Podcast today. Link at the bottom. BUT AS I WAS SAYING ABOUT DON -

No, don't worry. Not today.

It was cool and foggy. Delightfully dank. My office tower vanished in the empyrean mists. Either that or I have macular degeneration, and so does my camera.


I walked around downtown with no purpose in mind other than walking and looking. There's always something new - a restaurant, a storefront, a hole in the ground, a building with the finishing touches applied by men on the 20th floor.

I think the dissatisfaction many people have with thier jobs, if not their lives, is working in suburban office parks. Fine places to live if you're so inclined, but to work in a two-story building along a low-traffic road with nothing to walk to - it can't bring much happiness, and I suspect at some level it subtracts from it. But that's just my opinion, like everything else on this site, and if you take it all with a grain of salt I recommend the Pink Himalayan variety; the grains are huge.

I promised there would be peanut butter labels, and so there are two peanut butter labels. I have four. Why? Because if there's an opportunity to buy four labels for two dollars, yes, I will. Ever time.

Two of their brands; at one time, there were four. You can't beat this for aspirational branding. You too can be well-dressed and have happy blond kids. If not, stare at this jar and lament the course your life has taken so far:


W. B. Roddenbery was founded by . . . Seaborn Anderson Roddenberry Georgia Encyclopedia:


Roddenbery started his business in 1862, when he opened a doctor's office and general store. He made sugarcane syrup, which he sold in cypress barrels, and customers brought in their own jars to fill with the nectar. Roddenbery began marketing his wares as the state's first pure cane syrup, and within ten years he had a 1,000-acre sugarcane farm and had given up his medical practice because, he claimed, most of his customers didn't pay.

Maybe because nothing he did worked very well.

Oh! Boy . . . or Oh! Boy! with the second exclamation point implied.

Even though it made a million cases a year, the Roddenbery plant closed in 1994. Thirty-four people were out of a job.

There's no rock and roll, because it's Sinatra's label. But there's this. Hey kids:

I have a suspicion that "Hippy's Cha Cha Hips" might not be on YouTube. He was before my time. Google the clips if you like. Two things I took away from brief research: he took his last name from Chic Sale, a vaudeville performer popular in the early third of the 20th century.

In 1929, inspired by a carpenter named 'Lem Putt' from his hometown of Urbana, Illinois, Sale wrote The Specialist, a play about an outhouse builder. Because copyright infringement was widespread in Vaudeville, Sale enlisted the aid of two newspapermen to adapt The Specialist into a book. This enjoyed great success

Alas: " For many years—even after his death—'Chic Sale' was used as a euphemism for an outhouse. He is known to have found this unflattering, calling it 'a terrible thing to have happen.'"

Citation needed, but it's not unreasonable. The other item in Sales' bio: his early show, Wikipedia says, was sohot in the Maccabees Building in Detroit. I expected to find a derilict, which is telling - both about my preconceptions, I suppose, but also about what led to them. Is it wrong to assume that a famous old building in Detroit is not being used to the fullest of its potential? Haven't we factored in almost total decay when the subject comes up?

Turns out, it's in use, and occupied. And it's a beast. I love buildings like that; they're so uncompromising. The details keep it from being boring, but a view details less, and it would be dull. Remember, if it was glass, it would seem weightless. Clad with stone, it's a mountain.



Let's enjoy a series of ads from 1934. You can learn a lot from these - more than you can from the stories in the magazines. They were fiction. This was intended to be true.

Mike enjoyed his cigarettes:

"Mike" Thompson was a famous football referee, if the Google searches are any help. He was a ref for four decades. This 1935 news story about his pending retirement notes that he had to make decisions on plays not in the book, given the youth of the sport. He ruled that the "hidden ball" play, where the pigskin was stuffed under one's jersey, was permitted.

Overruled later, because it was unseemly.

I thought we didn't start to suck up to the Reds until after Hitler invaded:

Russian? She was born in Kiev. Let's see how that Bright New Star turned out:

Goldwyn had his new star tutored in English and taught Hollywood screen acting methods. He poured a great deal of time and money into Sten's first American film, Nana (1934), a somewhat homogenized version of Émile Zola's scandalous 19th century novel. But the film was not successful at the box office, nor were her two subsequent Goldwyn films.

The title of latter films suggests she still an accent: "Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas (1943), They Came to Blow Up America (1943), Three Russian Girls (1943)." And if you doubted she had an accent, well, listen . . . to this.


2:16. "If Sam Goldwyn can with great conviction / Instruct Anna Sten in diction / Then Anna shows / Anything goes."

She made a Cole Porter lyric. That's something.

Popular Peg! All the girls wanted to be her and gain her approval. How they hated her.


That's all it took to get the guys! Eye powder. WELLS OF ALLURE. She still had the same drab figure and bad breath, but man, those WELLS OF ALLURE.

Another bygone brand: a do-it-yourself Listerine.

Note the eagle. The NRA would be declared unconstitutional the next year, but for now, everyone had to have it. What, you didn't support National Recovery? What's the matter with you, pal? I'm taking my trade elsewhere.

Same artist as our Popular Peg pen-pusher?

Strangely attractive. That's an odd way of putting it, but the vernacular probably meant "intensely."



Your hair is glorious; ergo YOU are thrilling.

Jo-cur! Pronounced Joker" for no discernible reason.




"Hot Starch" would be a good band name.

The Hubinger Company made starch, and lots of it; the fortune he made financed lots of projects.



From this 2009 story:


Keokuk first got electricity in 1889 because Hubinger wanted electric power for his house. He built his own electric plant, which sold electricity to Keokuk citizens for 75 cents per light bulb per month. The plant operated from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.

In 1894, Hubinger bought the defunct streetcar system and began improving it, running tracks to Hamilton, Ill., and Warsaw, Ill. Wustrow said this proved popular because Illinois was, at that time, a “wet” state, while Iowa was a “dry” one.

In 1897, Hubinger built an amusement park near Rand Park. The grand opening was held on the Fourth of July. Among the attractions were a “chute-the-chute” ride; a racetrack; a casino, where performers en route from Chicago to Kansas City could stop and give shows; and an imitation Atlantic beach, with salt shipped in from the East. Wustrow said that Hubinger never broke even on the amusement park.

Hey, wait. This part is familiar.

Among Hubinger's other setbacks was legal trouble with the Bell System over his Keokuk Phone Company. He lost a great deal of money in these lawsuits and eventually sold his shares in Hubinger Brothers Company to his brothers. He also sold his mansion and moved into a boarding house.

I've written about this before, but if I forgot, I'll bet you did, too.

So much to learn from a small starch ad.

Dr. Cliche recommends this bowel-blaster:


The connection between stuck guts and a cold isn't so common these days. No one starts sneezing and thinks "I'd better get out the suppositories, quick."

We end with another Camel ad:be you salesman or sniper, nerves count.

An old Scarsdale newspaper says a Kenneth B. Logan, real estate man, died the year after this ad ran.

Hope it wasn't from nerves.



That should hold the little bastards! No, wait, that wasn't Soupy Sales. And that's urban myth, aka, a falsehood. Rural myths, now those are usually true. See you around.

Oh! The podcast lives at Ricochet, but also on Stitcher. May take some time to get up; I'll post the link tomorrow as well. This is a new series, called The Ramble - I start with a subject and just see where it goes, and hope I have the music and sounders and audio clips to back up whatever half-arsed idea comes out.




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