The first true snow, with all its stark silent beauty. How I hate it. We knew it was coming, and I wasn’t surprised to wake and find the world was white. All I could think about was shoveling it away. The snowblower doesn’t work - the mechanic due to fix it has been busy - but it’s not bad snow. I’ll push it out of the way with the shovel. There’s just so much to shovel. As much as I love the great expanse of Jasperwood, with its absurd front yard, there’s a mile of walk and it’s uphill in both directions.

Five months of this. The heart sags. I don’t know why it seems so long this time.

On the way to work I saw the first accident of the season: two cars and a school bus, on a hill. Someone had come around the corner, braked with terrifying inefficaciousness, and hit the bus before they could even finish the word “inefficaciousness.” You can travel half a block on that word.

The bus didn’t seem to be in any danger of sliding down the hill, which was good. It might have gone sideways, straddling both lanes. That would've been a merry sight for the first morn of true winter.

Ah well, no getting around it; there's only one course, and that's through it.

Winter, I mean, not a buz wreck.

More slides. Christmas, 1964 or so:

Hmm. Those boxes.

Can we figure out what they were? Of course we can.

When I did a search for that, up came some pictures of the constituent elements:

All of a sudden I remembered those sundered little limbs. There wasn’t a lot you could do with those. You could put his webbed feet poking out of his shirt sleeves, I suppose, but it the novelty wore off fast. But I remembered this. Some neuron had been storing the memory of these things, and had probably given up hope it would ever be useful again, until all of a sudden there’s a voice from the boss: fetch me the memory of Donald Duck’s severed legs in Colorforms. Yessir boss right on it

This was also easy to find.

Someone wants a thousand dollars for it on the auction sites.

This too was - sorry - child's play.

Texaco sold them for $3.98 when you bought some Sky Chief gas.

I imagine Dad had a few sitting around in the back.

Something else that made me smile:

The Farmhouse. One of my earliest memories: bounding down the stairs on a spring or summer morning, during a time when we were living at the farmhouse. It was warm and green and I was happy.

At this point the actual memory is gone, but I remember the memory.

Last one: a detail from a shot of the uncles sitting around with TBV dinner trays in the living room.

  A matter of cultural literacy, 20th century style: some of you get this right away.




It’s 1922, and we’re reading the Hat Magazine. Well, a trade journal for haberdashers.

Hence the hat-centric content.

The Hat Band Machine. (Larger version here.) Direct from loom to YOU, MR. HAT BUILDER.

Someone had to make them, and they didn’t stitch them by hand. The company was located in the Victoria building, Broadway and 27th . . . still there?

Yes. Twenty stories, built in 1912. Quite a beast.

The modern world must have seemed quite impressive to someone in their later years.

Frank Heid was over on 5th: wonder if 27th was the Hat District.

Frank’s store today.

Frank’s Philly factory a few years back, before it was wrested from the hands of the vandals:

A few years ago . . .

Now. It’s been rehabbed.


Good for the dieting fathead in your social circle, or someone inclined to period bouts of extreme self-regard.


This references something, right? A salesman’s adage about eggs?

Turns out it’s a French adage, similar to “don’t judge a book by its cover.”


“It’s the Katz Hats” sounds like it should’ve been 20s slang.

Long address! It’s the Broadway Block, now the Tisch Center for NYU. I’ve been there. It was a dump. I knew nothing of its hat history. I suspect few do. You can't put up a plaque just because the place had hat history. Half the buildings in that part of town probably had hat history.

“This is illustration is also running in magazines non-hat-selling people read."

A fellow could cut quite a figure on the subway in those days. Gloves, hat, thick winter coat, the morning Tribune.

We end where we began: the hat band supplier. Turns out it wasn’t integrated into the manufacture.

Was it separate because it would be frequently replaced, because it was, after a while, disgusting?



That will do! Off to see who's being bugged by the Quaker Kids.





blog comments powered by Disqus