Friday, April 13, 2012

A gaggle of great things tucked away inside books

I have a huge backlog of bloggable1 items that fall into the Tucked Away Inside category, and it's creating problems in the Ephemera Warehouse!2 The books I've come across that contain intriguing slips of old paper are piling up and distracting me from all the other great kinds of ephemera I want to write about.3

So this post is an attempt to chip away at that backlog by offering up a gaggle of previously unpublished Tucked Away Inside goodness in one fell swoop. Enjoy!

"Request the honor of your presence..."

BOOK IT WAS INSIDE: "Tillie, A Mennonite Maid" by Helen Reimensnyder Martin4 (September 1908 reprint)

This wedding invitation states: "Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fox Urquhart, Jr. request the honour of your presence at the marriage ceremony at six o'clock Saint Luke's Episcopal Church."

Based on information found at a few different geneaology sites5, Charles Fox Urquhart, Jr. -- the son of Charles Fox Urquhart and Independence Nancy Irene Coe -- was born on September 22, 1905, in Sacramento, California, and died on March 15, 1971, in Courtland, Virginia. His wife was Dorothy Harper and they had two children -- Charles Fox Urquhart III6 and Mary Louisa Urquhart. It's possible (and likely?) that the wedding referred to on this card is Mary Louisa's wedding to Lloyd D. Bryant Jr.

High-seas driftnets

BOOK IT WAS INSIDE: "A History of India 2" by Percival Spear (1982 paperback reprint)

The front of this card (not pictured) has a spot for a 33-cent airmail postcard stamp and is pre-addressed to:
Prime Minister of Japan
1-6-1 Nagata-Cho, Chiyoda-Ku
Tokyo, Japan
The back of the card (shown above) states:
"Dear Prime Minister,

I strongly object to the use of high-seas driftnets by the Japanese salmon and squid fishing fleet in the North Pacific Ocean. High-seas driftnets cause the unnecessary deaths of thousands of dolphins and seas birds.

I urge you to act to preserve wildlife and fisheries resources by halting the use of destructive driftnets."
International political pressure (but probably not these postcards) eventually brought an end to high-seas driftnets. According to this online case study:
"In early 1980s Japanese fleets, as well as Taiwan and South Korea, came to use large-scale driftnets in the North Pacific Ocean to catch salmon, tuna, squid, etc. A driftnet typically stretches as wide as 40 miles and traps any species in the wide area. Among victims are marine mammals such as whale, dolphin, porpoise, fur seal; and other sea animals such as sea turtle and even sea birds. Also driftnet fishing by Japanese and other Asian fleet is believed to have contributed to a decrease in the population of such economically valuable fish as tuna, marlin, swordfish, salmon, etc., in the North Pacific Ocean. The U.S., Canada and Russia, all of which have their own fishery industry respectively, were concerned about the rapid destruction of valuable sea resources by those Asian fleets and in fact tried to restrict their fishing in the North Pacific region. As pressures from the U.S., Canada, Russia increased, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution which bans driftnet fishing in the high seas effective December 1992. As a result, Japan has halted driftnet fishing on the high-seas ever since."

A sad, unfinished note

BOOK IT WAS INSIDE: "Is It Worth Dying For?"7 by Dr. Robert S. Eliot and Dennis L. Breo (1989 paperback)

Oh, what a sad little letter! Written in careful cursive on a lined sheet of paper, all it states is:
Greetings for bright new day.
Had been very sick, getting better.
Hope you are well, often remembered you.

Inside Makarenko's "The Road to Life"

BOOK IT WAS INSIDE: I have a three-volume, English-language hardcover set of Anton Semenovych Makarenko's "The Road to Life (An Epic of Education)," which was published in 1951 by the Foreign Languages Publishing House in Moscow.8 Makarenko (1888-1939) was an educator and writer who focused on educational theory. According to Wikipedia:
"In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution [Makarenko] established self-supporting orphanages for street children - including juvenile delinquents - left orphaned by the Russian Civil War. ... Although there was some opposition by the authorities at the early stages of Makarenko's 'experiments', the Soviet establishment eventually came to hail his colonies as a grand success in communist education and rehabilitation."
So, tucked away inside one of these volumes was this creased Business Reply Mail for The American Institute for Marxist Studies in New York City. The institute was founded in 1964 by Herbert Aptheker, who served as director until the institute closed in 1985.9

The three-volume set of "The Road to Life" has some other interesting features. All three books have this attractive bookplate glued to the first page:

And, in paging through the books, I found this interesting margin note -- perhaps written by former owner Daniel L. Mahony:

The note states: "How does ASM know all of the minutiae? Does he, like J.C., have a corps of stenographers scattered about?"

ASM, of course, is Anton Semenovych Makarenko. What J.C. is he referring to? Jesus Christ? Hmmmm.

1. "Bloggable" is in the Oxford Dictionary! So are “sexting” and “fnarr fnarr.”
2. #FirstWorldProblems
3. And I have so many things I want to write about, and so precious little time. Eight months ago, I wrote a Fall/Winter preview of upcoming posts. By my count, I've only covered 11 of the 23 topics that I mentioned. And the list of posts I'm eager to research and write has probably quadrupled. Sigh.
4. Author Helen Reimensnyder Martin (1868–1939) was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The full text of "Tillie, a Mennonite Maid" can be found at Project Gutenberg. Meanwhile, this copy of the novel that had the wedding invitation tucked inside once belonged to Mrs. J.C. Andes of Dayton, Virginia, according to the inscription on the first page.
5. Sources include: This FamilyTreeMaker Online page; this RootsWeb page; and this Find A Grave page.
6. Charles Fox Urquhart III's 2008 obituary includes this sentence: "His special friends, Mr. Roberts, Kate, Lizzie and Cassie are waiting to welcome him with wagging tails and sloppy dog kisses."
7. The book's subtitle is: "A Self-Assessment Program to Make Stress Work for You, Not Against You."
8. Volume one, unfortunately, has significant water damage, which keeps this from being a potentially very valuable set.
9. This "Guide to the Political Left" also has an in-depth biography of Aptheker.

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