1930s, Beauty, Culture, Fashion, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Style, Vintage, Youth

Fall Hazard

from Portrait of an Era

Young British women stroll through the city streets in the 1930s, wearing swimsuits their mothers would have never dared don. I can tell it’s not near Texas, as wet pavement is as rare a treat as a Yeti sighting–although ladies striding arm in arm in swimwear through a downtown district is rare itself. Actually, I had shoes like that once, in my cousin’s 1998 wedding, where I served as maid of honor. I believe they were satin. I did not wear them after rainstorms.

Perhaps it is my age, but even now, 90 years later, these suits still seem to leave little to the imagination. However, the women seemed pleased with their freedom, evidenced by smiles from ear to ear–and oddly even teeth, considering the source. Cheers to the days of youthful summers.

1920s, Food, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage

We’ve Got The Beets

July 1928, Nat’l Geographic

Last night, we dined at a local Mediterranean restaurant, feasting on shawarma, falafel, mixed makaly, tabouli, and pita bread. They keep a container of cold beet juice next to the lemonade, so I had two full glasses. They said the secret ingredient was orange juice. My husband won’t touch it because he says it tastes like dirt. Evidently, it’s the geosmin, an organic compound that you can smell in the air after a rain shower. Yes, that earthy odor. I love it.

In the 1920s, Nebraska met the growing need for sugar with beets, as cane sugar thrived only in warmer climates. Pictured above is a western Nebraska beet sugar mill, with two young men in the foreground. The pile weighed in at 22,000 tons. While Minnesota is the top state producer of sugar beets, Nebraska ranks 6th and has been at it for over 100 years. In fact, a town built solely to process the yearly tons of beets was named Melbeta, which means “sweet beet” in German.

What about you? How do you feel about beets?

1960s, Culture, Fun, Funny, High School, History, Humor, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Vintage, Youth

Water, Water Everywhere

The ’64-’65 school year in Alexandria, Virginia may have had some rainy days, but the students at Hammond High School made do. Whether it was tromping through puddles on the way to third period…

… or splashing dirty water upon their teammates, they persevered.

Yet even when the sun came out, they still seemed obsessed with water.

Perhaps it was simply cleanliness they craved, like rinsing the grime off the fins of a car.

Perhaps they wanted to watch their garden grow.

It appears the campus was never dry.

Even when they left campus, it was for water.

Class of ’65, don’t fall in!!

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.

1940s, Austin, College, Culture, Food, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Texas, Vintage

Dine & Drug

While it would seem curious now to make plans to meet up with friends at your local Walgreens or CVS, time was when drug stores had soda fountains and lunch counters.

These University of Texas students enjoyed coffee with friends, exchanging notes and cramming for tests, with a view of pills and potions behind the glass at Home Drug in 1948. Today, these brown bottles might prove too tempting for thieves, and certainly not appetizing for patrons in the booths. Did y’all ever drink a soda or take in a BLT at the local drugstore?

1970s, Austin, Culture, Fun, History, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Texas, Vintage

Clarice’s Tavern

Round Rock, Texas, early 70s

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.”

Culture, Fun, Funny, Hair, Humor, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Style

When She Hairsprays Your Lips Instead

America 24/7, shot by Jim Burger, 2004

Now, look, before you criticize the style, let me just say that’s pretty dang close to how my hair looks in the morning. It takes a LOT of work to get it tamed, and I imagine that’s why Evelyn Bartkowiak visited Phyllis’ Hair Design in Baltimore every other week. I feel you, Evelyn. Actually, thanks to a quick interwebs search, I was able to see that Evelyn passed in 2016, and not only did her obituary include her work as a welder in airplane cockpits in WWII, but a dazzling smile (thanks to the accompanying 16 minute video included, of all 96 years of her life). Cheers to Evelyn for a life well-lived!