Category Archives: Dime Museum

Oddities Worthy of a Dime Museum

My First Memory of Christmas and a Song for the Kids

Old time Coca-Cola ad with Santa Claus holding a Coke bottle

Santa Coke


This ad was made the first Christmas I can remember, and so I’ve always associated Coke with Christmas.  Many friends, especially John Waters, do too.

In celebration, here is a young boy’s ditty honoring holiday joy:

Jingle bells, Santa smells
Cow pie on his sleigh,
He sat in it,
Now he’s havin’ a fit,
PU lets run away.

Dashing through the snow,
To the outhouse ‘cross the road
My butt’l be so cold
Sittin’ on that hole.

I surely wish that my
Dream comes true tonight.
An indoor can
For this ol’ man
Would be a warm delight.


Art inspires

gasoline_24-bDavid Campany – artist, writer, curator, and Reader in Photography at the University of Westminster – recently published Gasoline (Mack, 2013), a book of newspaper photographs depicting gas-related events between 1944 and 1995. It is a sampling of twentieth century car-culture, filling stations, and other accouterments, primarily in the United States. The prints were collected from North American newspapers in the process of liquidating their print archives.

Gasoline is split into two sections – fronts and backs of the photographs – separated by a short interview with Campany, printed in silver text on toothy black paper. The book is soft-cover, but stiff, with a red paper dust-jacket, similar in size and color to a school folder. The title shares the cover with a photograph of a woman in her vehicle, arm draped across the steering wheel with her face obscured. The car, the woman’s hair, and the sunlight are all airbrushed to perfection. It could be an advertisement or a fragment from an early Rosenquist painting.

Idea stolen fair and square from

Visions of the South

cyclewideRan into a couple guys out for a ride, enjoying the crisp fall weather along theBlue Ridge Parkway outside of Little Switzerland, North Carolina.  Their bikes were eye-popping, and they had driven nearly 100 miles from Sevierville, TN.

vestSaw many Harleys out on my ride, with a substantial increase in trikes.  Prices for these shiny beasts approach $30,000, and personally I’d choose a Miata convertible to escape the wind and the rain.  But these guys surely wouldn’t be caught dead in a Miata.


Nevertheless, looking at them leaves me full of wonder, and I’m glad there are people in the world who do such meaningful, nutty things and these are some of the best artists I’ve seen in a while.  trunk

This car shows a “convenient”  way to carry your lunch.  Thanks to Mr. W.G. Shular for being a fearless artist.

How Football Trashes American Culture with the Baltimore Ravens as Prime Suspects

As someone who grew up in Baltimore, though I played soccer as a kid, and so escaped the brainwashing that is American football, I thought I should watch at least a few minutes of the Super Bowl last Sunday.

I saw a few plays where the Ravens’ quarterback hit every pass, SF fumbled the ball, and the Ravens appeared to get two touchdowns in about five minutes.  It seemed more like a lop-sided high-school football game.  Every slightly successful play by either team triggered a disco dance among the players, like they had just discovered penicillin.

I already have dark thoughts about football as a thinly veiled exhibition by highly steroided men in extremely tight pants who can’t keep their hands off each other and whose big thrill is forming writhing daisy chains on the grass.  But it’s probably not that.  I mean, this is prime time American TV fueled by Bud Lite.

And should I mention tatoos?  Now I know why so many people these days want big tats.  They want to be football players too!

So after watching a few minutes before returning to Michael Moore’s autobiography, I catch an  article in that could spell redemption for the Ravens, and football.

Now that they’re #1, maybe they could part with a few pennies to support the shuttered Edgar Allan Poe house in Baltimore.  That’s right, author of “The Raven,” whose Baltimore home is less than a mile from the stadium– as “The Raven” flies.  The football team only purloined the name of maybe the best known poem in the English language, for all the threatening symbolism, mystery, and supernatural powers it infers on the players.

Come on Ravens, share the wealth.   If you don’t pony up an endowment to save Baltimore’s Poe House and museum, you should change your bird name to Randy Newman’s Dirty Little Seagulls.  But Randy’s still alive and might sue you.

The Ravens won the game by being bold and brave.  Let’s see them be creative, and honor and preserve the legacy of their literary creator.  Or perhaps some dark and dreary night suddenly there may come a tapping as if someone gently rapping, rapping on that stadium door.

Thanks for the inspiration to: 


Beauty Beauty, Look at You, I Wish to God I Had It Too

Surfing through photos of all the beautiful people at Elton John’s 2012 Oscar Ceremony Viewing Party, I came across these two Russian models hob-nobbing with the jet set.  John Waters attended too, of course.  Wonder if he spoke to them much.  They would be good characters in one of his films.