Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Magazine Odyssey, Part Eleven by Greg Dziawer

Get it? Washington? York?


The renowned Mr. York.
In our last Wood Magazine Odyssey, I closed by asking the cryptic question: Who wrote "The Legend of Washington York?"

It's a question that continues to haunt me. I additionally opined that solving the York Riddle would spill us beyond the "next and final frontier" of Woodology. That tall claim intimidates as much as it excites me. Once again unto the breach, this week's Ed Wood Wednesdays falls eagerly headlong into the darkest corners of Woodology: the uncredited pictorial text and the gay-themed Pendulum-family mag.

The pictorial "The Legend of Washington York," from the Apr/May issue of Pendulum's Male Lovers, Vol 2 No 1 (and reprinted in the 1971 Male Lovers Annual), runs a mere four pages and its accompanying text is only 10 lines long:

WE'D LIKE YOU TO MEET WASHINGTON YORK,
A MAN WHO'S FAMOUS FOR A FOOT-LONG DORK.

WASH USED TO WORK IN A WRESTLING RING,
TILL HE DECIDED TO GIVE MOVIES A FLING.

"SO WHAT'S YOUR ACT?" ASKED THE TALENT SCOUT;
WASH OPENED HIS FLY AND YANKED OUT HIS TROUT.

"SWEET MOTHER!" CRIED THE MAN, "I AIN'T SEEN A DONG
THAT LONG OR SCARY SINCE THE MOVIE KING KONG!"

NOW LIFE IS EASY FOR WASHINGTON YORK;
HE JUST SITS BEFORE THE CAMERAS, PREENING HIS PORK.

Any of the Pendulum mag staffers could have written these freewheeling rhymed couplets on a lark. At the time, staffers included Leo Eaton, Robin "Redbreast" Eagle and William D. "Bill" Jones... and, of course, Ed Wood.

Though we still lack an answer to the crucial question of who wrote these lines, I must confess that this has become one of my favorite poems. Its accompanying pictorial achieves the pinnacle of Pendulum's authenticity.

Beyond that, I'll let it speak for itself.

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