Dig the body parts!
I call this post odds and ends. The phrase “Odds and ends” is a dialectal corruption of “ords” [Old English – point, spear-point, spear, source, beginning, front, vanguard] and ends” – beginnings and ends. Who knew? I include here updates, one-offs, and miscellaneous joyous quirk, like the body parts above – leavings, crumbs, scrapings, remains, remnants, bits and pieces.
Or – think of this post as a variety pack.
Oh no – I CAN’T STOP MYSELF.Here comes a digression. I haven’t resisted impulses about digressions for a while now. I have earned this one. I deserve it. I have earned it. I am worthy of it. I AM ENTITLED!
I used the variety pack as a metaphor for this post. That is not a digression.
But this is:
I was never disappointed with Kellogg’s or Post variety packs. They were for special occasions – vacation, grandmothers, camping. They met expectations.
But not all cereal ideas met expectations.
In 1954, Benjamin and Harry Hirsch sold the idea of a toy submarine powered by gas bubbles in wet baking powder to Kellogg’s.
Good timing! In the middle of the Cold War, we were as a nation thrilled by our first nuclear submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, which was commissioned on September 30, 1954.
You cut out cereal box top and mailed it in with a quarter. They would mail you a 4.5-inch submarine.
We lived on Dutton Road in Sudbury then. We moved into our home days after Hurricane Carol and hit Boston in August 1954. We cooked with sterno for a few days. There was four feet of water in the basement. I was four and my sister Jeanne was two.
This was my first experience with redemption by mail. I checked the mail box every day. I couldn’t wait for it to come.
After endless days it came! Redemption by mail!
I played with it. It was true, the promised chemical leavening process from the baking powder made the submarine dive up and down in the bath.
But, still, it wasn’t all that I had hoped for.
Especially because the oldest brother across the street was an accomplished model builder and he was working on a Revell plastic model of the Nautilus. My little yellow submarine didn’t look so great anymore.
Redemption by mail wasn’t all that I had hoped for. I had similar experiences with toy frogmen powered by baking powder in a small tank on the back of the figure and with collections of cancelled foreign stamps. But wait –
The frogmen may not have required redemption, they made have been FREE INSIDE. But the frogmen and cancelled stamps weren’t all that I had hoped for.
I could talk about the ice cream I remember from that neighbor’s and my father and his friend Richard Booth building models but – no, I must stop. I can stop. I will stop. I have stopped.
Back to this post, where there are the parts, there is the sum of the parts, and there is the whole. Right?
I didn’t see this tub with legs when I walked Parker Street in February 2013. I saw this at 2217 Parker:
These geese did not want to be my friends, at least if I was interpreting their body language correctly. I didn’t linger.
I am grateful that a QB reader sent me the photo of the tub with body parts. They also sent a suggestion for a post, a good suggestion that I will effort to create.
I have posted on Julie Partos and her quirky pop-up installations. She changes the installations from time to time and catch the new ones when I can.
This installation was in April 2017. I am a super fan of the Blake quote – the centre cannot hold – relevant today, much?
I have taken you to Marcia Donahue’s garden and home and we have seen her love of textiles. These next photos are from after she took a trip to India. She added the Indian textiles to the African and Japanese.
How can these colors and designs not thrill and inspire and make us grateful for beauty?
One of my earlier deviations from the strict Quirky Berkeley mission so that I could explore Berkeley history was my post on Berkeley religious and political figures of the 1960s, including Robert Scheer and his 1966 campaign for Congress. To that post, I add these buttons:
I have collected photos of little free libraries, especially “rogue” ones, not “official” ones. I add these two:
This lil’ jukebox is extraordinary.
I am drawn to Bungalow Courts. I believe in bungalow courts. I have dreams of bungalow courts especially one with a red curtain. I have filled several posts with photos of bungalow courts.
I have one more.
Yes, I know, there is a pave-the-planet impulse going on here. But squint and imagine this with garden where there is parking. Once there were parking lots / now it’s a peaceful oasis / You’ve got it, you’ve got it.
It is good, no?
Doug Heine is blue-blood Quirky Berkeley. I have posted on his studio and art on Page Street. He is top decile of those who grok Quirky Berkeley. He is Quirky Berkeley.
He sent me these two photos of new sculptures. Yes!
I did a post on Ludwig’s Fountain in Sproul Plaza. Ludwig was a German shorthaired pointer who hung out at the fountain. Everybody knew Ludwig.
Piero Infante published this photo of a baptism in the fountain on his Hella Berkeley Facebook page. THAT is a Facebook page that rocks a great Berkeley Vibe. Ask to join – you will love it.
Readers chuckled at the photo, which demonstrates that the zealots taking part in this immersion-in-cess-pool baptism had no idea whatsoever about what goes into the water at the fountain. Yuck! I hope that they had their hep shots.
Eduardo Pineda is a brilliant muralist whose work I have featured. He is a Big Time adherent of all that Quirky Berkeley stands for. He sent me these three photos:
What is this????? An old theatre photo that I didn’t find when I did my post on old movie theaters. It’s at 2064 San Pablo, now the Priya Indian restaurant. I knew of it but hadn’t found a photo. Good job Eduardo!
I have written about Owsley’s “Green Factory” house on McGee where he was busted for making LSD on February 21, 1965. – but LSD wasn’t illegal in California until May 30, 1966 and so Owsley skated.
Labor Lawyer/Friend Phillip Monrad added to the legend of the house on McGee. He sent me these photos:
He wrote: “Tom, these sidewalk glyphs commemorate the other reason why the Owsley house at Virginia & McGee is famous. It was called the Tuna Club because that’s where the members of the HotTuna band lived when they recorded their first albums.”
Who knew? Good knowledge Philip! That music was a staple of my life in 1970-1971 when I lived at 4417 Baltimore Avenue in Philadelphia. It’s all about me!
And – finishing STRONG and MIGHTY – I did a big old long and wonderful post about Martin Metal and his art.
His daughter Aurora wrote me recently: “I came across these concrete walls today on Pleasant Hill Road in Pleasant Hill and thought you might like to see them. My mom helped make and install these. It was around 1970.”
These are of Berkeley if not in Berkeley – Strong and Mighty, indeed! Martin Metal lives on.
I wasn’t sure how this post was going to turn out. Well, à mon humble avis, it works. It shows the breadth and depth of Quirky Berkeley, the different ways we celebrate our creativity and individualism and the many ways that Berkeley is different and special and wonderful. There are some who criticize and demean this love of Berkeley’s quirkiness and our appreciation of history. To them I say – just park your cynicism suspicion and fear for a minute. Look around – it won’t hurt. Look around. Let yourself learn and love. It can’t hurt to look.
Look at these photos and think of what they represent. There’s room in this Big Love thing called Quirky Berkeley for you.
Go ahead – try it.
I showed the draft post to my friend.
He went to his quarters and came back with two plates and a photo. He was excited about finding the plates on a trip to Ione – perfect for his Danish Modern motif.
As for the photo –
“I have a little odd or end or bit or piece for you. In 2013 you somehow decided that talking about your favorite 1960s childhood Pennsylvania diner was appropriate for Quirky Berkeley, remember? The post where you went on and on about the Mari-Nay Diner on Lancaster Pike in Rosemont? Well, I got one more for you:
This makes me happy. I don’t remember Bill Shannon and wasn’t a regular at the Mari-Nay, but this photo makes me happy. I hear the words – “Now I’m ready to grow young again / And hear your sister’s voice calling us home / Across the open yards.” Good job my friend!
What does he think about the odds and ends post?