Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jane Arden, sportswoman, 1939

I posted this one three years ago, but couldn't resist reposting. (And couldn't find the Dolly Dingle paper doll with a tennis racket!) I can see the tennis and ice skating outfits, but less sure about the red suit and the outfit with one striped stocking. Hmmmm..... Maybe roller derby?

This paper doll is from an April 1939 newspaper, the year all hell broke loose in the world. Burt Bacharach was 11 years old. Hal David, who would one day become his lyricist, was 18. Maybe they were humming, "what the world needs now, is love, sweet love..."  They put it all together in 1965:

Click the Sepia Saturday logo (featuring Dinah Shore and Bacharach) for a nice return:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rockaway Playland, 1957

That's my Uncle Joe with my two sisters on the Ferris wheel. Where was I?

Too little for the Ferris wheel! So Uncle Joe was kind enough to take me on something more suitable. But you could see I was thrilled to be on this train ride. This might have been the caterpillar ride, where a huge awning rose up from the last car and covered the riders.  Everytime my sisters and I took this photo out when I was growing up, it was, oh, the caterpillar ride, so I'm sticking with that story. I think this is Rockaway Playland, in Queens. It was kind of threadbare compared to Coney Island. We didn't have a car, so it had to be reachable by subway. The A train from Columbus Circle would have taken us straight out to Rockaway.

More youthful amusements at the shore: me, my sister Elaine, and cousin George waiting to look through a telescope. Coney? Rockaway? Orchard Beach in the Bronx? It could have been anywhere on the subway line. Although we did make it out to Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey, probably by bus or a relative who had a car. About 1960.

This one is easy: the sprinklers at Central Park. Our favorite thing to do on a hot summer weekend. And we could walk there from home. That's me in red, Elaine and Maria. Elaine has on her two piece bathing suit commemorating the 1964-1965 World's Fair, so that helps date the picture.

And here's my mom on a carousel. Sometime in the 1970s or 1980s. We had a car and were driving all over by then. This is probably Great Adventure in New Jersey.

 But back to Ferris wheels...

Wonder Wheel, Coney Island, August 2009. I love that ride.

See who else is going around this Sepia Saturday, click below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Kittens in boots

I must have posted this one way back, but couldn't resist posting it for this Sepia Saturday theme.  How often do we resole or repair shoes these days? We don't wear many things out, do we. I remember as a teenager always putting small taps on the toe and heel of new shoes, to make the sole last longer. Haven't done that in years.

See what other Sepia Saturday participants are purring about, click below:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tea time

Who among us has not poured a cup of tea for a favorite doll or teddy bear? A colorful scrap from the 1920s or 1930s, I imagine, since it is marked simply "Printed in Germany."

Tea time is one of the best ways to play at being a grown up: you're hosting a party, tending to your guests, thinking up congenial conversation, and holding a teacup just so.

It's hard to think of tea and not think of England. Here's the Queen Mother and King George VI with their daughters Margaret Rose and Elizabeth -- who of course just celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, 60 years on the throne. This is a postcard I found many years ago, unused and undated.

Some favorite writing paper; the flip side has fainter images than these, and makes a lovely background for a letter.

Check out Sepia Saturday to see what others are brewing from this week's theme:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Oomph Girl, c. 1940s

The "Oomph" Girl: Ann Sheridan. You can read about her life and movie career here.
I liked her in "Angels with Dirty Faces," (1938), "It All Came True," "City for Conquest," "They Drive By Night," (all three in 1940), and "Kings Row" (1942) to name a few.
From a letter to the New York Times,  September 12, 1988:

To the Editor:
Russell Baker, writing of an earlier, more innocent era when women could be given nicknames like ''The Blonde Bombshell,'' wonders how Ann Sheridan was dubbed ''The Oomph Girl'' (''A Bird by Any Other Name,'' column, Aug. 20). Bob Taplinger was head of publicity at Warner Brothers at the time, 1939. I asked Bob about this very subject when we were with another company, almost three decades later.
Bob told me Walter Winchell had seen Ann Sheridan in a sexy bit role and, liking to coin words, wrote in his column, ''she's got an 'umphy' quality.'' Bob changed the spelling to ''oomph'' and gave the world the ''The Oomph Girl'' at an ''Oomph Dinner'' for Warner movie stars.
For years after that, whenever Ann Sheridan was asked what ''oomph'' meant, she would say she didn't know, but described it as the sound that a fat man says when he bends over to tie his shoelaces in a phone booth. ART ROGOFF New York, Aug. 22, 1988

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sophie Tucker

Good to be back with Sepia Saturday, especially with the wonderful Sophie Tucker--The Last of the Red Hot Mamas. Tucker had an exceptionally long career, starting in vaudeville, but extending into the 1960s. I remember seeing her on the old Ed Sullivan show. And her memoir, "Some of These Days," based on the title of one of her most famous songs, is one of my favorites. This card from the 1970s reproduced the cover of sheet music (I'd guess the 1940s) celebrating the anniversary of her most famous hit. From the picture, you can see Tucker (born in 1886) must have been in her 50s or 60s in this photo.

Tucker in her early days was not exactly family fare. The Sepia Saturday post of her in her youth tells the story: leaning over a chair, with a slightly come hither look. "I can't get enough of it" indeed.

I laughed out loud when I saw that pose -- the last music star I saw do that was the late, great Etta James, using a stool, leering over her shoulder on stage at the Bottom Line. That was part of her nightclub act sometime in the late 1970s. Bette Midler adapted a Tucker persona called "Soph" to recite the racier jokes in her act, too, using an old boyfriend "Ernie" as a straight man. WARNING: dirty joke below, avert your eyes if you're a sensitive soul

Ernie: Soph, you got no tits and a tight box
Soph: Ernie, get  off  my  back

Drum roll. Thank you.  Read more about Sophie Tucker here.

Click below for more takes on the this week's theme: