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RDJ-- Cowboy Spaghetti, 09-29-12  RDJ
 Oct 01, 2012 05:10 PDT 

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Volume 15      Number 183.5
US Library of Congress ISSN: 1530-3292
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Cowboy Spaghetti

1 pound spaghetti
Salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 slices of bacon, chopped
1 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
Ground black pepper
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beer
1 14 oz. can, chopped or crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz sharp Cheddar
4 scallions, chopped

Heat a pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and salt the water. Cook al
dente.

Heat a deep skillet over medium-high head. Add extra-virgin olive oil
and bacon. Brown and crisp bacon, 5 minutes, remove with a slotted
spoon. Drain off excess fat, leaving enough to coat bottom of the
skillet Add beef and crumble as it browns, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions
and garlic stirring into meat. Season meat with salt and pepper, hot
sauce and Worcestershire. Add 1/2 cup beer and deglaze pan. Cook 5 to 6
minutes more then stir in the tomato sauce.

Add hot spaghetti to meat and sauce mixture and combine. Adjust
seasonings and serve pasta in shallow bowls. Grate some cheese over the
pasta and sprinkle with scallions. Garnish with crisp bacon.


(nutritional info not available)
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AT THE MIDDLE PASSAGE
By Walter Mills


“I Was So Much Older Then, I’m Younger Than That Now”

Earlier this year, the poet/singer Bob Dylan turned 71 years old.
Performers age and songwriters lose their touch, but the songs
themselves stay forever young.

I first saw Dylan’s boyish face on an album cover - a cardboard
container for a vinyl recording that you may have seen in your parents’
basement. His hair was long and combed back in a pompadour. The album
was titled “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan,” and I didn’t know how to
pronounce his name. But I liked the photo of him on a city street with
his arm around a girl. He looked young and vulnerable, as though there
was a cold wind blowing and his thin jacket couldn’t keep him warm. I
was 12, reading comic books at the drug store, thumbing through the
record racks, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was on the radio.

I wasn’t a music consumer in those days and it took another two years
before I again had any consciousness of Dylan. I was listening to WNOR
or WGH, the two battling local AM rock and roll stations in Norfolk, Va.
when “Like a Rolling Stone” crashed through the car speakers like a
broadcast from an alien planet.

The song seemed to go on and on, twice the length of the normal 2 minute
30 second single. The words were encoded, layered and jumbled and I only
caught a glimpse of the things they referred to. It was not like beach
music or even the pure pop joy of the Beatles that was playing that
summer as we rode the rides at Oceanview Amusement Park or hung out at
the 7-Eleven learning how to smoke.

Dylan was a wild-eyed, word-drunk symbolist songwriter with a heavy debt
to the French boy-poet Rimbaud and his “deliberate disorientation of the
senses.” He was an urban hipster out of the Midwest and he sang in the
gravely voice of a carnival barker. Parents must have thought he was
calling their children inside a sideshow tent where we would all be
transformed, like Pinnochio, into braying jackasses.

Each morning before we left for school, my buddy Sam and I would put
that 45 record on the turntable and listen to its carnival calliope
opening rift. Then in the evenings Sam would sit on the edge of the bed
in my room upstairs and try to strum the chords on his Martin guitar
while I faked the intro on a Horner Marine Band harmonica. And we would
sing in nasal voices songs with preposterous names like Positively 4th
Street and Desolation Row.

In 1965 Bob Dylan came to town and Sam and I took our harmonicas to the
Norfolk Arena where we sat in the upper section in a crowd of manic
fans. He came on stage alone, pale and thin in a black suit and white
high-buttoned shirt, with two acoustic guitars and a harmonica on a neck
brace. The pearl face of the guitar flashed streaks of light around the
auditorium as voices called out song requests in the dark.

When I was around 16 someone gave me an album of Dylan songs as recorded
by the Hollywood Strings. It was strange to hear the tunes backed by
lush orchestration and a hundred violins. The music hidden below
Dylan’s harsh voice really was lovely, but that was the last thing we
were interested in. Dylan appealed to us because he seemed dangerous.
His pain was complicated, full of betrayal, and he turned his anger
against the fakes and phonies that we had all seen already, even if we
were only 16.

I watched Dylan live from Australia on the Academy Awards show a few
years ago. He still looked like he was standing in a cold wind. But we
are middle-aged and we have forgotten that real honesty is dangerous and
that change is unceasing. We were older then, but we’re younger than
that now.




Read more of Walt's writing at his blog:
http://americanimpressionist.wordpress.com/

(The above column originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times and is
copyright © 2012 by Walter Mills. All rights reserved worldwide. To
contact Walt, address your emails to    awmi-@verizon.net ).
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