Meet Lady Brett

If you’re a Ernest
Hemingway fan
like I am, you probably
remember the character
in ” The Sun Also Rises
named Lady Brett Ashley.

Or, maybe you saw the
movie based on the
book – in which the
character of Brett was
played so wonderfully
by North Carolina’s own
Miss Ava Gardner.

Now, you have always
probably considered
that book ‘fiction’,
and of course, it
technically is –

– but many people
who knew Hemingway
claimed that it was
taken almost verbatim
from his real-life
experiences at the
festival of 1925 in
Pamplona, Spain.

(see photo at bottom)

And more especially,
the nature of the
interplay between
characters:

Hemingway’s
conflicted anti-heroine
Lady Ashley Brett was
an almost biographical
description of a soon-to-be
divorced socialite named
Lady Duff Twysden —

— accurate even down
to the two lovers
she brought in tow
with her to Spain that
year – Harold Loeb
(represented in the book
as Robert Cohn ) and
Pat Guthrie ( as Mike
Campbell ).

Not only did
this situation
create a lot of
tension by itself,
but the real Lady Duff
seemed to love drinking,
partying and letting the
fur fly just as much as
the ‘fictional’ Lady Brett:  

– another
“Lost Generation” writer,
Donald Ogden Stewart,
who was also with Hem’s
group that traveled to
Pamplona that season
(and is represented as
Bill Gorton in the book )
described the drama :
We were all
in love with
her – it was
hard not to be.
She played her
cards so well
.”

The attraction that
(the already married)
Hemingway himself felt
for the rather randy Lady
Duff was underplayed in
the novel, by writing the
protagonist Jake Barnes
as a wounded war veteran
who’s physically incapable
of consummating his
relationship with Lady Brett.

Yet- even aspects of the
dialog in the book were
said to have been derived
from real life –

And in the end,
after the book was
published, Stewart
claimed he was surprised
it was being called fiction
at all, as it seemed to him
as :
nothing but a report
on what happened …
journalism
.”

Read it,
and let me
know what
you think !

!!! HOY !!!

.



Photo, 1925 Spain 
1: Hemingway
2: Harold Loeb
3: Lady Duff
4: Hadley (Hem’s wife)
5: David Stewart
6: Pat Guthrie

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Getting A Good Tan

Ladies……

Let’s just say
your husband
has been
a naughty boy.

Tsk, tsk.

You don’t wanna
trade him in
for a new model,
necessarily,
but you feel like
you need to
straighten him out.

What are your options?

Well, one that might have
been used by your great-
grandmother might just
surprise you.

An article in the:
New York Evening World
from
 July 08, 1916 leads
off with this leadline:

” One of them’s a cop,
but wifey tans him with
a bread board just the
same, and another gets
licked with a lemon
squeezer when he
misbehaves. “

It goes on to say:

“The controversy was
started by an innocent
little document from
Mrs. McC of Brooklyn,
who declared frankly
that grown persons,
are better for the
occasional whipping,
adding that her own
husband had been
changed from a drinker
and a smoker into a
model man with a
good job, money
saved and a fine
home, by the judicious
application of these
wifely principles : 
Spare the rod and
spoil the husband
was this matron’s recipe
for domestic happiness. “

In turn, the husbands
wrote back, complaining
of the trend:

“Last night I stayed out
rather late at my club,
and when I returned
home I received the
surprise of my married
life when my wife handed
me the first spanking I
received since my boyhood
days.

“This morning at breakfast
I remonstrated with her
and attempted to stick
up for my rights, whereupon
I was taken from my meal
and given another intro-
duction to my wife’s riding
crop. A spanking at night
is bad enough, but to start
the day with one is simply
indescribable.”

Ahem.

I pass the highlights
of this little article
along with no comment,
but I’d be interesting in
hearing yours.

!!!! HOY !!!!

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Friday’s Mail Bag

It’s the
Friday Mailbag !

Hmmm….

Ok,
so mebbe
that’s not
the most inspiring
way to open up
a post ….

Maybe we
need to
add some
bells and
whistles.

Or some fine
kazoo music.

I’ve known folks
that say the kazoo
is a Southern
invention-

— and there actually
is a kazoo museum
near Camp Legeune —

But it was really
a French innovation –

– derived from an
instrument called the
flûte à l’oignon ,
or onion flute .

The Irish call it a
“eunuch flute” –
the only major
difference is that
you hum across
those things as you
hold it horizontally,
(thus, the term ‘flute’)
and the kazoo is
played more like
smoking a cigar.

Just remember,
please…..

— never hum into
your Cohiba.

Have some
respect, man.

Happy Weekend !

Cards Of Few Words

With the large
varieties of
available designs
on the market,
picking out the
perfect postcard
back in the
1900’s for an
occasion or message
was often a very
daunting task –

– anyone who’s had
to pick out just the
right Valentines Day
card probably knows
exactly what I mean.

But, even more so
in the case of a
turn-of-the-century
postcard –

– there were strict
postal service rules
that regulated the
size, not to mention
where and how
much space was
left for a personalized
message by the sender.

( of course, users were
free to write all over
the design, and they
frequently did. )

So, while cramming
a lot into the display
area on the card
might be one
approach for a
publisher, while
another might be to
keep the selling point
of the card –
– the joke, or subject –
as generic and simple
as possible.

By doing that,
the seller had
an opportunity
to appeal to a
wider market –

– buyers could get
creative and choose
to send a particular
design under a
variety of different
circumstances.

But, in order for that
to work, the punch line
has to make sense and
match the art, it has to
have eye appeal, and it
has to tell a story.

There were thousands
of possible themes to
work with..

.. and could be drawn
from everyday life,
art, theatre, history,
even gardening, and
of course, LOVE. 

I’ve seen a lot of
great early-20th-century
cards like that, and
today, we’ll feature
a few of the more
interesting ones.

I’m not at all sure
some of the
one-liners
would sell today,
but they are all
charming in their
own way.

!! HOY !!

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Li’l Folks

I’m a Snoopy fan
from way back.

I consider Charles
Schulz not only a
pioneering cartoonist
but a genius at
exemplifying the ins
and outs of human
nature in his
characters.

And some of these
characters seem to
have an interesting
history of their own.

Three years before
the first “Peanuts”
cartoon strip
appeared,
Schulz was drawing
a weekly strip for
the St. Paul Pioneer
newspaper called
” Li’l Folks ”  —

— starting in 1947,
which featured a
few characters
that seem very familiar
indeed.

Schulz’s strip soon
gained popularity,
and in 1948, the
Saturday Evening Post
published 17 pieces
of his work.

This led the artist to
approach the influential
United Feature Syndicate,
which distributed comic
strips to hundreds of
major newspapers…

United Features agreed
to carry a new daily
Schulz comic –

— but since there
was already a national
comic called
Little Folks“,
to avoid confusion ,
the Syndicate
decided to use a
name derived from the
Howdy Doody TV show
that was popular at the
time –
Peanuts ” —
( as in ‘Peanut Gallery’ ).

Schulz didn’t like the
name – he considered
it meaningless and
irrelevant to the
characters- but the
success of the strip was
almost instantaneous.

And while the
kids in “Li’L Folks”
were nameless,
and the kids in
” Peanuts ”
developed
not only names
but distinct personalities
as well; one can see how
the 1947 strip represented
a fertile germination period
for Schulz, and paved the
way for characters like
Charlie Brown
and Snoopy.

I hope you enjoyed
this peek into their
pasts.

If you’d like to see the
whole set of strips from
1948-1950, check out a
book published by the
Schulz estate called
Li’l Beginnings”
by Derrick Bang .

!!!! HOY !!!

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Note: Any and all copyrighted works, trademarks, and brand names featured in this post fall under the “Fair Use” provisions of U.S. Copyright Law, Title 17 and remain the property of their respective owners.

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Mary And Her Monkey

edAs I have been
heard to say
more than once…..

Our Edwardian
predecessors could
get downright weird.

Their postcards
show this
tendency very clearly.

Oh sure, I know — monk
it’s just harmless fun, sure.

Until somebody puts
an eye out or something.

Alright, so I don’t know
what I’m talking about.
monk2
That’s never stopped us
around here before.

The truth is that sometimes,
their humor has completely
lost it’s meaning to us
modern-day in-the-know folk,

monk3— and we really don’t know
what the hell they
were talking about.

I’d LOVE to say
I get the joke,
but a lot of references
just get very lost in
the fog of history
and changes in language.  4

So, even a seemingly
simple, dirty spin
on a nursery rhyme
requires a PhD in
cultural anthropology
to really be understood.

As far as the naughty
symbolism 5is concerned,
I’m thinking that we
we might have simply
switched animals over
the course of a century……

And I’m betting she woulda
had a lot more fun with
that monkey if she had
just gone ahead 6
and shaved it.

Just sayin’.

!!!! HOY !!!!!!!

Cast A Kitten

It’s been a
couple weeks
since I last
posted
about the
nifty lingo of
the Flapper
age –

– and if you
missed that
one, you can
certainly
catch up
here.

Anyhoo…

I got some really
interesting questions
about 20’s slang
expressions, and
I thought I needed
to stop being a
lollygagger and
get a wiggle on
to answer em.

Lest you think
that these wonderful
stale chestnuts are
nothing but grade-A
phonus balonus ,
we used several
reference books
on the subject
to double check …..

They’re the
Real Mccoy

cause we wouldn’t want
to find you inadvertently
spouting piffle at a smarty
or a cute tomato during
the next hoppin’ rub .

You’ll be a regular
live-wire —

– the cat’s particulars.

One of the swells that
sent in questions asked
about the exclamation:
Tell It To Sweeney ” .

It was an expression
of disbelief sorta like
‘ Tell It To The Judge “,
although it’s derivation
is kinda hazy flavored
chewing gum

But it was being used
well before a fluky movie
of the same name
was released in 1927, so
that premise is all wet.

I was also asked about
” Bug Eyed Bunny ” —

well, I think that might
be a combination of
two different ideas —

a ” Bug Eyed Betty
which was a term for
a chunk of lead,
(an unattractive girl-
a cancelled stamp,
usually not a Flapper) …

while a bunny was
just a clueless deb.
( a dumb dora ) .

Considering the time
period was called the
“Roaring Twenties “,
it probably doesn’t
come as much of a
surprise that there were
numerous ways of
describing the state of
inebriation —

On A Toot 
Splifficated
Bent 
Ossified 
Fried
Blotto 
Half Seas Over
Varnished
Edged 
Plastered
Hoary-Eyed
Skeed 
Zozzled 
Half Cut 
Well Oiled
Pie Eyed
et al.

Ok,
so…
it’s not like
I’m giving you
the air or anything…

(so don’t
cast a kitten)

but I really gotta
blouse

I hope you
found enough
static to
mix the hooey
with
that kippy hopper
or sharpshooter
the next time
the opportunity
presents itself.

And with
the aid of
a couple more of
these Muscleheaded
Flapper Terminology
posts, you’ll really
get to
know your onions.

Then you’ll really be
on the trolley, man.

!!!! HOY !!!

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