It was Take Your Daughter to Work Day today. Not for everyone else, but it was for me. When she has the day off and all her friends are busy she likes to come down to the newspaper office, sit in the library and write. We get some coffee up in the galley, and she does her typing and I do mine. Took a trip through the skyway for lunch; the only thing we have in the building is a nice pizza place and Au Bon Pain. I'd just had the latter and didn't want the former, since most of their sandwiches do nothing for me: an excess of bread and a surfeit of flavor between the carb-slabs. So we walked around and passed a dozen places, because this is the city and you don't have to drive to find a burger, and this is the sensible city that put up the skyways so you don't have to die as you're scurrying down on the street. (It was zero again, with the wind chill.)
I know, I know - I should have endured the cold for the sake of street-level vitality, but I often fail to live up to my urban responsibilities.
Eventually she saw a place she really liked - bright and inviting and narrow, for that yes-you-are-in-the-city look. "What's that?" she asked.
"It's Au Bon Pain." Another one. She was entranced, so that's where we ate. And it was good.
Afterwards I took her to the coin store in the skyway. Isn't that a Dad thing to do? Let's go to the precious metals shop and look at ancient, weathered currency! It'll be fun! But it was: first of all, the proprietor is a smart guy, and funny; any conversation on money can turn philosphical in a second, since his business requires knowing intrinsic and arbitrary values. The difference between what you think something is worth and what it's really worth, and how both can be arbitrary because there's emotion involved, and both can be intrinsic because there economic laws apply. He's the guy whose job consists of telling people that the old coins in grandpa's coffee can are not the ticket to a new car or lake cabin. But - but these are Roman coins! Rome! They're old! And common. But - but these are half-dollars from a hundred years ago! And they made 'em by the bag, day after day. Sorry!
Daughter was intrigued by the foreign paper money, and this made Bill smile: obviously, she'd gotten a look at my collection. (Which is here, and also worthless, but interesting.) She found one note that was cute: it had a squirrel. Couldn't figure out the country; googled, and discovered it was Belorussian note. Once worth half a kopek, or something; after devaluation, it was worth .001 cents. It sold for $3.75.
How can something that's worth so little cost so much? Because it might be rare. Because you can't get one anywhere else around here. Because you might like enough to give someone $3.75 for it. But look: If you buy two, it's 2.75. So the price has shifted again for reasons that have nothing to do with the worth of the note. Then we found some Brazillian notes, and I recognized them - part of a series dedicated to Brazillian artists. The demonination was 1000 Cruzados - but look here. See this stamp?
1 NOVA CRUZADO
What was once 1000 of the old denomination is now 1 of the new. Because the government said so - but that was just recognizing the reality of the old denomination's diminished worth. Continue until it's all worthless and everyone's trading chickens for batteries.
We walked back to the office talking about money, and how it's a consensual hallucination, how the bills are symbols just like the numbers in your account but a bill feels more real. When you part with a bill it feels different than swiping your card. To this day a little part of me winces when I crack a twenty, because once sundered, the little bits just fly away. Breaking a hundred feels shameful; Ben is looking at you with disappointment, because he knew you'd spend it instead of socking it away.
Highlight of the day, as most parental segments are. (Yes, I have Warm Feelings for my Offspring when we engage in Parental Segments.) The other night for some reason the other night we got talking about early childhood TV shows, and youtubed the opening credits.
"What was the one with two robots on a couch? And they flew places?"
I couldn't recall, until I remembered that they weren't robots, but furry beasts. Tiny Planets. Lovely theme; I can still sing it. Production company was what, something Ghost? Pepper's Ghost? Yes. Why do I remember that? Because it showed up every day at the end. Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat: forgot all about that one. And of course Busytown's ABC show, which I now found in complete form. I remembered the plot - there's a running story with Bananas Gorilla. He's shaggy and obviously homeless in this one, and steals bananas. Because of course he does. He also steals a policedog's motorcycle, but in the end we learn they were always his bananas. Shouldn't get him off the hook for the motorbike theft, though.
The teacher bear makes a face of dismay after Susie gives the recipe for Silly Soup, and I spoke right along with her.
Because I heard it every day.
If she remembers still, there's a chance she always will. I hope so. I still remember Tom Terrific and other shows that made up the morning, and they bring back feelings of oatmeal and winter and contentment and happiness. You can spend your whole life trying to get back to that place, in a way. Or running away as far as you can.
One of the tiny pictures on the inside of the sleeve. Let's see . . .
So the Tiki movement still had enough momentum in '61 to peddle some more South Seas songs.. If you look closely, you'll see a particularly Tiki touch: the harmonica! Yes, Leo Diamond and his HARMONICA, and orchestra, bringing you the unmistakeable sounds of tropical beauty as blown through a Hohner. As this site says: "Formerly a flute and piccolo player, he won a contest playing harmonica with Edwin Franko Goldman's band in New York City's Central Park. This led to 18 years with Borrah Minevitch's Harmonica Rascals, after which he formed his own trio, the Harmonaires. This led him to Hollywood . . ." Of course it did. Wouldn't today, you suspect.
The biography notes that his attempts to make the harmonica more legit were hampered by banal arrangements and out-of-place musical styles.
Sinatra was his champion at Reprise, believe it or not. But Reprise was Sinatra's show, so if Frankie wanted four albums of rootin' and tootin', then that's what they made.
Man, I spend a lot of time on music I don't like, but feel compelled to know something about.
We're in the last stretch of the Flying Man In A Disk that Flew from Mars:
Does this plot summary really seem like it belongs in a serial about an interplanetary invasion?
The resolution of the cliffhanger:
Stay positive, Kent. Steve says that Dr. Brandt - that would be the quisling ex-Nazi scientist whose death-ray gun was shown in the first episode and promptly dropped, even though it's the background for the title cards - will have a tough time explaining this one. They know he's in cahoots with the semi-disc pilot from Mars.
Kent goes right to Dr. Brandt, who has the cops in his office; he accuses Kent of planting a radio eavesdropping device, which of course he did. That's illegal, says the policeman, and naturally lets him go as long as he promises to avoid the plant. But Kent is determined to find out what goes on when he's not on screen. It has to be something! The story keeps cutting away from me!
Here's Mars Genius' next phase:
Yes, his plan to conquer the earth didn't include weapons or money, but details, details. At least we're promised another bridge explosion. Mars Dude gets into his flying disc - sorry, the semi-disc, as they keep calling it - and our flyboys are right behind.
Make that flygal! She's out of the office! For some reason! She's actually in a car, as they follow the semi-disc to see what it's doing. Apparently they're dumping off laundry:
It's a bomb part, delivered to the henchmen on the ground, which our heroes have now found. Are you thinking . . . a hats-on fistfight? No: an inconclusive gun battle. I love this:
Up in the sky, Kent is still pursuing the semi-disc, and realizes it's headed for A Bridge. And so:
That's four planes he's lost, I think. Keep in mind he's not even doing this is as part of a paying job. He's just . . . suspicious, I guess.
Update: Ballyhoo! Because no site ever finishes. It's movie ads in a trade magazine from 1928. They lacked only sound and color.