Dick Halloran and his late night guests.
We're revisiting the art of headshop posters with this image of an unidentified afro-topped beauty shot in 1979 by famed German lensman Cheyco Leidmann. This particular piece may look familiar to cinema fans. It's the poster that was over Scatman Crothers' bed in the 1981 scarefest The Shining. His character Dick Halloran was about as single as a man could be in that movie—living alone, hanging in his jammies, watching television late at night, with naked art looking down on him. Getting axed in the sternum was really a case of putting the poor guy out of his misery. Halloran didn't have just one guardian angel on his walls. The reverse shot from that same sequence shows another poster, located over the television. That model we can identify. She's actress and centerfold Azizi Johari, who's made a few appearances here on the website. We even shared the very same poster a couple of years ago. But we decided to bring her back today so our visit to Halloran's bachelor pad would be complete. See more Johari here and here. She's well worth it.
What goes up must come down.
Funiculars in their most primitive form date back to Germany's Hohensalzburg Castle in the 1500s. The famous 1880 Italian song “Funiculì, funiculà” was written to commemorate the opening of the first funicular on Mount Vesuvius, and helped spread awareness of such railways. Angels Flight was the first funicular in Los Angeles. We stumbled across this shot made today in 1959 of the venerable tram and liked the way it captures the steepness of the ascent/descent, and makes clear how much strenuous climbing the railway saved pedestrians. Its name, by the way, is spelled correctly here, without an apostrophe. As we've noted before, Angels Flight was featured in several vintage books, including Lou Cameron's 1960 novel Angel's Flight, and in a score of vintage movies. Some of those we didn't mention in our previous discussion of this subject: Cry of the Hunted, The Glenn Miller Story, The Indestructible Man, The Turning Point, and The Exiles. The tram gets only cameos, but with the exception of The Indestructible Man all those films are good-to-excellent, so maybe watch them anyway.
Pat Hall, Pat bedroom, Pat bathroom. She worked fine wherever people wanted to hang her.
Once again we have for you a life-sized pin-up poster from the New Hampshire based company called—appropriately—Life-Size. This one, the fifth we've shown you, printed in 1953, features U.S. model and actress Pat Hall, though “actress” is barely applicable in this case. Also, she should not be mistaken for the nude model of the same name active around the same time. No, non-nude Hall appeared in only one film—1964's Kiss Me Quick! She modeled quite a bit during the 1950s, though, and we've confirmably seen her in a pin-up photo dating as far back as 1948. Life-Size may have used an old image to make this litho. You can see the other four brilliant pin-ups in this series—of Monroe, St. Cyr, Madeline Castle, and Joanne Arnold.
This place is so unspoiled. It'd be perfect for an ecolodge with Mayan saunas and an infinity pool.
Once upon a time, when headshops were the rage, some sold posters for the entertainment and edification of young male customers, as we discussed not long ago. This one was printed in 1972 by Platt Poster Co. of Los Angeles, and is titled “Lady Barbara.” Actually, though, the model is Swedish beauty Annika Salmonsson, who usually posed under the name Anita Hemmings, and appeared in scores of magazines. She's previously appeared in Pulp Intl. too, inside a 1977 issue of the Aussie men's magazine Adam. Though the poster is faded from hanging on some horndog's wall for years, it's not so damaged that Salmonsson's marvelous beauty doesn't shine through. We'll bring her back in a bit. Until then, see her in that Adam here, and on a paperback cover here.
Hey, should we put another log or two on the— Actually, never mind. It's going pretty good now.
The Stokes nuclear test was part of the extensive series of blasts code-named Operation Plumbbob conducted at the Nevada Test Site, as the U.S. continued its race with the Soviet Union, seeking higher yielding, more efficient, and more specifically functional bombs. Stokes was a nineteen kiloton blast detonated with the use of an aerial balloon suspended at 1,500 feet. The result was one of the most reproduced photos of the nuclear testing age. From today in 1957.
Thanks to the memorabilia market you can buy a new identity without breaking the law.
Okay, film buffs—can you identify the movie from which the above frame is taken? We're betting a good percentage of you knew it even before you read the question. It's Casablanca, and we're sharing the image because it shows one of the prop passports used in the film. The most important of those passports belonged to Czech resistance figure Victor Laszlo, played by Paul Heinreid. Props of that type are big items for movie memorabilia collectors, and few collectibles are more popular than those from Casablanca.
Below you see the cover and some interior pages of one of the actual prop Lazslo passports made for the movie, complete with Heinreid's photo and various official-looking visa stamps. There's disagreement on the spelling of Laszlo's name—the prop says Laslo, on AFI.com it's Lazlo, and on IMDB it's Laszlo. The movie was made before end credits were a thing, so you can't find out there. A script would settle it. Maybe that'll be auctioned next.
Anyway, this passport was auctioned a while back, and incredibly—or perhaps not—went for $12,500. You know our rule. Actually it's two rules: Never pay more for something than a flight to Paris costs; and never pay a lot for anything that can be used to swat a fly. Of course, if you've seen the movie you know the dox of crucial importance are really the letters of transit everyone desperately wants. We've added one of Victor Laszlo's feuilles de déplacement (which says Laszlo) at bottom. It was auctioned too, but the passport went for more.
I walked home and sat on the stoop and watched the sun sink behind the trees and held the cat. It was a fine cat.
Above is one of the better photos of one of the better writers, Ernest Hemingway, seen here in 1954 at his house Finca de Vigía, which was located in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba. He owned the house and fifteen acre grounds from 1939 to 1960, and it was there that he wrote part of For Whom the Bell Tolls and all of his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Old Man and the Sea. The cat mostly walked across his typewriter keyboard.
It's a type of animal to which the normal rules of logic don't seem to apply.
Above is a photo of the nuclear test Mohawk, part of a seventeen blast series designated Redwing. The 360 kiloton Mohawk took place on Enewetak or Eniwetok Atoll. The first few milliseconds of a nuclear blast tend to produce forms like the one seen here, a bulbous shape with vaporizing guy wires that resemble stubby legs. To us, these shapes look a bit like tardigrades, those microscopic life forms found everywhere on Earth from jungle to arctic to sea bottom, and which are so resilient and difficult to kill they can survive extreme high and low pressures, radiation, dehydration, starvation, and exposure to the vacuum of space. Similarly, nuclear weapons seem able to survive anything, though their existence is proof of the folly of man. While we can certainly accept that we aren't an intelligent enough species to forgo the creation of armageddon causing weapons, the U.S. and Russia both have more than 5,000 nukes, an amount at which balance of power becomes meaningless. Weapon 4,999 is not the one that makes a nation secure. Nor is weapon 999. Military sources claim missile interception systems work at a rate of 80%, while arms control advocates say the real number is closer to 50%. In either case, in a full scale nuclear exchange hundreds of nukes would reach their targets. |
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1964—Warren Commission Issues Report
The Warren Commission, which had been convened to examine the circumstances of John F. Kennedy's assassination, releases its final report, which concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed Kennedy. Today, up to 81% of Americans are troubled
by the official account of the assassination.
1934—Queen Mary Launched
The RMS Queen Mary, three-and-a-half years in the making, launches from Clydebank, Scotland. The steamship enters passenger service in May 1936 and sails the North Atlantic Ocean until 1967. Today she is a museum and tourist attraction anchored in Long Beach, U.S.A.
1983—Nuclear Holocaust Averted
Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov, whose job involves detection of enemy missiles, is warned by Soviet computers that the United States has launched a nuclear missile at Russia. Petrov deviates from procedure, and, instead of informing superiors, decides the detection is a glitch. When the computer warns of four more inbound missiles he decides, under much greater pressure this time, that the detections are also false. Soviet doctrine at the time dictates an immediate and full retaliatory strike, so Petrov's decision to leave his superiors out of the loop very possibly prevents humanity's obliteration. Petrov's actions remain a secret until 1988, but ultimately he is honored at the United Nations.
2002—Mystery Space Object Crashes in Russia
In an occurrence known as the Vitim Event, an object crashes to the Earth in Siberia and explodes with a force estimated at 4 to 5 kilotons by Russian scientists. An expedition to the site finds the landscape leveled and the soil contaminated by high levels of radioactivity. It is thought that the object was a comet nucleus with a diameter of 50 to 100 meters.
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