I don't mean to sound like an Old Fart, but the 1957 Carnival just seems to me so much more charming and weird and ingenious--look at those bipedal seahorses with the mermaid--than the current version, which seems to be about nothing more than bare flesh. Maybe the 2015 videographer simply did not film the weird costumes--but then again, every other video of the 2015 carnival on YouTube features the exact same stuff. Now, I like bare flesh as much as the next voyeur, but I would really prefer to see a papier-mache Godzilla any day.
The people of Farmington, Maine recently held an earmuff parade. They've been doing this annually for the past 39 years to honor their most famous one-time resident, Chester Greenwood, inventor of the earmuff. He came up with the idea at the age of 15, while ice skating. WMUR.com
August is practically here! Don't forget to head to beautiful Sheboygan for their annual Brat Days celebration. The first video tells the schedule for two years ago, but I can't imagine it will be too different in 2013, although on the other hand, it's their big 60th anniversary!
Plus, as you can see in the second video, they even feature sexy pole dancing!
Today, the average upstanding citizen is a pale shadow of his or her riotous ancestors. We don't drink as much or smoke as much or act goofy in public as much (despite the roll call of weird behaviors as collected by our Fearless Leader, Chuck.)
Look at this boring clip of a contemporary American Legion parade from last year.
Then view this account from 1947, when randy old codger Legionnaires rode bucking ATVs through the streets, poured water from hotel windows, and shocked innocent women with cattle prods (probably the very ones sold through Johnson Smith catalogs, as shown earlier on WU).
Now, answer truly: which era would you rather live in?
I posted two weeks ago about Bowdoinham, the town that put money away back in 1912 to fund its 250th Anniversary party this year. I sent an email to the Bowdoinham Historical Committee trying to get more details and recently received this response:
the outcome of that story was that, yes, funding remained intact and has grown substantially after all these years.
There was $500.00 originally raised in 1912- mostly small donations of .25 here and there (it was a lot then!). It all added up. Remarkably, it stayed intact and is now being used to sponsor the many activities that Bowdoinham is planning in celebration during the coming year. You can read about it here: http://bowdoinham250.org/
There will be some funds reserved and kept to seed future celebrations. We are very fortunate that members of our town had the foresight to do this for us!
So their 100-year plan was actually a success! They didn't reveal (at least, not to me) how much money their plan created, but a 1912 article in The Youth's Companion calculated that if they raised $400, they should have around $20,000 in 2012, assuming an interest rate of 4 percent. Since they raised $500, they should have a bit more than that. Enough to have a nice party, but not enough to make them all millionaires.
The Youth's Companion article also revealed that a box was buried in 1912 containing various curiosities, and it should be opened sometime this year:
In a sealed box, to be opened at the time of the celebration in 2012, were placed, among other things, letters from scores of those who contributed to the fund. Many of the letters were from Bowdoinham people, or the descendants of Bowdoinham people in other states or in foreign lands. In some cases the writers described the probable Bowdoinham of 2012 or the imagined conditions of life at that time. No doubt the letters will create much amusement when they are read a century from now.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.