In true I Don’t Get It fashion, I know not if these are cheeseheads, pyramid fans, or Delta crowns. I can surmise that tobacco is being shared, but I cannot fathom the reason for such ruffled collars. In any case, I hope these smiles are contagious.
Three-year-old Joyce Bjerk towers high above the ground below in her father Oscar’s barber shop in Karlstad, Minnesota. Pop’s sign above the swanky Maytag washing machine declares a haircut and a shave for a fair price of just two quarters. Joyce seems to be getting the standard kids’ cut of 1934. At least she knows it’s on the house.
Wondering why you’ve never heard of Tanganyika? Well, much like Istanbul was Constantinople, Tanganyika is now Tanzania. You’ve heard of that, yes? As stated in this editorial, triplets were unusual in Africa. Frankly, triplets are always unusual. But what’s most unusual is a white couple giving birth to black triplets. That happened.
How? Well, much like the recent news that Sofía Vergara will not allow her frozen embryos with former lover Nick Loeb to ever grow into human beings, couples with fertility problems often have leftover embryos after successful in vitro. Some are donated to research and some, like Sofia’s, will die. The Halberts, missionaries who had previously adopted two children of color, decided to implant leftover embryos from the National Embryo Donation Center into Rachel’s uterus. It took! And took, and took. She delivered triplets of her own, and now they are a happy family of five.
It’s funny how ideology goes back and forth: margarine is better than butter, then butter is better than margarine. Egg yolks are good, then they’re bad. Beer is better in bottles, then cans, then back to bottles. But in June of 1938, the consensus was cans were cool. Cans, you see, did not expose beer to harmful light.
It’s July of 1936 on Boston’s Revere Beach, populated with exuberant young people of presumably many different ethnicities and many immigrant groups. It should make you smile to see such joy. “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). However, with today’s skewed lens, it might immediately trigger folks who see too much white, lumping all of these faces into one category. Diversity is present in many ways. Retrain your brain to stop being offended. Stop being triggered. I thought judging by skin color was what we were trying not to do 60 years ago. I seem to recall a “content of their character” speech by an inspiring orator who would have been horrified by the present agenda, and how HARD IT IS TRYING to create more and more division. MLK wanted us to focus less on skin color, while today’s leadership wants us to focus 24/7 on skin color. Pedophiles, adulterers, rapists, terrorists? Turn the other way. But too little melanin? You’re the problem.
Frankly, I can’t believe this beach is even still called Revere Beach, since I’m pretty sure Paul Revere was white. His father was a French Huguenot, and that is precisely the kind of European white that you are not allowed to be. Perhaps one will soon be able to reassign or reidentify their ancestry, in essence, lie or pretend. You can imagine how hard this is on me, able only to celebrate my Cuban half, because being hispanic is celebratable, but not my Scotch-Irish half, because poor Irish folks were pink and clearly oppressors.
First off, the sins of your fathers are not your sins. Secondly, most of your fathers are being blamed for sins they never even committed, by folks who aren’t super clear on what a sin actually is. Thirdly, a father is different than a mother and has different roles to play because men and women are inherently different and balance each other out. No gender is better (out of the two that exist), and no race is superior out of the myriad that exist.
You can also imagine how hard this 2021 brainwashing is on me, knowing my love for Coke, oft-chronicled on this blog, while not endorsing their recent “be less white” training. It seems inconsistent in this world of, “You do you and let your freak flag fly,” but the truth is–only some of you can do you. And God help you if you’re a white man (I shudder to even type it) because you are exactly everything that was wrong with the former Mr. Potato Head. Maleness is shameful, and the neutering is going exactly as planned, Mein Führer. If penises are offensive now, which was only the implication of Mr. Starch Head, not the physical manifestation, then how long until the Berenstain Bears go the way of poor Dr. Seuss? After all, they DO DECLARE the reality of two genders.
At least they are brown and not polar white, like the Coke beast, which is polar-izing. Guess what, kids? Not everyone gets to be a mother, and not everyone gets to be a father, no matter how much you mutilate your body. Chromosomes tell the truth. Do we want to be authentic, or do we want to make up stories about ourselves and create “personal narratives”? Lies. How long before the cancel culture agenda takes out icons like Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross and Steve Irwin? Oh, it won’t be long, folks. History is being retold. So I’ll keep sharing these pics from the past with the reality of the circumstances before it is deleted or altered to fit the current PC agenda.
This is a picture of happy beach-goers smack dab in the middle of the Depression, trying their damnedest to enjoy life despite awful circumstances, kind of like what we’ve been doing for the last year. Most of them rented their swimsuits from the city, who laundered more than 100,000 suits that Sunday. Most of them descended from hardworking immigrants who came to this country, searching for freedom from socialist or communist or oppressive countries that devalued them. Actually, just posing for this shot was a new freedom, because even visiting the beach on a Sunday was, at one point, a crime. So just to be clear, this was not a white supremacist rally. It was not a group of Italians gathering to decide how to destroy their Polish neighbors. It was not insurrectionists storming the lifeguard’s chair. It was not a picture full of hate because most Americans do not carry hate in their hearts. Sorry to upset you, media, but we don’t. We don’t use hate speech and we don’t hate any skin color and we base our judgments on whether people are kind or whether they are jerks. Don’t fall for the pathetic attempts to divide. Don’t hate yourself for the way God knit you in your mother’s womb. He knew what He was doing when He made you, and that is nothing for which to apologize.
The diligent ladies here are manning (or womanning) the production line at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire in 1934. In my home, we eat canned green beans about once a week. A couple times a month, I’ll buy the fresh ones and spend an hour snipping the ends and chopping them into reasonable bite sizes, then simmering them in beef broth for several hours. They taste better, but it’s not really worth the labor or the four minutes it takes my men to consume them. We always eat the thicker Italian cut beans, as they are heartier and easier to stab. However, when the holidays roll around, we buy the French Style beans to make green bean casserole because America.
But these British lasses would never have celebrated Thanksgiving and probably never had a green bean casserole in their lives. In Texas, we don’t eat many casseroles; that’s more of a Midwest thang. But I love a good casserole, from spinach to broccoli rice to sweet corn. And I never pass up a side at Thanksgiving. I am an equal opportunity consumer. I don’t even care if the cranberries are cut into a slab of congealed jelly or fresh berries with orange zest and ginger. Either way works.
What about y’all? Are you picky? I’d eat any and all of these sides.
Who’s the most interesting fellow here? The obvious one in dark frames, or the guy taking a pull of his cigarette? It’s quite the crowded counter. Tiny bottles of soda were available for rationing through an entire meal. Honestly, how we did we ever do that? You might also notice that what appears to be a box of Kleenex or napkins is actually a NAB, a square of salty or sugary carbs to compliment your beverage. Of course, NAB is short for Nabisco. And why not indulge? It’s a mere nickel, or as Gary Gulman calls them, “quarter impersonators.” Might I suggest not pairing Oreos with Coke? The sugar crash will be atrocious.
This is quite the hairless couple, trim and athletic and healthy. I have never before witnessed such a sheen on a man’s oiled limbs; usually, they are too furry to reflect light. This delightful artwork reminds me both of Vargas pin-up girls, as well as actress Jean Harlow, who shared the platinum hair and pale skin (although rarely a smile). Swimsuits had made leaps and bounds by 1938, with vastly less fabric and stretchier than those of the generation before. Today’s styles hardly differ from these wisp-o-weight Jantzens so many moons ago.
If you think the world hasn’t made great strides in being “woke” in the 83 years since this ad was printed in LIFE, you’re wrong. Instead of erasing the past, let’s shine a light on it, so that we know how far we’ve come, and continue to go. Let’s also remember to keep everything in context of its era and keep in mind that not everything that offends people was intended to belittle. As a Hispanic woman who has spent her life in Texas, I can tell you that many people DO speak with poor conjugation in broken sentences, as is par for the course when you are mastering a second language. I have heard sentences very similar to these. Before one jumps to outrage, one should try to see the big picture. Obviously, this wouldn’t fly in today’s advertising. And while I choose to grind my own beans each morning and consequently have never had Sanka, I sadly am forced to drink decaf as well. “I have sleep like the log” after evening coffee, too.