Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Youngest Female Performer on Billboard Hot 100

On April 27, 1963, Margaret Annemarie Battavio's very first single, "I Will Follow Him," reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. With her 15th birthday only six weeks behind her, and three more years of high school ahead of her, the singer better known as Little Peggy March became the youngest female performer ever to top the Billboard Hot 100, but she'd never crack the top 10 again. Go here to see more information.

This Day in History. (accessed April 27, 2011).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Looking at the Origins of a Few Easter Traditions

It's Easter season and one can hardly go into any store and not see the commercialization of the holiday. Let's take a quick look at the origin of the holiday and some of the traditions associated with it.

Go to this page for some interesting Easter trivia and a few activities for children.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review--Too Close to the Sun by Curtis Roosevelt

I am way overdue giving you my opinion of the following book that I read by Franklin D. Roosevelt's grandson Curtis. I promise to be a little quicker about posting reviews in the future.

Too Close to the Sun: Growing Up in the Shadow of my Grandparents, Franklin and Eleanor by Curtis Roosevelt.

Curtis Roosevelt was the eldest grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. As a toddler his mother moved into the White House with Curtis and his sister Anna. For much of FDR’s time as President, Curtis called the White House home.

Curtis went on to paint a picture of a privileged childhood during the lean years of the Great Depression the country was going through. Curtis and his Anna were nicknamed Buzzie and Sistie. They became celebrities and crowds often called out to them when they appeared in public. Life on the surface appeared to be grand for the children but their lives were lived in a fishbowl. They must have good manners at all times, they must not get dirty and they were frequently left with servants and denied many of the pleasures of a "normal" childhood. Curtis did love to spend time with his grandfather. He loved his grandmother but he did not paint her as an affectionate person but rather as someone to be on guard around. FDR and Eleanor offered the only stability in the children’s lives while their mother divorced their father and moved away for a time without the children and then reentered their lives, married for the 2nd time (after the book has ended, she married a 3rd time) and had a third child. Numerous times in the book, Mr. Curtis Roosevelt comments on the unhappiness of his childhood.

When I began reading this book, I expected a more in depth look at the time. What the reality is, this book is more of a childhood memoir. I should have realized that what Curtis wrote about occurred during his childhood and what he wrote of has some distortion due to his age at the time the events occurred and also because of the many years that have passed. My opinion of Eleanor has gone down somewhat after reading this book. For some reason, maybe because of her dowdy appearance, I expected her to be a more hands on, affectionate motherly-type person. In case you’re wondering, Curtis’s original surname was not Roosevelt—his middle name was. As result of his mother’s and grandmother’s influence, he dropped his original surname of Dall.

Would I recommend this book? Depends. I would not recommend it to someone wanting to learn about the lean years of the Great Depression and World War II because there are merely superficial glimpses of those times in this book. However, I would recommend it to anyone who has children in the public’s eye. This book paints a vivid picture of a dysfunctional family. Maybe I shouldn’t have had such high expectations from this book—I paid $1 for it at a Dollar Tree store.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Going Green" --A New Idea???

I received the following in an email and it brought back memories to me of some practices in my childhood although I don't remember beer bottles being returned because I wasn't around many beer drinkers back then either. Enjoy...

In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that plastic bags
weren't good for the environment. The woman apologized to her and explained,
"We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

That's right, they didn't have the green thing in her day. Back then,
they returned their milk bottles, Coke bottles and beer bottles to the
store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and
refilled, using the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled......
But they didn't have the green thing back her day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an
escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery
store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.
But she's right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have the
throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine
burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.
Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always
brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back in her

Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen the size of a pizza dish, not a screen
the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, they blended and stirred
by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you.
When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used wadded up
newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the
lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working
so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate
on electricity. But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.
They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty, instead of using a cup or
A plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled
pens with ink, instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor
blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got

Back then, people took the streetcar and kids rode their bikes to
school or rode the school bus, instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour
taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to
power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from
satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But that old lady is right...........
They didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fashion Predictions from the 1930s for the Year 2000

Here is an interesting look at what fashion designers in the 1930s thought fashions would look like in the year 2000.