On a SUMMER DAY…Betty Floats Into Dreamland

Believe me when I say this is the oddest and most interesting shot you'll ever see of Betty.

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Perhaps she was lying on the grass watching clouds roll by when she suddenly realized the earth was turning and she might fall off.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon


On a SUMMER DAY…Main Street Might Be Empty

I'm thinking somewhere in the Midwest and it's HOT. Staying in the shadows is one way to survive until the hopefully cooling breeze of the evening.

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There's a vertical sign that can be seen in the enlarged image that has had a few of us stumped until Mike Brubaker came along to solve the puzzle.
I'm no expert in farming, but I do like Scrabble. The mystery sign is likely advertising "DeLaval Cream Separators", first patented in 1887. One of those useful devices that only dairy farmers pay attention to, while the rest of us wonder whether half-n-half is half good or half bad for our cholesterol.
To read about Gustav de Laval, the inventor of the DeLaval Cream Separator click here.

Thanks Mike!


On A SUMMER DAY…Eat and Get Gas

Summer is nearly gone and I don't feel as if it has made a dent in my brain. There have been very few moments that have jangled the neurons causing my memory folders to open.

Last night, following a day when the back deck registered 111 degrees in the shade, the crickets were nearly screaming. I will admit that for a brief moment I was back in D.C. at an outdoor amphitheater for a Danny Kaye show. I remember the sound of the crickets and the sky full of stars. Danny Kaye sat on the edge of the stage, shirtsleeves rolled up, smoking a cigarette. If you ever saw Danny Kaye in person you'd know how magical the shows were. That particular show is one of my summer memories.

Road trips are also a summer memory, but not this year. There just doesn't seem to be time anymore, especially as I look down the road and wonder how much time I have left. I need to stop looking at the ages of people in the obits.

I'd like to think this shot was taken on a summer vacation. A stop for gas at the Texaco and a bite to eat at the Shady Lawn Lunch Room. Seriously, look at the image larger and you'll see that is indeed the name of the restaurant. I'd give anything to step back in time to visit this roadside treasure.

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Now I'm not sure about that garage attendant. What is he holding in his hand? Puncture a tire while you're in getting something to eat and then sell you a new one? Not implausible. I've known of it happening at a garage in southern California around twenty-five years ago. These days it's hard to find anyone willing to do anything for you at a gas station. Well, except in Oregon where it's illegal for you to fill the tank yourself. Up there you still have to sit and wait for someone else to do it. A throwback to an easier time? Sort of, except most of the stations have only one person working the pumps which means you sit and wait. Drives me nuts because I know I could get out and do it myself and be on my way. That's the problem with today, everything has to be faster. We forget to enjoy the moments in between.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon



While others liked to slowly meander down the river in a canoe…

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Edna preferred to poke sticks down an ant hole.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon


Donald and Betty in ENGLAND IN 1949

It's always fun to go through another box of slides from Betty Schnabel's estate. Her father, Donald G. Schnabel, traveled a lot and took thousands of slides; sometimes Betty traveled with him. In this case it was to England in 1949.

These are all black and white slides. I'll admit to not knowing there ever was such a thing. Their quality is not particularly good, but they do give the feeling of stepping back in time, only four years after the war.

The theme for Sepia Saturday this week is hotels. Below I give you a hotel. This is the Welcombe Inn located near Stratford-upon-Avon. This shot certainly doesn't make the place look particularly interesting, but click on this link and you'll be impressed.

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Betty and Donald visited Shakespeare's home while in Stratford-upon-Avon. Two chatty ladies with a pram would have never imagined they'd one day be shown to people around the world.

And here we have some folks considering a tour of Shakespeare's home. Looks like one of them wants to first lean in and see if it's worth it.

Betty and Donald also visited Kenilworth Castle. The second shot is labeled "Stables Kenilworth Castle 1949." Personally I think I could live quite nicely in the stables.

The strange thing about all of Donald's slides is that his wife, Louise, never seems to be in any of them. She died in 1972. Occasionally there are shots of his son, Donald Jr, who died this past year. Betty traveled with her father on several trips. Now, since I only have slides from Betty's estate I have no way of knowing what photographs her brother had or what became of them. He lived in Florida, Betty in California. The family images are doomed to never be together.

So I'll leave you with Betty in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1949. I can't decide if that's a feather in a hat or some strands of hair blown straight up. It doesn't help to see the photo larger. You can decide for yourself. Betty does not appear to be enjoying herself.

To see more photos taken by Betty's father click on his or her name in the links below.


Summertime and HONOR FLIGHTS

This post will be a disjointed two parter. The first part about summer and my contribution to Sepia Saturday this week.

This summer is dry and hot. Well, it's not hot every day, but quite a few. But recently we've also been getting humidity. That's not something that Northern Californian's are used to. We don't do humid very well. We complain a lot. Just make sure when you're complaining that you're not talking to someone from New York. They roll their eyes and have no sympathy for those of us melting in, what to them, seems incredibly dry and wonderful.

But it's summer and that should mean a trip to the coast. On the east coast they'd say they were going to the shore. Same country, two different worlds.

Though this snapshot was taken in 1953 it could just as easily be today.

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Sure, the guy with the belly would probably be wearing a speedo and the woman eating whatever it is she's eating might be dressed in a thong bikini. Makes one shudder, doesn't it? Still, it's a day at the beach. As a child I spent a lot of time at beaches. These days very rarely.

The second snapshot should bring back memories of lemonade stands.

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Ever have your own stand? I did it a couple times as a kid. It was fun, but the vision of making a fortune soon dried up as I sat in my chair waiting for the next customer. What's especially interesting about this snapshot is the corporate angle. This was a cardboard stand you could buy from the Pillsbury company to sell Funny Face drinks. Basically it was like Kool-Aid, but with some names that got Pillsbury in trouble.
In 1964, Pillsbury introduced Funny Face Drink Mix with the names Goofy Grape, Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry, Freckle Face Strawberry, Loud Mouth Lime, Chinese Cherry (later Choo-Choo Cherry), and Injun Orange (later Jolly Olly Orange). Lefty Lemon followed in 1965, along with other flavors. The Funny Face characters, as well as the Funny Face brand were created in 1963 by Hal Silverman, a Creative Director at Campbell Mithun Advertising. When cyclamate was banned, Sweet* 10 and Funny Face had to be dropped, resulting in a $4.5 million loss. Both products were re-introduced after changes, and the drinks became available sweetened and unsweetened. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Want one of these stands? There's one for sale on etsy. I've seen a few in the past on ebay. They're always expensive.

Now the second part of my post is something I wanted to post weeks ago when the theme was group photos.

This is my dad's squadron crew, VP-42, taken in 1950 in Iwokuni, Japan.

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I'm betting that all of these fellas, other than my dad, are dead. My dad was in his twenties when this shot was taken during the Korean war. My dad also served in World War II. There are fewer and fewer veterans alive who served in that war. If you know any who were you might want to tell them about Honor Flights

Earlier this year I was able to get my dad on an Honor Flight. Memories were made that he'll never forget. He was flown from California with 50+ other veterans, male and female, who served in WWII and Korea, to Washington, D.C. to see the monuments built to recognize their service. It didn't cost any of the veterans a penny. Everything is paid for by contributions: airfare, lodging, food, ground transportation. In the three days my dad was gone all he bought were two beers. He had a wonderful time. 

First on the list to be accepted for one of these flights are WWII vets and vets with health issues whose time is running out. Korean vets are also chosen. Eventually they will be honoring Vietnam vets. But it's the WWII vets they are most wanting to take on these trips. The following is from their website:
We fly veterans to Washington DC to visit memorials built to honor their service to the nation.
Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. We transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.
Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out. (SOURCE: Honor Flight)
If you think you might know someone interested in this you can find out about the organization at honorflight.org. There you will also find links to all of the hubs around the US where flights originate. I've spoken to several vets who've been on one of these journeys and each of them has expressed how much it meant to them and what an emotional experience it was.

If a family member served this country and you think they might enjoy this tell them about it, print out the submission paperwork, and send them on an emotional journey to their youth.

Available at Amazon:
Tattered and Lost: Cakes, Picnics, and Watermelon


TRANSLATION, s'il vous plaît

I don't speak French. I took German in high school. I was forced to take Spanish in junior high. I don't speak either language. I'm not sure it's the education system that is at fault or the way my brain is wired. I can pretend to speak different languages, I can mimic the sounds, but when it comes down to learning the actual languages it becomes too similar to trying to do math. I am not wired for math. I am not wired for anything where a specific answer is required. I like options.

My option for this week's Sepia Saturday is way off topic. I don't collect photos of hotels (this week's theme), but I do have a lot of posts on my ephemera site dedicated to old hotels and motels. A couple of examples of old San Francisco hotels are here and here.

Instead I'm going to do a bit of crowdsourcing because I know Sepians are a very diverse group and there is certainly at least one who can speak French.

This image was purchased many years ago in Eureka, California. I will always wonder the route this portrait took to get there.

Click on image to see it larger.

It's a fascinating shot of children far too close in age. The mother was just popping these little infants out one after another. Was her name Boulangerie?

So, getting down to the requested facts…what does it say on the back?

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Though what I have is very old, it is not the original print. The reason I know this is because of the boy in the upper right corner. If you take a look you'll notice that someone did a bit of photo shop-erie with another print, a knife, and some glue. That little boy was in the original shot, but for some reason a replacement of him was put on top. So somewhere there was an original with the cut and paste job and what I have is a shot of the shot.

So let us ponder why this little boy was such a problem. Perhaps he shut his eyes just as the shutter closed and the photographer, not wishing to bring the wrath of Boulangerie down on his head, said, "Madame, I will fix it imm├ędiatement! No charge…of course."

What other options could have caused this photography disaster? Imagine how the photographer of today would say, "Don't worry your little head. I will have this fixed in a peu de moments" then run off to his laptop.

I am hoping someone will fill in the pieces provided on the back of this photograph from 1884.

And in advance I say merci.

UPDATE: Thank you Linda for the translation:
...the message says: loving remembrance (or amicable memory) to the friends (if it says "ses"), or "his" friends (if it says "les").

UPDATE: From Brett:
Affectionate memories to his friends
Germain Deseudi
Mezin le 9 8th 1884
Mezin is a small village in south-western France (Aquitaine). The photograph looks to me as though it could have come from there. 


The FASHIONABLE YOUNG LADY in Ohio with Grandma?

The last shot in this series. We will not be seeing anymore shots of this young lady unless I discover a shot of her later in life that so far has gone right by me. I do adore her. She is worthy of a finely drawn character in a book.

Click on image to see it larger.