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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 A - Z Challenge - J

J     Things We Appreciate

It was 1890 when coin-operated Music Boxes and Player Pianos were exceeded by a retro-fitted Edison Classic M Electric Phonograph called the Jukebox. This concept was improved upon several times over the years and by the 1940s Jukeboxes were an important source of income for record publishers, and accordingly, received the newest recordings first. Song-popularity counters installed within these units provided a further advantage in deciding which songs to keep or replace. These wildly popular devices delivered music on demand – without commercials – well into the 70s and could be found in frequented establishments ranging from restaurants to video arcades. Question: Have you ever seen one in a Laundromat?

Jazz Music – Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Scott Joplin, during his brief career, composed over 40 original ragtime pieces, the most popular of which; “Maple Leaf Rag,” became ragtime’s first and most influential hit song. It has appeared in the soundtracks of hundreds of films, cartoons, commercials and video games. As it was listed on the White Star Line songbook, it may even have played on the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic.  In November of 1970, Joshua Rifkin released a recording of Joplin’s work that was nominated for two Grammys and effectively generated the Scott Joplin Revival.  In 1976 Joplin was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize.  
The first known use of the name Jack-O-Lantern was in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice Told Tales in which hiding the ‘Great Carbuncle’ in your cloak might make you look like one. Whether you believe in Irish folklore such as Stingy Jack or entertain notions of ghostly orbs over influential places, cutting up and mucking out a pumpkin is just great family fun!


Junk drawers. I’m pretty sure we all have at least one. I’m absolutely sure most are more organized than mine ;-) But they sure are handy for storing everyday things that you wouldn’t put in your silverware drawer. Or for stashing things you don’t feel like putting in its proper place just yet. And yes, for losing things you forgot you put there. Still and all, Junk Drawers are one of the first places an intrepid Estate shopper will look in search of buried treasures. In fact, I once had to remind a zealous bargain hunter that the drawer itself had to stay with the house!

Any thoughts? Can you add to the list of things we appreciate that begin with the letter J?


  1. Hi, diedre!

    "J" is for jukebox, that I well know, and to its inventor I am grateful. I never encountered a jukebox in a laundromat. Have you? The Shady Dell boasted two jukeboxes located in separate buildings. The one that contained all the latest records was found in the dance hall. "Record retirees" - older platters pulled from the main jukebox, found a forever home inside the second jukebox located up at the house in Helen's snack bar.

    I enjoyed learning more about Scott Joplin, the “King of Ragtime,” and was inspired to do some extra reading and listening. I went to YouTube and listened to "Maple Leaf Rag" as played by Joplin. I haven't heard the tune for a long time, but I immediately recognized it and remembered its use in the early talkie The Public Enemy. Joplin's piano rag "The Entertainer" also came to mind, the famous theme from the The Sting, a film that pays homage to the music of Scott Joplin. It's interesting that The Sting makes anachronistic use of Joplin's ragtime in the soundtrack. The film is set in the mid 30s, many years after the end of ragtime's mainstream popularity, and its widespread use in the film conveys the false impression that ragtime was popular in the 30s. The Sting sparked a ragtime revival and a resurgence of interest in Joplin's work. Joplin requested that "Maple Leaf Rag" be played at his funeral, but his widow disallowed it, deeming it unsuitable. It was a decision she is said to have regretted the rest of her life.

    What would H-ween be w/o the Jack-O-Lantern? Thanks for the history lesson. Mrs. Shady is the Queen of Clutter and keeps not one, but I would estimate FIFTY junk drawers around the house! I guarantee they do not contain buried treasure. :)

    Thank you, dear friend diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      I do recall (from your posts) at least one Jukebox at the Dell. A second one for older songs was a great idea!

      No, I've never seen a Jukebox in a laundromat, but would no doubt have appreciated it ;-)

      Disallowing Joplin's song at his funeral was truly a sad decision.

      Ha! I'm with Mrs. Shady on the usefulness of Junk Drawers. Tell me, my friend, is it still clutter if you can't see it? ;-)

      Thanks so much for your interest in my sometimes quirky topics!

  2. In my house, every drawer is a junk drawer...

    1. Hi John!

      Ha! I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone ;-) If the silverware drawer didn't have dividers...I;m just glad it does ;-)

  3. My junk drawer is so full of junk we open and shut it so many times a day, shake our heads and don’t even bother searching for items inside. Yes, I’ve seen a Juke Box in a laundry mat, down here in the south we call it the the “Wash -a-teria” pronounced just like a cafeteria. I’ve also seen them at numerous hamburger joints and greasy spoons. They’re still popular in the Deep South.
    Things that I appreciate, Love or have meaning for me that start with letter J
    Jack in the box — still have my toy from when I was a kid
    Journal 📓I have so many and I would cry if I lost even one
    Jeans 👖 Jean shorts and my favorite Jean jacket
    Melissa @
    Sugar Crime Scene

    1. Hi Melissa!

      "Wash-a-teria" I like that!

      The only time I ever put a coin in the slot of a Jukebox we had to leave before the song played (sigh).

      Yep, journals and jeans are staples around here too ;-)

    2. "Both Sides Now" ;-) In retrospect, I should have chosen "Mama Told Me Not to Come" Anyway, the Greyhound bus driver conveyed that I could stay and wait for the song to play, but the bus was leaving.

  4. I love jack-o-lanterns although it's been a few years since I've carved one. Weekends In Maine

    1. Hi Karen!

      Same here. Once the kids got older it wasn't much fun carving a pumpkin alone ;)

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Keith!

      You must have much cooler weather in July than we do here ;-) I love jigsaw puzzles - especially when none of the pieces go missing.
      Terrific additions, Keith - Thank you!

  6. Hi Diedre - jelly, jobs ...???, jacaranda trees, jasmine ... jottings ... and all the others have said ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      Jumpin Jupiter - you're on a regular roll with J words! I love them all :-)


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