Nighthawks and Night Stalkers.












Nighthawks is a 1942 oil on canvas painting by Edward Hopper that portrays people in a downtown diner late at night as viewed through the diner’s large glass window. The light coming from the diner illuminates a darkened and deserted urban streetscape. Wikipedia

Are there really such things as “night people?” Does the Moon affect people’s behavior? Let’s have a few short ideas about the night. I can’t guarantee it’s all true!!!

First of all, the painting Nighthawks. In an odd twist of culture, I knew this painting as a young kid. Not because I had been to the Art Institute of Chicago where it resides, or not even a passing glance when Ferris Bueller stopped in that building on “his day off.” No, I knew this painting because it was included in the fun board game “Masterpiece.” I always thought the artwork was called “Phillies 5 Cent Cigars.” Oh well! The idea of the game was to buy and trade “classic art” paintings while amassing the most money and avoiding the two rotating forgery paintings. They don’t make the game anymore, but It was a lot of laughs; especially as my father would actively engage in “questionable behavior,” i.e. cheating, as he maneuvered to “reallocate” forgeries under the table! Hahahahaha! I was thinking about making a similar homemade version of the game with local art pictures and treacherous dice rolls such as inquires from the FBI, and shady dealings from “less than honest” auction houses.

Next, we talk about The Night Stalker. Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an American television series that aired on ABC during the 1974–1975 season. The series followed wire service reporter Carl Kolchak (Darren McGavin) who investigates mysterious crimes with unlikely causes, particularly those involving the supernatural or science fiction, including fantastic creatures (Thanks, Wiki!).  I remember watching it as a kid. For those of us who still needed a “fix” from the demise of the show, Dark Shadows, Kolchak was King! The show would go on to be an influence to Chris Carter who created The X-Files, and McGavin would also guest role in a few episodes of The X-Files, and a role that I forgot about; the beloved father in the classic Christmas movie; A Christmas Story. “Forget it….you’ll shoot your eye out!”









While we’re here……….my friend Jonas (Joan to the rest of you), was the first to point out to me that the fictitious mansion “Collinswood” from the show Dark Shadows, was none other than the Carry Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. This tidbit was revealed as we had another excellent bike ride through Newport!

So, now that we have sufficiently digressed in typical Zulu Delta fashion, let “try” to get back on track. Are there really “night people?”

I came across an article called “Morning People Vs. Night Owls: 9 Insights Backed By Science.

Among other things; It’s estimated that roughly only 50% percent of the population is deemed either a night person or a day person. Larks (early person) vs Night Owls. Additionally, Ben Franklin’s axiom about “Early to bed; Early to rise,” does not automatically show concrete evidence for success in life.

I have often thought of myself as a “night guy” trapped in a “day guy’s life.” Regardless of how much or how little sleep I get at night, I despise getting up in the morning. It’s not just moving out into the cold air, or the preparation/dread of my return to “the mine,” for work, it’s the idea of leaving my dreaming head full of ideas, abstract thoughts, and especially nonsense, to concentrate on reality; an over-rated concept at best!

So, does being a “night person” actually give you “superpowers” to be able to work all night long; unaffected by the tug and pull of the moon and celestial bodies? Unlikely. This is especially true of people who work rotating shifts; regardless of age or condition of their body. I know this from my own experiences manning a Navy Bridge Watch to working the night shift at a power plant. People may pull this duty for a long time, but that doesn’t mean they like it or it doesn’t take a toll on the human body. Those who work a “regular” night shift have easier times managing the stresses on the body. “B” in law enforcement, “S” as an EMT/ Firefighter, and “B” working frontline in the emergency room all agree; moving from one shift to the other shift, regardless of the incredible shape these 3 are in, is not easy.

Of course, musicians are a wholly unique “breed of night cats,” so all bets are off there.

I think we’ll save our theories and insights about the effects or non-affects of the moon on people’s bizarre behavior for another blog (just as soon as I can decipher how the word “effect” and “affect” can be used in the same sentence to describe the moon and both be correct in its place and time).

I will leave you this quote from our friend “M” who is also in law enforcement.” I don’t think the full moon has that big of an effect on people. People are going to do what they are going to do. I think people are crazy EVERY night!”

“M”……I agree, but it is odd how the night brings out some very whacky behavior!




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