Seated at the glossy counter is owner Mrs. Clarice DeBack, surrounded by her wares, transistor radio, and packs of smokes, all beneath the Jax beer sign (the mellow brew). The tavern served bar-b-q, sausage, chili, and burgers. I imagine at one time, this tavern ranked among Oldenburg’s “great good places.”
A Mad, Mad World
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!
Jolly Good Form
On the right, we see Charles Umlauf, Professor of Life Drawing and Sculpture, during his first year of teaching at the University of Texas. While you may not be familiar with his name, chances are you have heard of one of his art major students, Farrah Fawcett, who called Umlauf her “favorite professor.” Understandably, she posed for him as a muse, as well as sculpted on her own. Here they are in his studio, during a very stripey 1971.
Below is the bronze bust of a feathery Fawcett, made by Umlauf.
If Puerto Ricans Can’t Choose Decent Shoes, How Can They Choose Decent Presidents?
Let me qualify that. Male Puerto Ricans. Puertorriqueños. From his bangs to his jaunty mustache, to his feminized clunky yellow sandals, to his flesh belt matching flesh socks, to his choice of stool, everything is wrong wrong wrong. Even 41 years later, his lady friend looks stylish and composed. But Enrique, not so much. I mean, look at his jean hem! Look at the cut of it!
I know Puerto Rico wants to be able to vote, and I don’t blame them. Really, the main barrier I can see is that we’d have to add another star to our flag, and OCD people would go nuts with an odd number of states. It wouldn’t line up correctly on the flag. We’d have to adopt yet another state to make it even. Or Texas could secede! Most folks my age still think we have nine planets; we’re not going to suddenly remember 51 states. Or we’ll say it with finger quotes, as if it isn’t real yet.
But maybe Enrique’s problem was that he was lit, juiced up on the rum for which he was plugging in this ad.
The thing is, they knew they were being photographed. Ingrid should have offered spously guidance. Could they even possibly still be married, after this atrocity? Or is the rum that good?
I Vant To Drink Your COVID Antibodies
This ape found his Chiquita Banana.
Although we bristle at this now, this was the reality of a 70s frat “Jungle Party” on 11/11/76. As Bob Wills says, “Time changes everything,” and we can see why.
That’s the great thing about yearbooks; they never get re-edited. So while it reveals a context with which we might now be uncomfortable, it also shows us how far we’ve come.
Property Of The Banana
This gal throws much attitude, but I honestly can’t tell if she’s 13 or 23. Huge Jackie O sunglasses, permed bob, lip gloss, tight waist. Love it! While her shirt cuffs are reminiscent of my own tees in 1985, this was actually September of 1975, exactly 45 years ago. That was the year emissions testing on the exhaust analyzer went into effect, and she was watching her go through testing at an inspection station in Cincinnati, Ohio.
What I don’t get is the possessive S after banana. Is the world going bananas? Sure, that’s solid. But banana’s? Certainly it doesn’t own her. She looks like the boss of herself.
Tony Bennett’s Lemon-Slinging Kid Brother
What do you think? Does Mario bear any passing resemblance to the 94-year-old crooner? Tony has certainly sung about Chicago plenty.
Delta Tests New Space-Age Coffee Holder
What’s going on here? Sideburns and Leisure Suit are actually showing astronaut Story Musgrave (yes, Story!) a fancy new shuttle vehicle at the Johnson Space Center in 1976. Chemist Robert Clarke and physiologist Charles Sawin assess Story’s reaction, hoping he doesn’t spill his morning coffee. Story will turn 85 next month, still the most formally educated astronaut with six academic degrees.
How I Feel When I Drive Into South Austin
Actually, this isn’t Austin at all. It was in downtown Cincinnati at something called D’aug Days back in the 70s. I used to be more tolerant of weirdness in my youth. Perhaps this is just interpretative dance. But as I age, I understand all the feelings of that family of four. The moon goddess doesn’t need your shaken tambourine, hippies. Go stretch your hip flexors back at the commune. This ground is filthy, and you’re going to get hepatitis–and you probably don’t have insurance, even though that’s the law, so my tax dollars will be paying for your antibiotics. This is clearly not the safety dance.
Well, At Least You Don’t Live Here
1971 Roaring Twenties Party Still Looks Like 1971
And if that doesn’t make you feel old enough, now we are actually in another set of Roaring 20s, or whatever adjective you’d like to choose. I’ve seen so many hundreds of yearbooks and thousands of pictures over the last 150 years, that it really chaps my hide when folks don’t even try to look era-specific. Don’t get me started on the mom’s hair in A Christmas Story.
Flappers had bobs. Not Crystal Gayle hair. Not Marcia Brady hair. Certainly not Chrissy Snow pigtails or a beehive. Sigh. Then again, it was just one night.