Category Archives: amusement

Society Page

While researching the designer label on an evening gown I picked up this weekend for Tiddleywink Vintage, I came across the “society” page of The Pittsburgh Press, November 15, 1947. I hope you like these snippets. Click ’em to see ’em larger.

Dolores (Carr) Rothrauff, 1947

Bunnye (Wedner) Kramer, 1947

Dorothy (Parrish) Briney, 1947

Social Situations, 1947

Juke Box Wail, 1947

Long Skirts, 1947

Other News:

A day in Leadville, CO

  • The fella and I, along with his younger sister and their parents, went up to Leadville (Colo.) for a day trip over the weekend for the parents’ 40th anniversary. The dad lived in Leadville until 1958, so it was a trip jam-packed with anecdotes and information that really made for an interesting day. We saw the hospital where dad was born (now condos) as well as the tar-paper house where his mother was born in 1906. We went past the rectory where her father first stopped—ready to receive his last rites—when he arrived in Leadville, because he was sure that his arid-climate nosebleed was in fact a sign of the high-altitude-induced brain hemorrhage that would soon cause his death. :) An antiques shop in Leadville is where I found the aforementioned gown, but seeing as it’s not exactly a fancy-dress town, I’m not sure if it ever saw a dance floor locally. Perhaps it caught a performance or two at the Tabor Opera House before being packed away for many years.
  • Also acquired: my first piece (no, really!) of Fire-King Jadite ovenware! I’ve long been on the hunt for a single, affordable, useful piece. Yes, I could use a mug, but I have this whole matchy-matchy thing going and I likely wouldn’t. I once found a solo fridgie dish-and-lid for a reasonable price, but it was chipped. Then lo, what do I spy in the corner of the antiques store but what appears to be a smallishy loaf baker which is not only marked a reasonable $22 but also conveniently on sale for 20% off! Once I got it home I learned that it’s actually a fridgie dish but with the less common (?) “Colonial” style rim, and it should have a clear lid. This set came with the same clear, handle-less lids used on the Gay Fad painted series. Those seem more easily found online, so I may buy myself a Gay Fad set just to steal the lid. ANYway…pale green bliss!
  • The cherry-pie-that-didn’t-turn-out, I have decided, will make a delicious addition to a batch of homemade ice cream. Mmmm, ice cream!
  • The wardrobe dep’t. for “Vegas” placed another order! Woo!
  • Um, probably other stuff! Zippity doo-dah!

Very happy to be working this week on a project for Cooper House, who are not only pretty darn fab designers (and coders), but also wonderful friends. However, between that and a client meeting I have on Wednesday and a high-maintenance-pet-sitting gig I have going all this week: go away. I’m busy. I’ll be blogging (I hope!) but you have a reprieve from the baking/canning/cooking posts this week. Ta for now!



Filed under amusement, collections, day job, design, family, fashion, friends, nostalgia, shopping, the office, vintage

The Tale of the Curious Curio

Curio ad, scanned from a 1959 periodical

Okay, so it’s not so much of a tale, actually. Unless you’ve “heard strange tales about mysterious looking Hands.” I came across this small ad in the margin of one of my old magazines (this one from 1959) and I’m intrigued by this…thing. The cost of $3.48 wasn’t exactly small change back then: according to my handy inflation calculator, that’s the buying power of a little more than $27 today. But hey, it does come in its own lambskin bag! I’m just as curious about the semi-random capitalization throughout the ad as I am about the curio. The only other mention I can find online of the P. S. Bureau Co. (not the U.K. utility company) is another ad, this time for a Perpetual Prayer Cross.

I can’t tell you much about this curious curio, but if I ever run across one, I’m gluing a pinback to it and wearing it as a “strange” brooch!

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Filed under advertising, amusement, jewelry, vintage


’member the other day when I said I’d picked up some olde periodicals over the weekend? Truth. I was planning to scan in some old ads, for either their entertainment value or their classic beauty, BUT…

The National Police Gazette has, scattered among its pages of (yawn) boxing statistics, PURE PULP GENIUS. I can’t NOT share these images with you. So here we go (and as usual, clicking on an image will show you the larger version):

New York’s Chief Magistrate Murtagh EXPOSES—

Erica Steele, attractive redhead, was described by police as a “madam.” —The National Police Gazette, Jan 1959 / from “Cast the First Stone,” by John M. Murtagh and Sara Harris, ©1957

Nancy Hawkins, shown here modeling, was one of the girls questioned in New York’s famed Jelke vice case. —The National Police Gazette, Jan 1959 / from “Cast the First Stone,” by John M. Murtagh and Sara Harris, ©1957

Pat Ward, was a chief witness in the trial of Mickey Jelke on vice charges. At right is address book in which Pat kept names of her “friends.” —The National Police Gazette, Jan 1959 / from “Cast the First Stone,” by John M. Murtagh and Sara Harris, ©1957

Model Jerri Maxwell, testifying in a vice trial, admitted having relations with seven men…The men in question, she said, paid her from $20 to $100. —The National Police Gazette, Jan 1959 / from “Cast the First Stone,” by John M. Murtagh and Sara Harris, ©1957

Aren’t they just dripping with intrigue? The book these are all taken from is out of copyright (I checked) so I could share the accompanying article, but these “shamed women” are the best bits anyway.

On a side note: Facebook logged me out while I was posting yesterday, and won’t let me log back in until I give them my cell phone number. Which I won’t do (nor will I go out of my way to get a temporary, “disposable” number just to feed their hunger for personal information), so the Facebook page and all related communication is in a coma until further notice. You can still find me here, as well as on Instagram and Twitter (my username for both is @ampersandwich). And Pinterest, too!

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Filed under amusement, collections, fashion, life-threatening clutter, vintage

Vegas, Baby!

My regular readers (that’s you) know that I have a fondness for the early heyday of glitzy, glamorous, kitschy, Las Vegas. Sure, I know there was massive crime and corruption, but OOOH, GLITTER AND STILETTO HEELS AND GUYS IN SUITS. You may not know that I also enjoy a good costume drama. Yes, I very much enjoy shows like Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, and of course Mad Men. So when I glimpsed an ad for a new show on CBS called “Vegas” and set in the early ’60s, I perked up and watched! Based on a true story? Check. Cowboys? Check. Gangsters? Check. From the writer of Goodfellas? Check. Dennis Quaid, Michael Chiklis, and Carrie-Anne Moss? Check, check, and check. Accuracy and attention to detail?

The sets feature a 170-foot-long-block facade of Fremont Street as it appeared in 1960, with an assortment of Western-style casinos, a pawn shop and bingo hall. Electricians installed 500 transformers to power all the neon lights.

[Carey Meyer’s] teams also built a 15,000-square-foot fictional casino called The Savoy, equipped with vintage slot machines, Sputnik chandeliers, period roulette tables and a large awning that opens up to the Fremont Street set.

To make the street as authentic as possible, Meyer relied on old photographs of casinos such as the Golden Nugget and watched clips from famous Vegas movies including “Bugsy,” starring Warren Beatty; the 1960 film “Ocean’s Eleven” starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin; and the James Bond picture “Diamonds Are Forever,” which shot a car chase scene on Fremont.

Michael Chiklis, Kai Lennox, James Russo, Dennis Quaid and Jason O’Mara

Carrie-Anne Moss walks with Dennis Quaid on the set. ( Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times )

Dennis Quaid waits in front of the Golden Nugget. ( Kirk McKoy, Los Angeles Times )

Well, looks like I have a date with my TV on September 25th. And then…

Over the weekend, I get an unusually large order at Tiddleywink Vintage. Folks typically buy one or two things (although I do offer a discount code on multi-item purchases, and the shipping gets a better break, so ask me if you’re interested) and then come back later for another piece. One item at a time, slowly building up their collection. This order, while not huge, is not typical. I take a look at the shipping address, and HELLO, THIS IS FOR THE WARDROBE DEPARTMENT OF VEGAS! A show where they’re making a point of getting the details right! I am so honored to be recognized this way for accurately describing my listings, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to see something of “mine” flash across the screen this fall.


Filed under amusement, fashion, shopping, vintage, Viva Las Vegas

Cherries, Eddie Clendening, and Gil Elvgren

This will be sort of a stream-of-consciousness post. Bear with me.

Cherries. The cherries are delicious this season, and they were on sale, so I bought a lot. And now I’m wondering what to do with them all! I’ve heard they freeze very well, and goodness, that would be a wonderful addition to all those smoothies I don’t make. But you know how I love to cook, and so I asked on the Tiddleywink Vintage Facebook page: what would you do with approximately 3 pounds of cherries? The most common reply thus far has been “pie,” which is fine and tasty but what kind of cherry pie? You do realize, of course, that I have cookbooks dedicated solely to pie recipes, and believe me, they have pages of recipes for cherry pies. One suggestion was to dry them, which certainly will keep them viable for far longer than my refrigerator, but I’m not a snack-on-dried-fruit person. I’d need to do something with them again, maybe a dried cherry sauce or reworking the dried-cherry-pie recipe that I did last winter and wasn’t thrilled with. And apparently didn’t post about, but you didn’t miss much. More suggestions included making a crisp, making sauce for pork (mmmm) and making them into liqueur for the winter holidays. These are all excellent suggestions, and I’m inspired. I think that what I may do is make a cherry pie with cream cheese crust, and with the rest: the tiniest batch of spiced cherries, put up for winter. Whatever I do, the recipes will follow later this week.

Related to above: someone posted a while back that she had just learned the trick of pitting cherries with a chopstick and a bottle, and I tucked that away in my brain matter. (I’ve tried the paperclip method, and it’s crap. I didn’t make a cherry pie for years after that, because the experience of pitting cherries that way had been so awful.) I’ve eyeballed a few different cherry pitter gadgets, but never felt that the expense of money and storage space was really worth it. But empty bottles and chopsticks? Those, I have on hand. And it works! Far easier than digging around with a difficult-to-grip paperclip, that’s for sure. It’s messy, and cherry juice will spray well beyond the boundaries of your apron (my readers wear an apron, of course, when tending to kitchen tasks). Wear black, and keep a sponge handy for cleanup. My ratio of pitting-to-eating was perhaps 20 to 1, of which I’m fairly proud. Anyway, now they’re ready to go, no matter what I decide to do with them.


Local-boy-done-good Eddie Clendening is back in town for a brief visit, and he and the Blue Ribbon Boys, as well as The Lucky Few and Bongo and the Pygmies, put on a slam-dunk swell 7-hour show down at Gary Lee’s. DJ Dogboy filled in the gaps, and fun was had by all. Eddie asked Woody up to the stage for a song, and I do ever so love Woody’s singing voice. I told Dina that if I’d known, I’d have brought a spare pair of panties with me to toss onto the stage!

Eddie Clendening and the Blue Ribbon Boys…and Woody. My apologies to Eddie and Mark for their unfortunate eye glare. LASER MUSICIANS!

I picked up a few things for Tiddleywink Vintage and Winkorama Vintage Sewing at some estate sales on Saturday. Not the trunkloads that I see other vendors showing off, but a few dresses, a pair of shoes, some cookbooks. It’s rare that I run into a motherlode of goodies, at prices that I can actually keep affordable for you guys. Anyway, each sale was filthier than the last, and I was so excited to get home and bathe that I didn’t get a chance to properly look through the stack of $10—Whole Box stuff until yesterday. 6 local newspapers from 1962, a 1958 LIFE magazine, a 1963 LOOK magazine, two 1959 issues of the National Police Gazette, and my favorite so far, a 1948 issue of Woman’s Home Companion. I plan to go back and read the articles, but, well, I could spend the rest of my life just scanning in all of the wonderful ads to share with you, from this and so many other vintage magazines in my collection. For now, let’s leave with a sweet Gil Elvgren painting which accompanies a bit of fiction titled A Lover and His Lass.

Gil Elvgren, 1948 “A Lover and His Lass”

Now, time for lunch, then to pack this weekend’s orders for shipping, and to get some new listings up for you! Happy Monday!

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Filed under amusement, collections, food, friends, music, vintage