Monday, May 23, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Budgies up close & personal
Barneys New York, rack card, 2000
As a kid I had a series of budgies as pets. Easy to train, gregarious, talkative, amusing, easy to care for - a great companion for kids. Sadly they tended to have relatively short lives, but that was one of life's early lessons too: living life and coping with loss.
Two that stand out in my memory are Sean and William. Sean was a completely yellow budgie - I'd never seen one this color before - and he was not only a good talker, he was a really good table soccer player, could fly well, and worked out regularly on his gym equipment.
Somewhere there's a photo of Sean putting his head inside a young boy's mouth - I imagined the newspaper headline reading "Brave budgie puts head inside boy's mouth - and lives". If there is such a thing as reincarnation, Sean is probably a dentist in Topeka, Kansas.
William was a budgie of a different feather, but a budgie to the core. Blue like the budgie in the card above, I remember him as a great talker and, as with Sean, always delighted to see you.
Memory clouds a bit as to which one of these intrepid small souls was the one who developed the habit, but as a teenager whenever I drove my car up the driveway beside the family home if the back door of the house was open there would be a torrent of "Where's Jim, where's Jim?", some exciting whistling, accompanied by running back & forth along his perch. (note - "Jim" inserted to represent my name). The budgie in question had a good ear - he was never fooled by the engines of the two other vehicles that used that driveway or those of visitors' cars.
And, of course, my little feathered friend had to be the first to be greeted when I entered the house.
Here's to you, my budgie buddies - extra seed & a nibble of cuttlefish too!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
The International Land and Investment Co's enticement, 1911
The invitation to join the excursion to the Gulf Coast Country
Or perhaps a piece of rice land in Jennings, Louisiana is more to your liking...
Land companies used postcards as a marketing tool in the early 1900s to promote land sales, typically in the Gulf Coast states. The International Land and Investment Co,. promotes an excursion for punters to the Gulf Coast in its 1911 postcard (top two views). If International Land's deal is not sweet enough for you, perhaps some nice rice land in Jennings, Louisiana may attract your dollars to start your investment in agricultural real estate. The Jennings card is a little earlier, postmarked 1907 and is not a land company promotion card. Little did they know Federal subsidies would be along in a couple of decades to be capitalized into the land's value.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Reading the Bulletin Boards, China Town, San Francisco, circa 1910s
Published by F W Woolworth, San Francisco
Some say the days of the newspaper are numbered but in this postcard view from the 1910s there are plenty of readers of the Chinese news bulletins on the streets of San Francisco's China Town.
While today's news reader may not be as thorough in reading from cover to cover two or three different newspapers a day, technology has made it possible to sample a wider range of papers.
The jury is still out on the question whether the quality of journalism has improved over the past 100 years.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
"Dubuque's Famous Market 16 Blocks Like This"
Dubuque, Iowa clearly had a vibrant outdoor market in the early 20th century stretching some 16 blocks through downtown. The tradition survives in the form of a regular farmers' market today.
Every day scene at the Dubuque Famous Market
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
USS Battleship Kearsarge postcard, circa 1910.
The USS Kearsarge, BB-5, showing the ship as she appeared when first completed in 1900. Launched in 1898, the Kearsarge was commissioned in 1900 and served as a battleship in the North Atlantic fleet.
The Kearsarge, named after the Union's Civil War sloop of the same name, was the lead ship of her class of battleships. Between late 1907 to 1909, the Kearsarge was part of the round-the-world goodwill tour of the US navy dubbed the Great White Fleet.
After being refitted for Atlantic coastal service and transporting marines to Veracruz, Mexico in World War I, the Kearsarge wasconverted to a crane ship in 1920 and used in the Philadelphia Naval Yard. She was scrapped in 1955.
Displacement 11,525 Tons, Dimensions, 375' 4" (oa) x 72' 3" x 25' 10" (Max), Armament 4 x 13"/35 4 x 8"/35, 14 x 5"/40 4 x 18" tt, Armor, 16 1/2" Belt, 17" Turrets, 5" Decks, 10" Conning Tower, Machinery, 10,000 IHP; 2 vertical triple expansion engines, 2 screws, Speed, 16 Knots, Crew 553.
The Kearsarge converted to a huge floating crane. Source: Wikipedia