Windham Life and Time – November 4, 2022

Vote Tuesday – The Daisy Political Ad.

The Daisy Girl

    “The most famous of all campaign commercials, known as the ‘Daisy Girl’ ad, ran only once as a paid advertisement, during an NBC broadcast of “Monday Night at the Movies” on September 7, 1964. Without any explanatory words, the ad uses a simple and powerful cinematic device, juxtaposing a scene of a little girl happily picking petals off a flower (actually a black-eyed Susan), and an ominous countdown to a nuclear explosion. The ad was created by the innovative agency Doyle Dane Bernbach, known for its conceptual, minimal, and modern approach to advertising. The memorable soundtrack was created by Tony Schwartz, an advertising pioneer famous for his work with sound, including anthropological recordings of audio from cultures around the world. The frightening ad was instantly perceived as a portrayal of Barry Goldwater as an extremist. … The ad was replayed in its entirety on ABC’s and CBS’s nightly news shows, amplifying its impact.” The Living Room Candidate (Museum of Moving Image) Funny thing, that ad being run by Lyndon Johnson, the biggest war-monger in US history, selected as he was, by assassination, to ramp up the Viet Nam War. Always gaslighting and inversion…

     I lived through the time of “duck and cover” and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In spite of it all, I felt much safer in America then. Life went on and the rhetoric around nuclear war was toned down and efforts were made at “peaceful coexistence.” The fact that our current government has declared that America now has a “first strike” policy should be terrifying for everyone this election day, especially since our antiquated nuclear weapons have been out paced by the hypersonic missiles of Russia and China.

Windham Life and Times – September 30, 2022

A Cottage on Cobbett’s Pond-

Possible the Most Beautiful Old Cottage on Cobbett’s Pond

When we sold this property, it was owned by Esther Wheatley (Darymple), of North Andover, MA. It was simply a magnificent property on Cobbett’s Pond. The cottage was in the classic shingle style, with a wonderful porch, bay windows and a wide roof overhang. It had long lake frontage, massive old trees and a whimsical guest-house on the water.  With its 230 feet of frontage and nearly 3 acres of land it was one of the premier parcels of land on the lake. After the sale, the cottage burned to the ground in a fire. The guest-house is the only original structure that remains. I wonder what stories that old cottage could have told?

Windham Life and Times – September 2, 2022

Happy Labor Day George Baily’s Tribute to the Workingman

     Frank Capra must have been filled with the Holy Ghost because he was prophesizing about the time we are living in now through his movie: It’s a Wonderful Life. America and much of the western world has become one giant Potterville.

     Here is George Bailey’s famous speech from It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), in which he admonishes the greedy Mr. Potter, “You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community…

    Potter: …and all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir ’em up and fill their head with a lot of impossible ideas. Now, I say —         

     Bailey: Just a minute – just a minute. Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. Just a minute. Now, you’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was — Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get outta your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why — here, you’re all businessmen here. Don’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You, you said that they — What’d you say just a minute ago? They had to wait and save their money before they even thought of a decent home. Wait? Wait for what?! Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken-down that — You know how long it takes a workin’ man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you’re talking about, they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be.

     Potter: I’m not interested in your book. I’m talkin’ about the Building and Loan.

    Bailey: I know very well what you’re talking about. You’re talking about something you can’t get your fingers on, and it’s galling you. That’s what you’re talking about, I know. Well…I’ve said too much. I — You’re…the Board here. You do what you want with this thing. There’s just one thing more, though. This town needs this measly one-horse institution if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to Potter. Come on, Uncle Billy!

    Well the working men and women, will always receive my utmost respect, for the dignity of their hard work that makes my life so much better and whose skills often leave me in awe. 

Windham Life and Times August 26, 2022

The Lost Past-time of Pipe Smoking

According to Britannica, “The smoking of tobacco through a pipe is indigenous to the Americas and derives from the religious ceremonies of ancient priests in Mexico. Farther north, American Indians developed ceremonial pipes, the chief of these being the calumet, or pipe of peace. Such pipes had marble or red steatite (or pipestone) bowls and ash stems about 30 to 40 inches (75–100 cm) long and were decorated with hair and feathers. The practice of pipe smoking reached Europe through sailors who had encountered it in the New World.” Smoking pipes was very popular in America beginning in the colonial period well into the 1960’s. The smell of pipe tobacco is quite pleasant and smoking it was an acquired art.

     Both of my grandfathers smoked pipes at various times. I remember vividly, my grandfather Dinsmore, sitting in his old Windsor chair, in the double window of the kitchen, watching the world go by, as his wife prepared a meal; and on one special day, making the child that I was, a beautiful clay dog, deftly wrought with the help of a wooden match stick.

     Of course the pipe is making a bit of a comeback, however, it isn’t tobacco being smoked in them. It is doubtful that widespread social smoking will be seen as exciting and socially acceptable as it was in the smoker’s age when most everybody had a pack, or a pipe or a cigar.