We visited Corpus Christi last weekend for our annual 36 hour pre-Thanksgiving weekend trip, our first time leaving town this entire year. We stayed in an overpriced VRBO home, as per the usual, and even at thrice the cost, it’s always better than hotels. No kids running up and down halls, no slamming doors at midnight, no God-knows-what under a hotel bed that hasn’t been cleaned since the Obama administration, no sharing walls with anyone at all. We spent a total of about 20 minutes at the beach, none of us wanting to take a swim and spend our brief visit picking sand out of crevices. But it was nice just to breathe somewhere other than home for the first time this year. We still haven’t gathered with friends or family since pre-COVID, minus dropping off a meal and waving to my folks for Thanksgiving. I am so ready for this year to be over.
You heard it right, folks. 2020 has been a tough year on all of us, especially George, who evidently had a few too many old-fashioneds and plowed his car into yet another Bedford Falls tree. Environmental agencies are livid. As you can see, even Shirley Temple tried to uproot nature’s oxygen-releaser to replant it in a safer space, preferably Holmby Hills. This time, poor weather could not be blamed.
The recorded dialog below reveals that food vendor Pietro was understandably incensed. “You pay for my vegetables–yes?” In this year of electorate division, I think we can all agree. Pay for the vegetables, George.
Over three days in late July, a three-bedroom house in East Orange, N.J., was listed for sale for $285,000, had 97 showings, received 24 offers and went under contract for 21 percent over that price.
Last month’s New York Times article on the Big Apple’s mass exodus only told us what we’d been hearing for months; many Yankees want out. And who could blame them? The thought of quarantining without a back yard sounds confining, restrictive. Living in close quarters in small boxes, sans rolling hills with fresh air, offices still shut down after all this time, the germs of cabs and subways. Ick. And can you imagine how stir crazy kids must be? In addition, the divorce rate has skyrocketed. As some spouses shoved together for six months now are able to return to work, instead of enjoying the reprieve from one other, one fears for the safety of their families, now more than ever exposed to the virus by a spouse daily coming into contact with all that death and tragedy. Arguments ensue. Spouses separate. Mom packs up the kids and flees to the ‘burbs.
And in the midst of this often-applauded “freedom” to terrorize and slap and shove and spit upon others who don’t share your views all across big cities, it’s easy to give in to the allure of the suburbs, not only for the hope for folks to remain civil, but for a home that doesn’t share walls with thoughtlessly loud neighbors, not to mention lower taxes and lower crime and available parking and more quiet and even grass and trees. Less gunshots. NYC is strong and resilient, but it’s losing out to the housing market in Jersey, where moving vans cannot keep up with demand. Homes list one day, and sell the next at thousands over list price. And if in fact, many folks, continue to work remotely for years, why not do it in a 3-2-2? Or maybe make the move upstate?
Summer ends next week, and Halloween will follow, and the next day begins the holiday season. We all know it will pass quickly, as it does each year, and soon we will complain of ice and frigid temps. In any event, most of us will be itching to disembark the burning ship of 2020, whether or not we have life vests like the fellow above.
This particular image was taken from a lifeboat by one of the 1500 passengers aboard the British troopship Empire Windrush. On the last leg of her voyage from Japan, steaming past Algiers, an engine room explosion sent flames and smoke throughout the ship. Lifeboats carried away all women and children, and 750 men were left to crawl down (or in some cases, jump) into the water. Rescue ships soon arrived and picked up every single crew man, save the four who were killed by the actual explosion. No other lives were lost, and it became one of the most successful sea rescues of all time.
The ship did sink after all, but here we see her in better days, in June of 1948, arriving at Tilbury Docks from Jamaica, with 482 Jamaicans on board, emigrating to Britain.
During the Roaring 20s (as opposed to this current 20s, whose moniker remains to be seen, but I vote for Recovering) flying circuses and wing walkers were all the rage. I find it curious that they simply couldn’t paint in smaller font and thereby include all of the letters in TRANSPORT, but no matter. Although, technically, it could abbreviate TRANSPLANT as well. I would not volunteer for an aerial transplant.
1920 is most remembered as the year women got the vote, and perhaps these very women DID vote that year. However, this was a day of leisure, a pleasant afternoon of watching boats shuttle visitors to and from the San Jacinto battlegrounds in Houston. Most Texans know the battle happened in 1836, the year Texas won its independence from Mexico, in a fight that lasted 18 minutes and wound up with Santa Anna getting his boo-tay handed to him by Sam Houston.
And while this image seems so very long ago, and none of us was alive, let’s remember that John McCain’s mom was already EIGHT years old when this photo was taken, tackling third grade and cursive. Just throwing that out there for some perspective. And she’s STILL alive.
It’s 1911 in Antartica, and British engineer Bernard C. Day returns to base camp after driving one of the first motor sledges used in Polar exploration, during the South Polar Expedition aka the Terra Nova Expedition aka the British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott (photo by Herbert G. Ponting from Then & Now). While Scott perished the following year, trying to be the first to reach the South Pole, Day lived till 1934.
What do you think? Hat or no hat?
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.
I recently came into possession of
narcotics a book of paintings by EM “Buck” Schiwetz, an artist who painted the Texas landscape for decades. In the future, I imagine I will share more of his images, but I just wanted to focus on this one today and get your take. What do you think of the seagulls, the seaside shanties, the brown sky?