Just what is needed — a Flapjack with Ukelele

Ever wondered what a flapjack is? The Advertiser of Adelaide gave us the run-down when it reviewed “Stella Dallas” on Thursday, 30 September 1926 — a silent film about modern girls and boys.

Flappers, the female of the species, and flapjacks, the male counterpart, have their innings galore in “Stella Dallas”. Boyish bobs, shingle cuts, fanfare trims, in fact, all manner of modish, up-to-date hair cuts are in evidence with the girls. Balloon trousers, flannels, blue serge coats, ukeleles, and canoe paddles are the fashion hints followed by the boys.

It seems that it was all hair for the girls and fashion accessories for the boys (who might, or might not, have had hair).

Published in: on February 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Did the ukelele inhibit her free-style?

Ms Gertrude Ederle denied  that her ukulele playing in anyway contributed to her failure to make the swim across the English Channel (The News, 17 September 1925).

Her trainer, Jabez Wolffe, claimed that she neglected her training to play the happy little instrument. “That’s a lie,” said Ms Ederle. “I played my ukelele only during the evening after the day’s training had been concluded. It was my relaxation.” She insisted that she had done everything in training that her coach had required. Ms Ederlie’s first attempt failed when her trainer ordered another swimmer to take her out of the water. He claimed that she was in difficulty; she denied that too.

Trudy Ederle -- without ukulele (Wikipedia)

Happily, in 1926, she succeeded in her second attempt at the channel, finishing the swim in 14 hours 30 minutes and breaking the previous record (held by Enrique Tiraboschi) by about 2 hours.  Her record stood 24 years.

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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If you are drunk, blame the ukelele player

Three young party goers were a little under the weather when officer O’Connell found them changing a tyre, according to the Lewiston Evening Journal, 25 May 1926.  They were on their way to a dance. The fellow who had been driving the car, obviously intoxicated but bright enough to want to avoid loosing his license, blamed one of his passengers. In court, Edgar Rivard was accused of drunk driving, but he claimed he didn’t have time to drive as he was too busy sitting in the back sit playing the ukelele. Judge Manser was impressed by the fact that the two activities were incompatible, especially if one were tanked. Noble Edgar told the court that, if he had been driving, he “would take [his] medicine like a man”. But all he was guilty of was wobbly strumming in the back of a Ford Sedan.

Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 11:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ukulele Murder

You might recall that I posted the following headline a post or two ago: Suspect Held to Answer in Ukulele Death. Los Angeles Times, 12 June 1926. Well, here’s some detail gleaned from the San Jose News, 12 February 1929:

Fredrick Galloway confessed to killing Andrew Pashuta in San Jose on the night of 22 May 1926. Galloway, a deserter from the army, had met Pashuta through their interest in playing the banjo ukulele. Apparently they had an argument, and Pashuta threatened to reveal Galloway’s whereabouts to the army. Galloway used the crank of Pashuta’s car to kill him, and then dumped the body in some trees, returned to Pashuta’s house, stole his victim’s ukulele, drove south, dumped the car and sold the ukulele. Galloway, in fact, had left a trail anyone could follow, and he was soon arrested. He confessed to the murder.

At his first trial, Galloway was condemned to death, but he won a retrial and his sentence was commuted to life in prison. Galloway decided not to contest that decision, fearing that he might be given the death penalty again — public opinion was hot at the time, as there had been a number of murders just then in the area.

All I can say is that we can be thankful for starter-motors in cars (cranks were used to kick-start old cars), because we can’t be sure that arguments won’t break out even between ukulele players.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy Girls with Ukuleles — 1926

Came across this happy snap at www.shorpy.com, and then found it on the Library of Congress site.

Happy Girls with Ukuleles

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

UPDATE (more information from Shorpy site): ‘July 9, 1926. Washington, D.C. “Girls in bathing suits with ukuleles.” Identified in the caption of another photo as Elaine Griggs, Virginia Hunter, Mary Kaminsky, Dorothy Kelly and Hazel Brown.’

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm  Comments (1)  
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