Friday, May 30, 2008

On The Good Ship Lollipop

The Fox Movie Channel was showing Shirley Temple movies earlier this month and I recorded Bright Eyes (1934) and Curly Top (1935). I grew-up watching Shirley Temple movies on television as a child and loved them all. As I got older I became more discriminating and now prefer the earlier ones to the later ones. This is because as Shirley grew older she became more polished as a performer. This happened so quickly you can see a marked difference between the Shirley in Bright Eyes and the Shirley in Curly Top. She plays more to the camera in Curly Top.

Bright Eyes was my favorite Shirley Temple movie as a child because it had Shirley, Jane Withers as a spoiled brat, and airplanes; including a Douglas DC-2. In fact, this is the movie where Shirley sang On The Good Ship Lollipop, a song which happens to be about an airplane and not a boat.

I had not seen either movie in a long time and was very surprised when Shirley's first scene in Bright Eyes had her walking alone down a busy highway trying to hitch a ride to the airport. That's right they show a five-year-old child hitchhiking. It was nerve wracking when a big truck stopped and the driver asked Shirley where she was going and then offered to give her ride. He acted like it was perfectly normal for a five-year-old child to be walking along a road thumbing rides. Heck, everyone in this movie acted like it was perfectly normal for a five-year-old to be thumbing rides. Seems Shirley does it all the time. I thought this strangeness was an aberration on the part of the screenwriter until I watched a scene in Curly Top.

In Curly Top Shirley is in an orphanage and called to the superintendent's office for doing something wrong. This is what followed:

What can I say? I was doubled up in laughter at this point.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Life Can Change In A Heartbeat

My dogs will be the death of me. When we got back from Denver on Tuesday Duke did something unexpected even for him. My husband had both the front door of the house and the front gate open to make it easier to move things from the truck to the house. Duke and Kate were in the yard while my husband was unloading the truck when suddenly both of them raced toward the open gate. My husband saw them and yelled. Kate stopped on the sidewalk but Duke kept going into the street.

Now, at the same time this was happening our next door neighbor was being dropped off by a coworker. The coworker was driving a big company truck with wheels so large the top of the tires would have hit me right were the ball of my femur sets in my pelvis. By the time Duke made it to the street the truck was moving again and they met right in front of our house. I heard a loud thump and feared Duke had gone under the back tire. He had not but seemed to bounce off the wheel and spin around. The next instant he was racing back into the yard, seeming unhurt. The driver stopped and my husband assured him that what had happened wasn't his fault.

What we assume happened is that both dogs saw one of the neighborhood cats crossing the street and started to run after him. Kate (being the smart one) stopped her pursuit once she realized she could not catch him. Duke (being the not as smart one) kept going. And being Duke he was so focused on the cat he did not see the truck until he was on top of it. He did try to swerve at the last second but was going so fast he hit the back bumper.

Duke's is unhurt, my blood pressure is back to normal, and my husband has learned to put the dogs in the basement whenever he has both the front door and the front gate open at the same time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

..."thanks in part to the favorable rate exchange"...

Time, March 14, 1955

What struck me was that paragraph just above the small Roast Beef- One Dollar headline in the copy:

Wherever you go in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you'll be struck by this welcome change in your cost of living. "Scaled-down" prices of rooms, meals, travel and entertainment will all seem pleasantly in keeping with Britain's miniature villages, tiny fields and toy-like trains and automobiles. At first, you will hardly believe that your dollar goes so far.

Those days of cheap overseas travel are long gone. That $3.00 (10.80 GBP) breakfast would be equivalent to $22.90 (11.56 GBP) today. And why are they describing Britain as if it were a ride at Disneyland? That paragraph is just a little off-putting to me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

These Quick Turn-Arounds Are Exhausting

Home again after a long Memorial Day weekend. My sister had a Memorial Day party and Food Smack Down (Correction in the comments from my sister. It was a food Throw Down not a Smack Down). A food smack down is when two or more people bring the same homemade dish and everyone else votes on which one is the best. This is really fun when the majority of your guests are chefs or very good bakers or people who love to cook. We had three cheese cakes (different types) so tasty that the cheese cake smack down ended in a draw. My brother-in-law's oatmeal-pecan-butterscotch chip cookies won the cookie smack down and I won the chili smack down by default. The other contestant was overheard admitting that my chili was even better that his own chili. It was a fun weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Class Of 2008

We went to my niece's graduation ceremony yesterday. The stage was an ocean of red as 429 East High School Angels ( 237 girls and 192 boys) dressed in red gowns and caps waited on stage at the Wells Fargo Theater in the Colorado Convention Center to receive their diplomas. It was joyful, it was raucous, it was spectacular, and it was exhausting. It was so spectacular even the big blue bear outside the building had to give it a look-see.

(Photo via T.H.E. Show)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Know By The Company It Keeps

Time, 1955

This is one of those ads that makes me scratch my head in confusion. "Known by the Company it Keeps." What company? The binoculars? The suicidal guy out of the ledge who left behind his binoculars, a full bottle of Seagram's and two drinks? Is he out there because the person who the other drink is for did not show up?

Maybe is it one of those ads where we are supposed to project ourselves into the photo.

We could be the one sitting in that comfortable chair gazing out at that wonderful view, slightly buzzed after quickly slamming down those two drinks because we are angry at that putz of a boyfriend of ours who is out there on that damn ledge instead of in here with us where he belongs! Damn him! Damn him! He is never there for us, is he? We should just dump him, that's what we should do! Waiter, another two Seagram's, I need them!

Ahh, the good life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Furture Is Now

Time, 1955

What I find interesting about this ad for Goodyear Tires is the car in the photo. It is the Ford Motor Company's concept car for 1954, FX (Future Experimental) ATMOS (Atmosphere). The FX-ATMOS had the driver's seat placed in the middle of the car and two joysticks (one on either side of the driver) were used to steer it.

The biggest surprise with this car was the fact that it had no engine since, as Ford Vice President L. D. Crusoe wrote in a press release at the time, "It is not proposed as a future production vehicle and, for that reason, no engineering considerations have been involved in it's development."

Ford Motor Company press release memo.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Metal Business Furniture Is A Good Investment

Time, March 14, 1955

Yep, I bet there are thousands of these tiny flattops still around. Federal, State, and local governments bought these by the millions. You could get them in Pine Frost Green, Suede Brown, Autumn Haze, Glenn Green, Manila Tan or Gray. I have only seen them in gray- none of those fru-fru colors for our government since they probably cost more and would be a waste of American tax dollars. I see you could get a "harmonizing Velveleum(?) or Texolite writing top " with these babies. I remember seeing these desks with a soft top writing surface so Velveleum may have been a kind of rubber substitute.

If you have never seen one of these desks you cannot begin to imagine how large or indestructible they were. The top was large enough to sleep on and, if you put two of them together, you could make your own emergency fallout shelter.

Some history on the General Fireproofing company here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Who's Going Build Your Wall?

-Tom Russell

I got 800 miles of bolted border
Right outside my door
There's Minutemen* in little pickup trucks
Who declared their own dang war
Now the government wants to build a barrier
Like ol' Berlin, 8 feet tall
But if Uncle Sam sends the illegals home
Who's gonna build the wall?

Who's gonna build your wall, boys
Who's gonna mow your lawn
Who's gonna cook your Mexican food
When your Mexican maid is gone

Who's gonna wax your floors tonight
Down at the local mall
Who's gonna wash your baby's face
Who's gonna build your wall?

I ain't got no politics
So don't lay that rap on me
Left wing, right wing, up wing, down
I see strip malls from sea to shining sea

It's the fat cat white developer
Who's created this whole damn squall
It's the pyramid scheme of dirty jobs
And who's gonna build your wall?

Who's gonna build your wall, boys
Who's gonna mow your lawn
Who's gonna cook your Mexican food
When your Mexican maid is gone

Who's gonna wax your floors tonight
Down at the local mall
Who's gonna wash your baby's face
Who's gonna build your wall?

We've got fundamentalist Muslims
We've got fundamentalist Jews
We've got fundamentalist Christians
They'll blow the whole thing up for you

But as I travel around this big ol' world
There's one thing that I most fear
It's a white man in a golf shirt
With a cell phone in his ear

Who's gonna build your wall, boys
Who's gonna mow your lawn
Who's gonna cook your Mexican food
When your Mexican maid is gone

Who's gonna wax your floors tonight
Down at the local mall
Who's gonna wash your baby's face
Who's gonna build your wall?

Why Harsh Immigration Crackdowns Will Never Work from AlterNet.

Note: I've remembered where I first saw this, over at Sharp Sand. Just want to give Joe the shout out he deserves.

*May have to scroll down a bit on this link.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Singing His Cattle Call

One of the first albums I ever bought was Eddy Arnold's The Best Of Eddy Arnold which included songs like Make The World Go Away, Anytime, What's He Doing In My World, You Don't Know Me and Cattle Call. I had no reason to buy this album as I had never heard of the singer and did not know any of the songs. But that was the way I bought records sometimes-if it called to me I would buy it. This record called to me.

The song I loved the most on the album was Cattle Call. When the first notes of Eddy's yodelling hit my ears I was mesmerized. I had heard western yodelling before in old Gene Autry movies but this, this was different is some way. This sound was as clear as a mountain stream and made my heart soar. It seemed to touch my soul and I could not stop playing it over and over.

Last month when I was at Starbucks I saw a CD called Vintage Country and on it was Cattle Call. I bought it and could not wait to play it. When I did, and the first notes of Eddy's yodelling hit my ears, I felt my heart soar and got the feeling that in someway the sound was reaching deep into my soul just as it did when I was a kid.

Yesterday I learned that Eddy Arnold died. In memory of him I put my copy of Vintage Country in my CD player, set it for the track that contained Cattle Call and cranked it up.


The cattle are prowlin', the coyotes are howlin'
Way out where the dogies bawl
Where spurs are a-jinglin', a cowboy is singin'
This lonesome cattle call.


He rides in the sun, 'til his days work is done
And he rounds up the cattle each fall
Woo - doo - doo - ooo - ti - de
Singin' his cattle call.


For hours he will ride on the range far and wide
When the night winds blow up a squall
His heart is a feather, in all kinds of weather
He sings his cattle call.


He's brown as a berry from ridin' the prairie
And he sings with an ol' western drawl
Woo - doo - doo- ooo - ti - de
Singin' his cattle call.


It makes my heart soar every time.

More about Eddy Arnold here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Job Half Done Is A Job Not Done At All

I went to Starbucks three time while I was in Denver. What can I say, I like their hot chocolate. Anyway, on one visit I had to use the restroom. While I was washing my hands I noticed that the company had put a sign on the paper towel dispenser. Written across the top of the sign were the words EMPLOYEES MUST WASH THEIR HANDS and underneath those words were little cartoons showing them how to do so. The first cartoon showed a pair of hands under the sink faucet with the words WASH HANDS written under it. The next cartoon showed a pair of hands under an electric hand dryer with the words DRY HANDS under it. The final cartoon showed a hand holding a paper towel while turning off the faucet handle with the words USE PAPER TOWEL TO TURN OFF WATER underneath.

Now, I find this all commendable on the part of Starbucks. Hygiene seems to be very important to them as that extra step of turning off the faucet with a paper towel shows. At the same time I must point out that they did not have a cartoon showing the hands using a paper towel to open the door as they left the restroom. Not doing that kind of defeats the purpose of hand washing, doesn't it?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Engine Bearings, Mister?

Another one of those two color industry advertisements.

Time, February 21, 1955

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Home Again

Let's see how long it takes me to get back in the grove.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Safe, Swift, Sure

Time, February 28, 1955

At one time this was the only way to get a package quickly across the country. Railway Express was the FedEx of its time.

This is one of several ads that I looked at which used only two colors, in this case black and red. Others used black and yellow or black and green. Not sure if it was the style of the time for certain types of advertisements or the style of one advertising agency. All the ads with this kind of presentation had something to do with heavy industry- things like shipbuilding, railroads, mining and industrial machinery.

A few more words about Railway Express here.

Friday, May 09, 2008

America's Most Smartly Different Car

(Time, January 10, 1955)

Love those chrome fake tail fins.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Introducing The Electric Typewriter

Time, 1955

Almost as big an office improvement as when Xerox photocopiers replaced mimeograph machines.

Monday, May 05, 2008

How Many States?

(Time, March 21, 1955)

Back when a woman did not leave the house without her hat and little white gloves. Well, in this woman's case, large white gloves.

And remember, "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star," just not in today's world since you will no longer find him at your local Texaco station. It's pump your own gasoline these days.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


I got my ears pierced this morning. It wasn't that bad, more like having a large rubber-band snapped on my ear than having something sharp shoved through the lobe. I have been thinking about doing this ever since my niece had her ears done over ten years ago. So far I am happy with the results.

Friday, May 02, 2008

What Will They Think Of Next?

Time, April, 4, 1955

Back when there was one major phone company, "Ma Bell." Not only did they supply the service, they gave you a phone and would come and fix or replace it if you had a problem at no additional charge. These phones were tough. I know, my siblings and I would throw ours down the basement stairs once a day at one point in our lives. Didn't even scuff it up much.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Love Is Strange

I was driving south on Colorado Boulevard near Louisiana Avenue yesterday when I noticed a billboard advertising Hyde Park Jewelers. The ad had a photo of a fancy diamond ring with these worlds above it: That will show her friends.

So, the reason to buy the ring is not because you love your wife or girlfriend nor to prove to your wife or girlfriend how much you love her (something that is disturbing in itself) but as an F-you to her friends?