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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • PAN AMERICAN TO GUATEMALA, 1938

Hard Copy Exterior: 1962

Hard Copy Exterior: 1962

A garden, a deck, a barbecue, the family dog and the papers. My father, after a day at work, relaxes in his domain in 1962. You don't get more echt than this. He created the deck and the lattice fence as well as surrounding gardens, a very small portion of which is at the top. Our BBQ seems starkly low-tech these days. No starter fluid for Father; that's a box of kindling at the bottom. Snapped with my Kodak Brownie Starmite. View full size.

Grilling

Like most of us, I use a gas grill today (natural gas, not propane, though). However I still have a Weber charcoal grill which I refuse to discard, despite my wife's urgings. Unlike many, I do not use lighter fluid, though. Long ago, I learned the advantages of an electric fire starter for a charcoal grill. You have better control over the process, and you can start the fire under a wooden deck without any worries. I have used the quick start saturated coals, but still prefer the electric starter. In any case, gas is easier, but something is missing in the taste.

Man's home is his castle.

The tterrace family lived right and they lived well. It is apparent that they all had traditional and responsibly-fulfilled roles of their position in the family. I have to say, I do miss those days, coming home, tired and hungry, to incredible smells of freshly cooked food being prepared for supper by Mom and having a pleasant evening at home at the end of the day with the comfort of a caring family all around. As we age, we realize that changes are inevitable and one really cannot go back, life never stays the same. Still it is a beautiful picture to remember and know that home is where the heart was. It certainly appears there was great contentment in the family of tterrace. Thanks for the memories.

BBQ Headlines

Looks like the San Rafael Independent-Journal

What DO those headlines say?

"JFK Stands Up To Khrushchev?" "Studebaker Autos Not Selling?" "Penn Station To Be Torn Down?" "Captain Kangaroo Show A New Hit With Kiddies?" "Sox Lose Series, Again?"

Make up your own, the possibilities are endless...

Still likely now

CtheP, I don't want to distract from tterence's great photo, but your comment is inaccurate in several ways. About the only thing that has changed much since that afternoon when his father was enjoying his paper is what we consider to be "basic necessities" is far in excess of what was considered "basic" back then. It should be no surprise that it costs more to fund our lifestyle.

For example, just look at today's average home sizes, frequency of new car purchases, number of cars per household, value and quantity of home electronics, number of times people eat out, the list goes on. In many ways, things are astonishingly cheap these days, it's just that we have much more of them.

You have to get a permit to build a deck because a lot of "handymen" don't know how to do it right--their deck falls off their house, hurting or killing someone. (It's been said that behind every code item there is a death.) It's unlikely a simple deck would need a variance from the city, though if you opted to buy in a HOA community, their hoops are something you valued when you bought and have little to complain about if they deny you your deck.

As to "savers" paying the mortgages of those who got in over their heads, that's silly. What "savers" are paying for now is the multi-million dollar bonuses of the country-club set who approved those crappy loans. A mortgage is a simple document at its heart; a lender agrees to lend money to buyer of a house with the understanding that if the buyer cannot pay, the bank gets the house in lieu of payment.

In a sane world, such as existed in tterence's father's day, banks very carefully determined the value of the house they were lending on in order to ensure they'd come out whole if everything went south. They were careful about the buyer, too, and insisted the buyer bring a large down-payment in order to show their worthiness.

If the bank is going to go out of its way to lend money to people who shouldn't be buying vastly over-priced houses, that sounds like the bank's problem to me. That we're bailing out the fat cats irritates me, but I have no issues with the home buyers. I wish they were more prudent, but when they mail the bank the keys they've done their part. They will have trouble getting another mortgage in the future, that's the price they'll pay.

So I think I'll join tterence's father, at least in spirit, on his deck, and not pretend life was much better "back in the day." I doubt his father felt that at the time and I don't think that now.

Headline News

I would love to know what the headlines say!

That Grill

My dad had a grill just like this one. He placed an inch or so of gravel in the bottom to keep the fire from burning through. Had an old license plate bent into a cylinder that he would place the charcoal into to start the fire. The grill lasted into the late 70s..

Not likely now

My guess (correct me if I'm wrong, tterrace) is that your father worked long hours while your mother raised the family. Even then, he could afford a nice deck (your post suggests he built it himself) and a nice yard. I imagine he wanted a deck and all he had to do was buy the materials and erect it -- no permission necessary, as it was his property. Now, he'd need a variance and probably have to pay for the privilege of improving his own property as he saw fit.

Today, those things are almost a luxury. Dad and Mom work to buy all the modern devices (even the "poor" have cell phones, DVD players, iPhones, etc.) while those of us who work and save get shafted to pay the mortgages of those who got mortgages they knew they couldn't pay for in the first place.

Neighborhoods are cookie-cutter, and God help you if your neighborhood association doesn't like the new mailbox you put up to replace the one the neighborhood thugs tore down.

Freedom was a wonderful thing. Damn shame the sheeple decided they'd rather let the government take care of them than provide for themselves.

The Right Idea

Although as a kid I was a devoted user of lighter fluid, your father had the right idea with the kindling. No matter what they included in the fluid to make it small like hickory or whatever, the lighter fluid was always going to give a petroleum based smell to the smoke, which was half the charm of barbecuing. These days I use propane of course, but I feel like I'm missing something.

My grandpa used gasoline...

My grandpa built his own grills out of 50 gallon drums he would get from the oil refinery where he worked. I remember as a kid back in the '60s helping him put gasoline in a coffee can that he used to soak the charcoal briquets and then stack them up in the grill and throw a match at it. Worked every time!

That device is a grill

Barbecue is something you eat (pulled pork, ribs, brisket) and a grill is something you cook on. And cooking on a grill is not "barbecuing," it's grilling.

[A word can have more than one meaning. The device is called a barbecue grill, or barbecue for short. In fact the first definition of "barbecue" in Webster's is: "an often portable fireplace over which meat and fish are roasted." - Dave]

A summer idyll

A beautiful scene, the epitome of the American Dream. Thank the gods, we still enjoy similar scenes at our summer bungalow co-op in the shadow of Shawangunk Mountain, Ulster County, NY; eagerly awaiting same, now, during this protracted winter season. We don't BBQ coffee, but we do enjoy fantastic beer-can BBQ chicken. Except we all have cats frolicking and lurking in the hedges and woods. Cats rule, dogs drool.

He's got a barbecue jones

My dad was also big on outdoor grilling, but my memories aren't of him sitting alone, but rather of the big parties that he and Mom would host at our Jersey Shore summer house, on the big back lawn shaded by an ancient apple tree. Dad went in for the whole 60's-70's BBQ thing, standing behind the grill with a chef's apron and toque on, and wielding his cooking tools with great gusto. The beer flowed freely, too (there was always a keg at the larger gatherings).

When he died, more than one person told me, "What a host he was! What a cook!" He was a government official, but I suspect that he would have been much happier owning a fine restaurant instead.

BBQ dog

Our dog Missie was hybrid beagle/undetermined mix, hard-wired to point and track. During our summer vacation hikes up in the hills between Guernewood Park and Cazadero, she'd disappear into the underbrush for hours sniffing out critters, finally tracking us down miles from where she'd left us. The crank on the BBQ raised and lowered the grill, not the coals, BTW. We purchased it partly with funds I collected as taxes a few years before when I incorporated our entire back yard as a city and appointed myself City Manager. 10¢ per week was the rate, as I recall.

Boxer or -- ?

What kind of dog did you have?

And no mosquitoes!

Maybe it's because I was a Boy Scout, but I'm with your dad. Who needs lighter fluid? Our briquets start right up with a few twigs that have fallen out of the trees. And no icky taste from the petroleum. Now, barbecued coffee ... that's something I haven't tried.

Memories

My dad had the same grill when I was a kid. I still remember the hand crank on the side that would move the entire coal bed up and down to adjust the heat. And of course the bags and bags of charcoal briquets in the garage and that aweful smelling lighter fluid that would create a mushroom cloud when lit.

The only thing missing in that pic to be my dad is a beer on the deck next to his chair.

Grill master.

There is nothing not to like about this pic. The grill, the dog, the deck, and Dad with the news. Wonderful.

Mmm-mmm good.

Nothing better than a steaming mug of barbecued coffee!

Old school grilling

Your dad probably would've been appalled with at my grandpa -- he had a beer can with the top cut off that he filled with gasoline to light a nearly identical Structo grill when I was a small Anonymous Tipster.

Terrific Scene

This is a view right out of Sunset Magazine, really nice!!!

It's always interesting to peer into other people's back yards --

 
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