It was 62 degrees on Monday, and the prediction for Wednesday, by some models, is snow. Although that’s been downgraded to just “seasonably cold” - 21 - followed by 50 the next day and 71 on Friday. I have preemptive whiplash. The temperature for Monday was 31 degrees above the average high, which is . . . 31. Naturally, this is seen in some corners as the result of insufficient windmill-building.

How do you dress for a day when it’s thirty-something when you head off to work and thirty-one degrees warmer when you head home?

Ordinary day. Wrote a column, worked on a few projects, wrote five pages in the AI book. The name of the artist has changed, as I suspected it would. I am no longer calling him Normal Rockwrong. He is Chet G. “Petey” Dally. (Figure it out.) I have a backstory now and things are coming together. Sixty pieces of art annotated so far, with a total of 200 in the final version. ETA in July.

While doing a story on drug store / variety store lunch counters - a constant source of interest to your host - I found this picture. Probably copyrighted, so you’ll have to go look at it.

The details are interesting. Aren’t they always?


The ice creams of 1954:

Wonder what “Hand-packed” tasted like. Ha ha just joshing. Cherry Nut was one of those grown-up flavors you couldn’t pay me to eat.

  We can identify the season. Those big-eyed wide-mouth smiling things were a mid-century favorite, but now look kitschy and a bit creepy.

I have no idea.

There’s also a poultry shelf.


Some of us, of a particular age - and it’s probably a wide range - know exactly what this is, and which one was our favorite.


Can we identify it?

Of course we can.

  "Steve Frazee worked in heavy construction and mining in his native Colorado and used that background in many of his stories. He began selling stories to the western and adventure pulp magazines in the late 1940s eventually graduated to better paying markets."

They made a movie from one of his stories, but I can find no trailer or excerpts online. Eventually became president of the Western Writers of America.

We tip our hat to Steve.







I decided to watch the beginning portion and the middle and the end of The Black Hole, a mediocre Disney sci-fi movie loved by a lot of people who saw it when they were eight. If you were a grown up, it was a disappointment punctuated with occasional signs of a smarter, more interesting movie. It had clever little robots with clever little names. It had uninteresting characters, except for the bad guy. It did have a scary evil robot to stand in for Darth Vader, and of course we cannot forget that the movie takes a trip to hell at the end, which wasn’t standard Disney fare.

The swirling, disoriented, madness-tinged danger! danger! theme by John Barry is pretty good, but not as remarkable as some acolytes insist. It’s the start of his less-is-less phase, when he starts treating his melodies like sacred objects. I like it nevertheless. When I called up the movie on YouTube, expecting to hear the theme and the green grid which was the sign of all late 70s / early 80s sci-fi, there was something else: a black screen, and an overture. Right! The movie had an overture. There was a time when movies, important movies, had overtures.

You have to wonder if a studio exec said “make it more Star Wars,” so they stuck this heroic theme in front of everything. It, too, is medium-strength Barry, and you can see this tacked on a network TV sci-fi show.

But not the actual theme itself. As I said, it's fine, and it's not his best, but . . . everyone of a certain age who heard it in the theaters remembers how well it set the stage, and if you were, say, 12, 13 - this would be just deliciously frightening.

Because something very bad is going to happen.

Oh my: the TRAILER




It’s 1942.

We’re looking at ads from the Minneapolis Times, a short-run newspaper that had some different advertisers than the big boys.

No one really knows what spic and/or span means.

The clean-air cleaner with the tattle-tale light is almost a 40s nonsense song lyric.

Just look at these beauties. Just look.


A surprisingly liberal use of the word “crotch.” I gather it did not have the snickery sense it gathered later on.

  Photoshop, the early years. I wonder how they did this. Reproduction and airbrushing, no doubt.

Department stores did everything. Had everything. Were everything.

Why, it's from those funny guys, and she has mushrooms on her head - gotta be laffs galore!

It’s . . . okay.

I’ve found a bunch, and they’re okay, standard stuff for the era. Of course neither of these guys had anything to do with it, aside from giving it their name. More here, if you wish.

  You paid to deposit?

Of interest to me is the “news by George Grim” note at the bottom. He was a roving correspondent for the Tribune, known for his column “I Like It Here.” Not sure if “here” was Minneapolis or the places he wrote about. If it was the former, it was strange that he liked it here but kept leaving for other destinations. I didn’t know he did radio, but it made sense; the big columnists usually had radio gigs.

WLOL: Land of Lakes.

Take out a loan to paint your house? Really?

That’s a ridiculous picture of the Northwestern Bank Building - makes it look like a thin skyscraper, when it was really a stolid elephant that stretched an entire block.

All they needed to say.

No wordy copy about mildness or economy or the time Bob turned down Carol’s attention because she was spotty or gave off a certain smell. Just this.


The idea of “Family Liquor” clangs on modern ears, but this was a well-known shop.

They advertised a lot. Downtown location for many years, then they moved south to Franklin avenue.

That's more ads than you see in an entire newspaper in some places these days. It's one page, maybe two.

That'll do. Now it's time to return to the tales of the Sweetheart of the Comics, the Black Cat!


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