From Shorpy


I know, I know: I had no idea Audrey Hepburn and George Bush were an item, either.

He dumped this one back in the fall.


There's one model who really doesn't seem to know how to smoke for the ads.

Saturday was soaked in shame and failure. I should have been able to figure out the wiring on the garage door opener. I tried. At least four sessions on the ladder; nothing worked. Everything got worse.

I was going through the ValPak of glossy ads for stuff you’ll never need until you do, and I saw an ad for Free Estimates for garage door repair. Also 10% off the regularly inflated price no one ever pays. It had pictures of happy repairmen in overalls whose expressions of cheer indicated that they’d really prefer to fix these things for free, just out of sheer joy, but, well, a fella has to put ham on the table.

The nice young lady on the phone said he’d be around on Saturday between noon and three. He came at 2:56. I explained the problem, with shame. It’s the wiring. He said he could charge me XX to fix that, but I really needed a new opener.

“Imagine my surprise,” I said, smiling. “The guy who comes to fix the opener suggests I get a new one. You wouldn’t happen to have a new one in your truck, would you?”

He admitted that he did. “Garage door openers last eight to ten years,” he said, almost as if he’d said it before. We looked up at the opener: oh my yes, more than ten. The cowl over the lights was gone. It was secured to the garage ceiling with thin shaky struts that shook like a beaten dog in a thunderstorm when you turned it on; that was the problem. When it shook the wires came off.

It was XX to fix it, and then I’d still have an old one. It was twice XX to replace it.

Replace it, I said. I pointed to the opener in the other bay, which I had installed years ago. I have no memory of that whatsoever. If you can secure it the roof like that, that would be great.

An hour later he was done: the struts were the same as the opener in the other bay. The opener itself was the same thing, albeit with a different name. New safety eyes. New remote. I told him I had the coupon, and he said: I know, but I took a hundred dollars off. It’s easier.

I looked at the coupon, and indeed I had gotten a better deal.

It’s almost as if these pricing structures are arbitrary, with a floor price the field operatives can’t go below, but can play with based on how much of a diq you are.

He took a call while writing up the invoice, and said he’d be there in 30 minutes.

“Saturday emergency call?” I said. “That’s lucrative.”

“They’re all emergencies,” he grinned. “Sometimes they call because the wheels are squeaking.”



I suspect that one member of the domestic partnership calls because the other member is annoyed by the squeaking, possibly because it must surely mean something’s wrong, possibly because it’s symbolic, possibly because it’s the sort of thing that could be solved with some WD-40 but that’s not really what you’re all about, is it, so call someone.

This means my wife is now back in her side of the garage, and I’m back in mine. It’s been a couple of months. There’s no reason that one side is hers and the other is mine. But that’s how it was. So that’s how it is.

While I waited for the repairman I did something that made me weep in frustration: I went back and redid 14 of the previously uploaded Minneapolis pages, because I couldn’t stand them. I get an idea, I redo everything, I look back at it later and weep, and redo it. The reason the Mpls site is a constant source of frustration: if I have a uniform look, the fonts don’t match the style of the building. If I have an individual design, the entire thing doesn’t hang together.

But it’s done and that’s that, and it was something to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon while waiting for the garage door repairman. Then I did another 30-page site you will see later today, and did so with a certain amount of resignation and despair, because it will not be retweeted or reddited or posted to Digg or listed on Buzzfeed or anything because it’s not “These Cats are Serious about Re-enacting Iconic Moments in Kubrick Films.”

You want traffic? Post something about Stanley Kubrick’s toothbrush. I love Kubrick, but I get tired of the obsessive details about his obsessive details. There’s a difference between caring about everything and not being able to let something go, particularly if it doesn’t matter. I mean, all this stuff about the geometry of the Overlook Hotel not making sense, how the rooms couldn’t be where they were, how that room couldn’t have had a window, and how this was all meant to instill dread and unease: I saw the movie when it first came out, and the dread and unease came from seeing creepy twins and blood-spattered hallways. Everyone was caught up in the story, the dread that came from the acting and the characters and the music and the knowledge that DREAD was soaked into the bones of the story and the hotel. This was primal, and it was foremost. The physical facts of the Overlook we accepted without question.

It was the least of our concerns.









The street sign says "5th avenue" and "56th street." There's nothing like this there now. Almost just as well; it's the sort of building that demands to be seen in Black and White.

Joan Bennett: Before she was a matriarch on "Dark Shadows," she was a
winsome blonde ingenue," as wikipedia puts it.

Eventually she would die her hair dark and play a slew of femme fatale roles, but that was a few years away.

Look at this, and tell me what color could possibly add. It's all about the shades, the subtle differences, the interplay of light!

Or this nightclub! To see it in color would be completely anticlimactic!

Err . . .

Just kidding. It's in color. Holy Jeezum Crow is it in color. We were told as kids that the Technicolor in "The Wizard of Oz" was the first time it was used, which of course wasn't true. No idea how that got started. They'd used it before, but not a lot. Adaptation wasn't overnight, so we don't have an excess of examples of the colors of the 30s.

But there's the Vogues of 1938, which might surprise you. Would you like a selection of clips with some background story, beautiful women, the answer to the question "What color were the buses?" as well as a tale about the man behind this movie, and who he shot - and what happened afterwards?

Of course you do. Here you are. Just a little something I whipped up for you.









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