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About this yo-yo thing, according to my dad, who has a freakishly broad knowledge of the history of music in the 20th century, there are apparently several songs from 1929 or 1930 titled “Yo-Yo Blues.”

Pensacola News Journal, Florida, May 14, 1932


(That one was written by a 10 year old in Pensacola.)

Here’s lyrics from a 1929 song by the Memphis Jug Band called Memphis Yo Yo Blues:

I woke up this morning feeling sad and blue
Couldn’t find my yo-yo. Didn’t know what to do
Come home, Daddy. Mama’s got the yo-yo blues
I went downtown, called my daddy on the phone
He said, “Don’t cry, Mama. Daddy’ll bring your yo-yo home
Go back, Mama. Your daddy’s got you.” Come right on
If you don’t b’lieve I can yo-yo, watch me wind my string
Come home, Daddy, and make the yo-yo sing
Mama knows Daddy is kind of tight in everything
Bring your yo-yo. Wind the string around my thumb
Mama knows just how to make the yo-yo hum
Bring your yo-yo, Daddy, and we’ll have lots of fun
If your daddy can’t yo-yo, you better learn him how
Listen, women. I don’t mean to start no row
‘Cause ev’rybody is doing the yo-yo now, anyhow


The Times, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 13, 1932

The Tampa Times, Florida, November 19, 1929

The Journal News, Hamilton, Ohio, January 15, 1930

Altoona Tribune, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1930

Harrisburg Telegraph, Pennsylvania, December 1, 1931

The Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania, March 30, 1932

Pensacola News Journal, Florida, May 2, 1932

The Times Recorder, Zanesville, Ohio, September 29, 1932

Des Moines Tribune, Iowa, December 6, 1932

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaii, January 26, 1933

Press and Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton, New York, April 12, 1933


Sioux Falls, South Dakota, October 23, 1938

The Times, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 13, 1932

The Minneapolis Star, Minnesota, September 30, 1932

The Bystander, England, August 10, 1932

Des Moines Tribune, Iowa, August 10, 1960

From Charles Finn’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times,

September 12, 1986


The Finns were both Air Corps veterans of World War II–George as a flight instructor, Charles as a B-17 pilot with 63 missions in Europe.

After their discharges, the San Francisco-born Finns settled in Southern California, and in 1952 set about forming their own airline. They bought a surplus C-46 twin-engine transport for $21,000 from the Bakersfield school district, intending to refit it and operate it as the first ship of a non-scheduled airline called “The Flying Finn Twins Airline Inc.”

But the federal government sued, claiming that the school district had no right to sell the plane, and the Finns decided to battle for their plane, using their own unorthodox methods. One of them stole the airplane, and hid it at a desert airport in Nevada. From that point on, the handsome and articulate twins were headline news.

Eventually the twins and their plane were found by the FBI. The Finns were charged with theft, but a federal grand jury refused to indict them because a key prosecution witness could not tell which of the identical twins stole the aircraft.

In 1954, in retaliation, the twins made a “citizens’ arrest” of then-U.S. Atty. Laughlin Waters, handcuffing him and alleging that he was illegally keeping their plane from them.

In turn, the Finns were charged with assaulting and impeding a federal officer–and wound up with one-year prison terms. Imprisoned in Springfield, Mo., they went on a 71-day hunger strike, again making headlines. They were released after serving 115 days when U.S. Sen. William Langer of North Dakota intervened in the case.

The disputed C-46 finally was sold at a sheriff’s auction in 1957 and, according to the twins, vanished somewhere in Africa.

LIFE Magazine, Feb 16, 1953:

Guy and Winifred

Carleton Paget, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes, French Riviera, 1934 

Dear George: Presenting Himself, Expert on Everything and Advice Columnist Extraordinary, John Keasler, 1962

Dear George: Presenting Himself, Expert on Everything and Advice Columnist Extraordinary, John Keasler, 1962

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