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)



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.



Boogie Shoes

Yikes! That’s not from the 1930s!!!

And yet, that first line expresses Harold’s sentiments perfectly.

In the late twenties and early thirties, there seemed to be two main pastimes: dancing and going to the pictures (and even the picture shows featured dancing). Practically every little town hosted a Friday or Saturday night dance… in the armory, in a barn, at a local church, wherever space allowed.

Imagine how that would be for a fella with two left feet! Especially since Rose loves to dance. Poor Harold. Even the “simple” dances of the era–foxtrot, waltz, castle walk–were challenging. But that didn’t stop him. If dancing was what Rose wanted, well… Continue reading


And the Winner Is…

This Sunday (26 Feb 2017) marks the 89th Annual Academy Awards. Shhhh, don’t tell anybody, but I never watch them. Too many long drawn out speeches. That said, I do have my favorites for Best Picture: Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Hidden Figures.

Rose didn’t watch the Academy Awards either. (Of course, she didn’t! There wasn’t TV, dodo!)

There were awards, though. The First academy awards were held on May 16, 1929. These were a private affair, held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, with only 270 people in attendance.  Tickets to the after-party were only $5 per person (equivalent to $70 in 2017). The winners, however, had been announced to the media three months earlier. (Apparently, the Awards Gurus realized their mistake, because the following year, the Awards Ceremony was broadcast live on radio.) I’m also certain the speeches weren’t quite so long back then; the entire ceremony only took 15 minutes. [1]

So, what won best picture at that first ceremony? (I know you’re dying to find out; it’s written all over your face.) The 1927/1928 Best Picture, announced that first year, was the only silent movie ever to win Best Picture. Here’s a clip…

Two young men—one rich, one middle class—who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I. [2]

Did Rose see the movie? You bet she did! She loves Clara Bow and Harold wouldn’t have complained at all since there were fighter pilots, and planes, and dogfights!

Sources and Notes

[1] from Wikipedia: 1st Academy Awards

[2] from IMBD: Wings

[3] Also from IMBD, the Remastered movie trailer for Wings

[4] In case you’d like to see the first Dogfight Scene (using real WWI pilots!)