Happy birthday, Raymond Chandler!
Shame on us for almost letting Mr. Chandler’s 126th birthday slip by us. This post first saw the light of day a year ago today, but it’s worth a revisit…
We’ve made no secret of our deep affection for the work of the great Raymond Chandler, so we couldn’t let his 125th birthday go by without notice today.
If you’ve somehow managed to avoid reading any of Chandler’s work to date, savor this brief opening paragraph from his short story Red Wind; it’s as good an introduction as any to one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century:
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
Happy birthday, Mr. Chandler, wherever you may be.
Cagney Speaks Yiddish!
In Their Words: James Cagney
Happy 115th birthday to the late, great James Cagney!
A Journey Through 1937 Los Angeles
One of our favorite aspects of the historic lore of Los Angeles is the novelty architecture that’s long been so closely associated with the city. So we enjoyed this sequence from Stand-In (1937), starring Humphrey Bogart, Leslie Howard and Joan Blondell.
In this clip, Howard, playing a buttoned-up bean-counter from back east who’s just arrived in L.A. on a mission to oversee a struggling movie studio, is picked up at the train station by a company car. On a memorable ride through the city, he encounters an eatery shaped like a hat (the Brown Derby), a bakery shaped like a windmill (one of the stores in the once-prominent Van de Kamp’s chain), a service station shaped like an airplane, complete with spinning propellers, and several others.
There’s not an establishment in this thirty-plus-second journey that we wouldn’t eagerly patronize, if only someone would perfect a functioning time machine.
Let us know if you have memories of any of these establishments. We’d love to learn more about them.
What’s Your Drive-in Theatre I.Q.?
Longtime readers probably know that we’re huge devotees of drive-in movie theatres, so we perked right up recently when we watched a Richard Karn-hosted edition of Family Feud that included a question about ozoners.
The question was, “Name a rule at a drive-in theatre”; six answers were posted on the board, and the two families combined to name three of them.
Wondering how many you might be able to guess? Just watch the video below to test your Drive-in Theatre Etiquette I.Q.
Give me a night in June
Give me a Summer moon
Give me hammock built for two
Gee, it's mighty cozy
Side by side with you
Rockin' up in the air
Rockin' away our care
Rockin' until our hopes come through
Everything looks rosy
How can we be blue?
Swingin' in a hammock
Underneath a tree
Just you and I together
Swayin' in the breeze
—Swingin' in a Hammock
Lyrics by Tot Seymour & Chas. O'Flynn; music by Pete Wendling, 1930