Johnson-Restado Farm, 1955

This farm photo is captioned "John Johnson Farm" and "Gina Restado Farm". The crossout seems very deliberate to only hit 'Gina' and 'Farm'. Hand-dated August 1955.

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Harriman and the Naughty Strawberry Blonde

At the end of 1955, candidates were ramping up their target of the Presidency of the US. Adlai Stevenson ended up the Democrat candidate, losing the election, but the second place for the candidacy was Averell Harriman.

Harriman was a serious contender; he had been holding offices of one sort or another (the Governor of New York at the time), and a few short weeks after the political cartoon above Harriman appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Harriman was a New Dealer during Roosevelt's days, but his rich family gave him appeal to businesses and the Wall Street crowd. Eisenhower had continued many New Deal programs on his own, so why the comic?

Let's take it apart: Harriman, a New Deal proponent, was a early Democrat contender. However, he's got the money and big business interests in his pockets. Eisenhower, too, kept up with the New Deal and worked towards balancing the budget, while working on military strength. Harriman, it seems, was more like the Republican incumbent than the Democrats wanted -- the comic implies that the Democrats were looking for a more centrist candidate. Harriman was 'sleeping' with the leftism of the New Deal, hiding his vices out the back door -- but Harriman was about to greet the centrist Democrats with open arms while his vices patiently waited out back. Public opinion must have agreed -- the more centrist Adlai Stevenson was brought back to run against Eisenhower for a second time, after losing in '52. Harriman, despite his early lead, apparently couldn't shake the strawberry blonde on the back step.

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The Hideout at the Comstock

This came from a 1955 Moorhead Daily News, advertising the Comstock Hotel's Hideout Room. This appears to have been the hotel's lounge, featuring the dulcet tones of the Hammond organ. The Comstock was located in downtown Moorhead until Urban Renewal flattened and re-drew the flood-ravaged section of downtown to build a mall- wrapped- around- city- hall monolithic building that's struggled to keep shoppers and tenants. Personally, I prefer how the Comstock looked to the ultramodern styles of the buildings built in its place.

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Buckskin Harry, Fargo TV Cowboy

Buckskin Harry, as far as I can tell at this time, was a local television personality here in Fargo. Back in the day, local television stations did a lot more local programming than just the news; a lot of the national kids' shows like Bozo the Clown had its roots in local TV stations. Even into the 1980s local stations had thematic characters do intros and commercial bumpers for horror movies.

We found this photo in a 1950s magazine, so it gave us a pretty good idea of about when 'ol Buckskin graced the boob-tube. Our first resource was my grandparents -- Grandpa Vernon remembered Harry on TV in the 1950s, but Grandpa was nurturing a new family around that time and wasn't watching mid-afternoon kids' programming.

Going through a 1955 Fargo Forum, I found some more specific information: Buckskin was on at 4 in the afternoon, an excellent timeslot lead into by Pinky Lee and Howdy Doody -- and Buckskin's show ran for an hour and fifteen minutes. I'm still doing my digging (my research method consists of doing very little, randomly encountering works pretty well, actually), but if anybody out there remembers Buckskin, I'd appreciate any info.

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