Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas 1971 and a vintage greeting card

Before getting to today's piece of holiday ephemera, let's continue the buildup to Christmas on Sunday with a couple of gratuitous photos of yours truly from Christmas 1971 in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.

In this first photo, I am riding some newfound transportation and -- no surprise -- checking out a book. It's "Pets and Pals," a board book published in 1970 by Western Publishing Company. This clearly set the stage for my later devouring of books by the likes of Theodor Seuss Geisel, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Edward Packard, Ruth Manning-Sanders, Stephen King and Alan Weisman.1

In the second photo, I have ditched my wheels and am checking out another early passion -- music. Given that it's 1971, I'm probably spinning either "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night or "Me and Bobby McGee"2 by Janis Joplin on my brand-new3 Fisher-Price Music Box Record Player.4

Now on to today's ephemera. It's something that I picked up at some sale or another over the past year, so I can't put any name or context to it. But it's kind of cool and in good condition.

Next to the colorful illustration on the front is the printed greeting:

May the bright cheer
Of Christmas tide
A lasting gift
With you abide

Below that, in pen, is written "Best wishes from Class 18." And below that, in pencil, is "1925." Was this card received in 1925 and sent from the Class of 1918? That's my best guess.

The back of the card, meanwhile, was used for some definitions that someone was apparently studying. Written in cursive is:
teleology - final causes
a priori - from something prior
1. Plus, of course, just a few authors in between.
2. Years later, some friends and I enjoyed changing this song to "Me and Willie McGee."
3. Apologies to Professor H.L. Williams and other guardians of the language.
4. Actually, 1971 is the year that this Fisher-Price record player was introduced, according to Perpetual Kid. Instead of Three Dog Night, its songs would have included "Edelweiss" and "Camptown Races."


  1. About "brand-new" (I just had to address it!):

    What can I say? It's definitely an "improper" use of a hyphen. (Not sure why? Check out the book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by British author, Lynne Truss. It's an amusingly informative approach to grammar!)

    But why should we care all that much? As long as there is no chance for miscommunication, I say forget about whether it's "right" or "wrong" and just say it! Of course, be prepared to tick off the guardians of the language, as you've noted. They'd probably read that and say "Ouch! that punctuation has caused our boat to start sinking!"

  2. Uh oh. Scary clown.