"I say it's spinach"

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Sun Oct 15 00:10:37 UTC 2000

by Mary Macfadden & Emile Gauvreau
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1953

Pg. 21:  I was unaware of the lure of camera "cheesecake" in those days.

Pg. 83:  The idea of "falsies" over the buttocks, or anywhere else, would
have been enough to drive him into a tantrum.

Pg. 189:  ..."muscle food"...

Pg. 197 (Number on copy is a bit blurred--ed):
   In the case of our boarding pagoda it was to direct the future path of a
little girl until she became a highly successful and nationally known
magazine writer.  Her name was Nanette Kutner.  She had come to our carrot
castle with her parents.  She was never to forget the experience although she
was not ten years old.  She was thin but wiry, with inquisitive dark eyes
that took in everything.
   (Pg. 198--ed.)
   Her spinach and carrots always disappeared from her plate as if by magic.
I knew she despised the stuff.  While the boarders at the tables stoewed it
away in their stomachs she dumped it, by some sleight-of-hand, into a big
reticule in which she carried reading matter.  Later, sometimes in the middle
of the night, in her bare feet, she got out of the house quietly and cast the
food of health into the ocean.  She is supposed to have been the originator
of the phrase, "It's spinach, and the hell with it!"  A cartoonist for _The
New Yorker_ was to make it famous.
(The cartoonist is Carl Rose.  E. B. White did the caption.  The famous _New
Yorker_ cartoon appeared in the 1920s.--ed.)

Pg. 207:  This sort of talk, of course, was "right up Bernarr's alley," to
apply a present-day phrase to the first decade of the century, and he made
the most of it.
Occasionally he would announce in the papers that he was expecting a "blessed
event."  I would then use an expression popular in the 1950's, "This I gotta

Pg. 220:  If they made a "showing" they walked out with the "spondulic," as
it was called in Missouri.

Pg. 228:  We got the million spondulics from the banker.  (In the case of
that amount of spondulics, I am informed that Missouri borrowers use the
plurual: spondulicses.--Collaborator's note.)

Pg. 235:  ...eating an overabundance of spaghetti, and washing it down with
too much Chianti.  I never confessed to my stronger half that I loved "Caruso
Sauce" over the celebrated Italian dish.

Pg. 260(?):  Its policy, as one of its (MIDNIGHT, a publication in 1922--ed.)
subordinate editors put it, seemed to create the impression that "everything
in New York was going to hell in a handbasket."

Pg. 293:  What in tabloidia was known as the "double truck" was devoted to a
number of ravishing photographs on two facing pages of ladies wearing very
There has been a warm debate among executives of Midnight Publishing Company,
Inc., about how "hot" the weekly could get before everybody concerned with it
landed in the jug, or the "can" as Jack Grey called it.

Pg. 388:  As the twenties dwindled, my husband had branched out in what he
called his newspaper division which was finally to include the Philadelphia
_Daily News_, the Detroit _Daily_, the _Automotive Daily News_, the _Daily
Investment News_, the New Haven _Times-Union_, and other enterprises of a
similar nature, all hazardous.

   The earliest was the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, which began in 1925.  I'll
go to Philadelphia on Monday to check it out (along with other cites, of
course).  There is no guarantee that Walter Winchell's columns are in the
newspaper, but it's worth a try.
   Maybe someone else can look at the NEW HAVEN TIMES-UNION.  The DETROIT
DAILY is from 1929--too late for my purposes.

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