53 thoughts on “ALL OUR YESTERDAYS”

  1. Turns out that full identification of picture 15 in a satisfactory historical context is a long story ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Inattentive Munguinites (like myself) might take a quick look and recognize the great dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. But on second glance, that’s definitely not Ginger Rogers. So it must be Fred and his sister Adele, although it’s an amazing picture. I’ve never seen a color photograph of them, or any photo at all after the 1930’s.

    Turns out, it’s from LIFE Magazine and the photographer Gjon Mili, dated 1947, the year Adele moved back to the states from Ireland and married Kingman Douglass after the death of her first husband Lord Charles Cavendish.

    Photo attribution: “American actor and dancer Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz, 1899 – 1987) and his sister, fellow dancer Adele Douglass (nee Astaire, born Austerlitz, and also known as Lady Cavendish, 1896 – 1981), dance under a white chandelier, 1947. (Photo by Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)”

    Some more of the story, with some help from Google, Wiki, and YouTube……………….

    It’s usually said that there’s no footage of Fred and Adele dancing. But there’s a clip from a 1930 cinema short about a Broadway musical titled “Smiles.” Florenz Ziegfeld is on the left and Marilyn Miller leads Fred and Adele onstage, with Adele barely visible in the rear behind Fred.

    The Astaires were hugely successful in the 1920’s and early 30’s starring in musicals on Broadway and the West End, and also made recordings. This one from 1926 is “Hang on to Me” from George and Ira Gershwin’s “Lady Be Good,” with George Gershwin on piano. “Lady Be Good”opened on Broadway in 1924, and they took it to the West End in 1926.

    In England, the Astaires hobnobbed with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York before the brothers became kings. Adele taught dance steps to the Prince of Wales, and played backgammon with Churchill on an Atlantic crossing. Then in 1932, Adele married British nobility, and Fred was without his partner of 27 years, who since vaudeville days had been the backbone of the team. P. G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton co-wrote a facetious epilogue:

    “Adele closed her career with a triumphant performance in The Band Wagon … She then married the Duke of Devonshire’s second son and retired to Lismore Castle, leaving a gap that can never be filled. Fred struggled on without her for a while, but finally threw his hand in and disappeared. There is a rumour that he turned up in Hollywood. It was the best the poor chap could hope for after losing his brilliant sister.”

    Turns out, Ginger Rogers was waiting for Fred in Hollywood.

    This Astaire story video begins with a movie clip of Fred and Ginger:

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    1. Fascinating Astaire story, Danny. Interesting that he thought he was past it at 34, “balding, can’t sing, can’t act, dances a little”, but went on to make films until his old age. Dancing even in the late 60s.

      Until I saw that picture, I’d never heard of Adele!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tris……A very striking picture! Highly posed and modern in appearance. Completely unlike any other pictures I ever saw of him and Adele. But absolutely like the kind of pictures taken by world famous photographers that were published weekly in LIFE.

        Astair was 68 when filming Finian’s Rainbow with Petula.
        Wiki says: “Jack L. Warner was having second thoughts about another musical project, but when he saw Petula Clark perform on her opening night at the Coconut Grove in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, he knew he had found the ideal Sharon. He decided to forge ahead.” Petula received rave reviews, although she said that she had worried about dancing with Astaire.

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            1. lol… no, not exactly. But for all that Fred was a perfectionist and Pet is not a dancer.

              She rehearsed with Hermes Pan, his choreographer, for a couple of weeks before that tiny little jig.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I suppose that Leslie Townes “Bob” Hope is as instantly recognizable in the land of his birth as he is in America. And Pepsodent toothpaste has a very strong Bob Hope connection. In 1938, he signed a contract with Lever Brothers to sponsor “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” The Pepsodent Show became the number one radio program in the country and ran for ten seasons.

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        1. OOPS…..my apologies PP! I’m a prisoner of my culture which sometimes thinks of the UK as a “country.” (Although Americans often identify your Head of State, the Queen of Scotland, as the “Queen of England.”) Actually, my first impulse was to identify Bob Hope as a “London boy,” but I rejected that as too cutesy. At least I said “land of his birth,” in preference to “country.”

          Rest assured that I’ll ALWAYS be careful in the future to properly identify our President’s maternal heritage as SCOTTISH. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Somewhere there’s a YouTube video I enjoyed that sorts of the United Kingdom, Great Britain, the British Isles, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England, the self-governing Crown Dependencies, Bailiwicks and what not, including but (perhaps) not limited to the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, etc. It does get complicated….LOL.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh nice one. mate.

            You had to remind us that Trump’s mother was Scottish. Now maybe the sensible state in the USA will declare war against Scotland.

            The islands in Britain, and what they belong to , and their relationships are really strange as befits the complete and utter shit-show that is Britain.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. America is probably a little easier with the states covering most of the territory. But Trumpy does have some trouble with it. He once said that he had spoken to the President of the American Virgin Islands; apparently unaware that HE is the President of the American Virgin Islands. ๐Ÿ™‚

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              1. With Trump, you wouldn’t know whether he was talking to himself, which I suspect he does regularly, or whether he has a complete ignorance of his own position. ๐Ÿ™‚

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          2. Here is the Brit Prime Minister raging against the US president.

            Hopefully it will be widely seen and Mr Trump will throw one of his hissy fits over it.

            Tweet as widely as possible!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Touche. Oh Danny I’m well aware Scotland has to take some of the blame for Trump but Germany does too. However he’s an All American Guy – he must be, he hates immigrants – that’s why he marries them. How better to ruin their lives.

            I suppose it jarred with me because earlier you’d been talking about England and I wondered if you’d fallen into that trap where many Americans think Scotland actually is part of England. Actually a lot of English people fall into that trap.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. It’s easy to do, PP.

              I recall that we all used to talk about Russia, when we meant the Soviet Union, even when we might be talking about Uzbekistan or Latvia, rather then Russia, itself.

              LOL, it’s true that we only take 50% of the blame for Trump. He’s only half Scottish.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. PP and Tris…..you made a great point. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m sensitive to incorrectly calling the UK “England” but lots of Americans are not. Pretty much all right wing Republicans hate immigrants I think because they are “foreigners”, notwithstanding that most American are of immigrant heritage.
              I just couldn’t resist the jibe about Trumpy’s mother. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do “blame” Germany for his grandfather Friedrich who came to the states at the age of 16, apparently to avoid the Bavarian military draft. Later, after he made money in Seattle and the Alaskan gold rush, he returned to Germany and married. That was when Bavaria revoked his citizenship for draft dodging. So he came back to the states and the rest is history…….including the Trump family tradition of dodging military service.

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  3. Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border by Sir Walter Scott. Scott collected auld sangs and poems from the border and the north east. Most of Scottish folk music is in it.

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    1. Conan, I thought it was Scott’s Minstrelsy at first too but the Title is different and Scott’s name doesn’t appear on the binding or, more importantly, on the title page as I’d expect in light of his fame. I also note it was published in Glasgow, not Edinburgh. It’s a different book from Scott’s although it incorporates much of what he collected. I see it has been digitised by Google Books.

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    1. That’s a view of Ballater looking south to Craig Coillich & Panninich woods, not Craigendarroch (which is behind the photographer.) I climbed it only yesterday!
      The town was extremely busy, seeming to have recovered at last from the great flood, which wiped out many of the businesses in Bridge Street..
      More importantly, the bus is Strachan’s No.1, a Roberts bodied Foden, a rare species in Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The comparative generations of Porche pictures could be done with Hondas. Our new Jazz is slightly bigger than the last models of Civic, the new versions of which are the size of older Accords and so on. And the original Civic, as I recall, was tiny. And of course the current generations of Minis dwarf the old ones.

    Is the group Bucks Fizz? Always regretted that Reverend Dr Spooner did not live to encounter the group or the drink.

    Simpsonโ€™s a Peterhead firm later rolled into Northern ? The town pic looks like Inverness to me. And is the LMS loco a wartime Austerity 0-6-0 – looks like the breed – no cab windows, outside cylinders ? Princes St in second half of 50โ€™s ?

    Lovely penmanship – but took forever. My grandfather won the calligraphy prize in his village school in 1892 but to the best of my knowledge, hardly put pen to paper the rest of his life. But I regularly hear people invoking that era every time someone โ€œblots their copybookโ€ so the memory lingers on in the language.

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    1. Cairnallochy, that loco looks as if it’s a 4-6-0 to me, although I’ve no idea which one. The group is Duran Duran – called after a character played by Milo O’Shea in the film Barbarella – but I like your point about Dr Spooner and Buck’s Fizz ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. And I liked the point about “penmanship”. It seems to be pretty much dead these days.

        It’s strange that I hardly ever write anything nowadays.

        And when I do, I find it relatively difficult.

        I wonder if in old age I’ll develop repetitive strain injury in my fingers from all this typing Munguin makes me do.

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      2. On second look, you are of course correct – careless of me to miss the bogie wheels. So is it an Austerity 4-6-0 ? Looks like the style but the number doesnโ€™t quite fit. Also worth noting that cleaners have concentrated most of their efforts on the small patch around the number – an increasingly common habit in the last days of steam.

        They had Buckโ€™s Fizz hairstyles but the gender composition didnโ€™t seem quite right. But gave me the chance to trot out a favourite joke.

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        1. My 1960 edition of the Observer Book of Railway Locomotives is lacking the serial number illustrated. (Yes, I was a train-spotter in my youth as well as a ballad collector.) The sequence goes 57650-57693 and then jumps to 58114-58310. Nothing beginning 579-. The closest in appearance seems to the 57650 group, although that has a 0-6-0 wheel configuration, known as Caledonian Railway 300 Class and introduced in 1918. Observer book describes it as “an enlarged development of the previous McIntosh design”. I’m sure Munguinite train-spotters will eventually solve the mystery.

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          1. Hohn, this loco was originally LMS number 17954, renumbered 57954 at British Railways nationalisation 1948 (which is probably why her BR no and area immediately surrounding it look so fresh in the photo). She was a Cumming Highland “Clan Goods” class, Class code 4F-E, built by Hawthorne Leslie in 1919, withdrawn from service 31.10.1952: last shed 60A Inverness. Don’t know who was on the footplate in the picture ๐Ÿ™‚

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            1. Thanks, Andimac. That explains the omission from the Observer book. Presumably the whole series was withdrawn from service in 1952 and would no longer be around for spotters to identify.

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  5. In Pic2, the guy is standing beside one of the monster tyres of huge The Antarctic Snow Cruiser used in the US Antarctic Service expedition of 1940. It’s worth a look on Wikipedia which gives the various dimensions of the huge vehicle – it was even designed to carry a light biplane aircraft on its roof.
    Pic 22 is the junction of Academy street and Queensgate (?) in Inverness, 1950s I’d hazard.
    I like Pic23 – is this what is meant by “greener” motoring? I note that the vehicle is a Bond but not, I think, one of 007’s ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Ford Bronco into a Bentley eh! I wonder what they could do with my joyless POS Forrester.

    I just need to find that bit of jungle to abandon it in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I doubt that the car in the 2nd last photo will pass it’s MOT.

    That montage of sweets – Jelly Tots – used to like squeezing many different flavours together then placing into the mouth.

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  8. OT, but this is just plain brilliant. This is the minister who will be getting, or not getting, the UK’s trade deals.

    She’s just gonna be a great negotiator, I can feel it in my bones.

    I wouldn’t trust her to go to the supermarket for me. Utter roaster.

    Like

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