Sunday, August 14, 2016

From the readers: Pack-o-Fun, book clubs, Reddy Kilowatt & more

Here's the latest collection of great things sent in by Papergreat's readers...

Plenty of projects in Pack-o-Fun: Deana David found this 2011 post and wrote: "What a fantastic blog. I collect these Pack-O-Fun's and have always wondered about their origins. I don't collect as late as the 1970s — although I think I'll start — so I really appreciate you taking the time to put up something like this with charm and social importance that other people can benefit by — thanks!"

Thank you for the nice note, Deana! It means a lot. When I'm not being silly, I do try frequently to create posts that lay out some of the history behind the items I'm writing about.

1970s Woodsy Owl bookmark: "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute." Anonymous writes: "There was a boy at MY school, St. Roberts grade school in Shorewood, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, who came up with that exact slogan for a contest several years BEFORE Earth Day 1970. Not sure if it was the same contest."

We are clearly in need of a national commission to investigate the true origins of this slogan.

Stock up cheaply with the Science Fiction Book Club [circa 1971]: Tom from the awesome Garage Sale Finds blog writes: "I joined that club in the 1980s. The initial offer is a good deal, but they start sending you offers every month and if you don't mail back a rejection in time, they ship the books to you, which of course is how they make their money. After accepting a few unwanted shipments, I started marking the packages 'delivery refused' and returned them to the mailbox. After a few times of that, the company sent a letter that said essentially, 'Hey, how about if we just send you books that you request?' Perfect."

Photos: Dilapidated Souvenir Land near Lawtey, Florida: Joan writes: "I love all these photos, but especially the owl, which reminds me of our famous Auction Owl Antique Store Item."

Children of America Stories: 5 awesome vintage covers: Anonymous writes: "I have 6 of her books which were my mother-in-law's. I recently dug them out of her old trunk. Should I sell or hang onto? My kids are teenagers and too old now to enjoy."

There's no right or wrong answer. Hold onto them if they interest you. Keep them for your grandchildren to look at. Sell them to a local dealer. Put them on eBay. (Though I'm not sure they will net a huge return, unless they are pristine.) Donate them to a book sale. Place them in a Little Free Library and let them wander the world.

Colorful gallery of vintage Cinderella stamps: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "'Cinderella Stamps.' I learned a new term today. Thanks! The Christmas seal ones are great."

Reddy Kilowatt & the Tower of Light at the 1964 New York World's Fair: Sandi writes: "My parents attended that fair ... the biggest event I ever remember them attending (since they weren't interested in Woodstock ... crazy!). They brought home gifts for my brother (only boy) and baby sister ... whom ironically enough we nicknamed Reddy Kilowatt because of her deep red hair."

Mystery photo that might have come from an early photo booth: If you've read the post, you know that my lame guess is that the name scrawled on the tiny photo is "Lois Lane." Here are two better guesses:

1. Mom thinks the first word is "love," rather than a name. So perhaps the writing states: "Love, Anne." Or something along those lines.

2. Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "It looks like 'Lois Mue' to me. There was a Lois Mue who would have been about the right age (born 1908) who lived in North Carolina in 1940."

These are much more helpful leads than my thought that it was a reporter from The Daily Planet.

Five random old postcards: With regard to the postcard of United Witch Hazel Distillers in Trumbull, Connecticut, Mom writes: "Grandma always had a bottle or 2 of witch hazel in the medicine cabinet, using it for what was described in your blog. We probably tossed some!!!"

Indeed, I can confirm that some witch hazel was tossed during The Great Oak Crest Lane Cleanout.

Order "The World's Last Mysteries" for just $11.97: James Cobalt writes: "I had this book as a little kid. It made me unreasonably anxious about black holes. And yes, I am googling the stuff [listed in the post]."

The (new) oddest stuff I've found tucked inside a book: Matthew writes: "I was just given a few cards of mending wool from an aunt that came from Cynthia Mills that seems to be of great quality. Not sure what I'll do with it though."

Mystery photo: Going on a bus trip: Kate writes: "Love finding old photos and imagining the stories behind them. Wouldn't it be cool if someone did recognize them? Would love to know where they were going!"

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