rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


Ah, Internets. I never know what you'll do. Now you've shown me an enormous naked bald guy at a Los Angeles auto show in 1935. The street was Wilshire Boulevard. The structure was actually a false front set up in front of a big tent (you can see the posts and guy wires above it) in which the cars were displayed. The naked bald guy was apparently intended to hark back to the 1932 Olympic games held in Los Angeles.

L.A. was still Olympics happy when I was a kid. Not only had parts of 9th and 10th streets been renamed Olympic Boulevard, but I grew up eating something called Helms Olympic Bread, delivered to our door daily, first in a truck like the one on this page, and later in a more modern panel truck with drawers full of baked goods hidden behind a pair of doors on the back. I must have eaten hundreds of sandwiches made with Helms Olympic Bread, but it failed to turn me into an enormous naked bald guy. Maybe the hundreds of Helms donuts I also ate counteracted the healthful effects of the bread.

Anyway, I've spent the whole afternoon and evening looking at stuff on the Internets, being well-clothed and suffering no more hair loss than a receding hairline, and this old picture with an enormous naked bald guy in it is all I've gotten out of it. Well, that and this photo showing a 1952 parade passing Frankie Moore's liquor store, a place I occasionally patronized a decade or so later. That might be the owner who is leaning against the store. He looks familiar. I don't think his name was Frankie.

The flower cart partly blocking the view of the store might be the same one that used to come through our neighborhood once in a while in the early 1950s (all sorts of stuff was still being vended door to door in those days), but the guy with the false moustache pushing it was not the much younger flower boy— that's what my mom always called him— who sold flowers from the cart in our neighborhood. Mr. Moustache might have been the flower boy's father, I suppose.

I missed this parade, by the way. Nobody told me about it. But then May 24, 1952, was a Saturday, so it's likely that we were off visiting my grandparents or one or another of the aunts, or just going for a ride somewhere out in the sticks. My dad didn't like parades, so we never went to them, and I never saw a parade until I was old enough to go wandering about town by myself. Then over the next few years I went to half a dozen or so, and haven't been to one since. Just like my dad, I came to find parades pretty boring. I sure like pictures of them, though, despite the fact that they are nowhere near as entertaining as pictures of enormous naked bald guys at auto shows. I'm glad I found that one, and very sorry that I was born too late to see it in person.

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