KCEN-TV (Temple/Waco, TX)

Film at 11: A Gallery of Vintage TV News Program Ads

Sometimes I know that a post I’m putting together is destined to get 20 views if I’m lucky. But I have to follow my muse wherever she may lead me, and today she leads me to TV newsrooms across the country.

I can’t say exactly why, but I find these old advertisements for network TV news programs to be just so… quaint? Charming? I don’t quite know how to put it. I just love how much these ads convey what it must have been like to watch the news back in the day — not slick in the least. Just a bunch of square white men (and sometimes white women) reading the day’s events.

And now the news of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s…

WOKR (Rochester, NY), 1969

WOKR (Rochester, NY), 1969

WCAX (Burlington, VT), 1973

WCAX (Burlington, VT), 1973

KGO-TV (San Francisco, CA), 1971

KGO-TV (San Francisco, CA), 1971

WKTV (Utica/Rome, NY), 1973

WKTV (Utica/Rome, NY), 1973

WCTV (Thomasville/Tallahassee, FL), 1975

WCTV (Thomasville/Tallahassee, FL), 1975


WMAL-TV (Washington, D.C.), 1975

WMAL (Washington, D.C.), 1975

WTVM-TV (Columbus, GA), 1975

WTVM (Columbus, GA), 1975

WTVO-TV (Rockford, IL), 1959

WTVO (Rockford, IL), 1959

WTEN-TV (Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY)

WTEN (Albany/Schenectady/Troy, NY), 1960

WPRO-TV (Providence, RI)

WPRO (Providence, RI), 1962

WTHI-TV (Terra Haute, IN)

WTHI (Terra Haute, IN), 1963

KCEN-TV (Temple/Waco, TX)

KCEN (Temple/Waco, TX), 1964

KCRG-TV (Cedar Rapids, IA)

KCRG (Cedar Rapids, IA), 1966

WECT-TV (Wilmington, NC), 1967

WECT (Wilmington, NC), 1967

WFMY-TV (Greensboro, NC), 1967

WFMY (Greensboro, NC), 1967

WITN-TV (Eastern Carolina), 1967

WITN (Eastern Carolina), 1967

KCAU-TV (Sioux City, IA)

KCAU (Sioux City, IA), 1969

KELOland (Sioux Falls, SD), 1969

KELO (Sioux Falls, SD), 1969

WCHS-TV (Charleston/Huntington, WV)

WCHS (Charleston/Huntington, WV), 1969

WDEF-TV (Chattanooga, TN), 1969

WDEF (Chattanooga, TN), 1969

1973-74 United States Oil Shortage Crisis

Photo Gallery: 1973-74 United States Oil Shortage Crisis, Vol. 1

Ask anyone who was of driving age in the United States during the 1970s, and they likely remember well the two major oil shortage crises the country faced. The first oil shortage crisis, which lasted from October 1973 until March 1974, was set off when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia), proclaimed an oil embargo. This was reportedly in response to the U.S. supplying Israel with arms following the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

On October 16, 1973, OPEC announced a decision to raise the posted price of oil by 70%, to $5.11 a barrel. In the United States, the retail price of a gallon of gasoline rose from a national average of 38.5 cents in May 1973 to 55.1 cents in June 1974. President Richard M. Nixon requested gasoline stations to voluntarily not sell gasoline on Saturday nights or Sundays — 90% of owners complied, which resulted in the now-infamous gas lines on weekdays.

The following photo gallery captures scenes from the crisis. Color photos are courtesy the U.S. National Archive’s Documerica project; black and white press wire photos were scoured from the internet by me.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Happy Motoring – Seattle, WA, 2/16/74

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Portland, Oregon gas line, December 1973.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Lines of cars waited for gasoline today at a station at Mercer Street and Westlake Avenue North. – Seattle, WA, 2/12/74.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

On this day in February 1974, only cars with license plates ending in an even number could get gas. Portland, OR.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Gasoline rationing coupon, December 1973.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Portland Texaco station sign warning of reduced gas and station hours, June 1973.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

A New Jersey man fills his car with gas from his own backyard pump, 3/2/74.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Portland Chevron attendants on the day before the requested Saturday closures, 11/73.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

A motorist waiting for gas shook his fist as another motorist sneaked in line ahead of him in Chicago yesterday. 2/10/74.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

A businessman hitch-hikes in Beaverton, OR due to the gas shortage, 12/73.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Despite using a limousine as a screen and ducking low while service a regular customer yesterday, a New York City service-station operator soon was noticed by motorists, who then formed long lines waiting for gasoline. 1/1974.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

An “Out of Gas” sign affixed to a parked car outside a Shell service station, 12/1973.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

A Chevron station at 18131 Bothell Way N.E. was forced to limit its sales to 10 gallons a customer. 7/8/73.

1973-74 United States Oil Crisis

Father and son show a sign and a gun warning potential gas thieves away. 4/1974.

1960 Republican National Convention

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 9 — Republican National Conventions

As the GOP prepares to party in Tampa and nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to take on Barack Obama this November, I thought I’d take a look at Republican National Conventions gone by. Here’s a selection of vintage photographs from GOP pow-wows starting with 1908 and ending with 1976.

1908 — Chicago (William Howard Taft)

Republican National Convention, Coliseum, Chicago, June 16, 1908

Republican National Convention, Coliseum, Chicago, June 16, 1908

1912 — Chicago (William Howard Taft)

California Suffragettes - Isabella Blaney, Mary Willmarth, and Jane Addams

California Suffragettes – Isabella Blaney, Mary Willmarth, and Jane Addams

1916 – Chicago (Charles Evans Hughes)

1916 Republican National Convention, Chicago

1916 Republican National Convention, Chicago

1920 — Chicago (Warren G. Harding)

Republican National Convention, 1920

Republican National Convention, 1920

1936 — Cleveland (Alf Landon)

1936 Republican National Convention - Alf Landon Supporters

1936 Republican National Convention – Alf Landon Supporters

1940 — Philadelphia (Wendell Willkie)

1940 Republican National Convention

1940 Republican National Convention

1944 — Chicago (Thomas E. Dewey)

1944 Republican National Convention

1944 Republican National Convention – Thomas E. Dewey Supporters

1948 — Philadelphia (Thomas E. Dewey)

National Councilman John E. Jackson attending the Republican Convention.

National Councilman John E. Jackson attending the Republican Convention, Philadelphia, PA.

1952 — Chicago (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Attendees at the 1952 Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois

Attendees at the 1952 Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois

1956 — San Francisco (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Attendees at the 1956 Republican National Convention, San Francisco, California

Attendees at the 1956 Republican National Convention, San Francisco, California

1960 — Chicago (Richard M. Nixon)

1960 Republican National Convention

1960 Republican National Convention – Scene after Nixon wins the nomination.

1964 — San Francisco (Barry Goldwater)

Supporters of Barry Goldwater waving signs at 1964 Republican National Convention.

Supporters of Barry Goldwater waving signs at 1964 Republican National Convention, San Francisco.

1968 — Miami Beach

1968 Republican National Convention

NBC News correspondent John Chancellor interviewing California Governor Ronald Reagan.

1972 — Miami Beach

1972 Republican National Convention

(L-R) Sammy Davis Jr., David and Julie Eisenhower, Tricia and Ed Cox attending the 1972 Republican National Convention.

1976 — Kansas City (Gerald Ford)

President Gerald Ford's supporters at the Republican National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri

President Gerald Ford’s supporters at the Republican National Convention, Kansas City, Missouri

The 1930s and 1940s in Living Color, Part 3

It’s been just over a year since the last installment of cool color photographs from the Library of Congress’s Flickr page, so let’s get a gander at some more! These photos were all taken between 1939 and 1944 by the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI).  Just click on a photo to see a larger version.

(Part 1 can be seen here, Part 2 is here.)

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17 bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the "Flying Fortress," the B-17F is a later model of the B-17, which distinguished itself i

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17 bomber, October 1942.

Not only is this a cool photo for its historical value, it’s just a skillfully executed shot all around. The Boeing B-17 was widely used in bombing raids over Germany in World War II and became known as the “Flying Fortress.” (Alfred T. Palmer, photographer)


Freight Depot of the U.S. Army consolidating station, Chicago, Ill. (LOC)

Freight Depot of the U.S. Army consolidating station, Chicago, Illinois. April 1943.

I find it interesting that the trucks are much more colorful than the cars. I would’ve figured all that drab green paint was rationed for the War effort.   (Jack Delano, photographer)


Washing one of the Santa Fe R.R. 54 hundred horse power diesel freight locomotives in the roundhouse, Argentine, Kansas. Argentine yard is at Kansas City, Kansas (LOC)

Washing one of the Santa Fe R.R. 54 hundred horse power diesel freight locomotives in the roundhouse, Argentine, Kansas. March 1943.

I’ve never been much of a train guy, but if I was this picture would definitely do it for me. (Jack Delano, photographer)


[Car in front of Shulman's Market on N at Union St. S.W., Washington, D.C. (LOC)

Car in front of Shulman’s Market on N at Union St. S.W., Washington, D.C. Circa 1941/42.

“Why yes, we do have Prince Albert in a can. Why do you ask?” (Louise Rosskam, photographer)


School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico (LOC)

School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico. October 1940.

It’s heartening to know that omnipresent corporate sponsorship is not just a recent phenomenon. Notice the lack of footwear on some of the kids. Likely a residual effect of the Great Depression. (Russell Lee, photographer)

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Halloween (1978) West German movie poster

Retrotisements: Halloween (1978) U.S. and Foreign Movie Posters

Halloween (1978) title screen

This piece originally ran in October 2008. I’ve republished it because, really, this should run annually. But to show I’m not just being lazy, I’ve added posters from Denmark and Italy below!

October 25 marks a momentous day in horror history — the 30th anniversary of the release of John Carpenter’s slasher classic Halloween.  While it certainly wasn’t the first horror film on the block, it is one of the best and most influential. I and many other fans of classic horror consider it to be part of the holy trinity of the genre, alongside Friday the 13th (1980) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

In retrospect, it seems like such a simple concept that it’s hard to believe it hadn’t been fully explored before. A psychopath is on the loose in the streets of a quiet, suburban town (Haddonfield, Illinois) and strikes during the most sinister day of the year… Tax Day! No, actually it’s Halloween.

Director and co-writer Carpenter took a $325,000 budget and spun a cinematic tale that relied as much on an atmosphere of dread and anticipation as on outright violence (and even that violence is tame compared to today’s standards). Contributing to this atmosphere was Carpenter’s iconic score, played pretty much entirely on piano and synthesizer.

After a slow start at the box office, Halloween picked up steam and eventually grossed about $55 million worldwide, catapulting Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis into the big time. The film and its numerous sequels also gave the inimitable Donald Pleasence steady work for the ensuing 15 or 16 years until his death. The original film was re-imagined by Rob Zombie in 2007, but I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about the marketing campaign for the ’78 classic.

Those familiar with the movie probably recognize this image — it’s the main promotional poster used in the U.S., and was designed by Bob Gleason (who went on to create the artwork for Halloween II and III.)

United States

Halloween (1978) American movie poster

Pretty effective if you ask me, even with the rather prominent veins on the back of the hand. Is that some kind of common trait with serial killers?

West Germany

Halloween (1978) West German movie poster

Ah! Germans!

Seriously, leave it to our Teutonic friends to take a scary concept and make it even weirder. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be a jack o’ lantern or that weird mask thing from Super Mario Bros. 3.  Anyway, the subtitles translate to “The Night of Horrors” and “The night he came home.” The knife is downsized from the American version and looks more like a switchblade here.


Halloween (1978) French movie poster

Here’s the French poster, in case you couldn’t tell. Pretty much a straight lift from the American, other than the translation of the title to La Nuit des Masques, or The Night of Masks. Ooh la la!


Halloween (1978) foreign movie poster - Belgium

The Belgian poster is pretty much the same as the French one with the addition of the subtitle, which translates roughly as “The Night of the Creeps.”


Halloween (1978) foreign movie poster - Japan

Forget what I said about that West German poster — the Japanese trump them for sheer weirdness. Witness Michael Myers, who appears to have traded in his trademark William Shatner mask for a Dr. Zaius model. Or maybe it’s supposed to be a simian Mr. Roboto motif.


Halloween (1978) movie poster - Sweden

Boy, the Swedes don’t mess around to they? Instead of going the typical horror movie poster route of showing a frightened teen, they slap on a picture of Lynda (P.J. Soles) post-murder. And we get the return of the super vein-bulge hand from the American poster.

Spanish language

Halloween (1978) Spanish-language movie poster - "La Noche de Halloween"

“‘Cause he’s once…twice…three times a killer… “

Ah, the good old cut ‘n’ paste technique finally makes an appearance, courtesy of this Spanish-language poster for La Noche de Halloween (The Night of Halloween). Jamie Lee Curtis is understandably mortified at the clumsiness of this design.

Great Britain/Australia

Halloween (1978) Australian movie poster

This British/Australian entry takes the lazy way out and simply uses a frame from the movie. But they do add an original touch with the “The trick is to stay alive” and “Everyone is entitled to one good scare” taglines. Struth!

Halloween (1978) Australian movie poster

I’m pretty certain this one is also British/Australian, as it has the same tagline as the previous poster. Then again it does share a font with the Spanish-language one above, so it’s not entirely clear. Again, we get a scene from the movie, but taken out of context it looks for all the world like Michael Myers has the ability to project some sort of killer light beam from his hands.


Halloween (1978) foreign movie poster - Yugoslavia

And here we have another take on the killer light beam motif. This one seems a little more artful than the Australian take above, although it leaves you with even less of an idea of what the film’s about. I do like that jagged film title font.


Halloween (1978) movie poster - Denmark
I like this one. It has a decidedly ’70s feel, in terms of the quality of the illustration. Really makes Halloween seem more tied to that decade than we think of it now.


Halloween (1978) movie poster (Italy) - La Notte Delle Streghe
Nothing special here, but it’s accurate at least.

Anyway, for the last entry let’s enter the realm of moving pictures and check out the original 1978 movie trailer (or at least until the YouTube Censorship Squad kills the link):

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The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes in World History

In spite of all our technological advancements and so-called human ingenuity, we are ever at Mother Nature’s mercy. 2011’s deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri — just one of many to strike the American Midwest that weekend — is a stark reminder of that fact. In total, more than 1,000 tornadoes touched down in the U.S. in April 2011 — the most active month on record.

But while the U.S. is home to the most tornadoes on a yearly basis, advances in research and early detection have helped reduce the number of fatalities from twisters. As a result, the list of the 20 deadliest tornadoes (or tornado outbreaks) ever contains just five from the United States. Here are the full top ten. Some of these totals are estimates of course, owing to time or lack of properly published information.

#1: Daulatpur-Saturia, Bangladesh (April 26, 1989)

Wreckage from the Daulatpur-Saturia, Bangladesh Tornado

Wreckage from the Daulatpur-Saturia, Bangladesh Tornado

An estimated 1,300 people died from this tornado, which was a mile wide and cut a swath of destruction 50 miles long. The injuries were estimated to be around 12,000. Due to poor housing and construction standards, the tornado completely destroyed virtually every structure it touched. The death toll from this twister is nearly twice as high as the second-deadliest on this list.

#2: Madarganj to Mrizapur, Bangladesh (May 15, 1996)

Around 700 people perished and 30,000 homes were destroyed. Many of the victims were blown long distances — up to 0.9 miles — and found hanging in trees. In addition, softball-sized hail pounded the area.

#3: The Tri-State Tornado (March 18, 1925)

The Tri-State Tornado

The Tri-State Tornado

This is the most infamous tornado to hit the United States in the last century. The continuous 219-mile track it left was the longest ever recorded in the world.

Over three-and-a-half hours, the tornado traveled from southeastern Missouri, through Southern Illinois, then into southwestern Indiana. When it was over, 695 people were dead.

The twister was part of a larger outbreak that day that killed nearly 750 throughout Kansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana.

#4: Manikganj, Singair and Nawabganj, Bangladesh (April 17, 1973)

Two cyclones joined to form one deadly tornado. Multiple villages were completely flattened, and 681 lost their lives (the unofficial death toll topped 1,000).

#5: Northeast suburbs of Dhaka, Bangladesh (April 14, 1969)

Two (or possible three) tornadoes struck and killed 600 people on this day. According to a government official upon his visit to the scene, “I saw what no amount of words could aptly describe. Damage was colossal. Tragedy was harrowing.”

#6: The Valletta Tornado (September 23, 1551 or 1556)

The deadliest cyclone of this age touched down as a waterspout in the Grand Harbour of Malta. Before making landfall it destroyed an entire armada of ships that was docked and waiting to sail into battle. At least 600 died.

Artist’s impression of the Sicily tornadoes (Chris Chatfield)

#7 (tie): Magura and Narail Districts, Bangladesh (April 11, 1964)

The Magura/Narail twister destroyed more than 30 villages and left 500 dead. All 400 villagers from Bhabanipur were never seen again and presumed dead. While the official death count was 280, hundreds went missing.

#7 (tie): Sicily, Italy (December 1851)

In December 1851, two waterspouts moved onshore at the western end of Sicily, becoming large, violent tornadoes. This was as a pair of tornadoes, but details are very scarce; it may have been a single multiple-vortex tornado. It remains the second deadliest tornado event in recorded European history.

#7 (tie): Madaripur and Shibchar, Bangladesh (April 1, 1977)

The cyclone that struck Madaripur and Shibchar also killed around 500 people, 43 of whom were found floating in the river. No buildings or trees were left standing.

#10: Belyanitsky, Ivanovo and Balino, Russia (June 9, 1984)

Details are not easy to come by, as this outbreak took place during the time of the Soviet Union. Research indicates that a group of tornadoes (a few of which may have been of F5 strength on the Fujita scale) hit western Russia. An estimated 400 died, but the total may be as high as 700. The area affected by the tornadoes covered an area of 400,000 square kilometers.

The Ivanovo tornado was one of the worst in Russian history. It killed 95 people over the course of its 81-mile journey. Several concrete reinforced structures were completely destroyed, about 1180 homes were also leveled by the half-mile wide twister.

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The ’30s and ’40s in living color, Part 2

November 2009 seems like ancient history to me, but that’s when I published part one of my look at some of the most interesting color photos from the 1930s and 1940s (as presented on Flickr by the Library of Congress).  I love looking at pictures like these because even with the most mundane subjects, seeing them in color brings them to life in a way we never could before (unless you were there I guess).

These photos were all taken between 1939 and 1944 by the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI).  Just click on a photo to see a larger version.

(Part 1 can be seen here.)

Railroad crossing along the Skyline Drive, Virginia (LOC)

Even in the ’40s no road sign was safe from the scourge of graffiti.  Although as one astute person pointed out, the markings on that railroad sign could very well be so-called “hobo markings”, shorthand communications between wandering workers to let each other know where one could find food, lodgings, etc.  Those of you who have seen the Mad Men episode “The Hobo Code” know what I mean. (Railroad crossing along the Skyline Drive, Virginia – Jack Delano)

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Send me a postcard, drop me a line…

The postcard has become a lost art; a quaint relic of the past. Oh sure, you can still find quantities of them in those spinning metal racks in any airport gift shop. But who really uses them for their intended purpose anymore? Quick – how much postage does it take to send a postcard in the US? Exactly.

I came across these postcards at an antiques show a few years ago. Sure, I like to look at all the nice antique furniture and jewelry. And the old books and china are nice. But postcards are where you can really get a glimpse into the past. And since they’re not old letters, you don’t feel like you’re prying.

Of course, I like old postcards for more esoteric reasons. I love looking at the cars, the architecture, the outfits and even the old fonts and signs. So many people use the word ‘nostalgia’ in a pejorative sense, but not me. I don’t live in the past, but I sure do like to visit there. And what better way than through postcards? So let’s go! (Click on the pics for larger versions. Apologies for the sub-par scans)

(By the way, it costs 23 cents to mail a postcard as of this writing.)

Sheraton San Cristobal

Looks like any ordinary hotel from the 1970s, no? It is, but this Sheraton is in San Cristobal, Chile. In 1976, Rina and Arthur Rolfo stayed here, and wrote home to New York.  The hotel and Chile both got rave reviews, which is nice for them.

Sheraton San Cristobal

The San Cristobal Sheraton is still around. The exterior hasn’t changed too much, but just enough. Can’t say I agree with ditching the awning over the entrance.

Back in the friendly confines of the U.S. of A, our next stop is the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, NY. The postcard bills it as “The All Year – All Sports Resort.” Apparently they decided to advertise this fact with a photograph featuring the timeless sport of Small Talk. This appears to be the grand staircase for a ballroom of some sort. And man, is it ever Swanky with a capital S.

Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, NY

I love the mishmash of decorating styles present here – we’ve got what look like sound-dampening acoustic tiles in the back, bowling alleys fastened to the walls, giant, gold painted sconces with more sharp edges than are now allowed by Federal law, a sweet dancing water fountain and what must be the only piece of pastel modern art in existence at the time. And unless my eyes are deceiving me, the same man is simultaneously courting four different women. Hey, even men with super powers need a little R&R from time to time.

The hotel is still around as part of The Concord Resort & Golf Club. Something tells me the fountain is gone.

Next up on our trip is good ol’ Sin City itself.

Fabulous Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas

Fabulous Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas

Hey, another Rolfo sighting! Rose picked up this postcard of the Fabulous Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1960. It is postmarked Baker, California – home of the world’s tallest thermometer! I wonder what the “French floor show” was. Can-Can? Burlesque? Jerry Lewis striptease? Even more cryptic is the “all you need is that green stuff” line. Money for the dancers perhaps? Bok choy for Rose’s Chinese vegetable collection?

Rose and Arthur, jet-setters that they are, spent some time at the Americana in Miami Beach in July of 1966. And although they still found time to write to Delfina back home, they were probably having such a grand time they only managed a few lines. Interestingly, this is the third different way the recipient’s name has been spelled. Not sure what that means.

Americana in Miami Beach Americana in Miami Beach

Dateline: Chicago, IL, July 29, 1964. Beatlemania hits Sweden, while Rolfomania hits the Windy City. Dina writes a pleading missive to Delphine, practically begging her to write or visit. Perhaps Dina was the black sheep of the family?

Chicago postcard Chicago postcard

This next entry in the Rolfo travelogue is a beauty – The East End Motel in Madison, Georgia. This probably looked like any of the hundreds of motels of the late 1950s, although the East End had much to recommend itself. Adjacent to the motel was the East End Drive Inn restaurant. Nothing about the cuisine is listed, but apparently they had “Clean Rest Rooms!”

The East End Motel in Madison, Georgia The East End Motel in Madison, Georgia

If those gas pumps are still around, they probably command a hefty price tag on the collectors market. I couldn’t find any reference this establishment online, which probably means that the vacancy listed on the neon sign out front is permanent.

Rose stopped by the posh NBC studios in Hollywood in 1958. From the look of the cars, I’d guess the photo was taken sometime just after World War II. Rose apparently loved the studios so much she just couldn’t bear the thought of returning home.

NBC studios in Hollywood NBC studios in Hollywood

The “Pray For Peace” postmark on this is rather curious; was there an armed conflict of some sort taking place in 1958 in Hollywood that I haven’t heard about? Writers’ strike perhaps?

The “Greetings From…” line of cards is probably what a lot of people conjure up in their minds when they think of vintage postcards. This Los Angeles entry in the series was sent from Bill Primak to Arthur Rolfo in 1946. Bill expresses regret at missing his friend earlier. I wonder if he did get to see Arthur again, as promised?

Greetings From Los Angeles Greetings From Los Angeles

Back to the Windy City we go! Let’s grab a bite to eat in the place with the happiest chairs in the Midwest – the Oriental Gardens! I can only imagine what kind of acts I could watch on stage while supping on my noodles and snow peas. Probably mellow big-band jazz of some sort during the afternoon, swing at night. The Oriental Gardens was supremely confident in itself, stating that “You miss the most important point of interest if you fail to visit.” Well, I’m sold! All I have to do is pick up the phone and call State 4596 for reservations. Care to join me?

Oriental Gardens, Chicago

Back on the Eastern Seaboard, we take a stop in the nation’s capital. Schneider’s Cafe was established in 1886, and claims to be as well-known as the Washington Monument. Schneider’s specialty was ‘SEA FOOD’ (say that three times quickly). For some reason, the front of the café puts me in mind of a vintage firehouse. I do dig the green awnings, however. Schneider’s is no longer with us, and I think the urban decline of Washington, DC can be directly attributed to the lack of a decent seafood joint in town.

Schneider's Cafe

Out last stop is our most surreal. Few things show up less attractively in photographs than meat, but that didn’t phase the owners of The Steak Joint, Inc. They have conveniently provided you with a visual aid on steak preparation, so you can decide how you want your slab o’ meat prepared. I can’t decide myself. Bloody and moldy looks good, but so does bruised in the middle. On the other hand, leathery is not without its benefits. No sir, I think I’ll go for fossilized. Mmmm mmmm that’s good gnawing!

The Steak Joint, Inc. postcard

The Steak Joint, Inc.

I think the guy on the back is the same one from the Community Chest cards in Monopoly, sans mustache and spats. Had your fill of meat? Just ask the waiter to “Wrap The Leavings.” On second thought, I just lost my appetite.