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.
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…And my childhood dog and shoe idol was gone forever. Maybe I should have named my butterfly TIGE. Butterflies don’t have teeth.
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.My 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.It’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 …
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.
They also look like they have vampire eyes. But at 14 calories, they’ll do until next Easter.
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….But it was the mainstay of the Friday double features of my childhood at the old Salisbury neighborhood movie house in old north Saint Louis.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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?
my Zesty Bean Soup w/Chunky Ham was OUT OF THIS WORLD!
But I’ve got enough for six more suppers.
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.
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.
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.But 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.
The Man Of La Mancha is one of my favorite Broadway musicals. In my opinion it was the perfect musical. When it opened in 1965, it was playing in a very small theater off-Broadway and the critics panned it. But for some reason, people kept coming to see it. Fueled by word of mouth it eventually moved to Broadway, and I saw the National Company in St. Louis in the early seventies. In 1977 it was revived on Broadway with Richard Kiley the original star, and I was able to see it again. It was at the Palace Theatre and my seat was so high in the balcony that I had to wear a seatbelt. But I loved it and his performance.
Sadly, Mitch Leigh, the man who wrote the music for the musical, passed away today. Here is his QUEST, better known at the Impossible Dream and sung by Kiley from the original cast recording. It is still the best recording of the song ever.
Everybody has to have a QUEST in his or her life. And to dream, too.
On February 14, 1764, a 14-year old Auguste Chouteau and a couple of dozen of Frenchmen stepped out of their boat in the Mississippi River, and began building a shelter on the shore for a fur trading outpost in the name of Laclede, Maxent & Company of New Orleans.
In April, his stepfather, Pierre de Lacléde Liguest, arrived and officially named the settlement Saint Louis, in honor of the medieval French monarch and later saint, Louis IX. And this is the exact spot where they build their settlement …
CELEBRATING THE WICKET CITY!
You’re not only a great place to live …
You’re a great place to visit, too!