Here's a remarkable development: it was grey today, in the 40s.

Got my license plate tabs without an appointmenbt today. Never needed one before the Great Change, but now you do. But: I walked in, and there was hardly anyone there. But: "It's the lunch hour, and we're understaffed." It was 11 AM. I accepted these terms and waited. Took 15 minutes.

On the way back I passed the glass cases where there used to be exhibits from local historical societies and libraries. Nothing there for a long time now. The cafe on the lower level is also closed. It used to be bustling all morning, and a quick place for cheap coffee. Like the historical exhibits, I guess there's no point any more. But I tell myself it'll be back. Just takes time.

And people.  The sort of people who stop and see what's in the glass cases, and the people who come up with the idea to put something in there. Perhaps we could come up with something for the new work-from-home paradigm. A glass case in every house, and the Hennepin County Library emails you an image. You print it off and put it in the case!

And now . . .

From the 10 for a buck bin: a 1921 copy of Red Book magazine. It had a section called "Art Feature - Beautiful Women." An interesting account of standards from a century ago.

Edna Temple:

She has three Broadway credits, and nothing on IMDB. "Apple Blossoms" must have been a play that didn't make it into the records . . . or maybe didn't make it on the stage, at all.

Think of it: this is the height of fame, in many ways. And there doesn't seem to be any record beyond this.

Ora Carew:

About her, we know a lot.

Ora Carew was born Ora Whytock in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 19, 1893. When she was 22 years old Ora played in her first film production of SAVED BY THE WIRELESS in 1915. Her work in the silent film industry was, for the most part, sporadic. She wanted roles her fellow actresses received, but the plum roles went to better, more established actresses. But Ora toiled on. She continued in the mediocre roles while at times she would get a part with a little more substance to it. AFter COLD FURY in 1925, Ora retired from the film industry. She died in Los Angeles, California on October 26, 1955. She was 62 years old.

Nice headgear from Miss Miller:


Marilyn's last stage triumph was "As Thousands Cheer" in 1933. Her health began to deteriorate rapidly after that, aggravated by an increasing dependency on alcohol. Suffering from recurring sinus infections, she was in a severely weakened state by the time she died of complications following nasal surgery at the age of 37. A sad end to such a bright symbol of hope and youthful exuberance. A superficial, highly sanitized version of Marilyn's life was made in the form of the biopic Look for the Silver Lining (1949) with June Haver starring as Marilyn.

Well, how about that:

Dolores in Sally:

Took a while, but I found it. "Sally" was a successful Zeigfeld review. Star of the show? Marilyn  Miller.

Dolores was the Annie Lennox of her day, it seems. And much more. She was in France when the Nazis came in.

According to the memoirs of Drue Tartière, Dolores and Tudor Wilkinson were both heavily involved in the Resistance.  Tartière had also been in Vittel, and had managed to obtain a release on the false grounds that she was dying of cancer. She went on to help smuggle at least 42 Allied airmen out of occupied territory.

She wrote that a short wave radio had been concealed at 18 Quai d'Orléans so that the Resistance could communicate with London, and machine guns were hidden behind the fireplace and elsewhere in the apartment.

She was in a camp at the start of the occupation. Her husband, an art dealer. supposedly got her out by bribing Goering with a painting.

All this was ahead of her.


"The Midnight Rounders of 1921" opened in February and closed in April. Sally would have two more Broadway credits, then move to the screen: a handful of roles, ending in 1930. She died in 1987.










Can't stop watching the Dragnets on IMDB. You can't help but be reminded that Friday and Gannon must have done something really, really bad at some point, because they never advance in rank and get shifted around from job to job every week. This time it's a rash of comic book and movie poster thefts. The only time the phone rings, it's pertinent to this particular crime wave. Dramatic music, head out the door.

First stop: a magazine store where someone shoplifted comics. Lights and sirens for that one, no doubt.

Of course, as you might expect, the owner of a comic book store . . .

 . . . would have JOLSON on his wall.

Then a call comes in! Some movie posters have been stolen! Off to the Universal backlot:

The salient fact the show would never address: why someone of Friday’s tenure is following up on movie theater vandalism. It’s heartening to think that cops would care about someone stealing a lobby card, but once you look at the examples you wonder why anyone would bother. I mean, good Lord.

It doesn't even look good enough to be one of those folk-art versions you see in Third-World villages.

Don't bother; imdb doesn't have either title.

The plot evolves, and we learn that the “Superfan,” as one cop calls him, is hovering up all the Captain Lightning memorabilia. One theater worker who does the marquee says he saw him - green cape! Three color hat, with a plume! You know that Joe Friday and Officer Gannon will find him; what do you think he’ll look like?

He's the Crimson Crusader. Hence the green and blue.

In the end, the only sensible approach to grown-ups obsessed with this sort of thing:

That's how you deal with this sort of thing.   By the way, Officer Gannon has some sympathy; he was a comic book fan when he was a kid.

He has a point.




It’s 1918.

Our fighting boys like toilet luxury, as well, and if there’s anything that defines life in the trenches, it’s toilet luxury:

Roman centurions knew some form of Palmolive! Really, it’s the soldier’s fave since forever ago.

This is a reminder of how WW1 was total cultural mobilization, or at least an attempt at it. We’d replay it all in 41, then drop it for good.

Hmmm . . . five cents?

Nope. This country needed a good six cent cigar.

I didn’t know there was an Owl. Of course, we know about White Owl; it was a grandpa smoke, with those ghastly plastic holders. Still around.

Heavy cigars removed his handle! No, that’s note quite right. What does “off the handle” mean, anyway? The phrase is still around, at least in my generation.

“Oily heaviness” is a “constant threat” to your nerves and happiness. Who would willingly smoke those? Perhaps the intent was to make the mild cigar indict the more flavorful ones by suggesting that there was too much of a good thing, and you were all nicotine-jangled without realizing it.

Cigar smoking was much more common a hundred years ago, and we forget how many people walked around with a smoldering cheroot.


The modern man in the modern world of luxury and technology. He sought the finer things, the items of quality and durability. And then he lost one of them.


Ah, the rich kids.

Armstrong, in the coming years, would provide the most eye-catching and fascinating record of American home and commercial design. But not yet.

“Velvet Joe” with some homespun verse about a guy who mellows right out with the mellowness

The verse - which is clunky, to my ears - doesn’t quite fit the social stratum of the image, but perhaps the old man likes to think he’s a right down-home fella at heart still.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Soda Fountain Factory:

The building still exists. The company made hospital cabinets in the early 70s, then faded from existence.

It was a big business, once: every town had to have a proper soda fountain.

I think we’ve discussed this stuff before.

Fake leather. But when you think about it, new miracle inventions like NuBuck were apt for the machine age. All the old conventions shall be swept away in a flood of brilliant innovation!

But we’ll sell them with old-world ideals.



That'll do. Oh what a day today will be.





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