Monday, June 3, 2019

The past is a foreign country

This is a short film about the French liner SS Normandie, sailing from Le Havre to New York back in 1939.

I'm struck by how well dressed even people of modest means were.  Thirty years later saw long hair and love beads, and now the typical fashion that you encounter is stomach churning.

It was a different - and much more elegant - day.

Bootnote: When the Queen Of The World was a little girl, she sailed from England to America on the SS United States.  But she's pretty elegant.


LSP said...

Totally agree, we've devolved.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I thought she was a troop ship.
She didn't make the cut.
When I traveled for the government, I'm ashamed to say that I wore tanks tops, cut-offs and sandals. Others wore ascots.
Well, I wasn't supposed to look government service....

waepnedmann said...

My maternal grandfather was everything from a game warden, constable, market hunter, and finished life as an alfalfa farmer.
I never saw him, in the flesh, but that he was wearing Dickies bib overalls,a hickory shirt, and a welder's cap.
Year ago, while going through old pictures with my grandmother I came across a photo of him decked out in a dark suit, white shirt and plain black tie, spit-shined black Oxfords, and all topped with a Fedora.
I commented that I did not know that grandpa owned at suit.
Grandma replied," Well, I wouldn't have married him if he didn't own a suit!"

After his death Tey found a copper cooker and brass lid to a still in the attic. It is going to his G grand daughter to turn ito a decoration.
He was very handy with any tool.
His '94 .32 Special went to a cuz who still runs bear in the mountains with his hounds. Cuz wears Carhartt bibs, but I have seen him at funerals in a suit.

If you want to be truly shocked at present attire go to court.
I used to escort in-custody folks to court. You would be amazed at what the general,public deemed to be appropriate wear for a court appearance.
I have not been able to eye bleach some of the PTSD-like snapshots stuck in my brain: the three hundred plus pound woman, braless, wearing only a thin white t-shirt and Daisy Dukes. Yeeegads. It won't go away!
The skinny teen in Calypso attire with his long fluttering eyelashes and heavy makeup did not get the slightest reaction from the judge.

But, oh, the smell! On court days the stench of unwashed bodies, tobacco, weed, the lack of basic sanitation practiced by our clientele was obvious to the point of nausea. It took a full day to air out the court room after the cases had been heard. Gagggg.
Note: years ago,I helped build a big new county jail/courtroom complex. We got a request for a change order to,add a delousing station in the book-in area. We built it, but the SO was never allowed to use it because it's use would make the arrestees feel like they were different and dirty.

As a kid, before we got a well and electricity, we kids, at least got the third bathwater on Saturday night after first mom and then dad all after hauling and heating the water on the wood stove. Spit-baths throughout the week were a nightly ritual. My mom explained: you wash up as far as possible and then down as far as possible and then you wash the possible.

Yeah, attire has changed (I tease the young women in the family by telling them I am sorry their family is so poor that they have to wear jeans with rips in them). Posture, the 3Rs (college graduates with whom I have worked cannot write a transition from one paragraph to the next), politeness, harsh/inappropriate language in public places, BCT, and Boot Camp at MCRD all HAVE diminished in our time.
The Overton Window has become a Johnson glass house design, but with no glazing.
I am old. Wifmann told me I'm cranky.

Old NFO said...

Different world. Same with flying... sigh

HMS Defiant said...

A time when each country had its own national characteristics and before they were flooded with people that didn't know what civilization looked or smelled like.