Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sepia Saturday- The Scopitone Repairman

In the 1960's I went to Las Vegas with a group of friends from the ad agency that I worked for. One of my friends was named Mark Draper. He reminds me so much of the main character on "Mad Men"- Don Draper. Both of them invented new names and lives for themselves. Sometimes I wonder if the writers on "Mad Men" knew Mark.

I didn't know Mark had invented a new name for himself until we ran into his father in the casino bar in Las Vegas. He called him Skip. Not a name (or even nick- name) that would befit the suave, sophisticated Mark who we all assumed came from a high class, well-to-do family. We certainly didn't picture his father being a Scopitone repairman.

What's a Scopitone you might ask and why is it in this Sepia Saturday post with a juke box theme?
Well, a Scopitone is a juke box with the addition of a movie/video. They were invented and popularized in France in the '50's and then imported to the U.S. (Warning!-This video is waaay too long so you might not want to watch it all. And mute it for the first 16 seconds.)

They didn't last long in the U.S. because of bad marketing and bad management. (or so I read) Apparently they were marketed to cocktail lounges and hotels instead of the teen hangouts as they should have been. Also they were expensive. A song on the juke box would have cost 5 cents... on the Scopitone- 25 cents!!!
Also their production values weren't very high. Here's another example:
(After you watch this go to sepiasaturday.blogspot.com for more juke box stories)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

House Concert at Phee's

It was Tartan Day- April 6,  so we had Scottish music and several people wore tartan, including a couple of tams.

The music was by Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante.
Alan, a multi instrumentalist and song writer, joined Battlefield Band soon after its founding.  He helped develop their unique sound by including keyboard and bagpipes. He performed with them from 1969 to 2010. (In this photo he plays the accordion.)

Rob van Sante, a guitarist of skill and subtletly, has toured Europe, North Africa and the Middle East playing with top British artists.

A "non- Scottish" guest winds it's way among the audience's feet.

March book club

Here's the only 2 photos I took at our last book club.
It was at Kathy's house so there was an uninvited but oh-so-welcome guest...
Kathy's dog, Ruby.

 Penny and Ruby

Beth and Ruby

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our trip to Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii and a visit with Aunt Kate and cousins, Linda, Kathy and Becky

Nancy and I had a very short trip to Hawaii to visit my 92 yr. old aunt and 3 of my cousins.
We hadn't seen any of them in a very long time. This is Kathy, Linda, Nancy, Becky and me, with my Aunt Kate. Linda and Kate live in Lihue, which is on the island of Kauai.
Kathy lives on Maui. Becky stills lives in our family town of Dixon, Ill.

My Aunt Kate had several birthday celebrations while we were there. Her real birthday was March 28. Since we were leaving on the 27th. we celebrated before then. And the celebrations kept coming. She enjoyed all her cakes. I think there were three.
 Our hostess gift for Linda. 
She treated us to several nice lunches and dinners, plus a very nice tour
of the north shore of the island.

Linda's daughter, Betsy and her grandaughter Lily. They live with Linda and Kate. 
Betsy and Linda are both nurses, so Kate gets such good (and professional) care. 
 We had never met Lily and Betsy and we really enjoyed them.

 Linda said her favorite site to visit in Lihue is The Grove Farm. It's an old sugar plantation that has been kept very much as it was when it was a working plantation. We took a very interesting tour.

This is the office with one of the resident cats.
 There were also geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens and this pig:

More wildlife:

An unusual spider...
 that wove an interesting web with it's own little red porch light.

More of the resident cats. Just like at Hemingway's house.

The cook showed us how she still cooks on the old wood stove. 
She baked some cookies for us.
One of the old platters.

A beautiful, completely needle-pointed love seat in the living room.

Linda took us on a tour of part of the island.

Wild chickens are everywhere.  Some of them very beautiful.

Linda and Nancy on one of the beautiful beaches.

Linda, the mermaid!

We ate lunch at this luxurious hotel...

on the patio, overlooking the ocean.

We really didn't want to see any hula dancers but while having drinks in the bar at our hotel one night the musician asked if any of the audience wanted to hula. Of course, they did! It turned out to be a fun way to see a little impromptu real Hawaiian culture.

On our last day we wandered around a cute little town and stopped in for frappes at a little coffee shop. We had a delightful conversation with these two native Hawaiians who hang out there. One of them had been to Pala. Imagine someone in Hawaii having heard of Pala. It turns out he was quite a gambler and has apparently been to every casino. (in the world??)  He grew up on a sugar plantation.
The other guy was retired from the Coast Guard. He was so nice. He was interesting and even acted interested in what we were saying!  


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