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."

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Stairway painting #LifeGoals

Some fun with "Daddy-Long-Legs"

When I saw this cover of Jean Webster's 1912 classic Daddy-Long-Legs, I couldn't help but have a little fun with photoshopping.

Vintage spooky, sugary candy

These aren't from one of my envelopes, drawers or piles. Just some vintage images from the good old internet that I wanted to share for Halloween. If you're my age (Generation X — The Generation Raised on Sugar), you'll remember some of these treats...

Drac-Snax, by Topps

Munchy Mummies, by Topps
(read more on Grubbits)

Mr. Bones, by Fleer
(read more on Gone But Not Forgotten Groceries &

* * *

This one isn't candy, but adults sure liked to entice us with "vitamins disguised as candy" back in the day. (I would actually sneak extra doses of Flintstone Multivitamins, for the mini sugar rush.) Also, it's always good to check in with Vincent Price on Halloween.

Monster Multiple Vitamins
(read more on Neato Coolville's 2007 post & 2011 post)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Halloween 2019 book cover:
"A Ghost Hunter's Game Book"

  • Title: A Ghost Hunter's Game Book
  • Author: James Wentworth Day (1899-1983)
  • Dust jacket illustrator: Eisner, according to the lower-right corner. I can't find any other information about who that is.
  • Publisher: Frederick Muller Ltd, London
  • Publication date: 1958
  • Dust jacket price: 16 shillings, I believe. The dust jacket flap reads "16/- net"
  • Pages: 222
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket blurb: "James Wentworth Day collects ghosts, ghouls and legends as other people collect stamps. Ghosts, he believes, definitely exist — he has seen them. In this intriguing and sometimes spine-chilling book he has gathered together the first-hand experiences of very many living people, from all over England."
  • Select chapter titles: "The Ghosts of Craster Tower," "He Died in Drury Lane," "A Spectral Army in the Sky," "A Church of Sad Spirit," "The Man Who Changed into a Cat," "The Appalling Club in Cow Lane," "Castle of Ghastly Secrets," and "The Black Hound of Mid-Devon." (The "Spectral Army in the Sky" refers to the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 and not, as I might have guessed, the Machen-fueled Angels of Mons in the First World War.)
  • First sentence: "Every county has its village legends, fustian hobgoblins, churchyard hauntings and turnip-top ghosts."
  • Last sentence: "We have barely touched the fringe."
  • Random sentence from the middle #1: "Shortly before the old lady died, she told her relatives that if they would carry her from her cottage by the mill stream up through the garden to Bower House, she would show them where she had buried her treasure when the Scots were on the march."
  • Random sentence from the middle #2: "In short a 'Something' shaped like an egg and gifted with the strength of ten."
  • About this book: There is a serious dearth of reviews or information about this spooktastic volume online. In the introduction to his 2013 book Essex Ghost Stories, Richard Holland writes:
    "Special mention must be made of James Wentworth Day, for it is a name we will encounter often in this book. Wentworth Day (1899-1983) was born in Suffolk but lived most of his adult life in Essex. A lover of the land and a particularly keen wildfowler, Wentworth Day spent many years befriending the country folk of East Anglia and in this way discovered many Essex-based ghost stories, including first-hand encounters that would otherwise have been lost to obscurity. Many of these tales were repeated in the several books of ghost stories he published in his lifetime, particularly Ghosts and Witches (1954), A Ghost Hunter’s Game Book (1958) and Essex Ghosts (1973)."

Monday, October 28, 2019

Halloween 2019 book cover: "Haunted Houses"

  • Title: Haunted Houses
  • Author: Joseph Braddock (1902-?)
  • Dust jacket designer and interior illustrator: Felix Kelly (1914-1994). You can get a full look at Kelly's gorgeous wraparound dust jacket on this 2011 post on Uncanny UK.
  • Publisher: B.T. Batsford Ltd. (same as yesterday's book)
  • Publication date: 1956
  • Dust jacket price: Can't tell. It's clipped.
  • Pages: 218
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket blurb: "Joseph Braddock believes in 'a world of spirit which is just as real as this one'. Although, to his regret, he has never seen a ghost, it is his humility before the relation of supra-normal happenings which gives a particular quality — neither sceptical nor yet credulous — to this book about Haunted Houses."
  • Dedication: "TO MY WIFE who has walked with me round the edge of the Unknown"
  • First sentence: "A great number of books has been written, in the present and in the past, about ghosts and haunted houses, linked with their allied subjects such as witchcraft, legends, miraculous cures, uncanny happenings at séances, extra-sensory perception, and visitations and messages received by living persons from the so-called dead."
  • Last sentence: "The scientific approach to these profound mysteries, though most valuable, is not the only one."
  • Random sentence from middle #1: "Doarlish Cashen — Manx for Cashen's Gap, a gap in the hedge — is an ancient, bleak and remote farmhouse, built of slate slabs faced with cement, out of sight of any other farm, perched about seven hundred and twenty-five feet above sea level upon a treeless, shrubless slope of Dalby Mountain on the west coast of the Isle of Man."
  • Don't leave us in the lurch, Otto! What happened at this spooky place? Not much. Unless you consider a clever talking mongoose from the fifth dimension named Gef odd.
  • Random sentence from middle #2: "A baleful black stalagmite formation, dominating the mysterious river, clearly depicts the menacing nutcracker profile of an old witch woman."
  • Review excerpt: On Magonia (, a reviewer compared his original read as a child in 1961 with his re-read in 2012, writing: "Today they may seem like pretty tame stuff, but I suspect there is stuff in them to scare even the most internet-hardened kiddie. I am not sure what did for me, perhaps it was Braddock’s chapter heading ‘Evil Ghosts’, or his story of the house in Birmingham in which a phantom cat was blamed for the death of a baby, or maybe it was his story of the boy in the Grenadier pub, who saw a shadow advancing and retreating, complete with evocative drawing by Felix Kelly."
  • Want a copy? This book was reprinted in 1991 with the title Haunted Houses in Great Britain, though I'm not sure if Kelly's illustrations are included. Used copies of this later edition are fairly cheap.

But wait, there's more

While trying to find more about Joseph Braddock, I stumbled upon this classified advertisement, under "Business Personals" in the October 20, 1975, edition of The Pittsburgh Press.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Farewell Huggles, aka Little Man, aka Tripod, aka Sneezles

Today we said goodbye to Huggles, the little, black, three-legged cat who has been mentioned on Papergreat numerous times, including 10 days ago, when I half-complained about him like a whiny and ungrateful jackass. He's at rest now after finally succumbing to the various maladies that piled on him during his lifetime, and I miss him greatly already.

I'll turn it over to my son, Ashar, who wrote this wonderful tribute to his cat:
July 2007
Little seven year old me bugged my parents and begged them to let me get a cat of my own and after some begging they agreed to let me get a cat to call my own. We got in the car and drove to the SPCA and once there we went inside and looked at all the kitties. We went into a room with one of the workers and I sat down on this mini sofa and as soon as I sat down this little black cat jumped on my lap and curled up in a ball and somehow in that moment I knew he was the cat for me.

Sometime in late 2008 (about one year later)
I was petting Huggles near the back door when I noticed a big red bump on the back of his leg and it looked a bit bloody. I got concerned and worried so I told everyone. We decided to take Huggles to the vet to get his lump on his leg checked out and it is a very good thing we took him to the vet when we did because the vet told us that his lump on his leg was cancer and that we needed to amputate his leg which would help him live longer.

Today, 11 years after his amputation and following a long and happy life, we say goodbye to our very strong and insanely brave little cat who stayed strong and kept on hopping until he couldn't hop anymore. We love you Huggles and you will forever be in our hearts and live on through us.
Huggles' cameo appearances here over the years included "Board for Parker Brothers' 1936 version of the game Finance", "Cute vintage Christmas postcard, plus the famed Otto Christmas Cats" and "I'd blame the tryptophan, but cat pileups like this happen every day."

We liked to joke that Huggles had several dozen nicknames, and that we should take a moment to write them all down someday. We never did. One of my favorites was Little Man, which partly has ties to a folk tale. He was a very tiny cat, especially as he got older. And he reminded me of the tale "The Seventh Father of the House," as related by Norwegian folkorists Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe. In that tale, a weary traveler must ask the father of the house if he may stay for the night, and he gets sent through a succession of older and older men before encountering the true father of the house, a shriveled-up little man hanging in a horn on the wall. I called Huggles our Little Man, like in that tale. Rest in peace, Little Man.

Erik Werenskiold illustration from Norwegian Folktales.

Halloween 2019 book cover:
"Haunted England"

In counting down the final few days to All Hallows' Eve, I have some appropriately spooktastic books to share...

  • Title: Haunted England
  • Subtitle: A Survey of English Ghost-Lore
  • Author: Christina Hole (1896-1985)
  • Dust jacket designer: Lynton Lamb (1907-1977)
  • Illustrator: John Farleigh (1900-1965)
  • Publisher: B.T. Batsford Ltd.
  • Original publication year: 1940
  • Publication date of this edition: 1951 (Second Edition, Third Impression)
  • Dust jacket price: 13 shillings, 6 pence
  • Pages: 184
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket blurb #1: "This is far and away the best ghost book I have ever met, as Miss Hole is thorough, careful and completely unbiased." ⁠— The Queen
  • Wait. The Queen?? Well, this edition was published in 1951, so it cannot be Elizabeth II, because her reign did not begin until 1952. The most logical guess is that there was some sort of UK publication titled "The Queen."
  • Dust jacket blurb #2: "With its infinite variety of ghostly manifestations it should appeal strongly to the ordinary reader." — The Scotsman
  • First sentence: Belief in ghosts is almost as old as the human race.
  • Last sentence: The study of ghost-lore suggests that some places area nearer the edge of the spiritual world than others; and here, perhaps, lies the only explanation as yet available of Borley's curious history.
  • Random sentence from middle: She had a secret room prepared against emergencies which was reached by a concealed staircase in the kitchen chimney.
  • Review excerpt #1: Dodwell wrote this on in 2013: "I bought a copy of this work, in 1966 from a junk shop, for the princely sum of two shillings (20 pence) and I still have it now. It is full of tales, ghostly and ghastly, from all of the shires of England; ghosts of the great and unknown ghosts fill its pages. Written in an easy, lucid style by an author who obviously felt a great affection for the folklore of England, so much so, that this affection shines through in every chapter."
  • Review excerpt #2: The Wolf wrote this on in 2017: "Christina Hole's English spookfest, with terrific illustrations by John Farleigh, still has the power to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck."
  • About the author: Christina Hole was a member of The Folklore Society and her other notable books include A Dictionary of British Folk Customs, English Folklore, English Home-Life 1500 to 1800, and Witchcraft in England. On the website England: The Other Within, Alison Petch noted that Hole "might have been considered by some rather eccentric — according to the obituary she refused to have a telephone installed in her home even though it would have made her honorary duties easier and was 'surrounded by well-behaved cats whose idiosyncracies gave [her] great pleasure.'"

But wait, there's more

Tucked away inside the book was a dandy 1955 National Tuberculosis Association Christmas Seals bookmark. It's shown below, along with a couple of John Farleigh's interior illustrations. In 2011, the blog Uncanny UK, edited by Richard Holland, had this to say about Farleigh's work: "The other attraction of ‘Haunted England’ are its numerous weird illustrations. The illustrator, John Farleigh, was well-known in his day both as a fine artists and as a commercial artists, for example for London Transport. He was best-known as a wood engraver. The images he created for ‘Haunted England’ are like no other gracing a work of this kind: often abstract, with distorted perspectives, they are nightmarish yet oddly child-like – and certainly memorable."