Friday, May 3, 2013

The Changing Media

It laid on the sofa with one page turned back where the reader last read before she was called to the phone. The next person came in and picked up the magazine and started at the beginning. Mom usually never made it back to that page. It might even be found turned back in the magazine rack. But, oh, how we loved our magazines.

Magazines had an important place in our lives back the lane on Neff Road. They opened our eyes to new styles. They informed women of topics they didn't have time to think about. Sometimes they even opened their eyes to new ways of thinking. Recipes were torn out and put aside to try at a later time. Television was new in the 50's. There was no other way to find the trends and fashions of a post war era.

It was a good day when we received Life magazine in the mailbox. We all took our time looking through each page. Ads for new products brought advertising into our home. We shopped differently at the grocery store. We started to shop for styles we saw on the movie stars photos. Our world became larger with articles from around the world.

My grandparents took The Saturday Evening Post. As a child, I sat looking at the latest artwork from Norman Rockwell and paged through the magazine looking for the cartoons. They also took National Geographic. I remember looking at the gorgeous pictures of our earth and of people so different from those I knew. Perhaps that was where I first learned the marvels captured by the camera lens. My education with the world had already been in place watching Lowell Thomas on TV. Now I could spend time learning about other countries pouring over the pages.

Movie magazines filled new racks. Photoplay was one I remember well. Faces of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley, Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Eddie Fisher, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe all met us at the news stand. It was a time when people looked away from war and into the lives of a more glamorous world. For the guys, the magazines ranged from Popular Mechanics to Playboy. Hm.

I remember staying with my Aunt Bess in Michigan. I was stuck sleeping in the twin bed in her room. Between the beds were stacks of True Confession Magazines. Knowing Aunt Bess, I sorta wondered if her story was in any of them. Needless to say, as a little kid, I was afraid I might get caught if I was found with one in my hands.

We grew up with a changing time in the world of the world of post war children.  Mom always had her Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day and Family Circle for the rest of her life. I sincerely hope we never see a time when you fail to find a magazine on the news stand.

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