“I thought Bill Bryson’s ‘One Summer: America 1927’ was a good book because it was about summer and baseball and flapper girls, and I really like it because I like summer and baseball and someday when I’m grown up I want to bang a big bushed flapper girl,” – elementary school book report on Bill Bryson’s ‘One Summer: America 1927’
It’s mid-summer, well technically early summer, because summer doesn’t start until June, even though we recognize it as starting in May, and ending in early September, but really it ends in late September. The whole thing’s pretty convoluted, but the point is, I started the summer by reading Bill Bryson’s ‘One Summer: America 1927’.
History is one of those topics I love to read about, and after spending the first few weeks of quarantine re-watching Boardwalk Empire, I decided to checkout One Summer. For the uninitiated, the 1920s were one of the coolest decades ever.
There was no shortage of awesome decades in the late 1900s: the 60’s and 70’s were fucking nuts, there was Charles Manson, LSD, a slew of political assassinations (here’s lookin at you Kennedy brothers!), open ended vacations to beautiful Vietnam ‘the jewel of southeast Asia’ where you could pass the time taking a flame thrower to an uncooperative village, or experiencing a new and exciting strain of VD. Sprinkle in a little Watergate and baseball players popping amphetamines and you’ve got a great couple of decades.
Can’t forget about the 1980s either can we. Porn was going through its golden age, the Mets won their last World Series, cocaine was everywhere, we had synth pop, and glam rock, Nina Hartley went on camera to ride big cocks, everyone was partying and having a good time, until things got so crazy that a flight attendant banged a monkey, got AIDS, and spread it through the entire gay community. Wild stuff.
The 1990s? Great time! Grunge, Seinfeld, McGwire, Sosa, The Dallas Cowboys won three Super Bowls, chicks started shaving their pussies, big fake tits burst out of bras and onto the scene, Ken Starr dragged the president onto national TV to ask him if he got his dick sucked in the White House prompting countless ‘Oral Office’ jokes, OJ goes for the most famous joy ride in U.S. history, and we were introduced to the hip hop stylings of Sean Puffy Combs.
But I’m not sure if any of the splendor of the latter half of the century stacks up to the shenanigans that went down in the 1920s, and of that entire roaring decade, 1927 was purportedly the most roaringest.
Do you like sports? Babe Ruth was smashing baseballs, buffets, and bitches. It turns out that he was basically an athletic Chris Farley with the libido of a teenage boy on a viagra bender. He would gorge himself on hot dogs, pancakes, and beer, head to the ball park, smash a couple dingers, then head out on the town to smash some gash. Sultan of Swat? More like Sultan of Twat! It turns out the Great Bambino allegedly laid the lumber to Lou Gherig’s wife, on a cruise, while the iron man was also aboard the ship. And that’s just one guy. Let’s not forget Jack Dempsey throwing haymakers, Ty Cobb was still an active ball player, and dudes were sitting and dancing on top of flag poles for days at a time just for the fuck of it.
Maybe you’re more into aeronautics. Perfect. Charles Lindbergh, who in retrospect was probably on some kind of spectrum, got into a rickety ass prop plane, and flew from Long Island to France, where he was hailed as a hero, and mobbed by crowds of bitches — their furry ass pussies undoubtedly overflowing with excitement juice at the thought of a dashing American aviator flying over the Atlantic by himself in what amounted to a burlap sack with wings. Compare that to TWA Flight 800, which departed from New York en route to Paris in the summer of 1996, and couldn’t make it past Suffolk County without bursting into flames and plummeting into the ocean — advantage Lindy!
For true crime enthusiasts it’s hard to resist the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti, the two Italian anarchists who were put to death for their role in a roadside murder. It was a trial that ignited our national fascination with mentally unwell Italian-Americans — a tradition that continues to this day in the Real Housewives of New Jersey and MTV’s Jersey Shore. Al Capone was selling the booze and evading the taxes that would eventually land him in jail, and having the unprotected sex that would eventually leave him with a fatal case of syphilis. If you can’t get enough of Tommy beating Billy Batts to a bloody pulp, or seeing the Santoro brothers dumped into a grave in cornfield, you oughta be grateful to Al Capone, Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. They gave their lives so that we could watch awesome stuff on our TVs.
Perhaps you fancy yourself a politico of sorts. Calvin Coolidge has to be among the most eccentric weirdos to ever serve as president. He regularly changed out of his work clothes and into a pair of cowboy chaps after a long day at the office. Coolidge initially served as VP to Warren G Harding. We should first appreciate that Warren G Harding shares a name with rapper Warren G, who along with Nate Dogg gave us one of the great hip hop tracks of all time in ‘Regulators’…Mount up! We should also appreciate that Warren G was really Warren D…as in Warren slingin that D all over the Oval Office. Decades before Clinton dipped his cigar in Monica’s muff, Harding was busting guts in a White House closet.
And far be it for me to leave out the flappers. Flappers were young chicks who wore short skirts, as they flouted convention by sipping, snorting, smoking, and dancing the night away to jazz. Is this really better than sorority girls getting coked up and twerking their cheeks on Tik Tok and instagram until they grow a big enough following to start a profitable Only Fans page? Yes! Because these days it’s all about clout, profit, and building your ‘brand’, but back then it was for the love of the game. So if you’ve ever hooked up with a girl who likes to bump a couple lines before getting a finger in the ass and vibrator on the clit, even when the web cam isn’t running, then you have a flapper girl to thank (possibly her great grandmother!).
Don’t take it from me though, grab a bowler hat and a stack of cash (your money will go plenty far back then), fire up the Delorean, and join Bill Bryson on a trip back in time to the summer of ’27.