Before There Was Daylight Saving Time…

Ventana52-006…young men set their pocket watches to pin-up time. Witness this lad trying to get the minute hand just right. Men who did not hang pin-ups in their rooms usually found themselves tardy to important appointments. Even on Saturdays.

KU-Fall40005Sadly, campus buses did not run their routes on weekends and fellows were forced to hitch.


Pin-up time has gone the way of the dinosaur, but a new time has risen in popularity.

And according to my watch, that’s pretty soon.

Modern Library

Ventana52-008before tablets

before Kindle

before Barnes & Noble and the now-defunct Borders

there were libraries

and corner bookstores

and meg ryan did not work in them but that was okay

there was no coffee, no chai, no biscotti

no wi-fi

but boys and girls could meet there and look at each other when they spoke

and touch globes and point to countries they would visit

one day

and grab a paperback and get lost in it so that they forgot all sense of time.

If The World Were Flat, Dragons And Monster Fish Would Attack Ships

flatLet me be the first to say I am so grateful that the earth does not look like an overflowing oyster shell, spilling like Niagara Falls into the nothingness. How odd it would be to have clouds below us.



My Sweet Nearly Embraceable You

Comet54-004What’s up with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons here? That fourth season doesn’t quite know how to put his arm around a girl. That’s not even first base.

These are my guesses:

  • He’s taking extreme measures not to be perceived as “getting fresh.”
  • Margie recently had lap band surgery and lost half her weight, and old habits die hard, on his part.
  • Margie contracted Hep C by sharing a needle with Tommy Lee, and might be contagious.
  • There is an invisible parrot named Rio on her shoulder.
  • He was the very first tree-hugger, and his arms froze that way.

Do you have the answer? Can you tell me why the leaping Wolfman has one black hand?



Coffee At Ruby’s

At first, this image of Ruby’s Diner in Schenectady, NY may seem like a study in isolation. The calendar shows September 1988, and while that may not seem like that long ago to some of us, just peek in to this scene to see how the world has changed. RubysDiner88-034Gerd Kittel’s pre-digital camera shows us a man and a woman (presumably both past their physical prime), sharing booths with no one. The woman appears contemplative and dressed for work. The man reminds me of my grandfather: intent on reading the news, colder in his old age and consequently cardigan-clad, and probably smells of Old Spice. No laptops, no iphones, no flat screen TVs. Just take that in–no one is staring at a screen. Like you’re doing right now.

There are Polaroids tacked to the wall. A cigarette machine. God knows the price then, but I passed one only last weekend, a relic itself, and the cost was $10 per pack. And you know smokers will pay it. Formica tabletops. The TV is not a wide screen. It has knobs which to turn. The coffee cup is small. It is not a Starbuck’s grande. That doesn’t mean he won’t consume more than the 16 oz; it just means a waitress will be by shortly to top him off. And that means human interaction. She might bring more cream. She might ask what he is reading.

But first, she will ask the photographer to step out of the way. You can see his reflection to the left of the TV, the man in the Anthony Bourdain sweater.

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