Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa Should Be Head Of Homeland Security

This is a repost. It is a perfect time to bring this post back.
You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town.
(quell the masses)
I feel Santa is the perfect choice for head of homeland security.
(he sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake.)
He know what you are doing at all times.
(he knows when you've been bad or good)
So, we'd better be good, for goodness sake.
Think about it. That guy can enter a house without anyone knowing at all and not leave a trace except bearing gifts, if he chooses to, or eating your cookies.
He can get from one place to another in no time and circle the globe in 24 hours.
Kids and people worship him like a God and he is know universally.
No one, I say no one, is going to cross that man for fear of the consequences, especially on Christmas morning.
So, the president should seriously give Mr. Claus consideration when making the next choice for head of homeland security.
Ho, Ho, Ho!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stop..Be Still..Listen To your Inner Voice

Remember in the sixties, everyone was talking about transcendental meditation?
It was hip and cool! It was conscious relaxation.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi helped bring the Eastern influence to Western rockers. The Beatles took off to India to learn transcendental meditation (TM), but they came back dissatisfied. I personally think meditation couldn't help the issues they had. That feeling of being dissatisfied came out in their song, "Every body's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey."
Rumor has it that "Sexy Sadie" was written about the Maharishi making passes at Mia Farrow. I truly don't want to think about that.
The Beach Boys and Donavon among many others were also taught. By the 1970's, some five million people were practicing transcendental meditation.
Have you always wanted to learn how? Well, I got just the ticket for you!
You can meditate like a zen monk using these powerful Cd's!
How do I know? Because I use this program.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Aliens Landed! It's a One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater!

I bet you remember this one! It hit the Billboard pop charts in 1958. It was performed and sung by Sheb Wooley.
"The Purple People Eater" is about a wierd looking alien who comes down to earth because it wants to be in a rock and roll band. The song was written in an hour based on a joke told by the child of a friend. This monster wasn't purple, but it eats purple people instead.
The voice on the record was sped up in the recording, sounding like the "The Chipmonk Song" and "the Witch Doctor", which were both songs of those times.
Once you start singing this song, it's going to be in your head all day!

Well I saw the thing comin' out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said "ooh-eee"
It looks like a purple eater to me
It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
(One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater)
A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (One eye?)

Well he came down to earth and he lit in a tree
I said Mr. Purple People Eater, don't eat me
I heard him say in a voice so gruff
I wouldn't eat you cuz you're so tough

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
One-eyed, one-horned flyin' purple people eater
One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (One horn?)

I said Mr. Purple People Eater, what's your line
He said it's eatin' purple people and it sure is fine
But that's not the reason that I came to land
I wanna get a job in a rock and roll band

Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flyin' purple people eater
Pigeon-toed, undergrowed, flyin' purple people eater
(We wear short shorts)
Flyin' purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me

And then he swung from the tree and he lit on the ground
He started to rock, really rockin' around
It was a crazy ditty with a swingin' tune
Sing a boop boop aboopa lopa lum bam boom

Well bless my soul, rock and roll, flyin' purple people eater
Pigeon-toed, undergrowed, flyin' purple people eater
I like short shorts
Flyin' little people eater
Sure looks strange to me (Purple People?)

And then he went on his way, and then what do ya know
I saw him last night on a TV show
He was blowing it out, a'really knockin' em dead
Playin' rock and roll music through the horn in his head

[Clarinet solo]


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crown Roast Of Frankfurters

I collect cookbooks. I have many that are vintage that I buy just for the pictures. Last night, while looking through a case of old weight watchers recipe cards, I ran across this one. I was laughing so hard, I couldn't stop. I just had to share it with you. It's a perfect weight watchers recipe because no one would ever eat it. Can you imagine being a kid and your mom made this for supper? What would the husband say? Would they love it and think it was cool? Or, would they pretend to love it so they wouldn't hurt mom's feelings? What a culinary horror! I realized that the whole baby boomer generation could have easily been wiped out because of two things. One, the food and two, the X-ray machines in my previous post. It's all very hard to swallow. Literally. I was just wondering what this would look like on the Thanksgiving table instead of the turkey.
Bon Appetite!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Let's Go To The Shoe Store! I Want To Look At The Bones In My Feet!

Now that we are on the subject of shoes, in order to get the proper fit for your Red Ball Jets, it was necessary to stick your feet in the X-ray machine. How cool was that? It was better than an all day sucker and bubble gum! Sticking your feet in the machine, looking at the yellow greenish images of your bones, and wiggling your toes!
These machines were call fluoroscopes. They were on the cutting edge of technology. What a perfect way for the shoe salesman to give kids the best fit. According to one manufacturer, "The machine proved to be a valuable ally of the retailer. It enabled him to demonstrate the correctness of his fit and impress his customers."
These devices were in the stores from the 1930's and well into the late 1950's, which were the peak of popularity. At least 10,000 stores in the United States had them.
Then the concerns of radiation grew. Some of the boxes were not tight and radiation leaked out into the surrounding area. What about our feet? Good grief!
In 1957, Pennsylvania was the first state to ban these machines. By the mid 1960's, they were history.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Run A Little Faster! Jump A Little Higher! Red Ball Jets!

Produced in 1951-1971, Red Ball Jets were the only sneakers to have. There really wasn't much choice back then.
Open the box and the smell of pungent rubber would smack you right in the face. It was almost a crime to put them on your feet, but you just couldn't wait!
The advertisements convinced children that they could actually run a little faster and jump a little higher. It was true. I was sure there was "flubber" somewhere in the shoe.
Uniroyal bought the rights to these shoes in 1971, but never produced any more after that.
Another good thing comes to an end.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Red Rose Tea! Red Rose Tea!

Remember the Red Rose Tea commercial with the wild jazz band chimps? These guys were The Marquis Chimps, Charlie, Enoch, and Candy. In 1960, they were in three TV commercials. One showed them as cowboys, another playing golf, and the most famous was the Red Rose Tea commercial.
In 1961-62, these chimps starred in the comedy called the Hathaways. They also made guest appearances on numerous shows such as The Kraft Music Hall and The Jack Benny Hour.
I bet you loved this commercial as much as I did!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SPAM~The Miracle Meat! The Anytime Meat!

SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM Hormel's new miracle meat in a can. Tastes fine, saves time. If you want something good, ask for SPAM! Sung to the tune of the chorus of, "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean," this was probably the first singing commercial, launched in 1940.
In 1926, this product was developed by Hormel as America's first canned ham, no refrigeration required. During world war two, sales boomed. It wasn't rationed like beef and became a prime staple in American meals.
Nikita Kruschev credits SPAM with the survival of the Russian army. I know my dad survived without it. When he was in the Cavalry during the war, they buried the stuff in the desert.
In the 1940's and 50's, the Hormel Girls performing throughout the country distributed SPAM door to door. Wow! Can you imagine answering your door and finding Hormel Girls standing there and probably singing the song, handing you a can of SPAM?
Did you know that:
*By world war two, over 20 thousand tons of SPAM were sold?
*Hawaiians eat an average of 4 cans of SPAM per year, more than any place on earth?
*In Korea, SPAM is sold in gift boxes and the stolen products are on the black market?
*By 1959 a billion cans of SPAM had been sold?
Some flavors include, hot and spicy, less sodium, lite, oven roasted turkey? hickory smoked, SPAM with bacon, cheese, garlic and even a SPAM spread.
In Hawaii, SPAM is so popular, it is called, "The Hawaiian Steak." McDonald's and Berger King feature SPAM on the menu. The reason for it's popularity in that area of the world, is due to the surplus from the soldiers that made it's way into native diets.
In Europe, during the 1940's, a popular food, in addition to fish and chips, were deep fried sliced battered SPAM called "SPAM fritters."
In Austin, Minnesota, the home of Hormel's headquarters, you can attend the SPAM festival, or stop at the famous SPAM museum. While there, don't forget to drop by Johnny's restaurant for some real home cookin' right off the SPAMarama menu!

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Crash Pad

May 10, 1969

Dear Daddy,
I am having such a cool time. You wouldn't believe Keeper and Mary's place. It's a total crash pad. It's better than any place in BG. There are about 20 of us just hangin out. We camp in the yard and travel around to see the sites. There's a hip fish market on the pier where we buy our dinner to cook. The dude gives us fish parts and we go around the back of his place and drop them down in the ocean to feed the sea lions. It's so far out! The other day, though, Lippy, took us for a ride up the coast. He's from New York and went to college with us at BG. Anyway, he's got this freakie car. It's 1949 Buick. It's big and cool. You have to pull the brake pedal up with a rope. That's not so cool. We were going up the mountain real slow and he had to put on the brakes, I mean, pull the rope. Well, it came off the pedal, the car starts rolling backwards and we all jumped out. Man, I thought I was having a bad trip or something. The car hit the mountain and stopped. We all got back in and were laughing way too hard. It's ok, don't worry. I'm fine and didn't die or something. Maybe I have good Karma after all. Well, just checkin in. We are starting to plan our trip up to Washington, but not too much. It's really not good to plan stuff. It's more fun to just let it happen. Dig?
Love and Peace,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Want To Be A Breck Girl!

Dr. John Breck developed one of the first liquid shampoos in 1908, in Massachusetts.
During the first years of his business, distribution was only in the New England area. Then in 1946, the shampoo was only sold in beauty salons. Advertising began in 1932, but was limited to trade publications.
In 1936, Edward Breck, son of John, took over the management of the company. He became acquainted with Charles Sheldon, a portrait painter and illustrator. He was noted for his art nouveau style, pastels and portraits of movie stars. He created his first pastel portraits for Breck in 1936, which became one of America's longest running ad campaign.
The first Breck girl was 17 year old Roma Whitney and was registered as Breck's trademark in 1951. Sheldon had created 107 oil paintings and pastels but favored "ordinary women" such as family members, neighbors and employees.
After Sheldon retired, Ralph Williams continued the Breck campaign. He used brighter colors and as women became more independent, he carefully integrated each girls personality.
These advertisements usually ran on the back covers of magazines such as Ladies Home
Journal, Seventeen, Vogue, and more. Some of these Breck girls included, Marylin Skeldon, Cheryl Tiegs, Cybill Shepherd, Jaclyn Smith, Kim Basinger, Brook Shields, and Christy Brinkley.
By the 1960's. Breck held about a 20% share of the shampoo market and the Breck girls are now in the advertising records in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Wooly Willy

Introduced in 1955,Wooly Willy is a classic. "He has a magnetic personality and you can change his character with the wand."
Wooly Willy was born at the Smethport Specialty Company in Smethport, Pa. During world war two, all toy production stopped as the materials were only available for war use.
Smethport Specialty became R.W. Herzog and was a subcontractor for Sylvania Co. supplying mica insulators for radio tubes. (I bet you remember radio tubes) These tubes were used in proximity fuses, a device to control the height of a bomb explosion. Millions of these insulators were produced at the facility.
After the war, mica insulator production continued, but only for civilian use. As materials became available, toy production continued.
In 1955, James Herzog discovered that dust from magnetic grindings could be used for magnetic drawings. Thus, Willy Wooly was born. Lenonard MacKowski, an artist, designed the display cover. He often hid his name in the art.
In the beginning, there wasn't a toy buyer who would purchase this new toy. Finally, a buyer from the G.C. Murphy chain agreed to buy 6 dozen to prove it wouldn't sell. He was wrong , the toy sold out and he then ordered 12,000 more, which sold out in a few weeks.
Wooly Willy, being the toy of choice and for just twenty nine cents, you could play with one of the most popular toys made between 1950-1980.
The demand for the drawing sets exploded to include colored hair. The company then moved to Magnetic Avenue and built a new facility where it continues today.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Let's Twist Again Like We Did Last Summer!

In 1959 Hank Ballard & The Midnighters wrote and released the song, "The Twist." In 1960 Chubby Checker redid the song which then became #1 on the Billboard charts. It made it's debut on the Dick Clark Show and became a dance craze. The critics felt the dance was too provocative and was the first international dance of it's kind.
The Twist's original inspiration came from an African American plantation dance called, "wringin and twistin." It is traced back to the 1890's.
As the years went by, other recordings were made of the song. In 1961 Joey Dee and the Starlighters sang "The Peppermint Twist." I'm sure you remember the Peppermint Lounge. Then in 1962, Bo Diddley released his album, Bo Diddley's A Twistin. His songs were, "Bo's Twist" and "Mama Don't Allow No Twistin."
Bill Haley and The Comets put a twist on the Twist and released the recordings, "The Spanish Twist" and "Florida Twist."
The Twist is easy! Just pretend to drop a cigarette butt on the ground, put the ball of your foot over the imaginary cigarette and twist it to and fro like you are putting it out. Then at the same time, put an imaginary bath towel behind your back and pull it from side to side like you are drying your rear. Voila! You're doing the twist! It's so simple and you can dance alone with no partner contact. Now, I can just see you right now trying to do the twist. So come on baby, let's do the twist. Oh yeah, just like this!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Music The Mud!

Did you honestly think I would forget about this? August 15, 1969 was one of America's biggest parties. The music, the mud all took place at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in New York. What better reason, other than a terrorist attack, to close the NY freeway.
The Hog Farm Commune helped organize the campgrounds, operate free kitchens set up bad trip tents and introduce yoga and granola bars to the masses. A half a million strong!
There weren't cell phones or the Internet back then, but the underground press spread the word. Originally, Abbie Hoffman referred to the concert as Woodstock Nation, now in the 21st century, it is known as The Woodstock Moment.
Checkout the website for great memories of this great 3 days in our history. Meanwhile, I would like to hear about your experiences at Woodstock.

Woodstock: 40 Years on: Back to Yasgur's Farm (6CD, Limited Edition)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Red And The Pledge

This video was taken from the Red Skelton Hour show January 14,1969. He touched the hearts of Americans with his Pledge of Allegiance, explaining the meaning of each and every word.
Things have certainly changed since then and it seems to me that we as a nation have somehow gotten off track. Perhaps this video can show us the way back.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Let's Have Lunch With Soupy!

I really loved (and still do) Soupy Sales. Once in my travels, I saw him in the San Francisco airport. I thought I just saw God! It was truly a rush!
From 1959-1961, on Saturday's at noon, it was the Lunch With Soupy show. You could have lunch with him right in your living room!
His friends were White Fang. You could only see his big paw because he was the biggest dog in the world. Also, there was Black Tooth, Pookie the Lion, Hippy the Hippo, and Herman the Flea. All of these voices were done by Clyde Adler.
Born Milton Soupman in 1926, his family gave him his nickname. His older brothers were Ham Bone, Chicken Bone and he was Soup Bone, which was shortened to Soupy. Sales came from the name of an Ohio comedian.
While attending grad school, Soupy worked in night clubs as a comedian, singer and dancer. He began his television career with station WKRC-TV with his show, Soupy's Soda Shop. It was TV's first teen dance program.
He was best know for Lunch With Soupy Sales. It was filled with rapid fire jokes and gags and his best known trademark, a pie in the face, He claims to be hit by over 25,000 pies.
Later in his career, Sales had a radio show on WNBG-AM in New York. On New Years Day in 1965, he was upset about having to work. At the end of the show, he told the kids to tiptoe in to their parents bedroom when they were sleeping and take the funny green pieces of paper with the presidents faces on them and send them to him. He in return, would mail them a post card from Puerto Rice. Well, the plan worked and Soupy ended up getting alot of money, which he donated to charity. The station was so upset over the matter and let him go. With so many kids ending up picketing the station, they had no choice but to bring him back.
Howard Sterns had a show at the same station and they did not get along. Sterns cut the strings of Soupy's studio piano just to torture him.
In his career, Soupy did several games shows which I am sure will become future blog posts here. They were, What's My Line, To Tell The Truth, and Hollywood Squares.
No doubt about it, Soupy is one great talent with lots of stories to tell. In fact, you can even follow him on Twitter!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Whole Earth Catalog...Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish!

You have to remember The Whole Earth Catalog! It was the bible of the American counterculture. Published in 1968 by Steward Brand, his goal was to have anyone to be able to pick up a telephone and find complete information on anything.
The publication was an access to tools and education for the reader to shape his own environment and find some inspiration. This was a large book and later editions were an inch thick. In 1972, the catalog won the National Book Award, the first time ever for a catalog.
In 1966, Steward Brand initiated a public campaign to have NASA release the rumored satellite image of earth as seen from space. He felt this image of our planet would be a powerful symbol.
In 2005, the catalog was compared to Google search engines in paperback form. In the 1960's, there was no Internet or hundreds of cable channels. As the web and blogs arrived, Whole Earth Catalogs disappeared. Everything The Whole Earth Catalog did, the web did better. It became a transfer from counterculture to cyberculture.
There were seven sections in the 1968 catalog:
~Understanding Whole Systems
~Shelter And Land Use
~Industry And Craft
In each section, the best tools and books were listed by the editors. This included reviews, images, uses, supplies and prices.
The catalog was a huge success for hippies and survivalists. The publication was not intended for very long, just long enough for the editors to complete a good overview of available tools and resources for everyone that needed them.
In these times, I think The Whole Earth Catalog is just the ticket. It will take you back to the times when life was a bit more wholesome and basic. I found my old original copy. It's got the whole earth in my hands.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Tom Terrific And Mighty Manfred The Wonder Dog!

I bet you remember Tom Terrific. I just loved it! What a great cartoon. My friend once gave me a brand new giant red plastic funnel and I wore it like a hat, just like Tom Terrific. This was about 5 years ago.
Simple and sweet, in case you have forgotten, Tom Terrific was a boy hero who lived in a tree house. Thanks to his magic funnel cap, he could transform himself into anything and also became smarter.
Tom Terrific debuted in 1957 on the Captain Kangaroo show. The budget was small, but the imaginative scripts and stylized designs hid this fact. The scripts were simple and the music was minimal too, mostly just an accordion. Lionel Wilson did all of the voices.
Each episode on the Captain Kangaroo show consisted of a 5 minute cliff hanger everyday and in a week the story was completed. Confident, but never violent, Tom Terrific took on a variety of criminals. They were Sweet Tooth Sam, The Gravity Maker,The Silly Sandman, Captain Kidney Bean and his arch enemy, Crabby Appleton who was rotten to the core.
Here is a flash back for you:
My name is Crabby Appleton,
and I am simply awful.
It does my heart a lot of good
to do a deed unlawful!
I'm fond of gloom, impending doom,
I think good deeds are sappy!
I laugh with glee. It pleases me
when everyone's unhappy!
Mighty Manfred The Wonder Dog was always at Toms side. Manfred really never liked the whole crime busting routine. He was a big baggy-eyed pooch who would rather avoid trouble than stop it. To him, a big long nap would beat a good deed any day.
There were twenty-six full adventures or 130 episodes of the cartoon over a four year period.
"When there is trouble,
I'm there on the double,
From Atlantic to Pacific,
They know Tom Terrific!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just In Time For The 4th Of July.....Tang Pie!

One of my readers alterted me to the fact that there is a Tang Pie. Well, I couldn't let that get by me so I did a search. Just in time for tomorrow. Impress your friends with this all American (sorry cherries and apples) pie! Be brave and go for it. Your friends and family will love you for it!

1/4 cup Tang orange drink powder
8 oz. sour cream
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 graham cracker pie crusts
Mix all ingredients together well. Pour in the 2 pie crusts and set in refrigerator overnight.
Put a twist of an orange slice in the middle of each pie for decoration.

Now how easy is that!
Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Indescribable...Indestructible! Nothing Can Stop it! The BLOB!

Beware of the Blob! It creeps and leaps and glides across the floor. It crawls... It creeps... It eats you alive!
Don't you just love it? It doesn't get any better than this! In 1958, this independently made science fiction/horror film depicted a giant amoeba alien that terrorizes the small town of Downington, Pennsylvania. Today this film is a cult classic.
The film was Steve McQueen's third feature film, but his first starring role. Because of him, this film became a hit in the drive-in theaters. Aneta Corsaut played his girlfriend and Olin Howland was the elderly old man.
In the film, the Blob comes from outer space and lands on earth inside a meteor. The two teenagers, McQueen and Corsaut drive the car to find out where it landed. Meanwhile, the elderly man heard the crash too, finds it and pokes it with a stick.
The rock breaks open and voila! There's the blob which crawls up the stick and attaches itself to his hand. It's all over from there.
By the time the teenagers get the old guy to the doctor's office, it engulfs him and eats the doctor and nurse too.
The film ends with the words, "The End", which then morphs into a question mark. Will the Blob return? Only time will tell.
The blob was filmed in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and several scenes were filmed in Downington. If you are around that area on July 10Th, don't miss the Blob Fest and Ball in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
During this movie, Steve McQueen was offered $2,500 or 10% of the profits. He took the $2,500 for food and rent,not thinking this film would be a hit. Little did he know, this film ended up grossing $4 million.
What was the Blob made of, you ask? It was originally created with a modified weather balloon for the sky shots and later made from silicone gel.
Wes Hark, a horror movie fan and collector, actually owns the Blob. It was love at first fright!

The Blob - Movie Poster - 27 x 40
The Blob - Criterion Collection

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tang.....The Space Age Drink

Tang is short for tangy and is supposed to have the flavor of tangerines. With more vitamin C than oranges, Tang was the breakfast drink of choice during the 1960's.
Tang was introduced to the public in 1959 and was marketed as the modern breakfast beverage. In 1965 the Gemini astronauts took the drink into outer space and made Tang a household name.
Made by General Foods, Tang is a sweetened drink powder, artificially flavored and colored. It's one of America's favorite chemically treated foods.
The Apollo and Gemini missions took the drink into space and drank it out of silver pouches. Just add water and you can have a days worth of vitamin C.
Actually, Tang had nothing to do with the space program and was developed by General Foods in 1957, 12 years before anyone went into space. But, because of the advertising, "Tang Takes Off," the space program became a valuable asset to the marketing and sales of the drink.
Sales of the drink today are not what they were back then. I'm sure most people decided that drinking real orange juice instead of mixing tangerine flavored chemical powder with water with a six year shelf life was much better for you.
One household tip is that Tang is an excellent cleaning agent and can be used to clean your dishwasher. Just run Tang through the cycle instead of soap.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb!

Wasn't Kookie the ginchiest? Born July 30, 1933, Edward Byrne Breitenberger starred in the TV series 77 Sunset Strip as Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson. He was a valet at Dean Martins "Dino's Lodge" restaurant next to 77 Sunset Strip. Sometimes he helped out the PI's trying to solve their cases.
He knew the word on the street and called everyone "dad." Always snapping his fingers he had a cool beatnik style. He was constantly combing his dovetail hair which led him to become a teenage idol heartthrob.
Later in his career, Edd Byrnes was hired to host the pilot of the "Wheel of Fortune" game show. That didn't work out for him and was replaced by Chuck Woolery.
Recently, Byrnes traveled to car shows selling his autographed pictures. But because of his unprofessional behavior and charging above average rates for his photos, many car shows have banned him.
In 2007, at the Blast From The Past car show in Texas, Edd Byrnes started yelling obscenities at a little girl and her father for videotaping him. He doesn't want anyone recording him for free. Well there you have it. Kookie, the cool cat turned into a guy with a big ego. In my opinion, the dude is just grasping at straws and living in a moment somewhere in time.
If you would like to read more about the life of Ed Byrnes, he wrote an autobiography in 1996 called, "Kookie No More."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Out Of the Clear Blue Of The Western Sky Comes......Sky King!

In the 1940's and 1950's Sky King was a radio and television adventure series. Schuyler (Skyler) King was an Arizona rancher and aircraft pilot living on the Flying Crown Ranch in the town of Grover, Arizona.
The show had strong cowboy elements and Sky always captured criminals, spies and also helped lost hikers in his plane.
Songbird was the name of his aircraft. In the beginning of the series, Sky flew a Cessna T-50, owned by the star who was a pilot in real life. The plane was made out of wood and became unsafe to fly and was replaced.
Sky King's niece Penny and sometimes his nephew Clipper also lived on the ranch. Penny and Clipper were pilots too, but somewhat inexperienced. Penny raced planes and Sky trusted her to fly Songbird. Now, I find that highly unfair. As you read in my Camero post, being the aspiring racer I was, my dad would not let me use his car and I am positive a plane would have been out of the question.
In the show, Kirby Grant played Sky King, Gloria Winters as Penny and Ron Hagerty was Clipper. Like most cowboy hero's, Sky never killed the bad guys. It was largely a show for kids, but became an icon for the aviator community. Many pilots, growing up were influenced by the show.
One memorable feature of the series was Penny's radio calls from the ranch. She always said, "Flying Crown to Songbird, Flying Crown to Songbird, Come in Uncle Sky."
A unique introduction to the show featured the triangular Nabisco logo flying across the screen. Nabisco put plastic characters of the series in packages of Wheat and Rice Honey's.
The series was filmed in the high desert of California. It was expensive for a kids show because most of the budget went into the aircraft shots and vehicles. The show features low level flying, a way to show the speed of the plane as the desert flashed by.
In my search for Sky King, I came across a very cool web site which you can watch all the episodes of this series. To check it out go to:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


May 1, 1969

Dear Daddy,
The last time I wrote, I think we were in the desert. Guess what! We made it to California and I saw the ocean!! We were going over the Golden Gate Bridge and everyone yelled, "There's the ocean!" Well, I couldn't see it really. Don't worry, I wasn't stoned. It's just that the white clouds and white waves looked just the same and there wasn't any middle to divide them. Does that make sense? Anyway, it was far out. We are going to stay at Keeper and Mary's house in Santa Cruz. They are pretty cool. Mary plays the flute and does Zen macrobiotics and Keeper is an artist. There are going to be about 15 people crashing there until everyone decides what they are going to do. We are heading up the coast to Washington sometime, but I don't know when. Don't you wish you could be like me and not worry about time? Well, gotta go. I will call you from the phone booth on the hill when I can panhandle some spare change.
Well, stay cool,
Love and peace,

Friday, May 15, 2009

1968 Camero Rallye Green, What A Machine!

When I was about to graduate from high school, my dad bought me a 1968 Camero for a gift. My uncle owned a Chevy dealership and that is all we drove.
Wow! What a gift it was and I got to pick it out. Rallye Green with a white racing stripe around the front, 327, 4 on the floor and bucket seats. What a fine car for an aspiring race car driver and for a girl child growing up in the 50's. If you haven't read my older post, Teacher, Mother or Nurse, You can read what I went through back then and understand the importance of this car.
This car was my best friend, my constant companion, my freedom. One day, I decided to let it rip on a newly built highway. It was my test run, the salt flats, my highway to heaven. And it was almost that. After traveling 120 mph, the exit ramp not only awarded me with a ticket, but also a flat tire.
I had to go to court. The judge was the father of my sister's best friend. Thank God!
"How many feet per second were you going at 120 mph?" he asked. "Hmmm.... I don't know, how many feet per second is that, Judge?" Silence. All at once the entire courtroom burst out laughing. I was saved.
My dad threatened to put a governor on the engine. Every time he drove my car, the cops would follow him, thinking it was me.
One afternoon, I was conducting my weekly time trials on a cool winding road from one town to the next. I was powerful, free, and in a great deal of trouble, when I spun out and hit a tree. I tried to escape but the engine wouldn't start. A seminary was down the road, and the students along with the priest were running towards me, probably to see if I needed my last rights. The end result was having my precious car towed and a ride home from the state patrol.
"Look, I said, my dad is going to freak out, so I would appreciate it if you would just drop me off, and quickly take off." No deal. When my dad saw that cop car, he flung open the door, stepped out on the porch and yelled, "Where's the Car!!" That was the first time I ever saw my dad cry.
Well, what am I driving now, you ask? I have a yellow Nissan Xterra. Perfect for my canoe, dogs, and bicycle. It's not the same though. I am not washing off the mud on the sides of the Xterra, from the long winding driveway back to my house. I am hoping for an image of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, and sell the thing for a small fortune on Ebay. Then, I will have the money to finally buy the car of my dreams, a 1968 Camero!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hokey Smoke! It's Rocky And Bullwinkle!

I loved the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show! I always wondered what kind of grass the writers were smoking. Jay Ward and Alex Anderson created the show from another, called "Frostbite Falls Revue." It was about a group of forest animals running a TV station.
Did you know that the name (Bullwinkel) came from a man that Jay Ward knew? He owned a Ford dealership and had a big nose and a funny personality. What a perfect name for his moose.
The pilot of the series began with Rocky The Flying Squirrel in 1958. Eight months later, General Mills signed a deal to sponsor the cartoon only if the show ran in the late afternoon to target children. Ward hired the production staff of writers and designers. He convinced the advertising firm at General Mills to outsource the animation to a studio in Mexico.
This move caused problems, though. The work was turned out to quickly and was not quality. Mustaches popped on and off of Boris, Bullwinkle's' antlers and colors would change, and costumes would disappear.
The first broadcast was in 1959 at ABC Television Network as Rocky And Friends. In 1961 the show moved to NBC and was called The Bullwinkle Show. In 1964, the show went back to ABC and was canceled in a year. Re-runs of the series still continue today.
General Mills still retains all of the United States television rights to the series. For a little flashback, some of the elements in the show were, Bullwinkle's Corner, Dudley Do-Right Of The Mounties, Aesop And Son, Peabody's Improbable, and Fractured Fairy Tales. Remember Boris And Natasha, the scheming villains, commanded by Mr. Big and Fearless Leader? There is so much to talk about in this series with puns and the narration, I could write about it all day.
Anyone live near Seattle? Check out the upcoming Bullwinkle Family Restaurant. Finally, a great quote from Bullwinkle, "Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what can you believe?"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's The Flying Nun!

Remember the TV show the Flying Nun? I always wanted to fly like that, but without being a nun. The show was inspired by a book called "The Fifteenth Pelican." The series was about the adventures of the Daughters Of Charity nuns in the convent San Tanco in Puerto Rico.
Patty duke was offered the role of Sister Bentrille, but declined. It was offered to Sally Field and she also turned it down. What's up with that? Nobody wants to be a flying nun? The role was then offered to Ronne Troup, but Sally changed her mind and got the part.
In the story, Sister Bertrille arrived to New York City from Chicago after being arrested for being involved in a protest. Now that's my kind of nun! She came from a family of doctors and decided to be a nun instead. Her real name was Elsie Ethrington. She could solve any problem that came her way by the ability to catch a passing breeze and fly.
She weighed 90 pounds and her head gear probably weighed more. The Roman Catholic Orders commended the show for humanizing nuns and their work.
There were problems with the series, as the story lines were limited and the writers struggled to create new situations for the nun.
Sally Fields was caught up in the role so much, that it was a difficult typecasting situation for her to overcome.
Another problem the producers had to deal with during the third and final season, was that Sally Field was noticeably pregnant with her first child. (Kind of hard to get off the ground like that!) How ironic for the public to see a skinny celibate nun pregnant. So, the problem was solved by using props and scenery to block her body from view. There also was a stunt woman for the flying scenes.
Thirty years later, televsion producers wanted to bring the series back, but Sally Field declined.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can You Name That Dog?

I've got one for you to figure out. What famous TV dog was rescued out of the trenches in France during world war one? A war dog kennel was bombed and the mother and five puppies survived. This little pup was only five days old and became one of the only two survivors in the end.
Corporal Lee Duncan took the two pups and named one after a tiny 1" tall French puppet. Hmmm...there's a clue. Duncan worked with these dogs and found out the kennel master in charge of the bombed kennel had been captured by the Americans. Duncan actually visited the kennel master in prison to find out more about this new breed and to let him know about the rescue.
After the war, Duncan took his pups back the the United States to his home in Los Angeles. During the long 15 day journey, the female pup became ill with distemper and finally died.
Duncan took his remaining puppy to dog shows. In 1922, The Novograph Pictures Company asked to film this dog in action.
He knew this dog was special and took him to every film studio he could find. He was always turned down, but would not give up.
Finally after much persistence, the soon to be famous dog got a scene in the movie, " Man From Hells River." Another clue!
This film was a hit and the dog was a sensation. This dog made 26 pictures for Warner Brothers and got 10,000 fan letters a week.
But, in 1932, this famous pup died expectantly, Oh,no! Thank God for the new litter and now the son of _______ took his place. Many people wanted these pups of this famous bloodline, but Duncan was selective as to who they went to.
In 1960, Duncan died, but the bloodline was passed on to a woman in Texas who spent her life training, breeding and caring for these dogs. There have been 10 generations so far.
Ok, now you have the scoop. This dog stared in a TV show from 1950-1955. We all loved this show and the dog. Who was this mystery dog?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Klaatu Barada Nikto! The Day The Earth Stood Still..

Klaatu Barada Nikto is the most famous phrase ever spoken by an extraterrestrial. If anyone can translate this. Let me know.
The Day The Earth Stood Still is one of the most notable science fiction cult classics. It came out in 1951 near the end of the cold war and in the atomic age.
The classic plot is about a space craft landing and an alien tells the people of earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed because of the danger to other planets. He is accompanied by a humanoid robot named Gort. Now that makes perfect sense and I can actually see that happening now.
Did you know that Frank Loyd Wright was consulted on making the design of the space craft?
Well, Klaatu was of course shot while leaving the craft (how did I know that was going to happen?) and has a gift for the president so he can study life on other planets. Klaatu is then taken to a army hospital where he recovers.
The film starred Michael Rennie (Klaatu), Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe, and Hugh Marlow.
Most of the photography was shot on 20th Century Fox sound stages and it's studio back lot. Other scenes were done in Washington D.C. but the film stars never traveled there.
The directors wanted to make the film as realistic as possible to state the core message about armed conflict around the world. The aim was to promote a strong United Nations.
It was said that the film inspired Ronald Reagan to discuss uniting against alien invasion when meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985. He is quoted as saying,"I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world." I would have to agree with Ronnie on that one. Maybe that's what this planet needs to finally be united.

Gort® Die Cast Nickel Edition
Day the Earth Stood Still - 26x38 Movie Poster
The Day the Earth Stood Still & Other Sf Classics

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Experiment Today...Become A Scientist Tomorrow!

Remember chemistry sets? Most everyone had one. I had three. I look back and can't understand why my parents let me have not one, but three chemistry sets. I couldn't have my beloved go-cart and I couldn't even have toy trucks and cars to play with.
But, they somehow took the responsibility for me to potentially blow up the house.
These kits were marketed in the early 20th century to department and toy stores. They became the perfect birthday or Christmas gift in hopes to spark a budding chemist.
Some of the manufacturers were A.C. Gilbert, Skilcraft and Chemcraft. By the mid 1950's, there wasn't a kid in the US that didn't have or want one. These companies even made models for girls with pink cases and were labeled "lab technicians." Go figure.
We couldn't be scientists because we were girls, but we could be assistants.
Some of the things found inside these treasure chests were: thermometers, measuring cylinders, magnifying glasses, beakers, and alcohol burners just to name a few.
Common chemical were borax, calcium chloride, ferrous sulfate, powered charcoal, sodium carbonate, and a whole lot more.
There were concerns over the safety of chemistry sets such as the heat sources, breaking glass, flammable chemicals, etc. but mainly, could this be a tool to make illegal drugs? Doubtful.
As it turned out, those chemistry sets were treasure chests of the unknown. It got to the point, my parents wouldn't let me play with it in the house. So, I would set up my little lab table in the yard and go to town.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Reefer Madness And The Reefer Man

I just watched a show on Sundance Channel called "Grass." I couldn't resist writing a post. When it got to the 1960's era, I was about ready to jump off the couch,slit my jeans and make bell bottoms out of them and yell, "Hell No We Won't Go!"
It was a tremendous show. So, I did a search for the term "reefer." I found out that it is a slang term for marijuana. Duhh...
But, it came from a movie called Reefer Madness which came out in the 1930's. This anti cannabis propaganda film played a key role in scaring the public to make marijuana illegal.
The movie was about a man who smokes the stuff and goes insane killing his whole family. Interestingly enough, the producers tried to make a quick buck, but violated the motion picture code of the 1930's. The code forbid the portrayal of immoral acts like drug use.
I also found a few quotes of interest:
~Ronald Reagan 1974: "Permanent brain damage is one of the inevitable results of the use of marijuana."
~White House Drug Czar, Carlton Turner: "Marijuana leads to homosexuality and therefore aids."
~President Candidate Bill Clinton: "I don't inhale."
There you have it, a few personal opinions about a plant the grows on the planet which has the capabilities of curing some diseases and by making it legal, raise the economy. That's just my opinion.
So, in closing I dug up this very cool video of Cab Calloway singing, "The Reefer Man." Enjoy!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Veg-All Quick And Easy Pie Plate Salad

I ran across this vintage ad and just had to share it with you. Looking at it brought back the memories of food when I was a kid. As I have said in my earlier food posts, the baby boomer generation really was stuck with some pretty awful food by today's standards.
I really never had fresh vegetables growing up except corn on the cob and iceberg lettuce. I saw my first brussel sprout when I was 19 and thought it was a mutated cabbage.
This ad really took the wind out of my sails and I am having trouble trying to figure out exactly what it is. Bottom line, some mother fed it to her family and felt really good about it. To be honest with you, when you click on the picture and you can see the recipe, it's pretty discusting.
Well, enough said, I'm going to the kitchen and making myself a salad.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Woolworth's Lunch Counter

Remember the Woolworth lunch counter? I'm not talking about grilled cheese and fries.
I am talking about the famous protest on February 1, 1960.
In Greensboro, North Carolina. Four African American college students sat down at the whites only lunch counter to order food. They were refused and asked to leave. The students remained in their seats which forced the store to close early. That event started a youth-led movement in the South against racial inequality.
That protest was effective due to the fact that the students were non-violent, respectful, and dressed in their Sunday clothes. As the protests became larger, some students even brought their books to study at the lunch counter.
Hundreds of students in Greensboro, churches and community members joined together for a 6 month long protest. These protests led to the desegregation of the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25,1960.
Protests such as these led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed racial segregation in public accommodations.
Geneva Tisdale was working that day. After the desegregation of the lunch counter, Geneva and 2 co-workers were chosen to be the first African Americans to eat lunch at the counter. Thirty years later, Geneva was still behind that counter until the day that Woolworth closed.
A small section of this lunch counter was donated to the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Take Me Out To The Ball Game. Buy Me Some Peanuts And Cracker Jacks...

Remember eating Cracker Jacks as a kid and digging down inside the box to get the prize? Well, my grandfather figured it out. He would open the box on the bottom and get his prize first. I still have a big jar filled with his treasures.
Frederick William Rueckheim and his brother Louis were German immigrants. Frederick came to Chicago in 1872 to clean up after the famous Chicago fire. He also worked selling popcorn from a cart. The two brothers made the first Cracker Jack, but it was called candied popcorn and peanuts. The original was popcorn, peanuts and molasses. A sample was given to a salesman and after eating it he exclaimed, "That's a cracker jack!" Hence the name.
The problem with the mix was that it all stuck together. In 1866 a process was discovered to prevent this. It is still a secret to this day.
The song , "Take me out to the ballgame," was written by Jack Norworth. Cracker Jack was immortalized by the third line, "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack."
A prize in every box was introduced in 1912. Since then more than 23 billion prizes were given out. Some of these prizes are valued at more than $7,000. Now they have been replaced by paper jokes and riddles. I remember once, my grandmother found a beautiful hand painted Chinese bowl in her Cracker Jack box. It was quite astounding and no one could figure out how it got in there. If you are interested in learning about these toys, you can go to The Cracker Jack Collectors Association
So, march on down to the store and grab a box with sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo on the front and have a memorable journey. Maybe you will be lucky enough to get a Chinese bowl, too.

Cracker Jack*r Toys

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What Are Those Things? Alien Space Ships?

No, Sorry to say, these are not space craft that landed on earth from some unknown galaxy. If you are a baby boomer, you know what they are. If you are under 30, these things are called television sets. That's what we had. That was our only choice.
Did we complain about loosing the remote control? No, we didn't because there weren't any. You had to get up off the chair and actually change the station by turning the dial. I think the term couch potato came into our vocabulary when remotes were invented.
Yes, those were the days. Television was next to going to church. It was the o holy one. The whole family gathered around it to watch wholesome family, comedy and musical shows. I really don't think there was anything on back then that would allow for parental discretion.
Did you notice the size of the screens? Did we ever complain? Not really. There wasn't anything else made to compare it to. Actually, at that time, mothers would take their kids to the doctor complaining about eye problems. I know, because I was one of them. The doctor would say, as I was sitting there with my eyes about crossed, "She is sitting too close to the TV set, that's why her eyes don't look right." Probably most of my generation went through that.
We didn't have antennas, we had rabbit ears. If one of the ears broke off, then dad could hook up a metal coat hanger and it would do the trick.
We only had 2, maybe 3 channels. So, in order to watch the Twin Pines Milkys Party Time with Milky the clown, I would have to go to the neighbors house because they somehow could get the Detroit stations. We didn't complain. All the kids in the neighborhood showed up and it was a weekly social event.
As I was writing my last post about television set test patterns, I visualized what the television sets looked like back then. I was compelled to write this to let people of later generations know that, we didn't have much back then compared to now, but what we had was alot!