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MILITARY

Former US Attorney General Testifies for Plowshares Activists Ramsey Clark supports WA anti-nuke movement Ground Zero Center (Nov 28, 2010)

HEALTH

Hunger Up 36% in Washington State from Children's Alliance, cartoon by John Ambrosavage (Nov 28, 2010)

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The Progressive Tea Party? Maybe when it comes to surveillance issues Doug Collins, cartoon by Dan McConnell (Nov 28, 2010)
Obama Wooing 'Economic Royalists' FDR was way gutsier Norman Solomon, cartoon by David Logan (Nov 28, 2010)

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The Dirty Secret Behind 'Demon Tobacco' Regulation doesn't cover cigarette additives Doug Collins, cartoons by John Jonik (Nov 28, 2010)

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America’s Education Gender Gap Bill Costello, cartoon by John Ambrosavage (Nov 28, 2010)

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Washington State Votes Against Change Janice Van Cleve, cartoon by Dan McConnell (Nov 28, 2010)

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DeCourseys v. Real Estate Giant; Amazon Prevails in Customer Privacy Doug Collins, cartoon by John Ambrosavage (Nov 28, 2010)

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Poll: Southwest WA Supports Conservation Climate Solutions, cartoon by John Jonik (Nov 28, 2010)

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What Color Is Your Santa? holiday cartoons by John Ambrosavage (Nov 28, 2010)

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WA Doctors Tell McKenna: Put Patients Before Politics Doctors for America (Oct 25, 2010)

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No, Higher Consciousness Won’t Save Us Charles Reich got his second book right Norman Solomon (Oct 23, 2010)

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Modern-Day Debtors’ Prisons in WA ACLU of WA, with cartoon by John Jonik (Oct 23, 2010)

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Report: Racial Profiling Pervasive Across America OneAmerica (Oct 23, 2010)

WORLD

Port Townsend Food Co-op Rejects Israel Boycott Jefferson County BDS, cartoon by George Jartos (Oct 23, 2010)

HISTORY

A Bellhop in the Swingin' Seventies Overly detailed resume plus cartoon by John Ambrosavage (Oct 20, 2010)
Johnny Horizon's Draft Physical Can he avoid Vietnam? John Merriam (Oct 20, 2010)

AROUND WASHINGTON

Gregoire passes the hatchet; Bears love garbage; Where does the PUD travel to? featuring cartoons by Dan McConnell (Oct 20, 2010)

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Now's the Time to Expand Social Security Good for both Americans and American companies Steven Hill (Sept 9, 2010)

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Obama's Speech for Endless War Normon Solomon, cartoon by Dan McConnell (Sept 9, 2010)

ENERGY

Yellowstone: The #1 National Security Threat Unless we turn Wyoming into a new energy Mecca Martin Nix (Sept 9, 2010)

TECHNOLOGY

Biodefense, Biolabs and Bugs Seattle City Council takes an important first step to safety Labwatch.org (Aug 9, 2010)

WORKPLACE

Teenage Microsoft Sweatshop 15-hour shifts under poor conditions at Chinese factory from the National Labor Committee (May 16, 2010)

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Why US Immigration Policy Needs Tweaking Bill Costello, cartoon by David Logan (May 16, 2010)
Arizona Immigration Brouhaha Various opinions from near and far, cartoons by Logan and McConnell (May 2, 2010)

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The Coming Microcar Revolution Martin Nix (May 16, 2010)

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A Poetic Look at Tacoma Glass Art Museum; a limer-ICK Gerald McBreen (Mar 28, 2010)
Fall Is For Falling Out Of Love, etc. three poems Bob Markey (Mar 29, 2010)

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Who Rules America? Corporate conglomeration is leading to neofeudalism Don Monkerud, cartoon by John Jonik (Mar 27, 2010)

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Architects and Engineers Ask for New Look at 9/11 Doug Collins (Feb 20, 2010)

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Is Olympic Coverage Sexist? Media coverage rarely gives women equal treatment Univ. of Alberta (Jan 24, 2010)

RIGHT BRAIN

Why I Don't Come at Christmas Anymore not-so-jolly Saint Nick (Dec 18, 2009) Santa Gets Political art by Ambrosavage, Lande, and Dees (Dec 17, 2009)

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A People's History of Sports BOOK REVIEW Doreen McGrath (posted July 24, 2009)

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Cashing In On Earth's Cycles: Part 3 Alan Cheetham & Richard Kirby (posted July 24, 2009)
Obama: How Serious About Climate Change? Doug Collins (posted July 24, 2009)


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article below posted October 20, 2010    Bookmark and Share
A Bellhop in the Swingin’ Seventies

from the resume of John Ambrosavage

Cartoonist John Ambrosavage has had a lot of time on his hands lately, so he has been working on his resume. In detail.

Bellhop 1972–76

While I was in college I worked at the Hilton Hotel. During the "days of rage" of the 1970s I was serving the rich and privileged. This helped me prepare for all the work I did in law firms later in life.

Jimmy Liberty was the owner of the hotel. He was a Dapper Dan dude: a short, muscular, Mafioso-style big shot, but “unconnected” as far as I knew. He walked around with his chest puffed out in front of him like a pigeon, and a constant stream of cigar smoke following him around like a choo-choo train.

Once I was taking the bags up to the room of a short, bald, skinny, bent-over bespectacled dude. As we crossed the lobby he saw Jimmy and glad-handed him with a big slap on the back and said “Hello Jimmy, gosh darn it is good to see you! How is the wife, how are the kids?” Then when we got into the elevator he turned to me and said, “That Jimmy Liberty is such an asshole!” And I thought, "Geeze who's the asshole? Jimmy or YOU."

Jimmy’s “kids” were three daughters in their late teens to early twenties. Each and every year I worked there, Jimmy kept all “the girls," and also his wife, in brand new Cadillac Eldorado’s, fresh off the factory floor. Jimmy had one himself, and a Fleetwood too. Hell, for all I know, Jimmy’s cat drove a caddy.

It was a really fun job, except I eventually grew cynical and jaded, as I could tell just from looking at customers who was going to tip and who was not. Nicely burnished shoes were a big “tip off." When I found I was judging people by their feet, this disturbed me more than somewhat.

I was really thrown once, though. Europeans were typically bad tippers because they weren’t from a tipping culture. One day I was carrying the bags of a fellow who was wearing scuffed shoes and who was not only European, but also from Scotland! I thought, "Oh geez, there is going to be nothing here for me!" After I got him up to his room, set his bags on the luggage stand, turned on the AC, and opened the curtains, he slipped a bill into my hand as I left. I was surprised to even get a dollar, but when I got into the hallway I looked at the bill and it was a five! I was shocked.

I went back to his room and knocked on the door. He answered and I said, while holding up the bill, “Excuse me but did you know that you gave me a five?”

He looked at me with a smoldering stare and said, icily: “Yes.” Obviously he was on a one-man crusade to debunk the stereotype of the Scottish as cheapskates.

During this time I started informally drawing a cartoon strip called Super Bellman. Super Bellman had super powers which allowed him to be a vastly superior incompetent nit-wit. Kind of like me. Day after day I would doodle the adventures of Super Bellman in the margins of the daily log sheets we kept for accounting. Day after day I would send the log sheets down to accounting. Day after day I heard nary a word back from them about what they thought of my extensive doodles. One day though, I had to run something or other down to the accounting department, and I saw the walls were papered with my cartoon strips. Dozens of them. Wall to wall Super Bellman! I was humbled and proud at the same time.

An early "Ambrotoon"



There was a guy who ran a limo service in town named Troy. He had a few limos and limo drivers running around town in stretch caddies. He himself drove a beautiful 1956 Cadillac limo, black, chrome-filled, beautiful. GM bought it from him for their museum when he turned over a million miles on the car. I often chatted with Troy as he hung out in the lobby waiting for fares.

Once while I was talking to Troy, a quiet man wearing a super-loud sports jacket—a jacket that was as loud as he was meek—came up and pulled me aside and quietly asked if I could get him a woman. I gave him my standard reply which was, “Hey, I can’t even get myself a woman!”

I returned to chatting with Troy, and Troy stuffed a bunch of his business cards in my hand and said, “The next time that happens to you give the guy one of these!” I must admit that I was still so young and innocent that I was shocked. Troy looked like such a nice guy. Well, he was a nice guy, and a good businessman. Full service!

One of Troy’s drivers was a little guy in his sixties, as nice and polite a guy as you would want to meet. He was a Mormon and talked to me all the time about Mormonism. But he also gave me rides to my classes after my shift in his shiny blue stretch limo so I was glad to let him talk on.

In those days, in a less specialized world, the bell man also doubled as a room-service waiter. One morning, working the 7 to 3 shift, I was very bleary-eyed because the night before I had gone to a Patti Smith concert, where she had rocked my world and that of my friends. And after the show we had kept rocking, and of course drinking.

So, in a semi-functional state I took my first call of the day, for a bagel and coffee, up to a room. I knocked on the door, and Patti Smith answered! She was wearing a long t-shirt and looked like death warmed over. She looked just like I felt. I have felt a special bond with Patti ever since, except that my hero-worship was somewhat dimmed by the fact that she only tipped ten percent.

Which reminds me that once I got a call from a woman who by her accent was a New Yorker. She asked me for an iced coffee. I had never heard of such a thing. I said: “You want me to put ice in your coffee!?” There was a pregnant pause and she said, ”Yes,” and silently to herself, “You stupid hick,” I am sure!

Editor's note: Mr. Ambrosavage probably could add more detail and depth to his resume, but hopefully the above will suffice for the years 1972–1976.


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Comments (5)

Please keep comments polite and related to the above page.



#1 - Cousin It - 10/21/2010 - 11:13
Before we hire you, we'll have to know what you've done since 1976.
--Human Resources Dept.

#2 - Zariel - 01/09/2012 - 03:34
Good to find an expert who knows what he's takling about!

#3 - kohjxu - 01/10/2012 - 02:56
avYqvy plkbpusihvmx

#4 - huoxumyoi - 01/12/2012 - 06:50
42cULO cdmqbzyfntrn

#5 - Kurt Peterson - 02/18/2013 - 19:32
During the early 70's I was in Madison working the Holiday Inn on East Washington. Dealt with a lot of interesting people during the night audit from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Glad to see you are still out there alive and well, John.

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