Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"A" as in here we go AGAIN!!

Yes, AGAIN!  A new round of Alphabe-Thursday is starting today!  Thank you Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" for hosting this event.

I no longer remember how I found Jenny's blog, but I was here for the very first round of Alphabe-Thursday.  I've probably done at least some letters for most rounds.  Sometimes real life got in the way or my 69 year old brain couldn't come up with anything.  However, I always knew that Alphabe-Thursday would be there waiting for me.

I hope Jenny's health improves.  I miss seeing her here!  She is one of the most thoughtful, caring people I've ever met (in person or virtually).   She's always been so supportive when I've had "stuff" going on in my life.  Now she has "stuff" going on in her life and yet she still remembers me (and my son).  Thank you Jenny for being such a special person in my life.

Thank you for hosting Alphabe-Thursday AGAIN!

I am thrilled to be here for another round of Alphabe-Thursday...AGAIN!!!

Head over to Jenny's blog AGAIN for a list of this week's participants.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Z" as in ZIEGFELD

Are we really up to "Z" already???  Welcome once again to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  I have chosen to write about the ZIEGFELD Follies this week.

The ZIEGFELD Follies and The ZIEGFELD Frolic were the brain child of Florenz (Flo) ZIEGFELD, Jr. and ran for the most part from 1907 until 1927 in New York City.  ZIEGFELD has often been called Broadway's greatest showman.  In addition to the long running ZIEGFELD Follies revue he also produced the musical Show Boat.  His shows featured beautiful women, elaborate costumes, and amazing sets.

His "ZIEGFELD girls" were regarded as the standard of beauty for their day.  ZIEGFELD called himself the "glorifier of the American girl."  My great aunt was one of his girls.  Her name was Margaret Morris and family legend says she was discovered by ZIEGFELD dancing on a New York city street corner.  I'm not so sure about that story, but somehow she was discovered.

This is a photograph of her taken by the famous ZIEGFELD photographer Alfred Chaney Johnston.  I know he took a lot of nude photographs of other ZIEGFELD girls, but I've never seen one of Margaret.  (She was a good Catholic girl.)
I'm the unofficial family historian and have her old photo album and some other memorabilia.  Unfortunately, a lot of the photos in the album were unidentified.  I did meet someone online some years back that helped with some of the identification.

There were a couple of movies made about ZIEGFELD and his Follies, but they were made a long time ago.  I would love to see a movie made today about the Follies.  I can picture Tom Hanks in the role of Florenz ZIEGFELD.  After watching this season of Dancing With The Stars I've decided Rumor Willis should play my aunt.  I can picture in my mind the elaborate costumes and sets.  The musical numbers, the dancing, etc., would be so entertaining along with some of their interesting background stories. Come on Hollywood...get busy!

Look at some of these costumes my aunt wore.  This one was when they did some kind of balloon dance.  I believe I heard one time that the gentlemen could pop the balloons on their costumes.
Here she is wearing another rather unusual costume.
 I believe I found this online at the New York City Library site.  Maybe this was a proof sheet?  You can see the above photograph on this sheet.  They are standing on an elevated glass walkway that was part of the set.  This is from the Midnight Frolic.  Margaret appeared in the ZIEGFELD Frolic and the  Follies.  (You can click on it to enlarge.) 

 This is from the 1915 Midnight Frolic.  L-R: Olive Thomas, Muriel Hudson, and Margaret Morris
I've always liked this one.  Margaret is the second one from the left.  I found this in her photo album and either Margaret or someone else wrote the names on the back.  As you can see it's from the 1920 Midnight Frolic.
Margaret also posed for this ad during her career.
She appeared in at least one silent movie, The Gypsys.  This was also found among her things.
This must have been taken on one of her trips to Europe.  I've seen this photo being sold on eBay.
Eventually, it all came to an end for Margaret and the Follies/Frolic.  She worked for many years as a wardrobe mistress on Broadway.  At times she was on welfare.  I have a few childhood memories of her, but the Morris family wasn't close and I only saw her once in a while.  I remember her kind smile and I knew that she was always happy to see us.   Margaret was my grandfather's sister.

I think this picture was probably taken in the 1940's.  Margaret was a member of the ZIEGFELD Club in her later years.  I believe this is a picture of Margaret with her fellow ZIEGFELD Club members.  Margaret is in the center of the first row with her arm around the older lady.
While browsing the Internet I discovered that a revised version of the Midnight Frolic is playing this Spring in New York City.  The Yelp reviews sound good.  If only I lived closer!

Now get busy Hollywood.  I'd like to see a movie and I'm not getting any younger.

Please head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

"Y" as in Galveston YARDS

YIKES!  We're already up to the letter "Y" for Alphabe-Thursday.  Thank you Ms. Jenny for sponsoring Alphabe-Thursday.  I sure hope you're getting to the bottom of things and finding a good treatment for what has been making you feel YUCKY for so long.  I miss your funny posts and want you back!

This week we are studying the letter "Y" as in Galveston YARDS.  Last weekend
 I went down to Galveston on Sunday for the Galveston Historic Homes Tour sponsored by the Galveston Historical Foundation.  The tour takes place on two weekends.  I missed going on Saturday because the weather was perfect for getting some furniture painted in the garage.  I knew the heat and humidity would be coming back and I needed to paint while we had a few good days.  Glad I did because the last couple of days have been miserable.  I'm afraid for us summer is here!

I only had time to visit three of the nine homes on the tour.  This coming weekend I'll try and visit the rest. I've been going on this tour for years and always enjoy it.  If it wasn't for hurricanes I'd buy a home in Galveston.

The first home I visited was a restoration in progress and the YARD hadn't been landscaped yet.  I didn't even think to take pictures. 

The second house I visited was the 1856/1859 John H. and Minnie Knox Hutchings House.  The home was originally built in 1856 and after hurricane damage in 1885 it was remodeled in a Romanesque Revival style.  The house was huge and filled with what I'm sure were very expensive furnishings.  Not exactly my style though.  It reminded me of a museum.  The homes I enjoy the most on the tour are the ones I could imagine myself living in with my dog and cats!  However, I loved this home's huge YARD with wonderful live oaks.  Lots of shade.

 I thought this was kind of cute...
 I wondered if this live oak had been damaged during Hurricane Ike.  There was a large bolt that went through the tree and then chains were wrapped around the trunk to help hold it together.  It was a huge tree and I guess the weight was pulling the trunk apart.

Then I visited the 1909 Fordtran Viotto House.  I would not mind living in this one!  I believe my dog and cats would enjoy the large balcony and I loved the style of this home.  There wasn't a lot of landscaping in the front YARD, but there was a magnolia tree that was blooming.
The back YARD gave me some ideas for what to do with my fence.  I have some old shutters in the garage.

Photographs aren't allowed to be taken inside the homes, so I snapped a few outside with my cell phone.

Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thanks for visiting...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"X" as in XENOPHOBE for Alphabe-Thursday

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."  This week we are studying the letter...
I did a google search and was surprised to see how many words (that we never use) start with the letter X.  I scanned the list and finally decided upon this word.


Function: noun
Definition: a person who is afraid of all things strange or foreign: a person afraid of foreigners
Word History: Greek xenos "stranger" and phobos "fear"
Example Sentence: The xenophobe was afraid of his neighbors who came from another country.

Sadly, xenophobes exist in our society today.  They end up hating out of fear because they perceive someone as different.  How often have you heard someone imply that all Muslims are bad or evil?  After the horrors of 9/11 some tended to unfairly blame all Muslims for that terrorist act.
One of the worst xenophobes was Adolph Hitler.

Living in Houston I still remember the murder of Paul Broussard.  He was killed by a group of xenophobes outside a Houston nightclub because he was gay.

This country isn't without xenohobe thinking in our past either.  I think of The Trail Of Tears and slavery.
We must remember and learn from the past.  Hate is a very strong emotion.
Now head over to Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thank you for visiting. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"W" as in WIND for Alphabe-Thursday

Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent."
This week we are studying the letter "W" as in WIND.  Last Friday we had quite a storm.  It couldn't have happened at a better time.  There was lots of WIND and rain.  I needed a "W" word and the weatherman cooperated.

We walked out to this on Saturday morning.
That's my son in the background.  We worked on Saturday and Sunday cleaning up the mess.  For some reason I completely forgot to take pictures of the backyard.  You'll notice that our next door neighbor's yard was fine.  In fact, I think we had the biggest mess.  The wind ripped my flag and flagpole off the tree and into the driveway.  The bracket broke right off.
We filled up trashcans with sticks.  There were more sticks, but I ran out of trashcans.  When the landscapers came to mow on Wednesday they took the rest of them away.  We had two large branches and Troy came over and cut them up for us.

Here's the view down the street.  The neighbor on our other side has two large pine trees in his front yard just like us.  Can you see the little pile he put down by the curb?  That's all he had!
We didn't lose our electricity, but some in the neighborhood did for 22 hours.  My neighbor was telling me yesterday about a couple of homes in the neighborhood with blue tarps on their roofs.  I also heard about a fence going down and I saw a large tree cut up and left at the curb on the next block.  Overall our street fared pretty well.  It was mostly in our yard!

I guess you could say this was a dress rehearsal for hurricane season.

Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants.  Thanks for visiting.