Friday, July 31, 2009

Kitchen v. Kitschen I

If this were your kitchen, you would have to love green. We mean you really have to love green...

Is this "too" much?

Nevermind if the crapet matches the drapes, in her case the tunic really does match the playpit.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Well...are you?

Think about it...he's an attractive man, a good provider and develops instant rapport with everyone he meets. Could he possibly have another woman in his life who is everything to him that you could never be? Someone who keeps up with the housework, has dinner on the table when he comes home and everything in its place and place for everything while you live in squalor? What is a girl to do?

Why don't be a simple Sally. Pour yourself a hot cup of coffee, light up a Kent, say to hell with the diaper pail and screw the ironing because you have to listen to other people's paranoia on the radio.

Sounds like a plan to me...

Do we see a trend?

When asked by those too stupid to reason, tell them that Midol, yes Midol, turned you into a lesbian...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And what's wrong with Murial Puce?

There has to be something...she even wasn't invited! We love the cast, but we really love Gloria Upson because she is just so clueless!
Auntie Mame, 1958

No granite countertops, EVER!

This, dear readers, is what a real kitchen looks like when the owner of said kitchen is a real cook - a French Chef, as it were. This is Julia Child's kitchen, from her former home in Cambridge Massachusetts, as reconstructed in the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.

Please note that her cabinets are not new, nor modern, that the appliances do not match, there is no kitchen island and most importantly: no granite counter tops, at all.

That's right: the Queen of the Tureen, the First Lady of the Ladle, Julia Child was able to live without granite countertops.

And so can you.

Seriously, they look great but they are (1) expensive, (2) heavy, (3) emit low levels of radon, (4) dangerous to handle fine china and glasswear over and (5) unnecessary.

And that is my point: kitchens are for cooking. All the granite in the world will never make you decent cook. And if you are a good cook, then you know that granite will never make you a better cook.


Corn? I don't eat corn...


I want a Carol Channing Doll!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

69 years ago today...

It was July 28, 1940, Williard took his package to the beach to frolic with his friends...

Take heed life's little messages...

Don't overlook the obvious today...

Monday, July 27, 2009

What the Hell happened to Ernie?

(Image credit,

Its Ernie, Chip and Robbie from My Three Sons - but what the Hell happened to Ernie? Isn't he suppossed to be the youngest?

bum da bum doobie doobie bum bum


The guys seem to have much more difficulty clapping on the downbeat than the girls...bum da bum doobie doobie bum bum...

Peppermint Rainbow

I'd give the world to keep you here, why do you need to disapear?

Note: August 1, 2009 this video disapearred from YouTube. Me thinks its its been removed because a certain member of the King Family got edited out of the number. Bitch!

Object of desire

This is a major object of my desire - a mid 1950s Philco Golden Anniversary Refrigerator. We had in our kitchen on Sherrington Road in Shaker Heights. The giant "V" handle had a purpose - the fridge could be opened either from the right or left side simply by pulling on the corresponding side of the "V". And "V" also stands for VERY cool...

A house with a creepy special extra

from the pages of
September 1958

So what do you get with this "dream house"? Well you get a lot of Weldwood wood paneling - and we mean a lot - its a dream to take care of: why its like living in the enchanted forest, isn't it?

Besides regulation your living room, your dining area and your kitchen, you get a master suite, accessible only through a bathroom, off the kitchen, a breezway"area", two extra bedrooms (one of which is divided with bi-fold doors to form two smaller rooms, and a family room well away from the kitchen.

Get that: "Any woman would ENVY..." because isn't that what happiness is about? You know: envying you; you knowing that what you have causes that type of false adoration. Funny thing about this statement "Any woman would envy the mother in this story-book house" because it reminds one that if one did get this, that one need not reach any further in life. Say good bye to your dreams ladies - this is all that life should afford. Lovely.

And lets not forget that pool. Its been slammed into a skimpy room off the living room. Its big enough for a pool party, if everyone is in the water because there is no safe clearance around the outside of the pool for a normal person to walk. And don't forget that bulky bulkhead that leads down those pool water slippery steps to the basement!. Why its the perfect place for mother to sun herself like a lizard in the winter months!

But it is that picture in the upper right corner that has been innocently slipped in that should give any child reason to gulp, and gulp hard...

MOM'S STANDING ON THE BED should alarm everyone that something foul is foot: Mom is also peeping, no, Mom is peering into the children's room through a peep hole!

"John, wake up - Junior's touching himself should go in there and spank the living daylights out of him!"

"For God's sake Helen, he's 30. Give it a rest!"

Fortunately for Junior, the door closes forming a soundproof seal; he won't have to pay for psychiatrist bills in thirty years because he could hear his parents having vocal coitus (thats what they called it back then) in the next room.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thy name of the game is guilt...

If you try to blow it off, you're BUSTED...

...Just as the fireman saves your life, His followers are out to save your immortal soul from burning Hell...

...and is this a gentle reminder, or threat?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Big Store

The first BIG suburban May Company in Cleveland's eastern suburbs was "May's on the Heights" at Cedar and Warrensville Center Road in University Heights. Built before the advent of "Malls", the complex of three buildings was enormous. The rear "tower" was a nine story furniture warehouse. The restaurant wing featured a sawtooth roof and walls of glass. Then there was the store itself, originally designed to have five shopping levels, three of which were accessible to the acres of parking. It even boasted an auditorium on it lower level. The store was so large that the top floor was never opened. May Company avoided most 1960s and 1970s mall projects in the region. By the 1960s, the area was the heart of Cleveland's Jewish community and a major shopping destination.

Opened with great fanfare, Its decline began in the late 1970s when the tres chic Beachwood Place Mall opened further east on Cedar Road. Mays on the Heights died as a dinosauer in the 1990s when it torn down by its parent company for a multi-level urban mall.

Sister acts

The Clark Sister's Beauty Shop Beat has been making the rounds again and I have to admit that when I saw it on Schadenfreudian Therapy All I could was wonder why all those women where in baby blue. Then I downloaded the album and listened to it. Then I went on eBay and bought copy of the album for our collection so I could get all of the music off the album. Really can't find anything out about these women - not even their first names, but I love them.

Husband and I found this gem while out junking one Saturday afternoon. The Barry Sisters were a big deal on the Borscht Belt back in the 1960s. And I just love that the gloves match the lipstick and imagine them in their furs singing about the old country where things were still pretty shitty. The irony is that not only did they sing "If I Were a Rich Man" but they also probably dedicated it in one of their shows at the Nevele "to Mr. and Mrs. Phil Richmond, at table 24, who are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary with us tonight. Mazol tov!"

It's official. I have arrived.

I have just received a veddy veddy formal notification that I have been accepted into the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) through a maternal great great great great great (are there five greats?) grandfather. Hazzah! Hazzah! Yea, me!

Much smaller than the DAR, the SAR, nevertheless, exists. I now have added yet one more reason for my mother to talk me up to her bridge buddies at the Senior Center.

Say cheese blintz!

My parents, Marvin and Mary (at 9 and 10 o'clock) at some United Jewish Appeal banquet in Cleveland, about 1964. Also included is father's cousin Herschel at 5 o'clock and his lovely wife Maxine at 7 o'clock. I have no idea who the grandfatherly couple are back towards the door, but I think that it was so sweet that the man at 1 o'clock brought his daughter to the event! And if they all would have donated more money they could have gotten a better table towards the front!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What would Ann Landers say?

How far did the MadMen of Mad Avenue go to sell condiments during the 1950s? How about suggesting that a clock his cheapo wife for not buying the real juice! What would Ann Landers say?

Dear Ann Landers,

I'm married to the greatest guy on earth, but if I try and economize and buy the store brand Worcestershire sauce he can fly a bit off the handle and I have to hide in the closet or risk life and limb. Do you think that he needs help?

Just sign me,

Terrified in Tacoma Park

Dear Taco,

My suggestion is not to make the same mistake twice. Wake up and smell the coffee, he works hard for his rare steak, sweetie. All day long other people at work are out to rip off his head and shit down his throat. Don't short shaft the man, give'm what he wants: name brand condiments! Its the clever cleaver that lives to cook another day. I gotta run - my upper plate is slipping.

Yours fondly,


Lots of Seamen

I found this postcard, taken with a Kodak Brownie, at an antique mall years ago. It dates to about WWI. The dyanmic is interesting. So the big beefy guy in the skimpy dark shorts apparently took on the toned guy in the white shorts. Evidently it was quite hot - the men are literally wet in their own sweat.

I wonder who won.

I wonder if the ref had to pull them part.

And I wonder why this post card was never mailed. Hmmmmm.

Been there, done that

When in fabulous Peabody-Salem Massachusetts be sure to shop for your fine wines at Bung Hole Liquors. Tell them that Stu Sent ya.

Get something good between your legs...

Typewriter Skiing was an exhibition sport for the 1940 Winter Olympic Games in Sapporo Japan; its promoters had even higher hopes for 1944 and 1948.
Athletes were seated on the sturdy yet slim chrome paper supports behind the carriage. Extra points were awarded for one handed and no handed runs. But once Hitler shoved his way into Poland, all bets were off. Pity. From there on out, interest faded. Die hard fans are still hoping for a rediscovery of their sport, hopefully before the typewriter goes extinct.

Guess who's coming to the cemetery...

It dawned on my recently that I have no idea where my late father's last living sibling was buried. My aunt died last December at the age of 89 in California and there was no obit, no funeral, nothing.

My father was the youngest of seven - three boys and four girls, Aunt Lynn being the youngest of the girls. And as it came to be, Aunt Lynn's second marriage was to her widowed brother in law, our Uncle Lou. Lou had been married to Lynn's elder sister, our Aunt Betty. Alone in the world after Betty passed, he called Lynn and said "You've been alone for twenty plus years, I've been alone for a few - what do you say we not be alone together?" And so they had a few years of happiness before Uncle Lou died. I didn't go to the funeral because I couldn't get the time off from work, and because I had just spent a couple days with them just a few months before.

Aunt Lynn made the decision that she would be buried not with her first husband Chet, who was a very fine man, but with Lou. She also decided that she and Lou would be buried together, not in Cleveland with the family, but in LA. So the topic never really came back up in casual conversation. And with her passing, I had no idea where either of them was laid to rest.

So I called my cousin, Lynn's son, to see if he could shed some light on this. His wife, whom I have never met, answered and I identified myself. She asked me to repeat my name. I did.

Now, I know we aren't a terribly close family, but this woman tells me that her husband doesn't have a cousin named Stuart. Now, I wanted to tell her that she was mistaken, but I took the high road and again explained who I was. And again, she told me that she has been "in this family for over twenty years and has never heard of anyone" with my name.

So again, I stated who I was and again I was denied my place in the family. I told her stories that only people in the family would know. She wanted to know how I learned about them because only family would know them. It seemed obvious to me, I lived through a great many of the stories before they were stories. But somehow she made me feel as if I had somehow pried them from the minds of people that she considered were more her family than they were mine.

Here's the kicker: she asks why I need to know where her mother in law and step father in law are buried. I thought about this for a second. I could have gone off like a bottle rocket, or I could have hung up, but it was just easier to state the obvious fact. Cemeteries aren't for the dead that reside there, they are for the living who get left behind. They're places of safety, or comfort and remembrance. I wanted to know because I loved them, and having lost them once, I didn't want to lose them again.

So I told her that maybe she should call her husband and one of them could get back with me. As I've said I'm the youngest of the cousins and there is almost a generational shift, so I knew what was going on.

While I was waiting I thought about the last time I had "lost" this aunt. Sometime after my 14th birthday the family came together for my cousin Brian's bar mitzvah. I would staying at my father's house - my mother and I left Cleveland the summer before - and the event was so big that "The Family" would be all driving and flying in from all places near and far. My two aunts from Florida came in and stayed with my father as well. When I greeted my Aunt Nan and my Aunt Evelyn, I was asked to carry Aunt "Lynn's" bags up stairs. You mean Aunt Evie, right, I asked. "Stu, I don't know who you are talking about," my aunt Nan said, "now hurry on because your Aunt Lynn and I want to see you."

It was at that point that it dawned on me that the woman who had been my Aunt Evie had disapearred one night and awoke the next morning as Aunt Lynn. And so it was. Years later when I weas going through my Aunt Nan's family albums, the stains from the ink remover were evident as all traces of "Evie" were removed and "Lynn" was scribbled in. This was also about the time that Aunt Nan disapeared and was replaced by Aunt Nanette. Same women, different identities.

When I was in my thirties I asked Aunt "Lynn" what brought about the name change and she was rather direct about it. "Evie", it seems, was an old person's name, and my 80 year old aunt preferred "Lynn" because it was youthful, and popular in Florida where she lived for many years. "Lynn is beautiful, but snappy, you know?" I don't know about the snappy part, but it was her life and her decision. Manners dicates that we make those around us happy by calling them by their names.

Well, an hour goes by and the phone rings and its my cousin's wife. Apologizing profusely and admitting her embarrassment. I had been cleared by a cousin in Cleveland, I was back in the inner circle.

And it dawned on my that this wasn't anything that she had done, it was in fact because her husband and I allowed this happen by not making an effort to at least stay in touch outside of the weddings and funerals that we attended or didn't. No, she was probably in the right by verifying my story - its a crazy world out there. If someone called you up and said that they were the brother or sister of some long lost cousin, would you be interested in sharing any of your information? Probably not.

Still, it gives me cause for a moments reflection.

There is a cold comfort in knowing that one really is the black sheep of the family, and I solemnly have notched my belt with another encounter to prove it.

Parachute Nurse

Just look at the tension between these three...thespians. Something is going on. Care to read between the lines?

Parachute Nurse was a "morale" film (meaning that it was just barely above a public service shorty on dangers of Trench Mouth) made by Columbia Pictures in 1942. The plot is your usual Stars and Strips melodrama - girls sign up to fall out of planes behind enemy lines and tend to the sick and dying, blah, blah, blah. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING could top the dynamic in this promotional image featuring the two "leading ladies" Marguerite Chapman and Kay Harris) and their commanding officer, played by none other than Miss Lauretta Schimmoler herself!

Schimmoler was an Ohio aviatrix - back in the days when anything manly that a woman could do was prettied up with "trix" on the end of it - who established a couple very early airports in between buzzing a few barns. At the on set of WWII, she went to the government and pitched the idea for the Parachute Nurse Program within the US Army Air Corp. So smitten with the idea of women throwing themselves out of airplanes, that Columbia was told to make the movie, which they begrudgingly did. Part of the deal was that Schimmoler would get to act as a technical specialist and along the way she would get the role of Jane Morgan, the brains and brawn behind this vital program.

Extra credit goes to anyone who gets their hands on a copy of this work of art.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What about that nice Mrs. J?

Poor Mrs. J. is pretty and poised. But she has a problem: Feminine Odor. The alternative? Using Brown Lysol on her "delicate tissues" and all the folds and crevices contained within. Lovely. If she took up a career as a nursing home administrator she'll fit right in.

I asked my mother if women really did this, and my 85 year old mother confirmed that some women did indeed douche with Lysol. "But," as my mother said "if they were smart they went to the doctor. That kinda of odor usually means something else down there is a brewing." Lovely, mom, and brutally honest, too.