Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday's postcard: French people in love

OK, I'm still a bit exhausted after writing about 14 pieces of ephemera over the previous six days. So today's entry is going to be short.

I picked up this postcard at the wonderful Central Market here in York, Pennsylvania.1 (Yes, there are a couple vendors who sell books and ephemera.)

I don't know much about it, other than the fact that it's from France. The postcard in unused.

This is the sum total of what's printed on the back:
  • Carte Postale
  • Èditions Superluxe-Paris
  • Imprimé en France
Was this intended as a romantic or Valentine's Day card? Are these famous French film stars? Or is this just a run-of-the-mill, generic French postcard from sometime in the period of 1930-1950?

1. I am, however, cranky about one thing regard Central Market. They had a free-standing, three-tiered circular shelf labeled "Free Books." A sign encouraged people to leave books and take books. What a great idea for community sharing! There was a nice selection of books on the shelf, too. After seeing this for the first time, I began to gather some of my nicer "give away" used books in a box at home. When it was full, I hauled it over to Central Market ... only to find that the community shelf had been emptied of its books and stowed off in the corner. This made me extremely grumpy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 6:
Safe journeys, Quizmo and a lion

Today is the end of the journey in documenting 14 items that I picked up for a grand total of $1.25 at a yard sale last weekend. It turned out to be quite a fascinating haul, with far more interesting items than clunkers. The previous entries:

Part 1: Mister Rogers and How to Meet Men
Part 2: Pals Club activity book
Part 3: Painting, baseball and Pac-Man
Part 4: This and that ... and Scott Baio!
Part 5: Is this Dondi the elephant?

Item #12: Teacher's Triptik from 1954

This is a staplebound, 26-page pamphlet published in 1954 by the American Automobile Association for elementary school and junior high teachers.

It was prepared by Luverne Crabtree Walker, the elementary school supervisor for District of Columbia Schools. It offers different levels of tips and guidance for students of different grade levels.

Some excerpts:
  • Cover the territory: Get the support of civic groups for the safety of school children. Spread the responsibility for safety over the whole community. Work for better traffic engineering and the safety education of drivers as well as pedestrians.
  • A No. 1 necessity is the "triptik"1 that shows the child's safest route to school. Teachers will want to develop these safest routes just as soon as possible with children. The first day of school is a good time to accent this safety precaution.
  • The test of safety education is how children act when they are on their own. Safety education is the "life or death" area of the curriculum. So we cannot take too seriously our responsibility for developing desirable behavior patterns.
The pamphlet encourages traffic safety to be a topic in every school subject.

In language art, students can make a checklist of safety rules. In social studies, they can make a safety map of the neighborhood. In art, they can paint murals on traffic safety. In math, they can interpret safety statistics.

All in all, it's a nice and thorough guide that has plenty of smart ideas that still apply in 2011. (When perhaps we need all the help we can get.)

Item #13: Quizmo: An Educational Lotto

This a fully intact, 62-year-old educational game from Milton Bradley that's in great shape and can easily be used today.

The game is described as follows:
"An educational game played like Lotto2 to give practice with addition and subtraction facts in arithmetic. Developed and recommended by prominent educators for grades 2 to 5, this game was created with the purpose of making arithmetic more enjoyable. There are enough cards for the whole class to play at once, or as few as two pupils may play if it is so desired."
Included in the game (see the photo below) are more than 40 double-sided Quizmo cards, calling cards (with one color for addition and another for subtraction), and markers to cover the answer numbers on the cards.

A whole series of Quizmo games are still available today, including an addition and subtraction version that seems nearly identical to this 1949 game.

This version that I picked up at the yard sale would still be great for a classroom or for home-schooling. The outer box is the only thing that shows any wear.

Item #14: "Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules"

I picked up "Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules" at the yard sale because it was in nice shape and the cover looked interesting. It was written by the late Glen Rounds3 and was published in 1976 by Xerox Education Publications.

While I was writing the first entry in this yard-sale series last Saturday, my daughter Sarah sat down next to me and started to look through the items I had purchased. She quickly read through the silly Pac-Man book and then turned her attention to "Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules" (which I hadn't yet had a chance to leaf through).

It grabbed her attention from the start and she read the whole book (40+ pages), taking a break for dinner and then going right back to the tale afterward. She smiled a lot, laughed a few times and then became focused and solemn in the final pages. "That was a good book," she said as she finished and closed it.

And that, of course, made the 10 minutes spent at the yard sale and the $1.25 spent there more than worth it. It's rare for Sarah to read an entire book from start to finish, in essentially one sitting.4

Later, Joan and I checked out this book that had captured Sarah's attention. It's a smart tale, sad at times and funny at times. And it has an ending that you might not be prepared for, in terms of its suddenness and violence. But it seemed to make Joan sadder than Sarah, who had no problem with the ending.5

So I would have to recommend this book for kids ages 9 to 12. This copy isn't available, though. Sarah said she would like it to go on her bookshelf.

1. "Triptik" later became registered by AAA.
2. By Lotto, they mean Bingo.
3. For more about Rounds, see pages by Children's Literature Network, Pony Mad Booklovers, and Page Books.
4. She tends to be more of a browser, like her father.
5. Joan says the fictional fate of the lion in "Mr. Yowder and the Lion Roar Capsules" was even sadder than the real-life fate of Dondi the elephant in yesterday's post. Both made her misty-eyed, though.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 5:
Is this Dondi the elephant?

We're down to the final four items from the 14 that I acquired for $1.25 at a neighborhood yard sale last weekend. I'll do one today and finish up with the rest tomorrow. The previous entries:

Part 1: Mister Rogers and How to Meet Men
Part 2: Pals Club activity book
Part 3: Painting, baseball and Pac-Man
Part 4: This and that ... and Scott Baio!

Item #11: A photo of a performing elephant

Here's what's written in ink on the back of the above photo:
To Allecia & Andy
God Bless You
Prov. 17:17

I fear that Dondi is the young elephant on the left. I say "fear" because a former performance elephant named Dondi died last summer at age 36 at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, Massachusetts.

I pieced together the story of Dondi's life and death from various newspaper articles and other online sources.1
  • Dondi, an Asian elephant, was rescued from a lumber camp in Thailand in April 1975 by Phil and Francine Schacht. She became a member of the family and was the "flower girl" at the Schachts' son's wedding.
  • She appeared on several TV shows over the years and performed at many fairs, circuses and theme parks across the country. Among her frequent stops were the Guilford Fair in Connecticut and Flea World in Sanford, Florida.2
  • Her tricks included using a brush to make paintings, pitching a baseball, praying on her knees, and imitating a bumblebee, a lion and a chicken.3
  • Dondi had been at Southwick's Zoo for about four years when she died in late July 2010. More than 60 people attended her memorial service and she was buried under a tree at the zoo.4
  • Her death spurred questions. In Defense of Animals filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, urging an investigation into Dondi's death. "Dondi’s unexpected death raises a red flag because at age 36 she should have been in the prime of life," the organization stated on its blog.
  • Catherine Doyle, the elephant campaign director for IDA, added the following, in a story published in The Milford Daily News: "The general idea is that elephants have a natural lifespan of 60 to 70 years. You'd expect elephants who are kept in captivity to be provided daily care and veterinary care (and) would actually live closer to that lifespan versus an elephant in the wild who's exposed to poaching, droughts and famine. ... Elephants [in zoos] are typically kept in inadequate conditions, like small pens, and made to stand on hard surfaces that damage knees and joints. They (can) suffer from arthritis and chronic foot infections. ... When you have arthritis and foot disease, that's the number one killer of elephants in zoos."
  • A Southwick's Zoo spokesperson said Dondi had a tooth infection a week before her death, and Francine Schacht said Dondi had lost her molars, making it difficult for her to eat.
  • Later, Southwick's Zoo officials said the necropsy report showed that Dondi suffered severe lung damage from chronic fibrosis and pneumonia, likely caused by tuberculosis.5 "(But) I don't know if we will ever have a definitive cause," said zoo veterinarian Peter Brewer. Dondi likely was exposed to tuberculosis in Thailand and carried it for all those years, undetected, Brewer added.
Here's one final interesting item I found relating to Dondi: Part of this October 3, 2007, blog entry on Brooklyn Vegan (scroll past the lady in her underwear) describes a visit by Dondi to New York City. There's a photo of Dondi, less than three years before her death, balancing on a small stool. Her painting easel can be seen in the background. The comments section of the blog entry turned into an interesting and spirited discussion regarding the treatment of animals that spend their lives as show performers. Deep within the comments, there's also a link to a photo of the sign about Dondi that the Schacht family posted at the NYC performance.
On deck from the yard-sale haul: Quizmo, a Teacher's Triptik and a sad book that my daughter couldn't stop reading.
1. Primary sources:
2. I could not determine if Dondi ever appeared at the York Fair. Does anyone know if this was the case?
3. Another detail from the Shoreline Times article: "Harvey Smith, who heads the Guilford Fair’s entertainment committee and is its past president, recalls how visitors would stay after the fair closed to feed Dondi a piece of fruit. 'People could see Dondi for a dollar. Dondi would reach out with her trunk and take the dollar and put it in Phil’s pocket and the kid would feed her an apple. It was the sweetest thing. The way she was so gentle taking it out of the hand of a kid.'"
4. There's also a memorial page on Facebook for Dondi.
5. Here are two good sites on the topic of elephants and tuberculosis: Factsheet from Global Action Network and FAQ from Elephant Care International.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 4:
This and that ... and Scott Baio!

Previously on "Plucked from a yard sale"...

Part 1: Mister Rogers and How to Meet Men
Part 2: Pals Club activity book
Part 3: Painting, baseball and Pac-Man

Today, as I continue describing the yard-sale haul of 14 items for $1.25, we will discover that not every item acquired is a home run, but it's all worth it when you can snag some vintage Scott Baio ephemera.1

Item #7: Famous Brand Triple Print Color Film

In addition to a children's educational game that I'll write about later this week, one of the first things that caught my eye at the yard sale was a torn and worn old box of camera film, with the film still inside.

It's a 12-exposure roll of Famous Brand Triple Print Color Film in a box stamped July 1973.2 To get the film developed, you mailed it to a lab in Philadelphia along with $4.45.3

The "triple prints" that you would receive back included:
  • 1 set of "beautiful color enlargements"
  • 2 sets of "brilliant color wallet size photos"
  • plus a new cartridge of 126 color film

On a forum, Mike Gammill wrote this about Triple Print in 2010:
I remember seeing Triple Print film ads during the 60's and early 70's. For a small price they would send you a roll, but the fine print read that only they could develop it. This may have meant only Triple Print could provide prints that way or that the film was not compatible with the then current C-22 process. Since one of the sizes it was offered in was 126 it is likely ASA 64 or 80. I once read somewhere that it was processed like the Agfacolor print film (non-C-22) of that day and may even have been made by Agfa, but I have nothing to back that up. FWIW I used some of this film in 1971 or so in my Instamatic 124 and found it to have rather lackluster color.
I have no idea whether this roll of film was ever used, or if the film is still viable. I could find out, but it would cost a pretty penny. Several companies offer to develop (or try to develop) old types of film. The Rocky Mountain Film Laboratory, for example, will process rolls of Triple Print for $42.50.

Item #8: "Attacking Zone Defenses in Basketball"

I'll admit it. This is the one item I bought because I was looking to "flip" it as part of our online bookstore. I have a fairly good eye for used books and figured that "Attacking Zone Defenses in Basketball" might be enough of a niche subject for the book to have a good market.

I whiffed.

On, there are three copies of this 1977 hardcover available for one penny (plus shipping).

How can you make money selling books for a penny on Amazon? You can't. But some fools think that you can. If you're really interested, this seller forum discusses the economics of selling books for a penny.

Personally, it's not usually worth my time to sell anything for less than $4.

Oh well. At least I'm all set if I want to take my career in a Norman Dale direction.

Item #9: "Care of the Eyes"

This is a 12-page pamphlet published by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. I can't find any definite source regarding the date of publication, but evidence points to the 1920s or 1930s.

Sections in the pamphlet include:
  • The Eyes as Part of the Body
  • How We See
  • The Eyes at Work
  • The Eyes in Infancy and Childhood
  • Warnings of Eye Trouble
  • The Correction of Eye Defects
  • The Hygiene of Wearing Glasses
  • Communicable Eye Diseases

I found a nearly identical copy of this pamphlet available on the BrothertownBooks shop on They claim the pamphlet is from 1920, but don't give a source.

Their description of the artwork on the front and back covers is both poetic and informative. Here's an excerpt:
On the cover is a little boy standing on a bluff overlooking the ocean -- he is peering through a telescope at a distant sailing ship. His pet dog sits at his feet. Across a small inlet can be seen a lighthouse. Just below the bluff on which the boy stands can be seen the roof of a house, thus we know he is not far from home.4 ...
In the center of the rear cover is a line drawing in blue of the New York Metropolitan Life Insurance Building at 1 Madison Ave., which was built in 1909. It was then one of the tallest buildings in New York and was designed by architect Napoleon LeBrun. At the top of the structure in the picture are the words, "The light that never fails".

Item #10: SuperMag issue with Scott Baio

This magazine was in the box of stuff being given away for free! Can you believe it?!?5

It's a 1978 issue of SuperMag, a magazine for kids that was similar to the more-popular Dynamite.6

In addition to the cover story on the Baio, it includes stories on Fleetwood Mac, the tiny Key Deer, the historical and fictional versions of Dracula, and street games.

But the main attraction is Baio, who was already playing the popular supporting role of Chachi Arcola on "Happy Days."

According to SuperMag, Baio was hoping for even bigger things with a new starring role in "Who's Watching the Kids." But that show (does anyone even remember it?) bowed out after just 11 episodes.

And so Baio would have to wait until "Charles in Charge" to have his greatest career success.

The SuperMag article must have been disappointingly short for 1970s teenage girls who were hoping to learn more about the dreamboat from Brooklyn. It's only 10 sentences long. But the magazine doesn't scrimp on photos. There are five full-color pictures of Baio, including the centerfold poster (shown below), which is the perfect size for hanging up inside a school locker.7

On deck from the yard-sale haul: A photo of an elephant and a 1950s guide to school traffic safety.
1. Willie Aames not included. See store for details.
2. July 1973 was a sad month in ephemera history. In the 1973 National Archives fire, approximately 16-18 million official military personnel records were lost.
3. What cost $4.45 in 1973 would cost $21.59 in 2010, according to The Inflation Calculator.
4. Hmmm. I'm not sure we can just assume that's his house.
5. "Yes, I can believe it," many of you are saying.
6. I got a lot of issues of Dynamite through the Scholastic Book Club when I was in grade school.
7. Want the groovy Scott Baio poster? I'll send it to the first person who to e-mail me at This is your chance to be the coolest kid on the block this summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 3:
Painting, baseball and Pac-Man

This week I'm writing about the 14 ephemeral items I bought for $1.25 at a neighborhood yard sale...

Item #4: "Paint Without Paints: Our Many Friends"

The activity booklet was published in 1960 by Platt & Munk.1 The "magic" of painting without paints requires only water and a paint brush. (I'm sure you've all done one of these at some point, right?) "Invisible color" was patented by E.E. Brogle and Company sometime in the 1930s.

An interesting thing about this Platt & Munk book is that it's more than just a painting book. Each picture of boys and girls from around the world is accompanied by a page describing those children's lives and cultures. And so it's fairly educational, with descriptions of:
  • Katryn and Jan of Holland, who live in a tiny village by the "Zuyder Zee"
  • Tanya of Poland, who raises geese (pictured above)
  • Ah Ling and Mo-Lee of China, who go buy a kite
  • Ali Basm of Arabia and his camel, who live in the desert
  • Rudi and Veronica of Switzerland, who live in a chalet at the foot of the Alps
  • Christina of Norway, who eats "very plain food"2 and is never scolded
  • Golden Eagle of the Wyandot tribe3
  • Pancho of Mexico, who speaks Indian, Spanish and English and plays guitar

Item #5: "Hurry Home"

"Hurry Home," a 32-page paperback, was published in 1976 by Xerox Education Publications. It's the tale of Tommy Graham, a young baseball player whose father is too sick to attend Tommy's championship baseball game at the park. Tommy crosses home plate with the game-winning run, keeps running and hurries home to see his father.

The most interesting thing about "Hurry Home" is the author, Donald Honig. He's a baseball historian and author who has written dozens of books about the national pastime.

Honig's works include "Baseball When the Grass Was Real: Baseball from the Twenties to the Forties, Told by the Men Who Played It," "Baseball between the Lines: Baseball in the Forties and Fifties, As Told by the Men Who Played It ," "The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time" (co-written with Lawrence Ritter), and team histories of the Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies.

Item #6: "Pac-Man and the Ghost Diggers"

Pac-Man Fever included more than just arcade games, a hit song, and an animated series. It also spawned this 1983 paperback by John Albano4, which was part of the "A Golden Look-Look Book" series.

The plot of "Pac-Man and the Ghost Diggers" involves Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Sue5 attempting to dig a tunnel so that they can steal power pellets from the cellar of the Pac-Man family. There are several mazes that Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, the ghosts and the reader have to navigate. In the end, the ghosts -- who don't exactly have the tunnel-digging skills of Hilts, Velinski and Sedgwick -- miss the cellar entirely and end up all wet.

If you prefer your Pac-Man literature to be a bit more intellectual, my wife suggests that you check out this December 2010 article by Chad Birch titled "Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior."
On deck from the yard-sale haul: There's more to come this week, including a poster of the totally dreamy Scott Baio.
1. When my wife first saw this, she thought the book's title was "Paint Without Pants." But that would be a much different kind of book. Which would be featured on a much different kind of blog.
2. Christina's diet is described as buttermilk, black bread and cheese.
3. Here's the book's sanitized history of Native Americans: "Hundreds of years ago, the Indians lived this way all over the United States. Then the white men came and settled here, driving the Indians West, North and South. Now the white men and Indians are friends. Indians now live in houses and buy their food from stores. The children go to school where they learn to read and write."
4. Albano, who died in 2005, was perhaps best known as the co-creator of Jonah Hex. He also wrote for Archie Comics, one of my wife's personal favorites.
5. Sue replaced Clyde as the fourth ghost in Ms. Pac-Man, if you're keeping score at home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 2:
Pals Club activity book

The week of yard-sale tales continues with another item from my recent ephemera haul at a neighbor's sale. See yesterday's post for the complete skinny.

Item #3: "Your Pals Club"

Here's a nice children's coloring and activity book from the early 1970s. It was written by Barbara Shook Hazen1 and illustrated by Joan Allen. The Pals Club consists of:
  • Hoot, The Yellow Owl
  • Fanny, The Pink Fish
  • Max, The Lime Green Cat
  • Nutty, The Orange Squirrel
  • Randy, The Purple Turtle (who is also the Pals Club president)

The book contains what you'd expect from an activity book. It has coloring pages, connect-the-dots, tips about being a good citizen, rhymes, mazes and puzzles.

And then, at the end, there's a cute little piece of music and lyrics:

We're your pals, Pals are we, in your vitamin, vita-minagerie!

Wait! What?

In the worst ending I've come across since "Signs,"2 it turns out these colorful critters were animal shapes in Pals vitamins, from Bristol-Myers.

Here are a couple of their vintage commercials3, courtesy of YouTube:

Randolph, Hoot, Fanny and the Bristol-Myers gang were certainly no rival for Flintstones Chewable Vitamins, which were introduced in 1968 and beat Pals vitamins in both sales and early commercial quality.

Flintstones then continued to steamroll the children's vitamin competition with "We are Flintstone kids! Ten million strong and growing!" and the addition of Betty Rubble to the stable of vitamin shapes in 1995.

Tough luck, Randolph.

(If you're still nostalgic about Pals vitamins, though, you might want to check out this 2007 blog entry by Dan Goodsell.)
On deck from the yard-sale haul: Painting without paints and a 1954 school safety guide.
1. Barbara Shook Hazen has written many books, including the 1958 Golden Books version of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer." But she doesn't mention the Pals Club in her online biography.
2. Water kills them? Really?
3. I also stumbled across this script for a Pals vitamins commercial, which I believe was used in an advertising class.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 1: Mister Rogers and How to Meet Men

"Each piece can tell a story."

That's what I wrote about ephemera in my first blog post last November. I can research and write something interesting (to me, at least) about just about anything.

That's one thing that makes yard sales fascinating. They offer a chance to root through OPP -- Other People's Paper.1

Yesterday morning I found myself with a few spare minutes before Sarah and I had to leave to work on a 4-H project. One of our neighbors was having a yard sale, so I wandered over to see what they had. While others were checking out the kitchenware and items that appeared to have actual useful value, I went straight for the oddball items, the books and a disorganized box marked "free" that looked as if it been filled with the former assorted papers from a long-forgotten drawer. Heaven.

I was good and showed restraint. I only brought home a small stack of 14 items2 (pictured above), purchased for a grand total of $1.25. (I even argued that the seller was undercharging me.)

Over the next several days, I plan to live up to my Papergreat motto -- "each piece can tell a story." I will write something illuminating about each of the 14 items brought home from this yard sale.

With further ado, here are the first two items. Check back Monday through Thursday for the rundown on everything else you see in the photo at the top of today's entry, including a poster of a 1970s teen heartthrob.

Item #1: "Going to the Hospital"

This is a 16-page paperback book published in 1977 by the producers of "Misters Rogers' Neighborhood." Pictured on the cover are Fred Rogers and Daniel Striped Tiger.3

The book would have been accompanied by a video4 featuring Mister Rogers. According to the archived version of The Neighborhood Archive Blog, the series was produced in the 1970s and featured the following book/video combos:
  • Let's Talk About Going to the Hospital
  • Let's Talk About Having an Operation
  • Let's Talk About Wearing a Cast
The book features descriptions of what a hospital and a hospital visit are like. It also includes some activity pages with a connect-the-dots and suggestions for how to make your own paper-bag hand puppet.

Mister Rogers closes with the following note: "It can be scary to do something hard for the first time -- like going to the hospital. But it's nice to know that there are many people in the world who want to take good care of children. I hope you will feel better each day and be able to go home again soon."

Item #2: "How to Meet Men"

From Mister Rogers to Meeting Mr. Right! (Though, for some people, I'm sure that Mister Rogers is the ultimate Mr. Right!)

This book, by Elena Mann5, was published in 1968 by Bantam. It appears to be the kind of miniature volume that would have been sold in a grocery-store checkout line.6

It's an interesting relic of its time and the attitudes toward single women and dating in the late 1960s. It discusses how night classes, clubs, sporting events7, cocktail parties and church groups are "pre-tested" solutions to meeting Mr. Right. It also discusses "new" developments on the social scene, such as apartments for singles, dating bars and weekends for singles.

But the section that that caught my eye was "Computer Dating". I had no idea that computer dating was already on the scene in 1968. Here's an excerpt from that section:
Another thriving business has developed in this automated age of ours simply from the need of many men and women to meet the "right" person. ... Computers have been in the matchmaking business over ten years but when the college crowd and young "swingers" became involved several years ago the boom was on. Many of the computer services for those still in college or recent graduates are designed to turn up compatible dates rather than mates. Fees for this type are a modest $5 to $10. Other services, involving personal interviews, psychological testing, etc., may cost up to $400.8 ... Probably the oldest and best known of New York's computerized match-making services is the Scientific Marriage Institute9, which, according to last reports, had arranged nearly 2,000 marriages since it was founded in 1956. ... Other New York-based operatins included TACT -- Technical Automated Compatability Testing -- a "blind date" bureau that matches girls and men by computer for $5 each; and Operation Match Inc., which is also popular with young college graduates.10

Come back tomorrow for more tales from this yard sale!

1. Sadly, when you type "other people's paper" into Google, the first result you get is for "Free Term Papers, Research Papers, Essays, Book Reports" at On the bright side, however, I found this nice blog entry by Brandie Kajino at I strongly suspect Brandie would not have nice things to say about my ephemera hoarding.
2. My wife is used to this sort of thing and is relatively understanding about my tendency to bring OPP into the house. The "good" news is that other than books and ephemera, I truly don't have a lot of "stuff." And so I am doing my best to be on our board with our goals of reducing our number of possessions and keeping the household as decluttered as possible.
3. Here is some background on Daniel Striped Tiger from Wikipedia: "[He was] the first puppet ever to appear on 'Children's Corner' and 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.' Daniel is a shy, tame tiger who lives in a (non-functioning) grandmother clock with no hands (because in make-believe it is what ever time you imagine). Despite his shyness, Daniel exhibits phenomenal wisdom and intelligence when he does speak (he discerns the root of Lady Elaine's bad behavior on several occasions). He is the only child among the puppets whose parents are never seen, nor spoken of. ... His favorite toy is a small dumptruck, and he wears a watch on one arm because 'when you live in a clock you really should know what time it is.'"
4. Did you know that Fred Rogers can be thanked, in small way, for our modern convenience of being able to watch television shows and movies whenever we please? It was argued in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. that video recorders infringed on copyrights. In his testimony in favor of the time-shifting allowed by video records, Rogers stated:
Some public stations, as well as commercial stations, program the "Neighborhood" at hours when some children cannot use it ... I have always felt that with the advent of all of this new technology that allows people to tape the "Neighborhood" off-the-air, and I'm speaking for the "Neighborhood" because that's what I produce, that they then become much more active in the programming of their family's television life. Very frankly, I am opposed to people being programmed by others. My whole approach in broadcasting has always been "You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions." Maybe I'm going on too long, but I just feel that anything that allows a person to be more active in the control of his or her life, in a healthy way, is important.
The Supreme Court, which ruled that the making of individual copies of TV shows for purposes of time-shifting is fair use and not copyright infringement, noted in its decision that Rogers' views were a notable piece of evidence "that many [television] producers are willing to allow private time-shifting to continue."
5. "Elena Mann" was a pseudonym for author Eleanor Adams, according to copyright records.
6. And if you think it's odd that a happily married, 40-year-old man would cheerily snatch up a book titled "How to Meet Men" at a yard sale and ask the elderly woman running the sale how much it costs, then you haven't read enough of this blog!
7. I found this excerpt regarding how to meet men through sports amusing: "Two sports favored by men are very difficult for a woman to penetrate -- that is, if one of her aims is man-hunting. Men love to fish, but they go with other men, not women. ... The only way to meet a man on the golf course is to play fast and well. If there's one thing golfers hate, it's a woman who doesn't know a tee shot from a T-shirt." And what's cited as the No. 1 sport through which women can meet men? Skiing!
8. 400!! According to the Inflation Calculator, something that cost $400 in 1968 would cost $2,478 in 2010.
9. I couldn't find much about the Scientific Marriage Institute. Here's a little nugget from a 1992 Discover magazine article by Judith Stone about the use of the word "Scientific" in company names over the years: "We’ll never know what inspired the baptism of the now defunct Scientific Marriage Institute of New York, which offered couples counseling. (You may remember their compendium of case studies, Can This Scientific Marriage Be Saved? My favorite was the one in which Marie Curie gets Pierre to stop leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor.)"
10. Operation Match Inc. later ran into some criticism and trouble. New York magazine wrote the following "Consumer Beware" note in its September 24, 1973, issue: "Advice to the Lovelorn -- Computer dating firms that offer long-term high-priced contracts may be leading bachelor Ms.'s and Mr.'s on a wild spouse chase. That's the opinion of New York State law, which limits such contracts to two years and $250. Attorney General Louis J. Lefkowitz recently charged Operation Match Inc. (519 Anderson Ave., Cliffside, N.J.) with offering three-year contracts that ranged in price up to $595. Operation Match has agreed to return to its customers all monies received by the company in excess of $250 per contract for any social referral service contract signed after September 1, 1971. The firm has also agreed to stop offering contracts that exceed $250 and/or run for more than two years."