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Gosh, it was a lot of trouble to get dressed in 1964

Got jammed up with a work thing tonight, so I’ll leave you this image to contemplate. Click the pic to embiggen. It’s from the Nashille, Tennessean newspaper of 1964: Christmas shoppers turning out shortly after Thanksgiving.

It’s from my FaceBook feed(!); a group about Nashville, my kinda sorta hometown. People frequently post pictures of downtown street scenes, and there’s something deeply unsettling about recognizing a shop or a restaurant that I hadn’t seen or thought about for forty years. I dunno why. Because these things are trivial — and were trivial then — but still leap vividly out of old gauzy braincells.

I don’t know why I found this picture so interesting. Because everything and everyone are jammed together so tightly? Because the people are all dressed up? Maybe it’s just because this seems like a whole ‘nother world.


Comment from Oceania
Time: December 11, 2014, 11:09 pm

No B L A C K S there ..

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 11, 2014, 11:13 pm

There are black people in other street scenes from the same day, O. Sorry.

And I haven’t blocked the word “blacks” for cri-yi.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 11, 2014, 11:15 pm

This picture is from the same day.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 11, 2014, 11:31 pm

The sure liked hamburgers and shoes back then.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 11, 2014, 11:43 pm

I sure could go for a hamburger about now. Or a whole sack full, for that matter.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 11, 2014, 11:48 pm

If that’s Krystal burger, you’d need a sackful. They were about 2″ square and cost 15¢ each. The slang for them was “armpits.”

Do y’all have Krystal, or is it a Southern thing? And, yes, I think they still sell armpits.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 12, 2014, 12:11 am

I only ever saw the Krystal Burger places in Ablabamba & Georgia & TTeenneessee. Up here in New Hampster we have this fancy little place called Mac Donalds. I think they sell shakes or coffee or something.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 12, 2014, 12:34 am

& yeah, Krystalburgers are kinda awesome, if you soak ’em in enough tabasco.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 12, 2014, 12:36 am

Well. An armpit was a little tiny square burger, which came in two varieties: little tiny square bun plus little tiny square burger patty, and the same with tiny, tiny minced and lightly fried onions. They came in little cardboard boxes. The fries came in cardboard boxes, too.

I think any condiments you had to put on yourself, and the options were ketchup and mustard.

Also, they made a chili that kicked all kinds of ass.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: December 12, 2014, 1:21 am

What caught my eye? None of the women are in trousers, and the men are wearing gentlemen’s hats—not caps.

Comment from PatAZ
Time: December 12, 2014, 1:26 am

Everyone is so well dressed and behaving themselves. No protesters, cell phone talkers, teenagers running amok. I laughed at the “Shoe Rebuilders”. Fixem and keep wearingem.

Comment from CrabbyOldBat
Time: December 12, 2014, 1:55 am

There is an “I Love Lucy” episode in which Lucy gets a loving cup stuck on her head. When Lucy and Ethel decide to go downtown to get help (from a jeweler? Blacksmith?) in removing it, Ethel makes Lucy wait while she changes clothes, because she certainly isn’t going to be caught on the subway wearing her dungarees! A different world.

Comment from Not Afraid, Joe
Time: December 12, 2014, 2:28 am

The Brawndo Thirst Mutilator ads are edited out.
I’d bet the spare wheel to 1961 International Scout that 40% of food sold there is now Taquerias, qudobas, dos manzanitas y Empanada de Abuela.

Have you ever set paw in Monteagle, Dame Stoat?

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 12, 2014, 4:00 am

Krystal Burger ‘pears to be a Southern thing.

Here in the Middle West, we got White Castle!

You can get frozen White Castle sliders in the supermarket.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: December 12, 2014, 11:23 am

What RR said. White Castle – “Buy ’em by the sack”.

When I was a teen (back in the Cretaceous Era) in St. Louis, we believed that the employees (all female – all stone-faced grim) were all ex-cons working off their parole.

Now I think they just hated us young li’l pricks – probably with good reason.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: December 12, 2014, 1:53 pm

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: December 12, 2014, 1:21 am

What caught my eye? None of the women are in trousers, and the men are wearing gentlemen’s hats—not caps.
I spotted only a few hats. By this time, men under a certain age had stopped wearing hats as a general rule — no, NOT because of President Kennedy’s hatlessness; the trend had been going on since WWII ended. But almost all are wearing ties, or nice dress shirts instead of T-shirts and polos; and boys are in short-sleeved dress shirts.

And you’re right: The women are all in dresses, or skirts and blouses.

The car parked off to the far left looks like it could be a Chevy Corvair.

Comment from Brother Cavil
Time: December 12, 2014, 3:11 pm

Apropos to absolutely nothing:

Lachlan Markay ‏@lachlan 3 minutes ago
#RapeCulture #YesAllStoats http://www.reddit.com/r/WTF/comments/2n2paj/man_86_kept_stoat_as_sex_slave/

Nobody you know, I hope 😉

Comment from Some pinstriped Vegetable
Time: December 12, 2014, 4:16 pm

I have long been fascinated by the function of clothing in announcing who a person declares themselves to be. Awareness started for me in High School, when a friend told me “My dad told me, always carry a pen in your pocket so people will think you’re in business; they treat you better.” Even in the picture above you can make some quick (stereotyping) assumptions by looking at the men in the picture (jacket and tie; jacket, no tie; no jacket, no tie). Living in Japan was especially interesting in this regard as they are (were?) hypersensitive to defining ones-self through appearance. For example, on the train in the mornings you would see hundreds of thousands of businessmen in suits and ties, but never a blue or brown suit. The only place for individualization was in their neckties so you saw a lot of fascinating ones… I have no experience but I suspect that Great Britian is a place like Japan where emphasis on identification by dress is very strong.

When I returned to the states with my company, I realized that it’s not that much different here, really. For example,upon my return my company sent me to a “Management Acadamy” for a few months. At the end, we took a group photo. As this was 1985, every single person, men and women alike in the photo is dressed in a form of gray pinstriped suit with a red ‘power tie’… except one guy, who is in a tweed jacket with a green tie. Yes, I DID own a gray pinstriped suit, and a red tie, but mischievously chose not to wear it.

Today, happily early retired, my rebellion is expressed in a J Crew look but with a pony tail. Not one of your long,long scraggly ‘old hippy’ ponytails though – a short ‘matador’ look. It confuses people, which is the point of the exercise.

But enough about that: I really came here to post a pop-quiz for Weasel:
So you think you remember Nashville, well do you ya Stoatie?


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: December 12, 2014, 6:09 pm

People dressed up to go out partly out of respect for others, partly out of a sense of being dignified and presentable in public, and partly because they wanted to look nice. Today everyone is so self centered and lazy they don’t even care.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 12, 2014, 6:10 pm

Holy carp, brother cavil!! I can’t quite read the article, but it says the act involved “grease and his elderly ____.” I can’t quite make it out.

You know, stoats are really, really small. Smaller than socks. Just saying.

Heh. I remember about half of that Nashville stuff, Some Veg. I was awfully young.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 12, 2014, 6:23 pm

Oh. I blew it up. It says “grease and his elderly arse.”

Comment from ed
Time: December 13, 2014, 1:03 am


Nashville vintage images at Shorpy’s

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