Exploring Yesteryear

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is SHADOWY EXPLORATIONS.

Well, as a response I’m going to take you all back to the distant shadows of the past and explore life in the 50s and 60s. I’m also going to give the new BlockEd its first Make-a-list trial. Confession: I’ve taken some else’s list and added.

How many of these can you remember?

  1. Candy cigarettes
  2. Cafes with table-side juke boxes
  3. Home milk delivery in glass bottles
  4. Party lines on the telephone
  5. TV stations going off the air at midnight
  6. TV test patterns – circles and an Indian head
  7. Peashooters
  8. Howdy Doody
  9. Brownie cameras
  10. Pleated plaid skirts
  11. Metal ice trays with lever
  12. Blue flashbulb
  13. Cork popguns
  14. Studebakers
  15. Wash tub wringers
  16. “There are eight million stories in the Naked City.
    This has been one of them.”
  17. Almost all men wearing hats
  18. Officers Tweedie & Muldoon
  19. Pocket watches and men’s wallets on chains
  20. Jars of Striped Peanut butter & jam
  21. Roller skates
  22. When head-rests and seat-belts were unheard of
  23. Hood ornaments on cars
  24. The Big Bopper
  25. Li’l Abner
  26. George Burns and Gracie Allen
  27. Rin Tin Tin
  28. Ice boxes
  29. Bread Boxes
  30. Kelvinator fridges
  31. Calling between midnight and 8am to save money
  32. “Hey, Mr Wilson!”
  33. Garter Belts
  34. Chubby Checker’s new dance
  35. Massey Harris tractors
  36. Galvanized steel bath tubs, with the same bathwater for all

Hope you’ve enjoyed these explorations into the shadowy past.

The Book I Chucked

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is MARTYR. I could take a lot of avenues, either religious or secular, with this one, but I’ll give you this brief rant book review.

SUMMER AT SEA, a light romance by Beth Labonte

Have you ever read a book that you were ready to toss across the room after the first chapter? I started one a few years back. This long-suffering twenty-something chick, writing in first-person, sees herself as a martyr to her parents’ bumbling stupidity. How did they ever survive before she was old enough to help them sort everything out?

Okay, I’m old. Old enough to be this girl’s mother. Old enough to find this kind of parent-bashing offensive. I will admit the story is well written and the story line draws you in; you do want to see how they made out. If you can put up with the voice of this know-it-all chick. The fact that the book won an award shows how popular chick-lit is.

Have you ever chosen a book just to see if it’s as bad as the reviews say it is? (I confess, I have — if it was free.) Maybe you’re even ready to check this one out after reading my review? Some other readers have given it five stars.

Here’s part of the blurb on Amazon:
Four jackets of varying weights, enough socks for the entire Confederate Army, three umbrellas, most of the antacid aisle from the local pharmacy, and six pairs of old people sneakers that all look exactly the same. Have you ever helped your parents pack for a week-long cruise?

No? I didn’t think so. So shut it.

So begins vacation for Summer Hartwell – twenty-six years old, living with her anxiety-ridden parents, and unwillingly booked by her brother on a cruise to Bermuda. Despite the nightmare of being trapped aboard a cruise ship with Mom and Dad, Summer sees a rare opportunity to fulfill The Prophecy – her mother’s declaration that she will live at home until she gets married. With two thousand passengers onboard, at least one of them must be husband material, right?

And now for some polite humour:

Friends + quote.Bansi Patel
Basic image by Bansi Patel

Indecision

Good morning everyone. Fandango’s one-word challenge this morning is DESPONDENT and here’s my response.

I was working out a haiku in my mind earlier, and I think it will fit well with this prompt, since I tend to get despondent when I think too long about all the things I might have accomplished if I’d been more disciplined and decisive.
Putting things off may be the easiest way at the moment, but I’ve learned that you do have to “pay the piper” farther down the road.

undecided
what my life might have been
had I only…

Life’s mini dillemas:

Birds argue.sujufotos
Image by sujufotos —  Pixabay

 

No Place To Go

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is FERNWEH, which apparently means a longing for far-away places, or wanderlust.

Once upon a time, when we were younger, we did travel some — though never to anyplace all that exotic. We’ve visited or lived in almost every province and visited friends in a number of eastern states. But our wandering days are over now. Our own office is our comfortable work space and our own pillows feel the best. I don’t even like going away from home on dark winter nights, so I know where Edgar Guest was coming from when he wrote this verse:

No Place to Go

relaxing-1979674_640

The happiest nights I ever know
are those when I’ve no place to go,
and the missus says when the day is through,
“Tonight we haven’t a thing to do.

Oh, the joy of it– and the peace untold
of sitting ‘round in my slippers old,
with my pipe and book in my easy chair,
knowing I needn’t go anywhere.

Needn’t hurry my evening meal
nor force the smiles I do not feel,
but can grab a book from a nearby shelf,
drop all sham and be myself.

Oh, the charm of it and the comfort rare;
nothing on earth that can compare!
And I’m sorry for him who doesn’t know
the joy of having no place to go.

By Edgar A Guest

(Image: Jill Wellington  —  Pixabay)

Tunes: The Surrey or Just the Fringe?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning was FRINGE

When I saw the prompt word this morning my mind immediately went to a snatch of song from back in childhood. I don’t remember anything of the words or music, just the line “the nice little surrey with the fringe on the top.”

Now, who wrote that song? What were the words? When was it popular? A thousand blessings on the unseen folk who have answered all the questions people put to Google!

The song was written by Richard Rodgers and comes from the musical play, “Oklahoma.” I see another song listed as well, one that was very popular in its day. I can hear again in memory the whole cheerful chorus:
“Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day!
I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way.”
It’s easy to remember and to sing; the words are appealing and the music’s a great fit.

With some songs, the words are so-so and would get nowhere without their tune. As I read over the song, “The Surrey With the Fringe on the Top,” I can’t see anything especially “musical” or appealing about the words, so I conclude it’s one where the tune was the surrey and the words were the fringe. (Click HERE to read the lyric, if you wish.)

Many songs have great lyrics that touch our hearts. They’d easily stand alone as a poem – and a lot were poems, finally set to music. Our national anthems, songs of home and family, love and courage, longing for the old folks or the girl left behind. For example:
“Way Down Upon the Swanee River…”
“When you and I were young, Maggie…”
“By yon bonny banks and by yon bonny braes…”

I don’t know if there’s been a more prolific poet than the blind Christian writer, Fanny Crosby. She wrote more than 8000 verses, many of which ended up as gospel songs and have been paired with the perfect music – lively, or slow and thoughtful – for carrying the message.

“All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.”