Sunday, November 6, 2022

Blast from the past

 Who remembers the ads on the very back pages of magazines?

I no longer get lots of magazines...only Better Homes and Gardens which I never really read. It's all photos and recipes and the advertisements are all national brand stuff like Perdue and various medicines that might be of interest to old folks.

But way back when...I can't tell for sure, maybe a reader of this can help, there used to be ads stuck way in the back. Small ads, maybe an inch or so, usually with some photo, that went national in the smallest way.

For example: Learn to be a secretary from Katherine Gibbs schools. There were several of them. One was in Montclair. Two of my off campus roommates went there after having two years of a junior college somewhere. This was basically finishing school for them to be secretaries and marry some guy who worked at a great job in an office.


Next, let's mention Baypath Junior college. Now, this was also regarded as a finishing school, somewhere in New England. Its purpose was to really finish you off, with the distinct advantage of being in New England where all the big male dominated universities were and still are located. I do not know if Baypath (possibly Bay Path) still exists. It existed, still may, but somehow I doubt it. It may or may not have provided a good well rounded two year education. Think Mona Lisa Smile. I'm not putting it down, I just knew that if it had to advertise in the back of monthly magazines, there was a little something fishy about it.

Oh, boy, next...let's remember Staunton Military Academy. This apparently was one of those all boy schools that parents sent their unruly sons to so they'd get military discipline. The famous wrestling promotor, Vince McMahon went there. There were lots of military schools for parents to send their sons to just to get them out of their hair or prevent them from landing in juvie. It no longer exists. We have seen the imposing building high on the hill looming over the lovely town of Staunton...its windows are boarded up, there is no life there. Now, things may have changed in a couple of years, but as far as I know, it is defunct.

Now, I and other young girls suffered from being overweight. Yeah, fat shamed until sophomore year. But there had been an answer back of the magazines. Send your daughter to Camp Stanley! She'll swim and play tennis and ride horses while being instructed in a fun way about proper nutrition. Yeah. Lose those pounds the fun way in the woods somewhere! Promises you'll be more acceptable to your slim peers...or maybe not. It cost money, to be sure. Not for Irene.

But one ad was for me. Can You Draw Me? Simply draw this pirate or woman with earring, send it to us and we'll evaluate your ability so you can sign up for our art course. I must confess, I did it. Before I was accepted at Montclair State, in a moment of despair, I drew the pirate and sent it to them. Of course, I showed great talent and was suitable for their art courses that would guarantee me entry to something where I could apply my newly developed talent. Sigh. I wrote back when I was accepted at college that I was not interested in their art courses, but thank you very much for considering me. For months after rejecting their offer, I continued getting mail from them. I guess they thought I'd flunk out and run to them as a consolation.

These ads just might still exist. I don't know. But something made me think of them and remember, fondly, how inspiring they might have been to people who needed a direction and were seduced by these inch high advertisements in the back of magazines.

Even I tried to find direction back there.

If there no longer are these helpful ads, what is there?

Ahh. The Internet!

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Aging out

 Well, it is official.

I regard myself as old.

Pity, that.

After accumulating so many years on Earth, it suddenly hit me that I've lived quite a long time and accomplished very little.

I was thinking of all the things I have tried and finished up without obtaining great success.

Once, I thought I could be a star...have fans who worshipped a dream I had once a long time ago, I was up on some pedestal with people standing below, crying out my name and adoring me.  Wow! What a dream. I don't remember much else of that dream, but I know I liked what was happening and that, for once, I was very, very cool in the minds of others.

Well, that never happened. It would have been something spectacular, for sure. And I probably would have loved it. For awhile.

Even Midas got tired of that turning things to gold business when he couldn't eat or drink. And he turned his beloved kid or wife into an Academy Award trophy....

I have tried lots of things. Nothing suited me other than mother, which I fought for, and being published, which took 10 years. But the other side hustles were mere experiences, none of which made me happy.

Was I a failure?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

All I know is that I fought long and hard. You could put that on my gravestone, except "She was right" is already there.