Our theme image this week is from 1953 and shows a young Prince Charles looking out of the window of Buckingham Palace on the occasion of his mothers' Coronation.
Winter was nearing. In this photo, we're washing the storm windows before they went back on the regular windows. They provided additional thermal protection during the cold Canadian winter. During the summer they were stored in the garage where they gathered dust and cobwebs. We cleaned them with Bon Ami and newspaper.
I was three years old and my sister Eilleen was nine in 1945. Dad may have already re-puttied the spots where the glass pulled away from the wooden frames. The smell of the putty (linseed oil and whiting) comes back to me vividly. Dad would give me a hunk to knead before he applied it to the windows.
My sister's eyes were closed as she looked through the hazy window. I imagine she was singing Rum and Coca-Cola* or AC-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive or Sentimental Journey, all tunes Mom liked. Eilleen liked to sing and play act that she was one of the Andrews Sisters and not one of the Killeen sisters. I was a perfect audience at that age and applauded all her performances.
On Sundays, she'd create a movie theatre out of a cake box. She'd cut the comic strips out of the paper and glue them together end-to-end to creating one long strip that she'd roll onto pencils. A "movie" was created when she'd roll the strip, from one pencil to the other, past the cellophane window on the cake box.
|A cakebox window my sister made into movie screens for the comics.|
We loved L'il Abner and the inhabitants of Dog Patch, Al Capp's famous strip. One of our favorites was Joe Btfsplk—whose unpronounceable name was hilariously funny to me. Eilleen, who played all the parts in different voices, would pronounce it differently each time, getting a huge laugh from her rapt audience.
As adults, we invoked Joe's name when talking together about a bad luck situation. Since she died I have no one left in my life that speaks Al Capp.
He’s well-meaning, but is the world’s worst jinx, bringing disastrous misfortune to everyone around him. A small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovers over his head to symbolize his bad luck. Hapless Btfsplk and his ever-present cloud became one of the most iconic images in .
Little Orphan Annie was another favorite strip Eilleen would act out for me. When I Googled the 40's strips, I found this one and many others with Win the War themes. My sister and I were too young to have felt the effects of war directly. Our lives in my memory were carefree and happy. Still, the best thing about my window photo is the timing, autumn 1945 (thanks Dad for your white pen). World War ll had officially ended on September 2nd. Happier times were ahead for our parents and the rest of the world. They couldn't have imagined what came next.
|From the Little Orphan Annie home page.|
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