1920s, 1930s, Art, Culture, History, Nostalgia, Pics, Vintage

Easy Speak

Wallace Morgan for The New Yorker, October 11, 1930

As you can see, illustrator Morgan was a master of movement, using his sketches to adeptly convey the energy and complexity of the speakeasy. Also called a blind pig or a blind tiger, a speakeasy was an illicit establishment that sold alcoholic beverages. I was today years old when I learned of the two blind terms. Now it makes sense that I went to a bar called The Blind Tiger in Shreveport 24 years ago, where I met comedian Mario Joyner, who invited my galpal and me to Harrah’s to gamble with him. But that’s another story for another time.

Contrary to the term, it was not a place where it was “easy to speak;” in fact, the opposite was true. It was a place that necessitated one speak easily or softly, as selling and consuming the bootleg booze was illegal. You can see the quiet conversations, imagine the hushed tones, of the clients, keeping it all on the downlow until sufficient intoxication raised their voices. That’s the power of the drink. We’ve all seen a gaggle of middle-aged women drinking margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. Speech is never soft.

From the last sip to a stolen kiss to gossip and entrances, Morgan was able to make the background just as engaging as the foreground.

When the comic was published, the country still had yet three years of Prohibition remaining.

https://www.legendsofamerica.com

But until then, speakeasies flourished. NYC claimed over 100,000 speakeasies alone. Saloons with player pianos and swinging doors made way for password-protected jazz-playing joints. Instead of aligning with the Prohibition moral compass, American women let loose with drinking, smoking, dancing, bobbing their hair, and donning shortened skirts. Make way the flapper. Gone were basic beer and liquor, as cocktails required mixers to make hootch drinkable. And once folks tasted sugary, fruity drinks, those who had never enjoyed beer and liquor found they enjoyed this new concoction. Organized crime soared. Cops couldn’t keep up with raiding and disposing. It was a losing battle. No wonder FDR repealed the 18th Amendment as soon as he was elected. The woman in the foreground clearly isn’t playing.

Time Magazine

 

 

1970s, Culture, Fun, Funny, History, Humor, Nostalgia, Photography, Pics, Texas

Where My Middle-Aged Drinkers At?

Texas Ex Scholtz's Reunion in Houston at Rice game
Texas Ex Scholtz’s Reunion in Houston at Rice game

Oh, there they are–in full force, ready for game day, celebrating the ol’ alma mater.

In 1979, the legal drinking age in Texas was 18, having been lowered from 21 in 1973 due to anti-war protesters, which meant every single student at the University of Texas could freely partake of ale. And some started honing their hoarding tendencies early. “Two. Cans. For Ev. Ery. Girrrrrrl…”

cactus79-kiteflight

The blonde in the sheepskin coat has Mackenzie Phillips’s mouth. I’m just saying.

AUGUST 11: Actress Mackenzie Phillips acts in a scene from the movie "American Graffiti" which was released on August 11, 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
AUGUST 11: Actress Mackenzie Phillips acts in a scene from the movie “American Graffiti” which was released on August 11, 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Did you ever watch her on One Day At A Time? She was the bad daughter of the divorced mom, and Valerie Bertinelli was the good one. Valerie looks AMAZING now as the judge on Food Network’s Kid’s Baking Championship. She’s so kind and encouraging. I want to hang out with her. What are we talking about again?

Aha! Drinking in 1979! And what do you suppose happened here?

cactus79-kiteday

Methinks a visored lady (named Virginia?) suddenly appeared on the back of his motorcycle, offering a koozie-chilled beer to the driver. Yes, Virginia, he’s flummoxed.

It’s probably for the best that it’s age 21 now. By the way, 21 is the highest minimum drinking age that exists. Here’s the MDA worldwide.

http://drinkingage.procon.org/
http://drinkingage.procon.org/

I didn’t realize 16 countries banned drinking altogether: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. I had no idea! Have you ever visited a country with no drinking age (like Bolivia or China) or a complete restriction?