Why Your Grandma Never Had Hair In Her Eyes

Alpha Delta Pi ladies of Indiana University, 1943

One notices in 1940s hairstyles that the hair just beyond the temples was often smooth or pinned back, making the voluminous curled areas appear ever poofier in contrast. Ever wonder why you don’t see pics of these women with long bangs in their faces (like the umpteen actresses on talk shows who constantly wipe their hair to the side)? There’s no Crystal Gayle or Kim K. hair here. And it wasn’t just fashion.

Able-bodied men were overseas, and women were manning the production lines. Long hair (or even one stray lock) could get caught in machines and not only injure the workers, but put production on hold until she was freed. Even Veronica Lake (of the oft-imitated peekaboo hairstyle) changed her style during the war effort, showing the dangers of untamed, unpinned hair.


This youtube video explains why safety is of the utmost importance during factory work.

The end result is a new and improved, less seductive 4’11” Veronica, donning the updo called the “Victory Roll.” Sleek = Safe. And as you can see in the video, from behind, her hair makes a dazzling V for victory.

Many stars wore them, including Rita Hayworth.

(Photo by Pictorial Parade/Moviepix/Getty Images)

And Betty Grable.


Now you know why your vintage pin-ups often wear their hair in an updo, and why the Allies won the war.


The Great Stone Face

In honor of Buster Keaton’s birthday, I want to share some fun gifs of his work. Best known for his silent films, demonstrating his physical comedy with a deadpan expression, he was nicknamed “The Great Stone Face.” As you’ll see in these images, it’s a miracle he made it to age 70, after all those stunts. If you haven’t seen one of his flicks, do yourself a favor.


Well, I Swan!

Back in March of 1949, when this ad debuted, Doris Day had not reached the apex of her “girl next door” fame. She was on the second of her four marriages, and had already born her only son, Terry Melcher, who passed in 2004.

I’d be willing to bet she didn’t hold on to that 35 cent locket all these years. Day, now 96, may just reach Hope’s milestone of living 100 years. With a long legacy as an animal activist, her cinematic legacy still stands strong today.

all gifs from giphy.com

She was quite the ham, no?

Oh, To Be Rich And At Sea

photos by Jean Howard

Art Director Mitchell Leisen is holding the plates, but he’s also the host of this July 4th, 1952 Catalina Island outing. He invited friends Cesar Romero, Mona Freeman, Rory Calhoun, and Robert Wagner aboard his boat, Escapade.

Perhaps, like me, you cannot help but think about Robert Wagner and his suspect boat activities, but this was decades prior.

Out on the water, with Mitch at the wheel, he is joined by (among others) Susan Zanuck in the hat, Cesar Romero, and Lita Baron (Mrs. Rory Calhoun).

When Lita later divorced Rory, gossip mags said she accused him of adultery with 78 women, including Betty Grable. In his 1999 obituary, he was quoted as retorting to her charge with, “Heck, she didn’t even include half of them.”

I’m not saying he did it, but I will say he stole a revolver at 13, was sent to jail, and subsequently escaped from said jail. From there, he hot-wired cars, took them for joy rides, and robbed jewelry stores for kicks. For this, he spent three years in prison.

What about you? Have you ever spent the 4th of July on a boat?

Have you ever worn long sleeves on the 4th? I can’t imagine.

Have you ever committed adultery with 78 different partners?

The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind

So said Humphrey Bogart.

photo by Jean Howard

We can only assume he’s doing his best to keep ahead of the world here, while Clifton Webb angles Bogey’s hat just so. Laurence Olivier, in his own straw hat, looks on.

What Being Married To Ida Lupino Feels Like

photo by Sid Avery

Is it me or does actor Howard Duff look mortified by his wife, Ida Lupino? It can’t be her florist skills; they’re right on point. At this point, in 1957, they’d already been married 6 years. Ida was only 39, but the harsh make-up makes her look much older. Though they separated in 1966, they didn’t actually divorce until 1984.

But perhaps Howard’s raised brows have nothing to do with Ida. He had, in fact, been listed in Red Channels as a communist subversive in 1950, so maybe he was still miffed about that.

In her own right, Ida was quite the woman, being the only one to direct episodes of the original The Twilight Zone series, as well as the only director to have starred in the show. Thinking many roles to be “beneath her,” the British Lupino spent much of her years at Warner Bros being suspended. But Ida was strong-willed. She wrote stories and composed music, including “Aladdin’s Suite,” which was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1937, two years after she’d written it while being on bedrest due to polio.

Here she is in one of your typical 1940’s “tug my own hair” pics.

Fresh as a daisy, happy as a lark. And yet by the next decade, cakey white pancake powder gave her an eerie vampire complexion.

Vampire or not, the issue seems to simply have been with Howard’s brows, perpetually in a forlorn state. Take note.


Even SMOKING, his brows fought gravity. Was that their natural state? Why, I’d wager he even SNEEZED with raised brows!


He seems perplexed as to why they both got roles on the 60s Batman series as well. While his left eye seems calm, the right is horrified!

Even in his later years, he was still vexed. What to do, what to do?


Not Quite Muskrat Love


This happy family is full of love, but they aren’t muskrats. These are.


Chubby little things, aren’t they?

“Muskrat Love” was a love song from the bicentennial year, which peaked at #4 with the Captain & Tennille’s version.  No, it doesn’t make any sense.

muskrat love

You can see below how the silliness seeped forth. Note Tennille’s pageboy bob, popular at the time.


While the song does not deserve a listen, the video is worth it, if not for Toni’s beautiful smile and rich voice–and Daryl’s absolutely wretched keyboard noises. Ultimately, love did not keep them together, and Daryl is no longer doing that to her one more time, but such is life. No?