Friday, August 31, 2018

From the readers: Mister Rogers, mock turkey, bookplates & more

Kicking things off for this edition of reader feedback is Laura, who emailed this Way-Wayback Machine question related to a June 2011 post:
"I have been searching for a couple of years now for the book Going to the Hospital from the Mister Rogers 'Let's Talk About It' series since I was a child. When I was four years old my kindergarten teacher gave me a copy before I had surgery and I loved it — I remember it being a great comfort to me. Now that I have children of my own, I'm dying to put it into their little library at our home but all I can find is another version with a different cover that appears to be nothing like the one I had as a child.

"I just came across a post on your blog in which you mentioned that you had found a copy of this book at a yard sale. This is going to be a long shot in so many ways (especially since the post was from 2011 — haha!) but do you by any chance still have it? It probably seems silly but for some reason that one book really had an impact and stuck with me over the years. I'm feeling very sorry lately that I don't have it anymore — especially since my husband downloaded every episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood for my children and they absolutely love it."
Laura, thanks for writing. I am sorry to say that I no longer have this Mister Rogers book. As you guessed, it did not survive the pruning and cleaning cycles of the past seven years. If I did still have it, I would happily send it to you. Few things please me more than to get a beloved book into the right hands. And I understand your passion for the specific edition that you remember from your childhood. I am the same way about certain books; it has to be the cover or edition that I remembered, to satisfy the nostalgia yearning and collecting desire. Good luck with your ongoing search. I am sure you will find it. I will keep my eyes open, too, and keep your email on file so that I can contact you if I come across anything.

Plucked from a yard sale, Part 1: Mister Rogers and How to Meet Men: Regarding that same 2011 post, Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "If you're going to write a book about meeting men, and using a pseudonym and that pseudonym's last name is 'Mann', you think she'd have gone with 'Anita' or 'Ivana' for a first name."

Saturday's postcard: Clara's rainy-day message from 1920: Wendyvee, who authors the delightful Roadside Wonders website, writes: "Bonus points for Wile E. Coyote reference. Also, my embarrassing fact of the day: I think that I was about 30 before I 'got' his name."

Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: Regarding the post that keeps getting great feedback, an anonymous reader writes: "66 seems to be the magical age. I'm 66 as well. I proudly sold not only greeting cards, I also sold flower and veggie seeds during the same years. Can't remember if both products were thru The Cheerful Card Company, but I do remember the experience. My first big sale was to our local bank. My mom took me to deposit my 'milk money' from school and l brought my case. The manager was so impressed with my cards and sales pitch that he purchased imprinted Christmas cards from me for 3 years. Because we were military we moved often. I sold cards and seeds until I was a freshman in high school. Wonderful memories of my customers and personal growth. Still have boxes of cards."

Old bookplate featuring a beard-grabbing skeleton: Scott Cranin of Ivy Ridge Books writes: "Just found another book with this bookplate and read your terrific research, thank you! The book is Andrew Lang's Custom and Myth, which certainly fits with the theme of the bookplate and the interests you mentioned in your piece."

Montoursville 2018: Otstonwakin, Madame Montour and modern times: Wendyvee writes: "Wow, I've fallen down the Madame Montour Google Rabbit Hole already."

A groovy response from the CEO of Whirley-DrinkWorks! Anonymous writes: "I have a USS JFK cv-67 plastic cup. Found on beach in Western Australia after massive beach erosion into sand dunes under 10 feet or more ... in good condition."

They don't make high schools like this any more: Wendyvee writes: "That looks like it was a great building. Sad that it's gone."

Lineup card of the day: Joan, who co-manages Pengins for Everyone while juggling a zillion other things, writes: "That definitely has a fraktur/hex sign vibe to it!"

Menus and recipes shared by Mrs. Anna B. Scott in 1936: The recipes, including the one for mock turkey, led to this three-way exchange:

  • Wendyvee: That cover is EVERYTHING! Yes to the Chocolate Icebox cake but a great big NO to the Sardines!!
  • Joan: Also not sure about mock turkey.
  • Me: The mock turkey recipe itself sounds interesting, and pretty easy to make. No need to shape it into a bird, though.
  • Wendyvee: Chris, Chris, Chris ... if you don't form it into the shape of a bird then it's just a Rice-Nut-Egg Blob. Tsssk, Tsssk.
  • Me: Have you SEEN the shape of a Tofurky? Yummy blob for my tummy!

Board for Parker Brothers' 1936 version of the game Finance: Wendyvee writes: "These graphics are everything! This reminded me of my public speaking Prof in college. He loved to expound on the detailed history of Monopoly."

No doubt about these words: Our own Mark Felt writes: "What do you suppose the writer of this postcard meant by 'This pen stinks'? Was he referring to a tenement? Was it a religious epithet? Or just a writing utensil? We'll never know."

Touché, Mark. Touché

Montoursville 2018: My schools (Part 2): Wendyvee writes: "I remember those [Mr. Sketch] markers. ... For some time, I thought that I was a jinx. I was home sick (with the TV babysitting me) when Reagan, the Pope, and John Lennon were shot."

To be clear, Wendyvee is not linked to those assassinations and assassination attempts, nor are the Mr. Sketch markers.

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