Lovely Goldenrod Gets a Bad Rap

Of all the wildflowers of fall, goldenrod gets my vote as one of the loveliest. After all it was chosen as the brand symbol for Goldenrod tablets. (As the writer in the linked post notes, it’s difficult to find information on these tablets used by many children throughout the twentieth-century. – I learned of them from my parents, and I have seen one personally.)

In later years, when, for whatever reason, allergies became an epidemic, sufferers steered clear of goldenrod, considering it a trigger for symptoms.

Modern day research proved ragweed, a plant that blooms during the same season as goldenrod was the real culprit.

Here’s a guide for telling them apart from Clemson Cooperative Extension Home and Garden Information Center.

This Cool Vintage Custom Rat Rod Made My Morning

When I pulled into the post office parking lot, one Friday morning this past spring, this cool truck was right behind me. The care that went into its customization was evident, though some may call it a rust bucket.

I love the individuality expressed by its owner, who was quiet polite, holding the door for me in a debonair manner, his appearance resembling the truck.

Memorable Movie Review of A Hole in the Head

This 1959 flick, A Hole in the Head, starring Frank Sinatra and Edward G Robinson is a fun, sometimes comic, sometimes heart wrenching story of a father, played by Frankie and his son Ally.

Set in Miami, at The Garden of Eden Hotel, in the city’s heyday as a vacation paradise, the film is a great two hour escape.

Ally is the more mature of the father and son pair, though he’s only a young boy. Frankie has big plans to get ahead, but at the moment is broke, (not poor, there’s a difference, he declares).

Frankie’s character’s brother, played by Edward G. Robinson decides to loan him the money he needs, but only if he agrees to an arranged marriage.

When Frank’s character declines to wed, though he’s obviously grown fond of the lady, Edward’s character and his wife plan to take Ally home to New York to be raised in a more responsible manner.

Ally is having none of it. He loves his father too much. The surprise ending, after a bit of worry about the outcome from those who care about the characters, (which is likely the majority of the film’s viewers), is classic Frank Capra.

 

Enjoying an E. B. White Essay Beneath an Apple Tree

Nothing says New England like the soft glow of apples, shining in the sun, the fascinating texture of tree trunks and branches, the spell that infuses the understory of an orchard. I’m missing my jaunts to the Northeast, but reading the works of authors whose words capture the classic spirit of the area sustain me.

Several years ago I received a book of E. B. White essays as a gift at Christmas. I haven’t had a chance to read them all, but it is fun to save them as a treat on days when I’m feeling down.

Although the essay I read on a recent afternoon was a lament for the disappearance of sleeper cars and passenger trains, it was heartening to hear the author’s echo from the past, of a mode of transportation I knew still existed, but I never experienced, in my early years. It sparked thoughts of things passed, that I myself mourn today.

Simple things, like neatly packed grocery bags pushed to our cars by polite bag boys or girls, people who pumped our gas and performed on-the-fly fixes; telephone operators who would assist us for free, no matter what type of problem we were experiencing.

Dial telephones without answering machines could actually be more efficient than smartphones. When I was a kid, we all felt secure in the fact someone would help us if we suffered a serious problem, without a long wait, though we weren’t connected 24/7.

Now we supposedly have unlimited access for our every need or desire, if we have a smartphone, but we must push buttons and wait for many minutes before we can reach a human voice. Everything is about company profits, not convenience as marketing propaganda would have us believe.

If E. B. White were alive today, he would certainly have material for essays memorializing conveniences that have been lost due to the need for company profits, as was the difficulty with passenger railways in less populated areas, once interstate highways were created.

What? No Prize? Sadly, Red Rose Tea Has Modernized

What a disappointment when I opened the box. The little white ceramic prize we used to find wasn’t there. At first I thought they just missed this box, but there wasn’t the usual notice on the top, letting shoppers know this great, tasty, basic black tea also offered a bonus gift.

Apparently some accountant decided the company needed the small amount of money it cost to give customers a bright spot in an otherwise mundane day was too costly to the company.

Like so many other little perks that gave me an inexpensive pick me up, I’ll have to adjust, it seems to the disappearance of the Red Rose prize.

Forest Sourced Carpeting Anyone?

I’ve always loved moss, since the days when I played under the majestic maple trees in front of our huge white farmhouse.

I built fairy abodes and residences for my Barbie dolls amid the crevices at the bases of the massive trunks. The apartments for these creatures formed by myth or Mattel, came with plush wall to wall carpeting of beautiful green moss.

Not a fan of shag rugs, into which crumbs pass, never to be seen again, though we know they are there, or really carpeting of any variety, I might change my mind if I could bring moss inside.

Petite Petals of Lovely Lobelia

Lobelia always reminds me of calico printed, 100% cotton dresses; summer afternoons spent watching my grandmother can tomatoes. There’s no cooler, more comfortable fabric on a hot summer day than pure, soft cotton. Yet, today, lightweight cotton blouses and dresses aren’t always easy to find.

Lobelia is a plant I discovered through a friend. Now I can’t live without at least one every summer; for the memories it triggers of fabrics and friends, and its own special beauty.

What the Heck are Antique Pockets?

 

Can’t believe I’ve never heard of them. Learned of this fairly common item used by our multi-great grandmothers through Thread on Arrival, A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery by Lea Wait.

Apparently in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, women and girls didn’t have pockets sewn into their skirts. Rather, an invisible slit was sewn into the skirts, camouflaged behind a pleat.

The ladies could reach a hand through the slit to access items stored in a pouch tied around their waist with a thin strip of fabric. Some of the pouches had drawstring tops, some were embroidered.

Women who were less well-off generally had plain pockets which were lost over time. Some of the embroidered ones owned by wealthier women remain, and are cherished, collectible antiques.

A Safer Way to Hold Car Shows During Covid-19

This impromptu moving car show was a heartening sight, since so many public events have been forced to cancel this summer.

Fans line the streets in family groups for a moving display of vintage vehicles. There were likely showier models than these, but my favorite vehicles were these green ones, my favorite color, in very cool styles.

Vintage GE TV in it’s Own Console

A friend who’s made his career the sales, care, and repair of television sets says this thrift shop find from a while back was likely manufactured in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

Didn’t check to see if it still works, but it’s a great piece of history.

They don’t make ’em like this these days. Quality and workmanship have gone by the wayside. Today’s TVs are barely as thick as a piece of paper. Not to my taste. To me TVs should always be furniture pieces.

Growing up, we displayed photos and plastic floral bouquets on the expansive top of the television. At Christmas Mom and I arranged a display of deer and other creatures within a forest, complete with cotton ball snow.

Sure, the TV’s energy attracted dust, but back then there was more time. It was rather rewarding to move each individual display piece, and swipe a damp cloth across it.

(The shows were better back then too. Except for a few selections, screenplay craftsmanship has gone down the tube over the past few decades.)