I love old magazines; they don’t mince words. In their retelling of how toddler Peter Jackson came to be the “sensation of the late London season” at the Horse Guards Parade, they made sure to make mention that he was only there because his poor father was jobless and had nowhere else to be, since he wasn’t supporting his family. Was that necessary?
Two-year-old Peter, overcome with emotion, could not simply watch the Mounting of the Guard. He had to be a part of it. It was not a protest at all, but imitation in the highest. Slipping away from the supervision of his father, Peter dashed out onto the grounds, secured his toy rifle (albeit on the wrong shoulder), and marched with military form, to the delight of onlookers. In this image, he is shouting an order, immediately followed by a fearful reaction to his own voice, and flees back to the arms of his papa.
Oh, y’all. How do I tread lightly on this image? My first inclination was to Google the opposite of eye candy, which returned “butt ugly.” Honestly. While I feel that is harsh, my eyes nod in accord with Google. These are skivvies best left unseen. It’s curious that LIFE published this at all, in their 7/11/38 issue, referring to Emmy Andersen (whom you will not find made mention of anywhere else on the interwebs) as a “calisthenist and premier nudist of Denmark.” By the way, if you again Google calisthenics, the example it gives is, “Three women swung Indian clubs while performing calisthenics in unison.” That’s weird, right? It’s not just me?
LIFE went on to explain that Andersen had been a solo nudist on a North Sea island for seven years because Denmark frowned on organized skin culture. Don’t Google that term, because it means something else entirely. She arrived in the USA on June 30th to “ascertain the status of nudism in America.” One wonders what she discovered, or when she returned to her homeland, which declared neutrality the following year, and was quickly occupied by the Germans. I, however, am not a Dane, so I don’t have to be neutral. To the exhibitionist with the nylons rolled down, I give a decided thumbs down.
Indoor furniture belongs indoor. Couches don’t belong on porches or in front yards, as the fabric is not designed to repel moisture or the sun’s rays. They are breeding grounds for filth. And yet, I see them on the daily as I pass the nearby trailer homes. That’s a fact. It’s nasty, especially when the rare and brief rains come. But who knew there was ever a possibility in Austin, Texas of snow falling down from the heavens to blanket these cesspools of cushion? Not I. I’ve lived here nearly half a decade, and the most snow we’ve ever seen was back in 1985, at 3-7 inches, depending on your locale. I know that’s pathetic to you Yankees, but I verily say it unto you.
However, Mother Nature surprised us 48 hours ago with a snowfall, the likes of which no one under 60 years old has ever seen in central Texas. First it was sleet, that sound of clinking against the window, which I heard pre-dawn. Then a few hours later, tiny flakes. We all peered outside to see if it could truly be. Then flurries, then bigger flakes, steady as she goes. Then the green rye grass in our yard began disappearing.
We rarely get an hour solid of RAIN down here, much less snow. Yet hour after hour, it snowed, not letting up until the entire area was blanketed in glorious white powder, as you can see below, on proper outdoor furniture.
The cacti were taken by surprise. They knew not what fell upon them.
Neighbors dug through the backs of their closets to find gloves and winter caps not worn in eons. We made our way outside. It was SO QUIET, like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Just soft snow falling upon snow. MAGICAL! And bit by bit, the children appeared. Snow Day! No school! The hoops and hollers began. Children who had never seen a flake were now able to make snowmen–actual human-sized snowmen, with a bit of effort and collaboration. And for one brief moment, we forgot about politics and the purge of free speech, the division and violence, the pandemic of nearly a year, and we exhaled. We remember what it felt like to be excited, giddy even. Our brains had recall on this feeling of joy.
It’s gone now. The slant of north-facing roofs still hosts slushy white patches, but it’s melting in the sun. The scenes that inspired us to suddenly spout Robert Frost poems have disappeared. But for a moment, it was magic. It was the best Monday in years. And though I may be in my grave before I ever see more than “trace amounts,” I am ever so grateful for the experience.
Brothers Fred and Amos Vieira cut ice on their farm pond in Jacksonville, Illinois exactly 100 years ago in 1921. One hopes they never fell through the ice in those heavy jackets, but I imagine, as they were the only two of six sons assigned to this chore, that their competence was high. Ice was stored in sawdust (yes, that’s a thing) for later use. Can you imagine dusty ice cubes in your cocktail? I can’t even imagine a frozen river.
In my newer model sensible Camry, I have two inches clearance between my scalp and the roof. I doubt I could have comfortably driven this sedan with my higher volume 80s hair. But this? This is (quite lit’rally) above and beyond.
This hair style was MADE for buses. Buses offer plenty of room for trendy gals to nod and shake their heads. It’s a good thing no one went jogging back then, because these bouffants would have never fit beneath a ball cap.
Now check out this Sputnik style. How would you travel with this thing? By rocket ship?
In the middle of WWII, Curtis-Wright Cadettes at the University of Texas trained for vital war work, living in the Campus Guild and getting hands-on experience in engineering.
When nightfall came, however, they traded jumpsuits for feminine pajamas and flowy gowns. Or at least they did for this article.
Per https://archives.lib.purdue.edu, the Engineering Cadette Program was started in 1943 at seven universities: Purdue University, Cornell, Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, Rensselear University, and University of Texas. During their time in the program, the women’s educational and lodging costs were covered by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, and they received a $10 per week stipend. The graduates of 1943 completed two and a half years of engineering curriculum in ten months. Upon completion of the program, the women were assigned positions in one of five Curtiss-Wright facilities in the country. Once the war was over, the majority of the women were replaced by returning male soldiers.
A horse and rider confidently walk upon the sturdy snow on the roof of Paradise Inn on Mount Ranier.
In the current image from Park Ranger John, you can see that the entrance has hardly changed, minus the snow drifts and one lanky cowboy.
I would imagine that this era of rules and regulations has ushered in a “no horses on the roof” policy. But it must have been a hoot back then!
A member of the Scandinavian crew in Aberdeen, Washington shows how fresh the silverside salmon is, just snared in the lower Columbia River.
Today’s image comes from Hoquiam High School’s domestic science department, where the seated teacher is tending to a wooden skirt made of Sitka spruce veneer, at a comfortable 1/80 inch thickness. Washington state was swimming in lumber during the Great Depression, leading to its use in costumes as well as (yes!) bathing suits. Can you imagine the marks that would leave on your upper thigh, or how it would clickety clack when you walk?
Will we get our piddly $600 stimulus checks? Possibly. Will Eygpt get 1.4 billion in aid from US taxpayers? Undoubtedly. Because isn’t that we why work a 40 hour week anyway, while businesses and restaurants around us go bankrupt, disappearing with each new week? Let’s hand oxygen masks to countries who hate us while our own are just out of reach. Seems like an elevated way to give the bully our lunch money. So we sit and wait. Wait on assistance. Wait on the numbers to go down, for the news to spout something encouraging, wait on the new regime, wait for the world to once again flip the CLOSED sign to OPEN.
Let’s hope the pessimistic leader-elect’s gloomy prediction of a dark winter proves false. Love him or hate him, all our leaders need our prayers now. Don’t we all want our country to thrive and be united? Seems like a pipe dream, but I believe many Americans are hopeful.
So we applaud the arrival of a new year, albeit with trepidation.
The vaccine is here, and I know several folks now who have received it, all of them working in hospitals. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. There is always hope.