Jazz Age Wednesdays 23 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 2)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

Welcome to Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books.  Last time I posted part-1 of a story that resulted from a collaboration with Fiction Favorites* author John W. Howell*.  John did one of his terrific lists of Ten Things Not to Do, and I wrote a story.  You can read part-1 here*

John Howell Books

I didn’t share his list with part-1 of the story because I felt it would be sort of a spoiler.  So without further ado, I present John’s list, followed by part 2 of Pip Meets Tiny

 Ten Things Not to Do in a Tree with a Bear

10) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not poke it. If you do, at best he’ll think you want to play. At worst, you will find yourself defending space limb for limb. (Didn’t think you would run out of tree did you, Tiny?)

9) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not open that pastrami sandwich you brought along. If you do, at best you’ll learn to share. At worst, you will give up the sandwich to get your hand back. (Something about the hot teeth getting ready to eat the sandwich weather or not you give it up that gives wisdom huh, Tiny?)

8) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not comment on the beast’s manicure. If you do, at best you’ve packed an Emory board. At worst, you’ll get a real close view of the nails why trying to avoid the roundhouse swipes. (You should have guessed the bear was the sensitive type, Tiny)

7) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not swallow. If you do, at best the bear won’t see you. At worst, the bear will take the swallow sign as a que that you are going to eat it. (You can imagine how that sign is going to work out, can’t you Tiny?)

6) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not ride your unicycle. If you do, at best you’ll have to go tandem. At worst, the bear will remember an old circus act and nasty trainer. (Hard to ride that thing with broken and bent parts right, Tiny?)

Lucille Ball and Bear

5) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not show the bear your WWF wrestling championship belt. If you do, at best the bear will want it. At worst, you are sharing a tree with the internationally known Russian bear wrestling champ. (You know understand the concept of a bear hug. The question is can you get out of it, Tiny?)

4) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not comment on the bear’s bad breath. If you do, at best you will offend the bear and it will stop talking to you. At worst, you’ll offend the bear and it will want to sweeten its breath with your left arm. (You could have been a little more subtle, Tiny. A bottle of mouthwash left discretely on a branch would have done the job.)

3) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not mention the word ‘diet.’ If you do, at best the bear won’t give you any more honey. At worst, the bear will take offense and commit to a pure protean diet. (Guess who is made of pure protean, Tiny?)

2) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not read any Goldilocks bed time stories. If you do, at best the bear will ask a hundred questions. At worst, the bear will want you to go get some porridge. (Where you going to get porridge this time of night, Tiny?)

1) If you are in a tree with a bear, do not ask them questions about the Chicago football team. If you do, at best you will have to listen to excuses for hours. At worst, the bear lost a big bet and is still hurting from the loss. (It won’t help to offer a hankie, Tiny. Getting out of the tree might be the best idea.)

Copyright © 2018 by John W. Howell

Now let’s get a wiggle on and head back to the Roaring Twenties to see how the story progresses. 

Pip Meets Tiny — Part 2

1920s_photoplay-health-for-beauty

Rather than a hat, I opted for a long scarf tied as a headband.  The wind whipped up dead leaves into miniature whirlwinds.  The ties of my scarf fluttered like streamers.  It wasn’t a fit day for a walk.  However, Granny Phanny’s Flemish Giant rabbit had gotten loose.  Granny was gaga for Cinnamon Bun, so we were both out looking for him.  My grandmother went one direction while I went the opposite way.

I had already walked as far as it seemed likely the big rabbit would roam, when the sound of a commotion drew me into a beautifully manicured garden.  Since I had not lived in Savannah very long, I wasn’t sure who owned the fine home and grounds.  As much as I wanted to find Cinnamon Bun, I hoped it was not him making such a ruckus on some swell’s property.

Stepping lightly into the ritzy garden I followed the sounds of rustling, grunting, and other destructive noises that came to my ears.  I cringed to think of the damage Cinnamon might be causing. 

The sounds stopped for a moment.  I cast my gaze around, wondering if I had gone the wrong way.  Then the hullabaloo returned, but I realized it was above me in the branches of a grand old magnolia tree.

A_beautiful_garden_in_Savannah,_Ga._(8368128006)

Savannah, Georgia garden via Wikimedia Commons

Bushwa!  Cinnamon Bun is a clever rabbit, but there was no way he’s gotten up a tree…  Is there?

Perplexed, I stared up into the branches of the towering magnolia.  I could see something moving — something large.  A deep voice added to the ruckus.

“Look, I promise I’ll make them take away the unicycle.  I know it must bring up bad memories for you,” the voice commented.  “Wow, Ursa, you need a manicure.  Your nails are in rough shape.”

I gaped, in astonishment.  What kind of phonus balonus was I hearing?

A disgruntled growl seemed to be the response to the manicure remark.  Then something squishy fell the branches from and slapped onto my upturned face.

A pastrami sandwich? I marveled as I removed a round slice of pastrami that covered my eye.

“Hey!  That was mine!” the deep voice complained.  “Horsefeathers, Ursa!  I’ve had enough of this stuff.  It’s time for you to come down out of this blasted tree.  You know heights give me the heebie-jeebies!”

A growl answered the complaint.

“I guess it’s just as well you dropped my sandwich.  Your breaths is bad enough without pastrami,” the man quipped, and was answered with a roar.

When I heard the roar of a beast, I jumped backward about six feet, eyes bulging.

A broad, tall form backed down from the tree.  He didn’t look my way.  He was intent on coaxing someone nearly as large as himself from the branches.

Oh, make that some thing! I thought and gasped.

He turned at the soft noise I made.  After a moment I recognized him as the big man who had saved my hat downtown.

“You!” I exclaimed, but fell into stuttering.  “And th-th-that…”

Ringling Bros Bears circus

“Don’t mind Ursa,” he assured me.  “She’s tame as a kitten.  She’s my partner for the special event.  Ursa the wrestling bear.  It’s all play to her.  Although I admit she’s pretty strong!”

My mouth moved, but I’m pretty sure nothing came out of it.  I looked from the bear to him and back to the bear cautiously.

“Applesauce,” he muttered and lifted a hand to gently remove lettuce and pastrami from my hair.  “I guess you caught my pastrami sandwich.  I’m sorry.”

“Um,” I struggled to find my tongue.  “Thank you for saving my hat yesterday.”

He gave me a grin that was a match for his girth.  Then he looked at my headband and then at my coat.  His eyes clouded with disappointment.

“You didn’t like them?” he asked in a shy seeming tone.

Granted, I had a few things on my mind, not least of which was Ursa the bear.  It took a moment for me to understand what he meant.

“Bear,” I muttered.  “Oh the bear!  With the hatpins.  Was that from you?  They were pos-i-lutely the cat’s meow!” I told him with profuse thanks.  “But why would you do something extravagant like that?  What’s your name anyway?”

The way he blushed I was afraid he was going to clam up with a fit of shyness.  Finally, he told me he was called Tiny.  He said Godfrey Gilley, the grocer told him Granny’s address.  I figured Mr. Gilley was pretty excited to meet Tiny, since he was the star of the wrestling show.  That must have been the highlight of the grocer’s month.

“He was pretty excited,” Tiny chuckled.  “It’s good to meet fans.  I left him a picture too.  Anyhow, I’m far away from home.  It was Valentine’s Day, and I just thought it would be fun to leave a present for a pretty girl,” he explained.

I was the one blushing at that point.

In the distance I heard the puttering of a motor.  I figured it was Granny in her Model-T, and I hoped it meant she had found Cinnamon Bun.  I told Tiny why I was there, in a stranger’s garden.  I offered to take him back into town or wherever he was staying.

Studebaker blue 1920s

“You’re the berries for offering, but Ursa would probably tear the seats in your grandma’s automobile.  And sometimes she gets motion sickness,” he politely declined.  “Besides one of the guys is circling around with the truck.  I knew she probably hadn’t gone too far.  He’ll probably drive past in a minute.”

We both made a face at the prospect of an up-chucking bear.  Ursa looked at us and made an indignant noise.

Tiny hooked a heavy leash to Ursa’s collar and they walked with me to the street, just as Granny Phanny drove up to the spot.  She waved excitedly and called my name.  She had found Cinnamon Bun.  Then she spotted the bear.  Her brow knitted, then her eyes widened.

“Do I see what I think I see?” Granny exclaimed.

Ursa sat back on her haunches and waved one enormous paw.

“Don’t worry, Granny.  Everything’s Jake.  This is Tiny, and that’s Ursa.”

The embodiment of southern hospitality, Granny invited Tiny to dinner.  However, he said he had to get ready for his performance.  He handed me a stack of tickets for the wrestling event and told me to bring as many friends as I wanted. 

The truck Tiny mentioned came into view. The huge wrestler waved, and the driver gave a little beep of the horn.  Then with another blush, Tiny gave me a quick peck on the cheek.  He and Ursa walked to the truck.

“Have mercy.  Well, Pip… I’m glad he was there to find that bear before you found it.  That would have been a sight!  Expecting to find a rabbit and you get a big ole bear instead!” Granny chortled.

 

Hatpins Ad 1898

Ad for hatpins, circa 1898

“So it was him that left the stuffed bear and hatpins, wasn’t it?” she confirmed.  “I’m surprised you didn’t know who left them, him catching your hat and all.  I guess you didn’t see the way he looked at you.  What I want to know is who you thought would leave you a gift like that,” she added with a suspicious glance at me.

That tone could mean trouble.  I wasn’t sure what to say.  It never occurred to me that a stranger would do something sweet like that, and that’s what I told her.

“The only person who ever mentioned hatpins was Hank Hertz,” I started.  “I was scared to death that Hank had done something like that.  I didn’t want it to be Hank,” I confessed.

“Pip, Hank is a nice boy.  You’re not that much older than him.  You seem to have inherited my bias about age differences.  I hope you’ll get over that.   It would be different for you and Hank than for me and—  Anyway, a year or two is nothing.  A decade or two, now that’s another matter,” she said with a sigh.

At first I thought Granny was referring to Alastair Wong the elder.  She had told me about her relationship with my friend’s great-grandfather.  However, she might also have been thinking about Detective Dabney Daniels — though she’d never admit it.

I suppressed a giggle when I realized Granny Phanny might have been thinking about both of them.  She’d get in a lather if I said it, but Granny was a flapper at heart.

The End

***

 

I hope you enjoyed your visit.  You’re the bee’s knees! 

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are 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.

 

Jazz Age Wednesdays 22 ― Pip Meets Tiny (Part 1)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day

Dennisons 1920s Valentine girl

Happy Valentine’s Day from Jazz Age Wednesdays here at Teagan’s Books!  Awhile back I was lucky enough to do a collaboration with Fiction Favorites* author John W. Howell*.  He did one of his outrageous lists of “Ten Things Not to Do” and that took me to my short story, In the Pip of Time*

John Howell Books

I’m happy to say that John agreed to work with me again.  Reading the list that John created especially for this collaboration gave me such fun, vivid images that my story will be more than one post.  However, his list will be sort of a spoiler.  So I’m saving it as a treat for next week. 

Anyhow, in John’s lists of things not to do, a recurring character is Tiny, the WWF champ.  I thought it might be fun if Pip met a 1920s version of Tiny.

With this episode I will feature recipe links to some pos-i-lutely darb food bloggers!  Be sure to check them out too.

Let’s get a wiggle on and head back to the Roaring Twenties and see how Pip came to meet Tiny. 

Pip Meets Tiny — Part 1

1924 Feb_Theatre woman arrow heart Valentine

Theatre, February 1924

Granny Phanny gave me one of her old hats and some red velvet ribbon.  She encouraged me to get the hat “dolled up” for Valentine’s Day.  It was made of pearl gray wool felt with a medium height crown and a three-inch brim.  I used the velvet red ribbon to make a band and a large but neat bow for the front.  It was a big change from the nearly brimless styles I preferred.  However, I thought it would be fun to have something different.

I was ready to show off my hat, so I didn’t mind when Granny asked me to take care of her grocery shopping while she went to look in on Miss Olive, who had a cold.

“Pip, the wind’ll take that hat.  You should have used more than one hatpin.”

“I lost the other one, Granny,” I defended myself.  

“Lost it!  Paisley Idelle Peabody, those things don’t grow on trees, you know,” Granny chided.

“Anyway, it’s not windy today,” I said with a smile, trying to keep her in a good mood.

Granny grunted a contradictory reply as she stopped the Model-T in front of Gilley’s Grocery.

Another Foodie Blogger (click here)

I stumbled into a debate when I went inside.  The discussion was getting rather heated.  My spiffy hat would be last thing those guys would notice.  Godfrey Gilley, the store owner, was getting red-faced as he defended his favorite sport, professional wrestling.  Detective Dabney Daniels wouldn’t budge in his stance that it had become nothing more than modern theatrics.  I rolled my eyes when Hank Hertz, Savannah’s youngest copper, tried to defend both positions.  

Hank noticed my expression and tried to be nice.  He tried, but it just seemed like a criticism at the time.  

“Pip, you usually have two hatpins.  Are you sure one is enough?  My moma always uses two or three,” he told me.

Of all the nerve!  I guessed I should be glad somebody at least noticed my hat.  Sort of.   I gave Hank a glare and he looked like he was trying to figure out how to take back his poorly chosen words. 

1920s Girl Hat 2

Young Lucille Ball

“Pip, you’d best mind your Ps and Qs, and avoid strangers,” the copper told me.  “A bunch of professional wrestling carnies are in town.”

“Professional wrestling is a legitimate sport!” Godfrey Gilley inserted hotly.

The detective cleared his throat, pointedly ignoring the store owner.  Daniels and his chiseled features looked down at me, plainly dismissing my attempt to enter the conversation.  

I was getting pretty miffed.  Were they blind to the fact that times were changing?  I was a modern woman, a flapper!  As I stewed, they ran right over me and kept talking.

“As I was saying, they were supposed to pass through after one performance,” he continued, ignoring Godfrey’s sputter about the word performance.  “But they’re staying longer.  There will be folks around who are less than savory.  So steer clear of strangers.  Savannah, Georgia is not the sleepy Florida town you’re used to.”

Ringling Bros Bears circus

“I hear they’re even going to have a parade!” Hank Hertz inserted excitedly.  “They have a whole troop of wrestlers ― even a wrestling bear they brought all the way from Russia!

Detective Daniels frowned at his young cohort.  Then he managed to include me in the grimace too.

With a glare at the detective, the grocer turned to me and spotted the list from Granny Phanny.  Godfrey Gilley took the list from my hand.  He read over the list.  Then he appeared to have a moment of inspiration as he narrowed his eyes and gave a calculating glance at Daniels.

“I take it, Miss Phanny is making cookies?” he said and cleared his throat.  “I’ll throw in this new red vegetable dye that just came in.  Tell your grandmother it’s a little Valentine gift from me.”

The debate over professional wrestling seemed to have brought out a competition between the two men.  Dabney Daniels made a quick scan of the table displaying sale items and picked up a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Picture

Sunny Cove Chef (click here)

“I’ll take this cookie cutter, but put it with Miss Phanny’s purchase,” Daniels told the grocer.  “Pip, tell your grandmother it’s from me.”

“What a couple of palookas…” I muttered as I left the store.

Granny Phanny had been right about the calm wind not lasting.  As the door closed behind me, a breeze caused my skirt to flit above my knees.  Granny would have been scandalized, but what did it matter if a kneecap showed?  I headed up the street, in the direction of Miss Olive’s.  I expected to run into Granny in her Modle-T before I walked very far.

With one hand on my grocery basket and the other holding my skirt, I was unprepared for the gust of wind that caught my hat.

I knew that wider brim was a bad idea!  Why didn’t I wear my favorite pink cloche hat?

The single hatpin was not sufficient to the task.  The wind tore the hat from my head and it sailed away.  To my astonishment, my hat flew directly into the largest man I had ever seen.  I don’t know what surprised me more ― the unlikelihood of the hat blowing right to him, or his extraordinary girth.  Why, he was a broad as a door and as tall as a ceiling… or at least it seemed that way in the moment.

The stranger smiled and politely handed back my hat.  However, the cat had his tongue.  He fumbled and muttered some words I couldn’t make out before blushing and tipping his hat.  I tried to thank him, but some other men walked toward him, urging him to hurry.

IMG_0516

A Pug in the Kitchen (click here)

Detective Daniels’ caution came back to me.  I was alone and there were several unknown men walking toward me.  So, I smiled and thanked him, as I continued to walk.  Just then the yellow Model-T drove up, with Granny Phanny at the wheel.

She gave a friendly wave to the large stranger.  That was Granny’s way, and she would expect the same of anyone else.  He awkwardly tipped his hat again, that time toward her.  Then his friends hurried him along.

***

That evening I was helping my grandmother make supper.  A thud sounded from the front porch.  Granny was checking the oven and asked me to go and see if anything was amiss. 

When I opened the front door I found cuddly stuffed bear.  A red cutout heard was pinned to the ribbon bow around his neck.  Written on the heart was the old poem, “Roses are red, violets are blue.  Sugar is sweet and so are you.”

“Not very original,” Granny Phanny snorted.  “But a lovely, wholesome sentiment just the same.”  

When I looked closer, I saw the heart was attached under the bow by two rhinestone hatpins.  Then I realized that no one had signed it.  

“It must be for you, Granny.  Detective Daniels and Mr. Gilley both sent you something with ingredients I picked up for your cookies.”  

My grandmother gave me a long suffering look.  She muttered a denial.  Then she hustled me back to the kitchen.  Granny Phanny was determined to make me learn to cook.

End Part 1

***

Thanks to our sensational chef bloggers for sharing their tasty Valentine treats!

You will surely want to share these sweet desserts with your sugar.  Check out these treats and more recipes from Kathryn “Another Foodie Blogger,” Gerlinde “The Sunny Cove Chef,” and Suzanne at “A Pug in the Kitchen.”

Ya’ll are pos-i-lutely the cat’s pajamas for visiting.  

 

Now, for that shameless self-promotion… Here are 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.