Weight Loss

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Reducing

 

            The battle of excess weight is never ending battle, by today’s ideals.  Prior to the 1900’s, overweight people were few and far in-between.  For the average person, having enough food to eat was an ongoing struggle and having surplus food was for the rich. 

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            With the end of the Great Depression and WWII, the availability of food changed.  No longer were there the rations of the war and the poverty of the depression was over.  During the late 40’s, all types of foods became available.  The returning soldiers brought all types of different foods home with them.  The more interesting one was a thing called a pizza pie.  Snack foods became plentiful and penny candy had all but disappeared to be replaced by chocolate bars. 

            No longer was the table a place of basic sustenance, now there were snacks galore and deserts of all types.   The hard work of the fields, manual labor was now assisted by machines.  Hard work, no longer worked off the extra calories consumed at the table.  Surplus weight was attaching to people and being overweight was upon the population. 

            The enterprising entrepreneurs took up the cause of the overweight and offered weight loss diet plans.  Like today, personalities endorsed the plan or offered the weight loss program.  Were they successful, probably like today, some were and some were not.  Yet this was a new area of society that only the rich could over indulge.  With the coming of the 50’s and the growing prosperity of the America, the average person could now over indulge like the rich. 

            The depression of the 30’s was probably one of Americas’ bleakest decades.  Just to find money for food was a struggle for most.  Even having as place to live was not there for many.   Living in hovels, cars, tents, lean-2’s, was a way of life for many.  With the war, much of this disappeared and a new determination rolled across the land.  After the war, many doors of opportunity were opened and a wave of prosperity rolled out a carpet for many.  Fabric of society was changing, and new ways of life were evolving. 

 

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               The blog will be shifting focus for a short time.  I found some old Life magazines from the early fifties.  This era, for me, is when the focus of the USA shifted from an agrarian country to a powerhouse industrialized nation.  The country had survived the “The Great Depression,” and transitioned to a powerful war machine. 

          The war and the depression were powerful impacts on the psyche of the American people. 

          With the end of the war, The United States no longer was a second on the stage of world politics, they had become a world leader.  This was reflected in the confidence of the people in the States.  With the rationing of the war over, consumerism was the forefront of life in America. 

          There were jobs in the factories for the returning soldiers, who had their combat pay in hand.  The American dream was approaching, a chicken in every pot and a car in the driveway.  With the jobs in the factories, the Lower Class was shrinking and the Middle class was expanding.  The dream of owning their own home was at hand for most citizens. 

          Housing developments and suburbs were a new phase in the America fabric.  Products were needed to fill these new dream homes and there new automobiles to park in the driveways.

          Life magazine along with their counterparts, Look and the Saturday Evening Post, chronicled this emerging new American middle class.  Back in the 50’s, the news was not real slanted and the agenda of a few was not apparent.  The advertising set the tone for the changes and reflects life of the transitional decade.  Technology of the day, was the television and the Atomic Bomb, both impacted how people lived during the 50’s. 

          I will be taking ads from the magazines, along with stories and writing my impression of life back then.  I’m old enough to of been a wee lad back then and I remember a few things from way back then. 

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Cleaning

The Cleaner

 

            The Vacuum cleaner today is pretty much an everyday household item.   The electric gadget called a vacuum cleaner did not get invented until the late 1800’s.  Then it was only a luxury item for the well to do.  Most homes had wood floors and some still had dirt floors so a broom and mop were in the cleaning closet. 

            Rugs were again for the rich and the rest had homemade rugs.  Old material did not get thrown out, instead granny would make something of the old rags.  Hook/latch rag rugs were the wonders of grannies tedious work during the evening.  Much like the quilt, these rugs became a folklore craft.

            To clean these rugs, they would be hung out on the line and beaten, knocking the dirt out.  When the vacuum cleaner came out, there were only a few who could afford the contraption, so outside did the rug hang. 

            Carpet had been developed but only a few could afford this new thing.  The Great Depression forced many new things to sit on the back burner.  Then with the war, manufacturing was in the war effort.  At the end of the war, things changed.  No longer was their rationing and factories could now produce consumer goods.   With new homes being built and suburbia a new phenomena, consumerism began to grow.  Wall to wall carpeting was one of the features the new home builders used to sell their homes in the ‘burbs.

 

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            The vacuum cleaner came to the forefront, for the carpet could not be pulled up and hung on the clothes line, and sweeping it with a broom was not very effective.   To the rescue came the new contraption and with it new factory jobs were created.   Up until the carpet and vacuum, the broom was the queen of house cleaning.  Scattered around the land were small broom corn factories and soon they began to decline and consumerism changed buying habits. 

            The drummer boys had a new gadget to sell and they could be seen trekking down the sidewalk toting their vacuum with them, going door to door pedaling their ware of the day. 

            Something like a little gadget for cleaning had an impact on homelife and how people lived.  It was one of the things that helped bring luxury to the work a day families. 

————30————

 

               The blog will be shifting focus for a short time.  I found some old Life magazines from the early fifties.  This era, for me, is when the focus of the USA shifted from an agrarian country to a powerhouse industrialized nation.  The country had survived the “The Great Depression,” and transitioned to a powerful war machine. 

          The war and the depression were powerful impacts on the psyche of the American people. 

          With the end of the war, The United States no longer was a second on the stage of world politics, they had become a world leader.  This was reflected in the confidence of the people in the States.  With the rationing of the war over, consumerism was the forefront of life in America. 

          There were jobs in the factories for the returning soldiers, who had their combat pay in hand.  The American dream was approaching, a chicken in every pot and a car in the driveway.  With the jobs in the factories, the Lower Class was shrinking and the Middle class was expanding.  The dream of owning their own home was at hand for most citizens. 

          Housing developments and suburbs were a new phase in the America fabric.  Products were needed to fill these new dream homes and there new automobiles to park in the driveways.

          Life magazine along with their counterparts, Look and the Saturday Evening Post, chronicled this emerging new American middle class.  Back in the 50’s, the news was not real slanted and the agenda of a few was not apparent.  The advertising set the tone for the changes and reflects life of the transitional decade.  Technology of the day, was the television and the Atomic Bomb, both impacted how people lived during the 50’s. 

          I will be taking ads from the magazines, along with stories and writing my impression of life back then.  I’m old enough to of been a wee lad back then and I remember a few things from way back then. 

30 –

 

New Machines

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             The blog will be shifting focus for a short time.  I found some old Life magazines from the early fifties.  This era, for me, is when the focus of the USA shifted from an agrarian country to a powerhouse industrialized nation.  The country had survived the “The Great Depression,” and transitioned to a powerful war machine. 

          The war and the depression were powerful impacts on the psyche of the American people. 

          With the end of the war, The United States no longer was a second on the stage of world politics, they had become a world leader.  This was reflected in the confidence of the people in the States.  With the rationing of the war over, consumerism was the forefront of life in America. 

          There were jobs in the factories for the returning soldiers, who had their combat pay in hand.  The American dream was approaching, a chicken in every pot and a car in the driveway.  With the jobs in the factories, the Lower Class was shrinking and the Middle class was expanding.  The dream of owning their own home was at hand for most citizens. 

          Housing developments and suburbs were a new phase in the America fabric.  Products were needed to fill these new dream homes and there new automobiles to park in the driveways.

          Life magazine along with their counterparts, Look and the Saturday Evening Post, chronicled this emerging new American middle class.  Back in the 50’s, the news was not real slanted and the agenda of a few was not apparent.  The advertising set the tone for the changes and reflects life of the transitional decade.  Technology of the day, was the television and the Atomic Bomb, both impacted how people lived during the 50’s. 

          I will be taking ads from the magazines, along with stories and writing my impression of life back then.  I’m old enough to of been a wee lad back then and I remember a few things from way back then. 

30 –

 

 

 

                               One of the more profound inventions to come along was the television.  This machine changed the way America viewed the world.  No longer did the listener have to rely on descriptions from the broadcaster, they now could see it in their home.  No longer were the newsreels in the moving picture houses, they were now beaming into the front room.  The theater of the imagination, the radio show, was on the wane.  People could now sit down in the easy chair and watch their favorite characters from the radio come to life in person. 

                              It was a new phenomena, social scientists were watching and the politicians were learning how to massage the tube for their advantage. 

                              Another new contraption that came along after the war was the refrigerator.  It would change how people would buy.  No longer did they have to rely on a block of ice to keep things cool.  They also could have frozen foods stored.  Soon the ice man would disappear from the streets making his rounds delivering ice. 

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                              With the end of the war, raw products were freed up from the war effort and things could be mass produced were the war effort had produced goods for the war.  No longer was the refrigerator a luxury item only a few could own.  Appliances like this need production/manufacturing plants to produce the product.  These new factories created mid level semi skilled jobs for workers. 

                              A new chapter was opening for the American worker.  Here at these new factories, the worker could get a job.  It provided enough income, for a house, an automobile and few other amenities in the home.  No longer was the American worker standing on the street corner begging or later being a soldier.  Now he could live the American dream.  Have his own home, own a car and provide for his family. 

                              What had been considered luxuries, were now in reach of the average person. 

Pearl Harbor

December 7, 1941

 

When Pearl Harbor day comes around I have mixed emotions.  One I had an Uncle that was stationed at Pearl Harbor on that eventful day.  He was a Navy corpsman, assigned to the Marines, so he was in the Marine Barracks at the time of the attack.  So what the Japanese did on that day strikes home pretty close.  The other bone I have is with the present day political climate of calling a variety of people fascists.

Fascists are generally associated with Germany but there were others.  Japan was the other part of the fascists Axis Powers to conquer and rule the world.  Germany had allies in Europe, the Italians and some assistance from N. Africa.  The Germans of WWII get blamed for all types of brutal atrocities, in particular how they treated the Jews.  Yet the Japanese were just as nasty as the Germans and in some cases worse.

Today many of the brutalities of the Japanese are brushed aside unless one has an old history book from the Forties. Like any tyrant, the Japanese wanted to instill fear in their enemies, the more brutal their attack to more the countries around Japan became fearful of them.

So when the Japanese launched their attack on Pearl Harbor, they wanted to destroy anything and everything, reducing things to rubble piles.  Instead of instilling fear in the US, the Japanese raised the ire of the US.  The fascists of Japan had thoroughly pissed off the US.

With the initial bombing runs of the Japanese beginning at day break, my uncle and his Marines were in pretty heavy slumber from being out late the night before. So when the noise of the bombing began my uncle was a little more then ticked off at be woken up so early in the morning.  Running out the barracks door to see what was going on, my uncle saw the Jap bombers flow low overhead, spewing hell on the fleet down below.

Running back to the barracks, Unc grabbed his weapon and partner and then ran outside to begin shooting at the Zero’s.  Uncle would empty his rifle and grab his partners loaded rifle and continue firing while his partner would reload.

As my uncle talked about that morning, I could hear the subtle anger in his voice.  One of his hometown mates had been on the Arizona and is still on board.  It took years before he would talk about it.  It was years before he went to Hawaii for any of the reunions.  Nothing Japanese ever graced his house, he had so much disdain for anything Japanese.  There was never forgiveness in him for what that had done to shipmates and comrades.  Being a Corpsman, he saw the ugly underside of the aftermath.  It was a memory burned into him…. What the fascists of Japan had done.

 

Arlington

 

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Arlington, Colorado

           

            Arlington, began its life as a railroad camp on the Missouri Pacific RR, in Eastern Colorado.  The trains have stopped running and the rails collect rust.  No longer is there the clicking of wheels flashing over the tracks.  Cars and trucks can be heard rumbling along the highway that followed the rails to Pueblo. 

            There a couple of hardy ranchers that still call this little prairie burg home.  The Post Office closed and moved to Hasewell a few years back.  The roadside businesses are gone and the few store fronts are now silent.  The roadside park has a caretaker and the occasional traveler will stop for a moment.  Silence is the main companion for the few that pause.

            The main feature of the town is the schoolhouse that sits in far corner of the town.  The two story building dominates the land, yet years of neglect is showing.  Number of years ago some locals wanted to buy the school but the scrapper that owned it would not sell.  Today the junk that had littered the yard is gone except the tires left in the weeds.  The winds whistle through broken windows, the bell tower is sliest for the few birds and it appears that the school may be doomed. 

            The town has set vacant for so many years that the weeds dominate.  The few streets are overgrown and the remains of houses and building rise above them.  Street signs markDSC03369 (800x600) where the roads had once been.  Rooflines are barely visible in the overgrown town. 

 

            Yet someday the tracks may hear the clicking of wheels again.  A group wants to buy the rails but the transaction is held up in court and government agencies.  Arlington has no farming, most of that is to the east.  Trains would just pass through the remains of what once was on their way to Pueblo. 

            Nearby is a WWII auxiliary airstrip and little further is Adobe reservoir.  The canals today carry dust of yesteryear when the sugar beet ruled the country. 

Prairie Ghost Town

 

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Vernon, Colorado

            Located on the north central plains of Eastern Colorado, the little village has more memories on Main Street then pedestrians.  It is a country settler’s village that has hung on.  There are no major highways through town or a railroad.  Yet the town has maintained a small population of around 30 souls.  Main Street is empty, boarded up and the sidewalks are rolled up.  Down at the DSC03076 (800x600)end of the road is the Post Office, there are enough residents in the area to keep it going. 

 

            For one weekend a year, Vernon comes to life, people stroll the town park, tractors pop and sputter and horses have the right of way.  Vernon Days is celebrated just before Labor Day.  It is a day to remember when their forefathers came into the area and homesteaded.  The few town folks roll out the old time carpet to celebrate yesteryears. 

 

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            Otherwise the other 51 weekends are pretty noiseless as the sleepy little goes about life.  Surrounded by farmland, the whirr of farm equipment is more common the laughter of school children, from the now shuttered school house.  The little country church is well kept and hears the word on occasion.  The shops of Main Street remind one of when they could stop in and pick up supplies.  Across the street is the town park square, well groomed and cared for.

 

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            Off in the distance on a ridge can be seen the community cemetery.  Looking at it one could see that the area was populous at one time.  Yet like so many prairie towns, the people left to try and find greener fields in the city. 

 

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            Those that remain have different pace of life, the nearest towns with shops are miles away.  Sometimes the bus ride to school can be over 100 miles.  Yet the people take it in stride and live out a life from the land. 

Carr Crossing, Colorado

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Carr Crossing

 

Situated in the southern end of Lincoln County, Colorado, Carr Crossing was a community/rural Post Office during the early 1900’s.  For the visitor of today, it is some of the most empty land in the state.  Lincoln County is called a Frontier area, there aren’t enough people to qualify as rural.  Population density is less than one person per two square miles.  In the areas of Carr Crossing the density is probably 1 person per 10 square miles. 

Yet during the early 1900’s scores of people came out to this area to settle and homestead.  Scattered through the area are the sites of numerous empty and abandoned homes.  Moisture is extremely sparse and farming is almost impossible.  Today it is mostly range land with a few cattle grazing on the rolling hills.

The Car Crossing Post Office was located on a wagon road that overlooked the valley of Horse Creek.  Today there are no roads that go past it and way out there in the pasture is where it used to be.

The same is for the school, way out there in another pasture is where the school was located.  As the crow flies, it is about 5 miles from the PO to the school.  First time I visited the area, I had no idea there was a school because it was way off any road. 

When talking to some local people, they mentioned that the merry go round still sat out in the pasture form when the Carr Crossing School was teaching the children of the settlers.  So when I went through the area, I made it point to go looking a little closer to try and see the merry go round.

Driving down the road, I spotted a dead tree off in the distance sitting on a ridge and an outline next to it.   Pointing the camera off that direction and zooming way out, I snapped a couple of pics.  Sure enough there was the merry go round.  I tried finding a road to get closer but no luck.  So I have an ethereal picture of school playground out in the middle of a pasture, I would of never found if not for idle conversation. 

Carr Crossing is one of those places that will probably stay unexplored for decades because of their locations.  Then that is okay, I don’t know many people that like folks walking across their backyard. 

Here is an open area that has not changed much over the eons. 

 

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