I passed on an invitation to go to the Japanese Festival at the Botanical Garden today. Mainly because we were being threatened with dire forecasts of storms throughout the entire day. There’s nothing soggier than a Japanese maiden in a rain-soaked kimonos. So when the overnight thunderstorms failed to appear by 8:00 am, I decided to get up and cut the overgrown back lawn. I suspect that twelve-inch tall crab grass qualifies as overgrown and even over-groan. I didn’t cut it at the normal grass height since the grass was too tall for that. So when I finished cutting two hours later, the grass was cut to the normal height it is when I decide it is time to cut the lawn. So if the promised thunderstorms and /or tornadoes fail to show up today or tomorrow, I can cut it all over again!
Labor Day never meant much to me. When I was a kid, it was always the day before I had to go back to school. Remember back then school didn’t have to start the last two weeks in August, because we didn’t have anything like SNOW DAYS. Rain or shine, sleet or snow … we didn’t get off because the school buses couldn’t run, because we didn’t have school buses — we walked to school.
It meant a lot to my father though, because he was a laborer in a steel manufacturing factory. He made doors. I was never a laborer though. My first job was an as office boy or mail boy. Then after I got through college, I was able to work myself up to traffic director and copywriter trainee in advertising. So while I worked, I never really labored. Using your brain and being creative never did count as laboring.
My mother never really worked either. She was a house-wife which put her and other women in the same category as beasts of burden back in those olden days. She was always one to note that one Labor Day back in 1939, she did labor most of the entire day. I was born in the early hours the next day. She said she never worked so hard in her life, but I was worth it. Guess, that’s why I took care of her until she was 96.
September 4, 1939 — It was Labor Day — it was the day after the invasion of Poland and the start of World War II — it was the day my dad was going to take her to see the Wizard Of Oz at the Fox — it was the day she spent her 27th birthday at St. Louis Maternity Hospital in labor waiting for me to arrive.
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.
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.
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.
He was just a teen when I was born. So I was like a little brother to his big brother.
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.
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.
That’s peanut butter, strawberry jam and melted marshmallow …
On a chicken shaped biscuit with two mini-PEEPs on the side.
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.
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.