Back On The Chain Gang

America by J. Summerville
America by J. Summerville

Get a load of Mr. Striped Sassypants, begrudgingly working on a Florida farm in 1910. He should just be glad he wasn’t chained to all the other convicts. Chain gangs, in which convicts were chained and forced into labor, were most popular in the Southern States prior to 1955. But some still exist.


In recent years, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona has drawn criticism from human rights groups opposed to punishing criminals by making them work outside in the heat. Arizona’s modern chain gangs, instead of doing unproductive tasks like digging ditches, often do things like removing trash.

During the summer of 2003, when outside temps hit 110 degrees F, Arpaio responded to complaining inmates, “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq, and the soldiers are living in tents, and they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths.”

On the other hand, states like Ohio allow inmates to use mini-tablet computers to connect with friends and family while incarcerated. I bet that would make prison more enjoyable. And I bet those convicts below would prefer the mini-tablets to the labor. 



Sensible Beachwear

Riviera Cocktail by Quinn
Riviera Cocktail by Quinn

Never one to be showy or go overboard, Liz Taylor sports a calf-length mink coat and three-pound bracelet as she walks her dogs in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat with her two sons, Michael and Christopher, in 1957.

Who could blame her for visiting southeast France, when it looks like this?

Here she is holding infant Christopher, whispering to husband #2 that she plans to separate from him the next year and eventually entertain five more husbands (and six more marriages).

But one thing is consistent: sensible beachwear.


Those rocky crags look comfie against bare thighs and taylor-made for high heels. See her pushing away both sons with a firm palm, while daughter Liza Todd (from husband #3) sits pensively, counting step-fathers.

Picasso’s Last Breath

Riviera Cocktail
Riviera Cocktail

Rare is the image depicting a celebrity’s last breath before his untimely demise. And yet here we see artist Pablo Picasso’s son (no, not his great-great grandson as one would logically deduce) Claude about to stab his elderly father for the crime of cubism.

Actually, the 74-year-old Picasso pictured here did not die until he was 91 in 1973, while having a dinner party with friends. And down he went. His then-wife, Jacqueline Roque, bitterly prevented son Claude (born of another woman’s loins) from attending the funeral. Not cool. Jacqueline made another bad decision in 1986 when she pointed a gun at herself and pulled the trigger. We don’t have a photo of that one.


Strut Out And Put It Out


According to the August 15, 1949 Life magazine, women all over America were losing their minds.


Listen, if your husband is wearing your girdle, that’s a serious red flag. Maybe divorce isn’t such a bad option. Maybe he’s just not that into you.

Further into the article, we have a pre-Munsters Yvonne De Carlo, sporting (we assume) a “gee-whiz string.”


Aha! So now we know where the term G-string came from. And where it went. Was this the same woman who played the wife of Moses in The Ten Commandments?

By the way, if you need proof that she wore G-strings in later years, you need look no further than pinterest. My blog’s a little too tame to post it.


Before They Were Feeble And A Hip Replacement Exceeded An Annual Salary

1953 Comet
1953 Comet

For patients without health insurance, a total hip replacement usually will cost between $31,839 and $44,816, with an average cost of $39,299, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. (


Starfish And Shells

Rockport (134)

It looks like this image would make a great puzzle, but it was actually pretty odd to see all this debris washed up on the shoreline in Rockport. Most of the shells were broken, but as you can see, this starfish was still in tact. We didn’t take it, as it needed to dry out. It was wet and squishy. We actually left it all just as it was.

I’d never seen so many things washed up ashore like this. See the leopard print?

Rockport (132)

However, it didn’t seem to bother these folks.

Rockport (124)

Seriously, who does that? Do you ever just lie, fully clothed on the beach like that, and chitty-chat with the sand and surf riding into your nether regions? People are strange.

Shells and crabs littered the entire area.

Rockport (127)

And there was this little guy.

Rockport (133)

Wonder how long it will stay that way?

Rockport (145)

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re On Delta Anymore

Herald Sun
Herald Sun

These lucky fliers had the good fortune to be alive during the height of plane travelin’ glory in 1950. Can you imagine being able to extend the length of your arm above you, and not smashing into the overhead compartment?

The truth is–this is a Ted Solent flying boat, which made many Australia-England runs. They could carry 45 passengers in seven lounges on two decks. Doesn’t it look dreamy?

Below is a Short Empire flying boat, which made many trips prior to WWII. Have you ever been on a flying boat or known anyone who has?


For more images of flying boats, see my earlier post.



What A Day For A Sack Race

Herald Sun
Herald Sun

Ruby, Elsie, and Alison show their competitive skills in Wandin (a suburb of Melbourne) in 1957, representing for the Collingwood branch of the (before political correctness took the accuracy out of terms) Old Age and Invalid Pensioners’ Association. Way to stay active!

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