Today we take a trip back to June of 1972. The image above is the cover art of my Betty and Veronica from the Archie series. However, it doesn’t seem to reflect summer at all. Note the brown leaf on the ground. It reads more like a back-to-school issue.
Obviously, when I started collecting Archies as a child, I had no notion of female objectification, and was clueless to the rampant innuendo in the comics. All I knew is I liked the artwork, teenagers were cool, and they had style. In fact, if nothing else, Archie magazines reflect the style of the times. I mean, how much shorter could Veronica’s mini skirt get? She had a wardrobe malfunction nearly 50 years ago. Plus, we get a bonus shot of a coiffed hairstyle and checkerboard collar. Yay, 70s!
For a fashion-focused lass like myself, Betty seemed the height of fashion in her mushroom blouse and patchwork pockets.
In fact, patches were de rigueur for males as well. Archie forfeited his time with Veronica, in order to have Betty sew patches on his army jacket. Note two things you rarely see these days: a woman sewing and a TV with legs.
So while you may not count me among the comic book nerds of The Big Bang Theory, I do assert the value of comics in reflecting the current times. (They were a’changing.) Dig Archie’s groovy stripes and denim vest. Right on!
In Douglass Crockwell’s “Winter Evening At Home,” we see that Dad has just finished popping popcorn over the coals of the fire, and Mary has offered a pan of it to be salted by her beau. Everyone is enjoying a chilled glass of ale. What a fun after-dinner treat while they watch Arthur Godfrey. But what’s got Dad so forlorn? Is it because Mary is growing up so fast, and this is her last winter at home before she moves to Michigan to attend university? Is it because his right arm is sore from holding the pan off the ground, and he doesn’t have the energy to pour it into the bowl? He ought to be proud, since he clearly didn’t burn even one kernel. Quite a feat, Dad! Maybe he’s rethinking that low profile carpet and wishing they’d gone with a plush.
Or is it because Doris isn’t here to witness any of it, and she so loved popcorn? Why, that was her chair, only 14 inches off the ground because she was so petite. She even sewed the seat cover. But what a firecracker, that Doris! Remember how Dad was so reluctant to wear the vest she gave him for Father’s Day because he said yellow was too “showy”? Now he regrets his words. Goldenrod isn’t showy; it’s just right. It’s the color of popcorn and beer and wintertime cheer. And Mary’s hair color! So let’s all raise a glass to yellow!
It’s party time again, and the gang loves it when Alan’s punchmaster for the night. He might only be 20, but he knows where to score the Everclear and kick the night into high gear. Some have claimed that after two glasses, that wallpaper becomes 3D. They advise against a third.
Ah, the crisp air of autumn–not yet arrived here in muggy, dank … dare I say, sultry, Texas. Leaves are still green on many of the trees, and my hair is still frizzy with humidity. But Halloween, she comes. And with that, an obligation for children to trick or treat from home to home, virus be damned at this point. While I am not the sort of adult who dons costumes anymore, it is always fun to travel back in time to mid-century university life and revisit the apparel of yore. The couple above were captioned as “night-shirted mambo dancers.” They take it quite seriously.
But not as seriously as young love.
Next we have a gaggle of hoboes (also acceptable: hobos. Reminds me of the buffalo conundrum.) Yes, this is when it was acceptable to make fun of the homeless, before many of them were traumatized Vietnam vets. Back then, they were lovable tramps who hopped the trains–and evidently never left home (well, camp) sans hat.
Up next, a Li’l Abner couple, although little is the last word that comes to mind.
Finally, we have a prone mummy, an Indian brave and his maiden, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and others.
Do recall that Ann and Andy were siblings, so let’s hope this didn’t get weird at the end of the night. Did you know that the Raggedy siblings are over 100 years old now? Methinks we should bring the term “raggedy” back into play. It means shabby, so perhaps we could start calling interior design “raggedy chic”? Shabby chic with a hint of red yarn?
With the world in turmoil and transition, survivalism has gained momentum. And while most preppers are stocked up on dehydrated milk and canned charro beans, these savvy Georgians have added a barrel of Wolf's Head Lube to their list. Granted, Paul seems to be scratching his head, wondering if they went a little overboard in absconding with the barrel version . But honestly, can you ever have enough Wolf's Head? I bet some of us would have purchased the barrel size Lysol Wipes, if offered. Even if it never goes scarce, inflation is coming, friends. Why not stock up now, while it's still affordable?
Perhaps a more reasonable size is suggested. Just make sure to ration!
I realize that most of us had to stem our woodcarving budgets to almost nothing under this economy. But back in 1946, when James Watson Webb and his fantastically-named wife, Electra (which is more fun to say than Alexa) sat down in their posh residence on the North Shore of Long Island, only the most desirable location at the time, trees were plenty, and money was no object.
JW was no commoner, no basic blogger like you or I. Nay, he was born into greatness. His mother was a Vanderbilt, his grandfather an ambassador to Brazil under Lincoln. So he did things neither you nor I could do: graduate from Yale, found a brokerage firm, play on the American polo team, serve in the House of Representatives. Do you feel like a loser yet?
Electra herself was the daughter of a sugar tycoon, and she spent her days on buying sprees, snatching up bits of Americana and brilliant craftsmanship (like those above) to add to her collections. Everything from paintings to quilts to New England furniture. At the tender age of 18, she bought a wooden cigar store Indian for $25 and named it Mary O’Connor after one of her favorite family servants. What others at the time would have called tobacco store junk was art in the eyes of Electra.
The year after the above shot was taken, she established the Shelburne Museum, a home for her treasures, and became a pioneer in preserving remnants of early Americana. It houses the SS Ticonderoga, a passenger steamship, an 1890s rail car, a light house, and various sleighs and carriages. Aren’t the grounds lovely? They even have an apothecary shop!
Mary O’Connor eventually wound up on the other side of the country, in the California home of her son, J. Watson Webb, Jr. As he had no children of his own, one wonders where Mary is now. The museum?