DEAR JOHN, or whatever your name is, you are about to get some real bad news. … “Dear John” is the theme of Tertulia night at the Continental Club Gallery (Upstairs), 7 PM Thursday November 1, 2012.

Dear John Deer, When Opposites are Tractors

I got a whole encyclopedia of broken hearts.

With a raft of stellar writers, musicians, artists and professional slackers, this Tertulia promises to be one of the best yet. What IS Tertulia? It’s a live, up close presentation of art: readings, musical performances, visual art, and sometimes, some unclassifiable “other.”

I have no idea what anyone else will be doing, but I’ll be reading my short story “Stars in Her Hair,” which you may have already read here on THIS BLOG. But Thursday I’ll be doing a special edit.

That was the day the space shuttle exploded. Every night he would look up at the sky and say, Hey baby, how’s it going up there? [Photo: Mona Pitts]

Presenters on this cool evening will be:

Valerie Fowler
Bale Allen
Heidi Stanfield
Kathie Sever
William Burkhardt
Theresa DiMenno
George Hampton
Amy Simon
Lindsay Greene
David Thornberry
Kathy McCarty

James McMurtry
Jon Dee Graham
Sarah Sharp
Simon Wallace
David Pulkingham

Liz Scanlon
Bernadette Noll
Kellie Salome
Nathan Brown
Jena Kirkpatrick
Spike Gillespie
Robert Kraft
Jesse Sublett
Bale Allen

Performance Art
William Graham

“Dear John, …”
Doors at 7:00 for the Art Opening
Performances begin at 7:30
By Iberian tradition, Tertulias are free


While the exact origins of the phrase are unknown, it is commonly believed to have been coined by Americans during World War II. Large numbers of American troops were stationed overseas for many months or years, and as time passed many of their wives or girlfriends decided to begin a relationship with a new man rather than wait for the original one to return.
As letters to servicemen from wives or girlfriends back home would typically contain affectionate language (such as “Dear Johnny”, “My dearest John”, or simply “Darling”), a serviceman receiving a note beginning with a curt “Dear John” would instantly be aware of the letter’s purpose.
A writer in the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, NY, summed it up in August 1945:
“Dear John,” the letter began. “I have found someone else whom I think the world of. I think the only way out is for us to get a divorce,” it said. They usually began like that, those letters that told of infidelity on the part of the wives of servicemen… The men called them “Dear Johns”.
An early reference to Dear John letters was made in a United Press article of March 21, 1944.[1]

Here is that article:

An early mention of the “Dear John” thing during World War II.

And this is kinda weird: John Mayer comments on Taylor Swift song, “Dear John,” which “humiliated” him, he says. But it’s really hard to get worked up about either one of them having emotional turmoil. Not exactly inspiration for a new blues song for me, anyway.

But if you live in South Austin, this Dear John story is pretty sad: John Mueller of Mueller’s barbeque trailer on South First, being kicked out of the biz by his sister. Damn. They have some drama in that family, like so many of the barbecue families, but they sure do know how to grill meat.

This is a good one, too, for all you illiterate people. The period you misplace could cost you your babe.

One more thing, and really, I hate to seem negative, because I’m a pretty positive person, I think, but I have to say, this really can’t be a good movie. I haven’t seen anything associated with Nicholas Sparks, the novelist, that wasn’t a sappy piece of lite crap. But here it is, they made a movie out of another one of this guy’s novels. This is the same guy who wrote Message in a Bottle, which, despite having that great actor, Kevin Costner (great, compared to, say, a bowl of plastic fruit), managed to disappoint my sleeping cats. Anyway, here it is, the movie called Dear John, based on the novel titled… ‘scuse me, I can’t seem to stay awake long enough to finish this sentence….

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