Just like that: an empty house again. But only for a while, after which it will be normal, and then empty, until finally empty is the norm. It’s never actually empty, but you know what I mean. Either there’s a good chance Daughter is down the hall in her room working on something - if home, and not working or gallivanting - or the room is silent and all the dust has settled and no outlet draws power and the dog sits on the bed alone, wondering what happened this time.

Off to college orientation. Took her to the airport, and for the first time I didn’t do the check in or fuss with any prep details - up to you, O traveler of the Amazon and beyond. Did the dad thing and slipped her some money. A quick drive - the upside of living under the flight path is easy access to the airport; no hour-long slog, it’s a 12-minute trip - and hugs & goodbye.

Annnnd texts an hour later: the flight was overbooked, and they bumped her. She had a moment of fury when the monitor showed eight people needed seats, as you can expect: HOW CAN THEY DO THIS. Because they can, and it usually works out, that’s why. I don’t know why you can’t sue them for fraud, except you probably signed that away when you accepted the T&C, but really, it goes like this:

You: Here is money for a service.

The Airline: Thank you. We have deposited your money. Your service will be performed at 1:17 PM Monday afternoon.

Later: we’re sorry, we cannot provide the service for which you have given us money.

You: What? Why?

Airline: We promised too many people we could perform the service.

You: But we made a deal two months ago. You took the money.

Airline: It is the way of things. We might be able to get someone else to perform the service at a later time. Don’t know; it’s all up in the air. Not you, but things in general. Here is a piece of paper redeemable for a hamburger.

But they expect that a certain number of people just won't show up, which I don't understand. Y'know, I'm supposed to fly to Boston today, but I'm just not feeling it. Or they're the people who set out for the airport late and get stuck in security: that I understand.

She got on the plane, in the end. Texted from the other side of the country a few hours later - she was waiting for an Uber driver, and his bio said he spoke Portuguese! Maybe he was from Brazil!

As it turned out, yes: not only from Minas Gerais, her home state, meaning her home state IN BRAZIL NOT AT ANY WAY COMPARABLE TO HER ACTUAL HOME STATE OF MINNESOTA, but he was also from a city next to Belo Horizonte, where she’d been. They spoke in Portuguese the entire trip.

Upon alighting at her destination she texted that she spied a Caffe Nero, one of the few in the US; it’s where we go for coffee in England. Better than Costa. In my opinion. And don’t I just fancy myself something special for having an opinion about British coffee chains.

(BTW, Costa is the 2nd largest coffee chain in the world; owned by Coke. Coming here eventually, no? Can you imagine Coke not trying to have coffee presence here? Perhaps the fundamentals aren't there - leasing and staffing and outfitting coffee shops in a whole new market, especially one that's saturated, might not seem like something they need to do. But I have the feeling that people are as ready for something better than Starbucks as they're ready for something better than Facebook. )

She’ll be back Saturday with tales of college life. What a year she’s had. What an adventurous soul, he said with pride. And a touch of bittersweet chagrin. But 97% pride.




It's 1929.


What Mexican situation might cast a shadow?

The Cristero War or Cristero Rebellion (1926–29), also known as La Cristiada , was a widespread struggle in central-western Mexico in response to the imposition of secularist, state atheism, anti-Catholic and anti-clerical articles of the 1917 Mexican Constitution.

Things had gotten hot, but it would be over soon.

Hoover’s planks:

The whole world is at peace. The economic situation is sound.

Well, that’s how it always looks, until it isn’t.

That cut-up, Ted Cook:

Cook was Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Record in the 20s, was hired away by Hearst, who liked his comical column. This book says he was “one of the hundreds of columnists who sprang up in the 1920s seeking to imitate the illustrious Walter Winchell.”

He couldn’t find the right tone or subject matter, but eventually found a source for comic material: the newspaper Lamar, MO, which had all sorts of interesting and unusual stories. The book recounted how Cook ran items from the paper for a long time, and eventually went to see Lamar for himself and meet its mayor.

But that, as we'll see, is another story.


Dick Dix at the Minnesota:

Five shows a day for Amos & Andy! I wonder which one was the best.

First Paramount Technicolor movie, but only part. Too expensive to do the whole movie.

Color, in 1929. Quite the show at the Minnesota, but it didn’t help; it would go bankrupt, again and again.


Early example of the “reach for a cigarette instead of candy” ad campaign. Of course, most people said “Why not both?”

One of the most popular one-panel comics of the day.


A sample of the radio program for 1929. Entertainment that flowed into your home for free. This didn’t exist 10 years before. The world was being remade.

Aunt Sammy?


Aunt Sammy?


Aunt Sammy was a fictional radio character created by the Bureau of Home Economics of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for a popular cooking show called Housekeeper's Chat. Its target audience was farm wives. The show premiered in October, 1926.

The program was also known as Housekeeper's Half-Hour[2] and as just Aunt Sammy. It was one of the first radio shows that had regular characters; Aunt Sammy's family and friends included Ebenezer, an uncle; Billy, a nephew; Percy DeWillington, a fussy eater, and the Nosy Neighbor.

Supposedly the wife of Uncle Sam, the character was voiced by different women at each individual radio station, using a standardized script.


Ah, the Bellman!

The Bellman was a magazine as well; ran for a few years, shut down in 1919. The last issue:

It announced its passing with the high-minded hoohah that characterized the entire enterprise:


Dude we get it you're broke now

But the name apparently had some cachet, since it made a transition to a newspaper feature.

William Edgar, by the way, was more than a writer and publisher:

In 1891 he organized a movement through which American millers gave a shipload of flour for the relief of Russian peasants, personally superintending its collection, shipment, and distribution, and receiving a gold flagon from the emperor of Russia in recognition of his services. He also directed the Millers' Belgian Relief Movement in 1914.

In 1917 he assisted Herbert Hoover, food administrator, in perfecting the organization, regulation, and control of the American milling industry during the war. In 1918 he went to work in Britain, writing articles concerning the war spirit of the northwestern region of the United States. He was named Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium) and Officier de l'Instruction Publique (France). Edgar received the bronze medallion from Le Comit National de Secours et d'Alimentation, Brussels, in recognition of relief work.

You don't hear a lot about the Miller's Belgian Relief Movement these days.


  Huh - wonder if this ever went anywhere.


From this fellow’s family came something that would be in the movie theaters 99 years later. His brother lived in a house a few blocks from where I live now, and among the products their magazines created was Captain Marvel.

The SHAZAM one.




That'll do; enjoy the update, and I'll see you around.



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