Friday, June 12, 2009

12 June 1955 “Some News, An Artist, and a Positive Rant”

ALUMINUM-NICKEL shortages will be eased by diverting metal from the Government's strategic stockpile to private users. For 1955's third quarter, the Office of Defense Mobilization, which released some metal earlier this year, will release another 200 million Ibs. of aluminum and 3,000,000 Ibs. of nickel.

FRUIT PRICES will soar this summer because of spring freezes in the South, California and Michigan. Prices of plums, apricots, watermelons and peaches will go up, at least until late Northern crops start coming to market. On Southern markets, peaches are selling at 25¢ apiece.

mrandmrspotatovintage This toy was available in 1955. Interesting that there are also Mr. cucumber and tomato etc head.

coffee ad 1955 COFFEE PRICES are bouncing up again for the first time in nearly a year, after an agreement among South American producers to regulate exports instead of dumping surpluses on the market. A. & P., Safeway and Grand Union have boosted prices 2¢ to 3¢ a lb., and other big roasters will probably follow suit.

Zenith_Flash-Matic_ad As every TV-set owner knows, the biggest nuisance in watching television is having to get out of the chair to switch stations. Last week Zenith Radio Corp. brought out a new set equipped with electric eyes, permitting the viewer to sit as far away as 20 ft. and control it with a special pistol-grip flashlight. By shooting the beam at one slot alongside the screen, he can turn the set on (and off): by aiming at a second slot, he can switch stations; by aiming at a third slot, he can turn off the sound. Cost about $75 more than conventional TV sets. But the gadget is more than a sales gimmick; because it makes a sport of knocking off the sound when the commercial comes on, Zenith has a new weapon in its fight for pay-as-you-see TV. ( I think in an earlier blog post I showed an image for the ad for this idea. This is in a June 1955 Time issue. So, it begins. Why get up to change channels? Why get up at all!)

I was surprised to read the following in Time for June, for it seems they DID in fact continue with the sitcom and still do to this day!

Rhymes with "Think." The decline of situation comedy, only last year the most popular TV fare, is so evident that CBS is throwing it out wholesale. CBS is canceling 16 new half-hour shows. Situation Comedy Writer Lou Derman gave the reason in last week's trade sheet Variety: "We've allowed our shows to become unbearably dull, repetitious, predictable, wild and sloppy. We've ignored a public that's sick and tired of watching, story in and story out, about Bringing the Boss Home to Dinner; and Forgetting the Wife's Birthday; and Getting Into This Disguise So's Husband Won't Recognize Me; and Is My Wife Killing Me For My Insurance Policy?; and Did He Forget My Anniversary?; and The Old Boy Friend; and The Old Girl Friend; and Let's Make Him Think He's Going Crazy; and Bringing the Boss Home to Dinner . . . Fellas, we've just about dug our own graves! . . . We've gotta think. You know what that rhymes with. Our stock situations do."

1955 art piece Simply called no 198, this painting is oil on masonite panel by the artist, Eugene Von Bruenchehein (1910-1983) He was an American outsider artist ( a term I loathe) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Von Bruenchenhein worked as a baker, a florist, and a grocer. ( I have done two of those jobs myself, perhaps I have found a kindred spirit).

His wife Marie served as his muse and he is best known for his photographs: hundreds of portraits of Marie in exotic costumes and settings. He frequently made use of the double exposure to give his photographs an added touch of surrealismMarie_3. The photographs evoke pinup girls of the 1950s such as this one here.marie I had never heard of this artist before and find his paintings to have a touch of craft in them. Certainly, they appear almost embroidered or stitched in some way. Interesting stuff.

I thought I would today “rant” to the positive. I don’t want to be seen as always going on about how bad this or that seems. So, today, I thought, let me praise what I have come to love and wish to include into my ‘future’ from the 1955.

Saving grease. I just had to start a paragraph with that, as I was going through my little list of things I had jotted down that I do know in 1955 that I want to continue to do. There, at the top, as proud as Punch was that phrase: “Saving Grease”. Simple, perhaps disgusting to some. But, really, what a lot that little phrase says and represents to me. I know save my bacon fat and other fats that I cook in. Something I would not have done before. Really the whole way I look at garbage and waste is different. We always save our cardboard and scrap paper and use it in our fireplace and will more come winter to help start fires that will provide heat. Waste not want not. Even my composting has come to be a more well thought out plan, as many of my 40s and 50s gardening books are very keen on it. It certainly is not a new ‘green’ idea.

That brings me to my second item on my list: Gardening/Victory Garden. I have always loved gardening. I have tried to do it wherever I have lived, even when we were in the city, I found myself making frequent trips to the Cape and helping to plant up and help with relatives veg gardens. I love English gardens and Italian Formal gardens. I have always loved plants and decorating with them in a landscape is not unlike paints and canvas. However, this year I have found myself choosing so much more that gives back. Certainly, my veg garden has veg, of course. But with that has come my ‘tea border’ with planted perennial herbs for dried teas. My grape vines planted there with more space being set aside to put as many of those in as possible for wine firs and foremost and then jams and for the table.

My little Orchard, though it may not bear one single piece of fruit in a few years, is for both beauty and contemplation and also to feed my family or sell surplus to local farm stands.

I was rather excited yesterday to see little blossoms forming on my row of blackberry bushes I just put in this year. It so excited me, as did the thoughts of blackberry jam and wine, that I started planning out where else to place them. A hedge around the whole little ‘orchard’ will be planted up over the years.

Now, when I go to the garden store, I think, “how can this plant serve me”. I have even set aside areas in my yard where the wild weeds seem to do well. I have a lovely patch where dandelions, big as brass, grow among wild clover. Dig them up, NEVER, they feed my chickens and new chicks every day. Why throw away something that grows with no aide of mine nor water and provide nourishment for my chickens that give me eggs for my table, and maybe one day, if hubby can do it, meat for it as well. I am certain there was no dandelion killing during the war. You can eat the greens and roots and make wine of the blossoms. So, that idea is most likely here to stay.

Simple Entertainment. That is on the list. Lately, of a cool rainy night (and we have had many of those these past weeks here in New England) Hubby, Gussie, and I have sat down with a fire, some tea and a good round of Scrabble. (My Scrabble board is from 1948, by the way). We also love to read in this house and sitting about reading while the rain pours, also feels rather good. Something done less when there is a tv about. When we do have the tv it is really a ‘night at the movies’ and we enjoy it for the duration of that and then it is off. That leads to another discovery I hope to keep around.

Sewing. I dabbled in it before, but now find it a joy, when I have the time for it. I think, come fall, when the projects outside are less doable, the sewing machine will be whirring away. I am self-taught, so what I do may not look exactly professional, but it feels good to know I can make an outfit, slipcover, pillow etc of my choice.

Return to the Love of Words. I have always loved writing in some way or another, but the past ten years or so, I barely wrote a sentence. No need, what with email and cell phones. I didn’t even keep a journal any more. Now, however, thanks to the blog and my gardening and home diaries, I write often. I find myself using and recalling words more easily.

I remember when I saw the “1940’s House” (which I am dying to see again) that the grandmother, who was most changed by the experience, found that she could write and recall words and phrases more. She had thought it was old age that had lead to her writing and loss of vocabulary, when in fact it was simply not using it and being lazy and watching tv. I think of that woman often, now, with my experiment. I wonder, today, if she has stuck to her local shopping, walking in lieu of driving etc.

I am sure there are many more things I could spin positive. Certainly, I love the clothes and the confidence in a particular style. Whether or not I shall always wear only 1950s styles, I am not sure. We shall see, I suppose.

There is much I have to thank 1955 for, personally. I also, in my positive rant, wish to state I am glad for much of our modern world, as well. Medicine. Equality. Opportunities for women. Certainly, there are many modern positives, my future goal, I think, is to somehow take the things I love of the past and to study more of what I might love of the past and infuse my future with it. I want to be open to the things I might feel are negative of the future and try to set those aside. I think, really, rather you like the 1950s or the 1850s or even 2009, looking and accentuating the positive seems to be the way to go. Striving and pushing oneself to a sort of semi-perfection that is elastic and changeable and accepting of the mistakes you will make along the way as par for the course.  As the Johnny Mercer song tells us, “Accentuate the Positive, eliminate the Negative.”

Until tomorrow, then, Happy Homemaking.

 Search The Apron Revolution