Say Geronimo


YMCA Camp, Davis, OK 1954
YMCA Camp, Davis, OK 1954

The pages of my many 1950s Life magazines are so brittle that they crumble into pieces as I gently turn them. In an effort to preserve their fun images for posterity, I offer you scenes from a mischievous boys’ camp from summer 1954.


Those boys were scoundrels! What nowadays could be construed as grounds for a lawsuit was all in good fun. I’m sure glad I was never the victim of a watery dawn raid.


Because Everyone Uses Chopsticks In Bowling Alleys


I can attest that local bowling alleys around these here parts offer greasy enchiladas for those patrons with rumbly tummies, but never Asian fare. Certainly not tea pots of hot jasmine tea and family pu pu platters. Evidently it was imperative that all males wear jackets and ties to the bowling alley. And then the jackets came off once they hit the floor.


This family could not be having more fun. The helicopter lady in the background could repurpose her ensemble for Saturday’s tennis match as well.

July58BowlingFamily-006Bowling centers provide “attractive nurseries for toddlers”? Have you ever witnessed this to be so? They must have put the kibosh on this well before I was born. And hey, have you ever seen the inner workings of the “almost-human machines”? Pretty keen.


So get out there and do some summer bowling before it’s too late!


Ads Of Endless Summer


I can’t say as I’ve ever spent a beachside evening rallied ’round the campfire, but it sure looks swell. Good job, 7Up. But you’ve got stiff competition.


And while we’re on the water, check out this Shell Motor Oil ad. So serene.

If sticking close to land is more your game, enjoy some watermelon and iced tea with a smoke and some friends!

Whatever your vice, summer makes it nice!

That Weird Friend Who Overextends Her Neck


In most cases, the lady donning a lavender turtleneck with a sunflower gold vest would clearly be the one who makes bad judgment calls. But in this case, it’s Blondie with the arched back. Or perhaps it’s not arched at all. Perhaps she is planking on another piece of cinder block, tightening those abs while she gazes into Kurt’s crow’s-feety eyes. What a colorful crew this is! CokeLifeSep55-007

All I know for sure is that the hamburger buns are well done. And that if you’re grilling up meat out on the lake, ain’t nobody got time for brushing after meals. P.S. Whatever happened to GL-70? And how cute is this box turtle? Talk about neck extension.

“Taste Its Extra-Brite Tang”

Life, Sep 12, 1955
Life, Sep 12, 1955

Once again, no decade looks more fun the 1950s. The way the middle gal set her hand upon her hip says it all. All-American teens going back to school in style. I can even overlook the ginormous genie/perfume bottles in the background.


Moxley Sorrel & His Military Moxie

The Blog of Funny Names

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With the removal of the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina’s State House grounds, the subject of the Civil War and the Confederacy has recently been in the news. No matter where you side on the issue, there’s no denying that the Confederate army was chock full of funny names, from Jubal Early to Bushrod Johnson to Vestal Coffin. Fabulous!

But today’s funny-named fellow of note is Moxley Sorrel, Brigadier-General in the “Provisional Army of the Confederate States,” aka The South. Born to one of Savannah’s wealthiest businessman and a mother from the famous Virginia Moxleys, Gilbert Moxley Sorrel was destined to shine. His childhood home was called the Sorrel Weed House (not a drug den). In fact, I do declare that it is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture in the entire United States. And to be clear–sorrel is a perennial herb. The tart, lemony flavor can be used for salads, soups, and…

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Homecoming Mum On Freckle-Faced Football Fan

Wearing mums to homecoming football games is huge tradition in Texas. Mums are expensive and heavy and attention-getting, and I recall hearing ones adorned with tiny metal footballs jangling on tassles as various nifty mum-recipients made their ways down the halls. Like these feathered-hair, Jean Nate-smelling girls in the mid 80s, brimming with prosperity and popularity.

And what if you didn’t have a mum to tote around from class to class ALL DAY LONG on that relentlessly endless Friday of the homecoming game? Well, look in the mirror. That absence of three feet of ribbon on your chest spells L-O-S-E-R. It’s how they separate the wheat from the chaff.

And don’t forget about the male accompaniment. This fellow is sporting the matching homecoming “garter,” just for boys. He’s pepper to her salt. Maybe that “M” is for mum?

And it’s still a big deal now, my friend, as you can see down below. What you CAN’T see is what they’re wearing underneath all that mumminess!

In the words of Men At Work, I’d have to say these silvery white mums are “overkill.” Ten dollars says they’ll have nacho cheese on them by the third quarter.

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