The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Tales of the Jazz Age #2

Original Caption:

New York -- Miss Tessie Greenfield is shown here proving to the public that the wider the trousers the more collegiate the wearer. She could hardly believe her eyes when the tape measure showed these personality blimps to be 36 inches in width. There's plenty of freedom for the knees here, and the wearer need never more shine the shoes - for they're never seen. (1926)


MichaelRyerson said...

36 inches? measured from where? what Tessie is measuring here appears to be about half that.

Christopher said...

groovy bellbottoms!

Patrick Murtha said...

The measurement for trouser bottoms is usually given as double the width, so these look to be 18 inches wide times 2 = 36 inches (which is plenty wide!). The extreme wide-legged style of trousers was sometimes known as the "Oxford bag" and is said to have been invented by Harold Acton around 1924. Vintage Oxford bags are very difficult to come by; I'd kill for a pair in my size.