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The "off" amount and percentage simply signifies the calculated difference between the seller-provided price for the item elsewhere and the seller's price on eBay. Nothing new here. A woman who wanted to be right up there with successful male head bangers. She did, of course, succeed. Her life was was composed, as they say of sex, drugs and rock n'roll which was starting to be in vogue at that time, and she was admired and applauded for it. Actually her voice was so raw and irritating that a lot of people just walked out of her concerts.

As i think of it now and what i see now she was pretty mild. Signs of the times i guess. Of course her life was cut short like so many other super stars. Janis, you would be my age now; but i think growing old was not an option for you.


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Skip to main content. We're sorry, something went wrong. Please try again. About this product. Make an offer:. Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. Ceci's African Kitchen Paperback or Softback. However, with the downsizing of the oil refineries, a process that began in the s, Port Arthur lost thousands of jobs.

Today, it's just "a poor, beat-up remnant of a town," as Moriaty puts it. Go downtown and you'll find no hardware stores, pharmacies, or department stores, only a few scattered businesses: a nail salon, a bar, and a chemotherapy clinic—the legacy of all that smelly air. Even the bus station is shuttered. Port Arthur's finest hotel, the elegant twelve-story Goodhue, the site of Janis's high school reunion, is gone, torn down. Small wonder, then, that what's left of the "Yankee elite" congregates at the Port Arthur Club, a windowless building where members can while away the hours reminiscing about the good old days without having to look out at the boarded-up storefronts all around.

Once controlled by whites, Port Arthur is now predominantly black, with a smaller but significant Vietnamese population. In the late seventies, whites began moving to nearby Port Neches, Groves, and Nederland, some say to avoid school integration.


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  • Alice Echols Scars of Sweet Paradise: the life and times of Janis Joplin.

Like many other towns facing economic ruination, Port Arthur has tried to put a good face on its troubles by erecting a tribute to itself, the Museum of the Gulf Coast. It's perhaps the most telling sign of the town's desperation that Janis is prominently featured there. Some things, however, never change. When an elderly white volunteer learns why I've stopped in, she can't resist telling me that she has never approved of Janis, thereby allowing me to glimpse, if only for a moment, what it was like being Janis Joplin in Port Arthur.

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Dorothy grew up on a farm in Nebraska and a ranch in Oklahoma. After her father's hog-farming venture failed, he moved the family to Amarillo and embarked on a career selling real estate. Dorothy's mother, a dour woman whose mood wasn't helped by her husband's womanizing and drinking, fled the family several times. Dorothy witnessed terrible shouting matches between her parents and vowed that when she was married she would always "make things work. His father managed the stockyards in Amarillo, but the family was far from financially comfortable.

To make ends meet the Joplins took in boarders. Lots of poorer Americans did this, but most didn't split up their own families. The Joplins, however, felt they had to protect their children from the rough-and-tumble stockyard workers moving in and so they settled their daughter in town and installed Seth in a small cabin behind the house. Dorothy had a powerful soprano voice, but Amarillo afforded her few opportunities for showing it off. Her voice did land her a college scholarship at Texas Christian University. Dissatisfied with the college's singing program, she returned to Amarillo, where she found a temporary job as a sales clerk at Montgomery Ward.

Although there were limits to how far a woman could go in those years, Dorothy went pretty far. In no time she'd displaced the vacationing worker, and shortly thereafter she was named department head. He said it was the Depression rather than poor grades that forced him to drop out during his final semester. Though only a term short of graduating, Seth never completed his degree. Returning to Amarillo in , he found work pumping gasoline at a service station.

After hours he was reputed to be something of a "playboy. Seth met Dorothy on a blind date. In , about three years into their courtship, one of Seth's college friends recommended him for a job in Port Arthur at Texas Company, which would later be renamed Texaco. Dorothy's boss offered to double her salary if she would stay, but she chose to go to Port Arthur instead.

Seth worked at a Texaco plant that made petroleum containers, a job that doesn't seem to have involved any actual engineering work, although it did exempt him from military service during World War II. Family legend has it that even with the new job he and Dorothy were so poor they couldn't afford to get married right away. When they finally wed in , it was a spartan affair without a single relative in attendance. Before long, however, Dorothy's mother, now separated, showed up on their doorstep with her youngest daughter, Mimi, in tow.

Their arrival pushed Seth and Dorothy to buy their first house. When the Joplins weren't working, they were partying across the Sabine River in the bars of Vinton, Louisiana, the same town where Janis and her pals would drink and carouse.

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When Dorothy became pregnant, six years after they were married, their hijinks across the border came to an abrupt end. Janis Lyn was born on the morning of January 19, She remained an only child until she was six and, for those years at least, she was the undisputed star of the Joplin family. She also shone outside the home, doing so well at school she skipped the second grade. Up through the ninth grade, Janis was a popular girl; she even had a boyfriend, Jack Smith. Their relationship was "real tame," according to him, amounting to nothing more than going to a few church outings and movies together and playing bridge with her parents.

He also accompanied the Joplins to church, where Janis was getting a reputation for her singing. Jack reports that Janis was among the featured soloists in the church choir. She only sang solo on a verse here and there, but it was a big deal for Janis, who corralled Jack and others into going to church to hear her. Janis never mentioned this part of her teenage years to the press, preferring to tell apocryphal stories about stealing hubcaps.

But contrary to her legend, Janis didn't start out feeling like a nobody in Port Arthur. Far from it, contends Jack.

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SCARS OF SWEET PARADISE by Alice Echols | Kirkus Reviews

Janis's beautiful soprano voice must have pleased her mother—but it also pained her. Just before Janis's sixth birthday Dorothy had bought her a secondhand upright piano and had taught her how to play nursery tunes. Janis loved pounding away at the piano, but it didn't stay in the Joplin house for long.

Seth got rid of it when Dorothy's crystalline singing voice was destroyed by a thyroid operation that damaged her vocal chords. Unable to sing, Dorothy found it too painful listening to Janis, and Seth had always disliked the nightly cacophony anyway. One wonders how Janis absorbed their justifications for the piano's removal. Around the time Janis lost her piano she gained a sister. Though their home was still modest by any standards, it signaled their arrival in the middle class, even if only on its lower rungs.

Four years after Laura's birth, when Janis was ten, Michael was born. The Joplins had high hopes for their three children, whom they encouraged to read and study diligently. Self-improvement was the rule in the Joplin household. Dorothy arranged private art lessons for Janis, who loved to draw from an early age. In contrast to many of their peers, Janis, Laura, and Michael did not spend hours pasted in front of the family television set.

Dorothy was the parent who tried to instill discipline and the value of perseverance in the children. Although Laura writes with great affection about her mother, calling her the "best teacher" she ever had, she says Dorothy always "monitored" their lives, pushing them to excel, suggesting how they might improve on whatever they were doing, even if they were only playing. To most Port Arthurans, the Joplins seemed like the proverbial nice family.

Like so many other Americans who lived through the dislocations and deprivations of the Great Depression and the Second World War, Seth and Dorothy Joplin wanted nothing so much as a "normal" home. What was understood as normal in the postwar years, however, was qualitatively different from anything that had preceded it. Unfortunately, the harshness of their own early years put the Joplins at a disadvantage as they set out to raise a normal "fifties" family of their own.

They tried to be good parents, but they had each grown up in families with little intimacy or emotional warmth. Asked if Janis had received much affection growing up, Dorothy Joplin tellingly replied, "Well, she got her share. Dorothy Joplin was an attentive mother—she read Dr. Spock faithfully—but she was hardly warm or affectionate.

Scars of Sweet Paradise: the Life and Times of Janis Joplin, by Alice Echols (Virago, £9.99 in UK)

Bernard Giarratano, a social worker who counseled Janis when she was in her early twenties, describes Dorothy as "very straight, very staid, very somber. If she had passion, it was in the dark of night somewhere. Dorothy was "very straitlaced, critical, rigid, and cool—not a warm person. And though Seth could not be accused of being domineering, he too was emotionally distant and may well have been an alcoholic. An intensely private man who likened himself to a monk, Seth was "kind of in the background," which usually meant in the garage, the only place Dorothy would permit him to drink. Seth apparently spent hours in the garage tinkering and drinking, away from the rest of the family.

He was a discreet drinker, never a sloppy, public drunk. In fact, it seems only Dorothy knew that he drank; it must have pained her that he preferred solitude and the bottle to her company. And as a Sunday school teacher at Port Arthur's First Christian Church, she could hardly have been pleased that her husband was a nonbeliever. Despite their differences, Seth and Dorothy didn't fight, probably because Seth made himself scarce.