You can plainly see why I shared Mr. Fountain with you. I felt like he needed to be in all of your lives. I did not know there was such a thing as a “nationally known clarinetist” (do we have any now?), but he was big enough to play TWO concerts at Arlington High School back in 1963.
Such were the aspirations of these teens with their instruments in the 50s.
Below is a junior high band in 1923, before electric guitars existed.
In the back row, you can see Leonardo DiCaprio during his Growing Pains years.
During the turbulent 60s, girls learned to move to the beat of a different drum. “It’s just like holding chopsticks, Melinda. Don’t try too hard.”
And these nicely-clad songbirds look confident gathered around the piano.
Hey, you wanna see what Mr. Fountain looks like these days? He threw beads out to the crowd in New Orleans last year:
I bet there’s a good chance he was at Mardi Gras this week.
P.S. Music is great, but it can’t save your mortal soul.
So I saw this and thought:
- What is a bootblack?
- Sounds racist.
As it turns out, “bootblacks” were probably what you think they were–someone who polishes boots and shoes–and they came in every color.
Here is a cute little fella earning his keep. Good thing he has knee socks on.
This kiddo looks pleased as punch to be doing child labor. It’s better than school.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term. Have you read Ragged Dick?
This Union Station “model bootblack” was schmancified up with two chairs and all-weather cover.
In a state full of bootwearers, I don’t recall ever having seen anyone get his shoes shined, perhaps because people have no pride in personal appearance anymore, or they have no disposable income. It must be a more urban venture. I guess it’s honest work. It seems less degrading than offering your body to a stranger for money, and some places allow that. There are better ways to earn a dollar on your knees, and bootblacking is one. In fact, ICS Learning Systems should get on this asap. It’s got to be more lucrative than TV/VCR repair.
In any event, bootblacking is alive and well. Okay, alive and ailing. But like a person free to choose his own health insurance, a few of them still exist.
Whoever owned this razor thin 1953 yearbook from a podunk town clearly had issues.
Well, we all know how 4th Grade can really take it out of you. All the hormones raging in your 9-yr-old body and whatnot. I will assume a girl owned this book, as men are not prone to having emotions, much less sharing them or recording them. And clearly, there was some love felt for one of these siblings.
Again with the mustaches? Or are these kitten whiskers? Even the poor bus driver (singular, as in one bus in a one-horse town) could not escape her wrath.
Perhaps the mustaches were not meant to be insulting; perhaps she had a thing for facial hair on friend and foe alike. However, there is no misunderstanding this: