vintage, nostalgia and memories

August 16, 2017

The Body Beautiful – 47 Glamorous Photos of Marie McDonald in the 1940s

Marie McDonald (1923-1965) was a leggy, voluptuous blonde starlet who pursued her career with a vengeance but found little reward in the end. Her parents divorced when Marie was just 6 years old. Marie's mother remarried and the new family moved to Yonkers, New York, where she attended Roosevelt High School and excelled in piano and wrote for the school newspaper.

She quit high school and started entering beauty contests, winning the "Miss Yonkers" and "The Queen of Coney Island" titles, among others. In 1939 she was crowned "Miss New York," but subsequently lost at the "Miss America" pageant.

During World War II, McDonald became one of Hollywood's most popular pin-up girls and she posed for the United States military magazine, YANK. In 1942 Marie joined the Hollywood Victory Caravan.

Despite a plethora of tabloid attention, which included her seven marriages and numerous sex scandals in addition to the publicity hi-jinks she managed to muster up, notoriety that would have made the late Jayne Mansfield envious, Marie's career eventually stalled and she turned to drink, drugs and despair. This led to frequent skirmishes with the law and more than a few nervous breakdowns.

On October 21, 1965 (aged 42) at Calabasas, California, the never-say-die gal finally decided enough was enough and she ended it all with an overdose of Percodan. Three months after McDonald's death, her sixth husband Donald F. Taylor, who was a producer, committed suicide in January 1966. McDonald's three surviving children were raised by Harry Karl and his wife, Debbie Reynolds.

August 15, 2017

44 Interesting Photos of People Sitting on the Steps of Their Houses in the 1920s

This set from Library Company of Philadelphia that represents the work of Philadelphia photographer John Frank Keith (1883 – 1947) who wandered and took photographs of residents of the neighborhoods of South Philadelphia (particularly the Pennsport area) and Kensington (where Keith lived most of his life) in the 1920s.

These photographs depict people sitting on the steps of their houses. The subjects and exact locations of the photographs are rarely identified, but the faces, clothing, and street-level details tell important stories about life in these working-class neighborhoods during wartime and economic hardship.

Americans Seen: Fascinating Black and White Photos Show What Life Was Like in Boston From the 1970s and 1980s

Boston has changed a lot since the 80s. That was the pre-digital era, when children and teenagers still hung out in their neighbourhoods and parents were a bit less paranoid. Life was lived outside in public more.

Taken by American photographer Sage Sohier in the late 1970s to the early 1980s, the portraits give an interesting insight into how people lived their lives in Boston.

Sage said of her work: “These photographs were made between 1979-1986 when I was a young photographer living in Boston. In that pre-digital and less paranoid era, families––and especially children and teenagers––used to hang out in their neighborhoods.

“A kind of theater of the streets emerged from the boredom of hot summer days and it was a great time to photograph people outside. Undoubtedly my own childhood afternoons, often spent in my neighbor’s basement creating theatrical productions with the four kids who lived there, helped to form my vision of the play of children as a kind of rite or performance.”

Love Atop a Flagpole: The Story Behind an Incredible Wedding Picture in the Summer of 1946

In the summer of 1946, less than a year after the end of the Second World War, LIFE magazine shared a story from a small town in Ohio that suggested, in LIFE's laconic phrasing, that "the U.S. [had] turned another corner in its return to peacetime normalcy." The validity of such an assertion, meanwhile, largely depends on one's understanding of what constitutes "normal."

A lovesick flagpole sitter named "Mad Marshall" Jacobs, 37, who had been sitting on his 176-foot roost for 26 days to revive interest in his art, decided to get married. He came down to earth, proposed to his fiancée, Yolanda ("Lonnie") Cosmar, 21, a waitress from nearby Clowville, that they get married on the flagpole. She said yes and set June 30 as the date.

On the afternoon of their wedding they were hoisted up to the 40-inch diameter perch for a rehearsal. While the justice of the peace stood on the ground, talking through a loudspeaker, LIFE's cameraman [Allan Grant] hovered nearby in a helicopter, the only vantage point from which to photograph the big event properly. That night they were really married before 1,700 paying spectators.

Mad's perch, which cost him $3,000 of his war-plant earnings, had all the comforts of home, including a telephone, an electric hot plate and a chemical outhouse, but the newlyweds decided to come down that evening and spend their honeymoon on the ground.

(Photos: Allan Grant—The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)


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