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Another day, another year, and 365 new wrinkles!

Yes, yesterday was that time again! And yes, I’ll admit it … I’m growing older

Back when I was born, they didn’t take photos of the new-born babies at the hospital, but I do have the CONGRATULATION CARD that my grandmother sent my mother on her first born’s arrival.Baby card

Surprisingly as a kid, I never had a birthday party that wasn’t a family party.  And the only birthday photo I have of myself was taken on my seventh birthday.7th BD

And that kid hanging on the fence wasn’t even invited to the party.

Over the years, I’ve collected a list of famous and/or infamous people who also were born on September 5. From the high-born King Louis XIV of France (aka. The Sun King), Freddie Mercury, Jesse James, Michael Keaton, Raquel Welch, Bob Newhart, Jack Daniel, George Lazenby, Dwezzil Zappa, John Cage, Carol Lawrence, Werner Herzog, Bill Mazeroski, Jack Valenti, Loudon Wainwright III, and also me. Only one person on the list was born on the same day and year as I was though

As a Virgo born on September 5th, we are known for our great organization skills and will power. Even in hectic situations that would overwhelm others, we can always find a way to bring control and order. Our skills become especially evident in group settings, where our understanding of others allows us to naturally take on the leadership role. When dealing with challenges that we find particularly important, our friends and family are amazed at our ability to do whatever necessary to get the job done. I also doubt if anyone on the list is very humble.

And yes, I am no longer thirty-nine, but to borrow a few song lyrics from Bob Merrill …

The Moon has a few new wrinkles
It shines a bit more silver now than gold
I’m stayin’ young, I’m stayin’ young
But everything around me’s growin’ old

The house has the creaks and trembles
And winter leaves her shiverin’ from cold
I’m stayin’ young, I’m stayin’ young
It’s wonderful the way I hold my own
When everything surrounding me has grown so old

So, it’s Labor Day!

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.

Here’s to my mom …Anna Barylski 1935

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

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