Sunday, September 13, 2015

Groovy stuff from August/September 1970 issue of Pack-o-Fun

Let's take a Sunday night dive back 45 years — to September 1970, when Hillary Clinton was working on Joseph Duffey's U.S. Senate campaign, Bernie Sanders was months from beginning his political career as a member of the Liberty Union Party, and Bernie Taupin was crafting "Levon" for Elton John.

Featured tonight is the August/September 1970 issue of the "scrap-craft" magazine Pack-O-Fun1, which served as the Back to School issue.

Here are five cool things2 from this issue:

1. The first article is titled "Designing with Weeds" and begins: "Weeds — gathered from vacant lots and fields — can be used to make lovely pictures."3

The article goes on to describe how the seeds and silk from a milkweed pod can make perfect owl eyes. Who ever thought stuff from the vacant lot could be so crafty?

2. Next comes "crafting with macaroni." Remember when you made art projects using dried pasta, beans and/or seeds in elementary school? (Remember when the pieces of pasta would start to come unglued and end up in your backpack and on the kitchen floor?) Pack-o-Fun wanted home crafters to do the same thing, making a rooster suitable for hanging on the wall in the family room out of pasta shells, macaroni, spaghetti and rotoni. You could soak the macaroni in water for 30 minutes to get curvy tail feathers!

3. For a "novel" name tag during back-to-school week, Pack-o-Fun suggested that you could put a piece of wide adhesive tape on your palm and write "How! Me (person's name)" on it. That way, a kid could greet someone and let them know his name at the same time! It's frankly amazing that this idea never caught on.

4. Hidden deep in The Craft Mart (classified advertisements) is this gem: "POTATO SALAD RECIPE, always first to go at any Pot Luck, 25c coin, self addressed stamped envelope. Christy's, Box 1239, Santa Cruz, California 95060." Do you think it's too late to send for this?

5. Finally, this photo of the Wankiyu Camp Fire Girls...

1. The previous Pack-o-Fun issue featured here was from November 1970, just two issues after this one. It's entirely a coincidence. I came across these two issues in different years and in different places.
2. As judged by me, of course.
3. I'm not sure what it was about the early 1970s and weeds. Remember the Weed Christmas Tree?

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