Tumble Inn, Stan

Today’s Zippy:


There’s the diner, and there’s the address term Stan.

The diner is the Tumble Inn — also known as Daddypop’s Tumble Inn and Daddy Pop’s Tumble Inn, at 1 Main St.  in Claremont NH, seen here in a closeup photo:


And here’s a 1990 oil painting of the place by John Baeder:


More on Baeder in a moment. But first a note on address terms in #1. Zippy calls the counterman Stan, once in each of the four panels; in the third panel, the counterman objects that his name is Lester, but Zippy pays him no mind. What’s going on here?

It seems likely that Zippy is using Stan as an all-purpose address term for a man, for someone whose actual name is unknown or unimportant (pal, buddy, and some other nouns are also used this way, trading on the use of these as affectionate address terms). Other men’s names, in particular Charlie, are used this way on occasion, and in fact Zippy is given to this usage, especially in diners.

John Baeder. From Wikipedia:

John Baeder (born December 24, 1938 in South Bend, Indiana) [website here] is an American painter closely associated with the Photorealist movement. He is best known for his detailed paintings of American roadside diners and eateries [collected in four books].

… According to John Arthur [foreword to the 1992 revised and updated edition of Baeder’s Diners], “John Baeder is much more than a painter of diners. He is a knowledgeable and deeply committed chronicler of that rapidly disappearing facet of American vernacular architecture that has played such a unique role in our social and cultural history.” Vincent Scully, professor of the History of Art in Architecture [at Yale] …, further comments on Baeder’s visual style in his introduction to [the original edition of Diners, 1978], stating that his “paintings seem to me to differ from most of those of his brilliant Magic-Realist contemporaries in that they are gentle, lyrical, and deeply in love with their subjects. Most of the painters of the contemporary Pop scene blow our minds with massive disjunctions, explosive changes of scale, and special kind of wink-less visual focus. Baeder does not employ any of those devices. He sees everything as its own size in its proper environment. His diners fit into their urban context like modest folk heroes.”

(Diners offers not only reproductions of the paintings, but also conversations Baeder had with people in and around the diners.)


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