The Roof Is On Fire, Oh, And The IRS
We’ve been listing old Model Railroader magazines lately, and I loved my little model railroad when I was a kid. I had all kinds of funky buildings and stuff, and I even threw in some Robotech stuff that was the right scale, and all sorts of things that were wildly not to scale. On one hand, realism is a goal, on the other hand having weird stuff is par for the course. Hence, the existence of this:
Why the IRS? Who cares! Why not just a plain and austere IRS building for the train set? Of course not – burn that sucker down!
You can still buy the set today from Model Power, complete with flashing fire lights and a tiny smoke machine, all of which you can see here, with a special appearance by King Kong. Why not? Model railroad guys are freakin’ crazy.
Christmas In Hollywood Homes (1946)
From the pages of Modern Woman magazine, volume 15 number 7, 1946, two pages of vintage movie star holiday Q & A. Specifically the famous Hollywood folks were asked to name:
1) Favorite Christmas Story
2) Favorite Christmas Song
3) When Gifts Are Opened
4) Best-Remembered Gift
The celebrities included are, Lucille Ball, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Ray Milland, Betty Hutton, Jack Carson, Alan Ladd, Joan Caulfield, Peggy Ann Garner, Lon McCallister, Lynn Bari, Peggy Cummins, Victure Mature, Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson, Robert Hutton, Martha Vickers, and Bette Davis.
As to be expected, I suppose, the most named Christmas story was Christmas Carol. My favorite was Jack Carson’s answer:
A story translated from Norwegian — doesn’t remember the name.
Maybe it was a translation of the Norwegian translation of A Christmas Carol.
My favorite answers were the ones naming their best-remembered gift.
His first fan, a mid-western Scandinavian grandmother, sent him a pair of Arguyle socks she herself knit. Because of his grateful thanks, she has kept his supplied with socks ever since.
About ten years ago she was seriously injured — paralyzed — in an automobile accident. At Christmas everyone gave her gifts for an invalid — except her mother. Mother Ball gave her a new bicycle, and with it the assurance that she would walk again.
A puppy, part collie and part German shepherd. He was eight years old and living in Milwaukee. “I’ve never had a gift that thrilled me more.”
For what it’s worth, Bette Davis had “no specially-remembered gift.” Neither did Victor Mature — however, he was “emphatic about what he wants this Christmas; a new house! Victor, like thousands of other Americans, is desperate for a home.”
The whole this is as post-war American as pie.
The photo used on the first page is of Margaret O’Brien and “Butch” Jenkins who appeared together in Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, discussing “the possibility of Santa getting down the Jenkins chimney.”
Jane Powell, Roddy MacDowell, George Murphy (and son Denny with train set), and Diana Lynn appear in photos on the second page.
Nothing Says “Car Sickness” Like The Oyster Bar On The Train In 1907
A real photo postcard of the train’s interior “Oyster Bar.” Circa 1907; via.
Why Train Engineers Wore Handkerchiefs
Another bit from Caricature, circa 1915. This bit about a dirty-faced train engineer in Tickville is credited to George Bingham.
Everybody Loves A Cow Girl
If this vintage cow girl costume doesn’t make you wanna play dress up (for Halloween or otherwise), I doubt little will.
I’m pretty sure there will be witnesses who remember her committing this train robbery.
Great for rounding up cattle — and pugs.
Now that I’ve sold you on how practical this is, let’s get down to some facts… It’s said to be a 1950s burlesque costume — though with the Marie’s Custom Uniforms label maybe it was an equally cool, in my opinion, diner waitress uniform. The gun holster is from the 70s and the pistol a new prop.
Now that you’re packin’ heat, may I interest you in a duel with a pistol blow dryer?