Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Time, Febuary 28, 1955

Never heard of them before. Why aren't they showing the whole car? Is it that ugly? Can anyone tell which model they are showing here?

Surprisingly there quite a few Hillman's in the USA.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quick Report

Still in Denver and have been busy while I've been here. I had been my sister's chauffeur for about a week but now that her shoulder has healed enough to allow her to drive once again I am out of a job.

Unhappy to report my niece's Grandmother (on her father's side) fell down the stairs and broke her right femur. She spent her 80th birthday in the hospital. We had a few days where we were very worried about her but she is doing better now. The doctors are talking about moving her to a rehab hospital very soon.

I attended a writing group last night and had a lot of things made clearer for me which, hopefully, will help me get on with a project I am working on.

That's it for now. See you in a couple of days.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Grace Lines

(Time, April 4, 1955)

Love this one. My theory-the more white space and less copy you have in your ad, the more sophisticated and wealthy you think your clientele is.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Honeybee, You Are Driving Me Crazy

In a county with one of the nation’s highest foreclosure rates, empty houses have attracted a new type of nonpaying tenant: bees.
-New York Times, April 20, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Isn't That Suzy Parker?

(Time, March 14, 1955)

An abstract from an article in the New Yorker magazine on Suzy Parker.

Her obituary from CBS News.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In Denver

Spending up to the next three weeks in Denver. Internet access is limited so I will not be writing as much. Will be posting things I already have in my draft file. If I do not visit you blog as often as usual it will not be because I don't want to but because I am not able too.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Braniff Gets You There

(Time, January 3, 1955)

What is most amazing about this ad is what you cannot see. This ad was placed on a page directly across from a story about the crash of an Alitalia DC-6 while attempting to land at Idlewild Airport (JFK) on December 18, 1954.

Short history of Braniff Airways here.

Much, much more info at Braniff Pages.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Say Goodnight, Gracie"

-Burns and Allen

Time, April 25, 1955

From 1947 to 1989 Northwest was know as Northwest Orient. According to this 1955 ad, Northwest Orient would send you around the world for a measly $1,347.85/676.80 GBP; which is equivalent to $10,287.68/5,164.31 GBP today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Delta C&S Air Lines?

(Time, January 24, 1955)

For a short time Delta Air Lines was called this, Delta C&S, after it merged with the smaller Chicago and Southern Air Line.

What will its new name be after the planned merger with Northwest?

Delta NW?


No, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution it will just be called Delta (story here) and Northwest will join Eastern, Western (another airline swallowed by Delta), Braniff, and PanAm in that giant airline graveyard in the sky.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Well, I'm Not Sure

(Time, January 24, 1955)

As you can see by the route map, this was a time when airlines had specific areas of operation. You couldn't fly to New York on this airline. You would have to transfer to another airline at some connecting city. You wouldn't do this to save money. You would do it because there was no other way to get there. That is what those dotted lines represent.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm Going To Hell

I've been in Denver since last Thursday helping my sister after her arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Happy to report she is doing well.

On Sunday, a beautiful Spring day, my other sister and I drove down to Colorado Springs and decided to visit the Garden of the Gods. Since it was the first warm day after a week of cold and snow the park was crowded. All the parking lots were filled and automobiles, trucks, tour buses, and motorcycles seem to endlessly circle the asphalt roads that meander around and between the sandstone rock formations. As our car crawled alone my sister would take photos of the red rock formations that loomed over us. Taking photos was a little tricky since we had to stay aware of the moving vehicles in front of and behind us, watch for open parking spaces in the pull outs beside the road, and keep an eye on the people walking, running, biking, and hiking along the road edge.

Just before we completed our first loop around the park we saw what we thought was a space in a pull out area that was large enough to park the car and turned in. We were wrong so my sister slowly drove back onto the main road. As we did so I saw out of the corner of my eye a woman walking on the other side of the road with a man stumble. I turned my head and watched as she lost her balance and pitched forward. She threw her arm out to stop her fall but her outstretched hand slipped off the curb and I watched in horror as her face hit that curb, causing her head to bounce back at impact. The force of gravity kept her body falling forward and then, when she hit the ground, rolled her over onto her back . As this was happening I was scrambling to get the car door open while saying to my sister, "Stop, stop, stop."

I must have made some sort of sound when I first noticed the woman because my sister was already breaking when I asked her to stop. We were now directly across from her and by this time she was sitting up with her had over her mouth. My sister asked if she was alright and she replied, in a voice dripping with disgust, "Yeah, I just broke my tooth."
We asked the man if we could take them anywhere and he said no, their car was just over there (pointing to the pull out area) and they would be OK. Again my sister asked if there was anything we could do and again the man said no.

Now, I had two thoughts after the woman said she had only broken her tooth and the man said they did not need our help. First, that the woman was not hurt as seriously as I thought she had been, which was a great relief. Then right after that I thought, "Oh, there's going to be a parking space opening up. I should tell Tara to turn around."

I am definitely going to hell.

Monday, April 14, 2008

And She Did It All By Herself

(Time, March 21, 1955)

I like this ad. First, for the simplicity of the design. Second, for the drawing done by artist Saul Steinberg, and, finally, for the the copy. Nice little story about a woman buying a pattern and then making her own dress which she proudly wears in the Easter Parade.

A brief history of the Simplicity Patterns Company along with some samples of vintage pattern envelopes here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Speedy And Buster Keaton

A group of commercials Speedy did with Buster Keaton back in the 1950's.

Down, down, down the stomach through
Round, round, round the system too,
With Alka-Seltzer they always say,
Relief is just a swallow away.”

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Alexander Supertramp

My husband and I rented Into The Wild last week and sat down to watch it. After about an hour I had enough and thought, "Just shut up and die already."
I glance at the clock and was surprised to find out only 25 to 30 minutes had passed. I turned to my husband and asked, "Can we turn it off?"
He nodded in reply.

In the entire history of my movie watching career I have only quit watching one other movie. That was Al Pacino's Bobby Deerfield, the story of a race car driver who loves a dying woman. Surprisingly, I also quit that movie at the point where I thought, "Just shut up and die already."

In case you do not know, Into The Wild is the true story of Chris McCandless who one day walked into the Alaska wilderness with a ten pound bag of rice, a rifle, and a reluctance to kill any animal for food. He was found dead of starvation a little over three months later. My husband and I were looking forward to seeing this movie since we had both enjoyed the book the movie was based on. Boy were we in for a surprise.

Although the film is beautifully photographed is strangely hollow at the core. The lead actor was terrible, almost a zombie, and the dialogue and narration badly written. The story is mostly narrated by the actor playing Chris's sister and her line reading was just like Linda Hamilton's in Terminator 2; especially the scene right after she (Linda Hamilton) shoots Dyson (Joe Morton) and tells him how men like him have screwed up the world.

We bailed out at the point where Chris finds the bus and a large piece of plywood. He takes a knife and starts carving the following word into the wood:

Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.

Alexander Supertramp
May 1992

That was it. I had enough of this kid's grandiose view of himself. Chris McCandless' death was tragic, senseless, and mostly foolish. I don't find that in anyway to be heroic, which may be the reason why this movie annoyed me so much.

John Krakauer's article in Outside Magazine which became a book and then this movie.

Matthew Power's The Cult Of Chris McCandless in Men's Journal.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Relief Is Just A Swallow Away

(Time, March 28, 1955)

Down, down, down the stomach through
Round, round, round the system too,
With Alka-Seltzer you’re sure to say,
Relief is just a swallow away.”

I once read that sometime back in the 1960's Miles Laboratories hired a new advertising agency and ask them to come up with a campaign that would double the company's profits. The agency did so, telling the company to change the instructions on the bottle from "Use one..." to "Use two...". If you look closely at the glass of water in this ad you will see only one tablet.

Is the above story an urban myth? Nope.

Some background on Speedy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Chasing Cars

There is a dog who lives in a house built into the side of a hill on the road to the cemetery. His main fun is to lie near the road in a head-down crouch waiting for cars and trucks to come by. When they do he makes a mad dash toward the right front wheel barking loudly. He only does this to vehicles heading toward town, I think, because those vehicles are the ones closest to him. It makes me nervous. Every time he makes his run at my truck I tense up waiting for the sound of a thud and feel of the trunk bouncing over his body because I am sure this will be the day he miss-times his attack and ends up under wheels.

Last week I was returning to town after running my dogs and as I got close to his house I could see him lying on the dirt driveway waiting for me. As I got closer he rose up in a crouching position getting ready to strike. At that moment I decided to slow down and then stop. As I did so the dog got a "what the hell are you doing" look on his face. I sat there looking at him as he looked back at me with worried eyes. This wasn't supposed to happen. I wasn't playing the game and it confused him. We looked at each other for a few more seconds and then he lay back down and looked way from me pretending I wasn't there at all. I slowly drove pass him and he ignored me the whole time.

Now each time I see him lying in wait I slow down. Sometime he don't realize it is me and he gets up into his attach position. The second I step on the brakes he lies down and calmly watches my as I drive by.

That is one smart dog.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Music Of American Names

(Time, January 10, 1955)

Wet A Hook In Bear Lake

(Time Magazine 1955)

Been there, done that, caught a trout too. The only difference between this photo and and a photo taken today would be the twenty other fisherman lined up around the lake with the man in the red shirt. (Sigh)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Let's Be Brief

Any guys out there who read my blog may want to pass on this post, I'm discussing women's underwear.

(Still here aren't you?)

I've noticed that my body is more aware of how my clothes fit as I grow older. It cannot stand anything that does not gently hug my body comfortably. Too tight is too much. A few weeks ago I bought my first pair of what are known as boy-cut-briefs-for-women. The main difference between this style of brief and regular women's briefs is that the the leg opening is an inch or so below where the leg meets the trunk of the body. I was amazed by how comfortable this small change in the design made these briefs feel . My sisters have worn this style and found that this type of brief had a tendency to crawl up on them but I was happy to discover that this did not happen to me even when wearing jeans.

The other thing I have started doing is buy more expensive bras. I used to buy bras that cost around $12.00- $15.00/6.00-7.52GBP. Now I am slowly replacing them with bras that cost $50.00-$70.00/25.00-35.00GBP. That may sound like a lot of money (and it is) but the difference in fit and quality makes it worth while for me.

Of course this has me wearing a $5.00/2.50GBP pair of HANES panties:

(not me)

With a $70.00/35.00GBP bra from the SOL Store of Lingerie:

(still not me)

And I feel so comfortable in them.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

For More Of The Good Things In Life

The library is throwing away magazines from the 1950's and I brought some of them home. Below is an advertisement from the January 3, 1955 issue of Time magazine.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Good things come from Aluminium. Well, except for what is shown in the illustration on the lower left. Anyone reading that paragraph should be thinking, "YIKES!"

As US Consumer Product Safety Commission brochure CPS #526 points out: wired with aluminium wire manufactured before 1972 (old technology aluminium wire) are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than a home wired with copper

"Fire Hazard Conditions" were described as:
...when receptacle cover plate mounting screws reach 149C (300F) or sparks were emitted from the receptacle, or material around the receptacle were charred

That is a serious flaw and around two millions American homes (according to this article in the Washington Post) have aluminum wire in them. That sounds like a small percentage of homes in the United States unless you are one of the unfortunate ones who own one of these houses. I have a friend who's house was wired with aluminium and the cost to remove it all and replace it with copper wasn't cheap.

Oh, and I did not leave out the periods at the end of the quoted sentences-the government doesn't seem to use them.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Today Is April Fool's Day

(From the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck; illustrator Pamela Coleman Smith)

Watch your step.

Everything you wanted to know about April Fool's Day.