miles and miles

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Pretty Vintage Ladies Playing Their Ukuleles

As you might have caught on to by now, I am kinda obsessed with playing the ukulele. For the majority of my life I’ve been playing various musical instruments, but the ukulele is the only string instrument I can play (as of right now at least!). It was a weird experience for me to learn how to play chords and melodies using strings rather than by pressing keys, but now I can’t stop. And it’s a lot more of a mobile instrument than my piano! Anyway, I was fiddling around on the internet today and started stumbling upon all these beautiful early to mid-1900 photographs of ukulele players, and just had to share some of them. Many of the blogs and other websites I found them didn’t include much data about the photographs themselves, and after doing some Googling I couldn’t turn up much either, so that’s the only downfall. Enjoy!

Famous Ukulele Ladies:

Greta Garbo in 1925

Doris Day

Gloria Swanson

Joni Mitchell

Marilyn Monroe

Another Marilyn

Betty Page, rocking the pin-up ukulele look.

Mia Farrow

Shirley Temple

I’m not sure who the woman is, but she is getting a lesson from one of the best! Cliff Edwards, a.k.a. Ukulele Ike AND the voice of Jiminy Cricket!

And a bunch of fun, vintage ukulele ladies:

Two young girls goofing off

Group of women playing ukulele on the beach, taken around 1925.

This is my favorite photo. Flapper modeling with a ukulele, c. 1920.

Just strumming in some lingerie.

Left handed ukulele player. “Lest you forget.” Aren’t the colors in this photo interesting?

Again, with the ukeing in the lingerie! Printed in a 1950s magazine ad.

Professional shot of a young starlet.

What I wouldn’t give to be skipping around on the beach with my friends, a ukulele and a parasol.

Girls clearly can use their musical talents to lure in unsuspecting young men, too, c. 1938.

I don’t know how it’s possible to look so glum playing a uke, but she’s working it, c. 1945.

Swoon. She’s looking easy, breezy playing ukulele on the porch.

I have close to zero understanding of what is going on in this photograph, but it is cracking me up.

“You should have heard the music.” What a bittersweet message.

Girls playing uke on a park bench in their swimsuits. Taken on July 9, 1926 in Washington, DC. The girls are identified in the caption of a similar photo as Elaine Griggs, Virginia Hunter, Mary Kaminsky, Dorothy Kelly and Hazel Brown.
This is also the only image on the Library of Congress’ website that features girls with ukuleles (or at least, the only one that is searchable, and has been digitized). [http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.16039, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA]

Printed in the New York Tribune, September 14, 1919.

The Boswell Sisters

Music book, “Oh How She Could Play A Ukulele.”

All-American Girl

A Norman Rockwell Illustration

And, just because I happen to be a huge fan, I had to include this one I found of goofball Buster Keaton:

Oh, to live during this time! (And what a beautiful photograph, at that).

 

Moonrise Kingdom: A Review of Sorts

I knew we’d get in trouble. We knew people would be worried, but we did it anyway. But something also happened, when we first met. Something that we didn’t do on purpose. Something happened, to us.

There is nothing I love more than a good love story, especially one saturated in Wes Anderson’s signature style, and Moonrise Kingdom did not disappoint. Much like Anderson’s other movies, he instills that retro-cool look that will make you feel both nostalgic and unexplainably content, in a way that serves as a reminder: Nobody can pull off Wes Anderson, but Wes Anderson.

A romantic dramedy of sorts, Moonrise Kingdom is set during the year 1965 on a New England island and follows the romance of two star-crossed 12 year-olds, Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman). The two bond over their outside statuses—Suzy, as the anger-prone black sheep of her family, and Sam, an orphan whose quirky behaviors have not gone over well with various foster parents—and over a one year time span formulate a plan to run away together. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but you can expect a narrative plotline that only Wes Anderson (along with Roman Coppola) could dream up.

I don’t care how they do it where you come from.

You want pop? You want candy? You want a snake-bite kit? Get some money.

Bill Murray and Frances McDormand play Suzy’s lawyer-parents; Edward Norton plays Scout Master Ward, the Khaki Scout troop leader for Sam’s troop on the island; and Bruce Willis stars as the town’s sheriff with a good heart. Tilda Swinson, Harvey Keitel, and Jason Schwartzman (who always has a way of stealing my heart) all are featured as well in lesser roles.

On this spot I will fight no more forever.

It’s worth mentioning the music Anderson uses throughout the film, most notably the use of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Hank Williams tracks. The soundtrack choices fit in remarkably well with each scene.

Why do you always use binoculars?

It helps me see things closer, even if they’re not far away. I pretend it’s my magic power.

Of course, I had to include a million pictures, because words cannot describe the detailing Anderson puts into each scene. There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be seeing this movie in the theatre again, there is simply no way to take in all the majestic, dynamic Anderson characterizations in only one viewing. Go see it now.