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January 2017
Sam's Side

Reflections of My Neighborhood

My cars were generally measured in miles per breakdown instead of miles per gallon. They were kept on the road mainly through the “Let’s fix it with rope and duct tape” abilities of my father, and sheer will power from me. But my girlfriend didn’t seem to mind these rolling death traps.

Just Sayin’

Apron Strings and Jimmy Choo Shoes….

So, off went little Mimi in her Jimmy Choo wedges wearing her handmade apron through the shops near our homes with not a worry in the world.  Proper was out the window.

Magnificent were the shoes, precious was the apron, beautiful was the birthday girl who abandoned all that was normal for her, to joyously celebrate friendship.

Leslie Goes Boom

The Good Old Days Where Things Change and Things Stay the Same

We had big hair, big speakers for our stereos, big platform shoes, and big dreams. We had tiny transistor radios, tiny TV screens, and a tiny choice of channels to surf.

Silver Screen, Golden Years

Victor Jory – Movie Villain, Stage Charmer

In a 1977 article, Jory recalled, “I could get $7.50 a week fighting…Then I could run over to the theater and do my walk-on and get another $1.50 a night.” The boxing matches started at 7:30 in the evening, and the theater curtain rose at 8:30. It was a tight squeeze between ring time and curtain time.

December 2016
Silver Screen, Golden Years

The Shop Around the Corner

Made in 1940, as World War II stripped away the independence and the lives of many, many Europeans, we may well guess that this is Mr. Lubitsch's tribute, and perhaps farewell, to a more peaceful era in Europe. There is in this movie something decidedly nostalgic, something Habsburgian about this setting.


Christmas at Grandma's House

Bundled in warm coats, swathed in colorful wool scarves, and with our woolen leggings tucked in heavy boots, we almost forgot our warm mittens. We climbed snow mountains, launched snowballs and laughed and played; we forgot about helping to feed the animals, but our uncle knew and relived our fascination with the pure crystalline world that engulfed us.

Amazing Peak Experiences

What’s That You’re Wearing?

One of my first fashion influences was “glam” back in the 1970s. This dress was theatrical with sci-fi jumpsuits, platform boots, and metallic fabrics. This fashion overload of the 1970s morphed into the David Bowie and Lady Gaga look. Glam both influenced, and was influenced by the disco and punk movements.

Agelessly Yours

Four-Cent Toys and Other Joys

The only one with the true Christmas spirit was our sweet little Beth, a mere “baby” at three years old. From underneath the blanket that had swaddled us from the cold, she held out in her chubby little hand, her once-hot hard boiled egg, one of five that Mom had given each one of us to keep our hands warm. “Here Santa, for you.”

November 2016
Phase Three

Giving Thanks for Past and Present

"Do you know," he asked rhetorically, "they had to take some songs out of the jukebox? They took out ‘I'll Be Home for Christmas.’ Some guys would have a few too many beers, hear the song and end up going AWOL."

Musings of an Undefeated Matriarch

A Well-Stacked Woodpile

Magazines abound with stories and pictures from the past, lending a romantic nostalgia to a bygone era. Those of us who lived in that era must scratch our head and wonder how we missed all the beauty of growing up in the old days. When I turn the pages of modern magazines, I see cozy rooms decorated with lots of familiar antiques, but I’ve yet to see a functioning water pump in the kitchen or the upstairs commode.

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