Friday Mailbag

Today’s mailbag
is all about vintage
postcard art by
Bernhardt Wall ….

Completely
off the subject, though…

You wouldn’t believe
how conflicted we are
around here when it
comes to the Friday
Mailbag.

Not that it’s
your problem.

Nope.

And we
wouldn’t
dream of
imposing
our silly issues
on you,
ya know.

You got enough
stuff on your
plate already,
very true.

Of course, if you were
to have been stashing
away goodies with
every intention of
eventually sharing
them with the massively
popular and well written
Muscleheaded Blog’s
audience….

… and, thus, you
were to find your
way clear to sending
anything in that
you think would
make a good submission,
well, we’d just figure that
was completely out of
the kindness of your
heart, and not because
we made you feel guilty
by transferring all our
doubts and hesitations
about it….

If that had
a snowball’s
chance in hell
of working,
then,
maybe
we’d take
that idea
more
seriously into
consideration, but….

Sure,
guilt is a
powerful
thing.

It would help if I
could find a picture
of me when I was a
kid looking all
doe-eyed
and needy —

but I looked,
and all I found
were pictures of
me looking very
pissed off for one
reason or another.

Ahhhhhh,
sweet memories.

!!! HOY !!!

Advertisements

Our (Their) Navy

Hiya.

There have been
an awful lot of
changes made
since I served
in the United
States Navy ,
and even more
so since World
War II.

But you know,
some things
never seem to
change…

… and that applies
even if you’re talking
about another
country’s Navy
altogether.

The French
Navy, for instance.

One of the oldest
and finest Naval
forces in the world,
the French Marine
Nationale
counts a
number of ‘firsts’
among their achieve-
ments –

The first catamaran
style landing craft,
the first seaplane,
and the first seaplane
carrier, for instance.

Not to mention
the snarkiest slogan –

( all Navies have
certain expressions
that are specific to
them ) –

If a recruit calls a
deck officer
Mon Capitaine“,
he will inevitably
receive the retort :
” In the Navy there
is My God and my
ass, but no
my captain‘! ”

Before WW II,
the French artist
Charles Millot,
a veteran of the
Great War —

( and known in
the postcard world
by his alias Henri
Gervese )

— created a series
of comic postcards
called ” Our Sailors “,
lampooning the
day to day life
of enlisted men
in the French
Navy.

It’s interesting
just how many
parallels a
modern American
Sailor can find
in these….

Ok, so maybe
we didn’t have
the bright red
pom-pom
on our hats…

But the
various
cards in the
series still do
demonstrate
a good deal
of humor about
the military
routines,
traditions,
rituals,
and boondoggles
as they have
and still are
being practiced ;

from:
liberty boats,
seabags,
swabbies,
uniform inspection,
pretentious know-
nothing O-gangers,
to
chow lines,
rack rotations,
marching parties,
polly-wogs,
mid (night) watches,
general quarters,
monotony,
weapons training,
military protocol,
and mail calls.

These cards,
as they appear
today on the post,
are mostly in French..

(although,
of course
it’s easy to see
what’s going on
in them for any
former sons of
Neptune )

but the series
was also issued
in English, and
they were much
appreciated in Britain,
by denizens of the
Royal Navy
particularly.

There were other
series by different
artists on the same
general subject as
well, and we’ll
feature those as
we find ’em.

But, somehow
these cards by
Henri Gervese
sing just the
right chord for
me, and I’m happy
to share them
with you.

.

!! HOY !!

        

Friday’s Mailbag

Hey Hey
It’s Friday !

Today’s kinda a weird
topic for us around here
at the Muscleheaded Blog
being generally considered
sinners and heathens and all.

Actually, I had to ask
somebody that was
familiar with it-

how this whole thing
worked –

– cause I personally
had never
experienced it.

I went to a parochial
school, and our religious
classes were part of the
daily curriculum.

We went to church on
Sunday, sure, but we
didn’t have to go early
for Bible class, and
until I started to
collect postcards,
I had never heard of
such a thing as a
Sunday School
‘reminder’.

Personally, I don’t
know what would be
worse, since if missed
my classes, that means
I skipped school-

– and we’d have a gruff
old Mother Superior
banging on the front
door of my house PDQ.

Resistance is
futile, sinner.

But for some reason,
these cards seem even
more invasive than that.

Maybe it’s the
guilt-trippy tone –
– the ‘you let us all
down’ kinda thing….

And I’m told that it
was a way of a guy’s
pastor of ratting you
out to your parents
that you had opted to
go fishin’ instead of
draggin yourself to
Sunday School.

My buddy remembers
getting one from his
church – and his sister
was apparently on their
send-one-every-week list.

Funny, she’s the type of
girl who’d be sending
them out now.

Anyhoo…

They were a big
money maker for
the postcard publishers,
and were thought to
really improve the
attendance of the
classes that used them.

There were several
types sold…

one called a “Rally Day card”,
which was used primarily in
New England…

A 1905 book called
“How To Conduct
A Sunday School” explains:

“(Rally Day) is used as a
means of rallying the forces
again for the work of fall
and winter. When a general is
preparing for a battle he is
said to rally his forces.
When a sick person begins
to recover it is said of him
that he his rallying. When a
bookbinder brings together
in one place the different
sections of a book to be
bound into one he is said
to be rallying the book.
All of these phrases may
be applied to the Sunday
school work; we are rallying
our forces for the great
campaign of the fall and
winter.”

Another were
“Attendance Committee”
notices –

– they seem pretty harsh
and demanding in tone,
and were used a lot
in the South, and were
the kind my buddy’s
sister got.

Still others were of the
“Look At How Much
Fun You’re Missing”
theme.

And of course, you
had the more generic
“We noticed you
weren’t there, Sunday” type.

All in all, they seem
anachronistic
and patronizing,
but then again ,
maybe if you grew
up with them, they’d
just be another relic
from the past;

although I’m informed
that some churches are
still using them.

Just think of the postage
they woulda wasted on me.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Friday’s Mail Bag

Not to get
maudlin on you,
or anything…

But we hear people
talk all kinds of
nonsense about
religion and our
Creator.

Well, I don’t know
much of anything
about religion
or dogma —

but I do know this :
that one of
God’s gifts
to me is you.

Thanks for
visiting,
today.

Let’s see …
what’s in the
ole Mailbag
for us, I wonder?

Oh….

A couple of real nice
vintage Dwig’s from
around 1910 , et al.

— sent to me by
a friend in Arizona.

How she keeps water
in her pool out there
with that heat —

I can’t even have a
birdbath here that
won’t evaporate
within hours….

Could be
it’s the birds,
though, now that I
think about it….

Can’t really expect
them to know how
to shake off the
bathwater back
into the thing —
maybe a sign
would help ?

Naaah….
I can’t get people to
read signs at my office-
those warblers would
probably just give
me the bird.

Alright –
– it’s
a fair cop.

25 cents
drops loudly
into the
bad-pun jar.

I might point out
though, the reason
that I use so many
of them is that the
bad-pun jar is one
of the only things
that hasn’t raised
it’s prices since
1981 .

That, and blank
VHS tapes.

Oh sure, you
might wonder why
a guy would want
blank VHS tapes
when most VHS
recorders have
long ago given
up the ghost….

but me and
my trusty dusty
soldering iron are
determined to keep
the technological
clock running as
slowly as possible.

You may
well laugh.

But, when the
inevitable
red book / blue ray
apocalypse happens,
we’ll be back on the
cutting edge in the
evolution of the
“new low resolution”.

Ahem.

Ok, well,
what other
good is a
late 1970’s/ early 80’s
technical education
gonna do for
anybody, I ask you ?

I know,
I know.

The word
is obsolete.

Hey,
it happens
to everybody
eventually.

!!! HOY !!!

.

 

So You Say

When I was a little
kiddy winky, whenever
any adult didn’t wanna
tell me where they
heard about a mischief
or misadventure of mine,
(and I had plenty),
they’d say something like:
A Little Bird Told Me ” .

For a while, that certainly
caused me consternation,
and more than a bit of
suspicion when it came
to any ” feathered
friends” that were
lurking about.

Those winged little bastards
had a lot of nerve spying
on me, I thought.

They had a distinct
disadvantage over me
in that they could check
out whatever what I was
up to from the safety of
the telephone pole.

I didn’t mind ’em
watching me, but
there was no excuse
for ratting me out.

Plans for an extensive
retaliatory strike involving
a purloined pellet gun
were still in the making
when I suddenly realized
that I had grown up, and
I found out the whole
thing fell under the
general category of
“popular expressions”.

Man, it’s no wonder
we kids hadn’t
trusted adults…

— they’d lie to us
in a heartbeat, jeeez.

Sure, use
the excuse that
they were rhetorical
devices –
but we all knew
better.

And, I never did
believe that Easter
Bunny shit, ya know.

Birds making sure I
went to school, ok,
but I drew the line
at giant rabbits
laying artificially
colored eggs.

Anyhoo ;
many of
the expressions
didn’t make a
whole lot of
sense to anybody,
never mind a kid.

” Raining Cats
And Dogs.”

Under what
circumstances
would anybody
think that
was possible?

A troglodyte
cave dweller
under a kennel
during a
sinkhole?

Not all that
likely, right?

Right.

!!! HOY !!!

.

Mooning Your Honey

The custom of
newly wedded
couples having
a ‘honeymoon’
together is an
old one, and is
found in texts
as old as the
5th Century A.D.

Originally, it was
a term referring
not so much to
a trip, but more
to a time period
(roughly the first
month or so)
when the newlyweds
were the most
passionate and
interested in each
other.

As famed
British essayist
Dr. Samuel Johnson
remarked on it
(in the 1750’s):
“The first month
after marriage,
when there is
nothing but
tenderness and
pleasure.”

In this frame of
reference, it also
inferred that the
love in marriage
inevitably would
go the way of the
phases of the moon –
– waning over time.

When the moon
was full,
passion burned
at it’s brightest –

and the
official drink,
( an aphrodisiac ,
of course ) –

— usually mead —

(an alcoholic
beverage made
from fermented
honey )

was consumed
to encourage
connubial delight,
“reduce the pain
of the bridal bed”,
and limit inhibitions.

(Thus, the idea
from which the
term ‘honey-moon
or ‘hony moone’ in
Old English is
thought to have
been derived.)

The other phases
of the moon were
also thought to be
symbolic of stages
in marital joy and
happiness, as the
‘ moon quarters ‘
vintage cards on
today’s post
(from around 1910 )
clearly demonstrate.

The whole ‘take a
trip together and
get know each other’
form of the honeymoon
is a relatively recent
innovation —

There are references
found in French and
English sources of
it beginning in the
19th Century–

But, it was a custom
that, until the 1900’s
at least, was reserved
for the upper crust
and wealthy —

— working people
rarely had the
resources for
such an expensive
extravagance.

Nevertheless,
it seems to have
proven to be
a very constructive
modern custom —

Studies have
shown that
couples who
take a honeymoon
trip at the
beginning of
their marriage
are more likely
to stay together.

It makes
sense to me.

So, young couples-
here’s to LOVE –
and to a bangin’
honeymoon.

Errrr….

Umm…

well,
ok,
you know
what I mean.

!!! HOY !!!

.

PS: For more on
this subject, click here.

.

Take A Swing

swingHappy Wednesday.

I was browsing my
postcard collection
the other day,

and happened
to notice an
interesting phenomena —

(well, to me, anyway)

— the plethora of cards
dealing with pretty girls
in/on garden swings.

I wondered,
if maybe,
perhaps,
it was just
a resultim-getting-the-swing-of-things-here-posted-1913-vintage-comic-postcard-1784ffe4e6cd85266cd83040a181997a
of a peculiarity
in my personal
collecting
propensities……

After all,
I’ve really
got nothing
against pretty girls
on postcards doing
just about anything,

and the typical garden
or porch type swing
does offer up
certain opportunities
for …

…. well,a1
wait a minute,
now…..

I already got
called a ‘perv’
once this week,

I know the lady
in question meant it
as a joke, and I took
it that way, I did…

In the best
possible way.

So, I’m just using it
as a cheap gimmick
to drive a post write…

although I certainly
don’t think being
a perv is a bad thing,
or could ever
take it as an insult…

— at least at
my age 😀

Ahem. summer

A man finds a
good imagination
key to keeping
his interests
in life and love alive–

— and his hormone
levels up —

cause you never know
when a situation
could arise to
make that sorta
thing useful .

Here’s hopin,
anyway.

And, hey-
they don’t even
pay me a2for
writing this
convoluted
and chaotic blog —

so you gotta take
ideas and inspiration
where you find it
sometimes, man.

But,

Be that
as it may–

let me
pick my way
a little more
carefully through
this one…..a5

Apparently,
a large number of
vintage postcards
have been issued
on this very theme —

— the common
‘swing’ —
over the years.

Oh.1910

Just imagine that.

Notwithstanding
all of the
other stuff
a person,
or persons,
could use
to accommodate
their swinging
lifestyle ….

like the half moon,
(or a full moon,
for that matter)
the stars at night,
a low hanging balcony,
the saddle of a live
bucking bronco,
the music of
a bad-ass big-band,
a hanging log,
even a fishing line,

— or for that matter,
any one of a number
of other implements…..

It seems that the
simple garden
swing is king.

As we’ve
already discussed,
I’ve decided to spare
y’all the lecture —

without explaining
all of the possible
permutationsa3
of what went
into the popularity
of these cards,

… including all of the
obvious things
that might naturally
occur to any
healthy,
mature-minded perv —

I’ll just leave it
with the symbolism
involved —

you know,
from the perspective
of the swingee —

freedom
from the usuala667
earth-bound
gravitational
considerations,

the simulation
of flight,

and the value of a
strong, cool
vertical breeze
on a hot day….ne

All that.

We will not discuss
the implications
to the viewer
of said swingee.

You know,
—-  all them
pervs to whom
they sold all
those cards to,
originally.

I,
quite obviously,
being a leading one.

HOY !!!!!!

.

artfrahm