We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sepia Saturday #145 What A Kick

Here's my dad. He went to the University of Chicago and I think this is maybe where this photo was taken. But I don't remember him being on the team. He was on the varsity wrestling team. Maybe this was for an intramural football team. Maybe that's why the "K" is part of the insignia.

I tried to find out what the fraternities were back then, but found nothing that had a K, only sororities. I doubt if he played for a sorority team!

His uniform looks pretty official, so this must have been a serious team of some sort. And the photo was taken by an official photographer. It's marked on the back - J. Sandy of Chicago.

When searching through the University of Chicago logos, I did find this:

T-Shirt Slogans
Houses often raise money for bonding events by selling t-shirts with the University logo on the front and a self-deprecating slogan on the back. Regularly sold during prospective student weekends, the shirts make parents think twice before sending their children to the U of C. Some of the most famous slogans are “Where fun goes to die,” and “Hell does freeze over.” But, as you’ll hear over and over again, don’t take them seriously; the only thing the slogans signify is the wit of the student body.
Overheard while selling self-deprecating T-Shirts: “It’s funny because it’s true.”

My dad would have thought these slogans were funny. He had a great sense of humor. I wonder, though, if he was a great football player. He looks like he knew what he was doing.

Check out other sporting stories by clicking Sepia Saturday.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sepia Saturday #144 Off With Their Heads!!

This weeks Sepia Saturday involves a photo with a headless man. So Alan suggested we find photos where the head has been cut off.

My mother was the grand master of cutting people's heads off in photographs. So I could have shown lots of examples of her photographic work. But then I remembered an instructional leaflet that our company had published years ago. This is what I've decided to post even though it's really embarrassing.

We've published lots of how to do it books during the years and that always involved doing cover photographs. We usually hired models for the covers. But somehow, this particular time we were in a hurry, the photographer didn't have time to wait, no models were available. I don't remember exactly why, but Barbara, Patty (an employee) and I  had to step in that day and model these lace decorated sweatshirts (yes, believe it or not this was a craze back in the 80s).

None of us wanted to model. We whined and complained about it. Our solution was to:

That's right. We did what these ladies had done:

We just merely chopped off our heads:

This actually turned out to be a big best seller. And remember our trip to China? That's why we were invited to go. We had sold so many of these collars to women who wanted to transform their sweatshirts, that we were awarded a free all-expense trip to China to find the next big craze.

You just never know where chopping off heads will lead!

For more posts along these same lines see Sepia Saturday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sepia Saturday #143 Location location location

This week's Sepia Saturday theme is about shops, shopping, retail, etc.  So of course, I must write about our foray into the retail business.

In the early 1960s Barbara and I had taken a trip to Mexico (which I've blogged about previously) and we loved Mexico so much that we had the cockamamy idea that if we opened a Mexican shop, we could take lots of buying trips to Mexico.

So we jumped right in and opened Ole! Mexican gift shop in Los Angeles. We were on Third Street, 2 blocks from the world famous Farmers Market. We actually thought this was a good location. We didn't notice that there was absolutely no foot traffic on that particular street. And people went to Farmers Market and left - they didn't walk two blocks to visit a Mexican Gift Shop. We weren't that stupid, though. We thought that if you had the right merchandise and got lots of word of mouth, your shop would be successful no matter where you were.  This is the rationale most people make when the rent is very cheap.

This is a photo of the front of the store (I've posted this before - but have to use it again because it goes so well with the theme). I wish this photo was in color because the shop was very cute. It was painted black and the sign was a very bright fuchsia. All of the items in the window were very bright and colorful.

Here's a look at the inside of the store:

Barbara looking so happy and showing off some of the merchandise
We made our second buying trip to Mexico to restock. We checked out the shops and markets of Tlaquepaque, a wonderful town just full of folk art.

Here's Barbara looking not so happy because she's just about to be bitten by that lion  

Here I am trying to decide what to buy

 We had an official opening and Barbara designed a very cute flyer that we sent to everyone we knew (she even got an award from the Los Angeles Art Director's Club for the design of the flyer).

The shop lasted for about a year. It was never very successful. And in retrospect the reason was the location. You just can't have a shop where there's no foot traffic. Also when I look at the prices of items on this flyer, I detect our other mistake. Our stuff was way too cheap. You can't make the rent when you're selling $1.00 papier mache dolls and .50 rattles. You live and learn, don't you?

Try shopping at these other Sepia Saturday sites.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sepia Saturday #142 Which one is the groom?

I've had this photograph for awhile and always thought it was very mysterious. She does appear to be a bride. Or could it be some kind of religious ceremony - a confirmation type thing? No, I'm sure she's a bride. Look at the bouquet and the wedding veil.

But which man is the groom? Probably the one on the left as he looks a bit older. The one on the right looks pretty young.  They could be brothers. But doesn't it seem kind of unusual for the groom and his brother to be in the wedding photograph? I smell trouble ahead for this poor woman. She might as well be marrying Chang and Eng (the conjoined twins).

And what are those uniforms? They're identical. Are they military uniforms? The hats are identical too. These look very foreign, yet the photograph was taken in Utica, New York at the Adams Studio. I couldn't find any information on the studio. Maybe Bret Payne can give me some tips on how to find out more about this puzzling photo. Maybe these two were in an orchestra or band. Cmon Bret, I'm sure you can figure it out. Help!

For stories about other threesomes, click on Sepia Saturday.