You got to learn to walk before you can walk!
I usually save the music videos for the end, but damn it, this one deserves to start the show, because we are lucky it sill exists! (Lost and missing early television show recordings deserve an episode.) Rubes, I give you Ms. Patsy Cline, dedicated to our crazed pedestrians: “Walkin’ After Midnight”, on the Bradley Studios TV Hour, 1957:
Edward Payson Weston:
A Man in a Hurry: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Edward Payson Weston, the World’s Greatest Walker * Nick Harris, Helen Harris, and Paul Marshall
books by his mother, Maria, which he tried to sell door-to-door
photos of Edward Weston at Flickr Commons thanks to the Library of Congress
Weston and Pedestrian Era Walking Contest Rules at Walkapedia, which I had no idea was a thing
Nicholson finds people who walk only at night, or naked, or in the shape of a cross or a circle, or for thousands of miles at a time, in costume, for causes, or for no reason whatsoever. He examines the history and traditions of walking and its role as inspiration to artists, musicians, and writers like Bob Dylan, Charles Dickens, and Buster Keaton.
One more note about Weston the Pedestrian:
The Astley Belt: November 2, 1877, the Great International Pedestrian Tournament, London, England:
Weston did not do well, but tried again in January, 1878, but failed again due to being bumrushed by fans. You read that right:
Stepping off from London in driving snow, he made it 75 miles to Folkestone the first day. Alas, hampered by another injury – he was knocked down by overenthusiastic fans in Wimborne Minster – Weston fell 22 miles short of his goal.
and, finally, that fine gentleman from Concord…
Walking * Henry David Thoreau
But, lest we forget, one other fine gentleman, tarred and feathered though he was, tried to wager that he, too, could walk long distances. Alas, his long walk came to naught but a ditch. All hail Oofty Goofty.
Band names from this episode:
- 478 Miles (The Proclaimers cover band with some originals, very popular with the hipster set; first original hit: “She Drinks Blue Ribbon”)
- Rubber Suit
- Nightmare Jaunt (first single: “Betting on Myself”)
- Whiskey Boots (best known for “Weston the Pedestrian”)
- Whiskey Chafing
Culture references from this episode: