Another day, another 37 degree temperature swing. That’s not so bad when you wake and it’s 50, and it’s 87 at 2 PM. A different matter when it’s 20 when you wake and -17 when you turn in. You could feel the world contracting today, and that’s something people in warm climes don’t know - or knew, and have cheerfully forgotten, or recall with equal cheer because it no longer applies: the world is crunchy. You back the car out of the garage, hit a drift: something crunches, and you just hope it’s the snow. When you drive the wheels crunch. When walk the snow beneath your feet crunches. It’s as if the entire world has been covered in styrofoam.
Sorry, capital letter. Styrofoam. A trademark, right? Man, you want to get lawyer-letters, write a column about Dayglo-colored necco wafers. You’ll hear from both.
While working last night I listened to, and partly watched, “West Side Story” on the other screen. The depiction of gang life is so damned quaint and clean by now; those irascible kids with their carelessly knotted ties! The dancing seems ridiculous when you watch it once, and apt the next time. The Jets are, for the most part, irritating characters, except for Riff and the glowering underline who takes over later. After “Quartet” and the rumble it’s all downhill.Even the rumble is marred by theatricality; let's just say, at the risk of a spoiler, that Riff loses his sense of a proper defensive posture.
The songs are lovely and yearning, of course, but what really gets me every time is the Dance - music and culture as combat as well as mating ritual, wild and mad, taunting, ecstatic.
In 1966, Leonard Bernstein conducted The Rite of Spring and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5 with the London Symphony Orchestra, and just recently that BBC event has been released on DVD for the first time. It’s a fascination—not only for the strong performance, but even more so for the chance to watch “Lenny” in action, close-up. Yes, all conductors have highly personal characteristics, but has there ever been one as theatrical, as showy, as hammy as he was? Or as exciting, as persuasive, as dedicated?
There’s the Lenny problem: Is he for real or is he an act? Do we love him or do we want to kick him in the ass?
Why it’s an either-or, I don’t know.
If you don’t want the magazine, which you will take from the mail slot into the house, place directly in the recycling bin, then take out once a month to the bin, unread, only to repeat this every month for the rest of your life, then please go to this website and take action you never would have had to do except we decided to send a magazine about Golf to someone who doesn’t golf, never golfed, won’t golf, is incapable of caring less about golf.
That’s some savvy marketing.
Now, let us remember that there are some ideas that are good, especially in the farrowing season, when the pigs mash the newborns against the walls:
Yes, it's a repeat from last Tuesday. I may play it every Tuesday this year.
THE WEEKLY BORDEN
Back when they looked more like cows:
That’s later Elsie. In the early 40s, she often had the Raging Beet-Fever:
Mince Meat was always a mystery to me as a child, since we never had. Ever. I did not understand how it could be in desserts. Well. It used to be meatier, but changed over the years until it was sweet enough to be repurposed as a confectionary cap to a meal. Wikipedia says the Victorians brought it back as a Christmas tree, out of nostalgia. I’ve said it before: it’s fascinating how we’re nostalgic for a bygone Christmas era that itself was caught up in nostalgia for a bygone Christmas era.
No Elmer this week; sometimes I find the peppery family tableaus, and sometimes I don’t. It’s not as if the artist could turn those things out week after week.
Did they really say that in the Olde Tymes?
Web searches for the Log Cabin People who Sing as they Taste comes up short, but I’m guessing it was a tie-in to a radio campaign. As I may have noted before, Log Cabin was invented, or formulated, or whatever you wish to say, in Forest Lake, Minnesota, and named after Honest Abe’s childhood home. A local restaurant appears to have capitalized on the fame, which would be more useful if any fame was involved.
Also, they don’t serve pancakes.
Anyway, the ad is from 1941, and speaks of the Good Old Days, completely with hollering patriarch and harried mom. Timewise, this is like people today being nostalgic about the 70s.
Hollace Shaw swoons at the thought:
Very little about someone who was obviously given a big studio build-up: one of those actresses whose imdd bio says “SEE MORE,” and when you click it’s just the stuff you’d already read. Did two films, one in 1938, and then “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” in 1942, in which she sang. I've scrubbed through the entire movie, and I'll be switched if I can find her.
Derby: another brand about which the internet is stubborn, and refuses to yield its information.
But we will not be daunted! An earlier ad for Derby . . .
. . . . notes at the bottom that they made Peter Pan Peanut Butter as well: “it does not stick to the roof of your mouth!” First of its kind, apparently. Before that you had to scrape it off with a spoon or talk like Webley Webster all day. That detail helps: Peter Pan was made by Swift, and Wikipedia says it was marketed “originally through their ‘Derby Foods’ subsidiary.” So why did they choose another name? Well, considering that other products in the line included “Pig’s Feet” and “Lunch Tongue,” it’s possible that Derby was aimed at a different demographic, and Swift didn’t want to sully the top brand by slapping SWIFT on stuff that probably contained more dog snouts that consumers would have preferred.
Speaking of Animals:
Man, I really didn’t want to google “Horsey Juice.”
The ads are helpful, though; the company was founded by J. William Horsey, and from that, we’re off. (Sorry.) This site about the J. William Horsey Library notes he was a businessman and philanthropist with a deep religious convention. Also, he was Canadian, so the man got around.
Who? Well, he was the nephew of scientist / musician John Ordway, and as the name suggests to Minnesotans, one of the guys who got in on the ground floor of 3M, and whose name now adorns one of the finest concert halls in the region. His granddaughter by marriage was behind that project; her husband - also a philanthropist millionaire - died in 2012, and his obit notes how he was both born into luxury, left college in WW2, and went to the Pacific to fly planes off aircraft carriers. (And back on to the same, one assumes.) Came back and did more good.
We remember Ordways. Horseys not so much.
That’s a lot to get out of a can of juice, but that’s why I do this. The things you learn.
Sold to Brachs in 1991. Anything else we might want to know? It was founded by Vern Fortin; along with his wife, Eleanor - the Ell in the candy’s name, I’d bet - he founded Vernell’s Fine Candies in 1947. The company’s webpage said it was the world’s largest maker of butternut candy in THE WORLD by the time it was sold.