The Pride Of Cucamonga

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Saturday, 9:59pm
Reno, NV
Out on the edge of an empty highway, howling at the blood on the moon… ” (Grateful Dead, “The Pride of Cucamonga”)

Howdy…

Quick post tonight…

… just to let the conspiracy theorists know I’m still rattling around this mortal coil.

But it’s gotta be quick… because I’m heading off to celebrate Pop’s 90th birthday down in Cucamonga.

(Okay, okay… I know it’s now called “Rancho Cucamonga”, but they tacked on the rancho part long after I’d left town… and without my permission, too.  Bastards.)

Anyway, it’s always a treat to head back down to that weird, wonderful, whacked-out dream-scape desert in the spooky foothills of Mount Baldy.

Things are different there, that’s for sure.

I can never go home again… but it’s kinda fun to visit once in a while.

My Pop is a force of nature.  He’s one of the friendliest, most generous and vibrant men you’ll ever meet… and has kept up that attitude his entire life.

(Plus, he still kicks my ass at cards.) (And he’s more active than I am, too — goes ballroom dancing several times a week, works on the house and at projects as hard as he did 50 years ago.  Puts his lazy kids to shame… and we love him for it.)

So I’m clearly hoping I inherited enough of his robust DNA to buy me another few decades, too.

It’s amazing when you realize that the guy was born into the Industrial Age… had his first encounter with snow digging a foxhole in it in Belgium in the Battle of the Bulge… settled back into civilian life in the dawn of the Atomic Age… and now surfs the Web gleefully in the Information Age.

What he’s witnessed and been part of boggles the mind.

And yet… things aren’t exactly getting any slower or more coherent for his kids and grandkids and great-grandkids.

Makes my head hurt just thinking about it.

Anyway, I’m off for a few days to the old homestead near Route 66 (where the ancient Spanish Trail used to wind through SoCal) to give the guy his due.

In the meantime…

… here’s a nice testimonial we just received about this blog… which might give you a hint as to something you can do until I’m back in the saddle here:

“Dude,
I’ve read through your blog like a mad man on crack,
there were so many gems that I took what I could and applied it.
It’s been 3 months since I became a copywriter for other people.
I’ve just had my first 3 contracts finalized this week and it was based
on a dummy copy I was writing using your systems and ideas.
Thanks again John,

Adil
“The 20-year-old writer”

Now, putting aside the disturbing visual of this blog as “crack”, young Adil has nevertheless done something I’ve advised many others to do…

… but few have followed up on.

Namely… haunt the freakin’ archives of this blog.

It’s crammed with goodies and treasure.

I mean, c’mon.  Most blogs out there dribble out happy little bits of info, or carefully spread out a few thin, short points here and there…

… all while posting frequently purely for optimizing search engine results.

That’s so cold-blooded.

Here, the stories run rampant and long.  You may be asked to think.  And you won’t be coddled.

Just get over your bad self’s thinking that anything you read must be “new” to be “good”.  There are posts going back 5 years in these archives that can still thrill, chill and beguile…

… all while sneaking excellent lessons on life and biz into your brain.

So, go explore.

I’ll be back next week…

Stay frosty,

John

13 Responses to The Pride Of Cucamonga

  1. Beguile?

    Well, I learn something new everyday. Nice word! Thx.

    Main Entry: be·guile
    Pronunciation: \bi-?g?(-?)l, b?-\
    Function: verb
    Inflected Form(s): be·guiled; be·guil·ing
    Date: 13th century
    transitive verb
    1 : to lead by deception
    2 : hoodwink
    3 : to while away especially by some agreeable occupation; also : divert 2
    4 : to engage the interest of by or as if by guile

  2. Hey John,

    Funny you should mention the idea of haunting the archives here. I’ve made it part of my daily routine to read through it. I’m doing it systematically, a few posts a day, and Adil’s right – there are big, raw nuggets of golden information in there, just waiting to be discovered.

    Anyway, enjoy your time off… I’m going to go read some more of those old posts.

    -David Raybould

  3. Dude,
    you used my testimonial, im touched.

    But definitely going through the rest of the blog to get more gems.

    Take care and happy birthday to your old man :)

    Adil

  4. I am working on reading all the archives.

    It’s fun and I have learned tons of “new” things.

    I love Cucamonga. I envy you getting to visit there

    and see your dad. I lost mine a year ago…

    Enjoy being with him while you can. You will

    be glad you did.

  5. An online copywriting library at your fingertips. Why wouldn’t you trawl through this blog? I want to be the female version of Mr Carlton when I’m 90.

  6. John,
    To give you some perspective of how much value I place on this blog in terms of devoting attention to a resource.

    As many people do, I read an RSS reader that contains my favorite blogs in the marketing arena. There are some of what I would call “Hall of Fame” marketers in that list.

    Then, there are some blog addresses that I type in once in awhile when I think about it.

    But there are only 3 blogs actually residing in my favorites bar on my web browser…those blogs I read whenever something new comes out…these are the 3 I pay most attention to.

    Yours is one of them. And yes, I’ve actually read a good portion of the archives to re-read the favorites.

    Not that you need any “validation” as a writer or marketing teacher, far from that of course…I just thought you should know how much attention you really have in the mind of this successful marketer. :)

    Thanks for the goldmine of marketing wisdom my friend.

    –Joseph Ratliff

  7. Thanks – the archives are priceless; a superb benchmark for world-class writing. Engaging writing is hard to find, John’s work is captivating, compelling and creatively profitable to study. After all these many years of studying John’s writing very carefully, it motivates me to always rewrite my copy to try and get more exciting, more relevant, more compelling. Great stuff to study and learn from here.

    -k

  8. Yeah, and why in the hell did they change Cucamonga’s name? Hey, it was good enough for an old Bob Hope joke, but nooooo, they have to slap Rancho on the front of it like J. Wayne himself is hiding up in them thar foothills. Progress sucks.

    From an old Pomona boy

  9. John – you might wanna reconsider letting certain members of the “net ” use your name in promoting your writing courses when said members have a hard time constructing a proper sentence… while on the road, if you catch my drift…

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