Saturday, August 6, 2016

1955 stamp: "Atoms for Peace"

This bluish, three-cent stamp puts forth the idea of "Atoms for Peace," which is kind of odd. Atoms are not sentient — to the best of our knowledge — and therefore cannot take sides in the peace vs. war debate.1

The stamp, which was issued on July 28, 1955, in a quantity of about 133 million, commemorates President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s address to the United Nations General Assembly in December 1953, which was titled "Atoms for Peace." In an attempt to ratchet down Cold War fears and also, partly, to assuage Oppenheimer's guilty conscience, it laid out Eisenhower's vision of using nuclear power for peace, rather than warfare and destruction.

Following Eisenhower's speech, the new "Atoms for Peace" program supplied equipment and information to schools, hospitals, and research institutions worldwide. America also helped with the construction of the first nuclear reactors in Iran, Israel and Pakistan. An interesting analysis by Peter R. Lavoy on the Arms Control Association website mentions the mixed legacy of Eisenhower's mostly well-intentioned agenda. Here's an excerpt:
"Critics correctly point out that the road to nuclear weapons production would have been much rockier for India and Pakistan had the United States not launched Atoms for Peace. The liberal nuclear export policies initiated by the United States and other Western suppliers in the mid-1950s dramatically reduced the costs of undertaking serious nuclear research and development for dozens of nations around the world. Proponents of nuclear energy in countries without a nuclear program before Atoms for Peace, or other countries with foundering programs, were now able to convince national leaders of the technical and economic feasibility of operating nuclear reactors, uranium-enrichment plants, and plutonium reprocessing facilities. In a handful of cases, highly determined governments succeeded in producing nuclear weapons from so-called peaceful nuclear technologies."
Despite this proliferation, we have survived the Cold War and the worldwide nuclear arms buildup. Our atomic and nuclear concerns these days tend to be more along the lines of black-market fissile material, dirty bombs, terrorists and rogue states. We need to keep those atoms at peace.

* * *
Speaking of peace, my favorite Tweet regarding last night's opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, came from Samara Brito, a physics teacher living in Brazil...

That translates to: "The inclusion of #RefugeeOlympicTeam is a lesson for all of us, that we sometimes forget, our house is the planet Earth."

1. I was also going to mention that atoms are never truly at rest, but I don't think that's true and, as I dipped my toe into a discussion of invariant mass, I realized I was way, way out of my league.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Postcard: Water Garden at Rockome (an Amish fun park)

Hey kids, this is how people used to blog in the Olden Days!


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Nice inscription inside "A New England Boyhood"

It's been way too long since I've posted a book inscription, so here's the first one (!) of 2016.

The inscription appears on the second blank page at the front of A New England Boyhood, an autobiographical book written by Edward Everett Hale and published by Little, Brown and Company of Boston in 1898.1

The inscription is directed to William H. Gutelius Jr. and, amazingly, this isn't the first appearance of a Gutelius on Papergreat. Back in 2013 I had a 1915 postcard addressed to a Mr. W.H. Gutelius in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.2 My guess is that the boy who received this book is the son of the Gutelius previously featured.

Here's the full text of the inscription:
William H. Gutelius, Jr.
From his friend & old teacher, Hannah Whitson.
May this beautiful, pure, happy, New England Boyhood give much joy to an honest, sturdy, Pennsyslvania [sic] Boyhood.
Xmas 1900.
I hope this inspires you to give someone the gift of a book when December rolls around. And write a sweet inscription (with the date!) so that, if the book survives, someone can see your inscription in the year 2132 and maybe blog about it, if they have blogs then.3

1. A man named Darren posted the following four-star review of A New England Boyhood on in 2012: "Very interesting read that provides insight into the boyhood of a well known Bostonian from the mid to late 1800s. Highly recommend for those interested in old New England and Boston and biographies. I really enjoyed Mr. Hale's commentary. It also always made me smile when he'd refer to how things were and how modern and fast paced they had become ... in the 1890s. His writing style matches the time but thankfully is casual."
2. With regard to that 2013 Gutelius post, I received a very odd email earlier this year that wove a tale involving the Charles Lindbergh Jr. kidnapping, a club foot, birth certificate and autopsy shenanigans and the possible switcheroo of toddlers.
3. In the year 2132, according to Wikipedia, a time capsule on Rideau Street in Ottawa, Ontario, is intended to be opened. It was buried in 1982.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Mystery photo that might have come from an early photo booth

Here's another mystery photo from the family archives. It's likely between 80 and 90 years old. It's tiny, measuring a little less than 2½ inches wide, and it looks like something that might have come from an early version of a photo booth. (According to Wikipedia, the first "modern" photo booths appeared in the United States around 1925. For 25 cents — about $3.40 today — you got eight printed photos and had to wait about 10 minutes. This webpage has some early 20th century photo-booth strips that look similar to this one.)

The identity of this teenager or young woman in unclear. It was probably a friend of my great-grandfather or great-grandmother. There's something scrawled across the bottom in black ink, but it's difficult to decipher.

(At first glance, I thought the name there was "Lois Lane," but that's obviously not right. It could be Lois as the first name, though.)

Here's a closer look at the two photographs, including that heavy fur coat. If you think this might be your long-lost Great Aunt Lois, please leave a comment!

Book cover: "Honey Bunch: Her First Trip on the Ocean"

  • Title: Honey Bunch: Her First Trip on the Ocean
  • Author: Helen Louise Thorndyke — a pseudonym for Josephine Lawrence (1889–1978)
  • Illustrator: Walter S. Rogers
  • Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York
  • Year: 1927
  • Pages: 184
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First sentence: "I'm a little upset," said Honey Bunch sorrowfully.
  • Last sentence: "And here you are," said Mrs. Miller, smiling. "We'll have to call this our lucky day, Honey Bunch."
  • Character names: Honey Bunch, Mrs. Miller, Lady Clare, Mrs. Maltese, Norman Clark, Ida Camp, Elmer Gray, Anna Martin, Mary and Fannie Graham, Grace Winters, Kitty and Cora Williams ... and those are just some of the characters from the first 10 pages! There's also a China doll named Dot.
  • Notes: There were more than 30 books in the Honey Bunch series, which started in 1923 and went on for several decades. The series was produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate (see this 2011 Papergreat post). ... Josephine Lawrence, a novelist and journalist, wrote the first 16 or 17, including Honey Bunch: Her First Trip on the Ocean, which is No. 8 in the series. ... According to Deidre Johnson, writing on
    "Lawrence's fiction for the Stratemeyer Syndicate generally dealt with children leading comfortable, often privileged, lives. ... In an analysis of Honey Bunch, Bobbie Ann Mason observes that the stories 'celebrate materialistic values ... in Honey Bunch's luxurious world, the thrills of travel, mystery, and novelty are the pleasures of a comfortable superior order.'"
    ... A page near the back of this book contains a message to readers about the importance of the dust jacket (calling it the wrapper):
    "On the reverse side of the wrapper which comes with this book, you will find a wonderful list of stories which you can buy at the same store where you got this book.
    Don't throw away the Wrapper
    Use it as a handy catalog of the books you want some day to have. But in case you do mislay it, write to the Publishers for a complete catalog."
    Alas, this copy of Honey Bunch: Her First Trip on the Ocean that I'm holding in my hands no longer has its wrapper. ... If you're interested, copies of this 1927 book can be bought for $4-$6 on Amazon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Lost Corners of the Internet:
Will Ternay's vegan scrapple

It's been more than three years since I became a pescatarian, and you might be surprised to learn what meat I miss the most.

It's scrapple. By a country mile.

The funny thing, of course, is that many meat eaters despise or refuse to try this Pennsylvania Dutch treat — pork scraps and offal mixed together with cornmeal, flour and spices and then formed into a loaf that's cut into slices and fried in a pan. Depending on the thickness of the slice and the frying time, you can get mushy pieces or extra-crispy pieces. They're both wonderful.

But no more pigs for me, since 2013. And I'm OK with that.

But I did get curious and wonder if anyone had tried, improbably, to create a vegetarian version of scrapple.

As it turns out, numerous chefs have gone down that road.

There's Katie Cavuto's Curried Root Vegetable Scrapple, which uses sweet potatoes and butternut squash.

There's Delishytown's Vegetarian Breakfast Scrapple, which includes mushrooms, celery, carrots and oatmeal.

There's Sarah Cain's "Vrapple," which contains seitan (wheat gluten), cornmeal and buckwheat and finished second — ahead of seven pork-based versions! — at ScrappleFest 2009 in Philadelphia. There was once a, but, alas, that website has vanished.

And then there's Vegan Scrapple, which was created by chef Will Ternay and was sold by Long Cove Foods. In a 2013 interview with Mary Bigham of The Town Dish, Ternay, a flexitarian, said, "I grew up on scrapple, so I’m familiar with the taste and texture of it and I kind of messed around with the mushroom-based recipe while using friends and family as guinea pigs."

I mentioned that Ternay's Vegan Scrapple was sold by Long Cove Foods. But no more. And I never found time to acquire it and try it. When I went to, I found this bummer of a message: "Hello friends, It is with great sadness that I must impart to you, the news that as of the final week of May 2015, I will no longer be producing my vegan scrapple."

* * *

I'm going to post Ternay's entire farewell message, plus his instructions for cooking his own brand of meat-free scrapple, so that they are saved for posterity. It's another Lost Corner of the Internet that I fear will soon be 100% lost, just like So I'm going to do my small part to extend its shelf-life in cyberspace...
Hello friends,

It is with great sadness that I must impart to you, the news that as of the final week of May 2015, I will no longer be producing my vegan scrapple.

The journey has been full of fascinating conversations with awesome people; from the farmers markets, special events, demos, suppliers and businesses, to the phone calls and emails I received. To those who purchased our product, I am glad we were able to make a difference in how you looked at food and took the right path to a kinder form of eating for yourself and sparing our friends who share this planet with us. Through your purchases, you helped to support a great group of people along the way, that are our local farms, mills and businesses– most humbling indeed and a treasure of life experiences to keep forever!

My wife and I give thanks to all of you from the depths of our hearts, to those who supported us throughout this very magical journey that has been “Long Cove Foods”. I wish I could personally thank all of you individually, who gave advice, believed in us and were avid purchasers of our vegan scrapple, but the list is just too long and I must give a blanket of thanks to all – THANK YOU MANY TIMES OVER EVERYONE! I hope our paths will cross again.

If anyone knows of someone looking for a helping hand or full time support in a similarly likeminded business as Long Cove Foods, one with a mantra in support of local sustainability, please reach out and let me know via my email address above. I would love to hear from you, as I’m looking for my next steps in life.

Thanks again and with kind regards and safe journeys to all,


PS: For anyone still able to purchase what remains, I have kept the cooking process, for your information.


THE PAN — Traditionally, a well seasoned cast iron pan is the pan of choice, but don't worry if you don't have one. Use your best non-stick sauté pan.
THE OIL — I recommend using "high heat" rated oils, such as an Avocado Oil or "Refined" Coconut Oil. DON'T USE OLIVE OIL - It is a finishing oil and not good for cooking at medium to high heat levels for periods of time. Whatever oil you use, research it to make sure it is rated as a safe to use "High Heat" oil, as some nut and seed oils develop free-radicals, which when heated too high, have been shown to aid in the growth of certain cancers.
— Cut scrapple to desired thickness. I recommend a cross-cut of about a 1/4" to a 1/3" thickness.
— Add enough oil to the pan so that it coats the pan. Put scrapple in the cold pan and place on medium high heat.
— Cook about 6-8 minutes on one side, undisturbed, till you see the bottom edges become dark golden brown.
— Nudge with a spatula - if sticking, give a little more time, but if it moves freely from pan, flip it and repeat the cook time of about 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately.
— The scrapple should be crispy dark golden brown on the outside, just like the picture to the left and smooth and somewhat creamy on the inside.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Photos: Dilapidated Souvenir Land near Lawtey, Florida

This abandoned and crumbling souvenir stand/restaurant was perhaps the most interesting structure I encountered during my drive to Florida earlier this year to visit my dad. It's located on U.S. Highway 301 near Lawtey, Florida, on the left-hand side of the road if you're traveling south.

I stopped to take a bunch of pictures when I saw it.

First, a little bit about Lawtey, from Mike Woodfin, via
"The small town of Lawtey owes its existence to the dreams of 30 Chicagoans who in 1877, came south to find a better life under the warm Florida sun. Captain Thomas Burrin had established a sawmill on 18,000 acres. Burrin donated 220 acres of land for a town and to sell additional acres for $5.00 an apiece. The name Lawtey was the son-in-law of one of the new residents. ... The early 1900's saw the introduction of a violent element to Lawtey, and shooting scrapes became common. Those residents who dared venture out after dark often took along company in the form of a gun. Rival gangs vied for power in Lawtey, and murders were frequent. The town economically never recovered from the depression."

To be clear, though, Lawtey isn't a ghost town. It has a population of about 700 and has been well-known in recent times for using a speed trap on U.S. 301 as a source of local revenue. I stopped at a tiny grocery/antiques store called Griffis Grocery (pictured at right) and purchased a bottle of soda and a pair of early 20th century postcards from a sweet old woman who told me she was legally blind.

But it was the dilapidated souvenir stand that intrigued me the most.

A few websites have delved into history of this business. In a nutshell, the building was constructed in the early 1960s, was home to a Horne's restaurant for part of its existence (until the early 1980s), transformed into a place called Souvenir Land, and has been closed and cordoned off for at least a few years. The main building is still filled with merchandise (and plenty of unsavory critters, for sure).

A 2001 article in The Florida Times-Union states that a man named Gene Eunice had, to that point, owned Souvenir Land for 18 years and had kept a live gator penned up in front of the place for 17 years. In addition to all the standard fare, Eunice's business also sold T-shirts emblazoned with "The Silver Bullet," highlighting the man behind Lawtey's notorious speed trap —longtime Sheriff Millard M. Jordan.

Souvenir Land was still in business as recently as mid-2011, when it was mentioned in passing in an Ocala Publications article written by Sandra Friend. Here's the excerpt, which goes off onto a tangent about a different Florida tourist site:
Souvenir Land

Blink, and you’re in the 1960s. It’s a former Horne's turned roadside stand, recalling a misty past of orange-scented perfume balls, pecan logs and wind chimes made of strings of tiny sea shells. Blink again. It’s real.

For more than 25 years, Florida Souvenir Land has been a landmark along this stretch of highway north of Lawtey, where a steady string of places like this tempted tourists coming down from the Georgia border, what with the “Rest Rooms Inside” sign, bags of fresh pecans and miniature license plates with your kids’ names on them.

The gal running the shop, who demurred to give her name, pulled out a photo of Florida Reptile Land and compared her memories with mine.

“It had a zoo in the back, and you’d walk around a great big circle and come out through the juice bar where you gave donations if you wanted to donate,” she says. When she recalled the piano playing chicken, I just had to laugh.

“They had a little square cage, right here by the side where you went into the zoo,” she recalled. “Drop a quarter in, and the chicken would peck out a tune on a miniature piano."
So, getting back on point, here's my collection of photographs of Horne's/Souvenir Land and its signage, all taken on March 7, 2016. Most of these pictures were given Instagram filters, which doesn't help the "historical record" side of things, but pleases my "artsy photographer" side.

And here's a photo looking back at it from the south. A life-sized owl statue was positioned on one of the wooden posts, almost as if to guard the place. It's nearly five months since I took these photos. I wonder if Mr. Owl is still there.

More info on Souvenir Land

Related Papergreat posts

Sunday, July 31, 2016

1911 postcard: "Wish we were playmates again"

This old postcard features an image of the toddler being enchanted by a bubble, and it has the printed caption "HIS HAPPIEST HOURS." It was published by Bamforth & Co. of Holmfirth, England, and printed in Germany.1

A poignant note has been written in cursive on the front. It states:
"wish we were playmates again. remember the fun in days gone by?"
The card was postmarked on January 1, 1911, in Buffalo, New York, and mailed to a woman named Lillian.2 There's a street address, followed by the word "City," so I'm assuming that means Buffalo. There is no additional message on the back of the card. And nothing to indicate who wrote the message. But Lillian obviously knew, and she kept this postcard for a time, too.

1. Three previous Papergreat posts have featured Bamforth & Co. postcards:
2. Also on January 1, 1911: The first issue of Boys' Life magazine (originally Barton's Boys' Life) was published and baseball slugger Hank Greenberg was born.