century.

Rudolf Diesel, a German engineer, understood the engines of his day and had the radical idea of compressing air inside the piston until it became so hot that fuel would spontaneously ignite when it contacted the hot pressurized air, thus not requiring a spark plug. In essence, Diesel reengineered the existing Otto cycle and invented engines that behaved according to the Diesel Cycle.

Diesel based his ideas on his understanding of the thermodynamics of heat engines, a young science begun by the French engineer Sadi Carnot and who later became known as the father of thermodynamics.

US Patent No. 542,846: "Method of and Apparatus for Converting Heat into Work (Link) was awarded to Diesel and has a clear and concise explanation of how and why diesel motors work. In Diesel's own words (or more likely those of his patent attorney):
The gases in the cylinder are now permitted to expand with gradual introduction of fuel and expansion is so regulated that the decrease in temperature by expansion counterbalances the heat produced by the combustion of the fresh particles of fuel. The effect of combustion will therefore not be increase in temperature or pressure, but increase in actual energy exerted.
Diesel also solved another important problem that still limits the efficiency of gasoline engines, viz., the tendency for gasoline motors to knock or ping due to "predetonation." Autoignition is precisely what diesel motors are supposed to do, albeit in a controlled way.  In a diesel motor, the air and fuel are pressurized separately and then mixed. Because diesel motors burn at hotter temperatures than gasoline engines do, they have a tendency to "burn air," forming nitrogen oxides from the normally inert N2 and O2 that make up the air we breathe. Precious metal catalysts are used to convert the nitrogen oxides back into oxygen and nitrogen.

Today, diesel motors find widespread use in nearly all commercial transportation applications: trucks, trains, ships, submarines, and, as I learned from Theo Boehm, even in aviation (BTW, did you know that aviation gasoline still has lead? Link--fine particles of lead oxide (or actually lead chloride or bromide) rain down on us everyday. Europeans use diesel motors far more commonly than we do for personal transportation.

I'm sold on diesels. I own a 2003 VW Golf Diesel (TDI) and I love it. It gets around 43 MPH on the highway and not much less in city because it's a stick. Another advantage to owning a diesel in CA is that they are exempt from smog-testing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Letters Home: "I can pick up a lot of hillbilly and western that comes in from Nashville"

The Army used to have four heavy armor divisions, viz., the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Armored Divisions (ADs).  Of these, only the 1st AD remains active.  The 3rd AD was established during WW II and saw a lot action in the European Theatre. More info here.  After WW II, the 3rd Armored Division (The "Third Herd") was reestablished at Fort Knox KY, which had been a fortified encampment since the Civil War. My father was in the 3rd AD during the Cold War between the years 1951 to 1953. In this letter home he describes additional training as well as off-duty diversions. Footnotes are mine:

January 6th, 1952
Dear Mom, Dad and all,
Today is Sunday and I haven’t got anything to do so I thought I would drop you a line. I am listening to a program from Chicago.[1]  That’s the nearest home radio station. I can pick up a lot of hillbilly and western that comes in from Nashville.[2]
We had to go out Sat. morning and clear some land. They are making a new training course. It will be too muddy this winter for us to use it. We might have to in the spring if the weather dries up. Did you get that box? I got the socks and pants Sat.
It snowed about a hour here this morning, but it all melted off in 2 hrs. I think it will clear up for Monday. I went to the show last night. The Sell Out was the name of it.  Has that show about tanks come to R.C. yet? [3]
We start our 6th week training tomorrow. I guess we have to make up the two weeks during leave, in the spring. I heard we would be through training March 27, but I don’t know how true it is. Anyway it won’t be so cold here that time of year.
Have you heard that new song out Shrimp Boats is a Coming? [4] I think it’s a old song revised.
Did F____ make it back to camp alright? Some of the boys around here are still AWOL. Absent without leave.
I had two teeth filled Sat. afternoon. It was a couple that E___ was supposed to fix but I never got around to getting a appointment. I have to go again the 15th. I don’t think I need anymore fillings. I suppose he is going to clean them. As long as it don’t cost me anything, I am going to let them fix um up.[5] Some of the guys need work in their teeth worse than I do but we are going ABC and so on down the line. I wrote J__ a letter last week so should be hearing from him next week or the week after. [6] We have been having nice weather except yesterday it rained. Its getting along towards chow time so will sign off for now.
[1] WLS (890 AM), I presume. WLS has been around forever and had the strongest signal out of Chicago.
[2] In the early 1950's, "Hillbilly and Western" was synonymous with "Country and Western". The term "Country" later replaced "Hillbilly" because the latter term was considered degrading Link.  Nashville, home base for the Grand Ole Opry, was slowly being challenged by Memphis, which was then birthing the musical fusion only later called Rock n Roll.
[3] "Show" is short for "picture show" which was then a common term in rural Wisconsin. The show he's referring to coming to Richland Center is "The Tanks Are Coming".
[4] The song is actually called "Shrimp Boats" and was recorded by Jo Stafford.
[5] This is the healthcare public option in a nutshell: I want healthcare, but I want it to be free. :)
[6] J__ was his older brother, and was then stationed in Korea.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"I am listening to some Kentucky hillbilly music now"

This is the fourth post in a series.  Previous posts are here, here, and here. Or just click on the tag "Letters Home".
Having spent Christmas back home in Richland Center, my father hopped a train back to Fort Knox from Madison via Chicago and Louisville.  Here he tells of his brief layover at Chicago's Union Station and admits to his parents that he listens to "Kentucky hillbilly music."  Can you guess whose photo that is?

December 29, 1951
Dear Mom, Dad and all,
I got to camp at 9:00 this morning. It sure was a tiresome ride from Chicago. We was supposed to be in Chicago at 1:00 fri. afternoon and I didn’t get there till 3:00 so I had to wait till 11:00 that night to catch the next train. I walked up to State St. Sure is a lot bigger than the one in Madison. I saw a helicopter land on a big building.
I forgot and brought my car keys so I am sending them and some other things home the first of the week. R’s $5 will be in it to. Did you get the check yet? It should be coming. I got paid as soon as I got here.
I had to open the big casing bag again because my train ticket was in it. Ha! Ha! It didn’t tear out too much. I will either sew it or get the shoe cobbler to sew it next Sat.  I am going to take a hot shower and go to bed tonight. I forgot and left my other necktie. You can send it sometime. Among some of the mail that was waiting for me was a Christmas card from Mr. and Mrs. H__ D__.
I am listening to some Kentucky hillbilly music now. My radio works good. It rained here Christmas but that was all the bad weather they had here for the last week. It looks cloudy out now and like rain.
There sure was a lot of snow in Chicago. Some of the streets were blocked off. When we left Chicago I had 85¢. It cost 75¢ by Greyhound from Louisville to Knox, 32 miles and 10¢ from the main post to my barracks so I just broke even. It’s a good thing we got paid today. I still got some of the hard candy I got over to grandma’s. [1]
I didn’t get to buy the kids much but I will bring something home in the spring. There is a lot of things at the PX I could get if I had the money that D__ and B__ would like. I might be able to save a little besides the $50 I send home a month.
I didn’t know I had seen the loop [2] till I got back to camp and was telling a boy some of the places I saw on State and Madison Str’s.
I got K.P. tomorrow so I doubt if I will get to go to church tomorrow. I won’t mail this till Mon.
I carried that light plug all the way down here. I washed out 2 pair of socks tonight. I didn’t get much sleep on the train last night so am going to bed about 8:00 tonight. I will have to get up early for K.P. 6:30 I think on Sunday.
Sun night.
I had to get up at 6:45 this morning and I was through at 7:00 tonight. It wasn’t too bad this time. L__ was over a while. This coming week won’t be too bad, because some of the boys are home for New Years. The weather has been hot lately. I hope it can stay that way for a while.
[1] "I got over to grandma's" is pure Wisconsin dialect wherein "over to" substitutes for "at". I recall my father saying "over to" such and such a place meaning "at" such and such a place. Interestingly, German has a similar construction: cf. zu Hause which literally recites "to home" but means "at home".

[2] The loop: Link

Saturday, January 2, 2010

With the Power Trio of Soul, Anything was Possible

From the same New Years show 1969-70:

I've always loved the structure of this song--it's a real composition. I used to know the entire drum part by heart. IMO Mitch Mitchell was a better drummer for Jimi overall, but Buddy Miles did a great job at these shows, except when he tried to upstage Hendrix's singing.
And Billy Cox was a way better bassist than the racist Noel Redding. Just sayin'. I mean, just listen to that groovy bassline supporting Jimi's wailing minute-long solo beginning at the 0.21 min mark.

[note added]: Hendrix and Cox were stationed together at Fort Campbell KY about 10 years after my father was there.

[Another note added: the original video I linked here no longer works so I swapped it out. The first one was actual footage from the New Years Eve show. If I find it again I'll put it up here again.]

Happy New Year First Of All!

Since I've already had all the kids I want, let me just say that I'd give my left nut to go back in time to the Fillmore East the night of New Year's Eve 1969/70. I was but a wee lad of 10 when Hendrix died, but I still remember hearing the news and talking about it with another 5th grader: