Saturday, March 16, 2019

BODIES, Then and Now

By happenstance (not by design I can assure you) I came across a picture of my own self taken circa 1948.  Who is that feller?

Certainly, it was long ago. I am wearing a pair of white canvas short-shorts, then fashionable among the Jersey Shore lifeguards and we lesser mortals who hustled for a living by putting up umbrellas, setting out beach chairs and coaxing the unknowing into renting canvas surfing rafts.

There I was, coming in about 135 pounds with a suntan that would stop any modern-day dermatologist right in his/her tracks. George Hamilton broke that deep-tan barrier decades later, but in the Forties we thought we were bronze gods. 

Then time and Mother Nature moved us along.  Chests went south. 135 pounds became the weight of each thigh. PC was unknown at that time, “body shaming” although decades away, loomed threateningly. So we dug in to defend the last frontier – a great tan. It sounds crazy now to recall how teenagers mixed baby oil with iodine to enhance the tanning process. But we did. Some of the more insane amongst us doused their hair with peroxide and came forth as carrot tops. Orange was “in” for a few weeks before parents with scissors ended that madness.

It's fun to turn back the hands of time once in a while. But in the main many, if not most of us, prefer to live in the present. Where else can a chubby, balding, 90 year old find an attractive younger woman who loves him these days?  Life is good.

As for those short-short white canvas trunks? Save the photo to prove what used to be. It's but a memory now.

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