Doing some housecleaning here at the Ol' Homestead. I ran across a yellowed copy of The Inquirer Magazine from thirty-six years ago.
The Brady Bunch!
The lead article, and the reason my stepmother probably saved it, concerns Lansdale, Pennsylvania: "Lansdale, Pa., in Montgomery county, is a typical small town, with conservative older folks and young people on the lose. Today writer William J. Speers takes an in-depth look at Lansdale in an effort to find out why a teen-age boy and his girl-friend committed suicide." (My stepmother lived in Lansdale, and possibly knew the trouble kids at the wrong side of the Generation Gap.)
Maybe because of all the excess hyphenation?
Among all the cigarette ads, I found a page called "People etc." Alleged readers sent in their questions concerning "the Stars" and someone at The Inquirer Magazine dug up the answers.
Here are some samples...
Q: A fan magazine I read reported that Liza Minelli plans to fling herself into the Indian cause, a la Jane Fonda and Mia Farrow. True?
A: Magazine speak with forked tonghe. Although Liza contributes to the cause, she doesn't need headlines to help boost her career. She explains: "You don't have to live and suffer with them to help. I was raised with so much drama I don't crave it."
Q: Once and for all, was country singer Johnny Cash's first wife a Negro?
A: "The subject of his first wife is strictly taboo," say members of the Cash hierarchy. But Cash's sister - business manager, Reba, says Vivian Liberto is of Italian-Irish descent, and offers documentation of the fact to doubters. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1968.
Q: When Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant divorced in 1967, one of her main complaints concerned Grant's use of LSD. Did she ever take it herself?
A: Dyan admits to tripping out once during their two-year marriage, allegedly at Grant's suggestion, and says: "I took it under a doctor's supervision, but it didn't do anything constructive for me. I didn't have a pleasure trip; LSD brings out the nightmares of your mind, and I wasn't ready for that."
Q: Why hasn't J. Edgar Hoover married? Has he ever come close?
A: At 76, the FBI chief enjoys his bachelorhood and doesn't want to risk having a wife or child kidnaped. However, he's been a close friend of fashion model Anita Colby for over 30 years, and has taken her on several wild gangster-chasing rides. Ginger Rogers' mother, Lela Rogers, once had her eye on Hoover, but he gave her the slip.
I'm guessing that fashion model Anita Colby (did you know that's referred to as Times style? Instead of saying, "the fashion model, Anita Colby," the New York Times started abbreviating it to "fashion model Anita Colby" and the like) was relegated to the back seat when Hoover went tooling around on "gangster chasing rides" on Martha's Vineyard, Miami Beach, and Palm Springs.
Sure was a different world, huh? Although there is a certain plus ça change element, just the same.
And I love this! Check out this ad copy for "the New Miami Beach": "Announcing a totally new turned-on tropic resort for today's alive young Americans. On a palm-studded, sun-blazened strip of sand along the azure Atlantic, an experiment in living is going on. There's a new discotheque with a reverse twist. It looks at you with electric eyeballs while the walls quiver from three rock bands on three different stages. At another new club, good vibrations come off when you climb a plastic mountain as it changes shape and color around you. Hugh Hefner has opened a whole new hotel here for Playboys of the western world. While another group grooves at the free rock concert on the lawn right next to the Mayor's office. The place is Miami Beach. The experiment? To see if the new people can tear themselves away from the sunning and fishing and golfing and racing and sailing and sightseeing of the old Miami Beach long enough to plunge into the lifestyle of the new Miami Beach. Come and try the experiment. At worst, you'll blow a little dough. At best, you'll blow your mind."
And the chicks are hot, too! I'm on my way!
Striking another tone, an ad for "Abortion Counseling, Information and Referral Services" informs readers that "Abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy are now legal in New York State. There are no residency restrictions at cooperating hospitals."
Rubye Graham, fashion editor of The Inquirer, features "Prairie Dresses For City Slickers" in a two-page spread, thus launching the careers of thousands of drag queens.
And check out this yummy recipe from Elain Tait's "Sunday Special":
Divine Turkey Medley
2 cups egg noodles
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
4 large turkey slices or 2 cups turkey or chicken pieces
Basically you throw it all in a pot till it's bubbling, then put it in a caserole and stick it in the oven at 350°.
Just what exactly are "turkey or chicken pieces"?
In another recipe for "Skillet Herbed Kidneys," the "pieces" are identified: 4 lamb or 2 veal kidneys. The "Herbs" in question are salt, pepper, and parsley flakes. Now how zesty and daring is that?
Of course, in the "Mail Order Shopping" section at the back, we catch a glimpse of the dark and seemy underbelly of American life in 1971. "Zip! Bulges positively disappear with He-Man Super-Elastic Control Brief with Flyfront Pouch Men! Zip Away 3 Inches of Bulge As You Help Relieve Backache Instantly! world's first completely undetectable feather-light all-power-control stretch support without pouch!"
Mystified? In the adjoining ad touting a basically identical product for women, it's described as a "pull-on zip up panty girdle."
And the illustrations are priceless, too. I wonder how much those somber young men with the bedroom eyes were paid for being photographed wearing a panty girdle?
And speaking of drag queens, another intersting ad catches my eye: "For every feminine inch of you... TALL GIRL fashions! Be an unforgettable women [sic] . . . in fashions that reflect your impeccable taste. Pant sets, dresses, sportswear separates . . . all designed for the woman 5'9" or over who knows fashion. Sizes 8-24. Plus 87 different styles of shoes, sandals and boots sizes 9-14 AAAA to C." There's an illustration that goes with this ad, too, and it's pretty much a drag queen.