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"The mark of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in your head at the same time" - F. Scott Fitzgerald.


 Baby Boomer Blog - The Latest Entries

"the social generation born from 1943 to 1960, who were too young to have any personal memory of World War II, but old enough to remember the postwar American High"

This is the second and third years of Jeff's "Baby Boomer" Blog,  which is intended to be an endless ramble about all things historical and nostalgic.  Having grown up in Ohio's Ashland County,  much of it relates to that area during the 1950's and 60's.   I will add to it as things occur to me and it will for the most part be completely disorganized.   I find the basic tendency to wax nostalgic an interesting one and am starting to get a handle on why it is so appealing, at least in my case.  For me much of the attraction is that childhood was a time when the world seemed limitless and exciting.

The Blog has a new organizational style for 2014,  relying entirely on subpages;  some with a brief teaser on this page (see below) and  others just part of the list in the upper left of the page.  Some of these subpages will even have their own subpages.  The entries way back in 2013 can be viewed on their original pages (those links are in the box at the top center of this page).

Please contact me at jeffrey.ewing1@gmail.com with any comments you wish to add to the comment section or with requests to remove (or properly credit) a borrowed image.  Spelling corrections are also welcome.

 The mother of stupidity is always pregnant

All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Corps!

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

This is my favorite photo of my Aunt Carol (the one on the right) and one of the few childhood photos of her where she is NOT holding a cat.  She graduated from Ashland High School in 1950 so I'll let you date the photo.

For more go to:


I love these school group photos but this one was unidentified.   I'm guessing about 1904, probably the elementary school in Auburn Indiana,  given I found it in a box of my grandmother's photos; that might be her in the back row - 7th from the left.  If anyone can shed some light on it please send me an email.

24 February 2015

Suzy, dear Suzy,
What stirs in the straw?
The prettiest goslings
That you ever saw;

But narry a gosling
Has stocking or shoe;
Now what will our
Poor little goslings do?

Send for the shoemaker,
To him we'll say,
"Could you make some shoes
For our goslings today?"
The cobbler has leather,
But no last to use,
So our little goslings
Must go without shoes.

Another song from childhood that popped into my head this morning.   The only part I remembered was the final four lines and I remembered it as "but no less to use" and "but no less to lose", the former being what I thought it was when I first learned it and the latter probably the impact of time on my memory.  I never understood the meaning of that line.   But it makes sense if the word was last (not less) because a last is a pattern form that has a shape similar to that of a foot. It is used by shoemakers in the manufacture and repair of shoes.  It would not surprise me if our whole class and sang it as "no less to use" but no teacher picked up on our mistake and confusion.

16 February 2015

1936 Great Lakes Exposition

OK, you got me. What does an event from 1936 have to do with Baby Boomers?  
We were not even a gleam in our fathers' eye - although my father was 15 in 1936 and on occasion probably had a gleam in his eye.  I include it because I just found some stuff about it and it was an interesting but long forgotten event.  I'll justify it by saying that during my childhood trips to see the Indians play at Municipal Stadium I had occasion to wonder about the huge paved parking lot stretching out to the East from the center field gate, seeming to run for several miles along the shore of Lake Erie;  and the odd little park outside the left field side of the structure.   Now the old stadium is gone and the Science Center stands on that parking lot,  with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame occupying the area in the distance.   What I did not know back then was that this huge stretch of asphalt had been the site of a large regional exposition less than two decades before I was born.  I do recall a small historical marker about this in the old parking lot but otherwise there was no tangible indication of the location's relatively recent history.

Click here for more:

11 February 2015

Campus Maps

One of my pet projects is campus maps,  I will be slowing building a map archive in this new section, just click on the purple link:


24 January 2015

1959 Topps Hal Woodeshick #106

"Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Cubs teams, died Friday night.

Greeted with this headline today I found myself flashing back 55 years to my salient Ernie Banks moment.

Card #350 - a disappointing 3rd Place in the 1959 Duff Drive baseball card draft.

In our Ashland neighborhood,  baseball and football card collecting first arrived in a big way during the summer of 1959,  when most of us were eight and nine years old.  1959 was the third summer for most of us in the neighborhood - the streets had been developed in 1955-56 and most families moved in at that time.  Why this hobby did not hit us in 1957 or 1958 I do not know,  why it hit so big in 1959 was probably just a need to first attain a critical mass.  Little did we know at the time that by a bit of life's serendipity the 1959 baseball cards were destined to become the most important and lasting images of our youth.   In those days Topps released cards by series,  with the lower number cards released in the spring and the higher numbers released gradually during the course of the season.   Our collecting did not take off until summer and by that point the stores had sold their supply of boxes containing low number cards.  So all of us had a good supply of high number cards,  some middle number cards, and just a handful of low number

For more about our 1959 baseball card collecting adventures and the significance of Hal Woodeshick click the above link.

18 January 2015

It's Rex Manning Day!


I heard you on the wireless back in Fifty Two
Lying awake intent at tuning in on you
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through
Oh-a oh
They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine and new technology
and now I understand the problems you can see
Oh-a oh

I met your children
Oh-a oh
What did you tell them?
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star

Pictures came and broke your heart
Oh-a-a-a oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingles used to go
You were the first one
Oh-a oh
You were the last one

In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone to far

"Buggles group member Trevor Horn has said that his lyrics were inspired by the J.G. Ballard short story The Sound-Sweep, in which the title character, a mute boy vacuuming up stray music in a world without it, comes upon an opera singer hiding in a sewer. 

He also felt "an era was about to pass." The theme of the song is thus nostalgia, which is also echoed in the tone of the music. The lyrics refer to a period of technological change in the 1960s, the desire to remember the past and the disappointment that children of the current generation would not appreciate the past. In the 1950s and early 1960s, radio was an important medium for many, through which "stars" were created."

The Sound-Sweep was first published in Science Fantasy, Volume 13, Number 39, February 1960

The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960 — Ultrasonic music is the new fashion and phonographs and live performances are a thing of the past.  It is a world where the echoes of music remain in their concert halls, where conversations are preserved in the walls and floors, and “sound sweeps” use sonovacs to clean up the past, often at the request of those fearing blackmail or noise pollution.  Madame Gioconda, the aging and discarded opera star, and Mangon, a mute “sound sweep” enjoy an unlikely friendship, one Mangon desperately hopes is real, as he loves the decaying but once magnificent diva.  When Gioconda finds a way for Mangon to help her reclaim her fame through a comeback performance, Mangon feels the depth of her trust in him and  suddenly regains his voice.  The night before her comeback, a rival asks Mangon to “sound sweep” her during the performance for her own good, as she doesn’t realize that her voice has lost its beauty.  Mangon refuses, still loyal, and tries to reach her, but she has packed up her apartment and abandoned him in anticipation of her impending success.  A brutal message of sound has been left in the wall for him to “read”: “GO AWAY YOU UGLY CHILD! NEVER TRY TO SEE ME AGAIN!”  Mangon attends her performance as planned, but he destroys his sonovac so that her caterwalling will be heard by all.

If you got the Rex Manning Day reference you are probably a boomer in spirit who like me connected deeply with Alan Moyle's "Empire Records".  Although a 1995 film it evokes certain flower child values and a childlike wish that such a place existed.  "Video Killed the Radio Star" plays as the store employees prepare for the arrival of music video personality Rex Manning.

11 January 2015

Bond Girls

"Thunderball" was released in late 1965, so it is (amazingly) approaching its 50th anniversary.  I had seen all the Bond movies and read all the books at this point.  This is my favorite image from the franchise and probably led to my decision to purchase a BSA Lightning a few years later - without the RPG tubes on the fairing.

Luciana Paluzzi
was born on June 10, 1937 in Rome, Lazio, Italy and was a serious actress despite often being cast in this sort of fluff.  But she is hands down my favorite Bond Girl;  red hair - bad girl - leather, what's not to like?  See more Luciana photos here:


1 January 2015

In Memoriam

The inspiration for starting this site two years ago was the death of Bonnie Fields,  my childhood crush on the Mickey Mouse Club.  With the passing of 2014 it seems appropriate to feature those baby boomer related celebrities who we lost since last New Year's Day.  For more Bonnie stuff click the U-Tube link to see Bonnie's first appearance on Talent Round-Up Day or go to the 2013 blog entries and scroll down to the first entry in January 2013. 

 Don was not a baby boomer but his voice has been a part of our television viewing since we first tuned in to those black & white sets and clicked around between the three available channels.

"In Memorian" is continued on this page:


29 December 2014

A Page About Ashland Ohio Schools

Ashland High School traditionally showcases a student production of a Broadway musical each spring,  in McDowell Auditorium which is slated to be torn down with the Junior High School next year.  I have listed the ones that were offered during my school days as best that I can recall and find in old yearbooks.  These were extremely well done for student productions,  with enough of a budget so that the production design was top notch.  They opened with an afternoon matinee for students and then gave several evening performances for the general public.  I believe that the first one I attended was "Oklahoma" when I was in fifth grade; I recall actual specifics from that performance and have no such recollections for the 1959 and 1960 productions.   I had been unimpressed by the "Music Man" film and passed on attending the stage production in 8th grade,  as I recall even students had to purchase tickets if they wanted to attend,  if you didn't go you marked time in study hall.   Most kids went and it says something about my willful 8th grade personality that I chose not to attend.

1959 - Annie Get You Gun
1960 - The King & I
1961 - Oklahoma
1962 - Brigadoon
1963 - South Pacific
1964 - The Music Man
1965 - The Sound of Music
1966 - My Fair Lady
1967 - The Unsinkable Molly Brown
1968 - Camelot

The tradition continues in 2015 with another production of "The Sound of Music", forty years after the one I attended.  But this will be the last time on the stage of McDowell Auditorium as the building will be closed and demolished this summer.  As a fanatical preservationist I find the rush to tear down rather than re-purpose to be the daily message a flawed society sends to its citizens that their existence is of no significance.


(click on the above link for some "AHS" photos)

24 December 2014

For no reason other than the season (I assume) this song has been running through my head all day.  I was not sure of the entire song or where I heard it but it turns out that Doris Day released it 50 years ago,  and it turns out that my memory of the lyrics was amazingly accurate.


Music: Victor Herbert
Lyrics: Glen MacDonough

When you've grown up, my dears,
And are as old as I,
You'll often ponder on the years
That roll so swiftly by,
My dears, that roll so swiftly by,
And of the many lands
You will have journeyed through,
You'll oft recall
The best of all
The land your childhood knew!
Your childhood knew!


Toyland! Toyland!
Little girl and boyland,
While you dwell within it,
You are ever happy then.
Childhood's joyland,
Mystic merry Toyland!
Once you pass its borders you can ne'ver return again!

When you've grown up, my dears,
There comes a dreary day
When 'mid the locks of black appears
The first pale gleam of gray,
My dears, the first pale gleam of gray
Then of the past you'll dream
As grayhaired grownups do,
And seek once more
Its phantom shore,
The land your childhood knew!
Your childhood knew!



Victor Herbert

Herbert was long gone before us baby boomers were even born but Disney brought some of his music to us in their 1961  "Babes In Toyland" movie.

9 December 2014

Yesterday the Ohio Senate passed a bill legalizing the use of bottle rockets, firecrackers and other consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio despite hearing earlier in the day from doctors, firefighters and safety advocates who oppose the measure.

Some were concerned by testimony from doctors and safety advocates about the dangers of fireworks. The bill's opponents said about half of all those injured by fireworks are bystanders who did not choose to set off the explosives.It is a first-degree misdemeanor for unlicensed individuals to discharge fireworks in Ohio or to possess the goods after they should have been taken out of the state. First-time offenders face fines up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

Senate President Keith Faber, a Celina Republican, said fireworks regulation has evolved over the years and the bill ensures only "regulated, approved" fireworks will be allowed in Ohio. The bill also allows counties and townships to ban the fireworks or restrict dates and times when fireworks could be set off.  "We're all for safety but we also want to make sure that we give personal liberty an option as well," Faber told reporters after the vote.

I only mention this because it means that my two biggest childhood wishes have come true,  although in this case too late for me to get maximum enjoyment.  The two things I wanted most of all in 1960 was my own private collection of movies (complete with screening equipment) and for Ohio to legalize fireworks.   I got my first wish years ago with the introduction of Beta and VHS tapes.  To learn about a fairly typical Ohio baby boomer's fireworks history click on this link:


22 November 2014

Penny (Gloria Winters) passed away in 2010 at age 78.  She was not really a baby boomer but was certainly a fixture of our television viewing.  I have to agree with this U-Tube comment although I don't recall it being that noticeable until Yvonne Craig appeared as Batgirl. 

"Penny was bound and gagged in a number of Sky King episodes.  Television drama shows in the 1950s often depicted people tied up .... I suspect many of the writers on these shows were bondage lovers..."



2 November 2014

I never owned a Schwinn Mark II Jaguar, pictured on this 1957 Dell comic book back cover.  I put it on here as a shameless plug for the bicycle write-up on the pages of my 2013 blog,  click "here" and then scroll down to the February 5, 2013 entry.  My Schwinn Traveler was simply a stripped down version of this 1957 Jaguar with even more flashy chrome and the same performance issues - namely too heavy for any normal purpose other than riding on cinder paths where it was more stable than a lighter bike with narrow tires.  And there were a lot more cinder paths sixty years ago than there are today because home furnaces and factories burned coal.  Schwinn had reached their dominance with the baby boomer generation by marketing rather than by engineering.  But say what you will about the company their bikes were a good value simply because of their durability,  baby boomers grew out of their Schwinn - they never wore out their Schwinn.

This great ad is from a 1960 comic, the bike is basically a girls' version of my Schwinn Traveler with the same medium size tires and the chrome fenders;  and probably the same price my father paid to put me in the rider's seat.   It was an amazing amount of money for him to spend on me,  I think it was a birthday present when I turned eleven, as I recall riding it to both Osborn and to the Junior High School.  Note the green logo highlight on the grips - the Traveler grips had this in red,  it was a prestige thing as the less expensive models did not highlight the molded Schwinn logo. 

I don't recall any girls in our school owning one of these "Fair Ladies" which probably meant there were none as the similarities would have made it memorable to me.  In our town girls were not big bike riders,  especially after age ten, although it was a girl who first taught me how to ride a bicycle and I learned on hers - learning to ride was much easier on a girls' bike because they were much easier to step off.  The "American Picker" guys say that girls' bikes are worth less than boys' bikes because the girls took better care of them although it would seem to me that the production runs for the girls' models must have been much lower than for the boys.

29 October 2014

Betsy Jobs

"Betsy Jobs"

Click here for the page on this story.

7 July 2014

My Readjustment Blues In Greensboro

I spent last Friday in Kentucky,  and the 4th of July celebration in Bowling Green got me thinking of how it has been 39 years since I spent the summer in Greensboro, North Carolina (including July 4th 1975), sharing the second floor of a house on Mendenhall Street between the two colleges and taking Macroeconomics & Sociology 101.  I had driven down from New York (I had been discharged that January and had spent the spring semester at Cornell) and I found a notice in the student union from two guys needing someone to rent their 3rd bedroom for the summer.  Amazingly the house had no air conditioning and we had no television set;  we just kept the windows open,  fans blowing, and the stereo playing Jethro Tull and Elton John.  The house backed up on a Greensboro College dorm (#7 on the attached map) and I spent a lot of my time in their lounge, which was far cooler than our house and had a television set.   I just acted like I belonged there and took books with me to study,  nobody questioned my hanging around.

This was the summer when I sold the old 190SL Mercedes that took Ashland friend Brian Linke and I around Europe in 1974 (well technically just France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland).  I had an ad in Road & Track magazine but ended up selling it to a milkman in Greensboro after I listed it in the Greensboro paper. So if you see a right-hand drive Mercedes cruising around North Carolina,  it very likely is the one I brought back from England.   Interestingly,  with Brian staying on my tiny base in Bedfordshire England,  we had three guys who had been roaming around Ashland Junior High School just a few years earlier;  as Marc Robbins was also assigned there.

Click here for discussion of my Mercedes-190SL

20 June 2014


I did not own this pedal car and cannot swear with complete certainty that I played in one of them,  but the little roll bar and the other details seem quite familiar so I am 90% certain that someone I knew had one.  They were not around long,  probably coming out toward the end of "Roy Rogers" television show, which ended production in 1957.  There was no space between Nelly and Belle although both spellings are common.  Interesting that Pat Brady and Roy Rogers were both Ohioans.  Click below for more:


14 May 2014

It's A Daisy

click here for my Daisy BB gun story

21 March 2014:

My Radio Flyer was a "Rex Jet"

Antonio Pasin started building wooden toy wagons in Chicago in 1917, selling them to area shops. His business grew until the Liberty Coaster Company, named in honour of the Statue of Liberty was formed in 1923. In 1930, the company was renamed Radio Steel & Manufacturing. The renamed company produced steel-bodied wagons and used assembly line manufacturing techniques. The new Radio Flyer wagons were named for Pasin's fascination with radio and with flight.

Click this link for more pages of this story:

My Rex Jet Wagon

9 February 2014:

Fifty years ago today,
on Feb. 9, 1964, via “The Ed Sullivan Show,” America met the Beatles.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/07/3273654/the-beatles-50th-anniversary-ed.html#storylink=cpy

The Beatles would have happened here whether they played “The Ed Sullivan Show” or not. Indeed, for many the only reason the show is remembered is that the Beatles were on it, but they might not have happened so explosively, so definitively, so fast. Their first appearance on the show, which they opened and closed, was estimated to have been seen by a record-breaking 73 million viewers, or one in three Americans, and they appeared the next week as well, remote from Miami Beach, and the week after that, on videotape.

Not everyone who watched was converted, of course. If they were relatively friendly revolutionaries, with their pressed suits and bemused grins, professional politesse and malt-shop lyrics, they were revolutionaries nonetheless. Their energy was fearsome, their wit sharp and their hair, by local standards, was for some confusingly long.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/07/3273654/the-beatles-50th-anniversary-


Click this link for more pages of this story:

29 January 2014: 

Little Rita Rosebud
"Tubby is devastated when he can't afford to attend Little Rita Rosebud's stage show".  Script by John Stanley, art by Irving Tripp.

If you search for "Little Rita Rosebud" on the internet,  this is the only link other than a comic book character index.  Think about the implications of that,  it means out of the billions of people on the planet I am the only one with enough interest in the story (my all-time favorite) and in the internet to post something about this material,  the reinforcement of our uniqueness is perhaps the most significant thing about the internet.  Jeff is weird!

Little Rita Rosebud

Click this link for more pages of this story:

26 January 2014:  Brewster McCloud

This has been on my list of top ten films since I first saw it 40+ years ago.  It withholds at lot from the initial viewing and you discover something new each time you watch it. 

The film has references to other films, Altman's own work, and other places. Altman refers to Bullitt (1969) by including a character named Frank Shaft, who is a detective from San Francisco.  The name may have inspired the name of Richard Roundtree's "John Shaft" character,  in a more subtle parody from 1971 ("he just took my man Leroy and threw him out the God damn window").   

Homages to The Wizard of Oz (1939) have been noted in the film, as Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, is the music conductor seen during the opening credits. She is seen wearing ruby slippers in the film.  Hope (Jennifer Salt) who supplies Brewster with health food, resembles Dorothy, as she wears a distinctive gingham dress, has pigtails and carries a basket. At the end of the film, she is shown in the cast as Dorothy carrying Toto.

Shelley Duvall (below) plays a Raggedy Ann airhead character (without Luna Lovegood's redeeming qualities) and actually appears as a Raggedy Ann clown in the final scene.  

The coolest of all the images from the 60's-70's,  this one was right in the middle of that period as Altman's film was made in 1970,  just after he made "MASH".

Brewster McCloud

Click above for full review.

22 January 2014:  Harper Valley P.T.A.

Harper Valley P.T.A.

Click above for full story.

12 January 2014:  "Back On That Old Bipolar Pony"


Evan's "King of California" character actually says: "Time to get on that old bipolar pony and ride";  which seems an appropriate ("polar" duh) title for a discussion of greenhouses and of global warming, as well as a nice title for my first blog entry of the new year.  So click on this link and prepare to be both informed and entertained:

Click above for full story.

City and civil rights leaders in Birmingham unveiled the “Four Spirits” statue in Kelly Ingram Park Saturday memorializing the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, one day before the 50th anniversary of that tragedy. On Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb placed by Ku Klux Klansman exploded before Sunday services killing four girls – 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and 11-year-old Denise McNair. The bombing shocked the public, helping lead to passage of the Civil Rights Act a year later. However, other than a plaque on the side of the church there has been no permanent memorial to the victims in Birmingham.