1959: A Holland girl sent a letter to North South Dakota addressed "To a Nice Boy" seeking someone with whom she could correspond.
You can sense in her letter the kind of suspicions about identity that have become so familiar in the Internet age — that you often don't know people's true identity online. You just know who they're claiming to be. But of course, how do we know that "Holland girl" was really a girl?
The Gastonia Gazette (Gastonia, NC) — Dec 31, 1959
So who was this Jerry, and what did he do? I guess we'll never know.
Arizona Republic - Jan 29, 1953
Man Stabbed With Apology
SAN FRANCISCO (INS) — Lawrence Bridges, 32, San Francisco Municipal Railway bus driver, reported to police that he was stabbed by a man who then leaned over him and said:
"Oh, pardon me, I thought you were Jerry."
He was stabbed twice, in the cheek and shoulder, as he walked on Sutter Street near Fillmore. He will recover.
After being ignored by most people when he nailed his tongue to a wooden board, Rayo the Fakir sealed himself with a snake inside a glass "bottle," in which he toured Europe. By the time he emerged, a year later, the snake had died.
Life magazine reported that the year-long stunt almost didn't happen because city authorities in Linz filed a temporary injunction, citing the act as "counter to the dignity of man... liable to produce panic... and creating an unhealthy condition for the inhabitant of the bottle."
I'm guessing Rayo wasn't actually Indian. He just pretended to be an Indian fakir as part of his act. (Basically, he was the David Blaine of the early 1950s.) Also, I think his last name was spelled "Schmied," though a lot of papers reported it as "Schmidt."
Newsweek - Jan 12, 1953
Bottled Up: The Austrian Fakir, "Rayo," whose real name is Rudolf Schmied, plans to tour Europe for an entire year while sealed with his pet snake in this glass bottle. He'll practice yoga, massage himself with special oils, and subsist on vitamin tablets and glucose. He hopes to be in London for the Coronation. (Newsweek)
That Bob! "He's full of the old mick!" Huh? That expression summons up a mere two Google hits. I suspect it's a euphemism for "full of the old Nick," which in turn was a euphemism for "full of the Devil."
I regret that I cannot find a subtitled-in-English version of this Mexican film, where a mad scientist creates a formula that turns an extremely ugly woman into a beauty, as in the before-and-after pix below. But those of you who know Spanish--or who just want visuals--can enjoy the full movie.