Episode 92: Dollop: Owen Kildare

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 Do you like pillow fuck meat?


In my imagination, this episode smells like sawdust, ball sweat, skunky beer, and just-turning meat.

I think I may have become a vegetarian.

My first thought when Owen’s story went off the rails (pun definitely intended) was: this is Tom Sawyer all grown up. Think about it: Kildare is certainly the guy who would want to watch his own funeral, and who would get in a few good looksees before letting all the weeping mourners know he was still alive.

But, alas, never the Twain shall meet.

(I sincerely apologize for that one.


No, I don’t.

At all.)

My Old Bailiwick; Sketches from the Parish of “My Mamie Rose” * Owen Kildare

Such a Woman * Owen Kildare and Leita Russell Bogartus Kildare (second love, first wife)

My Mamie Rose (illustrated): The Story of My Regeneration * Owen Kildare:

Many men have told the stories of their lives. I shall tell you mine. Not because I, as they, have done great and important things, but because of the miracle which transformed me.
If lives may be measured by progress mine may have some interest to you. When a man at thirty cannot read or write the simplest sentence, and then eight years later is able to earn his living by his pen, his story may be worth the telling.

New York Times:

Regeneration, the Raoul Walsh silent film (1915): The film used real prostitutes, gangsters, and homeless people on the Lower East Side of New York City as extras, which must have made for a very interesting craft services table gathering.

“So, what do you do?”

“I’ll do you, honey, next break.”

“Don’t talk directly to my dame, you go through me, see?”

Good times.

Maggie Weston in Regeneration
Maggie Weston in Regeneration

The movie has been restored and is in the public domain.

The Requiem of the “Has-Beens” * Owen Kildare (free ebook, Google Books)

My Rise From the Slums to Manhood: A True Story * Owen Kildare (free ebook, Google Books)

Five Points: The 19th-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World’s Most Notorious Slum * Tyler Anbinder

The Good of the Wicked: and The Party Sketches * Owen Kildare

Speaking of “the good of the wicked”, two references in this episode reminded me of American Horror Story: Freak Show: both the newsie as “child gladiator” and the male prostitute no-questions bar for men were represented in this season of AHS, which was set just after Kildare’s time. See, everything’s connected. So, if you want a little Lobster Boy with your Bowery Boy, Freak Show is your go-to AHS season.

I leave you this evening with the truer than true story of two writers larger than life: the Kipling of the Bowery…

93: Kipling of Bowery

and…the Kipling of…actual Kiplingness.

Bands from this episode:

  • Tin Ceiling
  • SmellHall
  • Meat Funk
  • Brody Jump
  • Growler Yoke
  • Meat Cramps

Cultural references from this episode:

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