Welcome to That's My Era. Vintage collectibles for nostalgia enthusiasts of almost every time period. Everyone has their own "era," right? Pretty sure you'll find yours here!

Be sure to check out our shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thatsmyera

Saturday, March 31, 2012

are you in, genius? are you in, capable?

yes, i am. here!

sorry, i've been away this week. i've been stressing over my apartment hunt and have also been wondering about whether to continue with this blog given that i have a new creative idea that involves a lot of drawing and writing that's completely outside of blog-land... that being said, abandoned blogs make me sad so i will continue to post from time to time, but the days of daily postings of yore are gone, at least for now. click here for more on the sadness that are abandoned blogs... *sniff*

given that all i'm thinking about is housing these days i thought i'd post on that today.

first of all, i need to shout out a resounding "they don't make 'em like they used to!" in regards to housing. earlier this week i checked out a condo for lease in my price range. the finishes were nice (drool-inducing even) but after i left and trekked back home i noticed i was feeling anxious... i then realized that it was occurring to me that to live in that condo with the drool-inducing finishes i would need to get rid of everything i own. my russell spanner set would be the first casualty and sorry, but i'm not having that. nothing comes between me and my spanner set (this post testifies to that)! granite countertops and ensuite laundry, nice try, but there's no competing with a nostalgist!

now for some deliciously tacky pictures of housing from "my era:"

these are all '40s/'50s/'60s doors for your vintage home. there's a website devoted to creating a vintage home: retro renovation.

i'll let jack lemmon (playing me, obviously) in the 1960 film, the apartment, take this post out:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

it's personal!

today's "it's personal" post is a bookish one which seems only appropriate for a lazy spring-like sunday. i don't know about you but there's nothing better than reading old books in their old book form. that musty book smell, the brittle caramel-coloured pages (which have to be turned carefully, lest they crack...)

below are a few cornell woolrich originals, from the 1940s.

ah, when books were sold for cents. mere cents! they don't sell 'em like they used to...

here's a little tribute to cornell, from youtube:

cornell's biggest claim to fame was the 1954 alfred hitchcock film, rear window (it was based on one of his short stories).

his wikipedia page paints a rather sad portrait. woolrich was gay (but not happy about it by the sounds of it), a serious recluse and an even more serious alcoholic.

i leave you with this very bizarre clip from "phantom lady," circa 1944. if i told you that a jazz band and elisha cook jr playing the drums could very well definitely give you nightmares, would you believe me?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

good grooming is soothing...

is it just me or does anyone else feel this way? it struck me yesterday when i was riding the subway to work and this young fella got on and he was immaculately dressed and groomed. even his jeans were pressed. his shoes were polished. there was literally not a single hair out of place on his head (including eyebrows, lashes, ears and nose). his sideburns were trimmed just so and perfectly angled. his checked shirt was ironed so perfectly it looked like it was made of calculus paper. you knew that if he got close he'd smell like just the right amount of cologne and fresh laundry (that dried in the spring sunshine near a field of daisies and a copse of apple trees). now, before you think i fell in love or something crazy like that, i assure you i did not. i have always admired good grooming. but more than that, i find it comforting. i guess especially during times of stress (see this post) because it feels like something or someone is obviously very much in control in a world that's completely out of our control (for the most part).

here's a coronet film, circa 1949, that documents a fiercely grooming brother and sister duo (editor's note: there's a fine line between good grooming and obsessive-compulsive disorder):

the early predecessor to the "metrosexual" was the "dandy." here are some pics of all things dandy:

this blog is an excellent resource of all things fine and dandy.

finally, we have herman's hermits (looking pretty dandyish themselves) from 1966, covering the kinks' original song, "dandy." happy saturday, cool cats. hope it's a dandy one.

Friday, March 23, 2012

pin-up friday!

for today's pin-up i was going to cover betty grable but then i thought of another, much more interesting, betty. cool cats, allow me to introduce, mz betty... hutton!

born elizabeth june thornburg (if you think i'm going to say "hot" here, you're right... hot!) in battle creek, michigan on february 26th, 1921, betty's childhood sounds like it came straight from a noir pulp fiction novel.

from wikipedia:

"...daughter of a railroad foreman, Percy E. Thornburg and his wife, Mabel Lum...(editor's note: speaking of hot names! sheesh!) While she was very young, her father abandoned the family for another woman. They did not hear of him again until they received a telegram in 1939, informing them of his suicide. Along with her older sister Marion, Betty was raised by her mother, who took the surname Hutton and was later billed as the actress Sissy Jones. (and again!)

The three started singing in the family's speakeasy when Betty was 3 years old. Troubles with the police kept the family on the move. Hutton sang in several local bands as a teenager, and at one point visited New York City hoping to perform on Broadway, where she was rejected. A few years later, she was scouted by orchestra leader Vincent Lopez, who gave Hutton her entry into the entertainment business.

After the 1967 death of her mother in a house fire and the collapse of her last marriage, Hutton's depression and pill addictions escalated. She divorced her fourth husband, jazz trumpeter Pete Candoli, and declared bankruptcy. Hutton had a nervous breakdown and later attempted suicide after losing her singing voice in 1970. After regaining control of her life through rehab, and the mentorship of a Roman Catholic priest, Father Peter Maguire, Hutton converted to Roman Catholicism and took a job as a cook at a rectory in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. She made national headlines when it was revealed she was working in a rectory..."

other notables include the fact that betty's daughters, of which there were two, did not attend her funeral. she also, much later in life, went to salve regina university (some catholic university) and earned a masters in psychology.

so basically, (and with all due respect) it sounds like mz hutton was crazier than a hoot owl!


here she is in her most famous role, annie get your gun, singing "you can't get a man with a gun." (i bet betty begged to differ).

last but certainly not least, here she is in a wacky outfit singing what could be one of my personal theme songs... (see earlier post about me not being a ducky shincracker). and yes, i know what you're thinking... "could you post an actual pin-up next friday? like, hmmm... let's see... betty grable??!"

i'll think about it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

hallelujah, i'm a bum again!

every time i have to move i worry that i'll end up homeless. is it just me or does everyone experience that?

i heard this song playing the other day on bostonpete.com (they have a 30's - '50's jazz "channel;" a must-hear!) when the following al jolson song came on. it cheered me up. and don't you worry, i'll be breaking down the lyrics after the song:

The weather's getting fine (true. it's like summer in march. viva global warming!)The coffee tastes like wine (sounds good to me!)You happy hobo, sing,
"Hallelujah, I'm A Bum Again!"

Why work away for wealth (modern translation: why work to barely make ends meet).
When you can travel for your health? (nice positive spin there, al!)
It's Spring, you hobo, sing,
"Hallelujah, I'm A bum again!"

Your home Is always near; (another excellent positive spin. very helpful).
The moon's your chandelier; (romantic!)
Your ceiling is the sky,
Way up high.
The  road Is your estate,
The earth your little dinner plate;

It's Spring, you hobo, sing,
"hallelujah, I'm A Bum Again!"
 those last lyrics about my ceiling being the sky and the road my estate and the earth my little dinner plate? well, that just makes homelessness sound romantic and poetic. can't beat that... sold! you know where to find me... at my "estate." eating off my "little dinner plate."  hallelujah!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

and the best hair award goes to...

many moons ago i posted on the wondrous frontal lobe hornet's nest that was tony curtis's hair and i pondered whether heartthrob-dom is mostly about great hair (and cool-looking eyes).

earlier this week i was watching TCM and found myself gawking at burt lancaster's hair in the 1960 film, elmer gantry. yes, burt was not only flexing his acting chops (he had significant chops) but he was effortlessly flexing his hair in every shot as well. burt won for best actor for his role in elmer gantry and i'd like to know whether he thanked his hair in his acceptance speech. if not, he should have.

and the "crowning glory" award goes to...

here's burt being all sensitive in the 1962 film, birdman of alcatraz.

to quote, burt to bird:

"out there you can kick up the dust. you can dance to fiddle music. watch the alfalfa bloom. if you like, you can... see gold teeth. taste sweet whiskey and red-eyed gravy. the air breathes easy, nights move faster, and you tell time by the clock. now you don't wanna be a jailbird all your life, do ya? you're a highballin' sparrow. so you fly high, old cock. go out there and bite the stars - for me. find yourself a fat mama and make a family. you hear?"

aren't these the words any young 'un, bird or not, longs to hear? i would like to know what "red-eyed gravy" is though and, to note, if someone called me "old cock" it would probably make me feel uncomfortable. but the rest is poetry - sheer poetry! 

for the record, i watched this film with a friend once and i was sobbing so hard that my friend thought i was laughing so she laughed (a bit nervously) until she turned to look at me and saw tears streaming down my face. awkward! best to watch this movie alone. with a box of kleenex. you've been warned.

Monday, March 19, 2012

40's/50's hottie of the week!

twin beds!

remember when, back in 'my era,' ma and pa slept in twin beds? oh yes, they did. and as far as i'm concerned it was a brilliant idea. is it a coincidence that divorce rates have skyrocketed since the introduction of double beds, then queen size beds, then king size beds... please! it's no coincidence at all!

get your own bed, i say. couples who buy themselves a king-size bed are screaming for their own beds. they're just being polite. and they're sleeping in denial. some even get a king that's half soft and half firm because one prefers soft, the other prefers firm. i say to those couples: life is short! get yourself your own bed! you'll love it.

now, to be clear, i'm not saying you should go out and get yourself a twin bed. no, that's not how you do it. you get yourself, at minimum, a double... preferably a queen... and a king if you really want to make a statement. actually, king is preferable; handy for occasional sleepovers. and there you have it. your daily recommended dose of age old wisdom from that's my era. apply sparingly.

and not to boast or anything, but my girlfriend and i discovered a long time ago that having our own beds is the way to go. we didn't pussyfoot around it. never mind that that soon led way to separate bedrooms... which is now leading to separate apartments...

but enough about me! here are some fine pictures of twin beds... *jazz hands*

i'll let a couple of famous twin-bedders lead this post out. and hopefully i'll have my own apartment before something like this goes down...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

happy (belated) st patrick's day!

sorry i'm a day behind this weekend but better late than never i always say. besides, a lot of you are probably nursing giant hangovers having partied hard last night to tunes such as:

now for some coverage of famous irish people from 'my era.' first off, a statuesque pin-up known as irish mccalla. irish was most famous for her role as sheena in sheena, queen of the jungle.

here's irish doing some clueless guy a favour by killing a crocodile for him. a woman's work is never done!

and here's sheena watching a dance that was most certainly not choreographed by busby berkeley:

more importantly, here are some pictures of mz irish. you're welcome!

now for the trailer for angels with dirty faces which is an "irish-american" movie if ever i saw one. it stars pat o'brien (playing a priest - of course) and james, "you dirty rat!" cagney playing the priest's friend, who is a gangster (of course). 

finally, a wee educational short on the dancehall era in ireland. doesn't get more irish than the narrator's nose & suspenders, am i right?