Tuesday, March 17, 2009

17 & 18 march 1955 "Riot, Sports, Saving and Schemes"

The Richard Riot was a riot that occurred on March 17, 1955 in Montreal, Quebec. Maurice Richard, the star ice hockey player for the Montreal Canadiens, was suspended for a violent attack on a linesman and it provoked a riot at the Montreal Forum that spilled out into the streets. Some commentators have linked the Richard Riot with the birth of Quebec nationalism and the Quiet Revolution

I took an history course at university, the history of sport (yes, I know, a liberal arts education, all thought and no substance! but it was interesting!) and it really showed me how even the concept of the american male as being the macho tough guy was born out of this time during the turn of the last century. we began to break away from the concept of the more feminie (or then beginning to be percieved as such) aspect of the english man. Though, there are plenty of tough as nails bull-dog cockney lads, the idea of propaganda was used to demonstrate to us that the american male were not the foppish men of europe but the tough as nails men in sport. This was during Theodore Roosevelts time and I think it might also be the time when American English took on some of the spelling differences we now use, such as we spell galmor without the "u". But, I dirgress, anyway this really began the idea which was later formulated into what we have now with sports stars being role models and recieving millions of dollars ,while the conept of education for intelligence and work is put aside. The goal of the star athelete is added to the 'dream list' for the average american, one they can never achieve (save for a very limited few) and in their dashed hopes they can makeup for lost dreams in millions of dollars of merchandise in jerseys, baseball caps, and video games where they are the star. Not just a fun little game of baseball with friends, but a frenzied merchandise buying and feeding ground. It is becoming more and more apparanet how we were fed such things. But, you see, had I not had a class that took me specifically to before we had organized teams of sports which then became business, I would not have known that the concept of the sport world is just another element made up of someones enjoyable past time twisted into some extreme business model.
I am not a sports fan, but I have friends who go to baseball games in Boston and they said the ticket prices are ridiculous and do not know how an entire family can afford to go.
In the story I had been mentioning in previous blogs about the young american couple, The McClosckys , her husband was both an high school coach but made 'extra money' playing basketball professionally. In 1955 this entailed his having to drive to the game where he recieved 50 dollars a game. Sure in todays money that is $350 dollars, but can you imgaine a modern basketball player recieving this and also living just a normal life at 50 dollars a game? But, on some level, it is rather nice. You can use your ability to make extra money for your family instead of being a product some company needs to use and sell.
I don't mean to keep coming back to this point, and please forgive me, but I am like a blind person who has just recieved their sight. I want to keep explaining to you how much I like the color yellow! The more I 'uncover' of the past, the more I begin to see our present on shaky ground. That things one just considers a normal part of life, like giant money-making sports teams, are just another product of the corporate world.

On to other topics,
I found this wonderful book when I found the 1908 housekeeping manual.
I think the sage advice from this one page would do so many of us some good. I really don't know that much about children's books, but a quick look around that section of a large book chain mostly showed me books about how it is 'okay to be who you are' and 'don't worry about it we are all different and yet the same'. Certainly, it is good to teach children to be happy and to co-exist, but practical living should not be put off until college or later. Why should not a child of 4 or 5 begin to understand spending and its consequences. But, really, probably most parents (and I am not saying 'oh bad parents') most likely themselves do not know how to save or how to spend appropriately. We have come from a generation of those who were not responsible for spending and now even our government and big business is teaching the lesson, "Don't worry, if you overspend or don't save, some one will 'bail you out'". I don't think that is a very good or realistic lesson.

I don't want to seem that I am becoming more preachy or political, but I cannot help that everytime I look deeper into the simplest aspects of the past I keep uncovering mistakes I make today that I would like to fix. How funny that a child's book from the 1950s is humbling me to a lesson that should have been with me since the cradle!

If you are all interested in the book, I would be willing to scan the whole of it, it is not too long, but why not share it with your own children? I love, too, that the book was written and illustrated by women. How funny, working women with sound advice in 1950 co-exisiting with homemakers and mothers. What a novel idea! (pun intended)

Since my last blog I have got quite a few wonderful things to help me with my ongoing project that I want to share with you. This cook book, for one, which was put out by the campbells soup company. There are some interesting recipes including a lamp recipe that is made in gelatin, and believe you me, I will be trying it for one of our Saturday vintage dinners.
This saturday is my vintage friends turn, and I think she will be making the tomato dish pictured here and the recipe as well, if any of you would like to try it. I will tell you how it turned out this weekend.
I also purchased a huge stack of 1954 House Beautiful magazines that I am so excited about, as well as some Good Housekeeping. I have a great book called creative decorating too. ALl of these will be playing a role in upcoming days and blogs. There is so much information and so much to do and with spring upon us I am excited to get out into the yard.
There is a great article on outdoor plants and I found an article on houseplants that I would like to scan, as I remember Jitterbug asked about vintage houseplants in one of her own blogs.

Now, I feel bad as I seem to have become a little lax in my blogging these past few days. This is due to a project that vintage friend and I are working on. The jist of it is, we are working on a small building to become our 'sewing studio workshop'.
My hubby and I own a darling little house in another town here. It is a wonderful old house, built in 1718, before this was even the united states. We, ourselves, once lived in it. Then, I had my parents in there, but they have recently (through some sad events I don't want to dwell on now) have left. We could not afford to keep the house vacant and so have rented it out.
Now, on this property, last year, I had built (and I helped with my own hands) a two story barn structure. The hope was it would be my studio (for painting) and a sort of extra sleeping space when we visited my parents and family from the city. We no longer live in the city and have a house we currently live in. That house will be featured in all my 'vintage renovations' as the year progresses.
The other building, which we call the "studio", is finished to a point, but was sitting idle. Vintage friend and I began a "Lucy and Ethel" scheme to turn it into our 'dream sewing room'. The second floor can be our place to sew and create. I also would LOVE to, in time, do our podcasts from there. We could treat it like the central spot for our vintage ideas and dreams. Pictures and progress will follow. But, it has taken up most of my non-homemkaing time. SO, I feel I have been rather lax here, and I do not want that to happen. I really believe the community I am beginning to feel with all of you is very important and I want it to continue as best as I can and to include all of you in it and perhaps ask your advice when we need it or give out our won, which I love to do of course!
So, look for that in the future as well as more adventures. I need to post more pics, I know, I will try to catch up with that. My own sewing has been put on the back burner until we get the 'studio' up and running. I even have a pipe dream of one day having the first floor of this building eventually become a sort of 'clubhouse' for like minded people. A place for homemakers, future homemakers, vintage lovers, crafters, artists, (even closeted homemakers who have to hide their need to decorate and nest in a cubicle in some office!) to gather and sip coffee, tea, trade recipes and swap stain removal tips.
A vintage gal can dream, can't she?
Until tomorrow, then...
Happy Homemaking.


  1. The sewing studio sounds amazing! I'd love one! I'd love a lot of things but I'm going to have to make do for a while, unless I get very very lucky.

  2. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to have it and feel it would be wasteful to not make time to make it happen. Ihope it can work out and in so doing, enrich other peoples lives as well as my own.

  3. What an exciting project! I can't wait for photos!

    Btw: you have repeated some of the text.
    Have a lovely day, dear. :)

  4. There, I fixed that, I think. I am doing so many projects I need to sit down for a few minutes and proof read!
    I am giving myself some real time tonight to do a good old fashioned post.
    I hope all is well with everyone, I feel like a bad blogger friend all of a sudden ;)

  5. I just found your blog the other day at work and have enjoyed everything you have written! I appreciate all the articles you write, I have learned so much and picked up so many nifty facts and handy tips...to say the least I am in love with what you are doing and your blog. I live my life retro but not as retro as you and I truly admire what you are doing.


  6. The sewing studio sounds wonderful, it would be my dream come true. If I didn't live bazillion miles away I would pop over for a sticky beak and maybe a cup of tea as well.

  7. Your sewing studio sounds great! Imagine the tea parties you could have if all your readers could figure out how to email themselves to your house!! :)

    I want to apologize for not updating you, Kay, and PL about the fountain pen ink stain. Through following the suggestions of the three of you, I have managed to lighten it. I'm still working on it and will let you know if I manage to remove it.

  8. There are many suggestions in my 'new' 1908 homemakers manual. I will get back to you with that knowledge.

  9. Thanks for the recipe, and it's actually the eggplant dish we discussed for Saturday. I can't wait!

  10. I love your blog! I am always learning something new from your posts each time I visit! Great job! And that studio sounds fabulous-go for it!

  11. You're not a bad blogger, we are many (in fact over 100!) who loves you. I look forward to reading each of your posts. DH watches TV when he wants to relax, I read your blog! :)

  12. That sounds like a great project. I am really enjoying this blog, by the way - it's lovely to see more of 'you' come out with each post, and I am learning so much!

    Best wishes from over the pond ;)


  13. I read your blog faithfully, although I don't reply much. *smile* I have to say that I find your observations to be spot on with today's society, and the roots of our overspending "spend today, maybe pay later or maybe declare bankruptcy tomorrow" mindset currently en vogue in our country.

    I would be interested in the children's book you mentioned in this blog post. My husband and I are working diligently to correct our own oversights as parents to our daughter, who has not the slightest clue about the cost of things. It's hard work for all three of us, but we're adjusting.

    Keep writing!

  14. Thank you again, everyone, for your kind and encouraging comments. I love that I can share what I am discovering with everyone and it is all SO fascinating. I have learned alot from all of you and I love how we are building a great vintage commnuity here. I had hoped, nay dared to dream, that we might be a sort of coffee klatch discussing spot removal, sewing and world politics over coffee, and it really feels that way. Now, if someone would invent a teleport system so we could all meet and have tea and cakes...ah, to dream.

  15. I, too, would enjoy seeing the book. Thank you for offering to scan it for us!

  16. A sewing studio/hangout? How fun! How far is it from your house?

    Whenever we have to do any financial business, or if the topic of money/debt comes up, the person we are talking to is always amazed that we do not have credit card debt out our ears like everyone else. As our kids have gotten older, they have asked us if we are poor because we don't live in a new, big house. Sadly, we have had to tell them that most of the people who live in those big houses can't afford them and only have it, and all the other stuff that goes with it, because they are in debt...spending money they don't actually have.

    You can't tell if a person is well off or poor based on what they have. We are not poor, but we put money into investments for our retirement and we give a lot to charity, and with what’s left, we live our life within those means. We refuse to go into debt to buy a bigger house, to endanger our retirement and unfairly put the burden on our children to help pay for our retirement years, or to give less to charity. Keeping up with the Joneses has really put people in to corners and placed our economy on rocky ground. We need to keep our priorities straight and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. I see people around me and know that we probably make more money than they do, but we are probably happier in our smaller house without all the debt and stress that goes with that. It has been a good lesson for our kids that you can't judge a book by its cover...and, how would you rather spend your money? Buy a bigger house, or buy a smaller house, that still covers your needs, and help others with the money saved. It all boils down to priorities, not how others perceive you. If a person/family is in debt because of their concern about what others think of them, then they are allowing others to control their life and make decisions for them...never a good thing. Make decisions for your family's life that will make you happy and stress free (as much as that is possible according to the decisions we make). Again, I recommend that people read the books I recommended on living a simpler life, and if you are in the place that I just spoke about, get yourself out and create a happy life for yourself and your family for the rest of your life; don't waste time.

    See, 50sgal, you're not the only one that harps on the same subject over and over. :) I don't mean to be annoying either, but I see first hand all the time how unhappy people are with all the "things" they have, and the stress that goes with the debt to make it all happen, and how much happier they would be if they simplified their life. I really love seeing people live truly happy lives that are not controlled by money and/or materialism/consumerism, but instead they are the one in control of their life. By this, I don't mean that they don't buy things, etc., but that they make smarter choices about what they need to buy, not created needs, but real needs. Also, not turning wants into needs to help justify buying things that they don't really need. Be honest, if you want to buy a want item then do so, there's nothing wrong with that, but don't pretend it's a "need" because the more "needs" you create, the more in debt you become because you make yourself believe that all those things are needs and money has to be spent on them. It's mentally easier to cut out wants than it is to cut out "needs".

  17. yes, i would love to see the scanned book. my kids are nearly 4 and 6 - perfect ages to start learning about the value of the $ i think.

    many thanks :)


  18. PL-Brava and well said! I, of course, agree with you. Another reason it all is so eye-opening and such a revelation to me is that I lived that lifestyle. We did not buy things we could not afford, but we paid cash for things that we probably did not need. When we lived in the city, where I could walk everywhere and my hubby take the T (Boston subway system) I had a LandRover. I told myself I needed it for the reason that I would one day have acreage in Maine and it was nice to go back and forth to the cape, as I needed and wanted. One of the first things I did when we moved back was sell that car and get my station wagon. NOw, I paid for the rover outright. I did not have a loan or anything like that, but it was expensive to fix, the gas was crazy, and I did not NEED it. We lived in a nice apt in one of the most expensive parts of Boston. Why? Because I felt it was simply 'what I should do'. We move to Boston of course I am either going to live on the Hill or the Back Bay, no question. I even turned down a cheaper place because it was on the 'wrong side' of Mass Ave ( I know this means nothing to anyone not familiar with Boston). I didn't even think about it. I just did it as it seemed what I was suppose to do. My husband didn't and still doesn't really care. He would have been happy with a cheap flat in Sommerville. So, although I did not get us into credit card debt, when I think of money I did spend, saying it was alright as I was paying for it in full, I realize how I could have lived simpler, helped more people and been happier. I think one of the main realizations of this time travel experiment has been shaking that element that I just grew up with. I felt a free spirit in many ways, like after Univeristy living in the wilds of Cape Cod using only my bike and my legs to get around, but I couldn't shake the core of who I was. I still found myself, 10 years down the road, sitting in an overpriced house on Comm. Ave with a Range Rover in our parking space (another luxery)freedom to do what I want, and I was still unhappy. On some level, I am almost thankful for the recession. It took that and my looking at our fincances that made me say, 'lets just move back and live full time in the house on the cape". But, really, inside I was beginning to feel that pull. That need for simplicity. And all the time I was looking for that 'summer house' in Maine, I was really looking for a home. Simple, home-spun home. A place to live quietly, by my own means, reflect and then go out into a community. To be a part of a community and to feel as if I actually belonged to something that felt real. My revelations our honest and genuine and are, to me, new and just that: revelations. I am sure, such as PL, these realizations are old hat. They have known and lived by them, but to me, it was and is everyday, a wakeup call. That is why I feel, maybe on some level, that this recession will really help. It will make those of us who have not seen the reality of the lie of the world as portrayed to us by magazines, movies, ads, etc. It is a fleeting ad campaign to separate us from our honest happiness of family, freinds, and community. I cannot look back and wonder at all I have missed by not realizing it sooner, but I know every day is new and I can start to change. And, you know, simple things like not shopping at Target, or not feeling the need to have more is hard, but every day I see my freedom from these things.

  19. 1. Yes, I believe, deep down, everyone is all looking for "home" and a community where we belong and can share with others. To feel needed and wanted and accepted, whether it's a rural area, town or big city. It's something women have always needed. Relationships with other women.

    2. I cannot wait to try the tomato recipe. I may need to revamp the sauce, since I rarely use cream soups, but the main part sounds yummy!

    3. Sewing "Circle" at 50sgal's studio next week! lol I'll be there....cyberly of course.

  20. YAY! I only wish my studio would be ready next week. I am giving myself (and vintage friend) the month of April to work on it. I think that is feasible with all the other work and projects it takes to run my home, learn my homemaking, keep up with my blog and attack my yard and garden. Organizing one's time is the utmost important tool to a homemaker I am finding! A great lesson I have wanted to work on and now HAVE to!

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