Archive for the ‘Americana’ Category

Vintage Photos of America by Bernie Smetzer

September 24, 2018

My dad was not a professional photographer or artist. But he did love to take photos. Here are a few of them.

 

Mom & my older sister Rose in 1943. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

Mom & my older sister Rose in 1943.

Mom and my older sister Rose, summer 1943. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

Mom and Rose, summer 1943

 

Granddad Smetzer and Rose in 1943. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer

Granddad Smetzer and Rose in 1943.

My sister Rose and Shep. 1940's. Photo probably by Bernie Smetzer.

Rose and Shep. 1940’s.

My sister Rose on a horse. Late 1940's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Rose on a horse. Late 1940’s.

Rock City. Mid 1950's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Rock City. Mid 1950’s.

Bryce Canyon in 1950's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Bryce Canyon in 1950’s.

Arizona desert, about 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Arizona desert, about 1960.

Smokey Mountains, mid 1950's. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Smokey Mountains, mid 1950’s.

Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west.

Bryce Canyon. 1959. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Bryce Canyon. 1959.

Bryce Canyon. 1959. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Bryce Canyon. 1959.

Petrified Forest. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Petrified Forest. About 1960.

About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1960.

Grand Canyon. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Grand Canyon. About 1960.

Grand Canyon. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Grand Canyon. About 1960.

Grand Canyon. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Grand Canyon. About 1960.

About 1967. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1967.

Arizona. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Arizona.

Somewhere out west. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1960.

Somewhere out west. About 1960. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Somewhere out west. About 1960.

Girl in the Air, Barrow, Alaska. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Girl in the Air, Barrow, Alaska.

Alaska. Photo by Bernie Smetzer.

Alaska.

Bernie Smetzer with his favorite camera in 1959. Photo by Viola Smetzer.

Dad with his favorite camera in 1959.

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Rattlesnakes Are Fair: A New Free Kindle Book

September 16, 2018

My new book Rattlesnakes Are Fair: Stories from Where I Grew Up and Where I Live has just been published on Kindle. The book includes short stories, photographs, anecdotes, reflections, and jokes with a rural-America flavor. The photographs included were taken in Northwest Indiana, where I grew up and in Colorado, Kansas, Ohio and Maine, where I have lived as an adult. Many, including the cover photo, were taken by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Rattlesnakes is available for free on Kindle for five days, September 16 through September 20. You do not need a Kindle machine. You can view it on PC, Mac, or phone. As usual on Kindle, there are many spacing and paragraphing problems that did not show up in the previewer.

Rattlesnakes Are Fair

 

My two previous books will also be available for free, but only for two days, September 16 and 17:

Mikey Works at the Grocery

 

Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders & George Armstrong Custer

Maine Red Hot Dogs for the 4th

July 7, 2018

 

We had Maine red hot dogs at the store as a 4th of July treat. These dogs come in thick dyed-red casings so tough you have to rip them apart with your hands pulling against your teeth. When you chew the part you have torn off, the meat squishes out the open end and you are left with the insoluble casing that you can either swallow whole or spit out.

One of the girls looked over at me in the break room. “It’s like chewing a stuffed balloon!” she said.

Actually she didn’t say balloon, but I blush at a more exact quotation.

Simple Valentines from the 1930s

February 12, 2018

As Valentine’s day approaches, I thought I’d share these vintage valentines. My mother, Viola Smetzer, saved them from her school days in the 1930s until her death in 1998. Most of the ones in this post are fairly simple. They are either flat or folded like most cards. I have captured them with a scanner. In a following post I hope to present valentines that open up to three dimensions. Those, of course, require a camera and are trickier to set up.

I find a sweet but rough-hewn innocence in these cards. Although these cards are clearly Americana, it is interesting that many were printed in Germany.

Valentine from Bellamy - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Bellamy

Valentine from Vivian 2 - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Vivian 2

 

Valentine from James - kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from James. The canoe slides forward.

 

Valentine from Lenorah 1 - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Lenorah 1

Valentine from Lenorah 1 inside - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Lenorah 1 inside

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Lenorah 1 back - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Lenorah 1 back

 

Valentine from Virginia - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Virginia

 

Valentine from Dorothy 2 - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Dorothy 2

Valentine from Dorothy 2 inside - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Dorothy 2 inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Don, Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Don

 

Valentine from Virginia 2 - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Virginia 2

Valentine from Clista - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Clista

 

Valentine from Dorothy, Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Dorothy

 

Valentine from Kathryn - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Kathryn

Valentine from Kathryn inside - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Kathryn inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from GS, Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from GS

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Berne - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Berne.

Inside of Valentine from Berne - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Inside of Valentine from Berne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Vivian - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Vivian

Valentine from Geneva - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Geneva

Valentine from Geneva inside - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Geneva inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Herman - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Herman

Valentine from Herman inside - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Herman inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Gerald - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Gerald

Valentine from Gerald inside - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Gerald inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine from Gerald back - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from Gerald back

 

 

Valentine, date unknown - Kept by Viola Smetzer

Valentine from a Maternal Great Grandmother, date unknown

 

Valentine, date unknown - 2

Page 2

 

 

 

Valentine 3-4, Kept by Viola Smetzer

Pages 3-4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 5, Kept by Viola Smetzer

Page 5

 

Valentine back - Kept by Viola Smetzer

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