Saturday, April 30, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "Z" FOR SAN DIEGO ZOO


Finally, the letter Z. I've been to the San Diego Zoo a few times. A wonderful place for animal lovers. I've been to the Fort Worth Zoo, too. Now, I'm tired, been struggling with edits for my publisher that turned into a major rewrite. One chapter to go. Yay! I've been promoting my latest book and need to do a lot more of that. So I'm going to let pictures of the San Diego Zoo in the 1950s speak for themselves.  Enjoy the critters.

 
 
 
 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actually, I think it's cruel to keep animals in cages. 
 
 
 
 


Friday, April 29, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "Y" for YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS

 
The letter "Y". We're almost there. I have a song for you today. "The Yellow Rose of Texas" is a traditional  American folk song. Members of the Western Writers of America chose it as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Several versions of the song have been recorded, including by  Elvis Presley and Mitch Miller. 
 
 
The earliest known version is found in Christy's Plantation Melodies. No. 2, a songbook published in Philadelphia in 1853. Christy was the founder of the blackface minstrel show known as the Christy's Minstrels. Like most minstrel songs, the lyrics are written in a cross between the dialect historically spoken by African-Americans and standard American English. The song is written from the perspective of an African-American singer who refers to himself as a "darkey" longing to return to "a yellow girl," a term used to describe a bi-racial woman born of African-American and white progenitors.

The soundtrack to the TV miniseries,  James A. Michener's Texas, dates a version of the song to June 2, 1933 and co-credits both the authorship and performance to Gene Autry and Jimmy Long. Mitch Miller mad a reworked version of the song into a popular recording in 1955 that knocked Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock" from the top of the Best Sellers chart in the U.S. Miller's version was featured in the motion picture Giant and reached #1 on the U.S. pop chart the same week Giant star James Dean died. Billboard ranked Miller's version as the No. 3 song of 1955.


This song became popular among Confederate soldiers in the Texas Brigade during the American Civil War; upon taking command of the Army of Tennessee in July 1864, General John Bell Hood introduced it as a marching song. The final verse and chorus were slightly altered by the remains of Hood's force after their crushing defeat at the Battle of Nashville that December.

(This is changed some from the original)
From the 1955 Mitch Miller rendition, the song now reads:
    There's a yellow rose in Texas, That I am going to see,
    Nobody else could miss her, Not half as much as me.
    She cried so when I left her It like to broke my heart,
    And if I ever find her, We nevermore will part.
    [Chorus]
    She's the sweetest little rosebud That Texas ever knew,
    Her eyes are bright as diamonds, They sparkle like the dew;
    You may talk about your Clementine, And sing of Rosalee,
    But the YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS Is the only girl for me.
    When the Rio Grande is flowing, The starry skies are bright,
    She walks along the river In the quiet summer night:
    I know that she remembers, When we parted long ago,
    I promise to return again, And not to leave her so. [Chorus]
    Oh now I'm going to find her, For my heart is full of woe,
    And we'll sing the songs together, That we sung so long ago
    We'll play the banjo gaily, And we'll sing the songs of yore,
    And the Yellow Rose of Texas Shall be mine forevermore. [Chorus]

    Song from the University of Texas at Austin

    Happy Singing.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "X" FOR XMAS

 
This was a really tough letter for me. I've racked my brain (not a pretty sight) and finally came up with only one possibility. The word Xmas and where it came from.
 
 
It goes back a lot farther than I realized, for at least 1,000 years, long before our modern Xmas was used. X is a symbol for "Christ" which was often written "Xp" or Xt", referenced in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021.  The X and P were the uppercase forms of the Greek letters x (Ch) and p (R) used in ancient abbreviations for the Greek word Christ. Many Eastern Orthodox Icons still use them in showing Jesus Christ. The labarum is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches. (I can't write those letters so here's a picture.)
 
The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a
Christian symbol representing Christ.
 
The Oxford English Dictionary shows "X-" or "Xp-" for Christ as early as1485. There are other uses of "(Xt)" for Chris(t)-" too.
 
I learned something here. Perhaps you already knew. Anything you'd like to add.
 
Happy Reading.
 


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "W" IS FOR WASPS


Today we're talking about WASPS. No, not the insect kind that like to sting a person. We're talking about the brave women in the military, the WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOTS, formed on August 5, 1943. Okay. I'm going back to the 1940s, WWII. So forgive me, but these women deserve our attention.

The WASPS was a paramilitary aviation organization. Each WASP had a pilot's license. They were trained to fly by the U.S. Army Air Forces at Avenger Field in Sweetwater. Texas. Over 25,000 women applied for the WASP, and less than 1,900 were accepted. After four months of military flight training, 1,074 earned their wings and were the first women to fly American military aircraft.
WASP WINGS
 

The women were not trained for combat, but their instruction was basically the same as for aviation cadets: no gunnery training and little formation flying and aerobatics.

After training they were stationed at 120 air bases across the U. S.  They flew 60 million miles of operational flights, freeing a male pilot for combat service and duties.

Thirty-eight WASP fliers lost their lives while serving during the war.

The WASP was considered civil service and did not receive military benefits.

 
Elizabeth L. Gardner, WASP, at the controls of a B-26 Marauder

On June 21, 1944, the House bill to give the WASP military status was narrowly defeated. The House Committee n the Civil Service (Ramspeck Committee) reported on June 5, 1944, that it considered the WASP unnecessary, unjustifiably expensive, and recommended that the recruiting and training of inexperienced women pilots be halted.

 
Photo by Lois Hailey, Class of 43–3 in January 1943—start of training
 
 
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation  granting WASP corps full military status for their service. In 1984, each WASP was awarded the World War II Victory Medal.
 
On July 1, 2009, President Barack Obama and the U. S. Congress awarded the WASP the Congressional Gold Medal. Three of the roughly surviving WASPs were on hand to witness the event.
 
On May 10, 2010, the 300 surviving WASPs came to the Capitol to accept the Congressional Gold Medal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Congressional leaders.
 
A couple weeks ago, our local newspaper ran a great article about A WASP pilot in the city who had just died. I think she was 94, not positive. These women deserve to be remembered.
 
Thanks for letting me go back another generation.
 
Happy Reading.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "V" VACCINATION



Today, for the Letter "V" I'm talking about the polio vaccination. When I was young, polio was a dreaded disease. People didn't know what caused it, but those that contracted the disease were often left crippled, and many died. I remember friends of mine with the disease. My parents worried about my sister and me. Sometimes they wouldn't let us go swimming. What if we caught polio at the pool? They didn't know. Thankfully today, it's mostly a disease of the past.

Here's a bit of history:

On March 26, 1953, American medical researcher Dr. Jonas Salk announced on a radio show that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that caused the crippling disease of polio. In 1952, an epidemic year for polio, 58,000 new cases were reported in the United States. More than 3,000 died.

Polio has affected humans throughout recorded history. It attacks the nervous system and can cause degrees of paralysis. The virus is easily transmitted, so epidemics were common in the first decades of the 20th century. Early treatments were quarantines and the "iron lung," a metal coffin-like contraption that helped the patient breathe. Children are especially susceptible to polio, but adults can have it too. Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio in 1921, age 39, and was partially paralyzed.

In 1954, clinical trails using the Salk vaccine and a placebo began on two million American school children. April 1955, it was announced as safe. A nationwide inoculation campaign began, and new polio cases dropped to under 6,000 in 1957. Albert Sabin, a Polish-American researcher developed an oral vaccine in 1962.

 
This 1963 poster featured CDC's national symbol of public health, the "Wellbee" encouraging people to get the oral polio vaccine.
 
I remember my husband, boys, and me standing in line at the neighborhood school, waiting for our little sugar cube of vaccine. Today there are just a handful of polio cases in the U. S. Most of these are from Americans from visiting some nations where polio is still a problem.
 
And now you know.
 


Monday, April 25, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "U" FOR UNREST IN THE 50s

 
Everything about the 1950s was not fabulous. World War II had ended, and the veterans returned home, which was good. The Cold War began almost immediately after WWII, however, and lasted through most of the 20th century. The Cold War  was the continuing state of political conflict, military tension, and economic competition between the Soviet Union and its satellite states, and the powers of the Western world, led by the United States. Although the primary participants' military forces never officially clashed directly, they expressed the conflict through military coalitions, strategic conventional force deployments, a nuclear arms race and the space race.

Then followed the Korean War, from June 25, 1950 until the Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.

The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War and known in Vietnam as Resistance War Against America occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975. This war was fought between North Vietnam—supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies—and the government of South Vietnam—supported by the United States, Philippines and other anti-communist allies.

The overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by Fidel Castro, Che Guevara  and other forces in 1959 resulted in the creation of the first communist government in the western hemisphere. The Cuban Missile Crisis  of 1962 led to a confrontation between the United States, Cuba, and the Soviet Union.

During these wars, the U. S. had the draft, so many young men found themselves in the middle of battle barely out of h high school.

Enough of wars. But you can see how they affected people's lives. How about a witch hunt?

The Cold War era seemed to encourage witch hunts, and comics found themselves blamed for the alarming increase in juvenile delinquency and other social ills. In 1948, American children across the country piled their comic book collections in schoolyards, and, encouraged by parents, teachers, and clergymen, set them ablaze. In the same year, the media began attacking comic books. John Mason Brown of the Saturday Review of Literature described comics as the "marijuana of the nursery; the bane of the bassinet; the horror of the house; the curse of kids, and a threat to the future.

The Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education in 1954 was a landmark case in the civil rights movement. In the early 1950s the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States opened the door to the beginnings of the right for all Americans to an equal and fair education regardless of race, creed or religion. During this time, racial segregation was still present in the U.S. and other countries. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s would soon begin.

Sputnik I was launched in 1957. The U.S. then launched Explorer I three months later, beginning the space race.

In thinking of the 1950s as a historic era, it was a period of prosperity, but also with considerable turmoil and changes occurring.

Okay, you've had your history lesson for the day.

Happy Reading.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "T" for TV SHOWS OF THE 50s

T is for TV Shows of the 50s
 
 
 
 
American Bandstand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There are lots more, but these are my favorites. How many of them have you seen?
I don't remember what our first TV looked like.
It might have been this.
Or not. I don't have any pictures to tell me.
 
Happy Reading.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "S" is for Sports of the 50's

We have a special treat today for the letter "S".


 
 

Bonus S: SEISMIC CRIMES
Today is the release of Chrys Fey's first novel!
 
 
 
 
 
 

BLURB:



An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.
Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.
When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?
 
DIGITAL LINKS:
 
 
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT!
 
 
 

 
 

 
Here we are to the letter "S" and the subject of sports. First, I'm not a real big sports fans. Especially in the 50s, when more important things were on my mind. I was a band kid and did enjoy the football games, but only to march on the field. I do like baseball. Go Rangers! but don't follow the other sports. Let's take a look now at some of the best from the 50s.
 
 
Is baseball your sport?
 

 
Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford was born October 21, 1928. He spent his entire 16-year Major League Baseball career with the New York Yankees and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.

He is a  ten-time MLB All-Star and six-time World Series champion. He won the Cy Young Award and World Series Most Valuable Player Award in 1961. He led the American League in wins three times. The Yankees retired Ford's number in his honor.

 
Anyone a golfer? I played a couple of times. Scored like 30, um, 30 strokes to get to the first hole.
 
 
I guess top golfers get to ride in parades.
 
William Ben Hogan was born August 13, 1912, died July 25, 1997. He is generally considered one of the greatest players in the history of golf. Born within six months of two other golf greats of the 20th century, Sam Snead and Byron Nelson, Hogan is noted for his profound influence on golf swing theory and his legendary ball-striking ability.
 
His nine career professional major championships tie him with Gary Player for fourth all-time, trailing only Jack Nicklaus (18), Tiger Woods (14) and Walter Hagen (11). He is one of only five golfers to have won all four major championships currently open to professionals. 
 
 
Is tennis your game?
 
 
Louise Brough was born in Oklahoma City in 1923. Her family moved to Beverly Hills, California, when she was four. She learned to play tennis on the public courts at Roxbury Park. In 1940 and 1941 she won the US Girls' Championship. She went on to play doubles with her friend Margaret Osborne DuPont and they won many more tournaments, as well as singles at Wimbledon.
 
She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967. She died on February 3, 2014, at the age of 90.
 
What if you were great at golf, basketball, and track and field?
 
 
Mildred Ella "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias was born June 26, 1911, died September 27, 1956.  She achieved success in golf, basketball, track and field. She won two gold medals and one silver medal for track and field in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. She dominated the Women's Professional Golf Association until serious illness ended her career in the mid 1950s.
 
 
And the final sport, yes I know there are others, but time has run out. My cats are demanding dinner.
Football.
 
 
Otto Everett Graham, Jr. was born December 6, 1921, died December 17, 2003. He played quarterback for the Cleveland Browns and is regarded by critics as one of the most dominant players of his era. He took the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955. They won seven of them. He still holds the NFL record for career average yards gained per pass attempt, with 8.98. He also holds the record for the highest career winning percentage for an NFL starting quarterback.
 
And now you know. Thanks for reading.
 
Information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Photos from Wikipedia and various places.
 
Enjoy the Weekend.
 


 





Thursday, April 21, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "R" ROXY THEATRE

 
 
I'm having so much fun traveling back to the past, revisiting people and places of my childhood. I hope you are enjoying your visits, too. Today, I'm remembering the Roxy Theatre, located at 1523 Monroe Street, Wichita Falls, TX. The Roxy opened on February 13, 1938, and closed a few years later. I could not find a date. It reopened as the Linda Theatre on February 14, 1949, closed again and next opened as the Coronet Theatre then closed in 1955. I don't recall ever going to the theatre when it was the Linda or the Coronet. It was always the Roxy to me.
 
What I do recall: my friends and I spending the afternoon at the Roxy, eating popcorn and watching Rory Rogers, Gene Autry, Tarzan, and other characters that today you'd consider "old actors." Then they were young. Lots of westerns, a few scary movies, though I wasn't crazy about them. For 10 cents, I think it was, we could stay all day if we wanted to. They didn't run us out after the movie ended.
 
It was a small theatre. One screen, 295 seats. I lived just a few blocks away, so my friends and I walked to the movie. Sometimes we let my little sister tag along. I couldn't find a picture of the original building. I'm still looking. Here's a later photo.
I don't have a date on this, but it isn't the one I remember. It's likely the remodeled theatre, or my memory is gone.
 
 
This is the whole east side of the shopping center, dated 1940. The Roxy is the building in the middle. Wish it were clearer. My dad's barber shop was three or four doors down. It doesn't show up either. Need to find a better picture of this. Looking.
 
Enjoy the good old days.
 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE "Q" FAMOUS QUOTES OF THE 50s

My brain could not come up with anything original for the letter "Q" so here are some famous quotes I found. I'm not sure about the dates on all of them. Enjoy. What are your favorite quotes?

This is one of my favorites:
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."A famous quote by John F. Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963).

 
This one could go back farther, but I heard it all the time when I was a kid.

"In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

I like this.


“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”Gandhi

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."Albert Einstein




There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."Albert Einstein

 
 
 
Happy Reading!
 





Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE: "P" Poetry of the 50s and INK RIPPLES

 
For the letter P, we're looking at Poetry (well, one poem). Since Poetry is also the topic for this month's Ink Ripples, I'm posting it here, as well. Enjoy.
 

When I was in 8th grade I wrote a poem entitled STARS for my English class. To my surprise, the teacher liked it so much she sent it to a high school anthology and it was published. At the time, I wasn't all that interested in poetry, but now, many years later, I'm kind of excited about it. The poem below is my first published work. In the 50s, not telling exactly which year.

STARS
by Beverly Stowe
Zundelowitz Jr. H. School
Wichita Falls, Texas
 
I often lie awake at night,
Watching stars that are so bright.
They sparkle and twinkle in the cool night air,
And look like ladies with lovely golden hair.
You see the little dipper and the big dipper too,
Away up in the deep dark blue.
But then come the morning rays of light
And all the star are gone until tonight.
 
 
 
INK RIPPLES
 
#InkRipples is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll. They post on the first Monday of every month with a new topic. They're all authors, but you don't have to be to participate.
 
 
The idea of #InkRipples is to toss a word, idea, image, whatever into the inkwell and see what kind of ripples it makes. You can spread your own ripples by blogging about the topic any day of the month that fits your schedule. Just be sure to include links back to Katie, Kai, and Mary. Thanks.
 
Or you can simply share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #InkRipples.
 
There is no wrong way to do #InkRipples (with the exception of following basic human decency!) Feel free to use any of the meme's images (created by the wonderful Mary Waibel).
 
So, join the fun. My post for April is the above poem.
 
The topics for the rest of 2016 are:
 
May: Memories
June: Movies
July: Inspiration
August: Guilty Pleasures
September: Banned Books
October: Masks
November: Heritage
December: Cookies

Happy Reading and Writing!


Monday, April 18, 2016

A TO Z CHALLENGE:"O" OSCAR AWARDS

Please don't kick me out of the A to Z Challenge. I'm late today because my Internet has been down since Saturday. It's back for now. Hope for a while. Today we're looking at Oscar Winning Movies of the 1950s. Enjoy.






ALL ABOUT EVE: 1950

Bette Davis and the greatest cat fight ever committed to film.

 

 




AN AMERIAN IN PARIS: 1951

Gene Kelly dances and sings his way through this winning story of an American GI in post-war Paris.

 

 



THE GREATES SHOW ON EARTH: 1952

A fantastic cast of stars: Charlton Heston, Gloria Grahame, Betty Hutton, Jimmy Stewart, along with a host of then-famous circus performers playing themselves, including Emmet Kelly.

 

 



FROM HERE TO ETERNITY: 1953

The story of bored military men fighting corruption among the brass in the days before the Pearl Harbor attack.

 

 



ON THE WATERFRONT: 1954

Marlon Brando won the Best Actor Award for his role in the gritty, realistic drama about mobs and union racketeering on the New York docks.

 

 



MARTY: 1955

A simple touching story starring Earnest Borgnine about the liberation of the human heart and love favoring the plain and simple just as much as the beautiful and bold.

 

 



AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS: 1956

A charming adventure film that feels like a wide-screen travelogue at times.

 

 



THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI: 1957

A thrilling, heartbreaking wartime adventure about British POWs forced to build a rail bridge for their Japanese captors in Burma. Based on a true story.

 

 



GIGI: 1958

A story about training a young woman as a courtesan, the Lerner and Lowe musical features great tunes.

 

 



BEN-HUR: 1959

A terrific adventure that links Ben-Hur’s life to that of Christ and climaxes with a chariot race that has never been equaled.



I hope this posts. It keeps going out on me. Anyone recommend a good Internet Provider.

Enjoy