Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Star Is Bored!

Johnny, Johnny where are you?!  You're running way too far behind!  Don't you know a Star is born every minute and I'm about out of time?
I've packed my marble colored luggage with everything I'll need! 
And, now all I desire is my shining knight and his trusty steed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Party Line...Number, Please?

Oh, dear Alexander Graham Bell, with Mr. Watson willingly in tow; what magic hath you conjured upon the hapless unsuspecting masses? Had you known the telephone would inure creation of "The Operator and Party Line"? Shall we thank you or be thankless to you for these by-products of your invention?! In truth and summary, kind sirs, many are the benefits to which we hold ourselves benefactor of your invention. Ever intangible and wondrous strange it be to engage the telephone handset, and discover "long awaited, instantaneous cracker jack surpise, hold to thine bosom friends" emerging as if occupants in the very room we ourselves occupy!


"Number Please?" spills forth from mouthpiece, in droning cacophony at yonder fevered pitch. Soothing to the ear, such sounds of this sweet soliloquy emerge, from a faceless operator audibly "clear as the school yard bell, yet ever so tinny".

Operator, my nameless friend, you are so rare and true as to count on one appendage, unfailingly dependable.  A friend you are, who will so endure, faithfully and honorably, awaiting your distant call of duty. Despite the unspeakable torrid dust that fans and fumes its exhaust through the mid-west Dust Bowl- the operator is there! Laughingly mocking and defiant in the face of virulent influenza raging as an infernal wildfire snakes through the dank and humid south- the operator is there! While she pantomimes a feign of annoyance, braving the most fierce of blizzards that rage through the eastern seaboard from nor'easter stirring a mighty brew- the operator is there!

Ceaslessly routing and re-routing, connecting and unconnecting RI-3601 to RI-9802 with earnest endeavor, the operator flawlessly performs as her day is painted before her.  Eyes fixed in focused tunnel vision,  the operator is as wary and vigiliant as the lioness stalking her prey; the panel of myriad plugs, the holy of holy! 

                                         Party Line

Money barren shall not be a clueless fellow who resists temptation to bet the last dollar lying fallow in worn thin, thread bare, clothing pocket.  A bet issued  forth through the thin mocking lips and mottled, yellowed tobacco stained teeth of a guffawing onlooker, more the wise, for a clueless fellow to defy, with proof , that no less than four neighbors be listening 'round the clock on the Party Line buffet!  Alas, no bet turned aside nor challenged could dispel, as myth, a truth.  The profoundly exacting truth of the neighbor to yonder left, the neighbor to stage right, revered great Aunt Eunice and more often than not, the dependable town barber (may he rest in hair raising peace) each were party to the party line! And doubly so their worth, each held willing captive in their own share of party line Tom Foolery and trickery!

Pray, do not allow this erring of frank and certainly justifiable behavior, a forgivable flaw in human nature, riddle or perplex! These friendly neighbors, good do left and finer do right, revered great Aunt Eunice and dependable town barber (may he rest in hair raising peace) be honest, stand-up right square and staunch fair-minded and most good citizens! These friendly neighbors, they merely fulfill a destiny of engagement,though avowedly discreet, to which they answer the call.

Time before times and then again more, the party line inhabitants could be identified, while in supine repose, as hosts to many the conversation!   By a peculiar and quickened inhalation of awed breathiness, brought on by age and lesions, rasping and curling heard through the party line, quickly and surreptitiously snuffed; party line hanger-oners made themselves known! Why, even before the Mister had barely pressed the gas pedal, on his homeward  bound '41 smooth gliding Plymouth Cruiser, talk had it from the party line that the Missus was in the "genteel way"; enceinte.

If listening yet closer and equally more vigilant, a distinct rustle of chocolate bon bons (rare but special treatise for the party line goers) unnested from tissue trappings, could be distinguishable proof, self-evident, one from another, on the party line circuit.

Barely and no sooner had the night folded her darkened silent doors upon the tired day, had a peevish night owl, still  wrapped in his silken red and white smoking jacket,  heard nee rather overheard, a most urgently vital message sent screaming to the local parish and sheriff through party line siren!  Hushed silent was the intruding listener, with mortification at the indecency that the Plimpton fellow on Jay Street, (the very same) waddled an unsteady gait  home again from another rousing night at the USO club, stinking drunk!  Rather, shall we say, smellingly inebriated and uttering such discourse as only could be known to his lowly self?!  Rumor had it that the Plimpton never could recover from the mortifying fact that his "flat as mothers ironing board"  feet kept him, mores the pity, drilling away at a hoped for, longed for anticipated "new" miracle arch at dance recitals far too long as a child.  The final blow of  insult to humiliation further rumored and tossed about idle minds of party line mentality, fully and sadly to him, was rejection from "doing what a guys gotta do" combat in WWII.

What now of  the forever chagrined, poor Edgar who had only just recently been plagued with a curse worse than death?! Edgar suffered the indignities and inequities of a bothersome leg fracture which rendered him bed bound, all as to the stricture of a downed tree on Electric Boulevard! Had poor Edgar only known, beforehand, that his inadvertent, unpropitious omission through lack of etiquette in engaging the party line "buffet" of gossip would have averted this miserable happenstance of events on Electric Boulevard, he most certainly would have crossed over the intolerable bans of party lines! By informing and forewarning himself of his present malady, through partaking of the bounteous providence of party lines, he most certainly and indubitably would have been rescued from the pendulous jaws of his freakish accident!

Oh, the party line, to be sure, worked with far more efficiency than even the raucous, rat-a-tat hammering of cylinders neath the shining hood of  a fathers pride and joy; Oldsmobile! Indeed, the party line emerged consistently, unerringly faster and more reliable than the drying stamp of ink spots hot off the presses when it came to neighborhood events!

Friends be the Operator and Party Line!

Memoir of Le Brigand, Operator
Brooklyn, NY 1944 (or not!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last floor, the Palms Tea Room!

So popular were teas over the decades that the era of 1930s and 1940s found department stores appointing the greater part of a floor to splendid tea rooms and the devotees of tea! This quiet elegance and genteel service of tea, amidst lavishly adorned palm fronds, became a cloistered oft times all female strong hold.

Oh yes, taking "Tea" was an unspoken gesture to one another that life was good, that beauty mattered, and that order and civil stability, as always, prevailed. A way of life and tea was the security of luxury and social outlet that woman were craving.

And, who were these women who frequented these splendid tea rooms?

Contrary to "then" popular opinion, frequenters of tea rooms were not always a cadre of humorless, pious, etiquette minded harpies that eschewed pleasure. However, it may not be implausible that among a good portion of these generous, kind hearted community leaders there may have bristled a painful twinge or the irritant of a feather or two ruffled amiss with the public's appropriation and pre-occupation of the pin-up girls during the WWII era!

Yes, true among these women tea goers, there did indeed remain a great gasping breath of resuscitation in conservative attitudes which still prevailed strong and stalwart in the 1940s. But, as the war loomed onward, and women's roles changed, a change in Tea goers could also be seen. Tea rooms were becoming more and more frequented, as scarce monies and time would allow privilege, by the working women whose heart quickened with patriotism at the mere mention of Rosie the Riveter.  These working women too, were longing for "the tea of tranquility"!

While tea was intended for a few moments of reprieve from stresses of life in the war era, the overall experience was not an affair for the faint of heart. Social etiquette took second place to none within the boundaries of tea court! Etiquette was observed and noted discreetly, from beneath lowered lashes of onlookers, if not practiced precisely. And, there, in the tea room, genealogy pedigree charts were compared with practice born of repetition and shared behind many the petite and gloved hand.

Gloves, oh indeed...from hats, and clothing (shoulder yokes and waist of contrasting color, ladies!) to gloves, all were worn purely to impress. Oh surely, one must often times have endeavored and aspired, worrying themselves to tears and vapors to be the paragon of fashion in the 1940s era!

While it was absolutely appropriate to express appreciation of surroundings, the line was fine in showing officious admiration or serious disdain of the tea room, hostess, service and overall appeal in surroundings. One must surely not glance askew nor allow ones glance to linger too long and covet any one aspect of the appropriated tea amenities!

Lest we not forget, take note that department stores did not have the monopoly in offering the afternoon tea! Remember, if you will please, the valiant women who also appointed rooms from their homes or opened shops (the well connected and fortunate ones) in hopes of earning a pittance of small income. And, daily, many the matron was who served teas on social occasions, from charity events through soirees to ladies and gentlemen alike. To those tea proprietresses, very serious in appropriate etiquette and tea service, equally very important was the offering of appropriate accouterments of a fine tea. Many is the hostess and proprietress who wouldn't serve tea until it was firmly established as to the type of congealed salad these fine women were going to serve with tea. Everything else at the tea, was secondary to tea and congealed salad. Of course, it was necessary to have the proper cream for tea!

Quite The Stir Bungalow...a Bed and Breakfast, ( Click here for Bungalow Website or contact the for details) is most pleased to announce the first in a series of  themed "Bungalow Teas" coming Thanksgiving week, 2009 (Rosie The Riveter and Pin Up Girls are also welcome)!  Proceeds from the first in a series of inaugural "Bungalow Teas" will be donated to an Assisted Living/Nursing Care Facility still housing brave men and women who proudly served during WWII!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hello, Snook'ums, What'll you have?

If you were to walk right on in to any particular diner coast to coast in the 1940s on any given day of the year, you'd probably find a stool at the luncheon counter, wrap your leg around the base, give a heave ho and pull yourselves a break on the swivel down.
"Hotsy Totsy day out there" you'd probably overhear a city slicker, who just pulled in with his brand new shining black jalopy, (for the second time that week) comment to a kinda hard boiled P.Y.T  (pretty young thing), who boredly awaited the hundredth order that morning alone.

And, you'd probably see P.Y.T. resting an elbow atop the steel counter, lead pencil stuck in her mass of blonde waves and gum snapping.   Her crisply starched white collar, with sheared off cuffed sleeves to match, would be in odd contrast to her demeanor.  She'd be listening as the city slicker boasted (for the second time that week) "I'm gonna spend me some pennies from heaven!" 

So? What a wise guy betcha dimes to the dozen P.Y.T is probably thinking.  Instead, she'll stand upright, look him in the eyes and drawl "Okey Dokey then, same, loverboy?" 

Man Oh Man!, thinks city slicker to himself.   This  P.Y.T has a kisser to die for and gams to match!  Hubba!  He gets his own eyeful as she lets out a lungful  to the sad sack rumpled cook, whose been reading the paper's track results, while standing unseen beyond the galley opening.  "Big Cheese here gets an order of Adam and Eve on a Raft and wreck um!" Continuing to snap her gum, she ads with a quick afterthought " Oh yeah, and make it snappy, ya pushover!"  The cook mutters beneath his breath and tosses the paper into the tattered dog-eared cardboard breadbox to begin frying up another endless order of rations. 

No Siree, it was never second rate or boring at the diner!  What'd ya think Snook'ums?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Even Back Then...You had to Laugh!

Gotta Laugh...Gotta Dance!

Follow along in the hysterical madcap adventures of Dreamers into Doers!

We may be all talent, and all 1930s and 1940s in this Blog, but we are definitely NOT no work and no play!

Watch as Ms. Shopping GoLightly, The Premier Thrifter,.... Kathy "The Hammer Salsa Lady" and Jolene, a Quite The Stir Gal, (Yours Truly)  interweave their "Red Faced" moments among the tapestry of stories we share with one another in the "Red Faced" Group on Martha Stewarts Dreamers into Doers site!

Join in the Group of Dreamers...and tell them Quite The Stir sent you!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are You Really In The Mood?

Rosie the Rivetor, Is She Really In The Mood?  Are you?
Tomorrow will dawn another day here in the good 'old USA just as it has any other day before and since WWII.

Back then, amidst the svelte sounds of Swing and Big Bands pumping out songs of the hey day, such as "In The Mood" and "A Sentimental Journey", the war era of our parents and grandparents was unique in time.

One could find women on the homefront taking jobs in Five and Dimes, grim offices and dirty factories as their everyday roles were expanded out of a harsh necessity. While their fathers, husbands and sons fought in horrid combat they fought another war. The war they fought was on the homefront, keeping vigil 'round the clock over their home and hearth without the added extras of today, raising their children well and doing their part to defend the country. These women were made from some of the "finest stuff" of which humans are imbued.

Pulling a days work could be gritty in the factory, and hard on the the knees and soul, life was filled with doubts, insecurity and worries in overdrive yet they somehow managed to run a household, lovingly administer to the needs of a family and get the job done well. These women were fighting for their country as surely as any of the brave men at the embattled front. Emboldened by the ties that bound them, these women unknowingly forged inroads for todays' American women in all aspects.

I ask you, as you fumble for the alarm clock just one more time before arising and beginning the day that leads into your week, if you feel overwhelmed at the day that lies ahead, remember:

You may not be in the mood, nor was your mother or grandmother and Rosie probably wasn't either, but YOU CAN DO IT.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Lately, I've been traveling homeward bound by way of  the "country" backroads to briefly capture views of spectacular scenery.  I speed by the miles, watching as the foilage, once green and luscious, begins to shed her bounty of summer.  I'm ever so enchanted with the bright and bold hues of Fall as she slides  silently and almost shadowlike in her demeanor to claim her rightful place in the scheme of seasons. I've got to say, this 30s and 40s kinda gal has been feeling a bit nostalgic, from the visceral reaction, perhaps, to this glorious season.  I'm pining for what memory has left me with, what experience has engrained upon my heart and too, what has been taught us through history.

If you will,  journey back with me, to the 1940s for just a while and picture the moving stories of love, sacrifice and endurance that most American families were certainly engaged in during WWII.

Norman Rockwells' pictures, such as this one,  minutely reveal so many unspoken words and thoughts.  Perhaps, this GI Joe, stationed overseas during World War II, has been chosen to celebrate a holiday with his wife, children and various family members all bound by love, in a very special homecoming.  Perhaps, later and back at the fury of the front, he'll be called upon by his commander for an elusive and dangerous mission to save lives, which only he is able to fulfill.   I shudder to even consider, if  this homecoming is the last homecoming for...possibly forever.  From my safe little car traveling over these American Roads made safer by GI Joes and Janes, I prefer to imagine this soldier coming home to raise his children and boast of his grandchildren...ah, yes,...the hero!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Welcome Home!

Recently, amidst the hub(ba)bub mayhem of Labor Day Weekend, Quite The Stir was most honored to welcome home, again, family members of her prior owner!

For a moment in time,...the Bungalow walls reverberated with beautiful memories shared! Need we say...what a pleasure of joy and camraderie?
Come again soon, and often dear friends!

Hubba, Hubba!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A Dialog goes on between my bungalow, Quite The Stir and me. I constantly feel the sense of character, soul and history so very worthy of saving, preserving and restoring within this bungalow.

I will say, some days it's not always been easy to fly into the face of my occasional trendy tendencies and spend hours restoring history back to where it belongs at Quite The Stir. Nor, is it easy to resist temptation to shake things up a bit by overlooking a cue from the bungalow's straight forward arts and crafts architecture.

With an authentic appreciation of restraint in my endeavors, however, I'm fairly confident that history is constantly being preserved, restored and wed with a wee bit of the trendy yet whimsical approach in Quite The Stir.

Hubba, Hubba!