Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boy Things, Girl Things

1905 hunting lodge. Not the Nicholsons. Another side of my husband's family, a cousin of Douglas MacArthur.

Well, it's Wednesday. The first big snowstorm of the season is happening outside. My husband, who works shift, is off work, and we sit in the livingroom watching Von Ryan's Express on the HD Big Screen TV.

"I loved that movie," I tell my husband. Frank Sinatra dies at the end, right? He is surprised that I would like this movie. And I see why as I watch it again. It's a boy movie, 100%. He saw it in the theatre, imagine. I saw it on a small b and w television, probably in the late 60's or early 70's. So in my mind Frank Sinatra is even scrawnier than he appears here, and in shades of grey.

The fact is, I only remember that last scene. (My gosh, it's all shoot 'em up, isn't it?) My husband remembers each fire fight, each bomb.

The same thing happened when we watched Guns of Navarone. All I remembered was that scene where Gregory Peck kissed the mute girl and then killed her. The only scene my husband doesn't remember is the one were he kisses the girl!

So, what has this got to do with Flo in the City, my story about a girl coming of age in 1908-1913.... Well, I have in front of me a big leather volume of all the Technical World Magazines from 1910. I bought it on eBay and frankly, these magazines, now in the public domain, are not easy to find.

I have already posted a few articles, abridged on my website An interesting one is about the windowless rooms in slums of New York. (Montreal had the same problem.)I posted another about pneumonia and many many about aeroplanes. Did you know that women were flocking to flight school in 1910?

But now I feel I must at least go through it and read, yes, READ the articles on medical technology.

The Ladies' Home Journals of the era might be more fun to look at and to read for me, for their views on femininity and women's role in society, but this volume of Technical World sums up, in nuts and bolts, the industrial-age context of the Tighsolas era.

Henry Ford wasn't the only story in the era.