Flappers & Jellybeans … It’s 20s Tuesday!

Welcome to Flappers & Jelly Beans!

To get in the mood for the release of my 1920s romantic mystery, It Had to Be You, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays some facts, trivia, and slang from that fabulous frivolous decade.

The Duck’s Quack… 20s-Speak

1920sOne of my favorite things about writing fiction set in the 1920s is the slang.  Pure fun.  Our grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ generation had a wicked sense of humor.  And if you thought they were prudes… you got the wrong decade, baby. 🙂

  • Bank’s Closed:  No kissing/petting/making out
  • Barneymugging:  Lovemaking
  • Bearcat:  Hot-blooded girl
  • Cancelled stamp:  Wallflower
  • Cash or check?  Kiss now or later?
  • Fire extinguisher:  Chaperone
  • It:  Sex appeal
  • Mug:  Kiss
  • Sheik:  Hot-looking guy
  • Snuggleup:  A guy fond of petting/petting parties
  • Umbrella:     Young man any girl can borrow for the evening

Till next week… don’t take any wooden nickels!

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Photo credit:  Russell Patterson [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Flappers & Jelly Beans … It’s 20s Tuesday!

Welcome to Flappers & Jelly Beans! 

1920s Romantic Mystery

Flappers

To get in the mood for the release of my romantic mystery set in the Roaring 20s, I’ll be posting on Tuesdays some facts, trivia, and slang from that fabulous frivolous decade.

But before we begin with that, here’s the answer to Sunday’s Guess That Title challenge:

New York City, 1924…
A jaded homicide detective is torn between a seductive old flame and a bright new attraction when he joins with an ambitious girl reporter to solve the Central Park murder of a notorious bootlegger in 1920s Manhattan.

  1. The Rumrunner
  2. It Had to Be You
  3. His Girl, Trixie
  4. Goodbye, Johnny Blue Eyes

And the title is… IT HAD TO BE YOU.  🙂

A Holiday “Flappers and Jelly Beans” Tidbit

Think the trend for pushing the winter holiday shopping season on consumers earlier each year is a modern phenomenon? Think again.

1920s Trivia

Jelly Beans

The opening scene of It Had to Be You takes place in Herald Square in New York City on Thursday, November 27, 1924.

It was Thanksgiving day and the first year R.H. Macy’s sponsored its Thanksgiving day parade. Except they didn’t call it that back then. They called it Macy’s Christmas Parade.

Here’s a peek back in time from the following day’s papers:

“Santa Claus chose Thanksgiving Day this year to come to town. With a retinue of clowns… animals, and floats, the bewhiskered man in red, in sight of thousands of persons, arrived at 9 o’clock yesterday morning and three hours later was crowned ‘King of the Kiddies’ on the marquee above the entrance to Macy’s new store in Thirty-fourth Street near Seventh Avenue…”

Most of the participants that day were Macy’s employees, but they were joined by many others, marching bands as well as floats featuring The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe and Little Red Riding Hood. There were also animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo—bears, elephants, donkeys.

But no giant balloons. Animal-shaped balloons made by Goodyear wouldn’t begin to replace the live animals until 1927. One of the first? Felix the Cat.

Another 1924 attraction that would feel familiar to us was the unveiling of Macy’s spectacular store window: “The Fairy Frolics of Wondertown.”

Some sources say a quarter million people attended the first parade. Whether that’s accurate or not, it was such a success that Macy’s decided to make it an annual event.

The world has changed, yes? But maybe not as much as we think.  What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

One of my favorite holiday movies is Miracle on 34th Street. Yep, it’s a Christmas movie, but it opens with the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, so it’s fair game to mention here.

If so inclined, click on the link below to hop on over to TCM to view a short clip from that Thanksgiving parade scene circa 1947 between Maureen O’Hara as Doris Walker and Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle. (Warning: Admission might be one 30 sec commercial.) Enjoy.

Miracle On 34th Street (1947) — (Movie Clip) Your Santa Claus Is Intoxicated

And for those who celebrate, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂

Photo credits:

Uncredited cartoonist in employ of W. H. Fawcett publisher [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By unknown, published by Max B. Sheffer Card Co. (Chicago) (collect-auctions.com, direct link) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

November News … Guess That Title and Classic Movie Junkie

What’s new from November?

Release Date!
I’m excited to announce that my 1920s romantic mystery is slated to be released by Carina Press in early April 2014. More in the weeks to come!

What’s in a Name?
When I submitted this book, it had a working title. (And there was a method to that title’s madness… sort of). But I knew a change might be requested. It was. I was asked to send other ideas. I did. And…

They went with the original title. 🙂  So… is there something to be learned from this story?

Aside from the possibility that I’m a sucky book title brainstormer, no. But, as a consolation, I give you…

Guess that title

GUESS THAT TITLE!

New York City, 1924.
A jaded homicide detective is torn between a seductive old flame and a bright new attraction when he joins with an ambitious girl reporter to solve the Central Park murder of a notorious bootlegger in 1920s Manhattan.

Sound like an old movie you’d like to watch with a bowl of buttered popcorn nearby? (I hope so.)  And now for our selections …

Times Square 1920s

Times Square 1921

  1. The Rumrunner
  2. It Had to Be You
  3. His Girl, Trixie
  4. Goodbye, Johnny Blue Eyes

Which do you think it will be? I’ll post the title this Tuesday, so stay tuned.

New Sunday Feature – Classic Movie Junkie

 I’m a classic movie junkie. There. I said it.

 I love everything from westerns to comedies to romances to drama to action adventure to sci-fi. The older the better.  (Helps sort the wheat from the chaff.)

With winter right around the corner, it’s time to pour a cup of tea, curl up on the sofa and watch some of the best films ever made. So, I’m starting something new, a Classic Movie Watch List.  Care to join me?

Here’s my list for this week.  (It’s a holiday week, so it’s long.) What’s on yours?  (Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.)

 Tuesday  Nov 26

9:00 pm Bullitt (1968)  Crime/Detective. When a witness he was to protect is murdered, a lone wolf cop pursues the case on his own. Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, Jacqueline Bisset.

Why?  Buckle up for one of the best car chase scenes on film. Shot on location in San Francisco. Steve McQueen—playing “the coolest cop ever,”—did much of his own stunt driving.

Wednesday Nov. 27

4:15 pm   Bonnie and Clyde (1967)  Crime.  A 1930s bank-robbing couple’s crime spree cuts a violent swath through the American South. Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard.

Why?  Nominated for 10 Academy Awards. It broke taboos for sex and violence and shot Dunaway to stardom (pun intended).  (And yes, still rates a caution for the violence.)

8:00 pm  Field of Dreams (1989)  Drama/Fantasy. An Iowa farmer risks financial ruin to follow the instructions of a mysterious voice to build a baseball diamond in his corn field.  Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan.

Why?  A great feel-good movie. A perfect pre-Thanksgiving treat.

 Thursday, Nov. 28
Thanksgiving Treats for the Kids (and Kids at Heart)

2:00 pm  National Velvet (1944)  Drama. Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney.

4:15 pm  The Phantom Tollbooth (1969) Live action/animated. Mel Blanc.

6:00 pm  The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) Live action musical.

Friday, Nov. 29

11:00 am  Hang ‘Em High (1968) WesternAn innocent man turned U.S. Marshal hunts down the gang who tried to lynch him. Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens Ed Begley.

Why?  Not my favorite Eastwood western, but still darn good. Filmed after the groundbreaking Dollars Trilogy that catapulted Eastwood to stardom.

2:30 am  Topper (1937) Comedy. A fun-loving couple return as ghosts to help a stodgy banker learn to live it up. Cary Grant, Constance Bennett.

Why? Adorable screwball comedy from the 30s. So popular it inspired two sequels and a 50s TV series.

Saturday, Nov. 30

8:00 pm  The Searchers (1956) Western. A bitter Civil War veteran hunts down the Comanches that killed his family and abducted his niece. John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood.

Why?  Perhaps the Duke’s most powerful performance. This John Ford-directed western is widely considered a masterpiece.

Till next week… happy viewing!

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Photo credit:  1921 Times Square by Underhill, Irving (NYPL.org) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons