Sometimes a self-portrait captures youth in its beautiful stages. This is not one of them. I was 15 and messing around with my camera and tripod at home. The mesh trucker hat – now revered once more after years of being reviled – sings praises to the kind of muffler I had installed on my first car. The snap-up plaid shirt was well worn and – quite frankly – a bit small for me even then. If it weren’t for the sweet 70s lamp in the background, this scene could be mistaken for the swinging entry doors of a saloon. I didn’t know much about composition back then.
But I sure knew how to look like the guy who delivered your paper on a beat-up BMX bike!
Elgin County Ontario celebrated Dental Health Week starting April 23, 1977 – by launching a ginormous toothbrush into their fantastic wood paneling. The smiles, the haircuts, and the horn-rimmed glasses say it all: They’re using Ultra-Brite!
It’s not every day when I can look back on the Seattle I knew as a 13-year old boy.
I just happened across this video today, which is actually a 17-minute short depicting Seattle and its parks network in 1977. There are no spoken words, only an upbeat musical soundtrack. The cinematography is simple and pleasant, void of tricks or trendy angles that frequented many of the films from the period.
The storyline is also simple and pleasant.
After the sun rises over the landscape of Seattle, a quiet old man sits down on a park bench at the beginning of the movie. He shuffles his way through all the parks in the city. Street scenes, locations, and buildings familiar to Seattleites appear often – including the legendary Space Needle. Greenlake, in the north end of the city, is shown as a bustling recreational area with sunbathers, bicyclists, and runners (it’s still that way today). Freeway Park – which now stretches above and across the ribbon of Interstate 5 that runs through downtown Seattle – is shown in Phase One on the east side of the freeway only. Included are segments filmed along Alki Beach and Lincoln Park in West Seattle. There also appears to be some footage taken at Colman Playground, situated just south of Interstate 90 near its western terminus. The final pan-out takes viewers over Seattle’s skyline at sundown during the end of the film.
It’s a cute movie that is accompanied by a flute, a clarinet, and pianist Norman Durkee.
After doing some research on Durkee, I discovered that he was also responsible for the piano accompaniment on Bachmann-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business;” The band was recording their album in a Seattle studio when Durkee walked through one night (story HERE); without knowing the band (and without them knowing he was a musician), Durkee recommended that they lay down a honky-tonk piano track for TCB. They asked him to do the part, which he wrote out quickly on a pizza box and recorded in one take.
The most noteworthy things to me in the video are the skyline shots. The city looks exactly as I remember it from my youth – a bold mix of trees, concrete, and really huge cars. If I close my eyes, I can smell a 1977 Seattle summer – Warm air, dust, hot asphalt, and the exhaust from a 1973 Chevy Monte Carlo in traffic. While these elements may not seem alluring, combined they contribute to how I remember Seattle as a younger man and bring back a time for me which was simpler. This movie does great job of sharing my Seattle of the past.
Here’s an excerpt of the longer video shown above:
In the northlands of Europe, the Summer is long and bright. Many of us outside of the Old Country (I’m Scandinavian by ancestry) don’t think of the warm Summer days that Norway and Sweden possess; most of the time I think of the frigid cold and dark days of Winter – long and chill enough to create a Castle Of Ice which lasts long enough to be a hotel.
So when I caught these1953 fashion photos in Norwegian Government Archives, I was a bit surprised.
The purpose of these photos is unclear; they could have been for an ad campaign, since many of them use flash lighting in outside settings. But the angles are not as professional as I would expect for ad graphics. It is a mystery. What is clear from the pictures, however, is that the model was having a lot of fun. She plays with the camera, hams it up with her dog, and even makes watering the garden look like a glamorous endeavor. Her expressions are priceless, and strikingly similar to those of the modern entertainer Katy Perry.
The stunning Mrs. BelRedRoad tries on her Dad’s cap at home on Staten Island in the Fall of 1966. Jack was an Navy officer in the Public Health Service at the time, stationed in New York City. This photo was kept in his Mother’s photo album until she died, at which point her pictures were dispersed throughout at the family.
My wife had not see this photo for decades until it arrived in an envelope.
I have to admit that the 1961 version of a night out at the beach doesn’t look too bad!
Looks like they have a crock of beans, and roaring driftwood log, and plenty of hot dogs to make it through the evening. These and other classic 60s images or recipes can be found in the Betty Crocker Outdoor Cook Book:
It includes things like The Basics of Barbecuing, what kind of equipment to use, and recipes on all sorts of things to roast – from meat to vegetables. And frankly, the artwork is awesome:
Our copy was found at a roadside antique barn for a few bucks. I also see that eBay has copies for super cheap too.