Wednesday

June 13, 1950 - My Perfect Town

How are you on this fine morning?  It seems as though it is going to be a beautiful day outside and I can't wait to get some more organizing done. 
You know last night before I fell asleep I started to wonder exactly why so many people think the way that I live my life is so strange.  Choosing to live your life in another time period is nothing new.  There are people that live their entire lives in medieval times and they use it as a tourist attraction (the Renissance Fair).  Most of those people enjoy living their entire lives in their characters.  Through my studies in the past I know full well that there are many women that enjoy living life as the Victorians did.  Not to mention the wide acceptance of the Amish, Mennonite and other such religious sects that reject any concepts or technology that we have come up with in the last 150 years or so.
Well I'm not a religious fanatic but I choose to limit my use of the technology and entertainment that came about in the last 60 years or so.  I see nothing wrong with this, and I don't understand where others don't understand it either.
Just imagine a little community of us revolutionaries that have willingly given up our madern lives to recreate a simpler time where our children could be children without the distractions and sexualization of modern society.  Where your 10 year old could walk through the grocery store with you and learn how to make up a grocery order instead of simply staring at a gaming or video screen walking into people and displays without a word of apology or even an acknowledgement that they had sone something wrong.  A place where a mother can be a mother without feeling as through she is doing something lazy by staying home with her children instead of going out and bringing in a paycheck.  I have felt for a very long time that we are doing our children a great dis-service with 5-day a week daycares from when they are six weeks old and just other people raising our children.  They never grow up with the stability that mom will always be there when they get home. In my little town there would only be small family owned businesses, like a small grocery that carried everything but it doen't need to carry six types of everything. 
Do you know the last time that I went to the grocery store I wanted to pick up some rice and wouldn't you know it there were 5 different brands to choose from.  This is why we need huge mega-stores because we have become so brand loyal that you wouldn't shop there if they didn't carry your brand.  Listen, rice is rice whether it comes from Success or Uncle Ben.  As long as it is within the shelf life there is nothing to worry about.  There would be a couple of dress stores and maybe a department store.  A barber and beauty parlor near to one another, a flower shop but a reasonably priced one because that is an industry that has just gotten forgotten as a sign of romance and normalcy and become something for weddings and funerals that are insanely overpriced.  Of course there would be the bowling alley and the recreation center with the learning annex.  Everything that a little town needs to thrive and become a real community.  Did I also mention that if I had my way this would all be in one area.  Either on Main Street or a large area called "Downtown". 
How perfect my dream town would be.  Only period clothing allowed and the fire department would still get cats out of trees.  Now a days they would ask you if you were nuts if you called for a cat up in a tree.
There would be a ladies league that would have charity concerts and plays as well as garden parties and balls.  I must admit that I have it all planned out in my head.  I know where everything would be and there would be strict rules about the conduct of the families that live within our town limits as well as their visitors.
If you were wondering about everything having to be second hand or used.  Well it doesn't have to be that way.  You can have reproductions made so that they fit modern safety specifications.  As long as they look original on the outside, that is what counts.  Can you just imagine walking into 'Woods Department Store' (it just sounds right) and seeing all of those beautiful vintage style gowns and knowing that there was a ball no more than six months away.  Those amazing marcosite bracelets and the powder pink bathroom clock that you've been looking for forever and having the option to have it all delivered to your house later that same day.  Going down the street to the beauty parlor and getting you hair set while reading one of the latest issues of Cosmopolitian Magazine (reprinted of course).  I simply couldn't get enough of it.  Going down to the cafe for a burger and fries or a ham sandwich before stopping at the corner drugstore for band-aids and toothpaste before heading home to your single two-bedroom home with the manicured yard and the white picked fence to cook dinner for your husband that will be home from work around 6:30.
Well that was my thought last night, to have my own little version of an Amish community just make it where the Cleavers or Donna Reed lived.  I've had so many old timers tell me that the area that I used to know as 'The Square' used to be the best place to be and to shop as well as the Main Street of where I currently live.  I think that we should bring these places back to life.  Make our little communities function as communities again.
I hope everyone has a wonderful day but I'm off to get a few things done and take care of my new puppy Harvey.

Andrea

Tuesday

June 12, 1950 - Documenting the Past

I know that I have mentioned before how hard it is to find old newspapers from 1950, well I found one so that part of my search is finally over.  However, that brings to mind something that has plagued me since the beginning of my project over a year ago.  Why don't people document the past better.  Why aren't all of the old shows available for either DVD or download?  At least the ones that were recorded should be.  Either release them on DVD or if you don't think they will sell make them available for download for free.  Your certainly not making money on it just sitting on some shelf somewhere collecting dust.
It's the same premise for newspaper archives as well as magazine archives.  Why aren't these available to see.  How much time would it take for a magazine to scan their back issues into a computer.  Even make them pay archives at a reasonable cost and even if they wanted to just make the issues that are twenty years old and older available that would be fine.  They sure as sugar aren't making any money on them right now so say for $0.99 a month make the archive available to anyone that would want to research it, or downloadable PDFs for $1 a pop, I'd pay it wouldn't you?
Newspapers are the worst offenders, especially for smaller towns.  Sure they are available on microfilm at the local library but come on, who has time to go to the local library and I know that there are websites that deal with newspapers as in newspapers.com but they charge such high prices and much of the time they only have articles not the entire newspaper intact.  I want to read it as though I were sitting down reading it brand new, not only the articles that someone at their company thought were important.
Well because of this I am making an effort to compile all of the recipes handed down to me from my husbands grandmother and my grandmother into a file that will eventually be available to everyone right here on this site.  There are some very good old recipes in there that I simply must share.
I think that I'm done ranting for the moment, thank you for listening.

Andrea

Monday

June 4, 1950 - My New Finds Part 2

Sorry for the abrupt ending to my last post but it was honestly taking forever to write and I wanted to get back to life at large, so here nearly a week later is part 2 of my letter on the new things that I have added to my home.
The picture on the left depicts my two new sewing books.  One is a practical guide to sewing by McCall's I got the both for a measly $0.45 ($3.00) I have two guides to sewing from the 40's but this one is from 58'.  The other book is a pattern book of all of the latest styles available for summer of 1958.  Although most of these styles are too close to the early sixties look for my taste I still like to know what will be fashionable in eight years.
The next picture is of an original TV guide from September 1953.  There is a little funny story about this TV guide.  Way back before I started this project I saw this TV guide at this antiques mall and I picked it up and carried it around with me for a while.  Eventually I decided not to get it and instead of walking it all the way to the other side of the store my hubby set it on the counter of another vendor and left it there.  This was honestly about two years ago.  Now I found it again mixed in with the books of the vendor who's counter we left it on with his sticker on it.  The best part was when I got it home the original sticker from the original vendor was still under the plastic inside the front cover so he didn't even take it out. 
It is a wonderful addition to my collection because it tells me exactly was shows were on and when and just what types of movies they showed at the time.  In all honestly I didn't even know that there were TV Guides back then, but after finding this I looked it up and this was the first year that it was available.
After that was something that I hope will come in handy this summer.  We are hopefully going to take a trip to Washington DC and see the Smithsonian and all of the wonderful sights of our nations capital and this will help along the way.  Maybe we will even see a few things we otherwise would not have seen.
The picture on the right is that of a baby book.  This child is simply too cute and in the  event that we do have children I will feel very privileged to write down all of their information in this book. 
It is filled with words of wisdom and care that got many a child through their early years.  Yes, I know that some of the advice has been dis-proven and in those cases I will not use it but it is still an interesting key to child rearing.
The last picture was something that I simply couldn't turn away from.  It is my new wallet.  At first I picked it up just because I thought that it was vintage looking.  I never for a moment thought that it could be authentically fifties.  It is made of plastic, what to me felt like vinyl.  But, what a surprise when I looked inside and saw the papers that looked much older than the eighties when is the era that I first had in mind.  Then I opened the picture folder flap and what do I see but a calendar from 1952/53.  It was wonderful!  I couldn't believe my eyes and for the price of $0.25 ($2.00) I just couldn't believe it.  There was a red one and a blue one.  I thought about buying the other and possibly reselling it for some extra pin money but it was against my better judgement.  There may be some other woman out there in my area that wants something this wonderful as badly as I did.  My only concern is for it being used as a child's toy.  I wish that didn't bother me as much as it does, I would just hate to see something that has gone unopened for literally 60 years fall into the hands of a child that will destroy it.
In the past week we have welcomed a new member to our little family.  We recently got a puppy named Harvey.  He is the sweetest little guy and my days have been spent trying to potty train the little fellow.  I can't wait until that part is over.  We have to get him to the vet as soon as possible so I will be calling for an appointment as soon as I can.  I will also share pictures soon.

Andrea