A detail from "The Presentation of the CVS Receipt," artist unknown.

Ordinary Tuesday. Wrote lyrics to "Pomp and Circumstance." Well, no one else has. I think. Got approval on a piece I'd written; had NO edits on another piece I wrote. Sampled the new office coffee. This is no small thing. The new publisher, in his first meeting with the Variety staff, noted that he'd heard bad things about the office coffee, and this needed addressing. Everyone chuckled. I'm not sure many of them drink office coffee. They're not there I make it every day, so I get it hot and fresh. It's not great, but it'll do.

But today there were signs: two new blends! Pike's Peak and Caribou. There was a QR code inviting me to take a survey about the new coffee choices, and say what I thought. This is all the new publisher's work. Canny move. I like it.

The coffee was much, much better.

It's the little things that'll bring people back to the office! Like free THC gummies. But we'll get to that.

Went home, let Birch out. He found one of his sticks. It's from last year. It's perfectly seasoned, I'll bet.

Eighty-one degrees. Instant summer.

Now it's the end of the day and I'm enjoying a nip of whiskey in a glass I bought in Halesworth.



Detail from "The Presentation of the Virgin (?)" The question mark indicates that they're not entirely sure it's by Fra Carnevale.

Says the museum:

The exact subject matter of this panel remains in doubt, since the Virgin neither climbs the steps of the temple nor is welcomed by the high priest, features generally included in depictions of the Presentation. Fra Carnevale, a Dominican friar, was clearly inspired by ancient Roman architecture and sculpture as well as by the new science of linear perspective, which allowed an artist to create the illusion of deep space on a flat surface.

Obviously. That's what this is all about: showing off. Look! I have even included the sky!

  Beggars in the corner for contrast to all the opulence.

The architecture has nothing to do with the period in which it's set, but that was becoming the mode: contemporary settings for Bible stories, just to show off how Renaissance architecture was becoming the equal of the Roman antecedants. Everyone's in period dress, too. Imagine if everyone was wearing jeans, and this was set at the Mall of America.

Also: "Widely regarded as one of the most enigmatic artists, there are only nine works that can be definitively attributed to Carnevale known of today."

And even those have been contested.











There’s so much weed coming into the office these days. Oh, it’s the mild sort, 5 mg doses in gummie or soda form, but it’s still notable because it’s weed. Okay, not weed, really, but “THC” just seems like a cable channel or a euphemism for what it is, which is stuff which bestones you. The normalization of stupefying treats is proceeding a little differently than I had expected.

A local cheerful affirmation applied to cannabis, with retro graphics that make you think of solid old local companies:

This one I found interesting.

I do wonder what the careful, dedicated old Iowa gent would think about this.

I wonder if he sat in a movie theater long ago and watched some lurid film about the perils of marihuana addicts, sex- and jazz-crazed, and thought “seems an unwise thing to do. I’ll stick to a beer on Saturday nights, thanks. Sure hope no one puts my face on a package of candied marihuana two generations hence! Ha ha, no, that’d be silly.”

I would like it to be known here and to all that I do not consent to my likeness being used to sell drugs two generations hence. Just so we’re clear on that.

Anyway: in both cases they’re drawing on the old traditional culture, the old brand styles, the old taciturn Scandihoovian culture with its ethics of work and probity. All of the branding for the new gummies - and, I expect, the newly legalized Actual Weed - , will be like this, or modern in its commercial livery. There’s very little iconography from the 60s or 70s, no groovy rainbow-colored mushrooms, no fat-arse fonts, no tie-dyes. No one’s interested in that period anymore, even though this is the triumph of that Long March - or Long, Meandering, Stoop-shouldered Shuffle, if you wish. No unkempt stoners with disheveled hair and round colored glasses.

Can't have that, now that this stuff is respectable.





It’s 1926.

That is a tabloid front page.

So what happened?

I looked at subsequent stories, and big surprise, they went looking for the husband, Lewis Ring. He took it on the lam, according to a story on June 6. On June 10, the paper reported that his trail had gone cold.

But! On October 28th, it was reported that Lewis had committed suicide on a cruise ship bound for Hawaii, and was buried at sea.

Suure he was.


Well, that's the only logical coroner you could have brought in for the job.



Short and Snappy! Bobbed hair! How very 20s.



“Queen Avenue.”

Those are nice addresses today; they were nice addresses a hundred years ago, too.

No news about what happened to the duo. Winnipeg papers are silent.

That she was.

She’d turn up eventually, and insist she’d been kidnapped. If you don't know the story:

Los Angeles prosecutors had varying theories why she disappeared, among them a publicity stunt, and finally contended that McPherson ran off with a former employee, Kenneth Ormiston, staying with him in a California resort town cottage he had rented. After leaving the cottage at the end of May, the pair traveled for the next three weeks and remained hidden. Around June 22, Ormiston drove McPherson to Mexico, dropping her off 3 miles outside of nearby Agua Prieta, where she walked the remaining distance. In contrast, McPherson consistently maintained her kidnapping story, and defense witnesses corroborated her assertions.

Boy-Bobs around the world, and in history.

You can tell from a glance it’s Nell Brinkley’s work. God bless her, and her role in establishing a fairyland idealized feminine aesthetic, but her stuff makes me feel like I’ve eaten sixteen Hostess Twinkies.

Here’s an example of her work in color, where it’s more impressive. The one above just looks like a rush job.

The things you had to worry about in those days. A kid’s blood would run cold thinking about this happening to them. It could!

Big story? You bet. Let’s do something rare and shift to the Examiner in SF.

Later, a male relative would be accused of the abduction. But nothing came of that. Napa Valley Register, three years later:

Witnesses whose testimony is expected to prove conclusively that Mrs. Edna Sharp kidnapped four year old Doris Virginia Murphy from a public playground have been found, according to an announcement today by police With the new evidence, police said all theories that Mrs Sharp may have had outside help" in taking the child have been disproved.

Detectives announced they would again question Mrs. Sharp concerning the disappearance of baby Barbara June Osbon in 1926 , Barbara disappeared here and was found in Los Angeles several days later. Her kidnaper was never found nor was her disappearance clearly explained. We now find that about the of time of Barbara's disappearance, Mrs. Sharp brought a three-year old child to her husband which she I said was her own by a previous marriage, said Matheson. The Sharps took a trip to Los Angeles and Mrs. Sharp, leaving her husband in a hotel', walked away with the baby and returned alone with the story that she had given the child to an uncle.

Finally, some auto safety advice from Foley.

Yet the automobile, unquestionably, is here to stay.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do - a short trip to 1958 interiors awaits. See you tomorrow.



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