Friday, May 3, 2013

Sepia Saturday 175 Smoking and our marriage

Each week I think I will return but finally, I have.  Gotta admit I despise smoking, its awful smells and its dirt, always thought it gross.  But Jerry smoked for a long time and finally, wisely gave it  up, many years ago because at first he said he could no longer tolerate my nagging (I do not give up when I know I am  right!)  and then he reluctantly admitted it really was not healthy.  Besides it became very expensive and today neither of us understand anyone just burning up their dollars, but they do.  While in the past smoking was common, it is a rarity today.

People thought nothing of lighting up wherever they were.  Here is Jerry at maybe under a year old with his dad and Grandpa Morrison, both smokers, 1938.    

1938 Jerry as a tot, held by his dad and his
Grandpa Morrison alongside.  Notice both men have cigarettes

Mom and her husband both   smoked and I hated it when I was a child and would ask her to please not leave her dirty ashtrays all around.  She paid no attention to me.  I put a sign on my bedroom door, "No Smoking"  I might have been an early anti smoker, ahead of my time.   I tried smoking briefly in my 20's to be sociable, many friends smoked, many people smoked at work, at their desks, so I tried it too.  But I was never converted, and soon  quit because I hated the smell, and honest to goodness, I NEVER inhaled. I know our former president made that statement famous, but I can believe that because I did likewise.   I would get a mouthful of smoke, not even think of inhaling but blow the smoke away from me while furiously waving it away.     

1971 Christmas Day  Me with Jerry and his cigarette

1986 Jerry to the left, Uncle Carl to the right outside
Uncle's home in PA;  you can almost see Jerry's cigarette
I banished Jerry to the outside of the house if he was going to light up following our 1986  trip to Pennsylvania when my late Uncle Carl took Jerry outside if he was going to smoke.  I never knew Uncle Carl to smoke but he admitted he had all through his US Army days in WWII but quit in the  1950's.   I decided that would add another trick to  my bag of getting husband to stop smoking, once home I announced I was adopting the Uncle Carl method.  Up until that time he had only been allowed to smoke in the den anyway, so outside was not all that surprising to him.  It was awkward to have smokers around our home but I would simply state, "only outside for smoking.  I am allergic."  I suppose that might have been true and perhaps why I never climbed on the smokers wagon.

1986  Jerry to the right with his late cousin Kip Cook
The Cooks visited us in Newcastle, and Jerry went outside
for his smoke
Not so long ago smoking was accepted, even touted as glamorous, the habit of the gorgeous and the virile, remember the Marlboro Man cigarette ads, the "'d walk a mile for a Camel".  We lived in California when the anti smoking campaign started and I really was very happy when restaurants and bars and other public places were required to become non smoking. Besides  the dirt and stink, the way it burned my eyes I worried about all those workers who had to be exposed to the smoke from others' cigarettes. Yes, I was all for the smoking bans. There are still some places in our country where smoking is allowed but when we stumble upon such a place on our travels, I do not go in. I do not even like to walk by smokers outside of buildings and show my grumpy fce while covering my mouth and nose and holding my breath as we pass them. Suffice, that I think it is a filthy habit and no good can come of it.

Funny how 1986 fits a Sepia theme this week.  As does our 2010 trip in North Carolina where amongst other sites we toured the a Durham Museum dedicated to the preservation of the history of  tobacco in this country and its importance to revenues in the South. I cannot find my photos or perhaps that day I took none, only this of an old poster.

It was fascinating to see cigarette dispensing machines, now artifacts of a time when the country touted smoking and tobacco was revered.  Today there is an organization, Artomat,  that refurbishes the old cigarette vending machines to dispense various kinds of artwork or crafty items.  I think that is clever.  Here is their website, and we have seen these in Louisiana.

Refurbished cigarette vending machine
I  now dismount my anti puffing soapbox and invite you all to peruse the various contributions on this week's Sepia site hosted by Alan.  Some have been faithful posters all along and others like me are dabblers.  Time has a way of slipping by us as it has here, travels and tasks take their share of the 24 hour days. Click here to get to the Sepia site to see what others have done with or without the theme.   


  1. You've got to stand up for what you think is right. I like the new use for the vending machines too.

  2. When I go into thrift and antique shops, I see lots of HUGE ashtrays, much like we had in our house when I was growing up. I don't even own an ashtray, so if smokers come to our house, they have nowhere to go but outside. Like Brett, I think those vending machines are pretty neat.

  3. yea,Its A Strange Habit & ,as you point out, an important source of income in The Southern States.All the more impressive that such great reforms have occurred in The States against what must have been a Powerfull Lobby against change (similar I guess to the current influence of the Pro-Gun Lobby?)

  4. I wonder whether that Durham trade mark is a 'Durham Ox' - a famous beast from a breed of shorthorn cattle made famous by Thomas Bates who lived in the village where I live. He is buried in the village church yard. I have blogged about him at

  5. FROM Tom, email:I did enjoy your comments about smoking and as an ex smoker, for the last 35 years or more, I had no problem relating to your comments. But I have ambivalent feelings about the no smoking campaign and the way it was managed in CA. As an ex smoker, I could relate with the frustrations tobacco addicts had to feel. And as a freedom loving patriot, I dispised the way they lied and incrementally expanded the prohibitions and limitatiions on peoples liberty. One of the first lies was that smoking was banned in restaurants but not in bars. Understanding the deeply satisfying experience a smoker gets from lighting up upon completion of a meal, for Carol's comfort, we started sitting at the bar and being served there. At the time this was enforced there were already 19 local eating houses where smoking was not permitted. Now, there was not one left for the person who wished to smoke. Then it was barred in bars that were attached to a restaurant. Next, banned in bars with hired help but still permitted if all the staff were co-owners. Within a few months, that was also gone. Then, in some places, the extremists got their way. Example: Woodland, no smoking down town within 25 feet of a doorway. The downtown lots are only 25 feet wide, leaving the middle of the street as the only place left for a smoker. One of our hospitals even tried banning smoking on the parking lots. And, this was all done in the guise of "protecting ones health" whether you wanted that protection or not. In some ways the smoking bans were the forerunners of much of the left's attack on the constitution and it's enumerated liberties. And they continue to use that incremental strategy today. With each demand we compromise, AKA lose, but too soon they are back with another demand.

    And now, all over the country, states are approving the recreational use of Mary Jane while banning tobacco. The users deny that there could be just as much harm as tobacco, perhaps even more. But, there has not been anywhere near the numbers of regular smokers of weed. Also, most users are not smoking for many hours each day. And, as an aside: having processed several thousands of criminal drug addicts over nearly 30 years, I note that, with very few exceptions, marijuana was the introduction which opened the door to hard drug use.

  6. Tony, it was a tough campaign and when I would hear the same lame arguments when MN and WI were going for the ban, I laughed having lived through it in CA.. No business suffered, none closed because smokers could not do so inside, in fact, non smokers went to the bars and restaurants more than compensating for the smokers who still went but stepped outside to puff. Some places set up smoking open air lounges outside for smokers. I suppose there are analogies to the gun control campaign, but we Americans have that Constitution that guarantees right to bear arms.

    There was a significant reliance on tobacco revenues, not only was it a cash crop and economic boon in the south, many states lost a great deal of tax revenue as smoking diminished.

    Bob, I think that is the same Bull Durham if I recall the history we saw at the southern museums.

  7. I for one like the ban in places, even though listening to my other for a few years about was a bit much. Great post and photos, from those happy smokers, which are still about, but not so much where we live in Minnesota, and going to places like Las Vegas where smoking seems to be everywhere, sometimes it's really hard to get used to having it in your nose! I don't have many smoking friends anymore, and so far all my relatives have given it up! Thank goodness for their health!

  8. I like that vending machine that sells art.

  9. The Art-O-Mat is a cool idea.

  10. I think there is an art dispensing machine at one of the Whole Foods here. I need to look next time I go.

  11. I can remember sitting in a college English class in which almost everyone smoked. I'd nearly die each day in the winter when the doors and windows were closed. I think the tear gas wafting down College Avenue from the riots in Berkeley was easier to handle.

    Or being stuck in a car with someone smoking a cigar. Now that's a treat.

    We have all evolved. Thank goodness for that.

  12. As a lifelong non-smoker I agree totally with your comments in this post, Pat. Just the smell of cigarette smoke makes me want to gag. It is not only an unhealthy habit, but as you said very costly now.makes me wonder how folks can afford it in these somewhat thought economic times.