Delta Sigma Theta was founded 99 years ago at Howard University. This chapter of ladies studied as Jayhawks in Kansas. While Greek life itself has never mattered to me, what does matter is pictures. And I love this one. Not just the dresses and the hair and the double strand of something too jagged to be pearls, but I love old people names. Oreta, Betty Lou, Ivor, Cozetta, and even Dymple. Look at them subbing in Y’s 80 years ago, like they do today. (Think Kyndyll instead of Kendall.) And of course, there’s Dorothy Swope. I bet she traded that surname for another in the next five years, but on this day, in that dress, she was a Swope.
Yearbooks offer windows of potential. Young people on the precipice of adulthood, away from home, focusing their career paths, making friends, falling in love. Who knows what these women accomplished, how many people today remember their names? Maybe one reached 100 and still exists. But now they’re on the internet, forever preserved in youth, smiling in a time before Pearl Harbor, not knowing what would come.
Actually, this nation has gone too far to the casual dark side. Time was, when a gal wouldn’t show her bra strap in public, much less her thong whale tail. Now, you can’t throw a stick without hitting a high school girl’s bum cheeks spilling out of her shorts. If I never saw another fool wearing pajamas out in public, it would be too soon.
It takes just as long to pull on pants as it does pajama bottoms. Have they no sense of decency?
I’m not going to go so far as to say a parent who allows their children to wear pajamas in public is a bad parent, but there is a time and a place for everything. Pajamas are private.
An era of subtlety, the 1950s was not, as evidenced by these Cutter Cravat artist originals. Frankly, it’s difficult to interpret what the patterns actually were. We have words for argyle and houndstooth and checkered, but these are littered with sprigs and swirls in bold (and often clashing) colors. What man dare sport the blue one in the center, that splays out at the bottom? It appears to depict an engagement ring.
Note how wide one appears against the lapel of this jacket. A bold and festive statement. Would you dare?
No, that’s not a young Bing Crosby; it’s Joe Henjum, Band of the Hour drum major, “resplendent in his plumed bonnet.” I don’t have to tell you how his head retained warmth in that hat. It could also transport wine bottles, a leghorn chicken, or even a pair of Justin Ropers.
Musically inclined, Joe also played clarinet and saxophone. He met and married his college sweetheart, JoAnne there in college, and they enjoyed 56 years together. But I doubt he kept the hat.
Actually, Fred’s socks are pretty keen. But what’s with the guy on the right? Looks like he had a growth spurt on the bus ride to school this morning.
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!
Ah, the crisp air of autumn–not yet arrived here in muggy, dank … dare I say, sultry, Texas. Leaves are still green on many of the trees, and my hair is still frizzy with humidity. But Halloween, she comes. And with that, an obligation for children to trick or treat from home to home, virus be damned at this point. While I am not the sort of adult who dons costumes anymore, it is always fun to travel back in time to mid-century university life and revisit the apparel of yore. The couple above were captioned as “night-shirted mambo dancers.” They take it quite seriously.
But not as seriously as young love.
Next we have a gaggle of hoboes (also acceptable: hobos. Reminds me of the buffalo conundrum.) Yes, this is when it was acceptable to make fun of the homeless, before many of them were traumatized Vietnam vets. Back then, they were lovable tramps who hopped the trains–and evidently never left home (well, camp) sans hat.
Up next, a Li’l Abner couple, although little is the last word that comes to mind.
Finally, we have a prone mummy, an Indian brave and his maiden, Raggedy Ann and Andy, and others.
Do recall that Ann and Andy were siblings, so let’s hope this didn’t get weird at the end of the night. Did you know that the Raggedy siblings are over 100 years old now? Methinks we should bring the term “raggedy” back into play. It means shabby, so perhaps we could start calling interior design “raggedy chic”? Shabby chic with a hint of red yarn?
Ah, yes, this is perfect!