A Charlie Brown Christmas

Vince Guaraldi Trio Charlie Brown Christmas Album Cover

This right here is my favorite thing. I’ve probably listened to the whole album ten times since Thanksgiving. It would be great holiday jazz even if it didn’t make me think of the Christmas special.

There are so many good clips from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” but the one I love the most is this:

Kids, ask your parents about how when they were your age, this “special” would air once during the weeks leading up to Christmas, where “special” means something other than regularly scheduled programming, and “air” means that we had to check the TV listings in the newspaper (the what?) to find out which day and time it would be shown, and on which network, and we had to watch it at exactly that time because there was no DVR or streaming or on-demand or YouTube in the olden days of yore.

I tried making my boys watch this a few years ago. I was so excited to share it with them. They thought it was dumb. And maybe it doesn’t hold up all that well. I’m willing to admit that my hypernostalgic feelings compromise my ability to view it objectively. But you can’t take this away from me.

When I was young, the Peanuts gang was as much a part of our family as the Brady Bunch was. We read the daily comics, we ordered the Peanuts cartoon books from the Scholastic Book Club, and we eagerly awaited the airing of the holiday cartoon specials. They were a cultural phenomenon almost without equal.

Anyway: If you haven’t listened to the album yet, there’s no need to drop the needle on vinyl – you can stream it! Here’s a link to it on Amazon Prime Music – free to listen if you have Prime. It’s also on Spotify, but I can’t figure out how to put a link to it here. Which could be related to my hypernostalgic feeling about some crudely-drawn cartoon from the 1970s.

Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!


Don’t forget to pack your sauce

tuckaway fifth

I found this ad in the July 28, 1967 issue of Life Magazine. It tickled me because – check it out – Mister Big Biznessman’s goin’ on a trip and his white-gloved honey has made sure she tucked a li’l fifth of his favorite bourbon right into his suitcase, right there next to the white shirts she so lovingly ironed (how many times must I tell you, light starch, honey – dammit, you know it makes my neck itch!).

Ya think he managed to get that by TSA in the hopes of gate-checking his bag so he could avoid the whole baggage claim circus on the far side? Did he seal it in a single, quart-sized Ziploc bag?

OH WAIT – this was the 1960s, a time when liquids in large containers could be carried willy-nilly throughout the airport. A time when flight attendants were called stewardesses and they had strict upper limits on their weight  and age… when tickets were paper – not E – and full, hot meals were served on real plates with real forks and real knives… and suitcases didn’t yet have wheels, and a fella could keep his shoes and belt ON and his party could meet him right there at the gate instead of outside the secure zone…

…it was a time when a man was a MAN and by golly, he packed his very own Tuckaway Fifth on every business trip.

Wanna flya Cessna?

In one of thousands  hundreds  dozens  several boxes of mementos from my youth, currently taking up entire rooms in my basement, I found two magazines from the week I was born in the Mesozoic Era  Renaissance  Roaring Twenties late sixties.  My Grandma Sara was an R.N. in a doctor’s office and she thoughtfully swiped their copies of Life and Look for my parents to stash away on my behalf. I don’t think I knew I had them until one of our recent moves.

Last night I was looking through the Life Magazine from July 28, 1967, and came upon this ad that included a helpful, cents-off coupon. I don’t know if it’s worth trying to cash it in today, but in any case, check it out:

wanna flya cessna

AWESOME! Slip a licensed instructor a fin and you, too, can jet above your post-industrial city!  What? You don’t have your ID with you? Oh, that’s OK, bring it tomorrow.  We trust you.

C’mon, you know you wanna – all the cool kids are doin’ it.

Lest you should think I ripped this idea off from the pages of The Glamorous Life Association’s AdTalk series, please know this: I think of it more as “inspiration” – and, I cleared it with Marcy ahead of time.  In fact, if you think this one’s good, you should pop on over to view the ads she’s posted. Hilarious stuff!

BTW, I have another one from the same mag that will be coming your way  later this week. Priceless stuff, this.