News of the Week: The Sounds of Home, Mobile Phones, and It’s Time for Summer Camp

In the news for the week ending June 26, 2021, are a 75-year-old mobile phone, a 100-year-old loaf of bread, a headline-making eel, a classic game show, and more.

Old mobile phone
Thawornnurak / Shutterstock

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When the pandemic first hit and we were all stuck at home all the time, a lot of people started to miss going to bars. That’s when a clever person created the website I Miss My Bar, which re-creates the sounds you’d hear if you were sitting in your favorite watering hole, including music, people talking, glasses clinking, street sounds, even rain on the windows.

But as we now start to go back to working in actual offices, will we start to miss being home 24/7? If you find yourself feeling that way, go to Homesick Sounds, where you can re-create the sounds and atmosphere of working from home, including cooking in the kitchen, birds outside, the dishwasher, hold music, dogs barking, arguing neighbors, and crying babies.

I’m not sure where you’re supposed to play this. At work? Don’t play it too loudly (or at least wear headphones).

75 Years of Mobile Phones

I had always thought that the first mobile phone call was made in 1973 (in fact, I mentioned it in this column three years ago), but that was actually the first handheld mobile phone call. The first mobile phone call in general, really a phone service for companies that used equipment weighing 80 pounds housed in car trunks, was demonstrated on June 17, 1946, as Slate reports.

Uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilms

I don’t think they could have predicted that everyone in the world would one day carry a phone in their pocket, upload pictures of their dinner to a global computer network, and walk into fountains.

100 Years of Wonder Bread

I haven’t bought Wonder in several years, but it was a staple in my home growing up, along with Hood Milk, Thomas’ English Muffins, and Quisp Cereal. I used the Wonder packaging to color Easter Eggs. I can’t remember the exact process, but I do remember I somehow got the red, yellow, and blue dots on the eggs.

Wonder turns 100 this year.

Post Writers You Should Read

Pete Martin was one of the more prolific and important writers and editors of the mid-century Saturday Evening Post, writing hundreds of articles over an almost four-decade run. His “I Call On …” celebrity interviews and profiles, with people like Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Kirk Douglas, Dean Martin, Perry Como, and Debbie Reynolds, were a mainstay of the magazine and read by everyone, including other celebrity interviewers and people in the industry.

He also wrote several books with celebrities — he was the type of writer celebrities liked to talk to — including Have Tux, Will Travel with Bob Hope and Call Me Lucky with Bing Crosby, as well as a collection of his Post pieces, Pete Martin Calls On.

Martin died in October 1980, at the age of 79.

Headline of the Week

“When an Eel Climbs a Ramp to Eat Squid from a Clamp, That’s a Moray”

RIP Janet Malcolm, Frank Bonner, Joanne Linville, Mark Peel, and John Paragon

Janet Malcolm was an award-winning journalist known for several nonfiction books, including The Journalist and the Murderer and books of essays on writing, art, and photography. She also wrote pieces for The New Yorker. She died last week at the age of 86.

Frank Bonner was probably best known for his role as radio sales guy Herb Tarlek on WKRP in Cincinnati. He also directed several episodes of that show as well as Family Ties, City Guys, Just the Ten of Us, Who’s the Boss?, and Harry and the Hendersons. He died last week at the age of 79.

Joanne Linville had roles on such classic shows as Star Trek, Columbo, The Twilight Zone, I Spy, Route 66, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Hawaii Five-0, as well as several movies. She died Sunday at the age of 93.

Mark Peel was a chef who helped change the world of California food at restaurants like Spago and Campanile. He also started the La Brea Bakery. He died Sunday at the age of 66.

John Paragon was a comedian, writer, and actor who played Jambi the Genie on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. He also had a recurring role as Cedric on Seinfeld, roles on Cheers and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and in movies like Airplane II: The Sequel, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, and Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, which he also co-wrote. He died in April at the age of 66.

This Week in History

I’ve Got a Secret Premieres (June 19, 1952)

Like many shows of that era, the first episode of the long-running game show is probably lost to history. But here’s an episode from later that same year with Buster Keaton.

Uploaded to YouTube by I’ve Got a Secret!

George Orwell Born (June 25, 1903)

Sales of Orwell’s classic novel 1984 have increased the past few years. A 1972 Post review of the book notes that, “…Orwell possessed completely remarkable insights and foresights, that he saw something then that the rest of us are only beginning to see now.”

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Checklist For Summer Camp” (June 24, 1961)

Checklist for Summer Camp
Ben Kimberly Prins
June 24, 1961

Hey, maybe the homesick kids at camp can listen to those sounds of home.

Salad Days

They serve salads at summer camp, right? I hear kids love to eat salad when they’re away from their parents.

Summer officially began this week, and that means we all have to eat “lighter.” It’s the law. Put away that heavy pasta, those spicy meals, and hot bowls of soup and stew and dive into some greens.

Here’s how to make a Broccoli Slaw from The Smitten Kitchen, and here are recipes for Giant Kale Salads that actually taste good. The Post’s Curtis Stone has a bunch of salads for us to make, including a Grilled Steak Salad, this Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, a Green and Yellow Bean Salad, and this Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Alfred Hitchcock Weekend on TCM (June 26-27)

Starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday, the classic movie channel will run a two-day marathon of the director’s films, including Psycho, Saboteur, The 39 Steps, North by Northwest, Rear Window, Shadow of a Doubt, and Dial M For Murder.

Wimbledon Starts (June 28)

After taking a year off because of the pandemic, the championships at the All England Club return starting at 6 a.m. ET on ESPN. There will also be coverage on ESPN2 and The Tennis Channel.

Meteor Day (June 30)

I used to be into all things space when I was a kid, and for a couple of years I was completely obsessed with meteor showers. Here’s a guide to what you can see each month of the year.

Featured image: Thawornnurak / Shutterstock

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  1. Love Saturday evening post. Always loved the jokes and stories and Norman Rockwell pictures.

  2. Homesick sounds. Hmm. I clicked on both links. Nothing on the bar sounds, but got some various types of music. I might try it again. I watched the whole 1946 video on the first mobile phone calls (for business), and read the Slate report. I didn’t know the origins of mobile phones went back that far, but it makes sense. Even that has tech origins going back before the Civil War. People are so stupid and ignorant thinking what we have now all just came about in the last few years.

    They’re also the first to “condemn” a perfectly fine cell phone from 2017 as “ancient” and walk around in a stupor completely disengaged from anything and everything else. Uggghk!

    The book on Pete Martin sounds really good. With few exceptions he’d be horrified at today’s garbage “celebrities”. At any rate, I just got my beautiful new July/August Post TODAY, with a lot of great vintage star features, including some of Pete Martin’s of course.

    Thanks for that ‘I’ve Got a Secret’ YouTube link. I haven’t watched those, but I have ‘What’s My Line’. Some of my favorites are the ones with Jayne Mansfield.

    Love the June 1961 cover by Ben Prins. It’s really beautiful. (The mother has a resemblance to Marcia Cross). That aside, I wonder how long this boy is going to be at camp because that’s an awful lot of stuff! I went to camp too as a kid, but it was day camp. When I was older, it was summer school for 6 weeks which was fun.

    No tests or report cards. It kept me in a school mode which made going back in Sept. easier. It was only a half day. Mom took my sister and I to the big Olympic-size pool 2 miles away every afternoon early enough to stay for about 2 1/2 hours. She wouldn’t go into the pool herself because of getting her hair wet (I know…), but always made sure we were home in time for ‘Dark Shadows’; not just for us, but herself!


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