“It’s like déjà vu all over again!”
What a career! Yogi Berra spent almost 19 years with the Yankees as an outfielder and catcher, was named American League Most Valuable Player three times, and participated in 21 World Series (as a player, manager, and coach).
And he’s one of the most quotable people on the planet.
Earl Mayan posed Berra in Yankee Stadium for this 1957 cover. Most of the yelling, cat-calling, complaining fans behind the catcher were friends of the artist who, editors assured us, “were real nice-looking people till he asked them to look like baseball fans.”
The “fans” are keeping an eye on the action, heeding Berra’s advice, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”
Berra is playing his part well, concentrating on that high, fly ball because, “baseball is 90 percent mental—the other half is physical.” But, actually, we don’t know how much of this is true, since, “I didn’t really say everything I said.”
Gotta love the guy.
“Mr. Moore” to the left isn’t overly concerned with nature’s bounty. He had one little bloom and let it get all droopy.
Although the sign on the house says “Moore,” he doesn’t fool us: As our cover artists sometimes liked to do, the part of the disappointed golfer was played by illustrator Earl Mayan himself. A Long Island buddy of the artist posed for the part of the happy gardener.
Mayan illustrated 10 Post covers and over a hundred fictional stories that appeared in the magazine in the ’50s and ’60s. The stories ran the gamut from spy thrillers to detective mysteries to this gem we found from 1951.
A saloon singer in the gold mine camps of 1853, Prudence Ledyard, came out with two revolvers blazing when she came across some toughs trying to jump her claim. Turns out they weren’t as tough as they thought they were, and thereafter the demure saloon girl was known as “Madame Forty-Four,” which was the title of this 1951 story by Michael Foster.
“Wedding and Rehearsal”
One thing we can say about the slackers in the first panel: They clean up good. The groomsmen are slouching, the bridesmaids are yawning or applying make-up and the flower girl is yo-yoing. But a magic wand was waved and somehow this group materialized into a proper ceremony. And it was an actual wedding that Mayan painted.
Editors noted “when Mayan felt sorry about having to paint the Very Rev. Albert Greanoff’s back view, he then put him in the pews a couple of times, front face. This may surprise the rector.”
In the post-war ’50s, urban sprawl created problems such as traffic jams. Or perhaps it was just pretty girls.
Frustrated drivers are understandably irate as the traffic cop lingers in a female-induced coma, but we get a terrific view of the mid-1950 automobiles.
Geeze! Dey complain if you don’t plow, then complain if you do!
Okay, we know you’ve heard this story before, but isn’t it nice seeing all that snow during the summer sizzle?
One more, because this is one Earl Mayan cover I can’t resist. It’s the top of the ninth, the score is tied, and there are two strikes on the board, for crying out loud.
What I love most is the “what can you do?” look on dad’s face as he hauls away the little fan who couldn’t last any longer.
Father’s Day might be a good time to remember: You weren’t always an easy kid to deal with.
“Early Morning Feeding” by Howard Scott
Sydney Field, copywriter for an ad agency and a short story writer, was having lunch with Post artist Howard Scott one day. It struck the artist that his friend would make a great befuddled dad on a Post cover. As his soup grew cold, he studied and sketched his lunch companion, and the next thing we knew, the writer was on the cover of our favorite magazine in January 1945 having a bad “heir” day.
“Swing Set” by Amos Sewell
Another Post cover artist, Amos Sewell, saw a father struggling to put together a swing set—and another Saturday Evening Post cover was born. We can understand the impatience of the kids, but for safety’s sake and the sake of their innocent little ears, perhaps they should stand farther back. This is from 1956.
“Sleepy Inning” by Earl Mayan
I love this cover from 1955. It’s tied up at the top of the ninth, but the game is called for Dad on account of a conked-out kid. Well, pops, there’s always the radio. Artist Earl Mayan did ten Post covers depicting life in the suburban 1950s, including the next one.
“Amusement Park Carousel” by Earl Mayan
In an amusement park in 1958, Dad is anything but amused. That string of tickets he’s wearing declares this is only the beginning. As he risks whiplash on the Whip or tries not to toss his cookies on the Screamer, he dreams of what a great day this would be on the golf course. Face it; you owe him for this one.
“First Prom Dress” by Kurt Ard
Speaking of owe… is that the going price for a prom dress these days? Poor pops—he not only has to foot the bill, he probably had to sit through the modeling of sixteen frocks… before mother and daughter decided on the first one after all.
“Fathers’ Homework” by John Falter
“If one furrow-browed parent spends x hours failing to solve the quadratic equations of one boy,” asked the editors of the Post in 1960, “how long would it take two furrow-browed fathers to fail to solve the quadratic equation of two boys?” Hey, you, kid in the red sweater—the smirk is not helping. Artist John Falter admitted to being hopeless at algebra. No matter. He solved the problem of what to do for a Saturday Evening Post cover 129 times.
“Brushing Their Teeth” by Amos Sewell
Dad seems to be waiting patiently in this 1955 cover—but if he doesn’t get in to shave soon so he can get to work, there will be no toothpaste for anybody. So, dads, for your patience, attempts at homework, baseball games, and prom dresses… we humbly thank you and wish you the best ever Father’s Day!