San Francisco, California in 1970 watching the cable car inch its way up.
Oh to be here
Summer into fall and the new year about to begin. Funny. Decades living where the year starts in January but growing up in Boston with so many schools everyone starts over in September even if you are 103.
Fun back then and wanting to stay forever but a handsome young man living around the corner who went to West Point and ending up traveling the globe one army base at a time. Children that pick up new languages at the drop of a hat with mothers who only know the words for “gin and tonic” and “Where is the dress shop, please?”
All of that fun with dolls and other fun things sent back to relatives who never travel further than their feet will take them but still . . . .fun it was back at school . . .four years all in the same place and a college bookstore that never moved the hand lotion instead of a new PX and having to dig things out like a dog digging in the sand . . . Christmas and being an elf in red tights with a green tunic and a headdress with tinkling bells . . . a vision it was and a treasure forever. . .
Georgia State Women’s College (now Valdosta State University), Valdosta, Georgia. Page 19 from the Georgia State Womans College 25 Year Anniversary Bulletin, 1913-1938. PDF Link here https://buff.ly/3wEWdhv Screenshot from a PDF of it. I found the link at Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections on Facebook. What is now Valdosta State University was called Georgia State Woman’s College from 1922 to 1950.
Jugendstil decor. Make your parlor look like Kaiser Wilhelm is stopping by for brunch. From Richard Leonhardt’s “Dekorative farbige Ornamente”. Published in 1907. Collections of the State Library in Berlin.
Botanical watercolors of flowers, plants and fruits. Dutch. ca. 1730-1760. Attributed to the Dutch botanical artist Pieter van Loo. Found on the website of Bernard Quaritch Ltd. They are in London but I found out about them at the antiquarian book fair here last fall.
These volumes were in the library of Jérôme-Frédéric Bignon (1747–1784), who succeeded his father as royal librarian to Louis XV in 1770.
Watercolors of interior spaces by American illustrator Jeremiah Goodman. Living from 1922 to 2017, he he worked as an illustrator for Lord and Taylor, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, along with creating the monthly covers of Interior Design Magazine.
Design folio/album of Gibitz Mariska of which little is known except that the experts at White Fox Rare Books whose website this is taken from can pinpoint the origin of this album to Hungary and Budapest because the paper was made by a Budapest firm. ca. 1890-1910.
Imagery, watercolors from a set of four Art Deco fashion sketchbooks kept by “Ernest”. 1915-1930 ish. No further information available but lots of fun.
An envisioning. . . Late afternoon with dusk closing in somewhere on the outskirts of Columbia. . .
Oh to be here.
A forever home and a husband to help take the grandbabies for ice cream cones every day after supper when they come to visit. A lunch of whatever one wants as long as you remember to check the icebox before you make your list.
Smiles all around and the same pew at church with the same child holding the incense boat. Not the same child but not like Christmas with a new child in each place.
Better it is but only sort of. The train into the city to shop every few months and the big city station with a place to get tea with chairs with caned bottoms and ice cream with chocolate sauce in dishes.
Knees that ache in the rain and ears that don’t hear so well but a memory in flood. A lounge for ladies to sit with their babies with a long-ago vision of a mother sitting up all night waiting for the early morning express, a child at either end of the bench, and two more towards the middle kept warm with their coats.
Wanting to leap on the next train when the man calls the stations. The express to New Orleans or maybe Los Angeles or Chicago. None of that mattering except for the train part. A married lady name now but little Flossie Shepard back then telling stories behind the limelights and banging on the drum with every sister on her violin with Burtie blowing away on his tuba. Mother and father smiling after in the dressing room. The next train to the next place and a hop, skip and jump to another contract touring on the vaudeville circuit.
Elmira, Charleston, Baton Rouge, and tiny places that blur with the hotel up over the restaurant and an opera house up over the Masonic Hall. Big places with four opera houses and elevator hotels with bellboys.
No vaudeville anymore and everyone gone. But something to remember forever and that every time a freight train whistles along its track. . .
Originally from Lawrenceville, New York, the Shepard Family Band toured throughout the Northeast in the 1880s and 1890s, eventually settling in South Royalton, Vermont. All members of the family were apparently musically inclined: “In addition to Minnie (mother and matriarch Mary “Minnie” Shepard), and her husband, patriarch James Monroe Shepard, all of the children were pressed into service. Daughter Laura Belle, the ‘violiniste,’ was getting better all the time, under the instruction of a ‘competent master.’ (Her fans “will be astonished at the improvement in style, tone and expression.”) It was said of little Lessie that, ‘Among lady cornetists she has no equal.’ The darling little son of the family, Master Burtie, could not help but please, for he was well-known to be, ‘The youngest Tuba soloist in the world; only nine years of age; scarcely larger than the instrument he plays.’ He was also a ‘clever comedian, singer and character artist.” The baby, little Flossie, “a sweet little miss of four summers,’ was said to be a “wonderful mimic and impersonator…a veritable little fairy.’ Daughters Kittie and Georgia were also part of the troupe.” Henry Sheldon Museum.
“Living Jewelry” tableaux, Scala Theatre, Berlin, 1920s. All of these taken from a post by Charles Lieurance @insearchofpaganhollywood on Instagram.
I am not sure where the Instagram account holder cited here found these but they are part of 1920s Berlin cabaret culture for sure.