Sunday, October 24, 2010

They Liked Ike!

My grandfather (click Grandpa label for pic) had a tiny office where he kept all of his personal papers and manly, grandpa like stuff. As a little girl I loved his office. I loved looking at all the neat little things that he kept there. There were calendars that had long since served their basic purpose which gave me a funny feeling that he kept them there not for the cigar smoke stained, numbered pages but because of the images of very pretty ladies that graced the now age yellowed, stiff cardboard displays.

There were stacks of wooden cigar boxes which held old receipts, notes, pencil stubs, erasers and the like. He kept private papers filed away within the drawers of an extremely heavy steel desk. There were also bullets; big ones, gun oil and hunting rifles. The guns were carefully placed in a hand made gun display rack from which also hung a pair of high powered binoculars. There were fishing poles, hooks, rubbery thingys that looked like little octopi and the warm, rich, oily scent of leather hung in the air throughout. One of my favorite items to look at was a small tin box that once held Sucrets cough drops.

Inside the tin was a tiny brass lighter, the kind with a wick, that had the Rainier "R" on it, and several campaign pins of varying sizes. Each one printed on it "I LIKE IKE" in one form or another. One had a baby on it with "I LIKE IKE" printed on its diaper and "Time for a Change" printed around the diameter. There was even one with an image of Mamie Eisenhower on it.

I loved these pins and when I played dress up on my visits to my grandparents house, my grandmother would often allow me to pin them to my "Grown Up" outfit which usually consisted of a pair of grandmas wonderful heels, a sparkling purse studded with beautiful rhinestones, a necklace of "Pearls" and a high fashion "dress". (one of grandmas pretty blouses with a belt at the waist) I would be allowed to wear the pins only if I were very careful, which I of course, always promised to be. I have long since inherited the Campaign pins and the tiny brass Rainier lighter, many of the rhinestone purses and other things.
 Even after all these years (I'm 44 and my grandfather passed away in 91, grandma in 2007) my grandfathers office still feels the same. the outline of one of the calendars is still visible and the smell of warm leather has somehow seeped into the walls of that tiny room. The Gunrack still hangs there along with the binoculars. Once upon a time Robert Ellis McCormick and his wife Evelyn liked Ike...and so did their little granddaughter.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Stuff to look at

"It is generally accepted today that brushing the teeth immediately after eating
gives the greatest protection against decay..."
"My brand new Electric Range must cook from 4 to 24."

Here Mrs. Betty Hentz enjoys the use of the grill, grilling tomatoes, sweet potatoes and pineapple to serve along with ribs.

The children help to set a pretty table for the upcoming family meal. The new range makes it a snap preparing meals for hungry youngsters.

This young homemakers new range simplifies
family meal really proves its worth
when she prepares meals for visiting out of town relatives.


The space in this young familys kitchen is so well utilized you would never know it only measures 10'x10'. It was designed to facilitate food preparation on a large or small scale. From this kitchen, betty can serve as many as two dozen persons with complete ease. When looking for an electric range husband and wife decided on one that was all cooking space. The range has divided surface units with a grill in the middle. With the grill removed, its extra large heating unit is ideal for cooking large quantities of such foods as spaghetti or corn on the cob, blanching vegetables for freezing or popping corn. In addition to the baking oven there is an extra oven specially designed for barbecuing or roasting. Betty can cook big roasts or broil large amounts of steak, hamburger or fish.

An automatic timer makes it possible for Betty to put a complete meal in her oven and attend a P.T.A. meeting or other community responsibility, confident that dinner will be ready when she returns. A ventilator hood over the range prevents cooking odors from reaching the rest of the house and cuts down on the amount and frequency of kitchen cleaning.
In the wall against which the range stands is a pass through for quick and convenient service in the adjacent breakfast room where the family its most meals.

Friday, October 8, 2010

OMG #6

Wow...this ad really gives me the creeps. This was seriously considered appropriate?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today is the Day...

Today is the day, October 7th 1959, singer-actor Mario Lanza died in Rome at age 38.

Mario Lanza (January 31, 1921 - October 7, 1959) was an American Tenor and Hollywood movie star of the late 1940s and the 1950s. He was born the son of Italian immigrants as Alfredo Arnold Cocozza and began studying to be a professional singer at the young age of 15.

Mario received his first piano as a surprise gift from his mother and father. He was raised in an atmosphere of opera and and Caruso recordings which his father played every day at  home. He began to sing to the records. The more he listened, the more he sang. Eventually his parents took him to a voice teacher.
Mario sang his first student opera in the role of Fenton in Nicolais "The Merry Wives of Windsor". He recieved great reviews from the Metropolitan Opera as well as from the music critics. Mario was on his way! Mario began to study with the famed Enrico Rosati.
It has been said that upon hearing Marios voice, Rosati looked up to the heavens and exlaimed "I've been waiting for this voice to come along for many, many years?" While performing at the Hollywood Bowl with Francis Yeend in 1947, Mario impressed Louis B. Mayer, Head of MGM picture studios...The best was yet to come!

 MGM hoped that he would become the movie studio's "singing Clark Gable " due to his good looks and powerful voice. Lanza signed a seven-year contract with them. His movie debut was in 'That Midnight Kiss'. The following year, in the 'Toast of New Orleans' his featured popular song "Be My Love" became his first million-selling hit. In 1951, he starred in the role of his tenor idol, Enrico Caruso (1873–1921), in the biopic, The Great Caruso, which produced another million-seller with "The Loveliest Night of the Year."
Lanza became known as tempermental and rebellious. After recording the soundtrack for his film, The Student Prince, he walked out on the project after an argument with producer Dore Schary over his behavior on the set.

During most of his film career, he suffered from addictions to overeating and alcohol which had a serious effect on his health and his relationships with directors, producers and sometimes other cast members. Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper wrote that "his smile, which was as big as his voice, was matched with the habits of a tiger cub, impossible to housebreak." She adds that he was the "last of the great romantic performers."

In April of 1959 Lanza suffered a minor heart attack, followed by double pneumonia in August. He died in Rome in October of that year at the age of 38 from a Pulmonary embolism after undergoing a controversial weight loss program colloquially known as "the twilight sleep treatment," which required its patients to be kept immobile and sedated for prolonged periods. He left behind his wife Betty, thier four children and a legacy that is still hotly debated today.

Even the most budget concious husband...

A bedroom phone actually does something for a  busy girls morale....

Teen Scene 1953

Note; this comes from a 1953 Family Circle article on New Years resolutions for teens.

                                               TEEN SCENE

Young Ladies first

1. I will buy an egg timer to limit the time of my phone calls this year. (Hint to mom and pop: how about charging me a nickle a minute overtime and thus helping to pay the
phone bill)

2. I will make my parties easier on the family by shopping for supplies myself -and not
20 minutes before the guests are due. I will harness some of the available manpower to
straighten things up after a party.

3. I will introduce the gentle art of discussion into our house instead of (a) ranting,
(b) sulking, and (c) being defiant when things arent going my way.

4.  I will  have the courage to express my own opinions instead of changing like a weather
vane to please every male I go out with.

5. I will reserve my goodnight kisses for the one or two boys I'm fondest of, ignoring
such obsolete advice as "It's allright to kiss a boy after the third date."

6. I will praise boys for worthy endeavors -for doing well in a ball game or the school
play-and stop applauding such childlike behavior such as speeding, clowing in public
places and heckling the teacher.

7. I will try to think of the library as a gateway to many worlds and make use of its
facilities with the friendly help of the librarian.

8. I will experiment with one new extracurricular activity on the chance that I've been
missing out on a whole lot of fun.

9. I will try to realize that my teachers are my friends and I will get to know them
better, confident that they have much more to give me than my ABC's.

The Masculine Resolutions

1. I will paste a note on my mirror as a reminder to do my chores so that mom needn't
beat me over the head to get them done.

2. In addition to helping the family by washing and polishing the car, shoveling snow,
mowing the lawn and doing my other chores, I will make it a point of trying to contribute
to family discussions with well thought out ideas on everything from politics to home

3. Instead of increasing the rioting among the younger members of the family by
belittling them or shouting at them, I will show the small fry a few tricks I've learned
about getting along with people-like giving in occasionally or praising their

4. I will not let Uncle Sams hot breath on the back of my neck interfere with my focus
on studies, realizing that knowledge is power whether in service or in civilian live.

5. I will go out for at least one sport such as swimming, skating, skiing or bowling-that I
can keep up after graduation.

6. I will cultivate tha habit of doing my least liked homework first.

7. I will avoid being lured into going steady by some boy crazy female or by a silly school custom, realizing that now's my time for looking 'em over.

8. I will turn up for dates with some sort of plan in mind for the evening. For example, if we're going visiting, I'll have made sure the visitees are at home before hand. If we're
movies bound, I will know ahead of time what's playing and when the show begins and ends. I'll be a bit flexible of course if she has something up her little sleeve.

9. I will stop thinking of kissing as a pastime, the way I did as an eighth grader, and
give it dignity and meaning by reserving it for my special girl.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1950's American Slang Word(s) of the Day #25

Our 1950's American Slang Word (s) of the Day today is:

Note: The words I use are chosen from the Pocket Dictionary of American Slang. A popular abridgment of the finest dictionary of American Slang ever published. compiled by Harold Wentworth and Suart Berg Flexner. "contained here are definitions of almost all the slang words in common use today" The dictionary was published in 1960 and took ten years to compile. what you read here is copied word for word from the dictionary EXCEPT for the EXAMPLES and CLARIFICATIONS. Those are mine

Four Letter Man; A dumb or stupid man, usually a student. Some student use. The
four letters are "d-u-m-b."= dumb. See "Three Letter Man" for the derivation.

Three Letter Man; An effeminate man; specifically a Homosexual. The three letters are
"f-a-g"= fag. A pun on the collegiate term "Three Letter Man"= a student athlete. Reinforced by "three dollar bill". Some student use since c. 1935.

Three Dollar Bill; An odd or eccentric person; specifically a person who claims to
be what he is not or tries to assume the identity of another.
Because there is no such thing as a US three dollar bill. From the expression "As phony as a three dollar bill." -specifically a Homosexual; a sexual pervert. (also: The Third Sex; Homosexuals. Now the only common meaning.)

                                            image by Diane Arbus "Seated Man in Bra and Stockings"
Hey Joey, Waddya tink of dat Tony? What a Nancy, Huh? gives me the heebies! At first I was tinkin he was just a kook an' all dat but Willie, he tole me Tony's da real ting, a tree letter man! Can you beleedat? A tree letter man right here in our buildin'Joey, right here in our buildin'!

Hello Joseph. I was wondering, what is your opinion on Anthony? I have come to the conclusion that he is highly effeminate. I get an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness when I am near Anthony. Initially I reasoned that Anthony was merely eccentric but William plainly informed me that Anthony is in fact a Homosexual! Can you accept this  Joseph? We are actually cohabiting in the same rental property as a Homosexual!

I Remember...

I would love to begin a "department" called "I remember..." where readers send in one of their favorite memories of the past, specifically regarding the 1950's era through 1970's. I know that there are followers of all ages out there and obviously not everyone can have memories based in that time period but we all have Grammas and Grampas, Aunties and Uncles, etc. who may have shared one of their stories with you.  I think it would be fun to share the memories with everybody! Please
send your memories HERE!
                                             Image from private collection

Sunday, October 3, 2010


                  Scans from October 1958 Ladies Home Journal
                                     A Clinging Caress of Color...

Improve your Blood...

An offensive odor she herself might not detect...
For that pleasant "Clean Mouth" feeling
                                       Rolls easily over carpet too!

Ask any woman in 1958

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No More Than $55.00

October 1958 Ladies Home Journal

Easy, Slim silhouettes...

Infinite usefulness

only 40 dollars for a phenomenal dress with fur!

Wear it short!


Beautiful, brightly colored wool

Absolutely no compromise



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