Monday, November 9, 2009

9 November 1955 “Some News and bits and bobs”

1 November-A time bomb explodes in the cargo hold of United Airlines Flight 629, a Douglas DC-6B airliner flying above Longmont, Colorado, killing all 39 passengers and 5 crew members on board.


I found this bit about the crash. It sort of tugs at your heart.

Captain Hall announced flying time of about three hours and simultaneously advised the passengers that weather was clear and calm. As the modern aircraft flew over the small city of Longmont, Colorado, just 30 miles from Wyoming, Captain Hall switched on the autopilot and asked one of the stewardesses for a cup of coffee. He checked the instrumentation panel, which showed all indicators were normal and aircraft systems functioning properly.

His first inkling that something had gone wrong was a loud bang that seemed to emanate from somewhere under and behind the aircraft. Captain Hall heard the noise and then felt a deep shudder that lasted a fraction of a second. Then his seat suddenly came up off the floor of the plane and crashed into the metal ceiling of the cockpit. Below him, traveling at several hundred miles per hour, the aircraft erupted into one gigantic blast that ripped the fuselage apart into a thousand pieces sending debris, luggage and passengers tumbling into space. Since the fuel tanks were almost filled to capacity, an immense fireball detonated, beginning in the lower section of the plane, which momentarily enveloped the entire aircraft.

Both engines separated from the wings and the propellers continued to turn as they began their long, spinning descent to the ground below. As the fiery debris plummeted to Earth, several other smaller explosions shattered the remaining parts of the aircraft. Tiny, white-hot bits of metal, similar to the pattern of fireworks, cascaded into the cool November air. These pieces, along with the passengers and their belongings, scattered across several square miles of Weld County in northern Colorado.        

There would be no survivors of United Airlines flight 629.

I wonder if there will be a point in our future when we no longer rely on fossil fuels such as gas and have air travel that uses solar or some other form of safer energy. Will those people look back at us hurtling ourselves down roads and through the air in metal objects filled with flammable gas as insane! It is, honestly, sort of scary when you think of it in that terms.

3 November- The five-and-one-half-mile long Rimutaka Railroad tunnel opens in New Zealand.

5 November- Racial segregation is outlawed on trains and buses in Interstate Commerce in the United States. This is a precursor to the incident to come in December, when Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white person. This outlawing of segregation was on interstate bus lines. It is a beginning to the change that is about to come to our country. I think what so sad, is the majority of Americans, particularly at this post war time, were probably against segregation and ill treatment of blacks, yet the laws spoke for the whites as a whole. Many unfortunate raids and riots ensue that hurt both white and black poor and middle class all because of laws not truly supported by the people. I suppose it is another example of how dangerous it is to just allow the government to ‘speak for us’.

toys cartoon I found this cartoon in one of my vintage magazines. I think it really speaks to the movement towards our over consuming and accumulation of stuff. Really, this is a BRAND NEW phenomenon. The post war middle class is growing and separating into the nuclear family we are now familiar with. While the parents of this time, someone my age in 1955, would have had a few toys, mostly wood or porcelain dolls, and certainly hand me downs from relatives, possibly a grandparent or more relatives living in one house, sharing childcare etc, we begin to separate the family unit and therefore less sharing is possible. The need for more toys is there. Cheap plastic things are coming out of Japan as it now comes out of China. So, this concept of your child having SO many toys that he carelessly just leaves them in driveways was a new concept. And, while it seems funny, in some ways it almost gives me a little chill.

I think, as I go through my 1955 day I realize it is not truly 1955, yet there are moments when it seems real. I will be home alone, vintage ‘radio program’ on, sipping tea in my vintage clothes, reading my vintage magazines, completely immersed in the moment. It will have a unique reality to it. Then I will come across something like this and for a moment it is as if I am suddenly a clairvoyant in 1955 getting a flash into the future! It sort of scares me, as I see through the innocence of 1955 to where we actually are now, here in 2009!

 cooking boy This was a sweet little advert in the back of one of my vintage magazines for yeast. What I found so interesting is that it shows a mother teaching her son to bake. We are so often lead to believe how strict the gender roles were in the 1950s. Yet, here is a mother teaching her son to cook and a son so proud of it that he wins a ribbon at the fair and gets into a magazine. Another example of how important homemaking skills are to ALL of us. Cute, don’t you think? I wonder if this boy, now an old man, ever still cooks/bakes?

And to end this random post on a happy ending, I found this picture on someone's blog and fell in love with it. I just love ALL these dresses. What I like is how they are very similar in length and overall style, yet look at all the individuality amongst them! I adore the brown one with the horses and the two tone blue striped one, is just darling. This is from 1955 and not sure what they are doing, but whatever it is, it sure is in style.

ladies in pretty dresses

Yesterday, at the fabric store, Gussie and I were both in vintage clothes, hats, gloves etc. A woman came up to us and looked at us. Then she stood there a moment and said, “Okay, can I ask?” We both looked at her and said, “sure” and she said nothing. She just kept looking at us. Then she said, “What is the occasion?” I told her I always dress like that and she said she felt, when she walked in, like she was ‘in a movie’ and smiled and walked away. I also had a nice lady walk up to me when I was trying tulle over my hat to consider it for a future hat and she asked my opinion on hat making. Again, most of the response I get from people is happy and positive. It is amazing what fashion can do for other people, just imagine how they would feel if they actually wore vintage themselves! A powerful force, fashion.

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