NORMAN and CHANGO in November 1949

Which one is Norman? Are you sure?

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I recently bought a series of vintage snapshots of nurses from long ago. Nurses dressed in uniforms that can only make today's nurses shake their heads in horror.

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This is my submission to this week's Sepia Saturday theme of a sick child in bed. I give you the nurses who are there to make everything better.


If you or someone you know is a fan of the book or animated feature The Last Unicorn you might be interested in the film screening tour of the new digital print that is touring the United States over the next few years. And the United States isn't the only place it will be showing. There are plans for international tour dates. The place to get information is The Last Unicorn Tour site.

Author Peter S. Beagle will be appearing at every screening. Over the next several days he will be at screenings in New York.
Saturday 9/28/2013, 2 PM — Cinemas 123 in Manhattan on 3rd Avenue
Sunday 9/29/2013, 7 PM — Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers in Yonkers NY
Monday 9/30/2013, 7 PM — City Cinemas 86th Street East in Manhattan on 86th Street
Visit their website for more dates and locations. If you would like the tour to come by your neck of the woods drop Connor Cochran a comment on the page to let him know.

And pass the word on about the tour. The more the merrier!


And if you lose the link to the tour site remember that I will have a link in the left hand column of this blog.


The SHOOT: Part 2

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The SHOOT: Part 1

From the collection of slides I recently purchased. This is part one of four.

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There are lots of gun shots and people with guns in this collection. In fact, there's a whole box of slides of nothing but closeups of guns. I am not a fan of guns so those will never be scanned.


FOOTBALL in the Military

No information as to where or when this vintage snapshot was taken. I call it the George H. W. Bush shot because that's who he reminds me of.

I'm lovin' the Quonset huts!


FOOTBALL: Polo Grounds in NYC

I'll admit that I enjoy watching football, but only my team; otherwise I could care less. And I'm a fair weather fan in that I have no qualms about leaving the room if they're losing. But my mind changed about the game once I watched Joe Montana play. There was just something very zen about watching him march the team down the field in a matter of minutes.

The location of this photo is unknown. In fact, other than it being a vintage snapshot, I have no idea where, when, or who are involved. I just found it fascinating to see an old game before big money took over. The sidelines are nearly empty. Shoot, the stands are nearly empty. There are no cameras dancing above the field on wires. There are no women dressed up like idiots prancing and jumping for a camera. There are no corporate loos emblazoned across your eyeballs. It's just a game.

Click on the one below to see more detail, including the mud. Oh yes, the mud of football as opposed to the astroturf of today.

UPDATE: Thanks to WJY from The New Found Photography for the information.
It's the Polo Grounds in New York City. You can tell from the apartment buildings in the background. The stadium was the home of both the baseball and football New York Giants, as well as Fordham and Army. The year before it was torn down it was the home of the New York Titans, latter renamed the New York Jets.


DISNEYLAND in November 1955: Adventureland

It's almost hard for me to believe Tom Sawyer's Island was ever this barren. I loved running around that island and through the tunnels surrounded by trees. Now, I'm not talking about when I was a little kid. I was running through the tunnels in my 20s. I just never really grew up.

Being on the island watching the Mark Twain paddle boat go by is a little surreal considering you're in the middle of Orange County. Disneyland can transport you to so many places.

These folks are waiting their turn on the Mark Twain.

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DISNEYLAND in November 1955: Tomorrowland

Raise your hand if you remember the rocket ship ride at Disneyland.  If you do remember it, do you remember what it did?

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It's rare you see a group of men with their chairs turned towards each other in a circle. Even when standing, a group of men tend to stand in lines, not really facing each other. I've watched this often when large groups of men and women get together and then split into groups. The men talk, but don't really look at each other. The women purposefully turn their chairs towards each other. One group slightly afraid of intimacy, the other quite comfortable with it.

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And dogs? Well, they're just happy to be near their pack.

This is my contribution to this week's Sepia Saturday.

DISNEYLAND in November 1955: City Hall

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DISNEYLAND in November 1955

The first time I went to Disneyland it had only been open for a few weeks. There was a lot of area still under construction, lots of dirt. Didn't matter to me because I was entranced.

The person that took this vintage snapshot visited a few months after I did. This shot was taken in November 1955.


MOTHER, 1955

On the slide is written the type of camera used for this shot and "Mother 1955."

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The SAHARA HOTEL, in 1955 Las Vegas

In the days of shooting film you had to make decisions about the shots you took before you took them, especially with color film. You only had so many shots on a roll, you didn't know if you would be near a place to buy more film, the developing and prints would cost a lot...on and on. So the shots had to matter. They had to be something you really wanted. So how is it that out of the box of slides of a visit to Las Vegas in 1955 only two actually show Vegas landmarks? The majority of the shots show friends and family milling around the tarmac at the Vegas airport. Obviously the photographer had his priorities.

Doesn't it seem strange to see a Vegas hotel pool without any people around it?

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The Sahara Hotel no longer exists. It opened in 1952 and closed in 2011. Once upon a time it was one of the hot swinging spots on the strip.
The hotel once showcased some of the biggest stars on the Strip, including comedians Don Rickles and Johnny Carson and singers Dean Martin and Tina Turner. The Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon originated from the Sahara for 20 years. And the Sahara in 1964 brought the Beatles to Las Vegas for $25,000, though it hosted their show in the Las Vegas Convention Center because the hotel's 600-seat showroom couldn't handle the crowd, according to the Sun. (SOURCE: CNN)
To read more about the Sahara click here to visit Classic Las Vegas.


ALONE with your thoughts

Sometimes you need to be alone. And sometimes you're really glad someone else is around.


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My contribution to this week's Sepia Saturday.


Fremont Street in LAS VEGAS 1955

Another slide purchased at the estate sale several weeks ago.

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This was taken in 1955 on Fremont Street.
Fremont Street dates back to 1905, when Las Vegas itself was founded. Fremont Street was the first paved street in Las Vegas in 1925 and received the city's first traffic light in 1931. Fremont Street also carried the shields of U.S. 95, U.S. 93, and U.S. 466 before the construction of the interstates.
While gambling was well established prior to being legalized, the Northern Club in 1931 received one of the first 6 gambling licenses issued in Nevada and the first one for Fremont Street. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
In the distance you can see one of the first big time casinos along the Strip called the Golden Nugget which still exists.

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A bit of history about the Golden Nugget.
Desperate to lure people to the state, Nevada legislators legalized gambling in 1931. Even so, Las Vegas remained a dusty saloon town full of small-time gambling operations. Guy McAfee embodied the casino owner of his day.

The Captain

McAfee, known around town as "the Captain," served for years as commander of the Los Angeles Police Department vice squad. While heading the vice squad, McAfee simultaneously pursued a profitable life in the underground. He owned saloons and brothels and had ties to organized crime.

In the 1920s and early 30s, while his wife worked as a high-profile Hollywood madam, McAfee operated a busy and lucrative circuit of gambling houses. His connections with mobsters and position with the L.A.P.D. proved invaluable, making him privy to inside information and especially lucky in his ability to stay one step ahead of raids.

Bowron Cleans Up L.A.
But in the late 1930s, Judge Fletcher Bowron was elected as the new mayor of Los Angeles. Bowron had campaigned heavily on a platform pledging to clean up Los Angeles' sordid underworld that had been allowed to flourish for the last two decades. Upon his election, Bowron lived up to his promises and began upending longstanding narcotic, prostitution and gambling operations like McAfee's.

As soon as the extent of the police commander's outfit was discovered, McAfee was forced to resign his post and, facing possible legal action, flee the city. Lured both by Las Vegas' proximity to Los Angeles and its permissiveness, McAfee arrived in Las Vegas in 1938.

McAfee Arrives on Highway 91
Eager to pick up his business career where he had left off, the next year, McAfee bought the Pair-O-Dice Club on Highway 91 from owners Frank and Angelina Detra (John Detra, son of the owners, remembers Al Capone visiting his parents, possibly planning to establish operations in Vegas before he was jailed). McAfee renamed the club the "91 Club" (later, it would become part of the Last Frontier), and ever the opportunist, delayed the club's grand opening to coincide with Clark Gable and Ria Langham Clark's infamous divorce in March 1939. McAfee's tie-in with the immense publicity garnered by the Gables' divorce was a public relations coup.

McAfee would continue to build up his interests, arguably the most famous of which was his casino, the Golden Nugget. Upon its completion in 1946, the Golden Nugget was touted as the world's largest casino. Eventually, the Golden Nugget would fall under the ownership of another Las Vegas casino owner, Steve Wynn. (SOURCE: PBS/American Experience)
The question is, how many of these other businesses still exist along the strip?