We didn’t know what to expect of our local polling place, a quick four minute drive from our home, when we stopped by this morning. Several cars lined the stretch of street up to the town hall, but to our surprise, no line existed. We donned our masks, went inside, handed them our registration cards and ID, used the touch screen in the polling booth, and were back in our car four minutes later. Add our names to the 21,500 early voters in our county so far. Easy peasy, life in the suburbs. Glad that’s done.
This billboard was situated on Elizabeth Street in Sydney, Australia, advertising Kiwi Shoe Polish, with an image of an unidentified man who coincidentally, bore a strong resemblance to the current president of the United States. Evidently, FDR had not authorized use of his likeness. I can’t imagine that a billboard in the US of an Australia Prime Minister would help sales of shoe polish over here. In fact, I doubt any of us could name one Australian Prime Minister.
This all seems fishy. Let’s print it!
Networks don’t care about accuracy. They want ratings. Unity doesn’t get viewers. So why not flat-out tell lies, “change the narrative,” incite violence and unrest, and frighten folks with the scariest topics we can find. Corona! Lockdown! Second wave! Riots! Wildfires! Floods! Division! Your neighbor hates you and always has! The economy is sinking! What about your 401K? And all this followed by that incessant Boy Scout rape commercial that lasts about four minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice to watch a Good News network? Journalists, tell us something positive!
Let’s call the editor and give her a piece of what for.
What’s that? A march for hope and joy? People lining the streets with smiles on their faces? What’s that? We have more in common with each other than what separates us?
Sure, 2020 sucks. No doubt about it. And it does seem to be getting worse–and getting better and getting worse. But, hey, you and I are still alive to blog. Most of us probably even had the virus by now. But, wait! You’ll have everlasting side effects that destroy your health! Maybe, but life is a crapshoot. Any day we wake up is a gift. No guarantees.
At least we can still spin some vinyl.
We can still dance, if only with one partner, or even by ourselves.
We can still buy hats–or even masks that reflect our political, religious, or social ideologies–if that floats your boat.
We can nap and read periodicals.
We can still drive.
And most of us can still eat out.
And guess what? When the holiday season starts in one month, we can start wearing festive Christmas sweaters again.
Who can be sad with reindeer on their chests?
So just remember, it’s okay to relate to this.
But don’t forget this:
Looking très French in his beret and silk apron, sculptor Rene (of course his name is Rene) Shapshak adds the final touches to his clay model of former President Harry S. (“You Dropped A Bomb On Me”) Truman in early 1956 at the Federal Reserve Bank Building in Kansas City, Missouri, the state from whenst Truman sprang. While interweb sources all declare that this would become a bronze bust, to be unveiled in Israel on Truman’s 73rd birthday, I can find no such bronze bust. It would seem the bust itself was a bust.
My minor was in history, and I admit I’ve never heard of Hannibal Hamlin, the first Republican Vice President. Or perhaps the memory of him was replaced by the cannibal Hannibal in the movie I saw my freshman year, forever cursing the name. I can promise you no one in public school will ever learn his name. But how could we be expected to know the names of the Vice Presidents? We don’t even know what they do. Neither he nor Lincoln look particularly psyched for union preservation in this poster. A former member of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Hamlin left the pro-slavery Democratic Party in 1856 for the newly-formed Republican Party that aligned with his anti-slavery views. He served only four years, during all but the very last month of the Civil War, and was replaced during the 1864 election by Andrew Johnson. Among other positions that followed, Hamlin returned to the Senate and served two terms, then became the US Ambassador to Spain. Que bueno!
In this picture, I think he bears a passing resemblance to another double H, Howard Hessman, aka Johnny Fever. But that’s just me.
Just look at the grin on the fellow biting his lower lip, as President Warren G (the president, not the rapper) Harding throw out the baseball to start the April 1922 season. Guess that didn’t happen this year.
The originator of the tradition was the portly and oft-ridiculed President William Howard Taft, seen throwing out the first pitch at a Washington Senators game in 1910. (AP Photo, File)
Good form, sir!
But before you go, let’s make sure that you have one bit of trivia in that noggin of yours about our 27th president, that has nothing to do with his size (which seems to have vacillated from 243 in college to a high of 330 and then down again). His father was a former US Attorney General, and he himself was named by President Warren Harding (above) to the Supreme Court in 1921. Yes, he was the Chief Justice of the US. And no, he never got stuck inside a bathtub.
So much is happening here. Desi Arnaz appears to be flashing the peace sign, which is entirely possible for the era, as it was Halloween night of 1968. Here he is strumming his guitar exuberantly for presidential nominee Richard Nixon, at the (get this) headquarters for “Good Latin-American Democrats for Nixon.” I guess that was a thing. Enough Democratic Latinos despised Hubert Humphrey enough that they switched allegiance to support Nixon? Anyway, I love the look of the mariachi man with the sombrero. And while this Desi looks much more haggard and aged than the twin bed Lucy version we grew up with, I do want to point out that his age here is only 51, the same age that Jennifer Aniston is right now.
November 21, 1963
Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas
Jackie and Jack, Lady Bird and LBJ attending a LULAC (League of United Latin-American Citizens ) function
Anyone else feel awkward when the mariachi band comes by? You smile and nod when they sidle up beside your table, but of course you can’t sing along. You don’t want to eat while they’re playing, or resume conversation with your guests because that would be rude, so you smile and wait it out. Should you tip? How would you even tip when their hands are full? I’m trying to eat Combo #4. Please move along. I’ll enjoy it more when you’re 10 feet away.