Saturday, September 4, 2021

At the movies 50 years ago today...

Here are some of the movie advertisements that appear in the September 4, 1971, edition of the York Daily Record, which I worked for from 2000 to 2013. As you can see, the selections leaned much more toward raunch than Renoir.

Among the films for the big screen (a mix of theaters and drive-ins) are: Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller; Klute; Night of Dark Shadows; The Horror of Frankenstein, a Hammer film without Hammer stars (although it does have future Darth Vader actor David Prowse); the Elvis Presley/Mary Tyler Moore/Ed Asner incognito-nun flick Change of Habit; the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young/Joan Baez/Joni Mitchell concert film Celebration at Big Sur; The Omega Man; and the 1970 bomb of a war drama called The Last Grenade. Then there are a bevy of X-rated films, including: Oona, Mnasidika, The Swinging Pad, Lorna, and Dandy — The Love Animal, which you can read about in this amusing review from Mondo Digital that keeps out the X-rated stuff.

Saturday's postcard: 1911 schoolchildren in Iowa

This real photo postcard was a piece of local mail within Forest City, Iowa, in May 1911. The city in northcentral Iowa went on a population upswing between 1910 and 1920, growing from 1,691 residents to 2,145. Today it's about double that, with 4,285, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Forest City is, most notably, the place where Winnebagos are made, and you can take a factory tour if you go there.

The postcard was written in pencil and in cursive. It was mailed to Miss Agnes Jones, and the message states:
How is school? Are you coming to my picnic Fri. Are those pictures as good as yours? I am glad mine are not there. 

Related post: Sorry, I was detained for a bit in Forest City

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Psychogeography, snickelways of Miami, Arizona: August 2021

Last weekend, we took an afternoon trip along U.S. Route 60 to historic Globe, Arizona, passing through a region that's already been threatened by wildfire (the Telegraph Fire) and flooding this year. On the way back along Route 60, we stopped to have a look around the small mining town of Miami

I didn't have much time there, and these photos do not represent the full quality and character of the town. I just walked a few blocks quickly and took these snapshots to get an initial sense of place, the psychogeography of Miami. And to quickly look for snickelways. I don't know if these alleys count as full-fledged snickelways, which are defined as the narrow footpaths between and through buildings in an urban setting, but I think they're close enough to the spirit of them.
Bonus #1: 
Instagram from Superior, Arizona
When I posted this image of the Copper Motel, someone commented on Instagram: "This place is being remodeled. I'm glad someone was able to save it."
Bonus #2: 
Front door of a bar in Globe, Arizona
Other photography posts

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Nifty envelope from Ukraine Postcrossing pen pal

Last week I received this awesome-sauce decorated envelope from a Postcrossing pen pal who lives in Ukraine. It's kind of stunning that the dinosaur's googly eye survived the trip. She packed lots of cool stuff into the envelope, too (see below).

As I've noted before, Postcrossing exchanges and pen pals have really helped to get me through the pandemic. It's a joy putting together mail to send across the U.S. and the globe. And it's always a moment of happy anticipation to head to the mailbox each afternoon and see what's arrived. In addition to my fledgling pen pal in Ukraine, I've been exchanging cards with great folks in the Netherlands, Mexico, Florida, Idaho and Czechia. And I've also been exchanging cards and movie suggestions with a film critic in Russia. She recently suggested that I watch the 1963 Soviet film Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors, which was a hoot (although Joan did fall asleep for part of it, which she says didn't affect her comprehension, of lack thereof, of the plot).
Bonus: Papergreat tweet about Ukraine
Postcrossing stamp from six years ago...

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"Owning a library was the most important thing for him in life"

The final withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan this month has been a devastating process on so many fronts, not least for the shattered families of the 13 U.S. service members and approximately 70 Afghan citizens who were killed in an airport suicide bombing on Aug. 26. 

There are so many personal stories intertwined with the withdrawal. This is just a small, poignant one that caught my eye. Obaid Mahdi posted this book-related tweet on Aug. 27 about his father's library in Kabul.

Here's a closer look at the before and after photographs.
There's an article about the evacuated library on the website Kronos, written by Gülnur Hasesoǧlu. Unfortunately, it's in Turkish. So I had to use Google Translate to get the gist of the story. Here are some details I could glean from the imperfect English translation:

  • Writer Obaid Mahdi shared on his Twitter account the library of his father, Mohaiddin Mahdi, a professor and writer from Afghanistan, before and after the Taliban took over Kabul. The tweet showing the full and empty states of the library was shared by more than ten thousand people around the world, and it became the symbol of the "change" that came with the Taliban. “This library represents a generation that is no longer around,” Mahdi told Kronos.
  • Obaid Mahdi, who has been in France the past three years, said the library dates back more than 50 years, having been started by his grandfather. His 65-year-old father left a few days before the Taliban took over Kabul. The thousands of books, plus some artifacts, are now hidden elsewhere in Afghanistan. The family plans to take the library abroad and re-establish it.
  • The library includes books from Turkey, Iran, India, Tajikistan and Pakistan. There are handwritten books, history, literature and poetry, plus books about multiple religions. One of the books is 750 years old.
  • Mohaiddin Mahdi is a researcher who loves his books. He values them not only as a library for his own research, but for everyone else who can benefit from them. "Owning a library was the most important thing for him in life," Obaid Mahdi said of his father.
  • Obaid Mahdi summed up: “This library was not only for ourselves, it represented the generation of people of culture in Afghanistan different from the Taliban. People who engage in books, knowledge and research. Now these people are disappearing."

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Spinnerin selling the privileged
yarn-based lifestyle in 1963

Here are some scans of the model photography within a pattern magazine published by the Spinnerin Yard Company of South Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1963. The staplebound booklet measures 8¾ inches by 11¾ inches and has 56 pages, including the front and back covers. There's a clear tie-in with Coca-Cola; it must have paid Spinnerin for the product placement. 

The magazine is the work of Alice Carroll (editor) and Claudia Manley (assistant editor) and contains patterns and instructions for all sorts of aspirational yarn-based attire. Plus numerous reminders that "gauge is the most important element in knitting and crocheting." Also, yarn clothing should never be dried in the sun.
Related posts

Outtakes with Angelino