Art, Austin, Culture, Fun, Funny, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

Browsing the Antique Mall

A bouffanted, bespectacled lady side-eyed us soon after we entered the Austin Antique Mall. She rocked a sombrero better than a nearby cheetah rocked his cowboy hat.

We perused aisles of knick-knacks, some of which made zero sense, like this limber colonial.

Large, upright sound systems beckoned us, but we hadn’t the cash for them, snazzy as they were–and just my style.

Some rooms we only glanced into, fairly certain we didn’t need such breakable wares.

Toys abounded.

My husband recognized this from his boyhood.

Other finds proved wearable, like this skull dress and peacock boots (perhaps not worn together).

Some items were on the verge of extinction, like this cigarette machine.

We rounded the corner past a Koken barber chair and a disturbing Buster Brown.

The Savior himself seemed to be saying, “Enough shopping already.” His mom stayed silent.

That was good enough for us. Our wallets remained in our back pockets and we left the remaining vendor stalls for another day.

1950s, Advertising, Art, Celebrities, Culture, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Style, Vintage

We Had It All (We Had It All)

1954

… just like Bogie and Bacall. ♪♫♫ While sparking up may have been a turn on for his much younger 4th wife, Bogey’s health would head south soon after this ad. Turns out smoking’s not good for your lungs. But they sure looked cool at the time.

Esophageal cancer was his diagnosis, which led to surgery, and included removal of his esophagus, two lymph nodes, and a rib. Ouch! Bogie wasted down down to 80 lbs and passed away in early ’57. Lauren Bacall smoked for decades and died just shy of 90. Life’s funny that way.

1930s, 1950s, Advertising, Art, Culture, History, Nature, Nostalgia, Pics, Travel, Vintage

More Than Nice

Last year, when travel was limited, I shared with my dear readers, in two separate posts, some lovely vintage postcards from the Côte d’Azur. Today, we add the third and final installment.

Francois DuJardin 1950

Picasso 1962
1950s, Advertising, Art, Culture, Food, Fun, Funny, History, Humor, Nostalgia, Vintage

When A Plate Of Ribs Was $1.35

Today we take a quick look at yearbook ads in the back of my 1955 University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida yearbook. Yes, ads might seem banal, but I enjoy the localized details, like this dry cleaning ad.

The cartoons are simple but fun; you can even see cleanliness emanating off the fabric. I like the dime price, the cellophane, and the so very Florida salute to the explorer who led the first Spanish expedition to the state over 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon. In case you’re wondering, yes “peaceful protesters” did vandalize the Ponce de León statues in Miami. What else are you going to do when you’re on unemployment to kill time?

Next up is a BBQ menu with prices one can’t even begin to process.

Have you ever heard of “corn-on-cob”? I’ve only eaten corn on the cob, but I respect the brevity. To think that in one lifetime, a rib plate could go from $1.35 to now $19.00 under this administration is absurd. Why, two chicken plates back then would barely buy me an iced tea today. Another fun fact is the location on the Dixie Hi-Way, which of course, doesn’t exist. The Dixie Chicks had to become the Chicks, Lady Antebullum had to become Lady A, so the Dixie Hi-Way gave way to a series of roads with boring names.

With Florida only being a stone’s throw from the not yet communist-oppressed Cuba, how could they not peddle some cigars? And look! If you buy two instead of one, you save an entire penny! One red cent! Go on, get your college kids some smokes to burn off the steam from finals.

We wrap it up with an all-American product that may surely contribute to diabetes, but don’t it go down nice?

Ah, yes, the delicious and refreshing teeny weensy bottle of Coca-Cola. Imagine how much energy it could provide to the person who had to draw that ad, with all those little lines upon that hand. Plus, it’s fun to note the six digit phone number. Well, that’s all from Coral Gables, y’all. Go out and enjoy a $19 rib plate.

1950s, Advertising, Art, Culture, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Texas

Frosty, Man, Frosty

1958

Now in Detroit! I’m not sure why this ad was targeted specifically at Detroit, giving its citizens (comprised of avid surfers along the Detroit coastline) access to the friendly Pepper-Upper. “Frosty, man, frosty” seems consistent with the beatnik counterculture depicted in the Dobie Gillis show that would air the following year. But isn’t the temperature of the drink dependent on its storage, and not its ingredients? Couldn’t any drink be frosty, man?

Like a pineapple, which is neither pine nor apple, Dr Pepper is neither medicinal nor peppery. But that didn’t stop the jingle makers of the 1977 commercial from using the bandwagon formula of letting all of America know that he, she, and they are peppers, and you might ought to get in line and become a pepper yourself. My friends and I loved to sing along with David Naughton when he appeared on our little black and white screens, donning a vest, and cavorting about. Oh, to be peppers!

Having lived in Texas my entire life, where DP was omnipresent, it was always an option. Many of us have visited the Dr Pepper Museum, as well as the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Company. We know it was created by a pharmacist in Waco 100 years before we started drinking soda, and we knew the period after Dr was dropped in 1950.

However, it could never top Coke in my opinion, so I opted out of consuming it thrice daily during times of low blood sugar (10, 2, and 4). In fact, I’ve never even ordered one at a restaurant. Perhaps it’s a guy thing. My husband adores it. Oft times, I’ve ordered Coke in a restaurant, and been challenged with “Is Pepsi okay?” which it never is, so I settle for iced tea. But no server ever asks, “Is Mr. Pibb okay?” Never. DP is always available, and unlike a box of chocolates, you always know what you’re gonna get.

giphy.com
Advertising, Art, Culture, Food, Fun, Funny, Humor, Photography, Pics

Miller High Life Scores A Win

Keeping up with new Hallmark movies is exhausting these days, whatwith new movies every Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday (which cuts into Bible Study), and sometimes new movies back to back at both 7pm and 9pm. We can’t keep up. But watching hundreds of Hallmark movies means we’ve seen dozens of gingerbread houses being constructed (mostly poorly) in family homes, B&B’s on the verge of bankruptcy, and town festivals. Sometimes simply building them brings two foes together.

But IRL, I’ve never made a gingerbread house. I’ve spent Christmas with different families in different cities, and I’ve never even SEEN a gingerbread house in a person’s home. Do people even eat them? Aren’t they messy? Do they wind up in the Glad bag on December 26th?

But today I saw Miller High Life’s take on the seasonal hobby, and I have to say I’m impressed. Who needs a house when you can have a dive bar?

It’s no joke, and it’s perfect for 2021. Despite all the fear and oppression of American liberty, some industries have banked record revenue, like Big Pharma, Domino’s, and beer. Pfizer reportedly nets $268 million PER DAY and counting, as long as more and more boosters are required. And they will be. Granted, beer hasn’t seen vax $$, but nothing makes folks want to drink more than living through the 2020s.

While many restaurants have folded during the pandemic, we’ve seen craft beer pubs pop up all over our city, and adjacent cities as well. The parking lots are always full, despite pint prices that were $4 last year, now doubled for ales like Electric Jellyfish. Beer is in, man, and it won’t quit. Sure, not Miller High Life. God in heaven, not that. But dive bars? You betcha.

And you just know that when that Gingerbread man enters, everybody knows his name. Who wouldn’t want to grab a pretzel cue stick and play some billiards under actual working lights? Maybe take a load off on some peppermint stools. The kit even offers syrup to drizzle on the floor.

To the marketing geniuses at Miller High Life, I raise a glass of cheap, bland domestic ale to you. Just this once. God bless us one and all.

1950s, Advertising, Art, Culture, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Pics, Vintage

Swiss Miss Chooses Coke

Ah, springtime in Switzerland! Love is in the air, on the cool of the crisp, pure breeze, the crusts are cut off our picnic sandwiches and a German Alpine hat-donning senior has just procured more bottles of Coke for us! How could life get better?

1958

Over 60 years have passed, and Coke is still going strong in Switzerland. Although the national Swiss drink is Rivella, which sounds like a lot like rubella (aka German measles), Coke is still number one. If you ain’t first, you’re last. Sorry, Rivella. I won’t even show you the ugly label of a Rivella bottle, which looks like a second grader won a label art contest, and the contents appear akin to diluted tea. Hard pass. Coke wins.

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1940s, Advertising, Art, Culture, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Vintage

“It’s Swell To Get Camels Again”

You’ve probably never heard the name, Jerry Ambler. As you can see in this 1947 ad, he was a bronc-riding star, winning the North American Saddle Bronc title in 1941 and 1946. Born in Alberta, Canada, Ambler became the best of the best. The Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Jerry’s asserts that his greatest achievement came in 1946 when he was declared the World’s Champion Saddle Bronc Rider. Though the ad seems to imply his experience with off brand smokes was during service in WWII, I find no record of military service, only rodeo competitions. Perhaps simply the rationing of cigarettes was enough to make him long for Camels.

As often happens with spokespersons in these post-war Camel ads, they pass from cancer. Ambler did not. A car accident took his life at the age of 47. Let’s hope that during those years, the Camels pleased his T-Zone and took the edge of a long day in the saddle. As the years pass by, fewer and fewer of us remember how important the T-Zone was back in the day.

Our collective perception of cigarettes has changed so much since this ad was published, when doctors both smoked and endorsed cigarettes.

Cigarette sales peaked in 1981, and have been falling ever since. In a world of manufactured viruses and death by Grand Canyon selfies, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, and these ads remain an interesting testimony of the world that was.