Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Friday: Haunted Edition!

Good morning!

For Photo Friday, I was unable to get these guys out of the frame for a scanning, so you're going to have to look upon my own early morning mug in order to get a gander at these 1910's/20's portraits I picked up at an estate sale in Madison about two years ago. CAUTION: THEY ARE SPOOKY SCARY (you've been warned!).

What would possess me to buy something that looks like set dressing from one of the Silent Hill video games? The price was right, and I wanted it!. What else? I was at the sale on the first day, just a regular ranch house out near Rivergate, and one wood panelled den on the second floor of a two-floor layout had an entire wall checked in similar, 1890's-1930's portraits. I've seen plenty of sales where there were one or two, curved glass, hand tinted, ancient formal photographs, but there had to be at least eight at this sale. Very wealthy family? Only one relative to pass them down to? Couldn't tell you. I saw this and another one, was instantly drawn to them, and balked at the sixty dollar price tag on each. Sighing the sigh of the downhearted estate saler, I gave up. Foiled! By penury! I didn't have any dingdang sixty dollars to lay down on something that would probably haunt my nightmares...even if I did want it. Badly.

Cue the second day and half off discounts...somehow, I managed to talk the woman running the sale into giving it to me for twenty dollars. Which, again, no sane person would probably pay, but you're dealing with a collector-of-weird-things, so that kind of goes without saying.


As I was buying the first, the sales people pointed out that there was another portrait with a little girl in it. Curious, they brought the one picture below in from another part of the sale, which was also on the chopping block for twenty dollars. Did I buy? Of course I bought. It was the other one I was interested in from the first day! All the cousins and aunts and grandparents that had walked out the door in their ornate, pre WWI frames were gone by this point in the sale, and this picture had been taken off the wall and moved to another room. Probably because it creeped someone out. But it was mine, all mine!

What's interesting to me (besides, again, the unsettling nature of the subjects' staring eyes), is how the background, a hundred years ago, would not be nearly as terror-inducing as it is now. Aging and exposure to light has no doubt changed the vibrant red and pink colors of the respective backgrounds into the shadowed, scary ones we see now. I bet in 1920, these guys didn't look nearly as...ok, no, they probably still looked a little scary. HOW 3-D DOES THIS PROCESS SEEM TO YOU? When I took pictures to close up the image, I took two or three, and in each one, the people's expressions looked a little different. Am I being overly dramatic? You judge? 

Angle one:

Angle Two (same picture):

I also like that the little girl is almost definitely the same pale haired little Bad Seed from the first picture. 

These are hanging in the photography display in the Green room (which you saw a little of in last week's Photo Friday), and it's always fun to have someone sit on the couch, which is in a tiny alcove, and look left-- the portraits aren't immediately obvious when you walk in the room, and have given more than one visitor a quick case of the heebie jeebies by seemingly "appearing" on the wall.

Am I wrong to love a spooky portrait? Then I don't wanna be right! Do you have any creepy old ephemera or photographs in your house that you almost have to turn to the wall to sleep in the same house with? What is it about this stuff that appeals to you and me, if it does?

I gotta get goin' on the sales...see you guys next week! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Harriet Love's Guide to Vintage Chic (1982)

Good morning!

I told you a week or two ago how curious I was about vintage clothes-buying in the sixties', seventies', and eighties' (vintage vintage, if you will), and mentioned the name "Harriet Love", who ran a store in New York from 1965 until sometime in the nineties'. Thanks to the magic that IS Interlibrary Loan, I was able to score a copy of her 1982 publication Harriet Love's Guide to Vintage Chic, and boy, is it a lot of fun! The book suffers, I think, from being printed in black and white with no color inserts-- some of these clothes would look so much more impressive if you could see the shades of the material...but in spite of the monochrome, it's still chockful of tips and pointers that are actually still relevant today.

Let's start with a look at the store. Could this not be a direct photograph of some boutique right now? Dig the hardwood floors and industrial hardware.

I miss mannequins with heads! Doesn't this western wear and circle skirt pair display look twice as eccentric by virtue of the fact that there are heads atop their plastic bodies? The skirt floating in the background's ceiling as window dressing is a particularly elegant touch.

Inside, Love shares not only a wealth of information on where to get, how to get, and what to get in terms of vintage and antique clothing, but also examples from her personal collection and those of friends. The shop stock is already making me a little woozy with how much I love it. Look! Figurative sweaters! Do you think they all got bought up in the eighties' and that's why we have never seen one in real life pre-1970's in date? (Remember my posts bemoaning this fact here and here?) At top left, a phalanx formation of penguins box in a pair of polar bears, and at bottom, OH MY GOD, LOOK AT THE ROMANCE SWEATER. "Straight from the heart" and "sealed with a kiss" had me at hello.

These two pretties were from a high-end auction, so I don't feel so bad that they were re-sold around the time I was born. At left, "A summer dress of eyelet embroidered white lawn, trimmed with narrow tucks and lace inserts, c. 1910 (estimated $150-175, sold for $350); at right, "a Fortuny tea gown with venetian bead trim". The latter has zazz to SPARE! Ugh, I love the way the train pools out at the wearer's little feet like a cloud...I hate the way I will never be able to afford something this beautiful. A girl can dream!

You have to take some of the photo illustrations and vintage-wearing advice with a grain of IS 1982, which is only a few years away from the late eighties', a time in my mind that represents a nadir in twentieth century fashion (I know, I know; I was technically there, too...but VERY LITTLE from that era warrants revival). Even sensible fashion-followers were being pressured into poodle-frying their hair and wearing Joe Namath sized football shoulder pads in oversized jackets...could you blame these women for being convinced that Edwardian nightshirts and Victorian dressing gowns as acceptable out-on-the-town wear? The girl in the lower right hand corner fairs a little better, but still looks like she might be participating in a regional dinner theater production of Somewhere in Time.

Now this...THIS is a little better. It's the same idea as the above pictures, in updating turn of the century clothes, but it looks a little more modern with her shoulder length hair, belt, and cowboy boots. 'Twas I, I might replace the cowboy boots with sleek black, flat, leather boots, but for 1982/1892, this look travels particularly well to the twenty-first century. At right, I love the super-thin-lined eyemakeup this woman is wearing, and her forties' satin bead jacket and camisole slip just look like elegant silk evening wear to me. Good work, ladies!

Ugh, black and white and wrong all over. I spared you the indignity of the second woman, who is cute as a button in spite of her perm, pairing a Virginia Woolf style 1920's tunic with bright white linen culottes and sneakers. It was awful, people. IT WAS AWFUL. Ditto on the gal at left (I don't think they're the same person, but I could be mistaken), who is wearing a chenille BATH ROBE as a greatcoat over her jeans and button up. This looks more escaped mental patient than vintage enthusiast, and I'm not afraid to shout it.

My favorite dress in the bunch (and the most mid thirties', MGM glamour dress of the book) was this midnight blue evening gown, floor length but sheer to mid thigh, and absolutely covered in sequins. I want to see the color version of this dress SO. BADLY. You could have cut the culottes woman altogether and given me another page of this dress! I swoon.

These ladies look super cool, too...the gal at left is serving Lillian Gish realness, and the woman at right looks like someone I would love to see onstage twirling a mike stand in the middle of some experimental art rock band. Do you see her rhinestone bow tie? I'm in!

One surprise? A cameo appearance by Geena (spelled "Gina" throughout the text) Davis! League of Our Own Geena Davis! In 1982, she was a model just about to have her big break in the movie Tootsie, and here she is instead modeling some great vintage looks. I like her so much as an actress in the baseball picture and Earth Girls Are Easy and Thelma and Louise that it's easy to forget she's six feet tall and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s...of course she was a model first! Look at her expression in the even-more-sweaters picture at the bottom of the first montage.

Note how this dress on the left hits her at mid calf instead of at floor length, like I'm sure it was intended. We Amazon women have it rough!

Last but not least, I was practically bowled over by this excerpt, below. Yes, I want that monkey fur jacket on the right more than life itself, but more importantly, do you recognize the unnamed model on the left?

Could it be...another cameo of the not-yet-super-famous?


You coulda knocked me over with a feather! That HAS to be the Material Girl herself. In 1982, she would have already enjoyed some success with her dance single, "Everybody", but was still a year away from recording her debut album. Huh! Harriet Love could say she knew her when!

Which of these outfits would you most like to take for a test spin? Have you had any epiphanies lately related to the wearing or buying of vintage clothes? Can you believe Madonna was ever 24 years old and not famous enough to rate mention in a caption, God love her?

If you liked this taste of Harriet Love's insider opinions and snaps, this book is available for LESS THAN 15 CENTS on amazon. Go! Buy! Enjoy! :)

That's all for today...catch you guys on the flip 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Avocado, Avocado! (1956-1961)

Good morning!

From the same utility room pile that yielded yesterday's Hollywood Sewing Patterns post, I found a stack of sequential Pillsbury Bake-off Cookbooks-- which were cute because the woman who collected them carefully annotated each cover to reflect the year the Bake-off had taken place (Pillsbury had only thought to title each "First Annual", "Second Annual", "Third Annual", and so on) in looping black felt tip pen. The sixth annual (1956) book I opened at random, and out fluttered this leaflet on Calavo Avocados and their uses.

"How many ways do you serve this many-purpose fruit?" asked the cover. "Um...sometimes I buy them on sale and just eat slices as I go? Or, uhhh...on a sandwich? Sometimes?" was probably not the answer the 1954 Calavo Growers of California writers were looking for, so I skimmed through the recipes inside and started thinking about how I had no idea people used avocados in variant ways as far back as the fifties'. Avocado dip, of course, but as the avocado had never, never been part of my household grocery list growing up (I mean, not even guacamole), and as I had first eaten one on a sandwich as a thirteen year old on a visit to Provence Breads with my theater-people great-Uncle George, I figured the rest of the world shared my ignorance. I was wrong! Take a look:

Things I learned from Wikipedia and/or the California Avocado Commission's website:

  • Avocado grow on trees, in orchards (I don't know why this seems so weird to me)
  • In China, an avocado is known as what directly translates to an "alligator pear" or a "butter pear", owing to their scaly outerskin and rich fruit.
  • In Brazil, they add avocados to ice cream (what?!); in the Phillipines, they puree avocados, sugar, and milk into a dessert drink (what?!!).
  • An average avocado has a serving size of 1/5 the entire fruit (so-o-o-o, eating it whole is a bad thing. Dang it), with 50 calories per serving (35 of which is wonder it's called the butter pear).
  • Avocado trees were first brought to America in 1871 by Santa Barbarian (haha) Judge R.B. Ord.

Most of the suggestions in this pamphlet are pretty tame...Calavo and Tomato, Calavo stuffed with a creamy meat salad of your choice (which sounds way worse now that I'm typing it than it did in my head...). I'm always interested with the party idea of filling one hollowed out thing with another. It seems the height of sophistication to my poor little peasant brain to see crab meat salad in a whole-tomato shell, or baked cinammon sweet potatoes and marshmellows inside an orange shell..."special" serving indeed!

Here's where the avocado should be truly welcomed in a culinary setting-- on a salad or a sandwich! BLT with A in the place of the T? Sign me up! I do wonder about the regional availability of avocados...while it said that they shipped twenty-three varieties out of California by the time this pamphlet would have come out, did they ship a lot to the Southeastern United States? My mom, a fifth generation Nashvillian, pointed out once that she hadn't eaten a whole artichoke until she was well into her twenties', and I don't know if that's because of the market or because of the unadventurous nature of her palate.

The next series of scans are from Ebony magazine in 1961, which featured a column called "Date with a Dish" (get it? Get it? Another word for a pretty girl is a dish, except this is an actual food dish? I crack up all over again). This installment highlight the avocado as a "native American exotic fruit" (um, not true, but we'll go on) and usable in a variety of dishes. Which the magazine goes on to show you.


Have you ever heard of this before? I guess I shouldn't knock it before I try it, but I was honestly surprised to see what is essentially guacamole spread on AN EAR OF CORN. To the right, a slightly more palatable dish of fruit cocktail interspersed with avocados. Calm. Calm. Wash the night vision of the corn out of your eyes, Lisa...

I really like this accordion salad-- like the hollowed out food cups I mentioned earlier, it's another mark of sophistication to take pieces of things that don't match and arrange them with each other in a way that makes them of one whole-- at a party two weeks ago, I re-assembled a coffee cake ring into ring formation from several different flavored slices, resulting in this huge, round, accordion-varied MULTIFLAVOR ring. I was very impressed with myself. Again, the avocado and bacon looks delicious, but do you really want to add butter to the butter fruit?

The recipe on the left is just a recipe for barbecued steak, but then they add avocados as garnish, which I think is cheating in a list of "avocado" recipes. To the right, shrimp curry in avocado equals YES! YES! YES!

Do you remember the first avocado ya ever et? Am I just a hillbilly or did you yourself ever run into a situation where a strange, foreign food presented itself in a dish you were about to eat, and you either loved or hated it?

Hope you're in the process of having a great Tuesday; I'll see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hollywood Patterns (1940's)

Good morning!

As I might have mentioned before, I've been trying like the devil to clean out the utility room in the finished basement of my house, which has become a tiny, horribly overcrowded "catch-all" for floating vintage ephemera, rather than the laundry room it was originally intended to be. Over the past five years, a pair of metal shelves, bolted to the wall in said room, have filled up with as varying items as Barbie and Ken doll cases from the fifties', Billboard magazines from the seventies', records, fabric scraps, discarded vintage textbooks, tv tie-in board games, seventies' stereo equipment, boxes for old Kodak cameras that are in the green room, and wall hangings, to name a few things. It's neatly arranged, but for goodness sake! There's nowhere to put the laundry, much less the things that are supposed to go on the shelves (detergent, odds and ends landscaping equipment, etc). So I've undertaken a massive re-distribution project for the junk that has accumulated where it shouldn't have accumulated.

Out of one pile of newspaper-y stuff, these three, I'm guessing late forties' patterns floated out, two of which are Hollywood patterns, and one of which is a Simplicity from the same era. Aren't they the living end?

On the left, I'm interested in the drapey blouson-style bodice of the dress, with your choice of belled or fitted sleeves-- OR, for the particularly glamorous-minded seamstress, there's a third option trimmed in what looks like either sequins or persian lamb. THIS WE LOVE. How about the girl in green's beautiful proto-Bjork up do? On the right, we have the owner's name penciled-in near the top seam of the pattern envelope: "Lula Ann Waller". What a name to go with the fashions, right? I love the little darts at the waist to give you an even more dramatically tapered little thorax, and every girl's hairstyle choice is adorable. Naturally.

For you actual dressmakers out there, here's what the specifications look like on the back of the envelope. The bell sleeves I described earlier are termed "lantern sleeves" in the description, which I think I like even better! Also listed, "novelty belt" material allowances.

The Hollywood Pattern Company (or Service, as it's listed on the left) made patterns from 1932 until just after the second World War, and sold well largely due to the similar-to-what-you-saw-in-the-movies styling of the patterns, as well for having, in earlier versions, printed pictures of the movie stars each pattern was meant to represent. I mentioned in a "things I wish I had" post a million years ago that I wanted two dresses styled after Olivia de Havilland and Barbara Stanwyck...and guess what? I STILL DO.

Ones that are blowing my mind, online? This Scarlett O'Hara style evening dress, and this sadly sold earlier this month BOOK of Joan Crawford patterns. Be. STILL! Little! Heart! I wanna dress like La Crawford in a big way!

Whose NOSE is that they put on Joan Crawford's face? The eyes are right, but GOOD GOD, what is with the nose?

There's a WEALTH of scanned images of the covers of these Hollywood patterns, and links to some you can buy, on the Hollywood patterns page. I borrowed these from there, and aren't they a pair of huuuuumdingers? I can't believe how sweet the one with the heart appliques is!

I'm more and more into bow-fronted vintage blouses lately. Something about it tucked tightly and belted into a skirt, then paired with a black velvet blazer looks so French schoolgirl at the same time as being elegant-- I picked one in black at the Charlotte Goodwill this weekend for with a half price color tag (YES) and have another prim-as-a-pin, sheer, pink one from the Hendersonville Goodwill that has tiny rhinestone buttons (so. cute)...and am tempted to add about five more to the bunch so I can wear them full-time! This Simplicity blouse looks to be from the same time period as the earlier patterns, and just as smart as can be (though I like the cutout neckline as well).

And the specifics:

I still think it's funny that to those of us uninitiated in the ways of clothesmaking that a lot of the text on the back of this reads like my television set's instruction manual (which I also, stubbornly, refuse to understand). Gussets and yokes and neckbands, oh my!

Ready to get started on your own Hollywood Pattern collection? There's to-o-o-ons on etsy and ebay. Go check 'em out!

Do you have any vintage patterns hanging around the house that you hope to one day get around to making a reality? Have you seen the Hollywood pattern series before or own one yourself? If you could choose one thirties' or forties' starlet to make a movie-copy of their wardrobe at home, which one would you choose? Any organization tips for the woefully inept home manager such as myself? Let's talk!

That's all for today, more vintage snips and snaps tomorrow. See you then!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Panoramic Photograph MANIA (1940's)

Hi there!

Well, I've been up to the business of buying again, folks. Ugh! Don't I just hate myself in the morning for it, too. I woke up on Sunday like a shot, realizing that the non-buyer's remorse I was going to feel over this panoramic photograph at the flea market might actually kill the heart inside of me, so I woke Matthew up for a "re-do" ("Get up! We have to go back to the flea market!" is a phrase he for some reason meets with grace and dignity rather than flat refusal, which is one of the many reasons we're getting married someday).

Backstory: My dad and I braved the sludgy, overcast cold of Friday early morning to hit the monthly sale and danged if there wasn't bupkiss to buy. I think we got spoiled by going to the October flea, which is deemed "The Big One", and thought the next frosty months were going to be just as fruitful for our spendthrift ways. They were not. I got actually disgusted at one point when I was in one of the antique booths in a building-stall. Spotting a perfect vintage op-art sixties' print maxi-dress, I leaned in for the price tag, and was figuratively slapped in the face by a TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLAR price tag. We're talking Sears Fashion labelled, too-- for that kind of money, it'd better be Pucci! I was sad. The only truly neat thing we found had been a panoramic photograph of Camp Edwards, a military training installation built for WWII outside Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Why should that even be that neat of a find? It so happens, it's the camp my Nashville-born-and-raised grandaddy was assigned to when he signed up to join the army in 1940, and on account of which he met and married my Cape Cod born grandmother. On the base itself!

I managed to convince both of us out of getting it for my mom, who would arguably love to have a keepsake of the place her parents met, because it was a little worse for wear and priced about $10 higher than either one of us cheapskates were willing to give (we're able to be spendthrifts because we never buy anything for more than it's worth!). Le sigh. Fast forward to Sunday morning and the frantic drive back to the fairgrounds as it dawned on me that this was the perfect gift for someone it's practically impossible to buy presents for, whose birthday is coming up on December 10th! (Luckily, she doesn't have the internet and doesn't read my blog-- but if you see her, you'd better keep all this on the QT, hear?!). Of course no one had bought it because, again, for $30 it was little more expensive than I think it should have been, but $30 buys a lot of "the thought that counts" in this case, I think. Plus it'll be neat for my grandma to see, too.

Here's a close up of the camp:

See that church? That's very possibly the one they got married in! I was so glad it was still there I felt physical relief as I ungrudgingly handed over the too-much-money for it. Hurray!

A funny thing about this? This is the second panoramic photo I've bought in as many weeks! I was at a Family Tree sale, actually it might have been three weeks ago, out on the west side of town and picked up this huge, perfect condition photo of a WWII medical hospital grounds and staff (and patients? I'm not sure how there are so many people in uniform or how they're all related...I should probably do some more Googling, but later).

What I'm most interested in, when i see one of these photos, is the idea that someone has possibly done a "pizza run". I can't remember what book I first heard about this was a fiction book and one of the characters did it, but for the life of me the name is elusive...anyway, as described on the Library of Congress's American Memory website (which is awesome browsing material, any time, everytime), a "pizza run" is when you can appear in the same picture twice, on either side of the picture, by running across the back or front of the picture while it's being taken, and standing very still when you arrive at your destination on the other side. They actually have a video of the move in action if you follow that link...when's someone going to ask me to stand in a group picture like this so I can do it! When! :)

Here's a closeup of some of the officers and the seemingly miles of just-put-up buildings:

Isn't it funny to see their individual expressions? How about those ears sticking out from their crew cuts and caps? This picture, bigger and better in my opinion but for the lack of sentimental value, was also thirty dollars. I got worried about if I'd spent too much money on it or not, but seeing other examples in worse condition for more money has assuaged some of my "should I have resisted" feelings that always crop up after a purchase of more than $20. The best moment was when my WWII obsessed, usually nonplussed dad (I've mentioned it before), who's typically with me when I hit the sales, said, "Gee....! That is SHARP! Listen, if you die first, can you will this to me? It could happen. Older people are living longer all the time, you know!" which is his black humor way of expressing approval and esteem in the highest. Thanks, Pappy! (I might give it to him for Christmas...he also doesn't have the internet and also doesn't read my blog, so the secret's safe with you, I hope).

Last but not least, here's a picture I already had in my collection (you can see it hanging on the wall in the background of the early pics, in my little-seen-on-this-page-study-slash-computer-room), which I have no intention of re-gifting. It shows the graduating class of Somewheresville, U.S.A, in what I would guess to be the forties'? I can't even tell if it's a middle school or a high school because we all know how grown up pre-1960 people look at all times, but draw your own conclusions from the pictures. It was one dollar (ONE DOLLAR) at an otherwise woefully understocked sale in Antioch, about two years ago. In the frame and everything!

I've talked before about how I collect photos, and all of them somehow end up in this one room on the wall. The larger, black background pictures are just poster frames lined with construction paper, mounted to which are the favorites of some of my collection. Below, on top of the dvd shelves, are the blue-million cameras that somehow also go with collecting pictures. I've actually called a temporary moratorium on buying any more of them unless they're just something out of the ballpark amazing, but you never know when lightning will strike and I'll end up with another tchotchke on the shelf.

There are some cute people in this picture! Look at the tiny gal on the left, and the glamorous one on the right. The shortest guy in the picture (center) also happens to be wearing the loudest shoes.

Gah! The shoes! They may be my favorite part of the picture. Look at this closeup:

What about your collection? Have any of these oversized photos lurking around the house?  Find any great off-the-beaten-Black-Friday path deals this weekend? Did you go to the flea market? Tell me all about it!

Have a great Monday, and I'll see you guys tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Being Teenagers (1950)

Good morning!

I remember a while back I told you guys about a book I found at an estate sale on Fairfax Avenue in Nashville, specifically relating that it had a whole slew of Pat Boone advice columns from the fifties' carefully clipped and saved in the front cover. Well, I finally got around to scanning said book, and thought you might get a kick out of "Being Teen-Agers", 1950 health and etiquette manual for the growing adolescent.

One of the things that most appealed to me about this text was the weird mix of cartoons and photographs to illustrate the accompanying advice. Usually, I feel like teen wellness books either adopt one or the other and run with it...Being Teenagers  couldn't decide and mixed it up with these cute late forties'-ish doodles, sometimes on the same page as realistic photos of kiddlings in action. Take a look at the cartoons first:

The guy at the breakfast table looks so grown up! "Well, Father, I was hoping I could get your opinion on some stocks I was considering..." Also, I think I've been in the jalopy at the bottom on more than one occasion. Do you remember how difficult it was to get home before curfew back in the day? One particular gentleman caller and I, in a Suzuki Samurai that was the vehicular equivalent of a lawnmower with a car battery, would inevitably be hurtling down I-65N only to hit some kind of traffic and be put what seemed like eons past the time I should have been home. Every. TIME! And no cell phones, of course. "I could take side roads, but I'm telling you, it would only give us the illusion of movement," said my seventeen year old aesthete of a beau would posit. "I DON'T CARE. I WANT THE ILLUSION OF MOVEMENT," I would yell over R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People on the Suzuki's tape deck. Young love.

I love the phrase "gone soft in the head" and intend to use it more often. Even the dude with the bowtie is clued in to chasing girls as a hobby over model airplanes...why stay behind in the dark, teen at left?

Teen body dysmorphia, seen from the guy's side! Do you see yourself as more of a Quagmire or more of a James Bond figure? I love that the guy pictured is of course closer to 007, but probably thinks of himself in terms of the other. Also, how did they know my troubles look EXACTLY LIKE THAT. Like a mascot from an eraser company ad, except more surly. "Get outta here troubles! Get!" Trouble: "All right already, I hoid ya the foist time!"

Isn't this how I still enter any home with a second story? Up the stairs at a barreling pace, just like the dingo I know I am at heart? Note that the women in that illustration arbitrarily have legs that diminish into pin-points, but no feet (I want to see the shoes that go with that hat, because that is quite the hat!). In the bottom picture, I feel bad for the little guy on the right. Look at his completely downward turned mouth! Why can't he make the same hit as his more popular counterpart?

And my favorite illustration of did they get wind of my real-life exercise regimen?

Now, to the photograph segment:

The girl on the left had dutch braids AND  a dirdl! She may actually be of Teutonic extraction. What I love about this and all the other photos is how uncommerical they look-- poorly reproduced, not-at-all-staged, and totally of-the-moment! What more could you ask for? Look at all the glass bottle cokes everywhere.

The guy in the knit ducks sweater is KILLING all y'all other kids in the clothing department. Yowza! I love the aspect of introspection that a lot of the text has. It's something I think we can still use as adults-- look at yourself and assess your faults and strengths, and then change accordingly. What could be easier? I love "Are you friendly? If you could meet yourself coming down the street, would you say, 'Now there's a friendly person?' " I wonder!

I really want to go to the kind of school where children play accordions and banjos in the hallway and dressed-to-practice-law-in-the-forties' male instructors stop to take a gander at the ensuing jam session:

Here's a girl literally taking a look at herself. How do you like the hazy cutout around her? Also, give me your neckerchief and your dachshund and no one gets hurt.

I think to this day one of the hardest and yet most useful pieces of advice you can receive is to "be yourself". I can't even imagine trying to tell that to my poor teenage self, yet it's really the SOLE PIECE OF ADVICE that works in almost any situation. By all means, make a good impression and worry about making a good impression-- but do so by presenting your real life, honest-to-Garshen personality, and you pretty much can't lose. I love the expression of the guy in the second panel, after he's gotten comfortable. Why has the girl put her coat back on?

Last but not least, a COMBINATION of photography and illustration-- the only one like it in the whole book, for some reason!

Yeah, supposin' if you do join the camera club! You would get to take a picture of this puppy float, and all I'm saying is, that might be about the coolest thing you get to do in the course of the year. Just sayin'.
Which one of these teen illustrations is your favorite? Did you have a "how to be an adolescent" book when you were in your teenage years that shaped your young mind into what it is today? What piece of advice would you give teenage you with the present benefit of all your worldly experience?

Have a G-R-E-A-T Thanksgiving! I'm taking a day or two off to cook, eat and hibernate (in that order), but I'll see you guys next week (or sooner, if I get bored)!


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