Saturday, March 12, 2016

Coronado Courts in Santa Fe:
"As Modern as Tomorrow"

This undated, unused postcard features Coronado Courts, located on the Albuquerque Highway in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I'm guessing it's long, long gone, but don't know much about its history.

The hotel was a member of the Congress of Motor Hotels, which had a nifty little logo. According to 2002's The Motel in America by John A. Jakle, Keith A. Sculle and Jefferson S. Rogers:
"Founded in the early 1950s in Santa Monica, California, the Congress of Motor Hotels was a referral group formed as a membership cooperative. It was run very much like Best Western and Quality Courts United, except that greater emphasis was placed on motel financing."
Here's the description of Coronado Courts from the back of the postcard:
"38 units, fully modern. Free TV, Radios, Phones in all rooms. As modern as Tomorrow. We take a personal interest in making your stay pleasant and informative. The Angiers, owners and operators."
The card was published by Ward Anderson Printing Company of Albuquerque.

Related posts

1910 postcard of Rocky Springs Park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

This old postcard, which was made in Germany and has a thick crease down the middle, features the Rocky Springs Park and People's Bathing Resort in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Rocky Springs Park has a storied past. According to the history page on the current website for the park, its tale began in 1855, when butcher Michael Trissler bought land along the Conestoga River, dubbed it Rocky Springs, and built a hotel.

In 1899, the site went under the management of Herman Griffiths. During this time, again according to
"Many amusements were planned throughout the summer months including water shows on the river, rough riding and horse training shows, dancing in the pavilions and bathing in the resort area by the Conestoga River. A 2,000 seat auditorium was built and hosted vaudeville, music and variety shows."
This is the period of Rocky Springs Park pictured on this postcard.

During the 20th century, the park's history came to include a trolley station, a roller coaster, a carousel, shaved ice and other concessions, a fun house, a miniature train and a roller rink. Read all about it here. You can also learn more about the site's history via these articles: "Lancaster That Was" and "Picnicking was popular at Rocky Springs/Demuth's Park" by Cynthia Douts Roth.

The park is currently owned by the Stoltzfus family. They have a bed & breakfast and plans to renovate portions of Rocky Springs.

For more Papergreat posts on Lancaster history, start with last month's post on bingo cards from Rebman's carnival supply house. It has, at the bottom of the post, a directory of Lancaster-themed posts.

* * *

Turning to the back of today's postcard, it was postmarked in Lancaster in September 1910 and mailed to a Dr. E.G. Regennas in some darn place in Indiana that I can't figure out from the handwriting or Google searches:

Heopa. Heapa. Heoka. I am stymied! Help!

Finally, here's the message on the postcard:
"Dear Papa: Many thanks for $$$$$$$. I expect to come home. I mean start the 16th of Sept. Will let you know for sure later. Will write soon. Love to all. Your daughter [unreadable]."

Friday, March 11, 2016

A sneak peek at Papergreat's new ephemera filing system

Great news! I have finally gotten all of Papergreat's ephemera out of the warehouse (which was charging an exorbitant fee), and all of my postcards, receipts, bookplates, photos and more are now being sorted within this state-of-the-art filing system. These three men have agreed to be paid with books, which works out well for me.

OK, OK...

Here's the real background of this amazing photo from 79 years ago:
The offices of the Central Social Institution of Prague, Czechoslovakia, with the largest vertical letter file in the world. Consisting of cabinets arranged from floor to ceiling tiers covering over 4,000 square feet and containing over 3,000 drawers, each 10 feet long. It has electric operated elevator desks which rise, fall and move left or right at the push of a button, stopping just before drawer desired. The drawers also open and close electronically. Thus work which formerly taxed 400 workers is now done by 20 with a minimum of effort. 26th April 1937.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Which vintage "Dracula" cover is your favorite?

It's been, oh, about 6,198 weeks since Dracula by Bram Stoker was first published in 1897. There have been many, many editions over the decades. I have gathered images of a few of the earlier ones here.

Tell me which one you like the most in the comments. Or share a link to an edition you like even more. (And make sure your windows are battened tightly tonight.)

Above: First illustrated edition, published by Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd, London, 1901

Above: Grosset & Dunlap, 1930

Above: Pocket Books, 1947

Above: Irish translation from 1933 with Austin Molloy cover design

Above: Photoplay Edition. Grosset & Dunlap, 1931

Monday, March 7, 2016

Postcard of vanished attraction:
Ed's Ghost Town in Indiana

This vintage postcard, made by Dexter of West Nyack, New York, and published by Van Buren Color of Indianapolis, highlights the ramshackle shoe, clock and barber shops at Ed's Ghost Town, a roadside attraction that was once located, according to the back of the postcard, 12 miles west of Bedford, Indiana, on U.S. Highway 50.

The postcard description further states: "Visit this unusual exhibit of Museum Antiques: Old buildings, Old vehicles, Old furniture, and many other interesting Showpieces. Located in the heart of Scenic Southern Indiana."

That dandy website has an excellent page with details and memories of Ed's Ghost Town, which, sadly, burned down in 1981.

Back in the day, there were no-frills signs in both directions on Route 50, letting drivers know precisely how many miles remained until the Ghost Town. (That reminds me a bit of the Wall Drug signs.)

One person writes on
"I would give anything to visit Ed's as it was in the early 1970s -- the way I remember it as a young child with my mom and dad -- just one more time. We lived just outside Cincinnati, and my grandparents lived in Petersburg, Indiana, so we made the trip down Route 50 several times a year. I loved visiting Ed's gift shop: the candy, the toys and souvenirs, the geodes and polished rocks, the postcards."
But there's much more, so go check the stories and pictures on

And here's a YouTube video with home movies from the Ghost Town:

If you have your own memories of Ed's or similar roadside attractions, share them in the comments.

Note: This is the 1,800th Papergreat post.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lost Corners of the Internet:
Cacoethes Scribendi

On the heels of last night's post, here is the first "Lost Corners of the Internet" that I want to share.

I came across this Cacoethes Scribendi blog last summer while researching some sci-fi fanzines that had a similar title. Cacoethes Scribendi is a Latin phrase for an "insatiable desire to write."

This post at is uncomfortable and unsettling. It was, coincidentally, posted exactly seven years ago today, on March 6, 2009. It was one of only two posts ever made by the author, whose first post had been three days earlier.

The author doesn't name herself, although there might be enough biographical information for someone familiar with her to figure out who it is. On the Wordpress blog's "About" page, it simply states: "No one of any consequence, really."

Here's the March 6, 2009, post in its entirety. Trigger warning: It's grim. Part of me wondered at one point whether the post was a writing exercise, giving voice to a fictional character. But I don't think that's the case.

Mostly, I just hope the author of this post is OK...

If I were dying.
6 MARCH 2009
tags: afterlife, Death, suicide

Someone asked me today how I would feel if I were told I was dying. Actually, I’d welcome it. Not that I’m feeling suicidal. I’m just worn down and worn out. Have been for years, I think. Nothing major is wrong, unless it’s wrong to be a dreamer stuck in reality. I’ve never cared much for reality, but no matter how much one tries to avoid it, it’s always Right Here.

I’ll turn 50 this December. When I was 20, I had dreams of becoming a published writer. A few of those dreams came true with the small press publication of 25+ fanzines and even a professional novelization of a teleplay in A Fandom That Shall Remain Nameless And Is Dead Anyway.

In my 30s, my writing partner and I submitted and sold – in one try – a short story to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine. I’ve been told this was nothing short of a miracle – that the old goat was infamously difficult to sell to. There was so much you couldn’t write about if you were sending it in for her consideration (not to mention her minions that you had to get past before a mss even got to her), it was hard to find something to write about.

I met MZB at one of her convention appearances, but I much preferred Anne McCaffrey. She greeted fans as if they were friends and understood their attachment to her characters – she was attached to them too. She told the best stories of her home in Ireland and its horses, and was someone you felt as if you already knew the moment you met.

Unfortunately, MZB didn’t quite make the same impression. She sat at her panel table on high, coughing and hacking overtop the other panel members, constantly sipping water and appearing as though she was on her death bed (at least 10 years before she died). I wasn’t impressed, but She Had The Power, and so we submitted work to The Egotistical, Eternally Opinionated Old Bat Residing In California.) At the time, it was an exercise in, “Let’s send this in and see what happens.” Much to our surprise, it got us something like $300. Not bad. I only wish we had kept going.

In my 30s, my writing partner and I were building a good foundation. We had talent. We were selling. And then my partner stopped writing. Our work was much better together than it was individually, and so I waited.

Thirteen years later, I’m still waiting. And mourning what might have been. What good is that? Common sense said move on without her. My heart said I couldn’t. Stupid heart.

So. Dying.

I haven’t a deathwish. I’m forging ahead, learning to write in new genres after having wasted so much time – literally years – believing and then hoping my partner would once again settle before a keyboard.

I know I can do the writing by myself. I’m even pretty sure it would sell. Because I’m the one who marketed those zines and yeah, they sold. For five years, they sold. I’m the one who outlined everything and write the first drafts and edited the final drafts. I’m the one who has the Bachelor’s Degree in English with a Writing Emphasis – I know what I’m doing.

I only wish I’d done it earlier.

So yeah, I can do it. But my heart’s not in it.

Oh, my heart’s still in writing – I can’t not write – but something has died on the submitting, the hoping, the waiting. My energy, my competitive soul has been squashed flat somewhere along the line. And not just as it comes to submissions. It seems to have filled my entire life.

Some people would call this depression. If so, I’m too tired inside to get help. I don’t want to die, per se. I would like to have a life before death and don’t know how to get off the hamster wheel. After this long, I just stay on it and keep paying the bills.

I’m only one person alone, after all. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. I don’t do writers’ groups – too many egos, too many politics. And I had enough master classes in college, I really don’t want critiques over tea…or to face the egotistical local writer who began the group because he wants to pontificate about technique.

So, if I were told I was dying, I wouldn’t mind very much. Because all I see in front of me are twenty more years of slogging through an 8:30-5:00 job, five days a week, 49 weeks a year. Living for those three weeks of vacation where I can sleep in. Waiting until Social Security kicks in and I can begin withdrawing from whatever IRA or 401K still has pennies in it. If the world doesn’t end by black hole, meteor, volcano, nuclear winter, famine, whatever before January 2030.

I haven’t a husband. No children or grand-children. I’ll leave behind no hostages to fate when I go. No one to worry about. My property, in total, is left to that same writing partner if she survives me. If she doesn’t, it all goes to the local Tibetan Monastery. The spoils of my life are small: a house that will be paid off two years after I retire, a grandfather clock, 200+ biographies on Oscar Wilde, 2000+ other books, my Sherlock Holmes collection, a harp, and whatever cat I have at the time.

I’m glad to leave no one behind. No one to worry if they’ll be okay the rest of their life.

So no, I wouldn’t mind dying. I’m not a morning person – or a mourning person – and I think it would be restful to finally close my eyes, to exhale and just…not…inhale…again. No one would miss me. Oh, perhaps my writing partner would, a little bit. But if my parents were already gone…no one would miss me.

At 50, I have no illusions that I’ve ever belonged in this world, or to it either. So why would I want to stay? If I had money and the option to travel – to see London again, to immerse myself in the British Library Reading Room, to properly tour the British Museum, or tour the Cotswolds or settle in a tiny village in Wales…to have the luxury of time to actually have a life, then I’d feel differently.

But this is no life. This is surviving. Millions do it every day.

But only yesterday five more people were laid off at work (this looks to be a semi-annual occurrence in September and March until things improve). The rest of us remain behind to keep our heads down, attempt to not attract the local equivalent of the Eye of Sauron, and continue to do our jobs…and those of the laid off as well. Next week will be the same as last week, which will be the same as next month, and next year if my employer is still in existence. And if they are not?…

Then I will submit manuscripts to a certain publisher who will probably buy them. And I will write more. But I will not make enough to see London or Stonehenge again. I won’t have the luxury of learning proper calligraphy in a university class (the nearest university is 100 miles away), or the proper way to create an illuminated manuscript until I am dead.

I suppose I could join the local branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism – their members know how to illuminate – but can you see a 50-year-old saying, “I want to play in your pseudo-medieval world”? Select a persona, dress up as a nun, and kowtow to the local lords and ladies while I earn my place among those who began playing the SCA game in college, and now are raising their children/grandchildren in it? Who wants to watch someone like me make a modern fool of themselves?

A monsignor once assured me that, in heaven, one can study and learn anything one likes. If you fancy painting, you can learn at [pick an artist]’s elbow. I hope he was right, and that there are medieval monks from ancient monasteries willing to teach a girl how to draw magnificent letters and designs.

I’m also told if I would convert to Catholicism, I could become a nun and create such manuscripts now. Alas…I have experienced one failed marriage already; I think it would break my heart to marry God and have it end in divorce as well.

So. Dying. The ultimate end or the ultimate in creative freedom. Either way, I will be much happier than I am now.

So, while I am not suicidal, if Azrael came to call tonight, I wouldn’t hesitate to take his hand. I would so dearly love to go home and, finally, have a life. Even if that life were after death.