It was June 24th, 1938, and a celebration was in order as pugilist Jack Dempsey, aka The Manassa Mauler, blew out candles for his 43rd birthday, accompanied by his third wife (of four) Hannah and daughter Joan. A year prior, Kyril Petrov Vassilev, a Bulgarian painter of royalty, had moved to the US and befriended Dempsey. He had started this painting only 10 days prior to this shot. As you can see, he worked quickly.
Drag off a cigarette, that is.
While modern voices find much merriment in decrying systemic racism, declaring the US a consistently racist environment, despite the fact that millions of immigrants have moved here over the last 200 years to pursue (and succeed) in one of the few countries affording them that freedom, no one could argue that America seemed to get it 100% right in this 1938 LIFE article, slamming the Anti-Semitic sentiment which mirrored the growing Nazi party. Very woke indeed.
Most of us don’t immediately associate beaches with the city of Cleveland. In fact, I am so full of ignorance about the city, that other than it existing inside of Ohio, I only know that Drew Carey was born there. I also know he was a Marine, and that his middle name is Allison, so that shows how much MORE I know about Drew than his birthplace. So if you’re like me, you will be gobsmacked to learn that they put some sand along the edge of Lake Erie and called it a beach. No sharks? No salt water to sting your eyes? Sounds nifty!
I hear they have freshwater jellyfish, however, but not big enough to give you a painful sting that lasts for two weeks with shooting bolts of pain down your leg, like the fun Gulf of Mexico offers. Cleveland’s Edgewater Beach website says one can enjoy 2400 feet of beach and 1000 feet of swimming access. Let’s go! Any readers done some swimming this summer, either alone or completely disobeying all the laws and engaging with friends and family? I surely have not.
Oh, things were so formal in days of yore! Kempt hair, belts, ties! Nothing like today, where anything goes. You think Millennials have ever worried over which fork to use? You think Generation Z was ever nagged, “No elbows at the table”? Doubtful. At church yesterday, the boy in front of me was wearing flip-flops, and at least two grown men were wearing ballcaps. That would have never flown in my day, but today we are “accepting” and “inclusive” and it’s perfectly fine to show up, dressed like you’re headed down to the “crick” to go frog-gigging or you’re next up to work the pole . Atrocious, especially if you have perfectly good Sperrys (ies) in your closet.
Anyhoo. This here is Puerto Rico in 1939, the year that I associate with both The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind. The lottery had been allowed for 35 years when in 1934, Puerto Rican legislator Maria Luisa Arcelay (evidently some women did yield political power in the 30s) suggested allowing lotteries to be legalized. By December, she had made it happen. In this image, a lottery drawing is taking place before “three prominent citizens” who act as honorary witnesses (no funny stuff!), but regular proles are allowed to attend as well. The smaller cage on the left houses the “number balls,” and the larger contains “prize amount balls.” Sounds like gambling to me, but I’m not one to turn down a flashy Stampede slot machine.
One third of the receipts were distributed to combat tuberculosis in old PR (which had a whopping 5X higher death rate than in the US proper), to relieve the destitute (of which 82% claimed to be in need of financial aid, and BTW, are the destitute ever really relieved, or do they just hang on as dependents to a government who fancies itself their Savior?), and equip hospitals (possibly with PPE). Choir boys then sang the winning number and the respective prize to the crowd gathered outside. Because that’s normal.
Need to spice up your crappy 2020? Get a coatimundi, aka the hog-nosed coon. Just stick a collar on him, secure a leash, take him to a dog park, and see what happens. It couldn’t be any worse than what’s already happened this year. Imagine the possibilities: you could contract coronavirus or pass it on to someone else standing near you. If they’re not wearing a mask, that’s on them. Don’t let anyone tell you he’s not welcome in their dog park. Who cares if he’s a safety risk? It’s not fair to keep him out. Parks should be more inclusive.
Maybe a dog there is a carrier! Maybe a Great Dane will try to mate him, and he will defend himself and tear that Dane to pieces. Uh-oh! Liability issues. Now the media is involved. Perhaps someone will be offended by the sight or smell of your coati and call the cops. Wait? The cops were defunded? Who’s answering 911 now? Who can they dispatch to?
He sure is cute, though. If you purchase one as a pet, just know that Purina won’t work for this guy. Make sure to provide fish and ants, as well as eggs and sugar. Coatis looove sugar. He was not made to eat a vegan diet, so don’t push your agenda on him. And don’t get angry if he comes at you like a spider monkey; it’s in his nature. He can’t transition into a chill sloth or a domestic cat. He’s stuck in the skin he was born in. Don’t try and forcefeed him Zoloft or Latuda or push meditation practices on him to quell his biting tendencies. Believe me, when he sinks his teeth into your skin, he is fully present. Fair warning: he may give in to his bandit ways, and like a coon, pillage your neighbor’s trashcan. Just make sure he doesn’t get caught or he may wind up shot and stuffed. Trespassing is against the law, after all.
If so, make lemonade from lemons, maybe a nice purse or gloves from his fur. But don’t tell PETA!! In fact, don’t tell anyone anything, because they may get offended.
Who needs a carbonated beverage when hot and hunky Randy is only a meter away, and his Chanel Pour Monsieur is wafting toward you on the wings of love, mingled with the musky scent of teen athlete? Focus, Joyce, or you’ll drop your pom.
Hormones are high all around. Looks like she’s got designs on this guy.
The sight of Bill literally made Sally’s jaw fall open.
Too much nuzzling!
A’courting we shall go.
He shall be mine by nightfall. I will yet ensnare him.
I love vintage National Geographics. They didn’t mince words in describing these “shanty-boat folk” in May of 1932, which, though in the Depression, was STILL probably a better May than ours, as they weren’t consumed by thoughts of invisible germs killing them. Shanty-boat folk don’t care about no germs. SBF don’t care about paying property taxes, since their “crude craft of clapboards and tin” drifted along the Ohio River and down the Mississippi as they saw fit, stealing food from cornfields and berry patches, or snatching an unfortunate stray chicken. These water gypsies had been “the bane of steamboat skippers,” who tried to maneuver around them in days of yore, and continued to incite derision as the decades passed.
For more information on shanty boat people and cool images like this even-more-mobile mobile home, check out: https://peoplesriverhistory.us/project/history/.
Oft is the time I’ve enjoyed a Whitman’s Sampler; Walgreen’s always has them in supply. But what of this metal box of Loveliness? Isn’t that a fruit of the spirit? No, I forget myself. Loveliness is full of surprise centers. Forrest Gump’s mother was well-acquainted with these. I received neither last Sunday. But at least I’m not stuck on a frontier with my frock stuck in a cactus.