Saturday, June 20, 2009

20 June 1955 “Sorry, Solid Potato Salad, and Discussion”

Here it is, another day, and no post. I am very sorry. I am so busy and my normal routine has been topsy turvy with rental viewings, hubbies work schedule all over the place and just general business. It is no excuse, certainly. As one of my main tenets of this project has been to properly organize and find time for all things. And, yet here I am again. I have so much to talk about but have not had the time to put it down very well and I do hate to think of too many slap dash words thrown together.

I have pictures of my garden. Some recipes to share. Ideas and Ideals growing in my fevered brow and very desirous to share, but one does want to do the thing right. I am certainly to be busy tomorrow, Sunday, but must and will make time Sunday evening to set down and get my thoughts and ideas out to share with all of you.

To tide you over and because it is a great video, here is a video of the Ross sisters from the 1940s who were not only great singers but amazing contortionists/gymnasts. Watch the video to the end and be amazed!

Again, in the meantime, I want to say I am so sorry to see our dear friend PL leaving us. She will be greatly missed and perhaps she will be persuaded to return to us once she has settled into her new home and routine. Also, let’s keep up the discussions:

Do you think if the economy continues to go downward, we will, even those of us with no interest in vintage, find ourselves embracing the ‘old ways’ (canning, growing own food, keeping poultry, making own clothes, eating out and prepared foods less) and if so, if the economy, again, spikes and the world seems brighter and richer, will we chuck these things aside again? In other words, will we learn our lesson this time?

Also, if the economy continues to become bleak will entertainment show more escapists drama of wealthy people and fantasy, or more real hard lined representation of those ‘in trouble and need’? And, will it affect how we entertain ourselves or do you think paying for cable TV would be the last thing a family would do to save money?


  1. It seems that the last generation to really embrace living frugally and not wasting things or having lots of luxuries were those that experienced the great depression. Even when times got better, they generally kept to their ways instead of trading up. I don't know if this downturn is deep enough to manifest such a big behavioral change in people for it to last, but I do think our eyes are opened and those that changed and liked it, or saw the benefit to living within your means will keep to it.

  2. That video clip is a hoot. Funny how the Ross sisters look sweet and feminine, and even sporty in their midriff baring tops but modern day celebs just look trashy. It's not just the pigtails the Ross girls are sporting either. What do you think?

    I don't think our downturn has gone on long enough for it to have a lasting impact. Look how fast people started using their cars at the regular pace once gas prices dropped. But the environmental awareness movement will encourage those who choose self reliance/buy local to deal with the recession to keep it up when the economy gets better.

    The thought of more "let's see how the wealthy live" reality shows makes me very concerned for our intellect and culture as a nation.


  3. Bonjour-I do hope so.
    S-it was funny how quickly we forget gas prices and then they go up again and people are shocked. The bad thing of the 'see how the wealthy live' is it certainly is probably not a fair show of how they actually do live (only the spoilt irresponsible ones) and it elevates the material without any substance. Scary stuff.

  4. I think a lot of people are already growing their own food, buying local, driving more efficient cars, etc. not because they are embracing the 'old ways' but because of the environmental issues we are becoming more aware of. In my business, I see all types of people and those with money still refuse to believe there is an issue, and so continue to drive 'gas guzzlers' and 'poopoo' the global warming issue. I think some people will never learn their lessons, but I think other learn DIFFERENT lessons. I think more and more, people care about the world around them and the people in it...not just themselves. At least, that is what I see from the people I am exposed to...two ends of the spectrum, I guess.
    As far as entertainment goes...I believe no matter what happens in the world, people watch movies to be entertained and taken away from their troubles for a few hours. I think shows that show how life can be tough for some people and reality shows about what's really happening to the planet are great for education, but for entertainment? Movies are a release from the hum-drum world...not a reminder.
    At least, that is what I think. And I'm not actually sure that answered any questions...I just get lost in typing!

  5. In our household, cable tv, was among the first extras to go (right after eating out.) At first, it was difficult, but after I got used to it, I actually don't want to go back to having it--We've read more, played games, been more productive on weekends, stopped going to fast food restaurants --no ads for burger king, no desire to go. I'm starting to realize how much time and life regular tv viewing was sucking out of me.

  6. The answer to your question is a resounding, “Yes”. The scriptures show it over and over. When the people are humbled by draught, plagues, and such, they become humble and I am sure go back to a simpler way of life. As soon as they again look to God, and he blesses them, it is not long before their pride rises, and they go back to their old way of living. It is all very cyclical. I very much relate this to your query. People never really change.

    As far as the entertainment question, people tend to look more toward some self-survival—something to ease their depression when the economy is bad. I think that the entertainment would be something to really make society feel good be it through comedy or what have you.

  7. I don't think the current recession will change things permanently. In the early 70s there was the energy crisis and many were optimistic (I was one) that the western world would come to its senses about it's energy use. Then came the greed and the me generation of the 80s. It does seem like the average person does not take heed of the lessons of history...that's if they are taught any history these days. There are days when I fear for the future of our society as many are not prepared for hard times and few of us seem able to resist all the temptations dangled in front of us by the TV.

  8. I would have said that we've lost too much "make do" knowledge to regain it even when times get tough. But our local fabric stores and gardening centers are reporting record earnings this year.

    The most astonishing illustration of "these tough economic times" is, for me, recent Vogue magazines. Can you believe how thin they've gotten?? They were the SUV limousine of the periodical world! And now the paper looks cheaper, the photography more subdued and some of the themes, down-right austere. I recently read an article on a woman who, in the 90's, went through a divorce, couldn't get the easy credit that everybody else was getting, learned to live on the cheap, and is grateful for it! So there's one entertainment source that's showing the signs of the times.


  9. Will the average person embrace a frugal (or vintage) lifestyle in a downturned or depression economy? Using my family history as an example, I would say, "Probably not." My maternal and paternal grandparents (and great-grandparents) lived in the 'burbs of well known cities. One was NYC. Neither embraced frugality and entered the self-sufficiency mode. My paternal grandmother was a widow with a young child. She probably did not have the time to "do it yourself." She "made do," and did so the rest of her life. She was a survivor, but did not a DIY mentality.

    My maternal famiy, however, amazes me. They were a proud lot, and when the VA provided a box of free food to the veterans, their widowed son with two children, took the govt. up on this offer. His mother had a total fit and thought it was demeaning. The household had expanded to nine people, covering all the siblings and included three generations. They had a small back yard, but planted flowers. They did not sew clothing, although the aunt, who worked in the NYC garment district, did sew sheets during her lunch break. They did not bake bread, but walked two miles for day old bread. They did not put up canned goods, although they could have had access to fruit and produce. They would buy Easter candy, then melt it to make chocolate pudding for everyone. (Not very frugal.) They had magazine subscriptions and a telephone. Following the crisis, they continued in a life of thrift, but not DIY.

    The "old ways" means skills. Skill takes time and effort. The average person today wants a life of "instant mash potatoes." They are not interested in the long, hard climb of the learning curve. Few take the challenge.

    Some people, who already have a propensity toward the frugal/vintage/old ways life choices, will become enlightened and embrace the lifestyle. It is my guess, however, that the vast majority will "endure the crisis," ad did my relatives during the Depression, waiting for it to be over.

  10. Ive heard that this economic "struggle" is worse than the depression was itself. i wonder if it is because we dont have the community they had at the time. Instead everyone is on their own. You cant go to you neighbor and ask for help, you would most likely get a door slammed in you face.

    Also, 50's gal, this is off topic but I believe that I read on one of your post a whilr back that you were looking for a swimsuit sewing pattern. I came across a website that has vintage swimsuit patterns If youre still interested. it's and the suits are under vintage sewing patterns.

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