Girls Can’t Run Marathons! Oh, Yeah?

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Girls can’t run marathons. Girls can’t do much of anything. They’re just…girls.

Young women today need to realize that women have not always been equals in the world, and in many ways, we still aren’t. We’ve only had the right to vote for the last 94 years. Think about that, ladies. Your great grandmother and perhaps your grandmother couldn’t vote for the next president, a privilege you take for granted. Up until fifty years ago, a woman couldn’t get a loan or open a bank account without her husband’s signature (and permission).

One woman who bravely and boldly paved the way for us is Katherine Switzer.

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At the age of nineteen, Ms. Switzer decided she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. Guess what? Sorry, it’s a boy’s club. You can’t run.

She did it anyway. I don’t know how she got past the registration desk, but somehow, she got her number, pinned it on her sweatshirt, and started the race. She got many kind acknowledgements from the male runners, but at some point during the race, reporters got wind of a woman running and caught up with her, asking her stupid questions like, “Are you going to run the whole race?” and “What are you trying to prove?” Eventually, a man tried to grab her and throw her out of the race. He turned out to be the race manager. He is the guy pictured below in the dress shoes behind her. Fortunately, he was tossed to the side of the road by Ms. Switzer’s boyfriend.

boston marathon race organizers attempt to stop kathrine switzer from running 1967. she finished the race

At that point, Ms. Switzer realized she needed to finish the race – for all women. If she quit or allowed them to throw her out of the race, it would be a blow to all women who desired to compete, and she would become a joke, a tabloid headline. At the time, there were no intercollegiate sports for women, no scholarships, no prize money. Women competing physically was almost unheard of.

In the freezing rain and frigid temperatures on April 19, 1967, Katherine Switzer finished the Boston Marathon in four hours and twenty minutes, forever changing the face of sports opportunities for women.

If you’d like to read more about Ms. Switzer and the Boston Marathon event in her own words, you can find it on her webpage HERE.

The Most Popular Actress You’ve Never Heard Of

Annette_Kellerman_1907Annette Kellerman (6 Jul 1887 – 6 Nov 1975) was a professional swimmer, a vaudeville star, a writer, an actress, and a multiple-business owner. She had her own line of one-piece bathing suits for women and helped popularize the sport of synchronized swimming. She performed in many aquatic-themed movies, most depicting her as a mermaid. Her mermaid costume designs are still mimicked today in mermaid shows around the world. Ms. Kellerman performed all her own stunts including a ninety-two-foot dive into the sea and a sixty-foot dive into a pool of crocodiles. She was a life-long vegetarian and in her later years, she owned a health-food store in Long Beach, California.

 

 

 

She advocated for the right of women to wear one-piece swimwear, and in 1907, on Revere Beach, Massachusetts, she was arrested for public indecency for wearing this skimpy little number.

arrested for public indecency Annette Kellermann on Revere Beach Massachusetts 1907

Apparently, Ms. Kellerman didn’t learn her lesson, and the powers-that-be missed her next photo. It’s a publicity picture for the 1916 Fox Pictures film “A Daughter of the Gods.”

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Ms. Kellerman was the first major actress to appear fully nude, and the film was the first million-dollar film in history. No copies are known today. The only remaining full film of hers in existence today is the 1924 “Venus of the South Seas” that was restored by the Library of Congress in 2004. In 1908, a professor at Harvard University named her the “Perfect Woman” due to her resemblance to the Venus de Milo. She was portrayed by Esther Williams in “Million Dollar Mermaid” in 1952, and she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also has a swimming complex in Marrickville, Australia named after her.

She died in 1975 in her home country of Australia and her cremated remains were scattered over the Great Barrier Reef.

Otto Frank Visits Anne Frank Museum 1960

I came across some old photos and have been inspired to write blogs about them. This one is a photo of Otto Frank upon his return to the attic where his family hid from the Nazis for two years. I can’t even imagine the emotions he felt upon seeing the place fifteen years later.

1960 otto frank visiting attic the only survivor

 

His daughter, Anne Frank, was born in Frankfurt, Germany on 12 June 1929. She was the second daughter of Otto and Edith Frank, and she had a sister, Margot, who was three years older.

diaryIf you haven’t read The Diary of Anne Frank, I’ll shorten it for you.

Hitler came into power in the 1930s, and Otto thought his family would be safer in Amsterdam, away from the Nazis. All went well for a while, but in May of 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. The first step they took against the Jews was to force them to register with the ‘state,’ thereby identifying and isolating them. As a Jew, Otto Frank was no longer allowed to own his own business, and soon, teenage Margot was called up for  duty at a ‘work camp.’ Otto needed to protect his family, so they went into hiding in the attic of the family business. Friends took care of them while they were in hiding, and this is the place Anne wrote her diary.

Anne made the last entry in her diary on August 1, 1944, and on August 4th, the family’s hiding place was found out. Anne was now fifteen years old and had been in hiding for two years. Anne, Margot, and their mother were initially sent to a concentration camp in Holland, then moved to Auschwitz, and then they were split up and the girls moved to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Their mother, left behind at Auschwitz, took ill and died in January of 1945. Both of the girls caught typhoid in the deplorable conditions of the camp. Margot died in February and Anne died in March of 1945.

Otto was the only survivor. When he returned to Amsterdam, he was given Anne’s diary, which had been overlooked by the Nazis in the raid and held in keeping by a former employee who had help guard the family.

The diary was published in 1947 and has been translated into more than fifty languages. The hideaway in Amsterdam was eventually turned into a museum in 1960, and this is when Otto visited. The photo of his visit is very haunting.

Strange Family Trees

As an amateur genealogist and family grave hunter, I find family trees fascinating. Most are trees of real people that I could stare at for hours and hours, after all, that’s what people like me do.

There are other trees, though. Trees that are created by artists and people with larger imaginations than mine. For the last few days, I’ve been enamored by some of these trees. My favorite, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is the Genealogy of the Supermarket by astounding artist Nina Katchadourian.

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Miss Katchadourian has managed to take all the supermarket icons we’ve grown to know and love and combine them into one large family. I wasn’t able to find a list of who’s who, but I recognized a few. One of the Brawny Paper Towel guys (there are two) is married to Mr. Clean, and they have adopted the Gerber Baby. Jolly Green Giant is married to the Land O’ Lakes butter Indian maiden, and the Argo Corn Starch lady is their child.  Little Debbie is sister to the Charmin Baby. By far, my favorite is the Quaker from Quaker Oats who is married to Aunt Jemima. Seeing as it was the Quakers who were the first abolitionists, I find that hilarious. His son by another wife is Chef Boyardee. Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima are siblings. Samuel Adams and the St Paulie Girl are married and are the parents of the Brawny boys.  I guess if you’re going to spill all that beer, you need some paper towels to wipe it up. I did recognize the Gorton Fisherman, but I’d have to see the work in person to recognize any others.

This tree is absolutely brilliant!

Another tree that has caught my attention is the Star Wars Family Tree by Joe Stone. I really enjoyed the last Star Wars movie and how all the characters connected.

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It sure does get your brain spinning. How about a tree of TV sitcom characters? Or a tree of your favorite fictional characters? Or a tree of characters in songs? “Black Betty had a child, bam-a-lam” “She called his child Jesus” If you didn’t get that, those are lines from “Black Betty” and “Levon.”

I’d love to put some time into creating an unusual tree, but I need to work on my real tree.

Better Late than Never for “The Weekly Smile”

weeklysmile1Apparently, bloggers are working to make the world a nicer place, and darn-it-all if I missed it. Over at Trent’s World, they are doing something rather cool – posting a weekly smile. In his words, “What made you smile in the last week? A photo? A kind word from a friend or stranger? A random act of kindness witnessed in life or on the news? Seeing a small baby or talking to an elderly parent or grandparent?  A joke? A song?” Well, let’s join in and make the blogosphere a happier place. What made you smile this week?

 

The following not only made me smile, it made me laugh out loud – hold my stomach and roar, actually. If you are a musician or have a good ear for music, you’ll be astounded, amazed, and tickled pink over this video. If you’ve ever accompanied a singer, you’re going to die! It’s priceless!

The Strawberries are Here!!!

My local farmer’s market had “Strawberry Fest” this morning!

I can’t even believe how good these smell and how beautiful they look.

strawberries at Franklin

 

I bought ten pounds of these beauties. Enough to freeze…

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Enough to make jam…

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And a few left over for a strawberry shortcake and a late-night snack.

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God bless strawberry growers!!

If you’ve ever canned, you know my kitchen is popping away right now.🙂