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Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LizzieMaine, Jun 15, 2017.
I'm stealing that line.
That scene is one of the best scenes in any movie ever (top 25 anyway) and the broader sequence - the entire "date -" is incredible. Tarantino is the Dave Kingman of movie making - he swings for the fences, hits some incredible homers and makes the middle of some games incredibly exciting, but whiffs a lot as well.
We have several of those ersatz places in NYC as well which surprises me as we also have several real-deal, old-school ones. Hence, why go contrived when you can see the real thing?
A name I haven't heard for some time. KingKong later played for the Yankees if I recall correctly.
You are correct. And he played for a few others as well - but like Montana and the 49ers, Kingman was a Met, everything else is superfluous.
I bought a brand-spankin' new self-propelled two-stage snowblower in fall of 2015. This was on my cardiologist's strong recommendation -- insistence, almost. She said she has stubborn patients fall over dead pretty much every winter because they insist on shoveling out their driveways.
I think she gets a commission from Troy-Bilt.
In a sense, nothing is "real" at the beginning. It's "new"; it's innovative; it's the latest thing. Eventually, though, it becomes dated, worn, old-fashioned, out-of-touch, etc., etc., etc. (Etc. is what you say when you can't think of another example). Anyway, it's sort of a life cycle. It's either growing or it's dying. Nothing stays exactly the same. If nothing else, both the employees and the owners as well as the customers age and change. You simply can't control things the way you might think.
A restaurant, which I guess is what we're talking about, is not so much stuck in time as it is stuck in place, and that's another difficulty that's hard to overcome. Colonel Sanders had to take his act on the road when his place was bypassed by a new road. That happened a lot, what with interstates, and still does. Ironically, the old roads, which were once new, are now the avenues of development, with new housing developments, new shopping centers, and all the other business that suddenly appear when there is a bustling development somewhere. The old places are long gone, from diners and roadhouses, to cluttered hardware stores and pharmacies with lunch counters. In their places are big cookie cutter shopping centers that seem to be the same everywhere, with a bank, a big box hardware/home store, a super-duper market, a drug store, all chains. To fill in the spaces, there will be maybe a barber shop, a beauty shop, one or two ethnic restaurants, a dry cleaners, maybe an office supply place and one or more fast food places. Everything you need for life as we know it. Somewhere along the same road is a car dealer that takes up more space than the shopping center, crowding out the junkyard, the old-style garages and roadside attractions for the kids. And of course there are gas stations, because nothing is within walking distance.
One of the fast food places might even be a Colonel Sanders KFC.
Those kinds of places are like teeth crunching into aluminum foil to me. The decor is always "The Fifties," in all their dopey poodle-skirted glory, even though the real heyday of the stainless-steel diner was actually the 1930s.
I and a dozen or so liquored-up compatriots attended a game in the Kingdome early in the 1984 season and witnessed Kingman, then with Oakland, blast three homers.
More memorable than Kingman's performance that evening was that of my friends, three of whom spent the remainder of the night in the King County jail, conveniently situated not far from the stadium.
But phony '50s sells better, apparently. It's been "a thing" since the 1970s. (Maybe even earlier than that, come to think of it. Sha Na Na, the novelty retro-'50s act, played Woodstock, in 1969.)
Kong's Cubs tenure was flawed; never fully accepted either in-or-out of the dugout.
I taped Montana's final game against John Elway and the Broncos, the brawl of brawls on October 17, 1994.
Unknowest to me perchance, my sweet youngest sister borrowed the tape to tape a Red rose romance television series, a Barbara Cartland novel or whatever.
She taped over the Chiefs vs Broncos. "it's just a football game," she remarked.
We had a good thread about just that subject a few years back in the Golden Era forum. Except for a few who got pretzel-pantsed about any aspect of their generation being critiqued, a lot of good points got brought out.
My goodness, I had forgotten about that thread.
A few years back we drove into Brigham City for a break from the road. It was the beginning of Peach Fest and the streets were lined with lawn chairs as folks had staked out their viewing spot for tomorrow's parade. I remarked that if that happened back home they would either be stolen or trashed. Deciding to NOT attend the crowning of the Peach Queen we walked in to a soda fountain that was legit from the '30s I think. It had a very long counter made of marble, stools covered in cracked naughahyde and dark wood panelled walls. We had an expensive milkshake that took about 10 minutes to make as they used real peaches and hand scooped ice cream. It was in many ways gratifying to see something just old, not tarted up to look, not glorified in a nostalgic way, just old and decidedly not modern.
Everything was new at one time. There was a time when there were no soda fountains, drive-ins, hot dogs, lunch counters, diners, penny loafers, cigarettes, or Playboy bunnies. Yet most of them are older than we might think. Most were long in developing into what we think of as a classic thing and even then, they continue to evolve. And some, like Playboy bunnies, have disappeared or become extinct.
I was also just wondering if there were people who never experiences most of those things, aside from Playboy bunnies (never saw one in real life myself). But even very small towns, with just a few thousand people, would probably have a drive-in of sorts, a drug store with a lunch counter and soda fountain. It might even boast of a more or less nice hotel, a school with a lot more style than new schools today have (and which has invariably been demolished since then) and maybe even a movie theater. There might be a hospital, too. I think small towns used to have a lot more civic pride then they do now and probably more money, too, for that matter. It might be that they were simply more important communities than they are now, economically.
The soda fountain is a good example of something that's been idealized out of its original time. Nowadays it's considered emblematic of "The Fifties," as though that was its native period. But they were actually in their decline by that time, with many druggists complaining that they took too much effort to maintain while yielding too little profit, to say nothing of attracting too many annoying kids and teenagers who lingered long but spent little.
The real heyday of the fountain was the 1890s thru the 1910s, when they were gathering places for adults, and were especially popular as a temperance-movement alternative to the neighborhood saloon. The "Good Old Days" iconography of this period, with its filigreed wire furniture, its marble counters, and its "phosphate" drinks, were emblematic of the "classic soda fountain" long before the "teen hangout" image came along.
That teen-oriented shift began in the twenties, with the first major flowering of youth culture in the US, and it reached its height by the Swing Era of the mid-thirties. Many, if not most, of the "teen hangout" fountains of The Fifties were hand-me-downs from twenty years earlier, with only the records on the juke box having changed. But this teen image came at a price -- it tended to drive away the adult trade, especially if a juke box was rampant on he premises, and eventually drove drugstore fountains themselves into extinction. We had one here into the early 2000s, but by then it was maintained as a living fossil more than anything anybody really used.
While what you say is true, who here remembers first hand the 1920s? I was born in the 1940s but my memories really only start in the 1950s. By then, the trains didn't stop in my hometown anymore. But nobody talked about how they missed the passenger trains. In fact, nobody talked about the old days in any nostalgic way.
I also don't remember any soda fountains or lunch counters that had a juke box (juke joint?). Where I lived, only three drug stores had lunch counters, one of which also had booths. It was a time when most business were "downtown" (in a town of maybe 8,000 people), so there was a real lunchtime crowd outside going somewhere to eat. Besides the lunch counters, there were a few diners and small restaurants close enough to where most of the people were, close enough to walk, that is, and that was just about it. There were two drive-in restaurants with curb service and a few fancy restaurants that were mostly for the evening crowd, rather than for lunch.
I don't know of any place in town that had a juke box but they were probably in places where I never went. The fifties were almost over before I became a teenager.
We had quite a few juke boxes in our small town -- most of the hole-in-the-wall lunch places had one, usually with remote control units on the tables. The synergy of soda fountains and juke boxes was given tribute in a popular Glenn Miller record from 1942, "Juke Box Saturday Night," in which the cheapskate habits of the teen crowd are satirized: "Makin' one Coke last us, 'til it's time to scram!"
Juke boxes were extremely popular in the cities during the Era, where their operation and maintenance was dominated by organized crime. When a man in a dark suit came to your lunchroom or drugstore and invited you to allow him to install a juke box in your place, you gratefully accepted if you didn't want a Molotov cocktail thru your window some night. You might take a pinball machine too, if you knew what was good for you. Just make sure LaGuardia doesn't find out about it.
My mother and father, born in 1912 and 1915 never spoke nostalgically about the 20, 30,and even the 40`s. They were born dirt poor in Prairie towns and they may have had the odd fond memory of their youth but mostly it was something, someplace to leave in the past.
My grandparents were contemporaries of your parents (they got married young and had kids young [in their teens], as did their offspring), and, like your folks, they were anything but misty-eyed nostalgics.
My grandfather snorted at mention of the "good old days." He was of what we used to call "illegitimate" birth; was raised by his itinerant meat cutter bachelor "uncles"; attended school on and off through eighth grade; passed decades of his adult life working a job he disliked, killing and cutting up hogs and cattle at a packing plant because he had kids to feed and other employment prospects for people in his circumstances were few. He buried two wives and one child and died himself at a not particularly advanced age.
He wasn't one to adopt fads, but he was all about labor-saving advancements. I recall clearly his enthusiasm for "wash and wear" fabrics back around 1964. And I remember how some years later he greeted the microwave oven (a "Radar Range," as he called it, which was Amana's trade name for its version). I can only imagine his reaction to automatic clothes washers and dryers.
But he did maintain throughout his life one "old-fashioned" perspective: he saw no reason to, and good reason not to, replace any item before it was truly worn out. He recognized baubles for what they were, and took a dim view of those who made gaudy displays of pricy possessions.
One notable exception to his frugal ways was his preference for newish automobiles. He was partial to Ford products, and treated himself to a new one every few years. But this was in the upper Midwest 60 and 70 and 80 years ago, where the roads were heavily salted and when cars typically didn't cover the numbers of miles they do today. I suspect he viewed cars as necessary to his daily life (as they were) and that his days were busy enough without the additional burden of car troubles.
My grandparents, 1904 and 1911 models respectively, were very much of the "don't replace anything unless you have to" mode. They never had an electric refrigerator until their iceman gave up his route in 1956, and much of the furniture they put in their house when they moved in in 1945 was still there when they died in 1980/81. The radio they bought right after the war stayed in their living room well into the 1970s, but they did indulge in multiple television sets -- mainly because theirs had the unsettling habit of getting struck by lightning. I come by my own habits quite naturally -- in fact, a lot of my stuff came from their house.
They were not "nostalgic" for the good old days in the sense that people understand that, but they did look back fondly on certain incidents in their past. My grandfather enjoyed remembering how he'd sneak booze during Prohibition, and my grandmother enjoyed remembering how she'd take it away from him and throw it off the bridge.