I used to do whole posts showcasing photos from our visits to various antique shops. I still have a lot of unprocessed photos, but some are redundant, some are ho-hum, and some deserve a post of their own.
The latter is the basis for my decision to do a series called “Just Stuff”.
It will be a series of unrelated photos that might have, or might not have been treated with various effects and enhancements. Some are fairly straight forward. Some will take a shot at making people laugh . . . or at least smile.
Basically, they are photos that caught my eye, and I played with them to present and preserve them here. They will also be added to THIS GALLERY in SmugMug as each post is published.
The Photo In This Post
I can’t say I grew up on The Three Stooges. I came to the U.S. in June of 1966. An auspicious day, that, for both me and the country, although probably more so for the former than the latter.
Italy at the time only had two television channels (that I remember – I could be wrong), but when we came here . . . jackpot!
I credit television (and to a certain extent, reading) with having me learn the language in very short order. Also with having me fitted with my first pair of glasses within a year or so of immigrating here. (Side note: I don’t sleep much, never did, and my bed was the pullout sofa – we lived in an apartment – right in front of the television. Many a nights, the last thing I saw was the Test Pattern broadcast at the end of the programming day.)
Cartoons were my staple as were late night movies, especially those the local church’s weekly bulletin conveniently marked as “M” for mature (the first section I read, planning the movies I would watch for the week), but so were the syndicated Three Stooges shows, usually in the late afternoon.
Even in college, in the early 70s, I would go to the television lounge after classes, and I’d find 4-5 people there for the Three Stooges broadcast. I would plop down with a beverage and a book, and shared a reliving of our younger days (there was no chatting or fraternizing that I remember – just the sound of laughter joining mine at the appropriate points in the show). There was never, that I remember, an argument about what to watch.
I never took to Shemp, but still suffered through the Curly-less episodes because they were funny.
The Wiki article has this caption for this photo (photos used under the terms of the Wikipedia user agreement and content license):
“Shemp Howard (far left) was the original third Stooge before his youngest brother Curly Howard assumed the role.”
“Consumed” would be a more appropriate term. Curly was my favorite, and while Shemp had his moments (Curly Howard suffered a stroke in 1946), Curly never failed to deliver. His size, his voice, his agility in the slapstick routines, all helped make what would have been boring recurring themes anything but.
In a funny way, the Stooges helped solidify in my mind the concept of the flawed hero (probably not just them . . . but I did watch a lot of Three Stooges shorts). They were schemers and scammers, but when it came down to it, they would do the right thing, even when there was nothing in it for them.
Who knows . . . many people ask me where I get my morals, if not from god . . . I’m going to start answering “The Three Stooges”, and see how well that goes over.
I own a laserdisc box set collection of the Three Stooges. These days you can order them in DVDs. I really should get them out and watch a few episodes so I can keep my moral center.
The dolls in the photo at the beginning of the post, taken with my phone camera, are not a good representation of the trio. I have seen more faithful reproductions in other antique stores, and those photos will be showcased at some point or other. For one thing, in the photo Curly’s doll looks less like Curly, and more like a caricature of Bela Lugosi‘s Dracula.
Sometimes in the late Sixties and into the Seventies, I began to notice editing in many of the cartoon classics I used to watch (Bugs Bunny, The Road Runner). Violence was removed, edited down, etc.
The cartoons remained watchable, somewhat, as the idea and plot was still there, even though it sucked all the joy out of watching them. I think part of why the Three Stooges eventually dropped from the airwaves was because the hitting, eye poking, and general mayhem could not be edited out and still retain anything to watch.
I’m charitable here, or as charitable as I can be, when I say I believe, but have no evidence for (hey! I’m a Stooges Creationist – belief with zero evidence!), that idiot parents, worried their idiot kids would grow up affected by exposure to violence, were responsible for removing from the airwaves a number of shows that would have ensured a smaller population of jerks than what currently is suffered by modern-day society. Chief among those shows, The Three Stooges Show.
They need not have worried; look how well I turned out.
“Oh, a wise guy, eh?”
“Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!”
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.