Thursday, 31 January 2013


I make no excuses. I am a baby boomer. I was born in 1951 and I feel very sorry for those of you not alive then who missed all of the joy of growing up in the 50's. You really do not know, do not understand how much you missed.

This is the first of a couple of posts I hope to do picturing life in the 50's. Today's post focuses on 1951 and mostly food but their is also some pet food and toothpaste.

If you are in your late 50's, in your 60's, or even older, how much do you remember?

Candy bars were "enriched" with dextrose and marketed as being "food energy sugar." And didn't our parents know it when we got so hyper we swung from the chandeliers.

Beverly Peanut Butter anyone? I never heard of it myself.

Just about everyone I knew ate Peter Pan. Note the lid. Peanut butter and jams came with a lid you used a church key to open. Once empty they were washed and became glasses.

And our peanut butter cups weren't Reese's.

Borden's Elsie the Cow was a trusted food adviser.

But to be fair, Carnation was a trusted brand as well.

We loved Campbell's then as now. We had a wood stove in our kitchen that looked very much like this.

We had canned chili then too but I can't remember anyone's mother being so lazy as to serve it. Most moms cooked from scratch. My mom made the best chili.

I loved tapioca pudding. Still do.

Our pets were part of the family and ate the best we could afford.

As mentioned, our mothers cooked from scratch.

We loved chewing gum, Beechnut was my favorite brand.

I loved Doublemint.

Do you remember PK? I do.

They've had 60 years but Heinz still only has 57 varieties.

We would beg our parents to stop at Howard Johnson's. They had 28 flavors!

We drank Kool Aid with our meals and had Jello for dessert.

Cheese Whiz came in 3 flavors.

I hated lima beans then, I hate them now.

Not everything was good. We allowed ourselves to be convinced butter was bad for us and margarine was good.

Mustard was the same.

Nabisco was big.

N-E-S-T-L-E-S Nestles makes the very best .... chocolate.

We ate Niblets brand corn. No mention was made of Green Giant.

We had us our Oreos then too.

We were big on cereal in the 50's.

After all that sugar in the cereal we made sure to brush our teeth.

You'll wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent. I do not ever remember seeing a Negro in an advertisement but here one is. (The advertisement, I mean, not the Negro.)

Sometimes advertisers teamed up such as here ... Pepsodent and the radio show My Friend Irma.

Do you remember Ipana?

Spam was part of the essential food group.

The hell with heart smart. We didn't know about that then. We used shortening, lard in a can.

Cigarettes will be another posting. This is just a teaser.

Freezing Rain

When I got up this morning the first thing I did was reach out for the iPad to check the weather. There appeared to be nothing special except a forecast for a warm day so, accordingly, I waited until the last moment to leave. Naturally. The truck was thickly coated in ice from the freezing rain we'd had.

There was no scrapping that off so while Tess went off to work in her car which had spent the night warm and dry in the garage, I started carrying out pitchers of warm water to melt the ice off the truck windshield.

My parents live off the main North/South highway south of the city. From the river valley you climb a long, long steep hill before hitting the plateau at the top. It is a bad hill and you regularly see transport trucks in the winter stopped in the middle of it chaining up. The highways maintenance people know it is bad too and give it as much attention as they can. Today there we're two sand and salt trucks going up and two going down as I made my way to my folks. At the top the two going up would turn and start down again while the ones going down would turn and come back up.

In spite of all that salt and sand being thrown down the hill was a sea of glass. I had the heater blowing at top speed to keep ice from building on the windshield when I kept hearing an odd noise. Turning the blower off I realized that 'odd noise' was my tires spinning on the ice. I have 300 pounds of sand in the back of that truck and it was carrying another 200 in ice but it wasn't enough to keep it from slipping. My speed kept falling and I barey made it to the top of this, a main highway.

There are a couple of 'truck chores' wanting done today but it looks like it is going to have to wait until it warms up more and that salt/sand mix clears the hill. I wouldn't drive that again right now if I was paid.

Fortunately the city doesn't look after their roads all that well. The hill leading to Tess' has a thick coating of packed snow. The freezing rain is not affecting that much and she'll have no problem getting home.

We don't get freezing rain often here and when we do it is always a bit of a shock. I think I am going to tip toe across the highway to Canadian Tire and buy some chains for my shoes. It is best to walk this morning.

The Andrews Sisters

Patty Andrews, the last surviving member  of the Andrews Sisters has died at 94. Man, could she sing.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Hitler's Cross

Hitler's Cross by Erwin Lutzer
Moody Publichers: 2012, 224 pages.

I cannot give this book whole hearted endorsement because of the way it was foot noted. I am unable to match citations to the text and Lutzer deals with areas of Nazi history I am unfamiliar with (the occult).

On the other hand, Erwin Lutzer is a prolific writer, has written many books, is the Pastor of many years of Chicago's Moody Memorial Church and has a sterling reputation. So there is no reason to suspect he is wrong about any of his facts.

I am well read enough to know he is not wrong about his central thesis which is how Hitler and the Nazi's co-opted the German churches to further the Nazi agenda. Weakened by theological and societal liberalism far too many churches fell in lock step with Hitler even as they watched their more conservative fellows thrown into concentration camps and murdered.

The churches in Texas opposed Lyndon Johnson in his early political career. He repaid them as a senator by getting legislation passed that would strip them of their 501C (tax exampt) status if they engaged in politics or endorsed candidates. Political activism and the endorsing of candidates was a church activity since the founding of the Republic. Johnson stripped the churches of rights that other 501C organizations still enjoy.

Yet, when Obama wanted support for Obamacare Nancy Pelosi called on the churches to promote it from their pulpits. The Obama administration has also called on churches for support for immigration reform.

It would seem that some thing are only against the law if they oppose this administration.

Lutzer does not deal with modern day America. He is concerned only with the church in Nazi Germany. It is an extraordinarily frightening peek into fascism's take over of religious institutions, bending them to the political will of a party.

It is impossible, except for those who are completely vapid, to read this book without seeing the parallels in America today. They are glaring and just as frightening in America now as Germany then.

The drums of fascism are beating again and they give rhythm to a march that is no less scary because it is draped in garments of the new tolerance, a new tolerance which merely attempts to disguise an old hatred. Fascism has always been a movement of the left and they have always tried to shift the blame.

View Hitler's Cross here at Amazon.