Saturday, November 2, 2019

From the readers: Golden days of autumn edition

This first Saturday of November is a good day for sharing the latest roundup of comments, queries and zingers from the great readers of Papergreat.

First up is an emailed question from Jim in Salem, Oregon, regarding the 2012 post "Straight Arrow Injun-uity card from Nabisco Shredded Wheat." Jim writes: "Can you tell me the dimensions of the Straight Arrow Nabisco cards? I’m an old guy. I remember listening to Straight Arrow on the radio and reading the cards with my cereal."

I couldn't immediately put my hands on this card that I wrote about seven years ago. It's possible that I no longer have it; because hoarding is bad. But I found a dandy Collectors Weekly article that answers the question. Here's the relevant excerpt:
"The Straight Arrow cards ... replaced the plain cardboard inserts that separated the 12 biscuits into 4 layers of 3 biscuits in the boxes of shredded wheat starting in 1949. The cards measure 4" wide by around 7 1/4" tall. One thing I found while checking information online is that Book #1 and Book #2 were done with the blue ink and Books #3 and #4 done in green ink."

Guide to American summer camps from 102 years ago: In another email, Larry Bacon writes: "While searching for Kill Kare Kamp, I found your page. Kill Kare Camp for Girls was in operation 75 to 100 years ago on Russ Point (Flying Pond), Mt. Vernon, Maine. The actual main house still stands but there are no outbuildings of note. I once saw a brochure for the place, but it disappeared when an elderly neighbor lady died and her kids didn't save much. There was another Kill Kare Kamp on the Maine coast, but that's not the same. I will try to locate some other dealers in ephemera in hopes of finding one, and I have another interest that might appear in your information. Do you have anything to offer for Klir Alfred Beck? He, too, had a camp colony on Flying Pond, but was in Vienna, Maine. It was called The Gnomes Camps. Mr. Beck was an accomplished artist and architect who worked for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Game and Maine Development Commission. He designed the State of Maine exhibits for the annual Sportsmen's Shows, including the one for the 1936 World's Fair. Any info you can provide would be of interest to me. Thank you in advance for any leads you might share."

Thanks for writing, Larry. This one isn't in my wheelhouse of expertise, but I'm sharing this in hopes that another reader might be able to provide some information about Klir Alfred Beck and The Gnomes Camps.

Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: klspeer1 wrote: "I sold Cheerful Greeting cards in the 1960s. I was 10 years old when I started and made a nice amount of money for a kid my age. I went door to door, mostly on my block, and many neighbors ordered cards. I enjoyed it. I selected the Cheerful Card Company because I earned cash instead of prizes. I'm so glad I had that experience. Today, direct marketing businesses focus on recruiting more than selling. I never had to recruit to make money back then."

The final two pieces of ephemera from that May yard sale! Regarding the problematic peeing postcard pictured here, Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "Given the positioning of the baby, one can assume this is a girl and not a boy. Am I overthinking this?"

Mystery real photo postcard: Girl in the yard with pillow: Tom writes: "With that staining, it almost looks like one of those lenticular Halloween pictures that changes the face to a skeleton when turned at an angle. Don't you wish someone would have taken the time to write a name on the back? Would have been so helpful."

YES! I fully agree, Tom. Add identifications and years to the backs of your snapshots and postcards, people! It will make for fewer mysteries in the future, but, on the other hand, future historians can have more fun looking us up on Find A Grave,, etc.

Fight over Paul Crockett's legacy, and a long footnote on Charlie O. Howard: Doug from New Mexico wrote: "An interesting read, especially the footnoted material. ([Charles] Manson is not high on my interest list.) I hadn't known about Mr. Howard, maybe because atrocity stories are so common. My brother and I share interests in religion and language history, which leads me to this anecdote. We both own several dictionaries, old and current. He found 'homosexual' in both, with the same basic definition*. 'Homophobia' doesn't appear in mainstream references until maybe the Seventies or Eighties. Then, it's defined as 'an irrational fear of homosexuals.' Emphasis added. We agree, on the grounds that we're more afraid of wars, diseases, criminals and the like than, say, the possibility of Mr. Buttigieg breaking into my house with a knife in his teeth. Myself, I would hire an outed person (is that PC?) to fix my car or serve as a crossing guard at an elementary school. His orientation not relevant to either task. As to 'Mr. [Herman C. 'Buddy'] Frankland and his kind', I have some knowledge of the Bible myself. My brother and I are Jehovah's Witnesses, so we're as 'fanatical' as anyone, to our opponents — who include Mr. Frankland BTW. He, Charlie's murderers and others have decided to take matters into their own hands, 'on a mission from God'. That is not the task of a Christian. If it were then they should also be attacking drunkards, fornicators (straight or gay), the envious, revilers and others, listed in no particular order at 1 Cor 6:9,10. They do not, because those people are not soft targets. Whether you agree with my views or not, you can see where they come from, with research in your own Bible, at You can start with [this link], where the first two [paragraphs] alone have some surprises. Or search 'homosexuality' at the same site. More surprises.

* He and I use the homo = same derivation; the Greek, not the Latin. Male or female."

Thank you for reading Papergreat and sharing these extensive thoughts, Doug, along with your own footnote! I have included your hyperlinks for those who want to read more. I am certainly hopeful that we are moving toward a time when there is less widespread support for intolerant views like those of the Rev. Frankland, though I know there is much work still to be done.

New Deal with an old ephemera vibe: Writing again, Doug notes: "Americans don't know nearly enough about their own history. Here in rural New Mexico are many examples of Depression-era works, many in use still. These folks were good workers. One school, built later, is using its WPA building as storage. Still weather tight."

Book cover: "Ghosts Around the House": Tom writes: "I was ravenous for books like this when I was a kid and will still pick them up gladly whenever I come across one. Before the days of paranormal shows on every other channel, books like this were your only outlet for the strange and unknown."

Absolutely, Tom. We had Hans Holzer and other paranormal paperbacks around the house when I was growing up in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and I found them much more fascinating than the James Michener or James Clavell novels.

Potential Lost Corner: Poignant tale by Jo Hogan: Joan writes: "This made me cry (surprise?) Thank you so much for sharing."

1941 advertisement for the Modern Talking Picture Service: Jackie Jessee Christianson writes: "I worked for MTPS in NYC from 1962 to 1969. My first job. It was a family."

Spooky Tuck & Sons Hallowe'en postcard mailed in 1910: Tom writes: "It's probably a play on the legend that if a girl looks in a mirror on midnight at Halloween, she'll see her future husband. This girl was in for a surprise because she's apparently marrying a Jack O' Lantern. I did a post on postcards featuring this legend."

You're 100% correct, Tom, and that's a great post on your blog. I think there's also a pun somewhere in here about someone being gourd-eous.

Papergreat's origin story: Responding to a 2011 post, Claudette Dorsey writes: "Thank you. I love everything about this post! I slipped off listening to 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight' to search the meaning of 'paper late'. Found this post and Papergreat, with an origin story! Side-slipped to the Paperlate video (which I had never connected to Genesis' Selling England by the Pound album), several happy memories of attending UCLA when Paperlate was released, and finally dived into the jaw-dropping song analysis (George Starostin) of 'Dancing with the Moonlit Knight'. (Green Shield Stamps. Who knew?) Ha! This is how Papergreat is supposed to work, yes? Thank you, Mr. Ottopa."

1. I'm thrilled that posts from years and years ago are still delighting readers.
2. I would like for everyone to call me "Mr. Ottopa" moving forward.

Papergreat's 3,000th post, with a special celebrity guest: Wendyvee of Roadside Wonders writes: "Congratulations! The Internet is perhaps far, far more ephemeral than paper; but keep up the the 0's and 1's nonetheless."

Vintage spooky, sugary candy: And, to end on a sweet note, Tom writes: "I loved all of those sweet tart/toy configurations. They came in miniature coffins, sarcophagi, trash cans, lockers and fire plugs. In fact, I have one of the fire plugs sitting on a shelf in front of me now."

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