Textbook Time

Le Mirage 1969

As the new semester starts, students in the fall of 1968 rush the cashier with textbooks and other school supplies. Then it’s back to the dorms for a change of clothes because the Methodist Student Center is hosting a back-to-school party tonight.

Later on, it’s going to get groovy, man. Lose your shoes and let your hair down.

Don’t overdo it because you’ll have to be up early in the morning. Isn’t campus lovely this time of year?

Linda is delighted that the University Complex South just got the new typewriters in. They’re super intuitive.

Lily is excited to use the dictaphone in shorthand class, the wave of the future.

Don’t worry; teachers are always willing to help students with vocabulary words.

And students are willing to point out where professors may have spilled potato salad on their ties.

You can catch up with your old friends and talk Aqua Net. No boys will ever run their fingers through your hair again.

Go wild and take a modern dance class.

But before long, those term papers will be due.

So be sure to put on that thinking cap and make it another great year of academics!

Friendly Skies in the Dawn of Airlines

all images from I Remember Distinctly by Agnes Rogers

Passengers board a Ford tri-motor plane in 1932, a plane which carried only a dozen folks and cruised at 125 mph. Note the attention to clothing and accessories, as this was not a local jaunt to Walmart.

Below are “air stewardesses” in 1935, chosen for their short stature as well as their XX chromosomes. In addition, all were trained nurses.

Now we see an actual airborne photo of an American Airlines DC-4 with a top speed of 211 mph at 10,000 feet. She looks sturdy, no? Up, up, and away!

Next Up, Nickel Jaw Breakers

Veach Grocery, Marietta, Georgia, 1962

Jimmy may be wearing loafers, but there’s no loafing going on here. He’s making sure he’s got the energy to keep loading boxes of atomic fireballs, Butterfingers, and Baby Ruths. Surely he’s got the metabolism to indulge in chocolate bars each shift. He might even snag a box of Pom Poms on his way out.

My Mother-In-Law Doesn’t Like Fish

I’ve never understood folks who write off an entire category of food. My mother-in-law visited a few days ago and announced that she didn’t like fish because it was too fishy. This was soon after I’d ordered the salmon Caesar salad at Longhorn Steakhouse. I told her it was a gamble, like nuts. Sometimes you get a rotten cashew. Sometimes the fish is fishy. Jim Gaffigan has a whole routine about hating fish.

Then there are sushi snobs who go on and on about bluefin and skipjack. Not me. I ate a Luby’s fried cod platter as a girl. I ate fish tacos as a young adult. I had drum that one time on my honeymoon that we splurged. And I had the salmon Caesar last week on my wedding anniversary, which happened to coincide with her visit. She did say she liked lobster, however. My husband’s allergic, so I don’t even remember what lobster tastes like. If we could afford it, I’d eat fish several times a week. In this economy, I have tin cans of Crown Prince kipper snacks piled in the pantry.

Kipper are actually herring, same as the ones held by the “Scotch lassies” above. These girls numbered among the many Scots who came to work by the hundreds to Whitby, a seaside town in North Yorkshire,¬†England. During the herring season of 1932, folks literally rolled up their sleeves, got their hands dirty, and dug in. Might not be as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but it’s honest work.

Well, maybe not the FINEST

1949

The reputation of Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2022 is more for nostalgia’s sake than for any prestige that it might hold in a world of craft IPAs, ciders, stouts, and porters. Around here, they price It low for hipsters to drink it ironically. But the Tibbetts seem to be enjoying it. And who were they? Well, Lawrence was an opera singer, actor, and radio host. His mustache never suited him, and he evidently drank heavily for years. In fact, he fell in his apartment and hit his head on a table, which proved fatal. I doubt anyone here has ever heard of him. But Laurel and Hardy did.

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.

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?

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