This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

Der Komet Kommt!

20 December 2021

Look up!
The sky! Look up at the sky!
Do you see it?
It's so bright! It's so big!
What is it?
It's the COMET of course!

People who read newspapers
had been anticipating its arrival for months,
while astronomers had awaited its return for decades.
Yet this large unfamiliar light in the night sky
still took many regular folk by surprise.
However a few elders
remembered seeing it once before.
It was no stranger to earth.
In fact it was a regular visitor
that had paid a call here
many, many, many  times before.
It was called Comet Halley.

Halley's comet in 1066
depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry
Source: Wikimedia
It took its name from the great English astronomer, Edmond Halley (1656 – 1742), who determined in 1696 that a comet he saw in 1682 was the same one recorded in 1607 and 1531 and that it orbited the Sun on a periodic cycle of about 75–76 years. Halley calculated that it would return in 1758, which it did, though he did not live to see it. Further study ascertained that the comet's high elliptical orbit is affected by the gravitational pull of the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn giving it a period that varies between 74 and 79 years which is a relatively short cycle for a comet. 
Over centuries of regular human observation Halley's comet acquired a reputation as an omen of great portent. Its first confirmed sighting was recorded by Chinese chroniclers in 240 BC. It also returned in 12 BC leading some people to believe it had a connection to the biblical story of the Star of Bethlehem. However there are better explanations for that phenomenon, such as planetary conjunctions or other comets that appeared closer to the date of Jesus' birth.  
Halley's comet probably made its most fateful appearance in 1066 when it aligned with the Norman Conquest of England. Later that same year, King Harold II of England died at the Battle of Hastings which let William the Conqueror claim the throne. The comet is depicted on the famous Bayeux Tapestry and described as a star four times the size of Venus, shining almost as bright as the moon.
In 1910 Halley's comet was scheduled to return to the skies of earth, and the German postcard artist, Arthur Thiele (1860-1936), had a good idea of how the public would react. The year before, Thiele painted a postcard series about the excitement generated in 1909 by the Graf Zeppelin's giant airships, which I featured in my story, Zeppelin Kommt!. Once again he cleverly anticipated that this comet would create another opportunity to illustrate the public's mania for crazy events. 
[ Click any image to see it at full screen ]

We begin with pandemonium at a typical German outdoor restaurant. A sign reads Hier speist man wie bei Muttern. Heute abend grosses Knödel essen. - Here you dine like at mother's. Tonight eat big dumplings. Dozens of diners scurry to get a look at a light in the sky. One amorous couple ignore the comet to indulge in some canoodling.  
This card was posted on 17 April 1910 to Fräulein Amy Kapf (?) in Bamberg. With this return, Halley's comet was expected to become visible to the naked eye around 10 April and reach perihelion, the orbital point nearest the sun, on 20 April.

Since the last visit by the comet was in 1835, the 1910 appearance was the first occasion that scientists could use photography to record its image. Thiele's postcard caricature was remarkable close to what was seen weeks later by astronomers at the Harvard College Southern Observatory in Arequipa, Peru. This photo was made with an 8-inch Bache Doublet, Voigtlander camera. The exposure time was 30 minutes.
Halley's comet taken 21 April 1910
at the Harvard College Southern Observatory, Arequipa, Peru
Source: Wikimedia

Previously in 1835 the only way to record Halley's comet was to paint a picture. The Swiss-English landscape artist, John James Chalon (1778 – 1854) made this watercolor of his impressions seeing the comet. The small group of adults and children gathered by a small telescope seem charmed by the novelty of the comet.
Watercolour painting depicting observation
of Halley's comet in 1835
Source: Wikimedia

Unlike a solar eclipse, the comet would be visible from everywhere on the planet, and humorists around the world recognized its potential for jest. The Pittsburgh Press ran a wonderful half page of "How cartoonists view the coming of Halley's comet." 
Pittsburgh Press
01 May 1910



In this second postcard, Thiele shows a crowd of people in front of a building trying to get the best view. In the foreground a wurst vendor is distracted by the comet as a dachshund make off with her fare. A sign on a window reads: Auskunft / Eile mit Weile – Information / Haste makes waste. 

This postcard is dated 4 May 1910 and was sent via the Austro-Hungarian postal service. I think, the writer's language is Czech.

Astronomers had made great advances since the days of Edmond Halley. Besides photography, modern scientific technology in 1910 included ways to collect spectroscopic data from the comet's light. It was expected that the comet's approach to the sun would create a spectacular effect, and that on 19 May 1910, the earth would pass through the tail of the comet. 
Unfortunately the first spectroscopic analysis of the comet's tail showed that it contained the toxic gas cyanogen. This led the French astronomer and popular science author, Camille Flammarion (1842 – 1925) to claim that the gas from the comet's tail "would impregnate [the Earth’s] atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet". When Flammarion's concern was reported, many people around the world panicked and bought gas masks and "anti-comet umbrellas" for protection. Scammers profited on sales of quack "anti-comet pills".

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
18 May 1910

Other learned "experts" thought the comet's tail might shower the earth with diamonds or other gemstones. Some astronomers theorized that the comet could produce extreme tidal effects. People in Duluth, Minnesota worried about high water or freak waves on Lake Superior damaging shoreline communities. People became concerned that the comet might spark electrical effects in the atmosphere. Telegraph and wireless companies reportedly took measures to protect their equipment.  Farmers in Wisconsin removed the lightning rods on their barns and houses.
Philadelphia Inquirer
18 May 1910
Scientists tried to reassure the public and many newspapers printed lengthy descriptions of what to expect from the comet. But in May 1910 it's likely that the information most people remembered came from cartoons like this one entitled "More Spring Cleaning" showing Mr. Earth running away from the comet's broom sweep. It was published on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Philadelphia Inquirer
16 May 1910



In his third postcard, Arthur Thiele paints another clamorous group of townsfolk trying to get a good look at the comet. In the foreground some people and their poor dog try to hide in a dumpster, while another couple clamber under some stairs. A photographer, his head concealed beneath a black cloak, points his camera toward the comet.

This postcard was sent on 14 May 1910 to Frau Berta Voigt of Bernberg, Germany. I don't think the writer makes any reference to der Komet.

The year 1910 was only 75 years after 1835, so there were a good many seniors around who remembered witnessing Halley's comet when they were children. One 90 year old man, a druggist in Pittsburgh, said, "Of course I remember the visit of Halley's comet, 75 years ago. I don't forget things so easily as all that. " He noted that many people were scared and that the comet had a terrifying apperarance.
Pittsburgh Press
01 May 1910

An old woman in Kalamazoo, Michigan, age 85, said, "Seventy-five years ago people, the same as today, were talking and prophesying that the world would end when Halley's comet met the Sun." She continued, "I was only 10 years old and I lived in New York state at the time, but I remember seeing the comet in the early evening."
"It was in the northwest, instead of the northeast, as now, and was very distinct, brilliant, and beautiful. It had a very long tail which I could see clearly and distinctly. People fully expected that the comet would destroy the earth just as they do today, but here I am just as much alive today as then."
_ _ _




In this next postcard Thiele depicts another moment of pandemonium, this time outside a billiard hall. A cluster of men have paused their game to rubberneck from a window, disturbing the patrons at an outdoor cafe table.

This postcard was posted from the port city of Kiel, Germany and dates from 19 May 1910, the day that the earth would pass through the comet's tail. But like the previous card, I don't think the writer mentions anything of der Komet.


For astronomers, physicists, and other cosmologists this passage of the earth through the comet's tail was an exciting natural event but certainly nothing to be alarmed about. Many recognized it as an important scientific opportunity and had prepared new devices to measure and  record any celestial effects. But the scientific method is based on asking questions, and in 1910 scientists were not entirely sure about what kind of answers they might learn. As newspapers reported on the possibilities of new discoveries, the general public could not help finding some of these ideas alarming. 

San Francisco Call
18 May 1910
The Great January Comet of 1910,
the Daylight comet, photographed by the Lowell Observatory
Source: Wikipedia

The people of the world had some cause for concern as they had already been startled by a comet earlier in the year. On 12 January 1910, diamond miners in the Transvaal, South Africa spotted an unusually bright light in the pre-dawn sky. This became known as the Great January Comet of 1910, officially designated C/1910 A1. Because it shined brighter than Venus, it was often called the Daylight Comet as its head and tail were particularly visible during daytime. In fact the Daylight Comet, in comparison with Halley 's comet, was considered the brighter and more impressive heavenly body. 
Philadelphia Inquirer
17 May 1910



In Arthur Thiele's fifth postcard in his series, the frenzied comet watchers have provoked runaway horses and dogs outside of a Bäckerei von SauerteigBakery of sourdough.  

This card has a postmark of 27-5-1910 from Aachen, Germany

Newspapers in America competed with each other by publishing extensive commentary, predictions, and cartoons about this momentous wonder. Yet despite the papers' best efforts to be clear about the comet's benign aspect, many people had reason to think it was a harbinger of bad news. 
At the end of April, the great American humorist and writer, Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, died. His birthday was 30 November 1835, two months after the comet was first sighted in 1835, and he died on 21 April 1910, just a day after the comet reached its closest point to the sun. In Clemens autobiography, published in 1909, he said:

I came in with Halley's comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'
San Francisco Examiner
18 May 1910

The other bad omen in 1910 occurred on May 6th when King Edward VII suffered a heart attack and died. Though he had endured a period of ill health, some people thought the comet precipitated his death. His funeral was arranged for March 20th and nearly every royal monarch and person of rank in Europe attended the ceremonies in London. 

{Note that the swastika badge pictured in the cartoon of Mr. Earth is an ancient symbol of good luck. In 1910 it had none of the connotations it would have 20 years later.}


The last postcard of Thiele's shows another throng of people gathered around a telescope set up outside a grand hotel. An open top automobile has stopped at the hotel entrance. Its chauffeur and passengers wrapped up in menacing headgear, typical of the outfits worn by riders of early automobiles to avoid road dust and exhaust smoke, look for the comet. One woman has fallen through the hotel's glass awning. Another woman and her dog have ducked for cover beneath the car, while a suspicious-looking man runs past holding several sacks, perhaps cash stolen from the hotel.

This postcard was sent from Frankfurt, and though the stamp is missing with half the postmark, the writer has helpfully given a date of 11 February 1912. The belated use of Thiele's postcard is likely due to the popularity of the artist who produced hundreds, if not thousands, of similar witty cards over his long career. I think the card's topic of comet hysteria probably remained a source of collective humor, at least up until the summer of 1914.

On May 19th, the day after the earth had passed through the comet's tail, newspaper headlines complained of its failure to produce any display of pyrotechnics. They seemed disappointed in the comet's lame performance and dissatisfied that the world had not come to a sad end. "Comet's  Tail Plays Trick, Fails to Sweep the Earth" reads one headline. 
Boston Globe
19 May 1910


Another paper was inspired to write a jingle, partly wagging a finger
at the fearmongers.

Comet Is Come
Comet Is Gone
Old World
Still Wags
Celestial Vagrant on Its Way Back Into Space Leaves Earth Dwellers Little the Wiser, No Better and No Worse.

_ _ _


 Other papers denounced the astronomers who were somehow at fault for its behavior. 
Seattle Daily Times
19 May 1910

A cartoon from the May 20th edition of Chicago's Inter Ocean summed up the public's general mood of annoyance at Halley's comet. The caption reads: "The Runaway Comet. Astronomers, all over the world, are astounded at the failure of Halley's comet to follow the course calculated for it.—News Item."  A bespectacled man wearing a wizard's pointed hat rides the earth. He shouts, "Whoa! Whoa there!" as he tries to lasso a swift horse labeled Halley's Comet. A little girl as Luna, the moon, weeps. Mother/Father Earth says, "Never touched me!" 
Chicago Inter Ocean
20 May 1910

Halley's comet, 29 May 1910
Source: Wikimedia
Arthur Thiele's witty postcard illustrations captured a period of social history better than any series of photographs. The tremendous advances made in science, engineering, and technology during first decade of the 20th century seemed to offer the world limitless riches. Thiele was responding to a new perspective that had not really been imagined before. The great airships of Graf Zeppelin, the soaring airplanes of the Wright Brothers, and now Halley's comet, were turning the eyes of mankind towards the sky. The world was no longer defined by just two dimensions. The earth's atmosphere now opened a third direction that promised human flight, and maybe even space flight would no longer be a fanciful notion.  
The French author, Jules Verne (1828 – 1905), who could have been one of those children gazing up at Halley's comet in 1835, certainly knew the power of imagination. 
“In spite of the opinions of certain narrow-minded people, who would shut up the human race upon this globe, as within some magic circle which it must never outstep, we shall one day travel to the moon, the planets, and the stars, with the same facility, rapidity, and certainty as we now make the voyage from Liverpool to New York!”
– Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon, 1865


This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone is pondering the universe
as we bring 2021 to a close.
Let us hope that 2022
brings a better promise
of peace and good will for all.



The Eye Behind the Camera

11 December 2021


  This is my dad,
Lt. Russell Brubaker,
with his new camera,
an Alpa Reflex #4, purchased for $166
at the Tokyo post exchange in May 1952.
He also paid a little extra
for a roll of 35mm Kodachrome film,
which was probably his first venture into color photos.
This self-portrait posed before a mirror in his hotel room
was his first photo with the Alpa.
He guessed the exposure and got the focus wrong.
It was not his first camera
and would not be his last either,
but it was this particular camera
that introduced him to
the wondrous world of photography.
The reason I know this detail of camera trivia
is that my dad left notes.
Lots and lots of notes
attached to albums, binders, and boxes
containing thousands of photographs
that he took over a long lifetime
as an amateur photographer.

It began almost immediately after his graduation
from the Army ROTC program
at the University of Maryland.
It was 1951 and the United States was at war.
My dad, with his new lieutenant's commission,
received orders for Korea.
There was barely enough time
to get married to my mom.
Which, fortunately for me, they did.


After his arrival in Korea my dad was first assigned as a platoon leader of Company L (Love), 3rd Battalion, of the 38th infantry regiment, 2nd Division. A few weeks later he was reassigned as the battalion's communication officer and sent to Japan for training at the Army's Air/Ground School in Tokyo. The Far East was pretty exotic for a boy who grew up in a small farming community outside Baltimore and who had never seen real mountains or oceans except in schoolbooks. A camera must have seemed a fantastic device to record this new adventure, and the Alpa would document many more.
This is my favorite action shot of my dad. The Alpa is attached to a tripod and my dad, wearing his helmet, is about to pull the trigger.  I featured it in my 2018 story, Everything In Focus. Presumably the photo was taken by one of his fellow officers.
Perhaps his target was this soldier.

Or this lieutenant.

Or maybe this captain.

 Or maybe this young officer.

The detail of who took the shot of my father got left out of my dad's annotations, but I may yet uncover it. Like I said, there are a lot of notes. It's interesting to me that in the hundreds of personal photos he took during his year in Korea, my dad never recorded anything resembling actual warfare. There are no guns, bombs, destruction, or worse. Though he served under fire and was even awarded the Bronze Star, all his photos are more like the fun kind that a tourist, or maybe a boy scout camper, might take.
From the number of photos he took of other soldiers with cameras, it's clear my dad was participating in a new fad for photography. Considering that this was only 6-7 years after the end of World War 2, the availability of fine Swiss cameras like the Alpa, must have been a novel change for American consumers, particularly with soldiers serving in foreign countries.
When my dad returned safely home at the end of 1952, he switched from the infantry to the transportation corps. After more training in Virginia, he was sent to France, another exotic place for a camera enthusiast, but this time he could take his wife Barbara. A few months later I came along and the rest is history, as they say.


My mom was an artist and quickly learned the basic techniques of photography. Years later on a trip to Scotland, Wales, and England, my dad took a photo of her taking a photo of him on a ferry platform in western Scotland. I'm still hoping to find the matching photo. Did I mention that there are a lot of photos?

After my dad's first tour in Korea, then came an assignment in Virginia, followed by three years in France. Then another tour in Korea, now peaceable after the armistice, then stateside again. Then Germany, then Virginia, then Vietnam, then Virginia again. Throughout his army career, my dad used his cameras to record hundreds of pictures of the people and places he saw. He had a good eye and a talent for framing a good photo.
This passion for all things photographic led my dad to take up developing film, printing photos, and eventually amassing a camera collection large enough to rival any museum. The Alpa was just the first of dozens of Swiss, German, Russian, and Japanese cameras that my dad would buy, almost always at a pre-owned used price. Every camera is listed in several long spreadsheets with details on provenance, price, condition, etc. I no longer have the Alpa, the rewinder was broke anyway, and most of his collection was sold to a vintage camera !dealer shortly after his death in 2014.
I do, however, still have that first tripod, one of maybe two dozen, and maybe the leather case to, if I hunt for it. Cameras used to need lots of accessories like lens, light meters, filters, etc. It was once cutting-edge technology. Did I mention that I still have a lot of this stuff? Make me an offer. Please.
 Finally in closing,
here is a matched pair of photos
of two photographers
seeing eye to eye.


A few years ago, my dad took this photo of me taking a photo of him.

 By coincidence we both wore a watch that recorded the same time.
It was about 11:08 in the morning.
Two eyes, two cameras,
each reflecting the other.

Time without time.
Tempo senza tempo.


This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where every point of view is always welcome.

High Class Jokers

04 December 2021

Do you know what's funny?
A black silk top hat.


With a white tie and tail coat
it gives a fella a very high-class style.
It might look serious,
but trust me,
it's funny.


So if one top hat is laughable,
then three more
must produce
four times the mirth.


And if you combine
a bushy mustache with a top hat
the effect is positively hilarious.

 Today, to prove my point
about why a top hat is so amusing,
I present a small collection
of high class comedians
from the early 20th century.

Each one is so well dressed
and yet
so preposterous,
you'll be laughing
before you can translate their punchline.
Which you may have to do
because it will be in German.

* * *

The first gentleman is Georg Tornell, humorist, as captioned on his postcard photo portrait. From his top hat to his knees he appears a very model of high society. Unfortunately, since the photographer has cut off his legs, we must assume his shoes gleam enough to match his elegant outfit, which he amply fills out. Herr Tornell performed in German music halls as a kind of comedian, but history has left few clues to measure his popularity. All I can say is that he looks the part of a dashing raconteur.

4 December 1918
Der oberschlesische Wanderer,
Gleiwitz, Poland

In December 1918 he was the headliner at the Trocadero club in Kattowitz, the capital city of Upper Silesia in eastern Germany, which is now in Poland. The advert appeared in Der oberschlesische Wanderer which labeled Georg Tornell's act as not just a humorist but a Schriftsteller, a writer, too. Presumably of humorous stories. His postcard was signed by German soldiers, possibly 3 or four, who sent it using the free Feldpost! to another officer.



* * *


My second high-hat funny man is Max Götze, a Frack-Komicker, a tailcoat comic. Again, like Herr Tornell, Herr Götze is dressed to the nines, even down to the white carnation in his lapel. By a curious coincidence Max Götze sent this postcard as a notice about his current gig playing at the Kabarett "Trokadero" in Dresden until 1 March, when he would then be free for other engagements. His postcard was addressed simply to a Kabarett in Nordhausen, a city in the German state of Thuringia. The postmark date is 15 January 1921, a time of relative peace in central Europe.


* * * 
The four men in Zylinders, the German word for a top hat (which is also used for the geometry shape–cylinder), are the Süddeutsches humoristische Männerquartett, that is the South German humorous men's quartet. Their names are captioned beneath their photo, left to right,  C. Dummeldinger, F. Humblet, S. Mauermeier, and O. Siegel. They were a vocal group that sang humorous ballads and German traditional songs in a jocular manner. 
The Süddeutsches quartett's group portrait in matching top hats, velvet coats, and black bow tie was printed only on the upper half of the postcard leaving room for a lengthy message written in pencil. The postmark from Wiesbaden, Gemany is dated 5 September 1900 which was during the first era of picture postcards when messages were permitted only on the front. The so-called "divided back" postcards, where the address on the back was pushed over to the right allowing more room for a writer's message, were introduced around 1904-1906 after the postcard's popularity forced postal services to reconsider the restriction.


* * * 


Another colorized German postcard shows an unnamed vocal group of four men singing from songbooks. All are dressed in black suits with white ties and black top hats. The postmark is dated 12 September 1909 from Jülich, a town in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, very close to the Netherlands border. The back has an imprint of Greetings from the Restaurant of Wm.? Th. Fickentscher in Jülich, but no mention of the quartet. 

Singing has always been a part of German culture and even today there are male vocal groups that maintain this tradition while dressed in high-class white tie and tailcoats. Here is the Karlsruher Männerquartett, also known as the "Barbershop Sixpack", singing "Aus der Traube in die Tonne" – "From the Grape to the Bin". Here is my translation of the first two choruses:

From the grape to the bin
from the bin into the barrel.
Then from the barrel, O bliss,
into the bottle into the glass.

From the glass into the throat,
into the stomach into the throat,
and then as blood into the soul,
and as a word up to the mouth.

I can't resist adding another of their videos which was performed from a small cabaret stage in front of an audience. Here is the Karlsruher Männerquartett, "Barbershop Sixpack", singing "Die Fischerin vom Bodensee" – "The fisherwoman from the Bodenzee (Lake Constance)". As a way to see how they compare to the men in my postcards, it nice is that this rendition generates some laughs from people who, naturally, understand the German lyrics.

* * * 

My last top hat joker is Heinrich Köllisch, the Hamburger Volks-Humorist, whose portrait occupied one third of a postcard that includes printed lyrics to his song "Treu und fest zusammen!"  – "Faithful and firmly together!" Heinrich Köllisch, (1857–1901), or Hein as he was known, was a native of Hamburg, Germany and son of a shoemaker who built a successful business making shoe polish. Hein began his show business career by singing his self-composed songs at his local pub in Plattdeutsch, or Low German, one of the dialects in North Germany, closely related to Frisian, Dutch, and English. His quirky lyrics sung to popular Viennese melodies attracted the attention of an owner of an amusement park who hired Köllisch for his theater. By 1892 he was playing to large audiences in the Spielbudenplatz, Hamburg's theater district and earning 300 marks a month. Two years later he bought his own theater originally named "Hein Köllischs Universum", and later called "Köllischs Lachbühne", where he established a reputation of always performing in tails and top hats. "The best suit is just good enough for my mother tongue," he supposed to have said.
The Spielbudenplatz, Hamburg, Germany, circa 1900
Source: Wikipedia


The postmark on the back of Hein Köllisch's postcard is from Buxtehude, Germany and dated 27 March 1900. Tragically, just a year later on April 18, 1901, Köllisch died of pneumonia in Rome while on holiday with his family. He was only 43.


Heinrich Köllisch wrote over 100 songs as well as parodies and plays during his short career. Hamburg honored his memory by naming a city square after him, Hein-Köllisch-Platz, located in the Hamburg district of Hamburg-St. Pauli. Köllisch's grave in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery is marked with a sculpture portrait of him wearing his trademark Zylinder top hat.

Gravestone for Heinrich Köllisch (1857–1901)
Ohlsdorf Cemetery, Hamburg, Germany
Source: Wikipedia


As I have said in my previous posts about humor, jokes are the most ephemeral component of culture. Humor is like fresh bread from a bakery, after a few days its amusement goes stale. And after a century, a joke becomes as fossilized as a rock. For these top hatted humorists we can only guess at their individual wit, silliness, and general jocularity, but clearly many people in their time thought they were funny.

For high-class comedic entertainers like these men, a top hat and tailcoat was a theatrical costume not much different than a circus clown's wild getup. As I illustrated in my stories Four Musical Jokers and The Merry Brothers, many German and Austrian comics pretended to be a daft country rube. For my well-dressed jokers, their audience's laughter probably was triggered by seeing their absurd nonsense expressed and sung  by men in aristocratic garb. In other words, foolishness can't be disguised. It's a trait found in every class of society.
I finish with an excerpt from Bob Fosse's 1972 movie, Cabaret. It's a scene where Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles and Joel Grey as Master of Ceremonies sing "Money, Money". Joel Grey's terrific performance in the film perfectly captured the decadence and licentiousness of 1930s Berlin. But ever since I began collecting postcards of early music hall entertainers, I've recognized that his character, played in top hat, white tie and tails, was actually more true to the history of German theater and cabaret entertainers than is usually given credit. 


The year the film was released, my high school put on the Broadway stage version for our spring musical. Being an aspiring thespian at the time, I was chosen to play Herr Schultz, a German grocer, whose part was cut from the film. That opportunity to be on stage playing in a fantastic musical ensemble was one of my best experiences during my formative high school years. Now in hindsight I recognize how it helped inspire me to pursue music as a career. Perhaps if my drama teacher had let me wear a silk top hat I might have chosen to work in theater instead.

This is just a start
on my collection of
well-dressed funny men.
Stay tuned to this station
for more.



This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where everyone asks,
"How's the fishing?"


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