Old Greeks And Hookah Pipes

Thanks for stopping by for the final installment of sponges, something about which you’d never thought you’d waste five seconds of your (mostly half-lived) life reading. Fried shrimp and tobacco never looked so fun. NatlGeoJan47-035One thing I’ve discovered is that the writers at NG were pretty clever. I especially enjoyed this reference to “Milady’s bath.” NatlGeoJan47-039And now to the weird part of the Tarpon Springs culture, where young men (and future sponge-divers) dive into frosty January waters to retrieve an emblem. You know, like Labradors do. NatlGeoJan47-040To the winner, go the spoils. You’d think having washboard abs is its own reward, but evidently the blessing was nice, too. NatlGeoJan47-041   Well, I hope you absorbed all that. Like. A. Sponge. Come on; I had to.

The Errol Flynn Of Sponge Divers


I scored some pretty cool National Geographics last weekend, including this one from January 1947. Although I’ve seen the yellow and black covers throughout my life, including an entire wall in my grandparents’ den, I know of no one my age who ever sat down and actually read one. Perhaps the boys flipped through them for images of topless tribal women, but not to read what I have realized are 50 page articles. FIFTY PAGES!! I guess that’s what you did in days before TV and WordPress and facebook updates. You sat and read about sponge diving for six days solid. I don’t have that kind of time, but I did learn from looking at pictures that a tube went directly from their helmets into their butts.


I also found out that ladies were paid to fashion sponges into fluffy wreaths, fit for a Christmas tree.

NatlGeoJan47-038 Uh-oh, happy hour is about to start. Come back tomorrow for our final installment of sponge culture.