A Slob Recants

I owe Margie Frake an apology. She flounces around the state fair in those impractical (but totally gorgeous) heels and skirts and I laugh myself silly. "No one in the '40s ever went to the fair like that," I chuckle haughtily from an overstuffed couch, rubbing Cheetos cheese onto my equally crammed and faded Levi's. "They'd pal around in their overalls or Converse shoes. They'd look more like Dennis the Menace than Lana Turner."

For that reason I never thought of this film as anything but a fashion show. Sure people dressed up back then, but at a fair? Will the champion hogs appreciate your crimson velvet bodice and matching hat?  Will the mincemeat judge award you the blue ribbon because you're wearing one around your waist? Surely not. This movie has never been real to me.

And then I saw this...

People -non-actors- in heels and suits on a Rotor in what seems to be the late 1940s. Wow! Who says you can't look good and have fun at the fair? I never will again.

(But seriously, how comfortable are those shoes when you're walking around for that long?)


  1. This makes me think of that surfing documentary from the 60s--Endless Summer. I thought it was so funny how those laidback surfers got dressed up in suits for a plane ride. Things sure have changed!

  2. Dear "Slob", how funny that people are going to any place where there is a Rotor and there they are in smart outfits and suits! It's like old photos of people walking around Disneyland. How on earth did they spend all day in that heat with all those clothes on and wearing those heels? It's beyond me -- I guess they didn't question it because that's simply what you wore back then. Thank god I wasn't walking around Disneyland and fairgrounds back then!

  3. This 1945 Movie Musical is my FAVORITE of all the R&H works! The clothes, the sets, and dreamy big band dance that happens every night (and everyone at the fair seems to be trained and choreographed Dancers) I can watch this one over and over and over again!

  4. Love this. Reminds me of family photos of that generation - on picnics, etc., all dressed in their best. Maybe they didn't have Cheetos and didn't need to wipe their hands on their clothes.

  5. Java, we are slobs anymore, aren't we? Men and women both are guilty of it -- I certainly am - LOL! It's too bad ... we may be more comfortable, but we look awful. I think men look fabulous in suits and ties with those marvelous fedoras. Women looked more feminine. Except for the high heels at the fair, I wish we could go back to that and look decent!

  6. KC,
    Things have definitely changed. But the movies have inspired me to up my wardrobe a bit. It's influenced me to stop thinking of the public sphere as an extension of the living room.
    Why, I do not even step out of my bedroom without at least a dressing gown on. :)

    But I have a long way to go.

    Martin Turnbull,
    "Thank god I wasn't walking around Disneyland and fairgrounds back then!"

    You said it! I remember watching some 1960s film (or was it The Dick Van Dyke Show? I think it's both.) where a beautiful woman steps out of her bedroom in a sweatshirt and there is a pause in the dialogue and action, as if the audience is supposed to laugh at this "slovenly" creature.

    I couldn't believe it. I can only dream of looking that put together (in full makeup, no less) after having a nap.

    I love the big band! The midway entertainment seems unreal to me. It's a veritable nightclub! The most I've seen at a real fair is square dancing and karaoke.

    Jacqueline T. Lynch,
    I was raised by strangely-orange-snack-eating wolves. (The snacks are orange, not the canines... Oh bother.)

    With the proliferation of books, blogs, magazines and TV shows out there that help people to look their best, it seems that lots of concerned souls do care about their appearance. The results do not reflect the effort. Is it the thought that counts in this case? Nah. I'm still in faded jeans.

    Guilty. :s

  7. Hey Java, It's always so funny when those people would wake up and be in full make up with perfect hair. But now that I'm looking at that photo you posted, I'm starting to wonder: OMG! MAYBE THEY REALLY DID!


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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