Sporting bobbed hair, they look just like me on a thin day.
This pair of bronze Art Deco bookends is like the eye of the storm. It’s music you can’t hear, a little quiet moment during the holiday insanity.
I wanted to start a fun post series showcasing a few unique Christmas tabletop ornaments that I have recently purchased, but I have had nothing but bad luck with shipping. Therefore, nothing to show you yet. A large glass domed piece arrived today shattered, because it had been packed within a styrofoam container which was then placed loose inside a much larger box. “Fragile” was written on the inside box, but not the outside one. Someone clearly left their brains behind after Thanksgiving, and more than likely, will not return mentally to their job until after Valentine’s Day.
My father, Edwin Sharpe Bell, squiring an Idlewild debutante in the late 1940s or perhaps 1950.
It definitely looks like an awkward moment for my father. He looks so very debonair on the outside, but inside he’s feeling like some sort of trussed up peacock. And he’s enduring it because as an eligible bachelor and newly minted member of The Idlewild Club here in Dallas, he’s required to play the part of an escort to the young ladies “coming out” that season.
Tonight the Dallas’ deb season officially begins with the Idlewild ball presenting a number of young women. I have no idea how many or who they are. For the last few years, there hasn’t been much publicity during the season. When I say “season”, I mean the traditional season that’s been an annual occurrence since 1884 before there was La Fiesta de las Seis Bandera and the Dallas Symphony’s presentation ball. The latter two are well covered in the local newspapers and blogs, but not Idlewild.
I wrote about my mother’s season a couple of years back. The above photos were probably of an earlier season before my dad met my mom. It’s funny how my mother chose NOT to label the above photos with names and dates. If there was some other lady pictured with him, that lady went unnamed and was tossed into a box with the rest of his “unworthy” photographs, while her sanctioned photos were meticulously captioned and placed into a fancy leather bound album. I’ve placed a call to my aunt in hopes of her being able to identify at least a few of the young men and women pictured above.
(top) cover, (bottom) inside cover and first page
Journey’s End: A History of the 657 Engineer Topographic Battalion, March 1944 – November 1945 is a booklet we found while sorting through our parents’ estate before selling the family home. It’s not designed in the way you would expect a WWII booklet to be. It’s so jubilant, carefree, colorful, and chock-full of comic-book-like caricatures. Perhaps it’s meant to be a scrapbook of sorts for the members of this battalion. The forward does state, “May this book recall the best of memories.” Using a florid style to generally describe the duties of each of the groups within the 657th, it purposely avoids serious descriptions of what actually happened.
My father, as a member of this battalion, was assigned to the First Photomapping Platoon. You can find his picture on page 18 which is just three pages past the middle spread titled “Bulletin Board”. Look for 1st Lt. Edwin S. Bell, the handsome fellow prominently displayed solo on that page. His promotion had occurred on October 26, 1945, just prior to this booklet’s publication.
Since the images can be difficult to read, I thought it might be interesting and helpful to type out their travel log here:
Camp McCoy, Wis., March 30 – August 26, 1944
Camp Campbell, Ky., August 27 – November 13, 1944
Fort Jackson, S.C., November 26 – December 31, 1944
Camp Shanks, N.Y., January 2 – February 17, 1945
England, February 26 – March 13, 1945
N. France, March 14 – April 11, 1945
Belgium, April 11 – April 12, 1945
Germany, April 12 – May 22, 1945
S. France, May 25 – June 24, 1945
Panama, July 7 – July 14, 1945
Eniwetok, August 3 – August 10, 1945
Ulithi, August 14 – September 3, 1945
Okinawa, September 9 – October 6, 1945
Japan, October 14
21,150 Mi. New York to Tokyo
After this battalion’s duties had ended, my father was assigned to 3363rd Engineer Base Survey Company at Tokyo and moved with this unit to Seoul, Korea May 1946 and thence to Yung Dong Poe, serving as an operations officer and also personnel and supply officer.
To see the entire book as a large scale slideshow, click on the link below, and it will take you to the entire post. To activate the slideshow, click the red cover image (or any image). From there, you can click through using the directional arrows on either side of each image.
New and freshly laundered towels in my home’s original bathroom.
With these new towels, my guest bathroom will officially be ready for business, but only after I buy some soap. Their contemporary style with the use of black bands, edging, and a sans serif font is the perfect foil to the toile de Jouy wallpaper. A solid white towel would have been boring, a solid color would have been too much competition, and monogrammed towels would have been too expected and perfect. A serious towel in a quirky situation is the perfect combination.
Bath linens were purchased through Neiman Marcus.
Vintage linen guest towels.
The original bathroom needed some essential accoutrements to make it functional for guests. So what did I do? Instead of buying soap, hand towels, bath towels, and wash cloths, the first thing I purchased was vintage linen finger towels that guests shouldn’t use. Not practical, but it’s a start.
Made from a cotton linen blend, they are hand appliquéd with whimsical figures sporting comical enhancements. Risqué towels, such as these, were made in Madeira from 1930 until 1960 and are now considered highly collectable. I’m now in the process of looking for a third. These two could use some company to make this party complete. They’re a bit naughty, but oh so nice.