item 1 >>> In 1917, Keds became the first canvas-topped, rubber-soled “sneakers,” so named cuz you could sneak up on people. At least thru the 1960s, they were called U.S. Keds, after the company that made them, U.S. Rubber, later Uniroyal. And of course, for the ladies, U.S. Kedettes. By the way, the “P.F.” in P.F. Flyers stood for “Perfect Foundation.”
item 2 >>> Whether your Horribles Parade is held on Hallowe’en or July 4th (or both), it goes back to 1927, and Rhode Islanders poking fun at Bay Staters. On Independence Day that year, the village of Chepachet, in the town of Glocester [sic] RI, held their first Ancient and Horribles Parade. It was a spoof of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, said to be the 3rd oldest chartered military organization in the world, and the oldest in North America, dating from 1638. Today, they’re the Governor’s official color guard.
item 3 >>> Speaking of which, the official name for a person from Massachusetts is “Bay Stater,” while traditionally it’s apparently Massachusite. When I was a kid, if it ever came up, we said mostly Massachusan or less often Massachusian. I see where the “new” official name is Massachusett, is that for real? Or as Lisa said on “Green Acres,” Massachusatoots.
item 4 >>> How many public figures in the 1950s and early 1960s, were “allowed” to have beards? I’m thinking Gabby Hayes, Monty Woolley, Sebastian Cabot, Burl Ives, Jon “Learn to Draw” Gnagy, Mitch Miller, Skitch Henderson, Commander Whitehead the Schweppes Man, some wrestlers, anybody playing Santa….jeez, not many, who else? OK, Al “Jazzbo” Collins, Col. Sanders, George Cates, Lawrence Welk’s conductor…more?
item 5 >>> And the last man to run for President with a mustache? I’m thinking NY Gov. Thomas Dewey in 1948. They joked that he looked like the man on the wedding cake…
item 6 >>> Trio quiz: identify each, answers tomorrow…(1) Athos, Porthos, Amamis…(2) Ham, Shem, Japheth…(3) Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar…(4) Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego.
Item 7 >>> It’s the pagan Celtic festival that pre-dated Hallowe’en. It’s spelled Samhain, a Scottish Gaelic word. In Halloween II, Donald Pleasence, who should have known better, called it “Sam Hain.” In Halloween III: Season of the Witch, it was pronounced correctly as “saa-WAAN.” Trouble is, saying it right, most people wouldn’t recognize it as Samhain, I wouldn’t think. So maybe Donald was just being pragmatic.
item 8 >>> Candy cigarettes…well, what can I say…that was then, this is now…or is it? Never, to this day, were they made illegal on the federal level, altho there have been sporadic state bans…like North Dakota from 1953-1967, oddly enough. Old brands spoofed the kind Dad smoked with names like Marboro, Pell Mell, and Chestrfield, used real names, or made-up ones like Clover and Old Maid. There were bubblegum cigarettes, licorice, chocolate, not to mention pink cigars and bubble pipes. Thing is, they’re still made today, sometimes called “candy sticks,” with names like Kings, Stallion, Lucky Lights, Victory, Round-Up, Dinosaur, even Popeye and Spiderman. Retro rules, I guess, and sugar trumps everything…
Item 9 >>> I know there’s a picture of them somewhere out on the Net, but those candy cigarette “warning labels” are just a joke. Still, pretty cool…like: Sugar Can Promote Tooth Decay…Candy Cigarettes Can Spoil Your Dinner…and…Consumption May Interfere With Your Body’s Ability To Absorb Calcium And Magnesium.
item 10 >>> You might be a Baby Boomer if…you remember when liking show tunes had nothing to do with your sexual orientation….because your sexual orientation was determined entirely by the color of your bike…
On the left, a Collegeville costume, rivaled only by Ben Cooper, the 2 major brands. I like those Saf-T-C Eyeholes…the kind we got didn’t have ’em, and we’d bump into stuff, boy. Notice it says “Flame Retarded.” OK fine…
Right top, a small bag for loose candy…you know, memory is a funny thing, but the image of those 2 guys heading up the hill, the pirate and the pumpkin-head, sure rings a bell, somewhere way in the back. Right bottom, the old-fashioned way of “dunking” for apples…we did it this way…no, we weren’t tied up, altho there was this one weird neighbor kid I remember who always asked to be…
baron shameless von plugenstein
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More bloggage at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com and http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi
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