I wish I could put up a baby picture of me from “back then” but this is the best I can do – this is me in 1964. Yup, I lived in the days before color existed. At least that’s what my kids used to say when they see that picture.
A lot has changed since 1959. “Back in the old days…” yes, that’s how my boys refer to when I was born, photographs were taken with film, they weren’t digital, and they were black and white, not color. (No, this picture wasn’t taken in 1959, it was taken in 1964 – with an old Brownie camera.)
(These are averages across the United States – your mileage may vary.) The average house cost $30,000. The average income was just over $5,000. You could mail a letter for 4 cents. A loaf of bread cost 20 cents. (Hmm, I remember going shopping with my mom in the early 70s and she’d buy ten loaves of bread for a buck.) And a gallon of gas cost around 30 cents (or around 7 cents an imperial litre.)
Man hadn’t stepped on the moon, or even been in space yet, but two rhesus monkeys were launched into space that year.
Gigi was given the Oscar for Best Picture at the 1959 ceremony. Since the Oscars are giving for movies for the previous year, I figured I should also mention that the winner of the 1960 Oscar –for a picture released/shown in 1959–was Ben Hur. I have to admit, while I have seen Ben Hur, I’ve never seen Gigi, though I definitely have heard “Thank Heavens for Little Girls.” It wasn’t until I was writing this up that I discovered the storyline – very risque for the 50s:
Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long. Gaston, the scion of a wealthy Parisian family finds emotional refuge from the superficial lifestyle of upper class Parisian 1900s society with the former mistress of his uncle and her outgoing, tomboy granddaughter, Gigi. When Gaston becomes aware that Gigi has matured into a woman, her grandmother and aunt, who have educated Gigi to be a wealthy man’s mistress, urge the pair to act out their roles but love adds a surprise twist to this delightful turn-of-the 20th century Cinderella story.
Wow – the heroine is a hooker in training. Sounds like a modern day romance novel, doesn’t it? And so the plot bunnies are starting already …
While you’re reading this I’m either getting ready to drive to Canada’s capital Ottawa, I’m on my way there or I’m already there. (You did know Ottawa was the capital, right?) This evening Gizmo Guy’s taking me to my favorite Italian restaurant in Ottawa’s Byward Market – Mama Grazzi’s. Then tomorrow we’re driving into Quebec (the province of my birth) to stay for a few days at Mont Tremblant. But don’t worry, I’ll still be checking in with you – I made sure the hotel had a high-speed internet available.
So here’s your challenge: in your comment today, tell me about your favorite birthday and why it was special. If you don’t have a favorite memory, then tell me something that happened on the day you were born – i.e. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon or Leonardo DiCaprio was born on the same day (and year) you were. The prize will be the winner’s choice of any of my guest blogger’s books – print or e-copy.
If you want to know how Mark and Jodi began their affair, I wrote a short story called First Night that you can download for free.
The second book in the Hauberk Protection series, Personal Protection, follows Mark’s friend Sam, the owner of bodyguard company Hauberk Protection. Sam’s been getting threats, from threatening photos to his condo being burgled. Much to his disgust, his second-in-command insists he must accept his own bodyguards. The blow to the ego is off-set when sassy Rosalinda Ramos is named as head of his detail. But can the two of them keep their eyes, and hands, off each other enough to see what’s really going on?
And just for fun … here’s a little Canadianism slipping in. I wrote Cherry Cottage to celebrate spring. It’s another short story that you can download for free. Enjoy!