Tuesday, December 29, 2015

From the readers: Howlers, poker chips, monkey astronauts and more

Sarah is a big fan of refrigerator magnet poetry, which is about as ephemeral as it gets.

And now for something completely different — the final "From the Readers" post of 2015, featuring 20 percent more Crunchy Frog.

Best copy of "The Boys' Life Book of Outer Space Stories": Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "I have that same book. I picked it up at a garage sale this past year. How can you resist a book about an monkey astronaut? I know what you mean about books with lives. I've been meaning to write a post about the things I've found in books over the years."

And here is a bundle of additional great comments from Tom, whose thoughts and feedback I appreciate greatly...

19th century advertising card: Leibig Company's Fleisch-Extract: Tom writes: "As a kid, I loved the smell of bouillon cubes dissolving in hot water, but I never went as far as to suck on one."

I think everyone should try sucking on a bouillon cube at least once. It's very ... intense.

Thanksgiving postcard from 1914, plus a little guffaw: Tom writes: "The mysteries can drive you nuts. Things forgotten to time, never to be known."

Vintage Christmas postcard: "Kiss Me Quick!" Tom writes: "It's kind of creepy that light is shining through that little Dutch girl's head. It's like her skull cap is levitating."

Agreed! I almost mentioned the shadow of the girl's head in the original post, too. I don't think the postcard artist fully thought that through.

A 1910 postcard that was processed on Christmas Day: Tom writes: "I have some postcards from around the turn of the century that were postmarked after 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve. I too was surprised that they would have been working so late."

12 toys Mattel wanted you to buy for your kids in 1967: Tom writes: "Great stuff. I would love to have that Fright Factory Thingmaker for the graphics on the box alone. I never knew there was a Twiggy doll, and it's almost as thin as the real Twiggy!"

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Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: There have been two new comments on this popular 2012 post.

Anonymous writes: "I am 87 years old and this was my second job. My first was selling Cloverine white salve from the same type of ad."

And Tommy Samaha writes: "I sold these as a child back in the 1950s. They were beautiful cards. You could even have your name printed on the cards. This company was a legitimate company."

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A postcard mailed in 1910 and some Sunday night reading: Anne Hagberg of Laurel Cottage Genealogy writes: "I'm thinking 'Tiney' might be the dog's name. An odd spelling, of course."

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1942 U.S. Civil Defense tips, courtesy Strack & Strine Funeral Home: Joan, in a possible attempt to poke fun at Yours Truly, writes: "Are calamity-howlers related to weather alarmists?"

Answer: Calamity Howlers are lesser individuals than Weather Alarmists. Weather Alarmists live to protect and serve, to let no potential snowflake go unmentioned. Calamity Howlers bring about chaos and panic and have no noble intentions.

As the holiday gift-buying season ramps up, consider opulent owls: Joan writes: "I want one very badly. But I have Some Concerns about who is painting it and the end results."

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Illustration: "Revolving Poker Rack" from Pacific Game Company: Todd Scott writes: "I still keep a set of poker chips in this same box I got from my grandparents. Any idea how old it is? It is numbered 2043."

I think this particular set is circa 1970-1972.

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Beautiful handmade bookmark and the "Alice and Jerry" readers: Janifa Prince writes: "I remember reading a book and one of the stories in that book was entitled Hastings Mills. I forgot the name of this book would love to remember the name and own a copy of it."

Janifa, here is a blog post on Vicki Lane Mysteries you might want to check out for further leads. Good luck in finding your book!

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The 1970s: When air travel was like a big, wacky sitcom: Anonymous writes: "Is that Ricardo Montalbán? And where is Jennifer Aniston? Didn't she just do a commercial by the bar? Oh, wait, that was a different airline."

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Kindertrauma to the rescue: It was Lon Chaney Jr., with a puppy: Sandi writes: "I wonder if the other scary movie you recall is The Dark Secret of Harvest Home. It was actually a two-part made-for-TV flick from the late 70s."

I don't think that's it, either. I would have remembered Bette Davis. (And Norman Lloyd was in it, too!) But keep the ideas coming!

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Macmillan Reader presents a very 1950s in suburbia Christmas: Jean wrote in an email: "My mom [Janet Page] was an inker at Disney in the late 1930s and 1940s. She worked on Pinocchio, Bambi and Fantasia while there. She went on to do other illustrator jobs after she left Disney. We had many of her sketches that she'd bring home from work only to discover years later that she'd thrown them away! She didn't consider them to be worth anything. Hence I'm trying to track down whatever I can find. She passed away back in 2000."

Unfortunately, I had to tell Jean that I no longer have the copy of The Christmas Tree, featuring artwork by Page, that I wrote about in that 2013 post. If I did still have it, I would have sent it Jean's way. But I'll keep my eyes open for these books moving forward!

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Mystery portrait taken in Littlestown, Pennsylvania: Anonymous writes: "I think it's a woman with white hair and a fancy black cap."

Interesting thought! I don't think that possible answer can be ruled out.

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1913 Christmas postcard from A.M. Davis Company of Boston: L.F. Appel writes: "That is my article on postcardy.com. I have been thinking of doing a new A. M. Davis article on my new postcardy2.wordpress.com blog/website."

Also in regard to this post, Sandi offers the following thought: "The signature looks like 'Sebastian B. Bishop' to me."

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Saturday's postcard: Enjoy the view of Finhaut, Switzerland: Anonymous writes: "I have two of these stamps the 20 Helvetica on a envelope A. FRANCKE AG. BERN POST MARKED 1948 WHAT DO I HAVE."

YOU HAVE TWO VERY NICE STAMPS. THANKS FOR WRITING.

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