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STAR STRUCK IN THE BOOKSTORE

During my life, I have met a number of famous people. The first happened when I was a student taking a  class in advertising layout and art direction at Washington University. One of our major projects was to write and design a television commercial for the Regional Commerce And Growth Association. As luck would have it, my commercial was one of the three finalists. And it would be taped using talent from the local TV station. My talent would be the actor who played a cowboy named Texas Bruce in one of my favorite childhood after school TV shows.  I overlooked the fact that I had watched that show about 10-years earlier. And when the actor walked into the studio without his cowboy hat, boots and six shooters, my heart sunk to see an older gentleman who needed his gun belt to just hold his pants up. I didn’t say a word to him.

Years later I was in New York City recording some radio commercials, and on my way back to the hotel I stopped into the Mysterious Bookshop to pick up a copy of a Donald Westlake mystery that had just been released. I asked the clerk where I could find it, and he pointed across the store to a table. I walked over and picked up the book and said to a man standing by the table looking at the books, ” I hope it’s better than the last one.”  He replied, “So do I.” A that point I realized that he was the author. I was so embarrassed I didn’t even ask him to autograph it. When I got back to the hotel I discovered that he had already signed it.

Working in advertising, writing and producing TV spots I met other personalities, and I learned not to be awed by them. They were doing a job that technically I had hired them to do.

So yesterday, I walked into Barnes and Noble and who did I run into?

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And what did I say?

“Num, num, crunch!  Num, num, crunch!”

MY THURSDAY ADVENTURES ON THE HILL!

Had a bit of internet problems this week. While West Walnut Manor is not located in the immediate area where this week’s protests and rioting have been occurring, my internet provider’s substation is located across the street from all the action. And it was hacked by that group called Anonymous.  As a result, the signal from all six local TV stations were reduced to silent static. Also the internet connection was reduced to donkey cart speed. While it took them two days to get the local stations back, it took a little longer to get the speed back. So I just took a couple of days off for an internet vacation.

For better or worse, I’m back again. And today was the monthly get-together with the Castaways’ Lunch Bunch … a group of former co-workers who get together on a somewhat irregular basis to dine and gab.  Today we went to THE HILL for a bit of Italian soul food.

The HILL is a great place for doing a bit of Tourist Trekking. It has a lot of homes dating back to the Italian immigration to the city over a century ago.DSC00380

And a lot of statues in the yards.  A few silver painted goddesses …DSC00381

 

And a lot of saints!DSC00382

And occasionally, you might find a business  with some classic Act Deco ornamentation.DSC00379

Today, our eatery was a classic Italian restaurant known for it giant fishbowls of beer.DSC00383

That’s a fishbowl over the entrance. You’ll  also notice one of the SAINT LOUIS 250 BIRTHDAY CAKES  on the sidewalk, too. This one was designed by one of the ladies in our lunch-group.DSC00386

Here’s the backside …DSC00387

Hey, the lunch and chit-chat was good, too. I had my usual Italian restaurant order … cod-fish with fries with slaw on the side.

On my way home, I discovered two more architectural highlights in the neighborhood.DSC00388

A soda company of yesteryear.DSC00390

And O’CONNELL’S PUB in one of Saint Louis’ classic red brick buildings that dates back to 1905. And yes, it was a tavern back then, too.

THROW BACK THURSDAYS – OH, TO BE A KID AGAIN!

ME … Sailor Bob

 

What kid born during WWII didn’t have a sailor suit? My favorite uncle, namesake and godfather had just joined the navy.Three Sailors001

He was just a teen when I was born. So I was like a little brother to his big brother.

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MLLE. RENEE …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was the day I brought Mlle. Renee home and she is holding the first toy she ever owned.

She had been rescued on the streets of the city when she was six months old  by the Missouri Humane Society. They performed surgery on her and nursed her back to health. I was there the first day they put her up for adoption. When she saw me, she said I had to take her home with me. I did, and they gave her the Hershey Boy to take home, too.

dagwoodsandwich I also just realized that August is NATIONAL SANDWICH MONTH. And while I don’t want to go through the hassle of creating and eating a different sandwich for each day of the month, I did want to do something to honor the month. I also didn’t have a slice of bread in the house. So, since it was also Throw Back Thursday, I decided to make something I would have enjoyed when I was a kid. So, I whipped up a quick batch of my flakey biscuits and got out my Grandmother’s Throw Back cookie cutter  and made a pan of chicken shaped biscuits to serve as my bread.DSC00347

And I created a chicken shaped PBJ&M for my lunch.DSC00348

That’s peanut butter, strawberry jam and melted marshmallow …

On a chicken shaped biscuit with two mini-PEEPs on the side.

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I even was able to make a pan of irregular-shaped regular biscuits that should last me a couple of days.

I guessed you probably realized that it has been raining all night and day so far.

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 16

It’s Wednesday and time for yet  another origami butterfly…BusterBrown

THE BUSTER BROWN BUTTERFLY

Today’s butterfly was inspired by childhood memories. When I was a kid my mother and father would walk down Saint Louis Avenue to 14th Street. Back in the post war 40’s 14th Street was a bustling shopping area in North Saint Louis. The hadn’t invented shopping centers back then. So, if you were shopping, you either went downtown where the department stores were or you went to 14th Street or Grand Avenue on the Near North Side. They also had shopping areas on the south side of the city … but to shop there required a long streetcar ride. So 14th Street was closest for us. And the shoes of choice for any kid who listen to the radio and Smiling Ed McConnell, Midnight the Cat, Groggy Gremlin  and Squeaky the Mouse were Buster Brown shoes.Smilin'_ed_mcconnell

Who could forget the famous Buster Brown tag line … THAT’S MY DOG TIGE. HE LIVES IN A SHOE. I’M BUSTER BROWN, LOOK FOR ME IN THERE, TOO!  Little did I realize that when I got my first job in advertising, it would be working for a shoe company owned by Brown Shoe Company … the company that made Buster Brown.Shoes. Thankfully, I never had any desire to name Mlle. Renee  TIGE!  But I did name today’s origami butterfly after Buster Brown.  There is a sad tale about Tige though, he was an American Bull Terrier with a toothy grin.

In the late 20th century the Bull Terrier became known as a PIT BULL, a dog trained to fight  other dogs viciously. And mother’s became excited about the kids being frightened by poor Tige. So the ad mavens had poor Tige redrawn into a happy faced lap dog…New BUSTERAnd my childhood dog and shoe idol was gone forever. Maybe I should have named my butterfly TIGE.  Butterflies don’t have teeth.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS … THE BEST OF OSCAR

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AND THE SUN DID COME OUT TOMORROW OR TODAY AS IT IS NOW

But, the weather wizards won’t guarantee how long it’s going to last. Renee and I slept in this morning and didn’t get up until 9:30. Actually, she’s still snoozing next to my chair. Dogs are great nappers, not to be confused with Nipper, the real fox/bull terrier who lived with his master at the old Prince’s Theater in London in the late 19th Century who went on to worldwide fame and glory as an advertising logo for multitude of recording companies … His Master’s Voice, HMV, EMI, RCA, Victor Talking Machine Company, RCA Victor, JVC and Deutsche Grammophon.180px-VictorTalkingLogoMy Grandfather, who was known to family and friends as Skip, had dog named  Spot that looked like Nipper, and he often tried to convince me that Spot was the dog on the record labels. I was the first grandson and I believed everything he told me. I also considered Spot as my dog who just lived with him and Grandma. Spot lived to his early 20’s and when he went blind he actually had his own much smaller guide dog named Nippy who would lead him around the house and yard. The sad part is people never wasted film on taking pictures of pets back then. So I don’t have a picture of my first dog. I do have a photo of my grandfather though.skipcameoIt’s one of three photos I have of him. Like Spot, he didn’t pose for photos a lot.

If you’re a regular visitor here, you’ll remember that back in April I stated that I wasn’t able to buy any PEEPS for Easter this year. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I went to Target the other day and discovered …DSC00036

the new PEEPS minis in Chocolate Crème, Strawberry Crème and unfortunately, Sour Watermelon‽ Also the minis aren’t just mini, they really look more like snakes that have been run over by a truck or a school bus than little chick PEEPS.DSC00037

They also look like they have vampire eyes. But at 14 calories, they’ll do until next Easter.

 

 

FATHER’S DAY 1943

Father's Day 1943

MY DAD AT 29

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS – CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

MY DAD - BORN 6/7/1914

MY DAD – BORN 6/7/1914

SO WHAT DO YOU DO ON A CHILLY, RAINY TUESDAY AFTERNOON?

Well, if you’re anything like me …

YOU RETREAT TO YESTERYEAR!

First I got the leftover Easter ham bone out of the freezer … thawed it out and plopped it in my soup pot and cooked up a big pot of my own ZESTY BEAN SOUP WITH CHUNKY HAM. It’s a bean soup based on my mom’s original recipe made with dried beans that would make the inhabitants of Boston drool. And while it was slowly cooking in the kitchen, I went into the living room and put a DVD into the Blu-Ray player and relived a bit of my childhood. I doubt if anyone reading this post actually remembers this logo….DSC09883But it was the mainstay of the Friday double features of my childhood at the old Salisbury neighborhood movie house in old north Saint Louis.

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Yes, I was hooked on the old Tarzan movies made in the forties. Yeah, I know most people prefer the MGM Tarzan movies made in the thirties, but they were to kissy, kissy with Jane fondling Tarzan all the time for a kid growing up. Heck, for this movie Jane wasn’t even in it. She was back in England with her sick mother. But Tarzan wasn’t alone! DSC09880

Boy (Johnny Sheffield) was there with Cheeta, too. Boy really was the one I identified with back then … he was my age and he had a monkey and his own little elephant … and he got to run around the jungle barefoot in his underwear!

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Now, a lot of people say Johnny Weissmuller was getting kind of chunky to be Tarzan when he made these movies, but it was 20 years since he had been an Olympic swimming champion where he won five gold medals and in his entire career he never lost one race in which he swam. Besides, he looked like my dad.

Anyway, the movie was made during World War II so Tarzan had to fight against some nasty Nazi soldiers who were trying to steal oil from the all-white natives who lived in a hidden city in the middle of darkest Africa. (OK, so the movie had a few  plot holes.)  Anyway, Tarzan rescues Boy and frees all the natives.DSC09882

And then Tarzan and the natives whomp the tar out of all the Nazis. And Cheeta gets on the radio to Germany, and all the Nazi guys there think it is der fuehrher speaking and they all sieg heil the radio. Hey, you could do that during war-time back then. Probably everyone watching the movie clapped at that.

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The DVD was part of a set of the six last Tarzan movies that Weissmuller made in the forties. I was amazed at the quality of the movie, there were no splashes, flashes or lines running through the image.  It was perfect black and white, and the photos I’ve used here were shot from the TV screen. Sound quality was perfect, too. I highly recommend this DVD set to anyone who wants to relive their boyhood experiences like I did. I enjoyed my afternoon, and I might make my Tuesdays a regular old movie afternoon. I don’t think I’m ready for a double feature afternoon yet. Now, does anyone know what ungawa means?Lobby card

Oh, and lest I forget … Bob'sZestyBean&HamSoup

my Zesty Bean Soup w/Chunky Ham was OUT OF THIS WORLD!

But I’ve got enough for six more suppers.

IT’S MOTHERS DAY!

And here’s my salute to all the historic mothers in my family tree of which I actually have photographic evidence.

Starting with the maternal side of the tree..

Anna Rosalia the First – My Great Grandmother in a photo taken about 1888. She was born in Poland and immigrated to Saint Louis with her mother and father and a half-dozen brothers and sister.

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Next, Helen Louise my grandmother in a photo taken about 1940.  She was born in 1890 in Saint Louis, the first of seven siblings. Her father was a successful businessman owning both a livery stable and a funeral home.HelenBarylski001

Next, my mom, Anna Rosalia The Second. This photo was taken when she graduated from grade school.Anna Barylski 1927

And this one in the late 30s. She was quite a looker, and she had six very protective brothers.Anna Barylski 1935

 

And this was the last photo I took of her when she was 94.Anna Rose Edler

My father’s German side of the family tree apparently didn’t believe in photography, so this is the only photo of my grandmother, other than a few taken with a Brownie box camera.AnnaEdler

I have no idea when it was taken, but it doesn’t make any difference. because my Grandmother was a blond and she never looked any different as long as I knew her.Mom1940But on Mothers Day, this is the photo I always remember.  Yes, boys and girls, my MOM was really Princess Leia! But I didn’t know that until they made the movie.

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