Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 ― Pip and Holding On Part 1

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

 

1922_Saturday_Evening_Post

Hey, Sheiks and Shebas!  It’s pos-i-lutely darb to see you at Jazz Age Wednesdays.  I have something to share.  When handsome, humorous, honorable, most huggable Hugh Roberts, of Hugh’s Views & News, asked me to participate in his new feature series, all I could say was, “And how!”  

Here’s Hugh’s description of this feature: In this feature, I will be sharing snippets from my diary of 1988. We’ll also take a trip in Hugh’s Music Time machine to hear some songs from the 1980s which have been chosen by some specially invited guests. (Click here for that post.)

Writing Process

Writing a story is not as easy as you might think.  Plus, I never can make things simple for myself… For Hugh’s feature and my favorite 80s song I wanted to pick something to which I could relate a new story from the Pip-verse.  I chose Blondie’s The Tide Is High.  I thought that since Savannah (where Pip was staying with Granny) is on a river and on the ocean it would be easy to write a story around a high tide.  Unfortunately a search for images of high tides in old Savannah got me nowhere. Horsefeathers!  No inspiration there.

Next I considered the lyrics. The tide is high, but I’m holding on; I’m gonna be your number one… didn’t help either.  Bushwa!  I gave up and searched movies of the era, and that gave me the 1923 film Safety Last with Harold Lloyd.  I saw the numbers (number one) on the clock from which he dangled, and he was certainly holding on! 

That created a new problem.  I needed building in 1920s Savannah, with a clock, that was high enough to risk life and limb.  I did a lot of research.  How could I possibly rope all that together and put Pip in the middle of it? On the level, that wasn’t easy.  Applesauce… I’ll stop beating my gums.  Here’s part one of two… 

Pip and Holding On

Part 1

1925 Model-T ad

The Model-T puttered down the street.  Somebody laughed, hollering that it was an old flivver but it was going as fast as most of the other vehicles.  I told myself that the old automobile was a breezer, as the wind ruffled my strawberry blond bob.  My cloche hat might have blown off with the open vehicle, so I wore a wide beaded headband instead. 

I could have gotten more speed out of the Model-T, but it was the first time Granny Phanny had let me drive the automobile without her.  You can be sure she would find out if I drove too fast, and she’d have a hissy fit.

There was more traffic than you might have expected, but the population of Savannah, Georgia had more than doubled since the turn of the century.  Heads turned to see me behind the wheel of an automobile.  A young woman.  Driving.  However, I was a flapper.  I guess I always will be.  So, I returned their stares of shock and disdain with an impudent grin.

1920s Downtown Savannah

Downtown Savannah, GA 1920s

My passenger was tiny enough that a passing motorist might mistake her for a child.  However, the countless wrinkles on her face would prove their mistake.

Miss Olive surely must be the oldest person alive, I thought for the fiftieth time.

(Meet Miss Olive here.)

Granny Phanny told me to take Miss Olive to the courthouse, wait for her while she attended to her business, and then drive her home.  It sounded horrifically boring, but I would do just about anything for a chance to drive Granny’s cherished yellow Model-T. 

It turned out Miss Olive was good company.  From our brief first meeting I remembered that the elderly woman read tealeaves.  Something clicked into place in my thoughts, and I thought about how Granny taught me to read tarot cards.  I remembered her doing the same with tealeaves a time or two.

“Miss Olive,” I began.  “Were you the one who taught my grandmother to read tealeaves?”

“Oh Paisley, I haven’t thought of that in years,” she told me with a chuckle.  “I met your grandmother when she was a young’un, not long after her parents were killed in that awful tornado.  She stayed with me for a time.  That’s when I showed her how to read the tealeaves.  She needed a distraction from her woes, and I thought it might comfort her.”

The day was bright and sunny.  The shadow of a large bird caused us to look at the blue sky.

“What was that?” I pondered aloud.

“That’s a hawk,” Miss Olive replied, squinting to watch the bird.  “And one of the biggest ones I’ve seen in many a year.”

We watched as it glided gracefully to alight on a railing high atop the copper dome of City Hall. 

City Hall Savannah 1920s

Savannah, Georgia City Hall, circa 1920

“He’ll be up there using his ‘hawk-eye’ to watch for something to eat.  I guess it’s pretty slim pickins’ here in the middle of town.  He might spot a rat or something,” the elderly woman remarked.

The thought gave me the heebie jeebies.  I tried to suppress a shudder, but I didn’t do a very good job of it.  Miss Olive gave me a sidelong look.

“That’s just nature’s way, Pip.  All God’s creatures have to eat,” Miss Olive reminded me as she gazed back up at the hawk. 

He spread his wings majestically as he perched atop the copper dome of Savannah City Hall.

“He sure is a beauty,” Miss Olive added.

Automobiles were parked on both sides of the palm tree lined street where the government buildings were.  Savannah City Hall reigned at the end of the drive, crowned with a copper dome that glittered like gold in the sun.  I imagined a stout monarch with a crown presiding over the other structures.

A motorized bicycle came up beside us.  I recognized the odd-looking contraption.  Hank Hertz built it himself.  He honked its little horn even though I was looking right at him.  I figured Hank was making a delivery from the police department to city hall.  He waved and kept going. 

“Well bless my old soul,” Miss Olive said.  “I’ve never seen such a thing in all my days.”

For a moment I thought she was making a comment about Hank.  Then I beheld what she saw on the sidewalk.  It was Charlie Chilton and Chichi the trained Chihuahua.  The rotund man in his pink seersucker suit and boater hat was eye-catching enough, but the tiny dog wore a ruffled dress as she pranced beside him.

End Part 1

***

Now for a special treat, here is a YouTube video of Safety Last!  (If you are unable to access the video, I sincerely apologize.)  Is it also a hint about the conclusion?  Horsefeathers!  I’ll let you guess.

Thanks for visiting.  You really are the cat’s pajamas!

PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to the books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 

 

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 

73 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 ― Pip and Holding On Part 1

  1. I want to learn more about Miss Olive… and a Model T would be a cool car to have! I’ll keep my purple one though as it’s pretty reliable 😉 I’m sending you a huge hug! Congrats on being chosen by Hugh xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you kindly Joanne. I had such trouble doing any writing that couple of weeks… causing that part-1 to be all “setup.” So the conclusion probably didn’t even need this half. I appreciate you taking time to catch up. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Miss Olive sounds a right ‘hoot’, Teagan, but I do so like the description you gave of Charlie Chilton and Chichi. What a sight that must have been in the swinging 20s. And I love the images you found of old Savannah. Don’t they make you want to jump into my time machine, and visit? They do me.
    Thanks so much for the mention and for showcasing Blondie again.
    Have a ‘toddle pip’ of a weekend.
    Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, indeed — I’d jump right in if the time machine came by! Thanks again for featuring me at your place, Hugh.
      I created Miss Olive in a short for Pip about a year ago, and I’ve been wanting to bring her back ever since. I’m happy you enjoyed part-1. Thanks for visiting. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Miss Olive sounds like an interesting character in progress! The chihuahua made me smile. There used to be a musician who played the Markets here who had a chihuahua in a pink tutu. The little dog would sit nestled on the side of the guitar while he played.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great post, Teagan! I’m looking forward to part 2 and reading about Paisley and Miss Olive in the yellow model-T. I’m curious to find out what part Charlie Chilton and Chichi are going to play in this story. Love and hugs, dear Teagan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done Teagan, and an interesting idea from Hugh; your research is always impeccable. Reading this was a multi-dimensional pleasure because it brought back memories of my maternal Grandmother stories about her youth in the ‘Roaring 20’s’. She turned 20 in 1922.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saved a little bit from my lunch time to read this, Teagan and I was very glad I did – what a fun episode!

    When I read “You can be sure she would find out if I drove too fast” I thought back to my growing up in a small town where bad news would get home before I did. I guess those days are gone, but between cell phones, monitors and cameras, I guess today’s kids don’t have a chance either.

    Hawks are majestic creatures. We get sad when we see them in our yard (worrying about those squirrels) but it is nature’s cycle.

    Too bad I don’t have time to watch the movie. I hope I can get back to it.

    Have a wonderful Wednesday. I’m looking forward to part-2

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Dan. I’m delighted you could spend part of your lunch break with me. Even though the movie is “screw ball comedy” it kept me gasping, worried about Harold. 😀
      You’re right about the small towns and “bad news would get home before I did.” Love that phrase. With the heights monitoring technology has reached, I wonder that kids now can get away with anything. LOL.
      I really am happy that you enjoyed this episode. Conclusion next week. Huge thanks for commenting. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great beginning of the story, Teagan. Your mind finds the most incredible connections. I’m not surprised we all enjoy your stories so much! I am a bit worried about the dog… Lovely pics of Savannah in the 1920s and love Harold Lloyd. And Thanks to Hugh! Must catch up with his recent posts. Looking forward to the next one! Love to Crystal. It’s good to hear she is playing (even if it is noisy!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so kind to think of Crystal, Olga. Yes, she was in cuteness overdrive this morning. 🐱
      LOL, people have always told me that they didn’t see how I connected ‘this’ to ‘that’ (but it made sense to them), although it wasn’t about stories, more about speculating. I finally decided that I’m just wired differently. (But I never could stand being just like everyone else, so I’m fine with that.) 😀
      Ah! So I managed to give you a sense of foreboding about the dog. That’s great feedback! Huge thanks for taking a moment to visit. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Like

  8. Good morning Teagan – as you so rightly said it’s not easy to put a story together, which is why you work is even more amazing to me, because it never lacks an extraordinary creative verve – and once again you prove that to be the case. I love Blondie and enjoyed the video which I had not seen before….Thank you so much my friend for starting my day on such a positive note. Hummingbird hugs to you and Crystal. janet xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Teagan, that made my early morning fun. What a hilarious way to link the song to the story. Hugh is so full of creative ideas and you definitely did a great job there with the number one. As kid I used to watch Harald Lloyd films all the time. Thanks for the clip and have a fantastic, wicked Wednesday.
    Huge hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It may be “screw ball comedy,” Christoph — but it had me gasping every time Harold slipped.
      Thanks for that feedback… I wasn’t sure if I managed to make more than a tentative link between the song and the story. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Like

  10. I recognized Blondie’s song, but I had not seen the video. The gray building with the tower on top in the Savannah in the 1920’s photo is very similar to the building I was on when I took today’s photos I posted today. The Old First National Bank Building in downtown Albuquerque was built around 1920. Old Harold Lloyd movies are a lot of fun. I really like Buster Keaton for great antics and stunt work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh? I’m excited to take a look at today’s photos. But I’ll have to wait until I get a break at work. Time to get dressed now. Savannah’s city hall has a rather interesting history. The dome was eventually covered in gold leaf (like the state capital).
      And Crystal is looking for an extra round of quality time this morning. I’m just happy that she feels good enough to demand attention, but it can get stressful “Ma, ma! MAAAA! She carries her paper balls around doing that. 🙂 Have a wonderful Wednesday. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Killing paper balls. Good normal kitty behavior. We have a toy box full of various things on a low shelf in the kitchen that Spunk spends most of every night taking toys out of it and bringing us the kills back in the bedroom with MEeaas and MAaaas in various tones and volumes as he announces each kill. First thing I do every morning is collects Spunk’s kills and put them back in the box. Marble has been killing Christmas bows, carrying them around and announcing her kills. Kitties are so cute when they carry things around in their mouths so triumphantly.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Jazz Age Wednesdays 20 – The Militant Negro™

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