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I wish’t I was in Peoria

You haven’t seen much of me lately. I apologize for that. But… well, things got a bit crazy here, what with storms and rising water and holidays and new homes.

Still, Rose and Harold are with me every step of the way. In fact, I’ve been listening to 1920s and 1930s music to get a bit closer to them… and to my grandparents who were young newlyweds during this time.

Suffice it to say that I was surprised to hear this 1925 hit about my own hometown, Peoria.

It makes me happy to think of Rose listening (and dancing, even though Harold is pretty awkward and steps on her toes a lot) to this tune. And like the singer, I often wish “I was in Peoria.” Not because of the “goils” but for the people I love who are still there.

Chorus:  Oh, how I wish’t I was in Peoria, Peoria tonight.
Oh how I miss the “goils” in Peoria, Peoria, tonight.
Oh you can pick a morning gloria right off the sidewalks of Peoria.
Oh, how I wish’t I was in Peoria, Peoria tonight.

All the lyrics here (plus a bonus rendition–scroll to the bottom of the lyrics–of the song by Bill Edwards)

Hot & Sticky

It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to sleep without air conditioning. Why is it that the A/C has to wait until mid-July to conk out? Couldn’t it have done this in April???

But, as I notice the little runnels of sweat forming on the back of my neck, I can commiserate with Rose. Summer is a hot and sticky time of year. Sometimes, we of the A/C generation forget that.

Not that I’ve always had air conditioning. No, you young whippersnappers;

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The Dirty Work of Illumination

We take lighting for granted.

The sun goes down; we flip a switch. Instant illumination. Sure, sometimes the power goes off and we have to “rough it.” Candles or hurricane lamps for a few hours, a couple of days, sometimes longer if you live on the Gulf Coast and it’s hurricane season (there’s a reason they’re called hurricane lamps).

And while urban America was almost completely electrified (eek! that sounds painful) by 1929, it would be well into the mid-30s, and even the early 40s, before electric power found its way to the farms.

So poor Rose

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Cheers!

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. And chances are your plans involve an adult beverage. Or two.

If that’s the case, how about taking a moment or two to thank the resourceful bootleggers of the 1920s for the cocktail that you’re mixing. After all, it’s because of them, and the fact that their alcohol was often sub-par and bitter, that cocktails became trendy in the first place.

I’ll wait while you get your Gin Rickey ready…

Gin Rickey1920s Gin Rickey

Squeeze the juice of one-half lime into a highball glass, then drop the lime shell in the glass. Add two ounces gin, then fill with ice. Top with the sparkling mineral water and stir.

*if you want to make your rickey a bit more patriotic, add a few blueberries and swap out the decorative mint for a flag

 

Okay. Everybody ready? Rickey’s up… and Cheers! Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

 

Engine Boring Displacem… zzzzz

Oh. Sorry. I dozed off there.

Maybe that should be Boring Engine instead of Engine Boring? Research takes you down some interesting rabbit holes (like this little tidbit about housework and good posture) and some not so exciting ones. Engine boring displacement, in case you weren’t sure, falls into the latter. (Unless you’re into NASCAR.)

But, when writing about bootlegging, and your main character is a crack mechanic, it just makes sense Continue reading