Sunday, March 27, 2011

168. Color her Ferocious: BETTE DAVIS COLORING BOOK

Color her feisty, fiery and ferocious!
Bette Davis (b.1908/d.1989) was a stage actress before making the move to the silver screen in 1930. Her first films ("The Bad Sister", "Seed"), didn't create any ripples so she was dropped from her Columbia Pictures contract. She was picked up by george Carliss who cast her as the lead in "The Man Who Played God", and her career took off. In 1934, she played the shrew, Mildred, in "Of Human Bondage" and won critical acclaim. She became well known for playing unsympathetic characters but was praised for her ability to shift from role to role--be it in comedy, historical drama, crime stories or romances. She would earn 10 Oscar nominations, winning two (Best Actress in "Dangerous" and "Jezebel"). Not only was she the 1st female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but she was also the 1st woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. At the height of her fame, many authorized merchandise were produced to cash in on her popularity as a Hollywood celebrity. Her last appearance was in "Wicked Stepmother" (1989). She died in France the same year, later in October. Her memory lives on in this coloring book I picked up from a U.S. thrift shop and in the 80s song that Kim Carnes popularized and which I kept imitating as I type this entry:

"She'll tease you
She'll unease you
Just to please you
She's got Bette Davis eyes.."

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Kolynos was one of the first toothpastes made available in the Philippines that was created by N.S. Jenkins in 1908. It became a popular brand and was widely promoted by way of radio programs through music. In 1936, 15 year old Esen "Priscilla" Aristorenas was named as "Priscilla the Kolynos Girl" in a radio show sponsored by the brand. She was a huge success, singing most jazz songs that were new to the ears of music-loving Filipinos. The show lasted until 1942. A few Kolynos advertising premiums survived (I once had a cardboard counter display of the Kolynos mascot which I gave away--regrettably!), and this pinback--a foreign issue-- is just one of them. In 1995, Kolynos was bought by its own competitor--Colgate-Palmolive.


It's the real thing!
A hard-to-find Coca Cola radio set from the '50s--and made in the Philippines! This was perhaps a store giveaway or a premium item that one could win in a past Coke promo. This is a working model, manufactured by Maharlika Radio, and is made from molded wood, that looks like 'lawanit'. This cool Coke Cooler Radio used to have non-working radio glass bulbs, but I have since had it 'transistorized', so it works just as fine. Wouldn't it be fun and creepy if it only aired 1950s programs like "Tayo'y Mag-Aliw", "Lux Hour" or "Reyna ng Vicks"?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The TV series" Welcome Back, Kotter" was a popular comedy show that aired from 1975-1979, about a teacher with a heart and his inner city high school stint where he had to deal with troublesome kids. Gabe Kotter, the dedicated teacher, was played by Gabe Kaplan, while Vinnie Barbarino, leader of a group of young misfits called Sweathogs who liked dropping rhyming insults was played by pre-Saturday Night Fever disco king, John Travolta. John was paid $2,000 per episode and only did occasional appearances--but after Saturday Night, his fee skyrocketted and his contract had to be changed. This vintage 1977 lunchbox celebrates the show at its most peak, and is made by Aladdin. A rare, unused example with thermos and tags intact would be worth about $350. I scored this one for just a few hundred pesos in some garage sale I can't even remember. I'm just happy to see again a familiar artifact from my high school days--so welcome back!!