Mar 17, 2018

Tarzan Cosplay

Feel like dressing up like Tarzan for Halloween, or for the next sci-fi convention?

There are some problems with the idea.

1. Tarzan doesn't really have a recognizable costume.  He wears a loincloth, like many barbarian heroes.  Your audience might not know which you mean.

You might alleviate that problem by wearing a dreadlock wig, to resemble the Disney Tarzan.

If you already have long hair, problem solved.

2.  You'll be wearing that loincloth all night, in the cold.  Maybe a nice wool sash will help.

3. You have to have a muscular physique.  There are fake muscles on sale, but they look sort of ridiculous on anyone older than 12.

More after the break.

The Czech Boys of Cedar Rapids

When I was growing up in Rock Island, Cedar Rapids  I knew all about the towns within a 60-mile radius:  Davenport, Bettendorf, Maquoketa, Tipton, West Branch, Iowa City.  Friends had relatives there.  They were mentioned in news reports.  We visited for school events.  But Cedar Rapids, about 80 miles northwest, was at the edge of the universe.  No one ever talked about what lay beyond.

What is life like at the edge of the universe?

126,000 people.

Strong Czech heritage -- the National Czech and Slovak Museum is worth a visit.

Muslim heritage -- the oldest standing mosque in the U.S.

Unfortunately, the river keeps flooding, destroying heritage sites downtown.

But the beefcake is never flooded out.

Three high schools plus Coe College (I almost applied there, just for the fun of saying I was going to college at the edge of the world)

The usual wrestlers in tight singlets.

Lots of wrestlers.

More after the break.

Mar 15, 2018

Camp Charlevoix, the Best Growing Up Experience Ever

The first summer camps opened during the 19th century, with the theory that city life was bad for kids-- they needed several weeks of "fresh air" and "exercise."  One of the biggest, Camp Charlevoix, opened on the shore of Lake Charlevoix in northern Michigan in 1927 with the purpose of "building character" in boys aged 8 to 16.

During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of boys from 23 states and a dozen countries spent their summers at Camp Charlevoix.  It became a model of what summer camps look like: sleeping in cabins; learning "Indian lore"; lots of outdoor activities, from archery to water skiing; and those cute young adult counselors.

The camp finally closed in 1984.

The Camp Charlevoix website has hundreds of pictures of the golden age of the camp, giving us a glimpse into the memories of the men who spent their formative years there (all photos copyright by their respective owners).

I'd like that counselor teaching me to swim.

A water-skiing class.

Cafeteria workers.

A weightlifting class.

Counselors looking a little embarrassed in their Indian gear.


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