From the desk of Contributing Editor, Eli M. Getson–
Our Grandparent’s generation got it right, man– the fully loaded, properly-appointed basement bar. via here
Like a lot of us affected by the ongoing economic instability, I’ve had to tighten the purse strings a bit lately. Simply put– I’m spending more time at home, and less dough on going out. That said, my penchant for enjoying a stiff drink with friends has inspired me to bring back something my Grandparent’s generation held sacred and all had– the basement bar. Let us be clear before anyone reads on– this is not about having an additional fridge stocked with Corona you bought from Costco, a jumbo bag of chips, and a few crappy bean bags that reek of stale beer from your frat house days. That’s the JV approach, and not an atmosphere where anyone serious about drinking and socializing wants to hang. In short– it is not a bar.
Can I pour you a tall, stiff one? Does anyone wear a tie at home anymore, let alone in their basement? Circa 1965– via here
The home bar craze started post WWII, as more Americans realized the dream of home ownership (late 1940’s to early 1970’s being my unofficial Golden Years). As families migrated more and more to the suburbs, they found themselves enjoying entertaining at home. Probably because as first-time home owners, they truly busted their asses to get into a house– saving every nickel (they’d never even consider defaulting on a mortgage), and when they finally settled on their dream house, they were truly proud of it, and wanted to show it off to friends and family alike. Also restaurants and bars were still largely urban back then. It would be many years before the suburbs were teaming with every silly “TGI– what is that ridiculous friggin’ costume” restaurant/bar franchise. The other great thing back then– the “politically correct” culture of today was not around to stop grownups from socializing– sans kids. Back in the day, entertaining the children was what the TV upstairs was made for. With the kiddies safely locked away watching Rawhide, the adults were free to to enjoy top-shelf spirits, Chesterfield smoky treats, and boozy, adult conversation in the privacy of their own homes– truly paradise on earth.
Circa 1949– Glamour gal, Eileen Howe, having a drink on New Year’s Eve in Samuel Spiegel’s home bar. Photo by Peter Stackpole for LIFE magazine.
According to William Goldman, when he first wrote the script and sent it out for consideration, only one studio wanted to buy it, and that was with the proviso that the two lead characters did not flee to South America. When Goldman protested that that was what had happened, the studio head responded, “I don’t give a shit. All I know is John Wayne don’t run away.” Goldman rewrote the script, “didn’t change it more than a few pages, and subsequently found that every studio wanted it.”
William Goldman said that many young people saw the super posse in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ as a metaphor for the government and authority during the years of anti-war protests. He said his students said the similarity lay in the relentlessness by which both “would hunt you down.”
There are many interesting, historical bits to discover in the Bunny Yeager Archive at the University of Miami Special Collections. Bunny Yeager was clearly the “world’s prettiest photographer,” and was into “finding regular girls around Miami,” in the 1960s. She had famously photographed Bettie Page in several exotic locations across Florida too.
The Selvedge Yarddefinitely sells a lot more black tees than any other color. I get it. I love black too. When I’m not wearing a black tee , I’m wearing a Heather Grey Tri-blend T-shirt. It’s a perfect mid-weight 50/25/25 blend of poly / combed ring-spun cotton / rayon knit that reduces shrinking, and is super-soft.
I like how Tri-blend tees age with wear, getting softer with each wash and gradually breaking down to feel perfectly aged like your coveted, old vintage poly / cotton blend gym shirt.
Bo Diddley was a singer and guitarist who invented his own name, his own guitars, his own beat and, and with a handful of other musical pioneers, rock ’n’ roll itself. In the 1950s, as a founder of rock ’n’ roll, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and a few others reshaped the sound of popular music worldwide, building on the template of blues, Southern gospel, R&B and postwar American vernacular culture.
In an interview aired on TCM, George Kennedy discussed how Joy Harmon’s iconic car washing scene was originally scheduled for half a day, and how that shoot ended up taking 3 days. Kennedy laughed and said, “Somewhere…there’s 80,000 feet of film with Joy Harmon washing that car!”
When Joy Harmon filmed the scene in which the men watch her wash her car, she had no idea how suggestive it was. It never occurred to her until she saw it in the theater. “I just figured it was washing the car. I’ve always been naive and innocent,” she said. “I was acting and not trying to be sexy. Maybe that’s why the scene played so well. After seeing it at the premiere, I was a bit embarrassed.”
The classic anti-establishment movie “Cool Hand Luke,” was based on a novel written by the American author, Donn Pearce. In the novel, Pearce writes about the personal experiences he went through during his own time spent on a Florida Department of Corrections chain gang, and those of stories of legendary prisoners retold over and over. Pearce was particularly raptured when he heard stories of one prisoner whose legend eclipsed all others, named Luke (Lucas) Jackson, which later became the main character of the film.
“I had the pleasure of building the entire machine myself. Doug Kinney sanded it and helped paint it, but the entire concept here was to build a machine for parades and stuff. At the first parade I threw candy from the rear trailer to the kids in the crowd, and it spooked the horses in the parade (kids chasin’ candy) I never did that again! Newton was responsible for the sketches of the ‘Candy Wagon’ after the machine was built. I drove this machine to many bike runs in and around California and it was an exceptional Harley trike motorcycle and very dependable!” ~Ed Roth
“For Corvette enthusiasts, the real star of ‘Clambake’ is the 1959 Stingray Racer concept— the car that is said to be the opening design salvo in what became the 1963 Corvette Stingray. While Corvette innovation was experience an exciting acceleration, the days of big money movie deals for Elvis were downshifting. Riffing on the similarity of every Elvis movie to every other Elvis movie, a studio executive once quipped: ‘Why do we bother to give his movies titles – couldn’t they just be numbered?'”