Autumn in the Highland Lakes

Sans Souci 085A month ago we booked a lakeside rental along the Highland Lakes, not knowing if the week of Thanksgiving would be a balmy 90 degrees as in days of yore, or a frosty 29 degrees, as in other days of yore. One never knows in Texas. As the preschool teachers are fond of saying, “You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” A nice sentiment, but not quite as catchy as, “Zip it, lock it, and put it in your pocket.”

As it turns out, what we got when we arrived two days ago was not sunny and hot; but what Winnie the Pooh might term a very blustery day indeed, with temps near freezing, and drizzle to boot. However, the foliage was stunning, as far as dying Texas leaves can be, so were not entirely disappointed by the dreariness of the weather.

And although we did not dare to jump into the lake, we did get to glimpse it as we drove along the meandering hills.

Always take your cameras, dear readers. We are older today than yesterday, and our memories fade as we go.

In My Country, Too, We Like Its Speed

Colliers006I like the vagueness of the token foreigner’s words, “my country” because that could mean anything. Perhaps he is a successful businessman, since he is well-dressed and has access to slick hair creams. I like his grand gesture as well. It’s like he’s welcoming Barbara Bush to Fantasy Island.

countryPerhaps some of you are programmed to be on the lookout for racism, so you can’t possibly enjoy this. Let’s find an opportunity to be offended; won’t that be fun? But break down his words; there isn’t anything pejorative there. He’s not represented in a demeaning way.  He’s not dressed in rags or carrying a water vessel on his head–or a towel–or a sombrero. He’s simply declaring that all countries can appreciate the merits of Convair. And if it still existed, perhaps I could, too.

Countdown to Thanksgiving

As you prepare for your Thanksgiving holiday in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS, keep these important facts in mind:

  • If your in-laws are coming to your home, stock up on Pepto-Bismol. And remember what Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Hollah.


  • If you’re the one traveling, make sure your vehicle has been well-maintained. I can’t overstate this enough.


  • When you’re fueling up, use high anti-knock gasoline. You never know what kind of weather you will encounter.


  • Many Americans enjoy spending hours swilling beer and watching football as a way of offering up thanks on this four-day weekend, so make sure your big screen TV is not on the fritz.


  • Don’t forget the most important part: dessert! Everyone loves pies–pumpkin, pecan, apple, sweet potato, blackberry, chocolate cream, coconut cream…There’s always room for dessert.


  • But above all, avoid excessive gluttony.


  • And remember what it’s all about, Charlie Brown–an annual tradition since 1863, when Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”


Tales of a 150-lb Has-Been

The August 23, 1958 Saturday Evening Post caught my eye because of the beautiful artwork on the front cover.


Despite the dainty waving, it’s a lovely summer log cabin scene called Visitors to Cabin in the Woods. I ponied up the dollar for the magazine and peeked inside. I discovered a two-page article on Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber, aka Mitzi Gaynor. Most of us remember her from South Pacific.

The article featured this playful shot of her on the beach.

Mitzi5Ummm, am I blind? I think she could qualify as a raving beauty. I mean, come on. Fellas, would you kick this Technicolor lady out of your bed?


The article goes on to show a picture of her with her husband, Jack Bean. With his encouragement, she lost the disgusting 35 lbs she had been schlepping around like an elephant.



Thankfully, Jack transformed her into a 37-20-36 and revitalized her fledgling career. She was then able to make movies with Gene Kelly, where she posed in unnatural positions such as this for The Fart Whisperers.


It seems that marrying Mr. Bean (not this one)–

mr-beanbut this one–

served her well, as they were married until his death in 2006. And as far as I can tell, she kept her figure. A round of applause, for you, 82-year-old Mitzi Gaynor. Not a has-been at all!


Too Much Head

Miller023I just got another stack of old magazines, and this ad jumped out at me from a 1960 Look.

What’s right with this ad:

  • Sexy moodlight
  • Her smooth, parted hair, clipped low at the neck.
  • It rhymes. That’s pretty cool. “Put the finest label on your table.”

What’s odd with this ad:

  • He’s pouring Miller (the champagne of bottled beer) from one presumably cold glass container into another. What was wrong with the bottle? I’ve never understood that. And he’s not even tilting the pint glass to reduce that drastic amount of head. Hold it at at a 45° angle!
  • Miller is from Milwaukee. Why does this ad look so Polynesian? Is this a theme party with Mediterranean olives and French bread and Greek spit-roasted lamb?
  • I’m frightened by the menacing tiki sculpture in the background. It looks like one of those angry apple trees in The Wizard of Oz.

  • The seasonal conflict: his shirt says winter, her dress says summer.
  • His apron is too clean. Somebody had to rub that meat.
  • This is too much food for two skinny white people. In fact, the lettuce appears to be making a getaway from the salad bowl. And you know such a demure, classy woman would never dare to consume more than 4 oz of meat at a time. Perhaps that partially lit door indicates a patio party. And those half a dozen plates imply guests are coming.
  • If they are preparing for said patio party, why aren’t they arguing? You know he didn’t buy all the ingredients she asked him to pick up at the store. He should have brought a pen to cross them off the list, like she told him a million times. Perhaps her look is one of passive aggressive seething rage. He’ll get his later.
  • He knows he’ll get his later. That’s why he’s topping off his third glass already. The fact that he forgot their anniversary last weekend didn’t help matters. Keep drinking, Ted. Keep drinking.
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