November 29, 2010

November 20, 2010

Day-Lewis is Lincoln

So Daniel Day-Lewis will be Abraham Lincoln in the Spielberg film with a screenplay based on Doris Kern Goodwin's book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was supposedly around 6'4" "barefoot," whereas Day-Lewis is only around 6'1" (as was previously mentioned to play Lincoln, Harrison Ford). But I think he looks a bit like Lincoln, and God knows makeup and/or CGI could make up the difference. As far as height is concerned, Liam Neeson, standing at 6'4", was the closest actor/candidate to play America's sixteenth (and possibly greatest) president.

November 12, 2010

1963 Beatles fan club Christmas recording

Perhaps a little early Christmas cheer??

Information and picture from the Wikipedia entry for The Beatles' Christmas Album

"Each year from 1963 to 1969, The Beatles had recorded a short Christmas message for their fans, comprised of carols, skits, jokes, and thanks to the loyal "Beatle People". Each recording was pressed onto a 17.5 inch flexi disc and mailed free to the British members of the Fan Club.".

November 8, 2010

A couple of things in Houston

globe theater
The Globe Theater, c. 1935; Because it looks a little bit like this one, I'd say it is Art Moderne

Here is one of he last remaining examples of the original Jack in the Box building concept, designed by Southern California Googie architect, Russell Forester. I remember there being ones like this down in Galveston, where I grew up. I think one was up on the Seawall, down near the East End of the Island. It's surprising to find this one in Houston still standing:

mod jack in the box

November 5, 2010

"I Let a Song Go out of My Heart"

Ev'ryone has a favorite song,
my heart has one too;
but I lost my favorite song,
that's why I'm so blue.

by Duke Ellington, 1938

November 4, 2010

What is old is new again

So, the great old Mize Department Store (openened in downtown Nac in 1925, moved to its last location in 1961) has been closed for over three years now. Nonetheless, I was distressed (to say the least) to drive by it on North Street about a month ago to see this sign being dismantled and taken down, leaving an ugly, plain scarred brick wall:

mize department store neon sign in sunlight
mize department store neon light
I nearly turned around to take a picture of the workmen taking it down, but I was so sickened and horrified by the scene, I thought f*ck it, nobody else cares, so why should I? It seemed like just another bit of old Nacogdoches being thrown onto the scrapheap of forgotten history.

But I was slightly relieved when, upon a Sunday walk downtown, I went by the storefront and saw the very same sign hanging on the wall inside. So, I thought, at least, it's still around! Perhaps I could even go inside someday what is a soon-to-be-open insurance company, which moved into the empty department store and ask them to let me take a picture of it.

Well, imagine then my pleasant shock when, upon an evening run in the same area this past weekend, I see this:
Holy sh*t! And what is weird, is the old sign (the one which was dismantled and taken down) is still hanging on a wall inside the soon-to-open insurance company. So, they went to the trouble to not only carefully remove the old sign (which had broken neon tubing), but they also completely created an authentic replica. I may just have to give those people some business! I.....I love them. Sniff.

November 1, 2010

Seek and ye shall find (in the Rose City)

Arranged chronologically, as I found each site in Tyler:

jenkins-harvey super service station and garage
Jenkins-Harvey Super Service Station and Garage, c. 1929, Art Deco; this place has also been known either as Firestone Auto Supply and Service Store or Griffin Auto Storage

On the sunny side of the street
(so grab your coat and snatch your hat):
jenkins-harvey super service station and garage
jenkins-harvey super service station and garage

sun behind the smith county courthouse
Another shot of the 1955, Moderne Smith County Courthouse

courier times neon sign

whitaker-mcclendon house
whitaker-mcclendon house
Whitaker-McClendon House, c. 1880, Eastlake/Stick, Italianate; r. 1910, Classical Revival front porch

williams-anderson house
williams-anderson house
Williams-Anderson House, c. 1900, Queen Anne; I somehow found this place much more appealing than the preceding monster

borden's neon sign
Got this sign in the sun this time.

the john b. douglas house
the john b. douglas house
the john b. douglas house
John B. Douglas House, c. 1873, Italianate, Second Empire

I'd planned on finding all of the previous structures, including the John B. Douglas House; I had not counted on the two homes on lots just to the right (left in my photos) of the Douglas House (sweet!). What a neighborhood this must have been (along Fannin Avenue):

residence at 310 south fannin avenue
residence at 310 south fannin avenue
310 South Fannin Avenue, c. 1885, Queen Anne

And unsuccessfully trying to hide from me:
residence at 306 south fannin avenue
306 South Fannin Avenue, c. 1885, Queen Anne
I was reminded of this place (similarly hidden and pink).