Lessons of a Defunct Icon

Recently, I wrote a thing for some people, and since those people opted to go in a different direction, I wanted to share the thing I wrote with you, Dear Reader(s). I had a lot of fun researching this and I think it’s a topic that could easily be expanded upon.

I chose to write about the Studebaker automobile, or more specifically, the Studebaker advertising machine, which really had a lot going for it. Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana¬† (home to my alma mater-Go Irish!), Studebaker made cars for distribution around the world. One of South Bend’s private high schools is actually located on the grounds of and old Studebaker Mansion (which was later sold to the Bendix family – another local manufacturing family), and I hear that if the kids are lucky, teachers will take them to the mansion part of the building and show them all the Prohibition-era hidey holes. Another Studebaker mansion is now a high end restaurant – Tippecanoe Place. But what I didn’t know about Studebaker was how their success seemed so driven by the power of advertising.

So, Dear Reader(s), what follows is probably not my best research work ever, but there is more thorough information in the Further Reading section that I hope tickles your fancy. Because this topic is really interesting.


1961 Studebaker Hawk


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More Cleaning

Once again, Dear Reader(s), here’s a collection of links that you might find of interest. I covered more ground this summer on the internet than in person so there are many tabs to share.

The first three are In Memoriams that crossed my path after the passing of Senator McCain, may he rest in peace.


Corby Hall at Notre Dame РMay it rest in pieces. РI understand the necessity of tearing it down and starting over, but the historical purist in me cringes.

Civil War era Limb Pit discovered – kind of macabre, kind of cool, especially if you’re into forensics.

The Science of Saving the Declaration of Independence – Sadly, I don’t think it would hold up to National Treasure-esque shenanigans.

New Theory States that Men Nearly Caused Human Extinction – My current place of employ is currently 90% male. The findings of this article do not come as a surprise.

The Creative Mind of J.R.R. Tolkien – currently on view at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, then coming to New York next year. I think I’m going to have to make a trip to New York to see this.

British View the War of 1812 Quite Differently than Americans – Again, I kind of feel like this is a no-brainer. It makes sense that Canadians and Native Americans also have their own take on this particular conflict.

Ask A Reenactor Playing The Bad Guys – Worth the read. The author makes a good point that the victors write history so the bad guys need humanizing. The author also points out that reenactors are pretty good at self-policing, and there’s an unspoken code about how to judge/evaluate other reenactors doing controversial impressions (ie, the SS).

Ask A Reenactor: Ethnicity Reenacting – Such a complicated topic. So relevant. Speaking of which, I’ve crossed paths with this guy many times and am certain I asked him a lot of inappropriate questions about ethnicity and reenacting the first time I met him. And by that, I think I downright accosted him. Unrelated, I want to know how big his closet is for all of his gear.

And lastly …

Well this seems like an interesting fusion of a lot of things:

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Books!: Creativity, Inc.

The topic of this book is pretty far outside the scope of this blog, unless you consider the presented history of the beginnings of Pixar, Apple, and Steve Jobs as we knew him (or didn’t know him). But when I saw this at the library, I knew I had to check it out since one of my Dream Jobs is to work for Disney and I’ve been in something of a creative slump lately.



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Books!: I Am Malala

This is a bit of a digression into modern day history and more current events. There is a very real possibility I got something factual incorrect or misinterpreted information.

Full disclosure: This is not a book I would have picked up without outside incentive. I recently joined a bunch of meetups and one of them was a book club, and this was the book chosen for July.


I realized what the Taliban had done was make my campaign global.

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Guilty Pleasure Cinema: Addendum!

Recently I had a post about my top nine cinematic guilty pleasure films, with National Treasure coming in a strong first place.

  1. National Treasure
  2. O Brother, Where Art Thou
  3. Night at the Museum
  4. 1776: The Musical
  5. Captain America: The First Avenger
  6. The Mummy
  7. White Christmas
  8. Disney’s Hercules/Mulan
  9. The Patriot

Well, I realized I had forgotten a film, which rounds the list out to an even ten. I can’t believe I forgot this film. Ready for it?

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Gettysburg: The Movie

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed the movie Gettysburg yet. It was only the thing that got this whole historical obsession started in the first place. Fair warning – this is much less of a formal review and much more of an opinion piece since I am certain I have lost the ability to review this movie objectively.


… cuz stuff like this happens when I’m around …

Backstory: Back in 9th grade, the culmination of the unit on the American Civil War involved hiding in a darkened classroom for three days watching this film as a dramatic interpretation of everything we had just studied.

Afterwards, a classmate made an offhand comment about how it compared to the book, which got everyone’s attention because we hadn’t known the film was based on a book. So I had to read the book (Killer Angels, by Michael Shaara). Then it looked like Killer Angels was part of a trilogy, so I read those other two books (prequel Gods and Generals, after which the film was named, and sequel The Last Full Measure, both written by Jeff Shaara.) All three books gave a human voice to these players like nothing I had seen before. So I had to start reading biographies of everyone to see how their fictional selves compared to their real life selves.

And … it just kind of snowballed from there.

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Guilty Pleasure: Cinema Style

I’m sure I’ve stated many times here that I am a fan of both the ridiculous and the sublime, and when they come together in something sublimely ridiculous, so much the better.

Far more time has gone into thinking about this post than I would care to admit, including various searches and lists on the Googles, time on IMDB, and introspection. My desire is to cover all the necessary points without any grievous omissions, for an omission on a list like this would probably be the worst thing ever.

Bearing all that in mind, what follows is a list of my top nine cinematic (history themed) guilty pleasures. These movies are more entertaining than historically accurate, and to list these as “great historical films” runs the risk of opening oneself up to ridicule from hardcore historical nerds.

Whatever. Honeybadger don’t care.

[ Feedback welcome! Am I forgetting anything? Is my taste in movies so poor you’ll never read my blog again? ]

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