Friday, September 29, 2017

Some mind-expanding articles for this autumn #FridayReads

A cozy sunkenarium, with nearby home-library access, is the perfect spot for reading.
(Large indoor plants optional.)

It's autumn. Time to tuck away, like acorns for your brain, these articles and blog posts and essays that I've come across in recent weeks. Read them now, or save them for a blustery winter day. Make sure you have some soup and oyster crackers in the pantry, too.

And, finally...

Here's the link to the article.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

1942 postcard: "Everything is peaceful & quiet here"

Here's a beautiful linen postcard featuring the "World's Largest Bandshell and Open-Air Theater" in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The printed caption on the back of this Genuine Curteich-Chicago "C.T. Art-Colortone" postcard states:
"This majestic structure, built of beautiful coquina shell-rock, towers the Atlantic Ocean, the world's most famous beach, and borders the concrete boardwalk. Late model sound devices are used for staging and broadcasting musical, dramatic and other entertainment programs during both winter and summer seasons."
The bandshell, a Works Progress Administration project, was completed and opened in 1937 and is still around, having celebrated its 80th anniversary this past summer. It is now part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. This weekend, the bandshell is hosting a tribute show to the music of Led Zeppelin.

This postcard was dated May 16, 1942, and mailed to Joseph Barth in Bloomfield, New Jersey. The short note states:
"Everything is peaceful & quiet here. I will hate to leave here, but it will be good to be home again.
Life was hardly peaceful elsewhere in the world on May 16, 1942. Earlier that week, a Royal Navy ship was torpedoed and sunk by German forces off the coast of North Carolina; the Second Battle of Kharkov, which would claim nearly 200,000 lives, was underway; and the Sobibór extermination camp became operational in occupied Poland. An estimated quarter-million Jews would be murdered there.

How to have fun on long trips (1952)

Fun for the Family is a 30-page staplebound booklet that was written by Stanley Pashko and published by Birk & Company in 1952. It promises in the introduction that "most of the games and ideas in this booklet are brand new, or newly adapted, but an occasional 'oldie' has been included as a reminder that it is still well worth playing."1

So, now the "new" games from this booklet are themselves the "oldies." And the "oldies" from 1952 are "real oldies" now. I'm guessing that many of these will bring back memories for some portion of Papergreat's readers. Please share those memories in the comments!

I'm going to focus on Chapter 3, titled "Fun on Long Trips." In the days before iPads and iPhones and iPods and even Mattel Football, this section deals with "games which require no equipment at all or, at most, very rudimentary equipment such as a pencil and paper."

Eagle Eye: This may be played on any automobile or train trip. Players look out of the window at the passing panorama and watch for specific objects which are not too frequently seen.2 For instance, four-footed animals score one point; red-headed ladies, five points; women carrying babies, five points; a woman looking out a window, ten points. ... A hundred points is game.

[Note: OK, that one got really weird, really fast. Why are these people not driving past fields of cows? That's like 83 points right there. And what's up with the fixation on women? And how many babies, plural, is the woman carrying?? I think my alternate title for this post could have been "Red-headed ladies, five points."]

Poker Face: Each player takes a turn in saying some silly sentence which the others must repeat in turn without smiling. The sole object is to make your sentence so ridiculous that the other players cannot possibly repeat it without breaking out into a smile. You get a point for each player who smiles; so make your sentences good. Some sample sentences are: "I do wish I weren't so utterly, utterly beautiful." "Who put that pickle in my ear?" "Please pass the ketchup, I want to brush my teeth."

[Note: This game is the spiritual ancestor to games like "Make Me Laugh," "Don't Laugh," "The Quiet Game" and, for backseat occupants only, "The Staring Contest."]

Auto License Roulette: Each player selects a number from one to ten. After everyone has chosen a number, wait for the first car to come along. The number on the extreme right-hand side of the license plate determines the winner. The player who scores ten winning numbers first is the winner.

Auto License Golf: The player who has the honors selects a car and writes down the license number as soon as it is visible. His opponent takes the next car. All the numbers in the license are totaled and the player whose total is highest wins the hole. Play 18 holes to determine the champion.

Auto License Bingo: Each player writes down fifteen numbers on a sheet of paper. They may be any numbers from 1 to 99 and a player may list the same number fifteen times if he wishes. After all players have written down their selected numbers, an umpire begins the game by calling out the last two digits on the license plate of each truck or car that passes by, and if the numbers he calls are on the sheets of any of the players, they call out that fact, draw a single line through the lucky number, and show it to the referee for verification.3 The game continues until someone has crossed off five of his numbers. This is considered "bingo" and wins the game. The umpire should jot down each number as he calls it so that the winning card may be checked after the game.

[Notes: 1. Another form of bingo was discussed in this January 2013 post. 2. Today, a fun license plate game for the kids with devices would involve selecting a passing license plate and seeing who can be the first to use public records and cyber-sleuthing to find the Facebook page or Instagram account of the individual to whom the license is registered. Bonus points if you can make digital contact with the person in the other car within 10 minutes. The umpire should make sure no contestants use the dark web. Google only, please.]

Hangman: Draw a scaffold on your sheet of paper. This is merely an inverted "L" from which you will try to hang your opponent.4 Think of a word containing five or more letters and write down as many dashes across the bottom of the sheet as there are letters in your word. Now, your opponent tries to guess what the word is by naming one letter at a time. Every time he guesses a wrong letter you add another section of him to the hanging post. These sections, in the order in which you may draw them are: (1) the head, (2) the neck, (3) the body, (4) the arms, (5), the hands, (6) the legs, (7) the feet, (8) the face (eyes, nose and mouth), (9), the ears, (10) the rope. Thus, if you make ten wrong guesses before you get the complete word you are "hanged" and lose the game. Take turns guessing. As each letter is called, write it down in its proper space if it is in the word. If it is not a part of the word which you have chosen, then you must write it down at the top of the sheet so that your opponent will know which letters have already been selected and will not call them a second time. Some players prefer to keep track of letters by writing down the entire alphabet and drawing a line through each letter as it is called. The illustration shows a game in which the opponent failed to guess that the word was Zephyr.

1. The introduction also uses the word boughten, as in "store boughten equipment," so that makes this an even more endearing piece of ephemera.
2. One thing about iPhones and similar devices that really makes me sad is that people in cars, other than perhaps the driver, rarely look out the window any more. They miss out on the beauty and wonder and diversity and literal cultural signposts that make up our world. How can you come to know the world you live in if you don't observe it? Put down the devices! #CrankyMan
3. How many people are in this car?
4. "Merely."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cool illustrations: The New Human Interest Library (Part 23)

As we continue forward with The Comradeship Book in 1929's The New Human Interest Library, here are photos from the chapter about 4-H. We're big 4-H fans and supporters here in York County. Sarah has had really great experiences over the past half-decade or so with the Wildlife Watchers Club and the Alpaca Club.

Some of the 4-H clubs mentioned in The Comradeship Book are the Pig Club, the Sewing Club, the Sheep Club, the Canning Club, the Cotton Club and the Clothing Club. One excerpt states: "Club members have good times at their weekly or monthly meetings. The projects, which are all carrying on, are discussed, literary talents are tested, and refreshments are served. Every club has a president, a secretary-treasurer and a reporter. In all of its activities, the club has the aid of some local public spirited man or woman who acts as a leader." All of that is pretty much exactly the same today!

Here are the photos and their captions...

Leading 4-H Club boys from the counties of Indiana attend the state
camp on the fair grounds at Indianapolis, while the state fair is in progress.
The camp is held under the auspices of Purdue University.

A 4-H Club member from Missouri selecting seed corn. He was the
winner of the boys' five-acre-yield contest in the State Corn
Growers' Association with a yield of 126 bushels per acre.

This 4-H Club girl from Anson County, North Carolina, won first
place in her township in a Better Biscuits Contest.

This sewing club of Miranda community, Rowan County, North Carolina,
learning points on adapting patterns to meet the individual's measurements.

A Sheep Club member from Connecticut and the one sheep with which she
started. In five years she had developed a flock of fifteen sheep and
had won ribbons at local, county and state fairs.

The Fork Girls' Club, Pasquotank County, North Carolina,
preserving strawberries.

Refreshments are being enjoyed by a local 4-H Club at
Blue Earth, Minnesota.

Nifty stamps from Finland

(I love the way the T's in my name were written.)

A quick post to share some wonderful stamps that we affixed to a recent Postcrossing card from a gentleman in Finland. Despite the rise of email and texting and Instagram communications, we are definitely in a golden age of countries producing beautiful, creative and culturally relevant stamps.

The smaller stamp on the left was issued in 2008. It was part of a Geography & Meteorology series. Here's a look at the sheet (or partial sheet), that it was printed on. It's so nice that you almost wouldn't want to use the stamps!

The bigger stamp was issued last year. It is called "Wooden Pauper tradition" and, according to one website, it didn't have a very large print run. The artist is Anssi Kähärä. The description is as follows: "A Pauper is a painted wooden sculpture to the church wall, with a slot in the chest for donating money. The oldest date from the 17th century."

Wikipedia has an entry on pauper statues (vaivaisukko), adding: "The origin of poor man statues dates back to 1649 as the Queen Christina gave an order to place so-called 'poor logs' or 'offertory logs' in churches and other public places. Soon the local carpenters started to modify these hollow wooden logs as beggar look-a-likes. ... Today there are 144 poor man statues and one poor woman statue [remaining] in Finland."

And that's your learning-with-stamps moment for this morning!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fred's birthday postcard to Lucy

This old hand-colored postcard, which was printed in Bavaria but has no publisher listed, provides "Best Birthday Wishes" to Lucy, from Fred. Check out the teeny-tiny box on the front of the card, which is also presented in magnified view below.

There is no date on the card, and the postmark is no help in that matter.

The short message on the back of the card states: "Congradulations [sic] to your birthday and happy returns of the day."

The two full names are written in cursive and are troublesome.

"Fred" appears to be Fred Baumann.

The full name for Lucy is written as "Lucy Stienhouph," but I think there are some issues there. We can, however, also use her address to help clarify things. It's written on the postcard as 180 Palmetto Street in Brooklyn, New York.

Armed with that information, I think the correct spelling should be Lucy Steinhoff, and my best guess is that she later become Lucy Mulvey and had, with her husband John, a child named Joseph in 1942.