Saturday, May 7, 2016

Herb could hook you up with some Netherland Dwarf rabbits

This advertisement is from the 1977-1978 yearbook of the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA). Why it's still in my house, I have no idea. This paperback copy once belonged to Gene Polette of Missoula, Montana, which is the birthplace of director David Lynch and now stands as Montana's second-largest city.

Long ago, I'm guessing, the yearbook drifted out of Polette's hands and ended up in the possession of a York County book dealer, who then sold it to me as part of a box of unwanted stock. So that's why it's still here in my hands. But I think I'll be donating it to this summer's Book Nook Bonanza, so perhaps it has many owners and adventures still ahead.

But I digress.

If you're actually interested in acquiring some Netherland Dwarf rabbits, including the Hannibal Lecter-themed bunny on the left side of the advertisement, I am sorry to report that it does not appear that Herb Dyck's Dwarf Den of Sepulveda, California, is still in business.

That's really no surprise, given that it's nearly four decades later. Wrangling dwarf rabbits is a tough business for the long haul. (As an aside, Supulveda is a Los Angeles community that started as Mission Acres, was named Sepulveda from the 1940s until 1990s, and is now known as North Hills.)

If you really have a hankering for some Netherland Dwarf rabbits, though, you can check out this current online directory of dealers.

Now, going to the other end of the Rabbit Size Spectrum, please enjoy these photographs of huge rabbits and their dog friends.

SOURCE: Wikipedia


SOURCE: Pinterest

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Get your discount copies of "Green Light," while stock lasts

It's been a long time since there was a Tucked Away Inside post on Papergreat.1 And it's been a really long time since there was a good Tucked Away Inside post on Papergreat.2

So here's a new one.

I'll let you judge whether it's "meh" or "good."

Upon opening a copy of the 1922 staplebound one-act play Sauce for the Goslings, by Elgine Warren3, I discovered a green leaflet advertising Green Light, by Lloyd C. Douglas.4

Now, here's the interesting part. The play was published in 1922, but Green Light, to the best of my research, wasn't published until 1934 or 1935. So this leaflet didn't find its way inside Sauce for the Goslings until more than a decade later. That's interesting, right?? (OK, maybe it's neither interesting nor unusual. In fact, I take a kind of perverse pleasure in creating Tucked Away Inside non sequiturs — putting new items inside old books and old items inside new books and then completely forgetting about them and leaving them as head-scratchers for some future ephemeraologist.)

The leaflet teases the "Sensational Offer" for Green Light. The book was available for $1.39 instead of the regular price of $2.50.
"Photoplay," in this instance, is a synonym for "motion picture." Indeed, Green Light was made into a 1937 film of the same name starring Errol Flynn.

A price of $1.39 in 1935 was the equivalent of about $24 today, so it was still a somewhat pricey novel, even with the "Sensational Offer."5

The reverse side of the leaflet indicates that the offer was being made by John W. Graham & Co. of Spokane, Washington. You can find some neat historical ephemera from that business at the Vintage Spokane blog. Here's my favorite:

That's it, unless you're truly interested in Sauce for the Goslings, in which case, if you ask nicely, I might read it and provide a review.

1. It's been 107 days since "Mrs. H.M. Stauffer's visiting card tucked inside an old book."
2. It's been (gasp) 434 days since "Some cool stuff inside 1878's "Young Folks' History of Germany" also known as the Mysterious White Powder Post.
3. It doesn't look like Elgine Warren published much beyond Sauce for the Goslings. His wife, however, earned some minor fame as a director. Here's an excerpt from Talahi, the 1922 yearbook for North Central High School in the Spokane, Washington, area:
"The Fortune Hunter" by Winchell Smith, which was presented May 10, 1922, in the North Central auditorium by the Masque Dramatic society, was considered a success. Miss Elgine Warren coached the production. The play was a clever comedy in four acts. It centered around Nathaniel Duncan, who had been petted all his life and supplied with too much money."
4. Here are Lloyd C. Douglas' previous appearances on Papergreat:
5. These days, you can get used copies of Green Light for $3 or less online.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mystery real photo postcard:
5 young ladies (4 of them cheery)

This unused postcard with no identifying information has an AZO stamp box on the back with four upward-pointing triangles. That dates the card to sometime between 1904 and 1918.

And that's all we know.

We don't have the slightest clue who these five young women are or what the occasion was for the group photo.

Four of them seem quite happy. And then there's the one in the middle, who's the shortest and/or youngest. Her look is ... different. I can't quite put my finger on what her mindset was as the photograph was taken. Maybe she was grumpy because her favorite baseball team lost that day. Maybe she was just as cheery as the others, but liked to exude an air of mystery (although I doubt she ever imagined that mystery would still be pondered 100+ years later.) What do you think?

Other mystery real photo postcards

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review & other notes: "Killer Stuff and Tons of Money"

I recently finished Killer Stuff and Tons of Money: An Insider's Look at the World of Flea Markets, Antiques, and Collecting by Maureen Stanton.

It's an enjoyable read about the life of New Englander "Curt Avery" (a pseudonym) and his dogged work as a buyer and seller at antique shows and flea markets, including Brimfield.

I gave it 3.75 stars (out of 5) in my Goodreads review, because I'm allowed to grade on quarter stars, if I want to.

Here's my review, followed by some additional notes:
I enjoyed this book, and you will, too, if you're interested in its primary topic of the world of higher-end flea markets and antique shows. There's an abundance of great detail about buying, selling, haggling, finding hidden gems, making mistakes, detecting fakes, navigating auctions, surviving the crushing schedule of a dealer's life on a road, and figuring out what to do when your house, garage and vehicle become filled with antiques.

I think there could have been a great book about just that aforementioned world, but Stanton tries to delve into a lot other topics, too. To me, that's to the detriment of the main narrative and the book's overall achievement.

The primary portion of the book is a "road trip" non-fiction narrative into the world of these antique shows, with the author's focus on protagonist Curt Avery (a pseudonym). Stanton is fully part of this action, inserting herself into Avery's world as his assistant and sometimes understudy. This is the best part of the book.

But there are also a number of side chapters away from the main narrative, on topics such as eBay; humans' general urge to collect, throughout history; antique repair, restoration and fakery; PBS' Antiques Roadshow; and, most irritatingly to me, a segment on comics, toys and modern collectibles toward that end of the book that really crushes the momentum. That last segment is too shallow to offer insight for comic book and toy collectors and too long, in my mind, to interest readers who would prefer to know more about bottles and redware and blanket chests and the traditional antiques that are the soul of the book.

The book comes close to going all in on "Curt Avery," which I think would have made for an incredibly compelling story. The biographical sections, the sections about his overcrowded house, the sections about his buying and selling philosophy, the sections about his desire to make it to the "next level" of antique dealing ... these are all gold. He's the star of the book, and Stanton gives us a much great detail, thanks to so many years of access. I think that could have been the whole book, with just a few sidebars more closely related to Avery's work. He certainly bares his soul in lot of ways, but I wish Stanton had gone even deeper with her look at his life. A reason she doesn't is probably the same reason she granted him — and, disturbingly, so many other real people in the book — a pseudonym. Stanton explains the reasons for the anonymity, but it seems a weak defense to me.

The only other issue I had with the book are the occasional two- or three-page tangents on the history of a particular kind of object or type of collecting. They have the dry feel of encyclopedia entries and are not at all in keeping with the rest of the book's lively writing style. I found myself speed-reading some of them.

I'm sorry about the editor side of me making this such a critical review. It's just shy of a four-star book, and I do give it a full recommendation if you're interested in the topic. I just think it could have been something even greater. (And, yes, I suspect and understand that some of the content and structural decisions were almost certainly made to give the book the wider general appeal that frustrated me in spots.)
Other notes
  • I was surprised to find that a considerable segment of the book was about an antiques show here in York, just a few miles from my house. Avery sets up a booth at the York Fairgrounds during the first year of the merger between Jim Burk's Greater York Antiques Show and Barry Cohen's York Country Classic. We also get this amusing breakfast moment:
    "Avery digs into his scrapple, a local specialty made from leftover pig parts, the offal, head, heart, liver, and other scraps mixed with cornmeal and herbs, formed into a loaf, sliced, and fried. He wants to buy a loaf to take home."
  • There are also a couple of mentions of frakturs, Pennsylvania Dutch folk art pieces that can be very valuable, if you happen to spot one in the wild.
  • If you're seeking a good bibliography on the topics of antiques and collecting, Stanton gives you a terrific start, listing well over 150 volumes. And I get the impression she read them all during the course of researching and writing this book. There are also nearly 30 pages of exhaustive notes and citations at the end of the book.
  • This book made me want to go picking, but I also realize now that I would never want to wade into a the sea of humanity at an event like Brimfield. I prefer quieter hunts.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Good giggle from Doctor Strange #2

As a book person, I enjoyed this humorous moment in Doctor Strange #2, by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo.1

The laugh for readers comes as Stephen Strange and Zelma Stanton, a librarian, are investigating an otherworldly (what else?) disturbance at Strange's mansion, the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Indeed, no self-respecting sorcerer or bibliophile would ever pile their books vertically.

Of course, it's not Strange's fault. As Dr. Venkman would say, "no human being would stack books like this."

But I reckon that when you have a library filled with arcane and occult tomes, some of which have a mind of their own, these sorts of shenanigans will happen on occasion.

As an aside from the comic-book sorcery, if you're interested in how actual humans have organized and shelved their books throughout history, I highly recommend The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski.

1. I've sort of reverted to age 12 and have been reading a number of new comics lately. Other than Doctor Strange, I'm also following Black Panther (by Ta-Nehisi Coates); Ms. Marvel; Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!; and Providence (by Alan Moore). In addition, I'm working through late Silver/early Bronze volumes of The Avengers, Sub-Mariner, Man-Thing and Doctor Strange.

Trio of nifty Postcrossing arrivals

Here's a rundown of three recent arrivals to my mailbox via Postcrossing. (As an aside, I've been trying to figure out if there's a way to send a card to a Postcrossing user in Syria. The United States Postal Service suspended mail service that war-torn nation in 2013, but I learned yesterday there might be a way to send something "via Egypt." We shall see.)

Above: This card is from Helen, an artist who lives near Kyiv, Ukraine. She used a combination of calligraphy and neatly done cursive in her message and wrote: "I am a teacher of drawing in children, love art, sewing and listening music." Not a bad job on that message, given that English is her third language. The card introduced me to Ukraine's Olesko Castle, which dates to the late 13th or early 14th century. John III Sobieski, who went on to become King of Poland, was born in a quiet corner of the castle on August 17, 1629, while a thunderstorm and bloody battle with Tatars raged outside. Olesko Castle today serves as a museum.

Above: This postcard is from Svenja in Germany. She writes: "Greetings from Herne in the west of Germany! I live in an area called 'Ruhrgebiet,' named by the river Ruhr. Here are many big and small cities near together like one huge city." The postcard from Svenja actually features an American artist, Mark Ryden. The image is just a detail of the extremely vertical 2006 oil painting "General Sherman," which is part of Ryden's Tree Show. This is actually one of Ryden's least-bizarre images; surrealism, pop culture and some incredible strangeness run through his work. I have zero idea what to make of his 2006 painting "Fetal Trapping in Northern California."

Above: Last up is this postcard from Eudora in Taiwan, who writes: "I am 15 and I live with my family in the north of Taiwan. This card is a handmade one I bought at a Sunday market. Isn't it beautiful?" Indeed, it is beautiful. The artist who created this goes by the name Princess Cada and has a Facebook page and online store. When I wrote and told her that one of her pieces of artwork showed up at my house in southcentral Pennsylvania, she replied: "So happy to know my art work is travel overseas and so glad to receive your kind message. I will keep drawing and hopping [sic] to share more colors to the world."

Sharing more colors to the world is a good goal for all of us, don't you think?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

From the readers: Weeds, bats, dolls, fictional mice, pennies and more

Here is the latest collection of reader comments and greatly appreciated assistance solving the Great Mysteries of Life presented here on Papergreat.

Book cover: "Safe Bind, Safe Find" by Garry Hogg: Mom writes: "'Weeded' is the perfect word. Pull out the dead stuff that doesn't circulate, make room for new 'green' books."

Of course, "weed" is just a subjective term we use to refer to, as Wikipedia states, "a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation."

For example, the particular situation of dandelions in the front yard. But I don't sweat the dandelions too much, and I'm not going to put chemicals on my lawn or pay someone else to do that.1 Besides, the dandelions are good for the embattled bees, who need all the help they can get.

But I digress. The point is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While I agree 100 percent with the necessity of libraries "weeding" books, it seems unfortunate to slap a poor book with such a demeaning label. Why not just a modest-sized "REMOVED FROM COLLECTION" or "WITHDRAWN" stamp? Let the book retain some dignity! Either way, though, we do like the "weeds" here at Papergreat. They're some of the coolest books.

Celebrating Earth Day 2016 with 6 awe-inspiring vintage postcards: Nena Zachary Challenner, commenting on Facebook about the "Bat Flight from Cavern Entrance" postcard, writes: "I've been there and seen that! I was about 6 years old, and I reached up as [the bats] flew over. I almost gave my mother a heart attack."

Questions, answers & mysteries with Hookland's David Southwell (Part 2): Anonymous writes: "This is an excellent interview. My latest interest is the 'hauntological'/folk-horror dramas and books of the 1960s and '70s, and Hookland is one of the most marvellous things I have discovered in aeons. I concur with Ballard when he says that a sense of place is vital. I think I shall have to visit Hookland sometime."

Thanks for the note! It spurred me to look up the hauntology post on Wikipedia.

"Jim and Judy," a 1939 grade-school textbook with a York connection: Anonymous writes: "This is the book I read in PS 44, Rockaway, NY, in the 1950s. All these years of seeing Dick and Jane primers, I didn't know if it still existed. What struck me as a child were the beautiful illustrations."

"Oh You Little Darling!" and a 19th century Michigan variety store: Musical Instrument Analyst Joan writes: "So upon closer look, I'm pretty sure that's not a real instrument, because of where the mouthpiece connects relative to where the sound comes out. (Think about it — how would the air ever get to the right side of the picture?)"

Modern postcard: The great stairway in Odessa, Ukraine: Robert McKay writes: "Great stairway! Right to heaven! I was in Odessa 2 years ago in a journey provided by [Tourist Club]. Great place and I strongly recommend you to visit it. There are a lot of monuments and beautiful things."

(OK, that comment might have been spam/advertising, but I liked it and decided to include it here.)

Happy 100th birthday, Beverly Cleary! Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "Great tribute to a great author. My first experience with Beverly Cleary was with Runaway Ralph in 4th grade. I checked it out from the library simply because the cover had a mouse riding a motorcycle. How could you go wrong? I fell into Ralph's world and couldn't put it down. Then I discovered I was actually reading a sequel to The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Ramona books followed and, despite it being about a girl, I could relate. I read every Ramona book to my daughter when she was little. Happy 100th birthday, Beverly. May your books live on another 100 and more."

Partially deciphering a "Buttonwood Farm" postcard from 1913: Tom also provided some great assistance in deciphering the postmark on this one. I was thinking Duncannon or Duncansville. But I like his guess better: "Dunns Station." Nice work, Tom! He also adds: "The 'booby' might be 'babby' and be a misspelling of 'baby', especially since someone wrote the 'babbies' later on."

Another comment on this post came from Linda, who learned about Papergreat through a Postcrossing exchange: "It is lovely! Thank you so much for sharing. You have a fascinating and enjoyable blog. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada."

Four pennies left in their refund envelope for decades*: Mom writes: "Great post! This one made me laugh out loud!"

And Tom adds: "I'm an unabashedly, unashamed penny picker upper. This reminds me of my first job when I worked at a local small-town bank. I worked at the original location that had been built in 1908. Occasionally, I had to go to the basement for supplies and I always extended my trip by snooping around in all the old files. Once I found a box full of the bank's business cards with a penny glued to each one. They were from some kind of 'Earn a penny, save a penny' campaign in the '70s. I took one from my birth year and still have it."

Oberammergau Passion Play (Postcard Blogathon 2013): Stuart Williams writes: "Hi. Your postcard relates to the 1950 Oberammergau Passionspeile."

Thanks! I had been unsure whether this card was from the 1950 production or 1960 production.

Norva Hotel: An in-progress mystery from York, Pennsylvania: JM writes: "I'm guessing that they were proud of innerspring mattresses as a big step up from ones using straw, feathers or horse hair as was common back then."

1. And if the neighbors don't like it, that's just too bad.

Vintage charity labels for Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Texas

These come from a full sheet of 50 charity labels (also known as Cinderella stamps) that were used in fundraising for Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, near Amarillo, Texas. The facility, now operating as "a residential community open to at-risk children ages 5 to 18," opened in 1939.

My guess is that these seals date to the 1960s. Many different varieties supporting Cal Farley's have been printed over the decades. (They're all over eBay, if you want some.) I'm not sure if there's much of a market for collecting the most common Cinderella stamps, but there are definitely folks who collect rare ones.

These Cal Farley labels include the phrases "It's Where You're Going That Counts" and "It's Easy To Smile When Someone Cares."

Printed across the bottom of the sheet is:


Cal Farley (1895-1967) was a World War I veteran, semi-pro baseball player, professional wrestler and businessman who has been called "America's Greatest Foster Father."

In addition to founding Boys Ranch, he assisted C.C. "Bus" Dugger with the launch of Kids, Incorporated, a youth sports association, in 1945. (Dugger died a few weeks ago at age 96.)

The Cal Farley organization's ongoing outreach and involvement also includes the Genie Farley Harriman Center for Women & Children. It was formerly known as Girlstown U.S.A. According to Cal Farley website:
"In 1987, Cal Farley’s welcomed Girlstown, U.S.A. into its family of services. Founded in 1949, Girlstown offered girls a safe shelter from life’s storms. By the mid-1990s, Boys Ranch had integrated girls into campus life and, in June 2012, the Whiteface, Texas, campus became home to the Genie Farley Harriman Center for Women & Children. The CWC provides single adult mothers a safe living environment while they transition to independent living."
There is also the Boys Ranch Independent School District, which includes an elementary, middle and high school and "was established in 1941 through legislative action. It is considered a 'special purpose' independent school district of Texas, funded in part through annual contributions from Cal Farley's and in part through state and federal education funding mechanisms."