History, Nature, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

That Dog Though

"Women of the West" by Luchetti & Olwell
“Women of the West” by Luchetti & Olwell

Here a family drags all of its belongings into the Yukon Territory near Alaska in 1898. This must have been the granddad of Petey the dog from Our Gang.


And here’s a happy pack dog with his gold-prospecting owner in the Yukon Territory a few years later. He gets to carry the pots and pans.



This group of dogs in Dawson City in the Yukon was responsible for carrying mail in 1898.


Wow! Dogs really are man’s best friend.

1960s, Fashion, Fun, Funny, Hair, Humor, Photography, Pics, Style, Travel

Keep Portland Weird

Natl Geographic Feb '68
Natl Geographic Feb ’68

Nope, those aren’t creative trick-or-treaters; it’s a family of Colorado Indians in Santo Domingo de los Colorados in Ecuador. Evidently, a new asphalt highway had been paved across their forest home, and the value of their land gave them beaucoup spendin’ money. So off they went to score Dad more sheer yellow scarves, whilst donning the traditional tribal stripes–regardless of the fact that horizontal lines are not slimming. In lieu of mousse or gel, Dad styled his hair with achiote paste, scooped from the plant pod.

For a closer look, fellow Colorado Indian Felix Calazacon models the red-paste hairdo.


Impressive. Should you so desire to mimic said hairstyle for your own costume desires, products are available.


Tradition still goes strong in 2016, and this happy family seems to be enjoying life.

1930s, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Before The Demise Of The Typing Class

Cactus 1937
Cactus 1937

The stern-faced Miss Florence Stullken looks about as happy teaching typing to her class in 1937 as Miss Bass looked teaching my typing class over 40 years later. I did not like Miss Bass. She was tall and bony and ornery and she knew when you made an error because there was no delete button then, only White-Out, and that was messy. I despised when she taped a sheet of paper over my fingers so I couldn’t look at them, but by golly, I learned to type. And at one point, I was typing 80 wpm. But I haven’t taken a test in years.

My teen thinks he can type correctly; he can hunt and peck. But he (along with the other kids of his generation) never took a typing class. Or a cursive class. In fact, cursive genuinely stumps them. It’s like a foreign language.

But back in 1937, typing was part of “modern business administration,” as was this nifty machine. The fellow here is compiling and using statistics. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you what he’s touching, although Monroe made it, and probably not in China.


If you learned how to type properly (and your shorthand wasn’t bad), you could score a keen secretary job, like Miss Dorothy Ayres.


Just imagine answering only one telephone line. No monitor to stare at. No basic Freecell or Minesweeper to play during the tedium. Perhaps not even air-conditioning. Ignorant of what was trending because nothing was trending. No rock ‘n’ roll on the radio; she’d be grey-haired by the time rock became popular. It wasn’t until the next year that The Fair Labor Standards Act would even create a national minimum wage. But, hey, she was a woman with a job during The Great Depression, so she was doing pretty well.

And speaking of women doing well, here’s the inventor of Liquid Paper. Remember how it would clump and get sticky and eventually make the paper so wet that a hole would tear through?

bette-nesmithYep, that’s Bette Nesmith Graham (mother to lanky Michael Nesmith, of the 1960s band The Monkees) who invented the first correction fluid in her kitchen in 1951.

These days, this rolling tape is much more user friendly.


1930s, History, Nature, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Dust In The Wind, Part 3

Time to get the H out of Dodge.

The Dust Bowl by Duncan & Burns
all images from “The Dust Bowl” by Duncan & Burns

A New Mexico man sits in a stupor, as some of the millions of grasshoppers that invaded the land swarm his window.

Said Sam Arguello of Union County, New Mexico in 1938:

You’d pull on the reins and the horse would slide on the grasshoppers. And that’s a fact. That’s not make-believe. I went through it. I know it.

If it wasn’t grasshoppers, it was erosion. thedustbowl-014

And with erosion, came the dust. Below a black blizzard hits Elkhart, Kansas on May 21, 1937.


FDR encouraged these Boise City farmers to stay put, offering the promise of help and hope. Said Timothy Egan, “Here’s a land that God Himself seems to have given up on, getting the backhand of nature.”


But many could not heed his words. The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history. According to www.pbs.org, by 1940, 2.5 million people had moved out of the Plains states; of those, 200,000 moved to California.

This Texas family loaded up their goat and hit the road, Jack.


Complications would arise, but this Texan father was able to repair the back axle while his family waited in the shade of a tarp.


Eventually, the drought let up, and precipitation returned. By the end of 1939, the Dust Bowl had shrunk to 1/5 its previous size. By 1940, the drought was officially over, and many farmers harvested their first profitable crop since 1930.

According to Lorene Delay White in The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History:

Now one will ever know what it meant to us to have it rain. That’s what we prayed for, what we yearned for, was the rain that came that would soak in to the ground and let us raise a crop and eventually stop the dust.

1930s, History, Nature, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Texas

Dust In The Wind, Part 1


Two Baca County, Colorado girls cover their mouths while pumping water into a cup in March 1935.

The Dust Bowl by Duncan & Burns showcases images and stories from the five states affected by the “worst man-made ecological disaster in American history.” Below is what is considered the Dust Bowl during the 1930s.


Wind, drought, and poor farming practices combined to create a perfect storm of “black blizzards” across millions of acres, lasting nearly a decade.


Imagine 14 million grasshoppers per square mile descending upon parched fields, while millions of tons of topsoil blew away each year, seeping into every crevice imaginable.

Syracuse, Kansas shopkeepers kept their arms strong by continually sweeping the dust from their sidewalks. thedustbowl-002

This paperboy in Ness City, KS donned a dust mask and goggles in order to complete his job. One imagines the headlines maintained Living in the Dust Bowl Stinks.


Photography, Pics

Sunday Mourning Coming Down


I just learned from Mark at markbialczak.com that our blogger friend, Paul Curran, just passed away. Ever the walking wikipedia, gentleman Paul, living in Ottawa, Canada, had recently survived some serious surgery and (seemingly) come out stronger. But today I learned that he was no longer with us. I went outside and looked at the sky and thought about him, never seeing any more sunsets, but maybe seeing something better than we could ever comprehend.

And if you never got to chat with Paul, here is one of his many tales and tidbits he shared over the years. This one was from last May 5th.

My Nan was born in 1900 (she passed away in 1992 after living in the same house all her life until the last week she spent in hospital). She always dressed in a floral print dress with low heels and a sweater – usually knitted. The dress she would have made herself until about 1960. Except for gifts, she always made all her sweaters up until the day she passed. Nan always had her knitting bag with her and she would sit and chat or listen to the radio while she knitted. She would not think about going out unless she had dressed carefully and put on her heels and make up and did her hair. And she absolutely loved going for drives in the car. You could load her up and go anywhere and she would be happy. We used to take her on vacation and she was awesome – we went to Virginia, New York, Boston (visiting each), Toronto, Montreal, etc. Just sit her in the back seat, give her the occasional cup of tea and she was content. When I was young, we had a station wagon and my parents had the front seats, Nan had the rear seat and my friend and I owned the rear of the station wagon. We pulled a travel trailer (and later rented motor homes)and all the luggage would be in there.

Perhaps you are riding in a station wagon with Nan right now. Here’s to you, my blogger friend.