Back in 1961 and 1962, I would often be plopped down in front of the black and white television. In between ‘Heckle and Jeckle’ and ‘Mighty Mouse‘ cartoons, there were commercials, many in great sing-along formats — sometimes both cartoons and commercials featured bouncing balls.
But there was one that always remained far and away my favorite. Mr. Clean:
There’s nothing you can’t do, Mr. Clean!
Oh gosh, do I remember clapping along to this jingle! I would get my Mom and Pia, my stocky middle-aged and eastern-European (Hungarian?) nanny, to join me in song and dance. I was a very infectious musical conductor.
My Mom loved Mr. Clean because it made the floors so antiseptic you could eat off them (wait for it to dry first, please). My Dad loved Mr. Clean, well, because my Mom loved Mr. Clean. And me? I was ecstatic to be the third wheel spinning in the love-a-thon.
Read More “MR. CLEAN AND ANOTHER END”
3 East 53rd Street, back in the day. Today this location is an attractive pocket park with a water fall.
Of all the gin mills on this planet, Humphrey Bogart got thrown out of this one in New York City in the 1950s.
You see, the owner Sherman Billingsley was “the man” of his times, the arbiter of who was in and who was out. His bar and restaurant, The Stork Club at 3 East 53rd Street, was the most prestigious nightclub in the city, frequented by celebrities, royals, sports figures, debutantes, and café society (except Bogey and a few other blacklisteds). Black tie (or military dress uniform) was standard wear, any night. The bartender’s name was “Cookie.” Female patrons were given a small vial of “Stork Club” perfume and flowers. Also for the ladies, Sunday night was the balloon party; balloons would drop from the ceiling at a preset time filled with presents like folded $100 bills. If you needed a ride home, Sherman had a private car for use by preferred guests. Regular patrons received a case of champagne as a Christmas present every year. As he told his employees, “If you know them, they don’t belong in here.” There was a 14 karat gold chain at the entrance; if the doorman unclipped it for you, you were admitted. Just don’t misbehave.
If there hadn’t been a Stork Club in the 1950s, you would be reading something else right now. Because that is where my Mom met my Dad sometime around 1954.
My Dad and Mom had interesting paths to that gold chain. Since Dad wasn’t high-born, he had to get there the hard way.
Read More “THE HEIGHTS OF EXCLUSIVITY”