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Showing posts from June, 2018

Annette Kellermann: A Swimsuit for Swimming

For a long time it’s been common to stroll by the beach and relax, even for Europeans and Americans.  Actually swimming in the water is more of a recent development. There were “beach costumes” that one would wear while strolling on the sand, but to actually go into the water?  Well, a man might, but certainly not a lady!

Toward the end of the 19th century, that started to change. On hot days, actually getting into the water sounded nice, and more and more people wanted to do it. The problem, of course, was that swimming was difficult in the flowing, billowy clothing that was considered acceptable for beachwear. Men were starting to swim more, and women were starting to feel bold enough to try it, too. The era’s standards of modesty wouldn’t let a lady wear just anything, of course, but she needed something more appropriate for the water. By 1900, women were wearing costumes that were light enough to let them enter the water, but that were still too elaborate to allow the ease of movem…

The Cherry Sisters

When you perform for friends and neighbors, they’re likely going to clap, no matter what the quality is.  Your parents will always clap, your grandparents will always hug you and say, “Good job!”, the nice people up the street will always say, at worst, “Well, that was… interesting.”  But if you really want to know how good you are, take your act on the road.
In the 1890s, in the small town of Marion, Iowa, there was an act that was politely received by the neighbors, which instilled in the performers the confidence to seek out larger, unfamiliar audiences.  The act was reviewed by the local paper, the Marion Leader, on January 20, 1893, warmly summarizing, “It will be many a day before those who attended will forget the enjoyable time spent.”  Bolstered by the warm appreciation of their small community, the five Cherry Sisters sought larger audiences outside of town, but didn’t quite get the encouragement the new audiences they found.
The five sisters—Ella, Elizabeth, Addie, Effie and …

The Midnight Terrors: Baseball's Original Thugs

Genesis 23: Abraham suffers his wife's death and the Hittites' puns