Showing posts with label Henry Hudson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Henry Hudson. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PA acquisitions, vintage advertising, thunder and Henry Hudson

Playing the waiting game, still, yet again as we await a call from an insurance adjuster about the small awning the wind and thunderstorm blew off our coach entry door on Friday. I was inside the coach after my fast flight from the car to the door, as the rains came down, but  Jerry remained outside in the car watching the cascading torrents of water.  I say it is because I am so much faster than he is that I escaped, but he questions my tactics and adds, who would run out in the rain when one can remain dry  by staying in place until the micro burst passes.   Amidst the heat we have endured here this trip, the rain would have otherwise been welcome, but as I heard the pounding on the motor home against the roaring claps of thunder and the beating hail, I had to wonder if I was so smart in leaving the car. 

Another thing, I thought here in PA everyone knew the analogy of thunder and Henry Hudson rolling strikes and spares, bowling. I don't expect Californians to understand or even know who Henry Hudson was and likely not Minnesotans  either, but my PA pals, come on; we heard the folk tales, the history, the ghost stories.  Yet Anna had to explain this analogy  to Rich.  We learned in our history classes about Henry Hudson the explorer and his trials; I think I'd have liked him, he was headstrong among other attributes. Just one link to Henry - and you might want to find others--  http://www.pbs.org/empireofthebay/profiles/hudson.html  

The legend or good old fashioned ghost story as I recall was that he was lost, never heard from but when the thunder rolled across the hills people fancied him busy in the clouds bowling and today 400 years + later, he is still celebrated in New York.   The following is the tale.....

Henry Hudson and the Catskill Gnomes

A New York Ghost Story  retold by S. E. Schlosser
On September 3rd of 1609, Henry Hudson sailed the Half Moon into the mouth of the great New York river that later bore his name. The explorer and his crew journeyed north for several days, trading with the native residents and searching for the fabled northwest passage to the Orient. By the time he reached the area that would become present-day Albany, Hudson knew that he had not found the passage for which he sought. Reluctantly, he turned the Half Moon and sailed back down the river.
That night, Henry Hudson and his crew anchored the Half Moon in the shadow of the Catskill Mountains. Around midnight, Hudson heard the sound of music floating across the mountains and down to the river. Taking a few members of his crew, he went ashore and followed the sound up and up into the Catskills. The sound of the music grew louder as Hudson and his men marched up to the edge of a precipice. To their astonishment, a group of pygmies with long, bushy beards and eyes like pigs were dancing and singing and capering about in the firelight.

Hudson realized that these creatures were the metal-working gnomes of whom the natives had spoken. One of the bushy-bearded chaps spotted the explorer and his men and welcomed them with a cheer. The short men surrounded the crew and drew them into the firelight and the dance. Hudson and his men were delighted with these strange, small creatures, and with the hard liquor that the gnomes had brewed. Long into the night, the men drank and played nine-pins with the gnomes while Henry Hudson sipped at a single glass of spirits and spoke with the chief of the gnomes about many deep and mysterious things.

Realizing at last how late it was, Hudson looked around for his men. At first, he couldn't locate them. All he saw were large groups of gnomes, laughing and joking as they sprawled around the fire. Then, to his astonishment, he recognized several of the gnomes as his crewmen! They had undergone a transformation. Their heads had swollen to twice their normal size, their eyes were small and pig-like, and their bodies had shortened until they were only a little taller than the gnomes themselves.
Hudson was alarmed, and asked the chief of the gnomes for an explanation. It was, the chief explained to Hudson, the effect of the magical hard liquor the gnomes brewed. It would wear off when the liquor did. Hudson wasn't sure that he believed the little man. Afraid of what else might happen to him and his crewman if they continued to linger in such company, Hudson hurriedly took his leave of the gnomes and hustled his severely drunken crewmen back to the Half Moon. The entire crew slept late into the morning, as if they were under the influence of a sleeping draught. When they awakened, the crewmen who had accompanied Hudson up into the Catskill Mountains, aside from ferocious headaches, were back to normal

Hudson continued on his way down the great river, and by October 4th, the Half Moon had reached the mouth and Hudson and his crew sailed for home. In 1610, Hudson set off on another journey, searching for a northwestern passage to the Orient. Trapped in the ice through a long winter, Hudson's crew eventually mutinied and set Henry Hudson and eight of his crewmen adrift in the Hudson Bay. They were never seen again.

In September 1629, twenty years to the day that Hudson and his crew met the Catskill gnomes, a bright fire appeared on the precipice above the hollow, and dance music could be heard floating through the mountains. The Catskill gnomes spent the evening dancing, and carousing and drinking their magic liquor. At midnight, they were joined by the spirits of Henry Hudson and crew. Merry was their meeting, and the gnomes and the spirits played nine-pins all night long. Each time they rolled the ball, a peal of thunder would shake the mountains, and the fire would flare up in bolts like lightening. The party lasted until daybreak, at which hour the spirits departed from the hills, with promises to return.

Every twenty years, the spirits of Henry Hudson and his crew returned to the Catskill Mountains to play nine-pins with the gnomes, and to look out over the country they had first explored together on the Half Moon. Now and then, one of the Dutch settlers living in the region came across the spirits as they played nine-pins. They claimed that any man foolish enough to drink of the spirits' magic liquor would sleep from the moment the spirits departed the mountain to the day they returned, twenty years later. Most folks discounted the story, although several members of Rip Van Winkle's family swore it was true. True or false, wise folks who walk among the Catskills in September do not accept a drink of liquor when it is offered to them. Just in case.   


Malyn Brothers hanger
Meantime I've acquired a few tiny items of advertisements, from a time when items were given to promote one's business.  No  TV costs, just something useful to remind people of the business.  This trip, amidst the frenetic final  clearing Uncle's home, I look for tidbits, small items that would be tossed unless a rabid collector  for old New Ken nostalgia like myself happened into the sale. I could not leave this hangar for the toss pile. I date it to the late 1940"s or 1950 at the latest.  I do not remember this tailor but I do recall Patti & Sons who are still in business today here.

 The inscription burnt into the wood is (left to right) "The home of high class tailoring" along the  left,  Malyn Brothers  Bell phone 276-M across the top, "920 Fifth Avenue  New Kensington, Pa" along the right.  I can date this by the phone number; I recall our first phone number as 748-R, the time of party lines and old black clunkers.  As  a tot I immediately memorized my name, address, mom's name, grandparents, and our phone number which sticks with me more than 60 years.  In those days we youngsters wandered along the sidewalks and by the time I was merely six I would be walking down the hill alone to my grandparents.  Truth be told if I got the least annoyed with things at home, I ran down the hill to my grandparents.  There were no concerns of child nappers or any other harm coming to a loose child.  And all my runnings away did not concern Mom who knew I'd head straight for the grands where I was coddled as I felt I deserved.   

But back to the hanger, a quality way to advertise from a time when clothing was to be fitted properly, just so, and tailors were essential.  So different from today when any sizing goes and folks either wear torn off pants, perhaps cuff them,  or wear the  edges off their pant  hems by walking on them.  As my late aunt would have lamented, "sweeping the street."   Imagine being given such an item as this old hanger today?  No you can't can you, it would be a plastic hanger made in China at best or a tin dinky like metal excuse for a hanger such as dry cleaners use today, nothing worth saving.  I suspect that the old time tailors are rolling in their graves at folks wearing ill fitting and wrinkly clothes.   Maybe they can team up with Henry to amuse themselves. 

In another post I will share photos of two other small advertisements, I've salvaged.   As usual I have rambled a gamut from Henry to hangers...