Wind Shares

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little-known holiday facts

In the early part of the twentieth century, the Wienauer family of Milwaukee was one of the nation’s largest clothing retailers, with hundreds of shops throughout the country. After the family patriarch died, his children took over the business. However, the youngest son, Donald, eventually grew tired of the conservative and staid nature of the family business, and set out on his own. He later settled in San Francisco, where he opened the country’s first clothing store to specifically cater to the homosexual community. The store became a great success, and an institution in the city. Knowing how much the gay community prized large holiday celebrations, Donald began to hold huge sales before certain holidays, like Mardi Gras, Halloween and Christmas, and soon the store’s campy radio commercials, with specially written jingles for each holiday, became perhaps even more famous than the store itself. In fact, one of the Christmas jingles for the store became so popular that it’s still sung to this day, often by singers who don’t realize its origin, or recognize that it was originally an advertisement for the store referenced in its lyrics: Don Wienauer Gay Apparel.


Did you know that the children's singer Raffi, when he lived in America in the late ‘70s, worked as a clerk to John Paul Stevens? Apparently, in 1979, Raffi was in charge of supplying the refreshments for the Supreme Court’s annual Christmas party. It’s said that Potter Stewart walked into the party, took one look at the bowl of eggnog, and told him, “That’s the cheap, store-brand eggnog. It’s terrible. I want the real stuff.” Raffi replied, “You haven’t even tasted it yet. How do you know you won’t like it? What’s wrong with it?” Stewart responded, “I shall not further attempt to define poor nog, Raffi, but I know it when I see it.”