For the last month I've been digitizing pages of a magazine sent by a kind patron of the site. A magazine? A stack of them. You've probably never heard of it, as the insufferable like to say. I hadn't, but I', always discovering new old magazines. Thee's a huge archive on google of Rotarian magazines, and man, they're dull. They look like the thing you'd find in the bathroon of a middle-school friend who was a friend in grade school and you're not so much friends now, and you're starting to realize that his family is weird. Well, not weird. Different. They have certainties you've never heard about, and ignorance about things that you're convinced are quite important. You have the World Book; they have Brittanica. You have Heinz; they have Hunts. (WHY? WHY WOULDN'T THEY HAVE HEINZ?) The Dad is a woodcrafter. Mom arranges plastic flowers in chunks of hard green foam.
Your friends parents, in most cases, are vague presences, then peculiar adults, then briefly understood, then forgotten.
Using their bathroomn was the worst because you didn't know which towels to use, and the soap smelled different and there were personal things on the counter and a big thick rug on the toilet seat and another on the tank, like this was a place where people relaxed and watched TV. If there was a magazine it was something like the Rotarian, and you paged through it looking for the jokes and cartoon page. They had to have one, right? They all did. Nope. Just Rotary stuff. Whatever that was.
It was always good to get home after being in one of those homes. I can still recollect a few, but only the kitchens.
Anyway: the magazine is Chain Store Age, from 1960, and it's just amazing. The magazine portion is unremarkable, but the ads? They put out two issues per month, one dedicated to the drugstore trade, and the other for . . . chain store restaurant managers. 1960. Glassware. Coke dispensers. Coutertop displays. It's a level of detail I never thought I'd ever see, and it might be the best resource in existence for reconstructing a very particular era and place. When I finish with this thing it's going to be a year's worth of Product entries and an enormous site on its own.
I say this for those of you who've explored the site down to its most distant nooks: one of the ads has a heretofore unknown Dayalet.
If you don't know what that means, or what a Dayalet is - you haven't explored the site as much as you should.
Short entry today, due to Column Work. But below? Riches! Untold scrolling delights!
Actually, a damned depressing piece of America Bereft, but we'll get to that.
Oh, speaking of Heinz: I did errands today, the weekly provisional run. They had a sale on two new types of Heinz ketchup: Awful Caramelized Onions and Bacon, and Bad Sriracha. The first has no detectable flavor beyond SUGAR AND LOTS OF IT, and the second is just like licking a tuning fork dipped in some strange non-lethal acid. I don't know why I bought them. I should know better than to contrude with the ketchup that is ours.
Do I have to explain that? I suppose I should. I used the word around daughter the other day, and she accepted it. She got what it meant. To confuse and obstruct in an obtuse manner. It comes from my DC days; I was sent to do a piece on the public commentary period about changes in the ketchup classification system. They'd proposed going from Extra Fancy, Fancy, etc to a letter grade. People were convinced this meant the government was going to get involved with ketchup itself. One letter from a fellow who apologized for his English, he not being originally of from here to this place, ended his letter with the phrase "Do not contrude with the ketchup that is ours!" I've tried to make contrude a word ever since then. No luck. Feel free to use it, though. People intuit what it means.
Another tiny picture in the sleeve. Today it's . . .
The chea DYI-collage effect was a style for a while, and no one was the better for it.
Poor fellow doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry. You have to go to "Theater Organ" read this: "Among the most 'heard' organists in the United States was Dick Leibert, who held for many years the enviable position of Head Organist at New York's Radio City Music Hall, presiding over the largest original theatre organ ever build by the Wurlitzer firm (4 manuals, 58 ranks)"
So it's organ music. Difficult to explain how popular that was. I supose you've never heard the sultry, uptown strains of "Harlem Nocturne" until you've heard it played on an enormous Wulitzer.
He died in Florida in 1977 at the age of 73, 12 years after ths album. Organ music, by then, was nearly gone as a cultural force.
It still amazes me that it ever was.
Part two; if you missed the first look, it's here.
We know what this is. Or rather, was.
The elements were not kind ot the wood, but they gave it a nice surreal zebra touch. You may question the choice of brick, but the author of that design has probably left this realm. Along with much of the town.
Well, they tried. They really did:
They weren't different retail outlets, but big windows. I wouldn't be surprised if they sold cars.
The Brickmaster of Goodyear had his way here as well, it seems.
Some renovations are utterly inexplicable. The faded paint says it was once a SERVICE location.
The blotches on the left could be daubs of glue that held sheets of Vitrolite or enameled panels. The baffling attempt to recreate some sort of canopy bed cannot be explained.
Here's the whole block. "SERVICE" being our clue, this had to be a car dealership.
What's that down the street? Let's take a look.
The . . . Baker Peace? Why the Baker Peace? Was it purchased by a religious organization, and used for housing or worship?
Let's take the white building first.
The Palace Theater. Some pictures have the facade as blue; it's green in others. The Cinema Treasures page says it reopened in 2007, but it doesn't look too busy. A comment says:
I lived with my brother and his family in Colorado Springs TX in the summer of 1991. There wasn’t much to do in this town and one hot day strolling uptown, my nephew and I found this closed theatre. It wasn’t even locked! We decided to explore, being movie buffs (and still are). Everything was very dusty as I remember. The first thing I remember seeing was the concession stand. The popcorn machine still had popcorn in bags ready to be purchased, hot dog weinies (very wrinkled by this time) in their machine ready to be bought also.
More at the link.
Well, let's look next door:
The Baker. Lost Texas says it was an 85-room hotel built in 1927.
Take a look at this mid-century rehab.
Subsequent attempts to improve it were less successful.
It has a Facebook page dedicated to its history.
I'm sure the banners urging people to RECLAIM the city are earnest, but there doesn't seem much to reclaim.
There you have it; see you around.