We All Party In A Newly-Commissioned Submarine

Commander Carl Johnson, officer of a newly-commissioned submarine at the Navy’s New London, Connecticut submarine base, cut into a sub-shaped cake (pre-Cake Boss era) with “Good Hunting” festooned on the side.

LIFE 1-3-44

Gals from the Connecticut College for Women were on hand to help the crew celebrate, along with plenty of lobster and pastries. After the men completed a test for active duty, they were allowed to visit Neptune and his mermaids.


Part of the equipment at New London school included a captured Japanese periscope. Torpedoman (that sounds like a superhero) Homer Christie was more than happy to show Beverly Chambers how it operated.


Check out these two, getting cozy astride a torpedo.


Sub love was certainly in the air.


Hail, Caesar


I know, guys. I see it, too. But that’s because we’re seeing with 2016 eyes that can’t escape the homoerotic undertones. But on January 3, 1944, when it appeared in LIFE magazine, I doubt the viewers saw it that way. The U.S. was two years into WWII, and the boys fighting overseas were always on the mind of the American public.


It’s difficult to imagine asking the public to stop buying new towels so that the boys overseas could enjoy them. Society is so self-centered now, so absorbed with our own personal liberties, that I can’t imagine the country getting on board with sacrificing soft towels for the greater good.


This is yet another of my Life magazines that has begun to crumble like an autumn leaf into little beige bits. It won’t last long enough to pass down to posterity, but hopefully, I can scan some more images before it takes its last breath.

Our Trees Think It’s Spring

Feb17 (3)

Little buds are sprouting due to warm weather, despite the fact that we haven’t seen measurable rainfall since Thanksgiving.

Feb17 (2)

Cooler weather is coming next week, but I doubt it will stop these buds from growing.

Feb17 (10)

Do you see the bee?

As Italian As Naples


No need for expensive airfare or pushy bellhops when Chef Boy-Ar-Dee can transport you to Naples with its “zippy pizza sauce.” Go ahead and scratch the Amalfi Coast off your bucket list altogether. Why bother when you can taste Italy in your mouth?

Fun Fact #1

The company itself was founded back in 1928 by Italian immigrant Ettore “Hector” Boiardi in Cleveland, Ohio. You know, where Drew Carey is from. Taking note of Americans’ incapacity to pronounce highfalutin foreign words, Boiardi named his products Boy-Ar-Dee. Boy, are dey stoopid. 

Fun Fact #2:


Though he passed in 1985, his likeness remains on the cans to this day. Buon appetito!

Elephant Baby Born To Local Woman

Good Housekeeping Feb 1958
Good Housekeeping Feb 1958

Actually, that sturdy baby might just be a victim of perspective. That’s not where I came to hear the term “elephant baby” anyway. It was the headline of a small article in the Houston Chronicle in 1926, when folks were a little less politically correct.

You see, when I worked in healthcare 20 years ago, my boss was a solid tower of a man, even then in his 70s. He could have played in the NBA. I remember him telling me what the article said: “Elephant baby born to Mr. and Mrs. (Such & Such). The baby boy weighed 14 lbs and was 26 inches long. This is the biggest baby ever born in Houston.”

As far as I know, he’s still going strong. Elephant babies are built for endurance.

Light It Up, But Don’t Inhale

LIFE Century of Change
LIFE Century of Change–Gordon Tenney

Nope, this isn’t like Clinton denying that he ever inhaled. If you can believe it, these business execs were gathered at a meeting to encourage lighting up. It was 1963, the year before the surgeon general’s warning against smoking, and heck, even the president did it.


The cigar manufacturer, Stephano Brothers, taught lessons on how to enjoy a stogie without inhaling, a means of career advancement by sophisticated habit. Sounds like pretense.


Even Ronald Reagan knew the score.


Isn’t it odd how it refers to the “satisfying fragrance” of cigars? Pipe smoke, now that’s a horse of a different color. That smell makes me happy. Cigar smoke, not so much. However, these ladies didn’t seem to mind.


Not What You Think


Why is Kerbey posting nipple-less breasts? That’s not like her. No, but WWII is totally like me! Did you know that over 60 million people were killed in WWII (about 3% of the 2.3 billion 1940 world population)? And 7 million of those casualties were in factories and defense plants in the U.S. Can you imagine?

In response to the casualties, a plant in Los Angeles mounted a safety campaign to protect its many female workers. On the left, you see the goggles. On the right is the protective bra. Cumbersome much? Did they make them in many sizes? I wonder how many chest injuries actually occurred. It makes you wonder how much training unskilled workers received before getting their feet wet, so to speak.

%d bloggers like this: