1940s stuff · About me · Home · Obsessions · old time radio

Antique store finds!

Well, I went into Southport Antique Mall not expecting to find much and left two hours later with two new (but old) radios, a piece of Depression glass, and a vintage doily!

First, here’s my pink Depression glass ice bucket (sitting on the vintage doily).  I’ve seen a lot of Depression glass, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen an ice bucket.  It’s surprisingly heavy!

photo (13)Next, here is a Sonora brand radio, which I’ve discovered is from 1948.  I got it for a great price, considering it’s in really good condition!

photo (7)And finally, this is a Wards Airline radio.  This one is my new favorite radio. It’s gorgeous.  The problem is that I can’t identify what year it’s from.  These radios, sold by Montgomery Ward, were made by a company called Wells-Gardner.  This one is model number WG-193, and I can’t locate any information on it.  The closest I can find is model number WG-197, which came out in 1936.  So I’m guessing it’s from the 30s.

photo (8)So here are all four of my console-style radios.  (I also have a floor model radio that’s upstairs, but it’s not in good condition.)

photo (4)Also, due to starting my new website (details on that coming soon), I bought the cookbook below on eBay and it arrived today.  It’s a Mary Lee Taylor cookbook from 1941.  (And if you’ve never heard her, you need to look her up.  She read recipes over the air and repeated everything so the listener had time to write it all down!) She had a radio show for over 20 years and was sponsored by Pet Milk.

Anyway, that was my loot from the antique mall.  (I also bought a cute little Prada bag that I’m 99.5% sure is a knock-off, but I don’t care because it’s perfectly-sized!)

About me · Writing

Fanfiction and creamed dried beef

  • So I used to be a rather prolific fanfiction writer in the Puckleberry corner of the Glee fandom, and then I quit cold turkey and stopped watching the show.  Thanks to stupid Tumblr, some gifs popped up on my dash that threw my former Puckleberry-beating heart into a tailspin.  As a result, THIS happened….  Not exactly happy to be writing fanfic again but I’m VERY happy to actually have written something for once.  If it weren’t for the ongoing round-robin that I write with my dear friend, Lisa, I wouldn’t be writing squat these days!
  • I’m making and documenting my first WWII-era recipe this weekend to post on the website I’m working on!  What will my first dish be?  Creamed Dried Beef on Baked Potatoes.  My husband thinks it sounds disgusting but I think it sounds great, and I even get to use the Pet Milk I bought!  Anyway, going to spend some of my weekend on that site, so stay tuned!
1940s stuff

New project!!!

So I’m developing a website and I’m super-excited about it!  It’s going to be dedicated to the WWII homefront and all that it entailed.  The site will heavily feature recreation of the recipes from that period.  I have tons of recipes from the period, thanks to cookbooks and radio shows and other items in my collection.  My plan is to feature one each week, complete with showing the ingredients, preparation, and the finished product right from my own kitchen. (My husband is already screwing up his face in disgust at some of the recipes I plan on making (which he has to eat or he’ll go hungry!))  It’s a great way to explore the flavors of the period, as well as how recipes were modified due to rationing.  I wanted a specific web address and had to buy it at a GoDaddy auction, but once it’s released to me next week, I’ll probably be ready to go live with the first little bit of it.  Anyway, I’m really stoked and I’ll post the link, as well as more information, once it’s ready to go!

1940s stuff · About me

A sucker for vintage advertising

I have a problem.

I ordered an entire case of Pet Evaporated Milk.  12 12-oz. cans.  None of why I have an actual need for.
Why did I do this?
I blame Fibber McGee & Molly.

 

 

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Sometimes, I go to Dollar General Store to buy over-the-counter medicine.  Rexall brand to be exact.
Why do I do this?
I blame The Phil Harris – Alice Faye Show.

I ordered an 18-count pack of Lux soap.
Why did I do this?
I blame Lux Radio Theater.

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You see, I am highly susceptible to 1940s & 1950s radio advertising.  Modern advertising doesn’t get me so much (save the Apple computer ads in 2003 with Verne Troyer and Yao Ming that suckered me into getting my first Mac.)  It makes me giddy that I can still get the same products that were advertised 70+ years ago.  Through the 1940s, the sponsor of Fibber McGee & Molly was Johnson’s Wax.  In the early 50s (1952 to be exact), Pet Milk took over as the sponsor.  I’ve been listening to the 1950s episodes of FM&M on my way home from work lately and their slogan for Pet Milk – “sweet, country milk condensed to double-richness” – just resonates with me for some stupid reason.  Like, so much that I searched for Pet Milk and was first dismayed that I couldn’t buy it locally and then overjoyed when I found out I could order it from the Smuckers website.  I did the same thing for Lux soap because I’m a huge fan of Lux Radio Theater, which aired from 1934 to 1955, and imagine my frustration to find out that it’s neither made nor sold in the US anymore.  I ended up ordering it from Amazon, but it was made in Egypt!  Both the Pet Milk and the Lux soap came today, which was my biggest bright spot during an otherwise cruddy afternoon.

So anyway, beginning tomorrow, I’m going to use Lux soap when I shower (it smells divine!) and add Pet Milk to my coffee because, after all, it’s condensed to double-richness!!!

The novel · Writing

A little s-e-x… or a lot?

Can we talk about sex, please?  Well, not the act of it, per se, but attitudes toward it in the past versus the present.  I think a lot of people are inclined to believe that in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and right up to the start of the sexual revolution in the 60s, premarital sex just didn’t happen.  And if it did, there was an intense level of shame that rode piggy-back on the person who’d had the sex.  For example, my dad was born in May of 1945, after his parents had been married only seven months.  Later in life, when he questioned their wedding date as compared to his date of birth, he was told that he had been a premature baby.  Pictures of my dad as an infant show a robust, downright roly-poly, healthy baby.  Dad always joked that had he been carried to term, he would have been an 18 pound newborn.  It’s obvious that my grandparents engaged in a little pre-wedding hanky-panky but even when my dad was 50 years old, they still couldn’t tell him the truth.  So it seems that sex, while obviously a part of life, wasn’t an open part of life.

Fast forward to today, where attitudes toward sex are blase.  Television, music, movies, books – everything is designed with sex in mind.  As a result, kids are growing up way too fast and with more knowledge than they need at a young age.  The reason I’m even talking about this is because the novel I’m working on takes place during the 40s, where sex, as a point of conversation, wasn’t treated the same way it is today.  It’s a topic that also has to be addressed because the actual act of it is apparently becoming pivotal to my story.  (The reason I say “apparently” is because the novel I had planned is not the story that’s coming to fruition.  The characters have other ideas and they’re letting me know, one detail at a time.)  The thing I have to remember when writing is that, while sex certainly happened – think of all the soldier boys leaving home for God only knows how long and that whole “last night on earth” mentality that must have been present – my characters wouldn’t have openly talked about it like characters would in a novel that takes place in modern day.  The thing is that today, sex sells.  Even badly-written, questionable sex sells. (I’m thinking of a certain terribly written fanfiction story-turned-novel that involves the “hero” (and I use that term under great duress) yanking a tampon from the body of his heroine so that he can bang her for the 14th time that day.)  Since sexually charged stories are so popular, the more the better, right?  I have think about those things when writing this novel.  Sex is pivotal to the story line, yes.  It’s a catalyst for so much of what comes later.  And even though I know that graphic details and titillating descriptions are what attracts an audience, my biggest challenge is staying true to the era.  A conversation that would easily happen between girlfriends today almost certainly wouldn’t have happened in 1941.  There wouldn’t have been any “OMG we totally did it” moments to share between squealing girlfriends.  Any conversation would have been had in hushed tones with one eye toward the door.

So I guess the question I’m posing to myself is how much sex is too much sex?  Where do I draw the line between keeping a modern audience happy and telling an authentic story?  I love writing sex just as much as the next gal, but I have to find my limits with these particular characters, because I don’t want to turn my readers off when attempting to turn them on.