Friday, September 23, 2005

Golden Oldies #6, Good Memories and a Rant!


Top row:
L. My grandmother Cora Fidelia, her husband, Clarence, aka Bucky, a judge and the mayor of our town sometime in the 30's or 40's.
M. My grandmother again, all tricked out in her Sunday best! This is sometime in the 20's.
R. My mom and dad. Don't you love the hats men used to wear? Hombergs were the fashion of the day, and no self-respecting man went out without one.

Middle row:
L. Mom and Dad (were bras out of fashion then, Mom?) before they were married.
M. Bucky, surveying his domain.
R. Mom wheeling me down the main street in 1941. There were roving photographers back then who would snap a photo and then attempt to sell it to you. The back of it is printed as a post card. Obviously she bought it and I suppose most mothers wouldn't be able to resist. I don't know how much it cost back then, but I suspect it was no more than 5-10 cents.

Bottom Row:
L. my mom, in her flapper hat, circa 1920-25
M. I think it's my uncles' daughter with his first wife. I guess Mary Jane's will never go completely out of style.
R. My mom and her sister


Speaking of men's hats, in my home town there was a wonderful store - The Fife Street Shoe Shop - where in addition to repairing shoes, purses and luggage, they steamed and blocked hats that had gotten stretched or had sustained water damage. I loved the smells in that store: leather, polish, steam, wet felt. Of course those wonderful aromas had to compete with the odors of feet and sweaty socks, because this was a "repair while you wait" store. They had small cubicles you could go into, take off your shoes, hand them to the clerk who would bring them back to you in a few minutes with new taps, or heels, or a repaired strap, what ever they needed. Only the most intricate repairs required a longer stay in the shop, and most repairs could be accomplished in a short time. Why is it nowadays, when you take shoes or purses into the shop for repair they have to keep them at least a week? I think the repairmen want us to think that it is a lot more difficult than it really is so they can charge exhorbitant amounts for the repairs. I had a small piece of luggage with a zipper off track not long ago, and when I took it in for repair, they wanted $17.50 to LOOK at it. That was their minimum charge! I had gotten the luggage on sale for no more than $25-30, so a charge of $17.50 was hardly warranted for something with a little age on it.


Maybe they charge so much because most of us don't have our shoes or anything else repaired any more. If they break - we toss them. We have truly become a throwaway society, and nearly everything we buy has "planned obsolescence". Some of us are convinced that we must have the lastest toy, the strongest technology, the largest gas-guzzler, the newest model of everything. Some appliance repair stores around have closed for lack of business (except for warranty repairs). I have a beloved old word processor which is going bad; the monitor is rapidly darkening. The two closest places I can get it repaired (assuming they can fix it) are more than 200 miles from here. I really want to get it repaired, but they don't make it easy, since I have to ship it and pay a minimum, whether it can be repaired or not. So I may be forced to throw it away and learn to do my proposals and letters on the computer. My children have been warning me that one day I would have to learn how to do it, and sadly, they were right!

19 comments:

Raehan said...

My husband is always looking for a good shoe repair guy. They only tend to fix the really expensive shoes.

Like the photos.

scrappintwinmom said...

The photos are great! Here via Michele today!

utenzi said...

But toys ARE fun, Judy. Really! But I don't endorse gas guzzlers. I do like guzzling soda tho.

Michele sent me to visit again!

Lish said...

Hi Judy! Thanks for your concern about my family. CT and I went to cyto school together. He's the one that intorduced me to blogging. The technology is different these days but the gossiping is still there. About your post, I just love how they used to dress up in the old days. I wish it was still like that.

TC said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Your post here is great. I love the pics.

ensurt said...

I was just here but I don't see my comment so I will try it again! Michele sent me. Love your pictures. It is fun to be part of the game!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Great pictures & post, Judy. It's so true.

Michele sent me here.

Peter said...

Old photos are great aren't they, I read an article which suggested our next geeration won't have them because we all use digital cameras and don't get prints now-a-days.
I'm guilty as charged!! they are all there on my computer, (and I do send the kids a CD Rom with an updated batch every now and then)
The bigger the city you live in the harder it is to get anything repaired here in Australia, some country towns still have a Mr fixit or two.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Today you can a radio about the size of your thumb. I've got an old Zenith I inherited from Grampa that is 4 feet high, 2 feet wide. I think I can still get Lum 'n' Abner on it....

Christi said...

Hello from Michelle's!!

TC said...

Hello from Michele's

ribbiticus said...

$17.50 is waaay too much! really, it would be better to just buy a replacement. there are times, though, when i want to hang on to a favorite pair of shoes or a bag that's seen better days and beg the repair shop to extend its' life some more...came by way of michele. btw, those are lovely photos! :)

Jamie Dawn said...

You are so right about the throw away society. The shoes and purses I buy aren't made to last and don't cost enought to even consider repairing them.
I love the quality of things made back when my grandmother was young. I have some of her hats and jewelry and sweaters. I cherish those things.

Gerbera Daisy said...

I LOVE the photographs. You are right. We have become a throw away society. I don't know who or what to blame though. It seems you can buy new cheaper than having something repaired. My washer broke. It cost a lot of money for the guy to even come out to tell me what was wrong and to fix it temporarily. The next time it broke I just bought a new one.

Carmi said...

I've published columns on this very issue, and it bothers me to my very core. We live in a throwaway society, largely thanks to the lowest-cost ethos pushed by the big boxes that now dominate the retail landscape. Craftsmanship and service are now obsolete concepts. We all lose in the end.

Sigh...

Beanhead said...

I love your photos. I wish that I had some of my family like you do.
Here via Michele's

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I have one of those roving photographer street shots of my grandfather!!

Back in my mother's day there was a guy with a goat and a little wagon. He would find kids to put in the wagon and take a picture of them for the parents to buy.

dena said...

Beautiful, fabulous, fun pictures. And your narrative, was priceless, interesting and perfect!

really enjoyed reading this post, and glad I stopped by via michele's this morning.

Gretta said...

Lots of people in the world, and I find you! Just kidding. Great blog. I was looking for something more along the lines of purses, but I am not unhappy that I found your blog. Good stuff.