Monday, April 3, 2017

Trailer Trash, Urban Decay 2 and World War II Posters

Trailers.  There seems to be a stigma associated with living in a trailer.  Or as it is now politically correct to refer to as ‘Mobile Homes.’

We’ve all seen the stereotypical depictions of those who live in trailers: country bumpkins, mentally challenged, reproducing like rabbits, slothful and peculiar.

You read such descriptions in popular literature, see it on TV and movies and other popular social media outlets.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

When I was growing up ‘Trailer Parks’ were just beginning to become popular.  I had a few friends who lived in ‘Trailer Parks’ and I always thought it was cool. 

Most had their won laundries, swimming pools, parks and even some small stores.

Early ‘Trailers’ were really miniature homes.  Everything was present: fully equipped kitchens, bedrooms, full baths-all that were cleverly designed to fit into a narrow and long, pre-assembled homes on wheels.

Truthfully most early ‘Trailers’ were made better than most homes you buy today. 

Maybe that’s why more and more people are hunting for and remodeling early ‘Trailers’ and residing in them.

‘Don't Call Them Trailer Trash’ written by John Brunkowski and Michael Closen and published by Schiffer Books, offer a complete, ‘Illustrated Mobile Home Story.’

Everything that is even remotely related to Mobile Homes is included such as advertisements, toys, Mobile Home Parks, license, furnishings and there’s even a brief history of the genesis of Trailers and their evolution.

Tow ‘em, live in ‘em-Trailers are cool and this book is the coolest.

What is it about decrepit and decaying places of business, worship, retail and education that fascinates us so?

Is it the feeling of nostalgia for days gone past?  Does it remind us of how the passage of time changes such structures and in turn ourselves?

Author/photographer Martin ten Bouwhuijs presents, ‘The World Of Urban Decay 2’, a fascinating look at decay and disintegration.

Beautiful, full-color photographs lead readers through control rooms, schools, warehouses, churches, military bases, hospitals, cars, theaters, residents, and dozens of other interior photos of long abandoned and decaying structures-some furnished, some not.

I enjoyed looking at each and every photo.  I imagined now crumbling buildings full of life as people lived in and worked in each.  Now both the structures and most of the people who populated them are crumbling into dust.

World War Ii was an ever-present memory when I was a lad of eight.  The war had ended a mere 16 years earlier.

Most World War II veterans were in their 30s.  Many lived and worked in my hometown.  Most kept quiet about the war.  But, occasionally one would tell tales of the war-none of them pleasant.

Growing up in the 1960s I was fascinated by the war.  Kids in my neighborhood still played soldiers-most as WWII soldiers.

Much of WWII memorabilia was easy to come by-including posters.

In ‘World War II Posters’ by David Pollack, readers are treated to posters from both the Allied Forces and in a lesser degree from the Axis Forces.

Page after page is filled with patriotic images, recruiting posters, homeland security warnings and much, much more.

For a real visual treat about the history of WWII, as chronicled by artists and designers, this is the book WWII fans will love.

It’s a great collection, taken from a long gone era.