“IT” (Post 6/9)

07It Month Introduction

[Explanation of Reading Journal Entries/Ratings]

In this part, we’ll cover:

Chapter 11

Chapter 12


Chapter 11: Walking Tours

[214]

But there, less than forty yards from where he stood, people walked back and forth in their shirtsleeves. There, less than forty yards from where he stood, was a tubeway of bright white light, thrown by the overhead fluorescents. Little kids giggled together, high-school sweethearts held hands (and if the librarian saw them, she would make them stop). It was somehow magical, magical in a good way that he had been too young to account for with such mundane things as electric power and oil heat. The magic was that glowing cylinder of light and life connecting those two dark buildings like a lifeline, the magic was in watching people walk through it across the dark snowfield, untouched by either the dark or the cold. It made them lovely and Godlike.

(p.544)

[215] Reference:

Reagan, Ben recalled, had been the host of GE Theater in the year that Ben had graduated from the fifth grade.

(p.546)

 

General Electric Theater was an American anthology series hosted by Ronald Reagan that was broadcast on CBS radio and television. It ran from 1953 to 1962.

[216]

That feeling of déjà vu swept over him again. He was helpless before it, and this time he felt the numb horror of a man who finally realizes, after half an hour of helpless splashing, that the shore is growing no closer and he is drowning.

(p.546)

[217] Reference (real zip?):

“Hemingford Home, Nebraska.” (…) Zip code: “59341.”

(p.549)

 

59341 is the postal code for Mildred, an unincorporated community in Prairie County, Montana.

[218] Reference:

An old man (…) went on leafing through a folio of Luis de Vargas’ sketches.

(p.550)

 

Luis de Vargas (1502-1568) was a Spanish painter of the later-Renaissance period, active mainly in Seville.

[219] Reference: (and nice touch. Reggie Nalder played the vampire Barlow in Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot miniseries.)

It was no movie Dracula; it was not Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee or Frank Langella or Francis Lederer or Reggie Nalder.

(p.552)

 

Francis Lederer (1899-2000) was a Czech-born film and stage actor with a successful career, first in Europe, then in the United States. He played Count Dracula in The Return of Dracula in 1958 (he also played Dracula in a 1971 episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery).

[220] There’s an exchange between Ben and a crazy old man named Brockhill about silver dollars not working as silver bullets – is this a nod to Cycle of the Werewolf?

[221]

“You do look a little better,” she said, but she said it doubtfully, as if understanding that this was the proper thing to say but not really believing it.

(p.554)

[222] Reference:

That’s what happened when you got back to your used-to-be, as the song put it.

(p.555)

 

“Your Used to Be” is a song written by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller and performed by Brenda Lee, released in 1963.

“Used to Be” (with the line “Get used to being my used to be”) is the opening track of Rory Gallagher’s (excellent) album Deuce (1971).

Neither song has a line matching what King is referencing, but judging by the rest of the references in this thing, I’m going with the Brenda Lee song.

[223] Vocabulary:

Her shining blonde hair falling to the shoulders of her culotte dress.

(p.558)

 

Culottes are an item of clothing worn on the lower half of the body. The term can refer to split skirts, historical men’s breeches, or women’s under-pants. Modern English use of the word culottes describes a split or bifurcated skirt or any garment which “hangs like a skirt, but is actually pants.”

[224] Vocabulary:

Mullioned windows.

(p.559)

 

A mullion is a vertical element that forms a division between units or a window, door, or screen, or is used decoratively.

[225] Reference:

Long-distance haulers – Jimmy-Petes and Kenworths and Rios [sic?].

(p.559)

 

I think this is meant to refer to the REO Motor Car Company, a Lansing, Michigan-based company that produced automobiles and trucks from 1905 to 1975.

[226] Reference:

His voice as much a part of the game to Eddie then as Mel Allen’s later became.

(p.559)

 

Mel Allen (1913-1996) was an American sportscaster, best known for his long tenure as the primary play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees. Years after his death, he is still promoted as having been “The Voice of the Yankees.”

[227]

Coming back to where you grew up is like doing some crazy yoga trick, putting your feet in your own mouth and somehow swallowing yourself so there’s nothing left; it can’t be done, and any sane person ought to be fucking glad it can’t.

(p.560)

[228]

Real loneliness was a smeary red: the color of the taillights of the car ahead of you reflected on wet hottop in a driving rain.

(p.561)

[229]

There one second… gone the next.

It did not fade, like a ghost in a movie; it simply winked out of existence. But Eddie heard a sound which confirmed its essential solidity: a pop! Sound, like a cork blowing out of a champagne bottle. It was the sound of air rushing in to fill the place where the leper had been.

(p.567)

King uses this air-rushing-into-a-vacant-spot trick a couple of more times in the book but it’s good and it works.

Then there is a sudden loud pop – the sound of a plastic cork thumbed out of a bottle of cheap champagne. The head disappears (Real, Mike thinks sickly; there was nothing supernatural about that pop, anyway; that was the sound of air rushing back into a suddenly vacated space…)

(p.714)

[230] This paragraph feels like another author’s style. I love it, but it’s very un-King-like; he who gives everyone a name and backstory and doesn’t go much for stylistic passages breaks many of his own rules here:

Eddie ran. He ran and ran and at some point he collapsed in a dead faint near McCarron Park and some kids saw him and steered clear of him because he looked like a wino to them like he might have some kind of weird disease for all they knew he might even be the killer and they talked about reporting him to the police but in the end they didn’t.

(p.569)

[231] This position doesn’t seem quite possible:

She shivered, hugging her arms across her breasts in an x, cupping her elbows in her palms.

(p.572)

[232]

But I won’t ring. I don’t want to see him. I won’t ring the bell.

This was a firm decision, at last! The decision that opened the gate to a full and useful lifetime of firm decisions! She walked down the path! Back to downtown! Up to the Derry Town House! Packed! Cabbed! Flew! Told Tom to bug out! Lived successfully! Died happily!

Rang the bell.

(p.573)

[233] Reference:

The old Kelvinator refrigerator with the round drum on top.

(p.575)

Looking through antique refrigerators on eBay, I found several models (mostly 30s and 40s) with round drums on top. I think those were compressors.

[234] Reference:

There was an Amana Radar Range above [the stove].

(p.575)

 

A rusty Amana refrigerator.

(p.824)

 

Amana Radar Range was a model of microwave. The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation.

The Amana Corporation is an American brand of household appliances. It was founded in 1934 by George Foerstner as The Electrical Equipment Co. in Middle Amana, Iowa, to manufacture commercial walk-in coolers.

[235] Reference:

A gigantic surprise-quilt lay on the bed.

(p.576)

It’s oddly difficult for me to track down what someone means by “surprise” quilt but I think it’s when a quilt has flaps or folds where designs are hidden.

[236] References:

A pair of starkly efficient Tensor lamps (…) A beautiful breakfront stood below the picture of JFK.

(p.576)

From Jay Monroe’s New York Times obituary:

Jay Monroe, an engineer whose wife’s discontent over the strong light he needed for bedtime reading provoked him to invent a high-intensity, low-voltage minilamp whose use spread to desks, jewelers’ worktables, limousines and far beyond, died on June 12 [2007]. (…)

Mr. Monroe created the Tensor lamp, then manufactured and sold it. The small, skinny lamp focused a narrow cone of high-intensity white light, making shapes, colors and objects appear sharper to the eye. (…) It soon became an American staple, a lamp that students took to college, couples installed on each side of the bed and stamp collectors adored.

 

A breakfront is a piece of furniture (especially a bookcase or cabinet) having the line of its front broken by a curve or angle.

[237]

“No, thank you,” Beverly heard her mouth say in a child’s high oh-I-must-be-going voice. The words did not seem to originate in her brain; rather they came out of her mouth and then had to travel around to her ears before she was aware of what she had said.

“No?” the witch asked, and grinned. Her claws scrabbled on the plate and she began to cram thin molasses cookies and delicate frosted slices of cake into her mouth with both hands. Her horrid teeth plunged and reared, plunged and reared.

(p.578)

[238]

“No one who dies in Derry really dies.”

(p.579)

[239] Reference:

There was a 1958-style coonskin cap, the kind popularized by Fess Parker in the Disney movie about Davy Crockett.

(p.580-81)

 

Fess Parker (1924-2010) was an American film and television actor best known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney miniseries and as Daniel Boone in a television series from 1964 to 1970. He was also known for being a winemaker and resort owner-operator.

[240] Our first real clue of It’s origins:

Written onto each balloon was the legend IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE.

(p.581)

[241] Reference:

Whopping out “Gloria” or “Surfin’ Bird” with gleeful drunken ferocity.

(p.583)

…all right. “Surfin’ Bird” is the actual name of “the bird is the word” song. It was performed by American surf rock band The Trashmen, released in 1963. Sorry for getting it stuck in your head.

[242] Reference:

After a couple of drinks or some pretty good Panama Red.

(p.583)

A strain of marijuana. (New Riders of the Purple Sage put out an album called The Adventures of Panama Red in 1973 and, according to whoever edits their Wikipedia page, “Panama Red” is their best known song. Which means I should have been hip to this.)

[243] Reference:

They would all be home watching Jimmy [sic] Dodd and the Mouseketeers.

(p.588)

 

Jimmie Dodd (1910-1964) was best known as the MC of the popular 1950s Walt Disney television series The Mickey Mouse Club, as well as the writer of its well-known theme song, “The Mickey Mouse Club March.”

[244] References:

Richie thought he looked like Wally Cox in his Mr. Peepers role.

(p.589)

 

Wally Cox (1924-1973) was an American actor and comedian, particularly associated with the early years of television in the United States. He appeared in the U.S. television series Mister Peepers from 1952 to 1955 as a junior high school science teacher. He was also the voice of Underdog.

[245] Reference:

Jerry Lee Lewis telling the young people of America we got chicken in the barn, whose barn, what barn, my barn.

(p.590)

 

Lyrics from “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” a song written by Dave “Curlee” Williams and usually credited to him and James Faye “Roy” Hall. The song was first recorded by Big Maybelle in 1955, though the best-known version is the 1957 version by Jerry Lee Lewis.

[246] Reference:

The hoarse enthusiastic voice of Arnie Ginsberg [sic].

(p.590)

 

Arnie “Woo-Woo” Ginsburg (b.1926) was an American disc jockey in the Boston radio market from the mid-1950s to the 1970s. Following this period, he became involved in the business side of radio as a business manager, president and owner.

[247] References:

When Frankie Ford sang “Sea Cruise.”

(p.590)

 

Frankie Ford (1939-2015) was an American rock and roll and rhythm and blues singer, best known for his 1959 hit “Sea Cruise.”

[248] Reference:

The Dovells, who danced as good as black guys.

Well, almost.

(p.597)

 

The Dovells were an American music group, formed in Philadelphia in 1957. Their first national hit was “Bristol Stomp,” a dance song. They appeared in the Chubby Checker movie Don’t Knock the Twist in 1961.

[249] Vocabulary:

The forehead was low and beetling.

(p.592)

 

beetle

verb – (of a person’s eyebrows) project or overhang threateningly.

[250] Reference:

Here sits a man with Bass Wejuns on his feet.

(p.595)

An April 1, 2013 Ivy Style article titled “From Peasantry To Palm Beach: The Story Of The Bass Weejun” has an old ad for Weejuns which states:

Not shoes, not slippers, not moccasins… but all three!

Originally made and worn by Norwegian peasants – and now worn as sports shoes by some of the best dressed men in America.

[251] Reference:

Hadn’t he sat in radio studios at one time or another reading news copy about such fellows as Idi Amin Dada and Jim Jones and that guy who had blown away all those folks in a McDonalds just down the road apiece?

(p.595)

 

Idi Amin Dada (~1923-2003) was a Ugandan political leader and military officer who was the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin’s rule was characterized by rampant human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000.

[252] References:

That movie had been The Crawling Eye with Forrest Tucker.

(p.596)

 

The Trollenberg Terror (a.k.a. The Crawling Eye in the United States) is a 1958 independently made British black-and-white science fiction film. The film was the first of many to be mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000 after the series moved to Comedy Central.

Forrest Tucker (1919-1986) was an American actor in both movies and television who appeared in nearly a hundred films. At six feet five inches he was one of the tallest stars in Hollywood.

[253] Reference:

“ALL DEAD” ROCK SHOW (…)

PHIL LINOTT [sic] GUITAR

(p.597)

I’m getting annoyed by how many famous peoples’ names are misspelled in King books. The internet makes it easier to figure this shit out, but come on – he’s a bestselling author, someone can at least make sure he spells names right or correct it in future editions.

Phil Lynott (1949-1986) was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy.

[254] Reference:

Holding a babydoll by its blonde Arnel hair.

(p.608)

There is a “Creative Hair Systems” company founded by Arnell Ignacio that I don’t think has anything to do with this reference.

[255] Reference:

The radio voice of a disc jockey identifying himself as “your pal Bobby Russell.”

(p.610)

According to the website for Stephen King’s radio station WKIT 100.3, Bobby Russell is one of the hosts of the Rock N’ Roll Morning Show. He became a Bangor DJ in 1978.

[256] References:

Andy Devine as Guy Madison’s sidekick Jingles yelling, Hey, Wild Bill, wait for me!

(p.617)

 

He and Georgie sat watching Guy Madison and Andy Devine in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok.

(p.681-82)

 

Andy Devine (1905-1977) was an American character actor and comic cowboy sidekick known for his distinctive raspy, crackly voice. He co-starred on the television show The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1951-1958) as the comedy sidekick, Jingles P. Jones. Guy Madison (1922-1996) starred as Hickok.


Chapter 12: Three Uninvited Guests 

[257] Bev’s voice, to Bowers:

Did you want to get into my panties, Henry? another voice teased. Too bad! I let all of them do me, I was nothing but a slut.

(p.624)

This seems like Bowers hallucinating in a bastardly way on your first reading, but then you find out that Beverly did indeed have sex with all the boys in the tunnels under Derry. This does not make her a slut, but the first half of her statement is… well, it’s kind of true.

It’s incredibly disappointing that Beverly is mostly defined as an object of abuse and desire by males (see Post 8, note [307]).

[258] There are touches and nods to other works of horror. King’s already referenced Shirley Jackson and The House on Haunted Hill (Post 5, note [206]). Then:

It was Victor Criss, whose head (…) had been torn off by the Frankenstein-monster.

(p.626)

A Victor being killed by a Frankenstein-monster? Nice. Later, we get a Lovecraft/“Pickman’s Model” nod:

“That old geezer who paints those funny pictures and drinks all night at Wally’s – Pickman, I think his name is.”

(p.651)

[259] Reference:

He had broken the top off another vase, this one of Waterford crystal.

(p.634)

 

Waterford Crystal is a manufacturer of crystal. It is named after the city of Waterford, Ireland. The origins of the crystal production in Waterford dates back to 1783.

[260] Reference:

This [cigarette] was staler than the ERA in the Illinois State Senate.

(p.636)

According to Illinois.gov:

In March 1972 the U.S. Congress voted (…) to adopt an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The issue was then sent to the states, with passage in thirty-eight states required for adoption. (…) By 1973 thirty states had passed the amendment, but surprisingly, it had already gone down to defeat in the Illinois legislature in 1972. (…)

1973 saw the emergence of a counter-ERA movement, aptly labeled Stop ERA. It was led by Phyllis Schlafly (Post 1, note [24]). (…) As the only northern industrial state not to pass the measure early on, Illinois became a hotly contested battleground state. Every year from 1972 to 1982 the issue went before the Illinois legislature; sometimes the Illinois House passed it, sometimes the Senate, but never both chambers in the same year.

[261] Reference:

He had rubbed his thumb and forefinger together in a baksheesh gesture.

(p.641)

 

noun – (in parts of Asia) a small sum of money given as alms, a tip, or a bribe.

[262] Reference:

She (…) poured herself a cup of coffee from the Silex on Freddie’s hotplate.

(p.642)

 

Proctor Silex was created in 1960 with the merger of Proctor Electric and Silex Company. Proctor Silex made electrical household appliances like vacuum coffee makers.

[263] Vocabulary:

Hiding in the puckies beside Route 9.

(p.646)

WordReference.com has a thread (started on December 13, 2016) where people discuss King’s use and meaning of the word “puckies” (he’s used it more than once). From context (and being a fellow New Englander), this sounds like a variation on “prickers,” what we called any plant with thorns or burrs.


Post 7

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