In this part, we’ll cover:
Derry: The Second Interlude
Derry: The Second Interlude
“Quaeque ipsa miserrima vidi,
Et quorum pars magna fui.”
Latin: So many terrible things I saw, and in so many of them I played a great part.
In Washington, Billy Mitchell had been courtmartialed and demoted to flying a desk because his gadfly insistence on trying to build a more modern air force had finally irritated his elders enough for them to slap him down hard.
William Lendrum “Billy” Mitchell (1879-1936) was a United States Army general who is regarded as the father of the United States Air Force. Mitchell served in France during World War I and, by the conflict’s end, commanded all American air combat units in that country. After the war, he was appointed deputy director of the Air Service and began advocating increased investment in air power, believing that this would prove vital in future wars.
He antagonized many administrative leaders of the Army with his arguments and criticism and, in 1925, was returned to his permanent rank of colonel due to his insubordination. Later that year, he was court-martialed for insubordination after accusing Army and Navy leaders of an “almost treasonable administration of the national defense” for investing in battleships instead of aircraft carriers. He resigned from the service shortly afterward.
“ ‘Stow your gear, and get your asses over to the O.D. (…) Lemme see the soles of your eighty-fucking-nines!’ ”
Looking through AllAcronyms.com, O.D. most likely means Office of Director (?). (I really don’t know.)
From context, eighty-nines refer to boots but I can’t find any use of this slang.
“I was born and grew up in Burgaw, North Carolina.”
Burgaw is a town in Pender County, North Carolina. The population was 3,872 at the 2010 census. The 1985 movie Silver Bullet, based on King’s Cycle of the Werewolf, had outdoor scenes filmed in Burgaw. The TV series, Under the Dome, also written by King, had outdoor scenes filmed in Burgaw.
“Possum pies with hoecakes spread around her.”
Possibly another name for johnnycake (journey cake, shawnee cake, johnny bread), a commercial flatbread. A modern johnnycake is fried cornmeal gruel, which is made from yellow or white cornmeal mixed with salt and hot water or milk, and sometimes sweetened. In the Southern United States, the word used is hoecake, although this can also refer to cornbread fried in a pan.
“You must think I’m a pure-d fool.”
A similar line was used in William March’s Company K (note ) (“I’m a ‘dee’ fool and haven’t two brains to knock together” p.115). From context in both, the “d” just seems to stand for “damn.” I’ve heard people shorten swears and curses (“eff that”, etc) but never for the word damn. And never attaching it to “fool.” I guess this has just gone out of style since the 1980s (?).
“Most of the history books talk more about the KKK than they do about the Legion of White Decency, and a lot of people don’t even know there was such a thing.”
I can’t find proof of the Legion of White Decency existing under this name in New England. I know there are/were racist groups in New England but I think King may have invented this “Legion of White Decency” name.
“Tramps and hobos and (…) something called ‘the bonus army’.”
Bonus Army was the popular name for an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers – 17,000 U.S. World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups – who gathered in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1932 to demand cash-payment redemption of their service certificates. On July 28, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died. The Bonus Army marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned. In 1936, -Congress overrode President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s veto and paid the veterans their bonus nine years early.
It’s in The Lord of the Rings, I think, where one of the characters says that “way leads on to way.”
This is actually a line from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” (“Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back”).
Bilbo, in The Fellowship of the Ring, says: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” (Goodreads)
I can hear tiny spicules of sleet striking the windows.
noun – (technical) a minute sharp-pointed object or structure that is typically present in large numbers, such as a fine particle of ice.
(astronomy) – a short-lived, relatively small radial jet of gas in the chromosphere or lower corona of the sun.
“In Derry people have a way of looking the other way.”
“ ‘Commen’ ca va!’ he says in the Saint John Valley French that sounds almost like Cajun talk.”
French: How are you!
According to The Maine Way:
Northern Aroostook County, also known as the St. John Valley, encompasses communities from Van Buren to the Allagash and the Eagle Lake and Sinclair area.
“It was this young fellow, a Pfc. named Dick Hallorann who was a mess-cook, who suggested that maybe we could fix is up pretty nice if we really tried.”
Dick Hallorann from The Shining has a significant part in Mike’s father’s past.
“Listening to things like ‘Aunt Hagar’s Blues’ and ‘Diggin My Potatoes.’ (…) The band learned how to play a ragtime version of ‘The Maine Stein Song.’ ”
“Aunt Hagar’s Blues,” variously known as “Aunt Hagar’s Children” or “Aunt Hagar’s Children’s Blues,” is a 1920 blues song which has since become a jazz standard. It was written by W.C. Handy and J Tim Brymn.
“Diggin My Potatoes” appears to be a blues standard, recorded by artists such as Big Bill Broonzy and Lonnie Donegan.
The Maine Stein Song is the school song of the University of Maine. Its lyrics were written by UMaine student Lincoln Colcord in 1902 and its tune was based on Opie, a march written by E.A. Fenstad. It was popularized in 1930 by Rudy Vallee and became the only college song to become a number one hit.
It knew nothing of Cain’s Hundred on the television or the Four Seasons singing “Walk like a Man” on the radio.
Cain’s Hundred is an American crime drama series that aired on NBC from 1961 to 1962. It follows the life of Nicholas Cain, a former lawyer for the mob.
“Walk Like a Man” is a song written by Bob Crewe and Bob Guadio and originally recorded by the Four Seasons (1963).
“In nightmares we can think the worst. That’s what they’re for, I guess.”
Part 3: Grownups
“Don’t it make you wanta go home, now?”
Joe South (1940-2010) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer. Best known for his songwriting, South won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1970 for “Games People Play” and was again nominated for the award in 1972 for “Rose Garden.” He played on Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.
“Don’t it Make You Want to Go Home” is a song on an album of the same name from 1968.
Chapter 10: The Reunion
It was overcast outside, and now a few splatters of rain hit the cab’s windshield. The radio muttered about an escaped mental patient from somewhere who was supposed to be very dangerous, and then began muttering about the Red Sox who weren’t.
If you don’t see that this will be important later, you, my friend, need to read more horror.
The watch on one wrist was a Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe & Co. is a Swiss watch manufacturer founded in 1851, located in Geneva and the Vallee de Joux. It is considered by many experts and aficionados to be one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers.
No relation to either H. Rap Brown or Grandmaster Flash.
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (born Hubert Gerold Brown, 1943), also known as H. Rap Brown, was the fifth chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, and during a short-lived (six months) alliance between SNCC and the Black Panther Party, he served as their minister of justice. He is perhaps most famous for his proclamations during that period that “violence is as American as cherry pie” and that “If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down.” He is currently serving a life sentence for murder following the 2000 shooting of two Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies. One deputy, Ricky Kinchen, died in the shooting.
To be a librarian was to come as close as any human being can to sitting in the peak-seat of eternity’s engine.
He himself had sunk two martinis before the meal and God knew how many bottles of Kirin beer with it.
Kirin Company, Limited is an integrated beverages company. It was founded in 1885 and its headquarters are in Nakano-ku, Tokyo.
“He’d probably seen Jack Webb in that movie The D.I. about sixty times, and he actually thought he was doing me a favor.”
Jack Webb (1920-1982) was an American actor, television producer, director, and screenwriter, who is most famous for his role as Sgt. Joe Friday in the Dragnet franchise (which he also created. He was the founder of his own production company, Mark VII Limited.
The D.I. (1957) is a black-and-white military drama film starring, produced and directed by Jack Webb. It is about a Drill Instructor who drives a Private to the point of desertion.
 I feel like Ben’s response is King’s response to a first-reader’s feedback:
“I lost the weight so I could have a little dignity and a little peace. Those are things worth fighting for.”
Bill said, “All of that sounds wonderful, Ben… but the writer in me wonders if any kid ever really talked like that.”
Ben nodded, still smiling that peculiar smile. “I doubt if any kid who hadn’t been through the things we went through ever did,” he said. “But I said them… and I meant them.”
Bill thought about this and then nodded. “All right.”
“Maybe people don’t really change as much as we think. Maybe they just… maybe they just stiffen up.”
Bill said: “Then tell us what you can, Mike.”
“All right,” he said. “I will.”
 Kingverse + real world event:
“When that crazy cop killed all those women in Castle Rock, Maine… and those children that were murdered in Atlanta…”
In The Dead Zone, a police officer in Castle Rock turns out to be a serial killer.
The Atlanta murders of 1979-1981, sometimes called the Atlanta Child Murders (although several of the purported victims were adults), were a series of murders committed in the American city of Atlanta, Georgia. Over the two-year period, at least 28 African-American children, adolescents and adults were killed.
 I feel like King’s pulled this one out of his ass before (Reference to real theory/town?):
“There’s a medium-sized city in Texas where the violent-crime rate is far below what you’d expect for a city of its size and mixed racial make-up. The extraordinary placidity of the people who live there has been traced to something in the water… a natural trank of some kind.”
I can’t find a link to a real city from this, but I really feel like King’s used this yarn before. Maybe in a short story? Ringing any bells for anyone?
Printing straggled its way across the concrete retaining wall. It said:
COME HOME COME HOME COME HOME
Reference to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House (“Help Eleanor Come Home” is written on the walls), one of King’s acknowledged favorites.
Late in It, King twice echoes the opening paragraph of Hill House:
Bill thought, And whatever walked in Community House walked alone.
The seminary had graduated its last class in June of 1974. It had closed its doors that summer, and now whatever walked there walked alone…
“Nine children,” Beverly was saying softly. “I can’t believe it. I mean… I can believe it, but I can’t believe it.”
“None of you are in the H.L. Hunt class, certainly.”
Haroldson Lafayette “H. L” Hunt Jr. (1889-1974) was a Texas oil tycoon and conservative Republican political activist. By trading poker winnings for oil rights, he ultimately secured title to much of the East Texas Oil Field, one of the world’s largest oil deposits. His personal life, which featured many children by three wives, was among the chief inspirations for the television series Dallas.
They glanced around at each other almost furtively, embarrassed, as Americans always seem to be, by the raw fact of their own success – as if cash were hardcooked eggs and affluence the farts that inevitably follow an overdose of same.
“He was like one of those inflatable Joe Palooka dolls with sand in the base.”
Joe Palooka is an American comic strip about a heavyweight boxing champion, created by cartoonist Ham Fisher in 1921. The strip was adapted to a radio series, 12 feature-length films, nine film shorts, a syndicated television series, comic books and merchandise, including Joe Palooka “Bop Bags” that would rise after being punched.
“You didn’t happen to have a kid or anything after you left L.A., did you? Or maybe an unscheduled d and c, or something?”
According to hopkinsmedicine.org:
A dilation and curettage procedure, also called a D&C, is a surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated so that the uterine lining can be scraped with a curette to remove abnormal tissues.
 Time to rant:
Out of the corner of his eye Bill saw that Bev had pulled up to the table again. Good girl, he thought.
“Everything was very good,” Beverly said, and smiled (…) Girl’s got a lot of guts, Bill thought.
For fuck’s sake, Bill. She’s the same age as you, nearly forty – would you think “Good boy” if Eddie followed your orders? It’s subtle, this use of “girl” to refer to adult women, but it’s so damned insulting. (See previous rants… like Beaumont(h) Post 5, note .) Bill could have simply thought Good or even Well done, Bev in the first case, then She’s got a lot of guts in the second.
“A mutant fly. Courtesy of a writer named George Langlahan [sic].”
George Langelaan (1908-1972) was a French-British writer and journalist born in Paris, France. He is best known for his 1957 short story “The Fly,” which was the basis for the 1958 and 1986 sci-fi/horror films and a 2008 opera of the same name. Langelaan was a spy and special agent for the Allied powers in World War II and later was a friend of the occultist Aleister Crowley.