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Oh yeah

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Carrie - The Colonel is in town: leaves today. Must see you at one o'clock. You know where." Translation: booty call! No, really, that's what this is! You know this story as well as I do; older military man with his young mistress. Not only that, but I know exactly how they met. It would have been through an ad just like this one:

This reads: "Personal - A respectable business-man of good habits desires to make the acquaintance of a nice, good-looking lady of about 20 years. Object, mutual improvement and a pleasant acquaintance. Address T33, Tribune office." Just replace "business-man" with "military man." My favorite part: "mutual improvement." Is that what they were calling it those days?

These ads are, of course, somewhat coded. I suppose it's possible I just have a smutty mind and the Colonel is just trying to meet up with...I don't know, his niece? To take her out to lunch or something? And perhaps the businessman was a true gentleman who just really wanted a pleasant acquaintance. But to believe that is, I think, pretty naive. Of course, the people reading these ads at the time may have been much more uptight than we are today, but they weren't naive either. They knew what was going on just as well as we do. And, I can assure you, they were just thrilled! (That was sarcasm, folks.)

So, what type of ad would you like to see more of? I'm happy to oblige!

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein

4 comments:

Anonymous June 30, 2009 at 8:45 AM  

What happened to Sadda Rang and Lalla Rang? I'm terribly concerned.

Pam June 30, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

I suspect the readers back then were too! Suspense!!

DSK June 30, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

The more ads with handy catch-phrases like "the Colonel is in town" the better.

I guess only in a large city like NYC could the poster get away with that ad (assuming he's really a colonel, which could definitely be wrong). Few other American cities at that time, even major hubs, would have enough colonels in town at any one time. Posted elsewhere, everyone would deduce who the writer was.

Melinda July 8, 2009 at 5:36 AM  

I'd like to paint the Colonel as a romantic, yet tragic hero. His sweetheart had parents who disapproved of him. Maybe this was the only way he could arrange for the two of them to meet while he was on leave before his next deployment.

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