MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SUNDAY, DAY 342 OF 2013:
Today is the 72nd Anniversary of FDR’s speech before Congress that marked the United States involvement in the Second World War. I’ll admit I was there, but I don’t remember much about it. I remember my Uncles all wearing Uniforms and going off to war. But I had no idea where War was located. And for some reason I thought that the Japanese and the Chimpanzees were both the same thing, and they were coming to get me during the night. And I don’t remember President Roosevelt. The first president I actually remember was Harry S Truman. I also remember my neat sailor suit.
Guess I always was a bit of a ham. Unfortunately, just like World War I, World War II was not the war to end all wars. It seems like humans will never get their acts together … and in the end we all lose. Unfortunately, it’s not the people who start wars.
MY DAY, SO FAR: It’s still cold out, and we had another snowfall that just barely refreshed the blanket of white that was beginning to look a bit grey. And it still has to be measured in centimeters instead of inches. And I’m still not in a very merry holiday mood yet.
My story’s in the telling, not the told
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
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR THURSDAY, DAY 332 OF 2013: Happy Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or The Last Thursday of November … or whatever you’re celebrating today. I actually celebrated Thanksgiving with my brother and his three generation family yesterday evening. It was a rather large gathering with 13 adults and three little ones. I was there as Uncle Bob, the first son of the first son of the first son and the oldest living member of our branch of the family tree and name. And that will get you absolutely nothing. As a single gentleman, I get a lot of invitations to family gathering. And for that, I’m very thankful.
That was not our Thanksgiving Table. That was the toy modern update of the first Thanksgiving my great-niece was playing with on the floor before dinner. This was the setup for our dinner. And we only had to join four tables to do it.And this was the turkey my brother and sister-in-law prepared.
All the sides and extras were prepared by the other members of the family at the dinner. I made the dinner rolls and my mother’s heirloom Thanksgiving dish … Carrot and Pineapple Orange Gelatin Salad. It was featured at all the family Thanksgiving dinners of the past.
And it was a great family gathering and a really blessed Thanksgiving.
Pretend that it is opening and closing. Thank you.
TODAY’S MENSA PUZZLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY …
HAPPY THANKSGIVING / HAPPY HANUKKAH
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SATURDAY, DAY 306 OF 2013: Thought you might like to know the secret of one of the photos in yesterday’s post.
It wasn’t a giant, it was the classic tower section of Saint Louis’ historic Union Station. And as you can see from this photo I took standing in the middle of Market Street, downtown St. Louis is a real mixed media of architectural styles that just about covers the entire history of the city.
So, ready for a paper bulletproof vest?
OLD AND FORGETFUL: Granted I am growing old…ER, but the old memory is still working at almost full output. Though occasionally the input does get a little scrambled … like where I set my cell phone down, where I took off my watch and most importantly, where I last used the scissors. So a couple of weeks ago I placed the scissors in a place where I would never loss them. And I haven’t been able to find them ever since. Guess what, they were in plain sight all along.
Hanging on the door of the kitchen cabinets over the kitchen sink. DUMB!
SATURDAY’S BLAST FROM THE PAST - Saint Louis’ Red Brick Sidewalks of Yesteryear:
No, Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb on October 21,1789. People had been trying to make a workable light bulb for more than sixty years before that date. And that includes old Tom himself. But on that date, he finally developed a filament that would last for hours more than a minute or two when the electricity was turned on. In other words, he invented the first commercially practical lightbulb … Patent number 223,898.
So, do you really think Edison would have wasted his time folding a dollar bill into a ring? Actually, he probably would have tried to see if it worked as a filament. His first long burning filament was actually a cotton thread.
While sorting through some old photo files today I discovered this photo I created for my original blog a number of years ago on another site.
It was a photo of an original painting by a friend of mine who died at a much too early age about five years ago. He always said that I was the inspiration for the painting. He based it on a photo of me standing outside a downtown St. Louis hotel waiting for my bus one evening after a business meeting. He eventually agreed to barter the painting for some creative work I did for him. The painting has been hanging on my office walls for about 35-years now.
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SATURDAY, DAY 285 OF 2013: It rained last night. Didn’t hear it, but the ground was wet this morning. Well, not all the ground since it was still as dry as a bone under all of the trees. Not a surprise, because the weather folks said we’re technically back in drought condition due to the lack of late summer and early fall rainfall in our area. Sure, we’ve had a number a heavy rain falls. But when the rain comes down heavy, it doesn’t soak into the ground … it runs off into the storm sewers. So, I guess one of the causes for our drought conditions is because our forefathers and mothers built storm sewers. You can’t win sometimes.
While we’re in the midst of the major league baseball playoffs, I thought it might be nice to give the local team a bit of time in the old blog. I just realized that the last time I went to a baseball game was about twenty years ago.
But for the most of my growing up years it was called SPORTSMAN’S PARK. It was on Grand Avenue and for my first fourteen years, I lived about two blocks away from it. I should confess that during those years I was a Brown’s fan. I guess I should tell you that my dad was the ultimate Browns fan, so I really didn’t have any other options. The Browns were the other team in town, and I was a member of the their Knothole Gang. We got free tickets to the games through my grade school. The Cardinals did give free tickets.As their years in Saint Louis dwindled down to a precious few, the team tried to attract new fans with the Brownie logo.
It didn’t work, and in 1953 the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. And the local beer baron who owned the Cardinals bought Sportsman’s Park and changed the name to Busch Stadium. The next year my family moved to the suburbs. Guess there was nothing left in the city for my dad.
I will occasionally watch a baseball game on TV, but I’m not a rabid or even avid fan. Too slow. But then so is football. And don’t get me started on golf. My sport is trekking around town and writing about my journeys and adventures on these pages. Dream on!
TODAY’S ORIGAMI CHALLENGE: Well, since it is the weekend I really wasn’t expecting any new challenge on the calendar. But I do have hopes of better origami projects for next week. But NOSHI? It sounds like some Jewish-Japanese hybrid.
It’s the anniversary of the day his three ships landed in what he called the New World in 1492. And before you start bitching about him, remember he got screwed, too. He didn’t find a new route to India. The new world he thought he discovered wasn’t named Columbia. He didn’t become Admiral Of The Seas. He was fired by the king. He didn’t get his rewards. He was thrown into jail. And he died 14 years after his voyage, and nobody knows where he’s really buried.
He did make it onto a stamp though.
But who could afford a five dollar stamp in 1892?
MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SUNDAY, DAY 279 OF 2013: Well, I was away from the house both yesterday and today, and I’m still in the middle of sorting through all the pictures I took over the weekend. So tonight I decided to post a blast from the past … in case you’ve ever wondered what a Smiling Bagel is …
Back when I was a spritely lad in my early 20s, i had just started my career in advertising. Dismiss all images of advertising you might have of MAD MEN! Yes, all people who work in advertising are mad, but television can not really the real story of how mad they really are. Like the copywriter who set a large cardboard box on her desk that covered her and her typewriter so that no one could watch her work. Or the artist who called in every other day will a new and deadly disease she was sure she contracted from a rabbit that ran thought her yard. It only gets weirder from there.
Since this was my first job … ever … I might have asked a lot of questions and followed people around to learn all I could about the art of advertising. For some reason, I became the puppy dog to some of more senior staff members. One art director even drew a caricature of a sheep dog whose face bore a striking resemblance to mine.
A number of years later, I made an animated film called The Smiling Bagel That Devoured The Ad Agency and used the face of that dog for the face of the villain bagel. And that was how THE SMILING BAGEL was born.
About thirty years ago, we replaced the sink in the kitchen. Since the cabinet and drawer base was still in good condition, my mother suggested moving it to the basement in the laundry area. I even replaced the old metal sink top with a new plywood work surface on top. And other than using the top for laundry to be washed I forgot all about it. Well, you really can’t forget about something that big just sitting there. But I really had no need to check inside the drawers and storage cabinets. Until last week when I was in a junk pitching mood. And then I went where no man had gone in thirty years.
I opened the center cabinet and discover about forty old Smucker jelly jars … all washed with lids firmly in place. My mother was a firm believer in you never know when you might need a jelly jar for something. The same things goes for several wine bottles with corks, about two dozen plastic pots that flowers had once lived in, a complete set of now slightly rusted kitchen canisters and sundry pieces of Tupperware.
Can anyone remember the last time anyone actually used liquid laundry starch?
The inch and a half of starch in the bottom now a congealed solid.
Old English Scratch Cover and Furniture Polish
Hell, I better save this to touch up the 75-year old real wood furniture that is still in the house.
Next up, I take on the four drawers on the side!
Mother really wasn’t a hoarder. These were all valuable and useful everyday items … once upon a time.
Back when I was a kid, there was a local chain of ice cream stores located in neighborhoods all around the city that made the best ice cream ever. They were called THE VELVET FREEZE. They would serve you up ice cream any way you wanted … cones, sundaes, splits and half-gallon cartons.
As a family of five we always would get a half-gallon. And the person who walked the two blocks to pick it up, always got to pick the flavor. My pick was always … SWISS CHOCOLATE. It was a blend of creamy vanilla ice cream with chunks of bittersweet chocolate. My mom always preferred fresh peach when it was in season. And my dad was the adventurous one, he always went with the special flavor of the month.
Every Fourth Of July we would ride the bus to the Northland Shopping Center for the fireworks display. And after all the oohs and aahs had ended we would walk home and stop at this store on Florissant Avenue for a double dip cones which we would eat while walking home discussing which part of the firework display we each like best.
It was a simple time, when we did simple things … together … as a family!
My dad died in the sixties. My brothers married and moved away in the seventies. The Velvet Freeze Stores began closing down in the eighties. And my mother died seven years ago. But the store pictured above is still there … the last holdout of a once city-wide chain. And they still make their own ice cream like they did sixty years ago. I could even still walk there for an ice cream cone.
But no one walks on the streets at night anymore. Sad!