People used to be easily amused. A ride on a painted horse in a circle could’ve been a high point of some Midwestern kid’s year. The sights, the sounds, the smells of carnival rides became the cherished memories people carried through their lives. Even I remember when a carousel ride wasn’t lame, but, of course, I am much older than my physical age.
Pretty interesting article about a local (now-defunct) piano seller. It’s notable how in 1940 people didn’t think twice about the phrase “salesman lures the farmer’s daughter into the truck”
To find out what manner of people the 100,000 or more purchasers of pianos this year (1940), LIFE sent a photographer to the Jenkins Music Company in Kansas City, Mo. This company, with nine branch stores spread over Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, sells more than $1,000,000 worth of pianos a year.
One of their most successful schemes is a “truck operation”. About twice a week a Jenkins truck, several pianos and a salesman go cruising around the nearby farm territory. At a likely farmhouse it stops and the salesman lures the farmer’s daughter into the truck to try out one of his pretty pianos. He then talks the prospect into moving the piano into the farmhouse “to see how it looks”. Once inside, it seldom comes out again.
February 23rd has a special meaning for people who grew up in the Soviet Union. Originally started in 1918 as the Red Army Day, then renamed “The Soviet Army and Navy Day” and now “Defender of the Motherland Day” this holiday became a de facto Men’s Day when all men were celebrated even if they never served in the military. Starting at the young age it was a day of anticipation for boys, when girls would bring them small presents and souvenirs to school just so the boys could brag, compare and play with them for the rest of the day (the favor was returned on March the 8th). For those who served it was a highly anticipated day off, with delicacies such as two boiled eggs and buckwheat for breakfast and maybe a rare day on the town (if you happened to serve near one). For the rest of the people it was another reason to have a drink.
Over the years my opinion about my military service has changed from a wasted years of my life, two years of missed opportunity and needless sacrifice, to a fun and careless time when all I had to worry about was escaping any semblance of work and exercise at all costs. Although I was one of the most worthless soldiers the Soviet Army had ever seen, they got exactly what they paid for with their 7 rubles a month, which was just enough for a lunch and a few packs of cheap cigarettes. I made sure of that.
Even though the Soviet Army is long gone, I still get a few messages from friends and relatives on this day. Mostly it’s a connection to the innocent days of our childhood when a simple souvenir and a card made us feel like men (slide show of old holiday cards below).
Much has changed since the days of my military service. In the video below the Choir Of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs performs with the duo Ottawan, something that couldn’t have happened 25 years ago, when people from the same ministry were busy banning Western music.
This time of the year is the apple season around here, the time when we make our annual trip to our favorite apple orchard in Williamsburg, KS. Over the years we’ve done quite a bit of driving in this part of Kansas, visiting small towns like Garnett and Osawatomie, Burlington, Ottawa, Williamsburg and this year we stopped for a few minutes in Lebo and Osage City.
Nothing makes me stop in my tracks faster than a mural sighting. Of course, the magnificent murals of Coffeyville (click to be amazed) are hard to beat; Burlington comes in distant second.
Here is the mural from Lebo:
This sign bothered me for weeks. According to the Wikipedia “@” is pronounced “at” in this country and anything from “snail” to “strudel” everywhere else.
So what is it: Ashcroft, Ashcraft, Ashcratft, Ashcrstrudelft? Is it a little light bulb under the “@”? What is trying to say?
Yours truly kcm€€sha.