Saturday, November 10, 2012

1956-57 driver education certificate from Rocky Mountain College

Laverne Andrews1 earned this four-credit certificate for completing Rocky Mountain College's driver education course during the 1956-57 school year. Rocky Mountain College, which was established in 1878, is located in Billings, Montana.2

It was folded once and tucked away inside a nice copy of the 1953 book "Baseball: Major League Technique and Tactics," by Ethan Allen.3 This might be the first time it has seen the light of day in 55 years.

The requirements for earning this certificate included:
  • at least 36 hours of classroom and practice driving activities
  • at least eight hours directing the practice driving of a trained driver so that he successfully passes written tests, the standard road test, and skills tests
  • completion of a special project in Driver Education approved by the instructor and involving at least 20 hours of independent study and research

The certificate has received a notary seal from the college and been signed by three officials — the instructor, dean and registrar.

1. No. I'm pretty sure it's not LaVerne Sophia Andrews of The Andrews Sisters. I did find some evidence, however, that this Laverne Andrews might have participated in intercollegiate athletics — specifically, track and field — while attending Rocky Mountain.
2. Two of Rocky Mountain College's most notable students were Arlo Guthrie (who did not graduate) and actor Jason Earles, who is best known for portraying Jackson Stewart on "Hannah Montana."
3. Ethan Allen was a major-league outfielder for 13 seasons, including a little more than two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1936, the Phillies sent him to the Chicago Cubs in a four-player deal in which they reacquired Chuck Klein. After his playing career, he invented the All Star Baseball board game and served as the manager of the Yale University baseball team for more than 20 years.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yet another book featuring pictures of outhouses and bumpkin humor

As Dr. Peter Venkman once said, "Well, there's something you don't see every day."

First published sixty years ago, in 1952, "Sittin' And a-Thinkin'" is a staplebound volume that consists solely of photos of outhouses on the right-hand pages and humorous captions on the left-hand pages.1

That's it.

It was written by Ernst Peterson and Glenn Chaffin, and it's amazing that it took two men to come up with this.

We have The Dietz Press of Richmond, Virginia, (which is still in existence) to thank for the book's publication.

Both authors hailed from Montana (Hamilton, at the time the foreword was written), and it appears that this did not, thankfully, represent the career pinnacle for either man.

Peterson was the photographer half of the dynamic duo. To this day, there is an "Ernst Peterson Photograph Montana Contest & Exhibit" in Hamilton. According to the Ravalli County Museum at the Old Court House's website:
"Renowned photographer and Montana native son Ernst Peterson was born in 1912 at a time when the shadows of the old West still lingered on the horizon. ... It was not until the end of World War II that Ernst ... began taking his hobby seriously. 'I had an idea that perhaps I could make a living from my photography,' he said. Indeed. Peterson began marketing his photos of the West, and his first client was his native state of Montana. Although many photos were used without his byline, he slowly developed a far-reaching reputation. His real break came in 1953 when he was discovered by the editors of National Geographic. Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post, and Country Gentlemen soon followed."

In the meantime, if I've found the right Glenn Chaffin, he had a pretty fascinating life. According to this community page, Chaffin:
  • is a descendant of one of Montana's oldest families
  • had a great grandfather with the wonderful name of Balaam Chaffin2
  • served in the Navy in World War II
  • worked as a crime reporter for a newspaper in Portland, Oregon
  • was a gold miner in Alaska
  • was a motion picture press agent in Hollywood
  • authored several comic strips, including "Tailspin Tommy"
  • spent a year on the writing staff of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios
  • served for 14 years as secretary-manager of the Ravalli County Fair
  • and, of course, co-authored this 1952 book about outhouses

Here are some of the photos from "Sittin' And a-Thinkin'"3, with the book's captions appearing below each one.

"Over the river and through the woods, to Grandfather's house we go."

"Yes, it's been wonderful to have him to lean against
all through the years."

"Ours, of course, was one of the few houses with running water."

"Oh, the crops've been fine, fine;
but it keeps me poor buyin' my wife nylons."

"Yeah, Uncle Fred was a card.
Called his restaurant The Garden of Eatin'."

1. It's reminisicent, actually, of the borderline-creepy "Bridge Babies," which was featured here in August 2011.
2. Balaam is a diviner in the Torah.
3. If you're thinking this would make The Perfect Christmas Gift for that Someone Special, inexpensive copies are available from Amazon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

1962 pocket calendar tucked away inside a book published in 1893

This pocket calendar (the size of a credit card) was tucked away inside a hardcover edition of "Work and Win; or, Noddy Newman on a Cruise."

The book was published in 1893. It was at least seven decades (and two world wars) later that the little card was placed inside the book. And I pulled it out in 2012 — a half-century after the calendar card was intended to be used.

The card, with its illustration of an explorer and a lion, advertises traveler's checks backed by First National City Bank (a predecessor of Citibank). The card is further branded for "The Friendly, Old Reliable Bank of Warren" in Front Royal, Virginia.

The book, meanwhile, was written by Oliver Optic. That's the pen name of William Taylor Adams (1822-1897), a Massachusetts teacher and legislator who authored more than 100 books during his lifetime. Most of his adventure novels were geared toward boys and came in short series of four to six volumes.

"Work and Win; or, Noddy Newman on a Cruise" was originally published in 1865 (the year of Abraham Lincoln's assassination). In addition to the main character, Noddy Newman, the book includes a character with the wonderful name of Squire Wriggs.

In the preface, the author writes:
"In the preparation of this volume, the author has had in his mind the intention to delineate the progress of a boy whose education had been neglected, and whose moral attributes were of the lowest order, from vice and indifference to the development of a high moral and religious principle in the heart, which is the rule and guide of a pure and true life."
So I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that Noddy begins the book as a bit of a wayward soul and ends it as the Rev. Ogden Newman, a faithful and devoted "shepherd of the sheep."

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

From the readers: November Rain Edition, Part 2

Here is the second half of this batch of reader comments. And, no, I don't have any idea why I called this the "November Rain Edition." I was either punchy or not paying attention when I wrote the headline for yesterday's Part 1.

Update: This royal dog was a Welsh corgi named Sugar: Jayne B. Lyons writes: "Thanks for posting this lovely photo! We own a male Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Jonesie. He can be quite bossy with our children and with Biscuit, our Shetland Sheepdog. Yet he is a loyal companion, who loves car rides with 'Mommy!'"

* * *

Found recipes: Peanut butter pie: Readers liked different things about this card.

Justin Mann of Justin's Brew Review writes: "Hmm, we just might have to put this one to the test. PB pie rocks!"

And Wendyvee of Wendyvee's writes: "Holy Cow ... just look at the fabulously retro art on the recipe card!"

* * *

Found recipes: Peanut butter date cookies: This peanut-butter recipe, however, led to this little back-and-forth in the comments section:

J: Alternatively, try this super-easy-to-remember set of ingredients: 1, 1, and 1. That is, 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Yields about a dozen. Thank you, Mrs. Schott, for this middle school home ec recipe. The cookies rock. We make them every year. Now I'm hungry.

A: Mrs. Schott should be fired from home ec. Peanut butter, sugar and egg would make a sloppy mess without flour.

J: I wholeheartedly disagree with the "sloppy mess" part of your comment. I make these cookies at least once every year, and flour is *not* needed. In fact, I contend that using flour is messier because flour tends to go everywhere with just a little "poof" of air. The "1, 1, and 1" PB cookies are extremely easy to work with, and the PB acts as the "glue" that holds everything together. I suggest that you consider trying the recipe before writing it off so soundly. Also, and most importantly, they taste GREAT!

* * *

Full images of the "puzzlers" from earlier this week: Wendyvee writes: "Mr. Roadside reminded me that he has cartons of Dragon magazine in storage. I should dig some up and see what I can find."

And I responded: "Very cool! Dragon magazines from the late 1970s and early 1980s are one of my absolute favorite guilty pleasures. I keep meaning to go hog wild and post a full gallery of Dragon advertisements from that era."

* * *

Found recipes: Fudge pudding: PostMuse, who is Zmrzlina (and Postmuse) on the Postcrossing blog, writes: "How can this be a beloved recipe? There isn't a drop of chocolate on it! Only a cruel cook could have such a clean recipe card ... one who didn't let anyone lick the spoon then get sticky fingerprints on the card. Or else, the cook was rushed to the hospital with third-degree burns after standing too close as s/he dropped balls of sugar into a boiling mixture, and the recipe card was filed away with things not to do again."

* * *

Horrifying ephemeral images that will haunt you this Halloween: Wendyvee writes: "Ahhhhh, this is why Joan wouldn't go for the Doll Head tissue boxes ... she's been secretly making a 'Cynthia Centipede' for you."

* * *

1964 Halloween-themed Sunday News TV Week (plus some ads): Justin Mann writes: "It is weird to think that printed media in general could become a thing of the past. Not even just printed media, but physical media like CDs, for example. These times they are a changin'."

On Election Day, here's one thing we can all agree on...

This is a cheesy postcard!

The undated card has the following text on the back:

at Entrance to Blue Coat Inn
800 N. State St., Dover, Delaware
Phone 674-1776
Events commemorated on this sign, & other aspects of Delaware's Heritage, are depicted thruout the Inn's many dining rooms, fronting on picturesque Silver Lake. The young Patriots are in Olde Dover Days costume.

From what I can ascertain, the Blue Coat Inn has been bulldozed. A reviewer on VirtualTourist shared these sad updates about the establishment:
"Atwoods was formerly known as the Blue Coat Inn until very recently. As the Blue Coat Inn, it was famous for its fine dining and dishes including steak and seafood. ... For the rumor mill: apparently the previous owner hired a hit man to 'knock off' his business partner when they were deep in debt. The previous owner is now doing hard time and the partner owns the business. ...

Bad news for Blue Coat Inn fans, good news for Atwoods haters ... This restaurant and parking lot area along Silver Lake has been sold to [a] local developer. He plans to build a multistory office building and small tavern here overlooking the lake. ... [When] asked if people might be upset about tearing down the picturesque little gazebo along the water where many weddings have been held, he replied, 'Some people that got married there probably got divorced. They might be happy.'"

Oh well.

If you're looking for patriotic content that's more cheery than cheesy on this Election Day, here are some previous posts that might suit you better:

And then, drifting back to cheesy, there was this:

Monday, November 5, 2012

From the readers: November Rain Edition, Part 1

As we barrel toward Turkey Day and then a December that will be filled with a new series of awesome Christmas-themed ephemera, here is the latest batch of fabulous comments from the Papergreat Readership.

(And this batch is so good, I'm breaking it up and publishing it over two days.)

Today's questionable recipe: Putting meat into your cake: Emily (aka Yinzerella), who authors the incredibly enjoyable Dinner is Served 1972 blog, writes: "I would totally try this out. But I have issues."

* * *

"Personally trained in the [Jack] Woodford style": Keith Nichols writes: "I have written and published a biography of him, 'The Ghost of Jack Woodford.' It's available on Amazon thru the Kindle or as a paperback. Check it out."

Congratulations on your book, Keith! And good luck with sales.

By the way, Nichols' author biography on is pretty epic:
"Keith Nichols is a mad scientist living in the Pacific Northwest. He dabbles in just about everything, from backyard astronomy to rat rod fabrication to writing his books. He has a day job but prefers to not tell anybody what it is, just recently got married (sorry ladies), is loosing [sic] his hair way too early, and drinks too much coffee."

* * *

10 great Pennsylvania postcards from the 20th century: This post, with its SEO-friendly headline, garnered a lot of attention. Some of the comments:

  • ♥●• İzdihër •●♥ writes: "They are so nice. Thanks for sharing. Follow each other."

    Now, I'll admit, when I first saw this comment, I figured it was spam. But ♥●• İzdihër •●♥, dingbats aside, is a real person. In Pakistan! She has a blog in which she writes about love, Indian movies, tattoos, the way men act at malls (!), drinking tea, keeping jewelry in an old Pringles container, and the arrival of the first sacrificial cow for Eid al-Adha at her home.

    I cannot recommend her blog highly enough. It makes our world seem even smaller and yet will also help you expand your understanding of some of the people we share this planet with. Thank you, ♥●• İzdihër •●♥, for taking the time to comment here.
  • My wife writes: "I think we should make it a family plan to visit more of these, in addition to the ones we've already seen!"

    Agreed! We have an awfully good (and eclectic) regional travel list to work from.
  • R. Thomas Berner, who was one of my journalism professors at Penn State University and publishes essays at The Spectator, did some further delving into the history of the Nittany Manor Motel in the State College area and writes: "I did a reverse phone lookup for (814) 237-7638 and, without paying for more information, I found that the number appears to be around South Pugh Street and East College Avenue, leading me to conclude that the Nittany Manor is no more."
  • Wendyvee of Wendyvee's writes: "This is a FAB round-up, Chris! Duncan Hines approved, eh? Well, I won't stay anywhere that doesn't have a thumbs-up from Betty Crocker or Chef Boy-Ar-Dee."
  • And Mom checks in with this cool historical information: "Your grandmother [see a picture of her in this Machu Picchu post] worked at Lankenau in Philadelphia and moved with it to this location in 1953. In this photo, I believe the house in the lower right corner may be the residence used by the nursing nuns. To the left, not in the picture, were the residence halls (and some classrooms?) of the School of Nursing. I think those dorms may now be converted to apartments. The main entrance of the hospital in the photo is still the main entrance today even though there have been many additions to the site. There was a great long high hill behind the buildings in the upper right corner where Mom used to take us sledding."
Come back Tuesday evening (if you're not caught up following election results) for the second half of this roundup of recent reader comments.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two neat old book covers now scanned for posterity

Joan and I sold both of these books over the weekend. Usually I just wrap 'em up and ship 'em on out. But I found both of these books' covers to be pretty wonderful. So I wanted to scan them and present them here, for posterity, before sending them to their new owners.

I love the illustrations and graphic design of this 1956 hardcover, which is titled "Is Your Child Really Fit?" The book is illustrated by Marjorie Morris, but I doubt she was the one responsible for the hip cover design. The book was published by Harper & Brothers.

The cover of the third issue of "City Lights Journal," which was published in 1966, features photographer Larry Keenan's iconic shot of the "last gathering" of Beat Generation poets and artists at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco in December 1965.

There are many famous folks in this picture. That's Allen Ginsberg in the center, touching his moustache. (At least I hope it's his moustache.) To Ginsberg's right, in the denim jacket, is Bob "The Jester" Dylan. And the guy to the right of Dylan, in the white hat, is Richard Brautigan, who was previously featured in this Papergreat post about a different book cover.

8 stupendo vintage postcards of Italy

1. Oranges Avenue in Diano Marina

This undated Kodak Ektachrome postcard features Oranges Avenue in Diano Marina, a municipality in the Province of Imperia. Diano Marina, which now has a population of about 6,000, is within the Riviera dei Fiori portion of the Italian Riviera.

2. Along the Amalfi Drive

The front of the card states, in Italian, "Amalfi - Strada per Positano e Sorrento."

This is an undated "BROMOSTAMPA" postcard showing a portion of the cliff-hugging Amalfi Drive, a 50-mile road that connects Sorrento and Amalfi along the Amalfi Coast.

According to Wikipedia, the road was originally built by the Romans and the majority of the route is carved out of the side of the coastal cliffs, with cliffs above and the Tyrrhenian Sea below.

As you can imagine, the road and the entirety of the Amalfi Coast are popular tourist destinations. Members of British aristocracy frequented the region in the 1920s and 1930s.

3. Hotel Metropole in Rome

Here's a black-and-white postcard of Hotel Metropole in Rome. The back of the card indicates that the hotel boasted telephones, radios, air-conditioning and a 300-car garage.

The hotel is now owned by Starhotels. According to its website:
"In the heart of Rome, a stone's throw from the Stazione Termini and with easy access to the most famous sights in the city, the Starhotels Metropole is the perfect combination of style and taste. Spacious halls, furnished in beige, red and gold, give the hotel a modern feel. Originally built in 1956 on the foundations of a convent, and acquired by Starhotels in 1981, the hotel has been restored several times. Today, the Metropole is perfect for business and leisure guests."
The modern amenities listed (they've moved on from the novelty of radios and air-conditioning) include:
  • Full American buffet breakfast
  • Rendezvous bar
  • Fitness room
  • Starbed
  • Pillowmania (choice of your favourite pillow)
  • Wi-Fi Internet service available throughout the whole hotel.
  • Wii Fit Nintendo on request

4. Along the sea in Diano Marina

And we're back to Diano Marina for this gorgeous shot of the coast.

This is another one of those irregular-shaped Millecolor Omniafoto postcards. I first featured one in this post.