Actually, it’s neither Muscle Shoals nor Muscle Beach, but rather like Muscle Valley, as these tots flex their biceps in a ridge overlooking California’s Antelope Valley in 1962. With perseverance, they might have tanks like Popeye.
So much in this one tiny image. The slender woman at the balcony, trying to fill the emptiness of her husband’s neglect with six ounces of Earl Grey, as he obliviously tries to pack away his clubs into a luxuriously long and lean baby blue ’64 Cadillac. Note the fender skirt. Have you ever driven a car with a fender skirt? Has the term changed because a skirt implies gender, though cars are often thought of as female? Can I call this a house of antebellum architecture? Or is that passé, now that Lady Antebellum has become Lady A, due to the fact that columns = slavery = plantations = racism? Better take Lincoln off the penny, as he denotes STRONG connotations of the Civil War, and we shan’t want to be reminded of that baser time. In fact, weren’t ALL times baser? Do not we become more woke and woke each day? At least, we all have the right to vote these days, but what of Yellow Dress up there? How can she get to the polling booths if Stan is taking the car? There was no mail-in in 1964. LBJ beat Goldwater that year, but perhaps his victory lies in part, due to all the housewives who simply could not make it to the booths that year, due to their golf-happy spouse’s Tuesday game. Makes you wonder.
Tired of cashing your unemployment check and sitting on your bum all day? That sounds amazing, actually, but I imagine it could get old. And who cashes checks anymore anyway? We don’t even have coins. Well, if you’re one of the millions of Americans who aren’t working these days, and you’ve grown weary of looting and blinding officers with lasers and toppling statues (Frederick Douglass, included–seriously, y’all?), I present to you some options that may or may not be essential, but you’re better off without them.
Numero uno: mining. Nevermind the grime or the chafing overalls or even the soggy lunch pail egg sandwich; the worst part was the community shower at Orient No.3 Mine near Waltonville, Illinois. Are we still allowed to say Orient? Anyway, these guys deserved double overtime. You think your cubicle stinks? Try spending half a day 800 feet below the ground, extracting bituminous coal. Pass.
You might think those miners would give their right pinky toe to trade places with this next lady, spending all day in the sea air, mending the nets of her fishermen husband, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It exacerbates (if not induces) rheumatoid arthritis, offers the agreeable company of no one, save an errant and greedy seagull, has zero promotion, and requires solid maintenance of sturdy prescription readers.
Next: kidnapping a blind shoeshine man and taking him to Florida to experience the joy of green turtle hatchlings frantically peddling to the sea for their first swim. Terrible pay and no travel reimbursement. Possibly illegal.
Numero quatro: feeding and hefting an endless procession of magazines at the RR Donnelley & Sons commercial printing firm in Chicago. Despite the boss cap, gloves, and jacket, the tasks were backbreaking and tedious. Presses printed more than half a million pages an hour. If stacked atop each other, a single month’s press would tower over 27 miles high, or the same amount of miles it would take to hit the gas and drive from Chicago to Munster, IN, where the amount of vandalism and arson is considerably lower.
And lastly, a job that requires both creativity and compassion: talking people off a cliff.
That might seem like a job better suited for 1967 than 2020, as we have any number of reasons to hurl our bodies over the edge these days, but 1967 was a time of civil unrest. Sure, RFK and MLK had yet to be assassinated, but the nation was reeling from the loss of young men in Vietnam and plagued by riots and demonstrations of its own.
In any event, somebody had to man the cliffs like a modern-day second class angel Clarence to the handful of would-be bridgejumping George Baileys. Sometimes it could be hard to determine which park visitor was there to appreciate fall foliage, and which one was there to give up the ghost. However, bonuses were fresh, clean air and a view.
Let us now pause and be jealous of John Harrison, who has arguably one of the best jobs on the planet, as a Dreyer’s ice cream “tastemaster.” Spending four to five hours a day, sampling 20 different flavors, one understands why he has kept the job for 30 years. And no, he doesn’t use a wooden spoon, as that would distort his tastebuds. Nay, he has a gold-plated spoon (and those buds are insured for a million buckaroos, per payscale.com). Now back to work.
After a series of snubs and inefficient service by rude waiters in Sanary, France, followed by a très oversalted beef bourguignon, visiting elephants literally turn tail and wade into the salty sea, headed east toward Switzerland. A spokesman for said elephants said they will never summer in France again.
While most of us may not remember the taste of joy and victory, time was when a whole country could come together to support an accomplishment, like this August 16, 1969 parade on Houston’s Main Street for Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. While Armstrong has since passed, Aldrin and Collins turn 90 this year.
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII love a parade… ♫♪♪
A patron of a Viennese wine garden refills his glass from a weinheber. A fat cigar, fine wine, a plate of cured meats, perhaps some friendly company. What else could one want? The article from which this came declares this image as an example of the German word, gemutlichkeit, which we’re all going to learn today.
Behance.net defines it as, “A feeling of friendliness and coziness that comes from drinking in a beer garden.” They created this next poster, which you might find helpful, should you choose to add more words to your vocabulary. Perhaps a little humpen and hopfen is in order.