Wednesday, September 9, 2020

On a distressing news day, here's an old postcard of a good boy


“... You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus. ... ”

[Record scratch]

You're probably wondering why I'm crafting a blog post about a silly old postcard on a day featuring forboding orange skies across California, first-graders all over the nation trying to navigate Zoom, and infuriating revelations from a guy who once covered a burglary involving plumbers in the 1970s and is now giving us the lowdown on who knew what and when in the year 2020.

Why? Because, if only for a minute or two, perhaps we need a little break.

Enter Chum.

Ths EKC real photo postcard dates to between 1930 and 1950, based on the design of the stamp box on the back, which is mostly pristine. The text on the front states:

296 "Chum" Goff's Pacific Cottages — Seaside, Oregon

And the name Boyer is printed in the lower right-hand corner. The photographer and/or publisher, I reckon.

Seaside, located in northwestern Oregon, is a small city that today bills itself as "a place to relax, recreate, or contemplate the complexities of the universe." It seems it's always been a bit of a vacation spot. Here's a little advertisement from the June 24, 1932, edition of The Oregon Statesman for Goff's Pacific Cottages:


I can't find anything about Chum, though. He looks like he belongs in a Charles Grodin movie; perhaps Beethoven, of course, or the wonderful Seems Like Old Times. Chum also looks like a good boy who probably doesn't need a lot beach time, given all that fluffy fur.

So, that's it. I hope y'all enjoyed this moment with Chum.

Now back to your previously scheduled dystopia. Or just spend some time surfing through the Papergreat archives and forgetting about the world. That works, too. Leave a comment and say hello.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Old grocery store photo #1


This week I'll be sharing some old grocery store photos I came across. Most of them aren't that great, but they're interesting artifacts. For many, grocery stores evoke clear memories of our youth. In some ways, they've changed so much over the decades (especially aesthetics and technology). Yet perhaps no change was as stark as the one that occurred this year, when the grocery store experience came to involve masks, social distancing, carts being wiped down, hand-sanitizer kiosks, arrows on the floors (though that was a short-lived thing in our neck of the woods), no small amount of shopper anxiety, and certain shelves being perpetually bare. Many have turned to online ordering and delivery, and might never fully go back.

I don't know the where or the when associated with blurry shot, or any of the other photos in the batch. Best guess would be early to mid 1960s, but perhaps we'll be able to refine that a bit more once all of the photos are here for folks to crowd-source.

The Edgemar sign, as shown in this photo, might refer to Edgemar Dairy in Santa Monica, California. Here's a wonderful recollection, written by a person named Sherri and posted on Chowhound in 2014:
"Growing up in Southern California, 1950s & 60s - A couple of times a week, Otto from Edgemar dairy arrived with milk and whatever else he thought we needed. There was a slot built into our house with metal doors on both sides so he could put it in and we could take it out from the kitchen. He rarely used this since he just walked into the house to re-supply. As kids, we always wanted him to leave sweets but we got eggs, cream et al instead. The Helms bakery man brought us all manners of baked goods. Our ice cream man was grumpy so we called him the Bad Humor Man but he always found a root beer popscicle for me. I never knew that you could buy hairbrushes at the store because of The Fuller Brush man who supplied us with every kind of brush imaginable. Later, early 80s, Virginia Beach, we had a Mennonite dairy deliver milk. It was my huge splurge since it cost more than twice as much as milk from the USN commissary. He also brough ice cream (rarely since it was sinful) and heavy cream that literally stood a spoon in the little glass bottle. Fond memories all."
(Full disclosure: Otto from Edgemar Dairy is no relation.)

Monday, September 7, 2020

Book cover & great link:
"War of Nerves"


I'll provide the usual vital statistics for this silly book. But if you just want to skip ahead to the good stuff, check out Jure's incredibly entertaining 2017 review on the Alpha-60 Books blog.

  • Title: War of Nerves
  • Series: Attar the Merman #2
  • Cover text: "A superhuman avenger battles evil forces bent on the destruction of the sea!"
  • But not that kind of Avenger: Correct.
  • Author: Robert Graham (a pen name for Joe Haldeman)
  • Cover illustrator: David Plourde
  • Back cover blurb: "The villain Rasputin was blackmailing the U.S. Government, threatening to detonate 40 drums of deadly nerve gas in the Caribbean. If he succeeded, it would mean the total destruction of every living thing in the area."
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Cover price: 95 cents
  • Year: 1975
  • Pages: 158
  • Format: Paperback
  • Strange credit: "The voodoo prayer in Chapter 11 was taken from the excellent book Haiti: Black Peasants and Their Religion, by Alfred Métraux. Copyright, ©, 1960, by Editions de la Baconnière."
  • Another strange credit: The copyright and "produced by" credit for the book belong not to the author, but to Lyle Kenyon Engel (1915-1986), who was described as a "fiction factory" in the obituary written by the Los Angeles Times. So we can reckon that Attar the Merman was his idea. He had much more lucrative ideas during his career.
  • First sentence: One moonless night not too long ago, a formation of American PT boats slipped unnoticed past the southeastern corner of Cuba through the Windward Passage and sped west.
  • Last sentence: Attar asked Hamilton for a nice quiet assignment next time.
  • Random sentence from the middle: The president owned real estate in Florida.
  • Best review: As mentioned, please go read Jure's review of this book. Here's just one excerpt: "What does make our hero memorable are his sidekicks which are introduced in the third chapter. This is definitely the highlight of the novel and it requires multiple readings!"
  • Also a great review: Joe Kenney discussed the book in 2010 on his blog, Glorious Trash.
  • Spoiler alert: One of Attar's sidekicks is named Grampus.

Postcard mailed from Addison, Pennsylvania, in 1912


Addison is a tiny borough in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, that was settled in 1798 but not incorporated until the same year this postcard was mailed from there: 1912. It sits along the historic National Road and had a tollhouse for that pike that still stands today. This postcard features the Central Hotel and it was published by The Express Printing Co. of Lititz, Pennsylvania.

The short note on the front states: "Where I ate dinner at Addison." That's it for the message, which is addressed to Miss Almeda Lewellyn at 68 Murray Avenue, Uniontown, Pennsylvania. The April 4, 1928, edition of The Evening Standard of Uniontown notes that "Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Lewellyn and Miss Almeda Lewellyn motored to Pittsburgh Tuesday afternoon where they were the guests of relatives." A different Uniontown newspaper, The Morning Herald, notes that Miss Almeda M. Lewellyn, "a well-known local resident," died in Pittsburgh's Mercy Hospital at 2:20 o'clock on February 16, 1944, "following a lingering illness." It doesn't state how old she was when she died.

As far as the Central Hotel goes, there's not a lot. A July 1, 2019, Facebook post by the Fayette County Historical Society/Abel Colley Tavern & Museum features the same postcard image and these tidbits:
  • This postcard dates to 1908.
  • I believe the Mitchell family ran it [the hotel] for a while.
  • "Believe Beth-Center had football camp in Addison in 1960, and stayed in this place."
  • "When I visit back home - on my way back to Virginia, I always drive through Addison. Beautiful in autumn."
  • "Grandma Tishue was born there I believe."
  • "yes she was she told me stories of how she had to be quit because of the guests and how she loved to ride down the stair rail she would get into trouble for that. the room just off the main room room you enter is where her father died."

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Real photo postcard: Flooded Sunbury, Pa., in 1936


This real photo postcard was never mailed. On the back, the AZO stamp box has black squares in all four corners, indicating it was produced between 1924 and 1949, according to Playle.com. More importantly, someone has written in pencil, "Market St., Sunbury, 1936." We'll just take their word for it that the time and place are correct. Sunbury is a small city along the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania. It is notable for being the home of the headquarters of Weis, a regional supermarket chain.

As the Sunbury Municipal Authority's Flood Control website notes: "The City of Sunbury is extremely vulnerable to flooding due to its exposure to both the North and West branches of the Susquehanna River and the effects of flash flooding from Shamokin Creek." The website details the flood that occurred in mid-March 1936, in which the water continued to rise until it came "rushing in torrents down Susquehanna Avenue, North Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Streets, carrying destruction and misery in its course." Houses were rocked from their foundations and when the water reached Market Street, "nearly all the plate glass store windows were broken." People sought shelter on the second floors of buildings and boats were called for rescues. We can see some of that on this postcard, as a couple of people are standing out on a second-floor ledge at a business called Bittner's. Other signs are for Miller Bros. Shoes, Light Heat Power Electrical Appliances, and Fisher (?) the Jeweler. There appears to be a Coca-Cola sign near the town clock in the center of the photograph.

At the worst of the 1936 flood, parts of Sunbury were under 15 feet of water. The Flood Control website has many more details about this 1936 natural disaster, including this:
"Radio broadcasting stations throughout the Susquehanna Valley played a big part in the memorable flood of 1936. From Williamsport to Harrisburg radio stations WRAK, Williamsport; WKOK, Sunbury; WHP and WKBO in Harrisburg did much to alleviate suffering, direct life saving activities and send out news to an anxious world outside of the flood area. Short wave operators hurried to the scene of devastation to assist in sending messages for flood victims to friends and relatives in the unaffected parts of the country."1
In a 2016 article for The Daily Item of Sunbury, Jean Delsite vividly remembered experiencing the flood as a 7-year-old girl, 80 years earlier: "I don’t think I was scared. We knew the water would have to stop coming some time. Our concern was hoping it would go down so we could get food."

Footnote
1. Speaking of the radio, I listened to a few minutes of AM radio on Tuesday evening for the first time in ages. It was a bit surreal and depressing. Boeing had an advertisement about its commitment to working with airlines to boost health precautions during air travel. News reports mentioned Donald Trump, Michelle Obama and Vladimir Putin. I caught snippets of the Orioles-Blue Jays and Marlins-Mets games, but couldn't find the Phillies on the dial. Another advertisement touted telemedicine, so that you didn't have to risk anything by going out. Static-filled ephemeral moments over the airwaves amid a pandemic. These are difficult times for advertisers and for media platforms that need advertising to support their operations. An article in Variety noted: "The bonds between advertisers and the media outlets that serve them have begun to fray." That's not great news, for many reasons.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

1976 booklet on UFOs, occult from Southwest Radio Church


  • Title: UFOs and the Occult (B58)
  • Author: Southwest Radio Church, Rev. David F. Webber, Pastor
  • Publisher: Southwest Radio Church
  • Year: 1976
  • Pages: 31 (which includes 8 pages of grainy black-and-white photos)
  • Format: Staplebound
  • Dimensions: 5⅜ inches by 8⅝ inches
  • Price: 1 copy for $3 offering; 2 copies for $5 offering; 5 copies for $10 offering; $1 each in lots of 25 of more; available on cassette for $10 offering
  • Chapter titles:
    • UFOs and the Occult
    • Uri Geller and UFOs
    • UFOs over the Iron Curtain
    • The Bible and Flying Saucers
    • Star Trek — Fact or Fancy?
  • Excerpt #1: "We're going to look into the surprising relationship between UFOs and the world of secret doctrines and sinister practices known as the occult. ... Today, almost every bookstore has a section devoted expressly to these practices that are forbidden by God. And above such a section, you'll usually see a placard emblazoned with the word 'occult.' There you will also find several books devoted to the study of UFOs."
  • Excerpt #2: "Next, we'll look at Ted Owens, a Cape Charles, Virginia, man who claims that he is the spokesman for the 'Saucer Intelligences,' or 'SI's' as he calls them. Mr. Owens might be dismissed as just another crackpot, except for one thing. When he pulls off one of his mental feats, members of the news media are usually present in force."
  • Excerpt #3: "Geller is now 29 years old, and 30 is the age at which Jesus began his public ministry. On December 20th, 1976, Uri Geller will be 30 years old. Is he also building up to a public ministry of his own sort? There are no indications that he is a man of God. Let us be watchful then, and wary of this man, indeed of ALL men who offer a psychic pathway to salvation."
  • Excerpt #4: "Our age is very special. Never before have we known so much about the world, and never before have we suffered so much for it. Political, economic, and military upheavals around the globe are daily occurrences. Famine is rampant in large parts of the world. Environmental deterioration threatens to alter our way of life permanently. Serious crimes are on the upsurge everywhere. Rich powers are stockpiling nuclear armaments, while poorer nations watch in dread. We are seeing strange and threatening changes in our natural habitat. Even the weather is playing havoc with our world lately. Our planet is being increasingly ravaged by natural disasters: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and drought have decimated food crops around the world and have left millions homeless and destitute. Undersea volcanic activity is on the rise."
  • Excerpt #5: "The prophet Ezekiel saw a definite object coming down from the sky. It was beryl, an aluminum like metal — it had the appearance of lamps — in other words there were several lights on it, and from the prophet's description, these lights must have been of different colors. From underneath the flying machine there was an exhaust of the power system, which Ezekiel described as a bright fire that came out like lightning. And as this flying machine hovered near the ground, Ezekiel saw several of the occupants, whom he described as living creatures with four faces and feet with soles like the bottom of a calf's foot."
  • Excerpt #6: "Certainly, the earth has been visited by astronauts from outer space for thousands of years. The Bible clearly confirms this. The earth is under observation — not from creatures from other planets who have evolved to a higher degree of intelligence than man — but rather by the angels of God who were created by Him for universal service in His kingdom."
  • Excerpt #7: "Whether all this is fact, fancy, or witchcraft, may be a matter of opinion. However it is impossible to deny that something is happening in the heavenlies. We believe that it is the forces of heaven, both the armies of Satan and the angels of God, preparing for a battle of the ages, probably just a few years from now!"
  • About Southwest Radio Church: According to the church itself: "Southwest Radio Church of the Air began in April 1933, when Dr. E.F. Webber, pastor of a local church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, preached a prophetic message over a local radio station, KTOK. His radio program was his radio church — thus the name, Southwest Radio Church. As the storm clouds of war began to rise over Europe and Asia, Dr. Webber was convinced that the world was entering the last generation. ... From 1933 to the present time, this ministry format has not changed." ... Noah Hutchings (1922-2015) was for many decades the host of the daily syndicated radio show "Your Watchman on the Wall." A primary focus of the show was biblical prophecy about the end times. Hutchings made predictions about the rapture, pondered whether Pope John Paul II might be the Antichrist, believed in the giants, Atlantis and UFOs, didn't believe in evolution, and was very stressed out about Y2K. We can only imagine what his thoughts might have been about the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Long Way Down (One Last Thing): Southwest Radio Church has had many publications over the decades. Here's a link to another one, from 1980, that's featured on Flashbak.

Related posts

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Great links: "Cull of the Wild"

On August 1, The Washington Post published an piece with the online headline: "Readers have many opinions on how to cull your book collection — and also why you never should." It begins: "When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the United States earlier this year, forcing Americans to shelter in place, many suddenly realized just how cramped their homes were. It was now impossible to ignore the sheer amount of stuff we had, bursting from dressers and desk drawers, closets and bookcases."

For sure, having too much stuff is a First World Problem. Complaining about it is a sure sign of privilege amid a pandemic. There are too many with too little. We're going to be OK if the dresser drawer doesn't shut tight.

But too many books? That's just some nonsense right there. The Washington Post article details some who are aggressively pruning, culling, dismantling their home libraries. Hearteningly, it also includes the voices of those who advocate keeping their books, thank you very much.

“It is a fallacy of the ‘Kondo World’ that we need to get rid of our books," writes LadyManx. "Our leaders do not read. Look what that has gotten us. While it is fine to move so-so books along, books love us and whisper their thoughts to us, as we pass their covers. Can an ereader do that? Trying to find a favorite phrase or vignette in an ebook is a time-wasting fraud. My real books fall open to what I need. A book bought a long while ago will not call to me till years later and I’ll wonder how I knew to have it for just such a moment.

I also had some deep thoughts and empathy reading the comments section of the short article, in which some wonder about the endgame of their lifetime of bibliophilia:

  • "I have been saving my books since the mid 80s and have more than 2,000. I wish I could find someone or an organization that wants them."
  • "I recently realized I have more books on my TBR shelf and my Kindle than I have time left in my life to read them all, and my heirs have no desire to inherit my collection. I've called a moratorium on buying new books, and I'm suffering withdrawal pains. It takes all of my willpower to not browse used book sites; I love to read and I love a bargain. But life is shorter than I thought."
  • "With several downsizing moves in my past, I've given away hundreds of books. My strategy for feeling joy rather than loss is to spend an inordinate amount of time finding the right home for the right books."
  • "Having dealt with the frightening amount 'stuff' my parents left after they died (including a shoe repair receipt from 1958!), I vowed never to 'bequeath' the same to my descendants. I keep some relevant reference books and immediately, if possible, give away the fiction when finished. I don't want my family spending inordinate amounts time dealing with objects I could not be bothered to make a decision about when, instead, they could be reading a good book!"
  • "I love every single one of my many books, some inform me, others have memories attached to them and some bring me joy. I will never get rid of my books and when I see people walking down the street unaware of their surroundings because they are looking at their phones I am glad that will never be me. I pay attention to the world, to nature, to the people walking around me. The only time I get lost in another place is when I am with my books. My collection is permanent, I will never cull it, it is a part of me."
  • "Keep your books, let someone else worry about 'culling.'"
  • Before you clear out a deceased relative's book collection ... be sure to thumb through the pages. People of a certain generation made it a habit to conceal things in the pages of books. Currency, old stock certificates, and letters come to mind.

Finally, I love everything about this long note that Sandy Lawrence left in the Washington Post article's comments section:
"I am in the 'brimming bookshelves' in every room category.

"A few months ago, on a whim, I purchased 5 old school readers on ebay that were published in the early 1900s. When they arrived, I discovered that each of the books were filled with drawings and writings and had the name and town of the child who had originally owned it. I spent a few happy hours on ancestry tracking down what the rest of those children's lives had looked like.

"Based on their dates of death and how the seller came by the books, it was obvious that each of those 5 people had felt their school book had had enough personal meaning that they'd held on to them for the rest of their lives.

"This prompted me to look through my own brimming bookcases and pull out a small stack of about 50 books that had real personal meaning to me because I'd read them at a specific time in my life or because I'd found something in the words that had resonated and changed my perspective on life.

"However, I realized that no one will know that when I am gone. So, I have started writing short notes that I place in each of the books explaining why these were important books to me. My hope is that when I'm gone this will help my children decide which books to keep (and hopefully, to read). Call it a guide to mom's life through her books.

"As for the others, it will be easier now (I think) to rehome many of them. All books are wonderful, but only some are personal. I can finally let go of the ones that aren't personal and don't have real meaning to me, and that is a relief."

But wait, there's more
I've mentioned it before, but Roger Ebert's 2009 essay "Books do furnish a life" is an enjoyable short read.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Real photo postcard:
Steam Valley Mountain sign


I love the moody clouds in this real photo postcard featuring a sign for Steam Valley Mountain in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. It's a Devolite Peerless RPPC, which, according to Playle.com, means it was produced in 1950 or after. The postcard was never written on or mailed. It was part of a series by Caulkins Photo of Morris, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated community in Tioga County that's known, according to Wikipedia, for its annual Rattlesnake Round-Up.

There are two things of note I could find about Steam Valley Mountain.

#1: Since 1939, Fry Brothers' Turkey Ranch and Restaurant has been located atop the mountain. According to its website: "The restaurant was opened at the current location on Mothers’ Day in 1939 and specialized in turkey dinners at a time when turkey was a rare delicacy. World War II forced the restaurant’s temporary closing but the brothers continued raising turkeys and kept the market going, raising up to 15,000 turkeys per year for the war effort." ... A Tripadvisor review from just a few days ago is headlined "Wonderful - They are taking distancing seriously" and notes: "Our first real restaurant experience since February. They take it seriously, maintaining proper distancing in seating and requiring masks. The food was exceptional. All three of us ordered the #1 and it was a complete dinner including sherbet. We stopped after hiking some of the PA Grand Canyon and heading home."

#2: There was a "bigfoot" sighting in the Steam Valley area in 1971. Here's an excerpt from the recollection by Daniel Burkhart on the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website: "I looked to see what was causing the water to be so dirty, and when I turned my head back to the east, I saw this large hairy creature standing just across the stream from me, about 6 or 7 feet away I guess. It was massive. Hair covered it from head to toe, with a bald-like face. It's eyes were dark, and It made no movements toward me or away. This creature was pretty quiet for being so big. I was terrified, and sat frozen, only able to stare into 'it's' eyes."

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Book cover: "1700 Miles in Open Boats"


  • Title: 1700 Miles in Open Boats
  • Cover subtitle: "The Voyages of the 'Trevessa' Lifeboats"
  • Author: Cecil Foster (1887-1930)
  • Cover illustrator: Winston Megoran (1913-1971)
  • Publisher: Rupert Hart-Davis, London; published in the United States by Essential Books of Fair Lawn, New Jersey (see below)
  • Year: 1952 (first published in 1924)
  • Series: The Mariners Library (No. 19)
  • Pages: 191
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket excerpt: "This is the famous story of the foundering of the S.S. Trevessa in the southern Indian Ocean in 1923 and of the remarkable voyages made by the two lifeboats, told by the Captain himself. When they abandoned ship they were about as far from land as they could have been. ... To anyone faced with a similar situation the lessons learnt from Captain Foster's experiences might well make the difference between death and survival."
  • Provenance: The York Emporium
  • Dedication: "Dedicated to my wife"
  • First sentence: "The story of the voyage of the 'Trevessa's' boats here set down is based, in the first instance, on the log which I kept in a small pocket book."
  • Last sentence: "In a few cases death was probably accelerated by the drinking of salt water."
  • Passage from the middle: "It is generally recognised at sea that sharks will not attack a coloured man as readily as they attack a white man. Whether this is correct or not, I do not know, but I have seen many coloured men in the East who have been maimed by sharks. We did not see many sharks, and those we did see did not come very close or remain long in company."
  • More about Capt. Foster: This is from a 2011 BBC News story by Neil Prior: "Cecil Foster's time in the lifeboat during WWI taught him that the survival rations were all wrong. ... The rations stowed in the boats at the time were very similar to the ship's usual diet. It mainly consisted of tinned and/or salted meat, which was extremely difficult to digest, and sucked out a lot of scarce water from the men's dehydrated bodies. After the war, Cecil insisted that Hain [Steamship Company] changed the emergency drills and rations. Salted beef was replaced with condensed milk and hard biscuits, with high calorific content but easy for the stomach to break down."
  • Review excerpt: From a 2019 review of the book on the Morrab Library website: "The book is very readable and the text is punctuated by extracts from the logs of the two boats. ... The book could have done with a glossary of nautical terms since the language of the sea cannot always be understood by ‘landlubbers.’ The incident, though well known at the time and now largely forgotten, deserves to be remembered today and ranks with such long open boat voyages as that of Captain Bligh, cast off from the ‘Bounty,’ and Mary Bryant, who escaped from Botany Bay. One can also add Shackleton’s 800 mile journey in 1914 an open boat in the Antarctic after the sinking of HMS Endurance."

Monday, August 10, 2020

Obscure and fabulous movie poster


Last night I started watching Yasujirō Ozu's Floating Weeds (1959). I haven't made it to the end yet, because I got very sleepy halfway through (not the movie's fault). But it did send me down an internet rabbit hole that led me to the movie poster above, which has almost nothing to do with Floating Weeds.

Umi no koto is a 1966 Japanese film directed by Tomotaka Tasaka, who was a victim of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima but recovered enough to continue making films until his death in 1974.

One of the English-language titles of the movie is Lake of Tears. And, as we can see above, the Spanish-language title was Lagrimas en el Lago. This beautiful psychedelic poster for that version was the work of Cuban artist Raúl Oliva in 1968.

In a 2014 article for Architectural Digest, Rebecca Bates reviewed the book Mira Cuba: The Cuban Poster Art from 1959. She writes:
"In one chapter, Mario Piazza, art director of interior design magazine Abitare, explicitly traces the parallels between American graphic design’s dreamy new aesthetic and that of Cuba’s new generation of artists. A poster by Bonnie MacLean for a 1967 concert at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, for example, is shown next to a cinema poster designed by Havana artist Raúl Oliva for a Japanese film that opened in Cuba in ’68. Oliva’s nod to the American hippie movement is evident. Both images present a phantasmagoric scene: The ad copy is stretched and distorted in bubble letters, and the posters are both overpowered by women’s swirling hair and clothing."
That made this is a worthwhile rabbit hole on two counts: (1) I also was reminded of Bonnie MacLean when I saw Oliva's gorgeous poster, and (2) I have a big post about MacLean in the works. So consider this a sneak preview for the MacLean post, via Japanese film and Cuban art.

And what about Umi no koto/Lake of Tears/Lagrimas en el Lago? I can't find much about the movie. Some additional alternate titles include A Blighted Love at the Lake and The Harp of the Lake. BFI provides this synopsis: "When a young girl's lover is drafted into the army, she is persuaded by an older man, a famous 'samisen' master, to return to Kyoto with him. He eventually seduces her, and in her despair she returns to her village and drowns herself." And Filmaffinity adds some different detail in its synopsis: "Beautiful Saku moves to Lake Yogo to work as a shamisen string maker. There she meets and falls for Ukichi, a young and naive co-worker. But her peaceful life is turned upside down when a master musician takes personal interest in her."

Cheery stuff. I think we should be thrilled that Oliva's Spanish-language poster survives, because it's difficult to imagine that many filmgoers saw such a relatively obscure and downbeat Japanese movie at cinemas in Cuba.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Apropos of nothing in particular, please support the U.S. Postal Service


There are many wonderful and inexpensive ways to support the United States Postal Service, which was established in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as its first Postmaster General and has been issuing stamps for 173 years.

  • Send mail to your family members and friends.
  • Send mail to people you don't even know personally, to thank them for what they do.
  • Send mail to people in nursing homes. Here's one way, and here's another.
  • Send mail to people all over the world by joining Postcrossing.
  • Send mail to a new pen pal.

For all of these, you'll need stamps. Buying stamps helps to support the U.S. Postal Service. For just 35¢, you can mail a postcard anywhere in the United States. For just 55¢, you can mail a standard letter anywhere in the United States. For just $1.20, you can mail a postcard or standard letter anywhere on the planet Earth!

There are all sorts of groovy stamps available from the USPS. Right now, they have stamps highlighting or commemorating the 19th Amendment, sculptor Ruth Asawa, Bugs Bunny, the great outdoors, voices of the Harlem Renaissance, American gardens, Earth Day, Maine's statehood, Arnold Palmer, orchids, Gwen Ifill, military working dogs, state and county fairs (a personal favorite of mine), the 1969 moon landing, frogs, Sally Ride, Scooby-Doo and much more.

You might like some of these stamps so much that you'll want to collect them, rather than stick them on envelopes and postcards. That's cool. Stamp collecting remains a very popular hobby, and there's no right or wrong way to do it. Collect what you like! Stamp collecting as a hobby, when it involves buying new releases from the USPS, has the double benefit of both bringing you joy and supporting an important American institution, one that helps undergird our democracy.

So get writing, stamping, sending and collecting!

Also, if the U.S Postal Service is important to you, let your congressperson and senators know. It seems like that's a thing they should know.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Two dramatic QSL cards sent to Melvin Reed

Here are two more QSL cards sent to Melvin "Midge" C. Reed of Frackville, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s. Both cards note communications that involved poor or interrupted signals, using codes such as QRM and QSB.

From ham radio operator Jacques Duquette (VE2 BKG) to Melvin Reed (W3AIT). Postmarked on March 9, 1962, in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec.

From ham radio operator Sid H. Solley (VE6AFQ) to Melvin Reed (W3AIT). Postmarked on December 7, 1965, in Lethbridge, Alberta. The structure pictured on the card is the Lethbridge Viaduct, which was built between 1907 and 1909. It is, according to Wikipedia, "the largest railway structure in Canada and the largest of its type in the world." It rises 314 feet above the river bed and contains 12,400 tons of steel.

Previous posts about Melvin Reed and his QSLs

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Unmotionless Mollie
(1920 snapshot)


There's a cursive inscription on the back of this tiny photograph. It states:
12-5-20
Me in office
I moved
1 mint minute
was too long
to sit
motionless!
Mollie
The photo is only 2¾ inches wide, including the black border. So the image is very small. That's too bad, because with a bigger photograph there might have been more interesting details to discern among the items behind can't-sit-still Mollie.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

¡Gamera es realmente genial!
¡Gamera está llena de carne!


An entity known as "Misster K" once published a series of postcards featuring reproductions of the movie posters for the Spanish-language versions of famous and not-so-famous movies. I found other examples of Misster K cards for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and, oddly, Kramer vs. Kramer. I guess there's a market for everything. (It's also possible that Misster K also went by the simpler Mr. K at some point; there are movie poster reproductions under that name, too.)

Anyway, this nifty postcard features a reproduction of the poster for El Mundo Bajo el Terror, which is the Spanish-language version of the 1965 Japanese film Daikaijû Gamera. In the United States, it was known as either Gamera or Gamera, the Giant Monster. It became a staple of Saturday afternoon monster matinees on 1970s television and later gained a different kind of cult status when it was one of the Gamera films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

The Spanish title translates to "The World Under Terror," which could be descriptive of a lot of things and doesn't necessarily convey that a turtle the size of Godzilla is wreaking havoc. Something like El Monstruo Tortuga Gigante might have been more evocative. The German title of the film, meanwhile, translates roughly to "Gamera — Frankenstein's Monster from the Ice." Apparently the Germans liked to unfairly blame the fictional Dr. Victor Frankenstein for a lot of the world's fictional horrors. This might be related to the fact that Toho, the studio that brought us Godzilla & friends, had an atomic, super-sized version of Frankenstein's monster in some of its films.

I did some digging but unfortunately couldn't find the name of the artist who did this Gamera poster back in the day.

Other posts that mention Gamera
(sometimes only in passing)


Link to The Shrine of Gamera

And, finally...

Monday, August 3, 2020

Solving some mysteries about that fascinating Bible

Mission accomplished! I found a wonderful home for the small Bible, and all of the items that were tucked away inside, that was featured here in a July 27 post.

I had speculated that Martha J. Lee Morrow used the Bible after the death in 1940 of her son, Harry. Martha died at age 90 in 1964 and had numerous relatives. It was my hope that one of them — a great-grandchild, great-niece, great-nephew, etc. — would see the post, and that's precisely what happened, thanks to a York County history group on Facebook.

Jackie Lapes tells me that Martha Lee Morrow was her grandmother's sister.

"I remember visiting her when I was a child," Jackie writes. "She was very tiny and feisty."

Jackie has worked on the Lee family geneaology for years and was able to come up with the rigorous documentation necessary to be accepted into the Daughters of the American Revolution. (My grandmother, Helen Ingham, was also a member of that group.)

She also sent me some photos of Martha, which helped us confirm that the photo inside the Bible of the woman holding the dog is Martha. "Her nickname was Tiny," Jackie writes of Martha. "That letter [another fascinating item tucked into the Bible and discussed in the original post] was written to her by someone named Fairy. My cousin, Sylvia Lee, remembers someone called Fairy."

Here are some side-by-side views of Martha:


Jackie says she intends to write a history of the Lee family, including her great-great-grandfather's exploits as a boatman on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal and a horseback postal delivery worker here in York County. "My Lee family suffered so many tragedies as well as successes," she notes. "The Delta Herald has been extremely helpful in documentation."

And now another small piece of Lee history is returning to where it belongs.

* * *

Note
This is the 3,200th Papergreat post. Who would have thought there'd be another 3,000 POSTS after this 200th-post celebration?

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Ads from a 1983 Marvel comic

These advertisements are from Marvel Comics' May 1983 Super-Villain Classics Vol. 1, No. 1, featuring Galactus.

Bubble Yum was introduced in the 1970s. Today I learned that there was a whole scandal in which kids in schoolyards told harrowing stories about how Bubble Yum contained iderspay eggsyay (using Pig Latin to keep from contributing to potentially validating web hits).

Star Wars: Jedi Arena was released by Parker Brothers in 1983 for the Atari 2600.

Lock 'n' Chase, an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Pac-Man, had arcade, Atari 2600, Intellivision, Apple II and Game Boy versions. It's not clear why an "avoid law enforcement" theme was necessary for this particular maze game.

Blip magazine was apparently just a blip on the radar of magazines. According to the Internet Archive, "the first issue was published in February 1983, and the seventh and final issue was published in August of that year. Blip was aimed at a younger audience; it was comic-book sized, printed on comic book stock, and had video-game-related comics (some spanning several pages), while being somewhat thinner on computer hardware, news items and strategy guides." The first issue featured a cover photograph of actor Matthew Laborteaux (Matthew Labyorteaux) of Little House on the Prairie fame.

I cannot find anything about The Golden Institute of Palm Bay, Florida. I hope you didn't send them $4 back in the day (the equivalent of more than $10 today).

But wait, there's more!
For more fun with old comic books, check out this February post and be sure to scroll to the bottom for all the links from the Summer of 2016 series.

Not just any old Star Trek paperback

"Is he going to start posing all of his ephemera with cats?" "Shhhh. Shut up, Irv. He can hear you!"

There are a lot of Star Trek paperbacks. According to Ye Olde Wikipedia, "As of May 2020, more than 850 novels, short story anthologies, novelizations, and omnibus editions, have been published." Ashar likes to collect them, especially ones from the Next Generation era. Some are more notable and collectible than others, of course. The cover of Bantam's first tie-in novelization of the TV series in 1967 features an almost-greenish Spock.

There's nothing special about Planet of Judgment itself. First published in the summer of 1977, when a NASA space shuttle named Enterprise made its first test free-flight and Voyager 2 was launched1, Planet of Judgment was written by Joe Haldeman. The back cover describes Kirk, Spock and McCoy facing "a total breakdown of science and sanity" near "a world orbited by a black hole and ruled by chaos." (Hmmm.) It has a review of 3.33 stars (about of 5) on Goodreads, with one reviewer (who gave it 3 stars) noting, "It packs a wallop of ideas for such slim novel, and even though the ideas seem to get stretched a little too thin towards the end, it's all part of the fun of Star Trek."

But we're not here today for the book itself. We're here for the fold-out advertisement that's built into the middle of the book. I can't lay it flat to scan it without damaging the book, so here are some snapshots...




As you can see, the advertisement is for original hand-painted cels from Star Trek: The Animated Series, which first aired in 1973 and 1974. It notes:
"By special arrangement with Filmation Studios, producers of the STAR TREK animated TV series, Bantam Books now makes available the authentic, hand-painted 'cels' as used in the production of the award winning show.

"'Cels' are paintings on celluloid from drawings created by the studio artists.

"Each 'cel' comes to you mounted on a 14" x 18" mat folder, overlayed on a beautiful multi-colored background scene from the series."
It stresses that these are "LIMITED EDITIONS ... THAT WILL APPRECIATE IN VALUE" and that the cels will be sold on a "FIRST COME" basis.

Ten color images from the series are shown in the advertisement. They include Spock taking a photograph of the crew (?!?), the Enterprise battling a Klingon ship, young Spock atop his pet sehlet, and other shots of the Enterprise. (To learn more about the animated series, I highly recommend listening to these three episodes of the 70s Trek podcast with Bob Turner and Kelly Casto: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

The 1977 cost for the cels was $20, plus $1.50 shipping and handling. That's about $92 in today's prices, according to the Inflation Calculator. So would it have been worth it? Did these "appreciate in value"? The answer would seem to be yes (which shouldn't be a surprise in the world of limited Star Trek collectibles). But it can be a little confusing to sort through the items available on eBay. One artist didn't like the Filmation artwork and made his own reproductions, with greater attention to accuracy and detail. Don't mess with Star Trek fandom!

Other Star Trek-related posts

* * *

But wait, there's more!
Star Trek Tweet of the Year


Star Trek Tweet of the Year #2


Footnote
1. Voyager 2 has been operating for nearly 43 years and is 11.5 billion miles from Earth and counting...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Book cover: "Little Pilgrim to Penn's Woods"



In 2015 and 2018, I wrote about old postcards in my possession that concern Edna Albert, who had lifetime connections across southcentral Pennsylvania. She was a graduate of Millersville State Normal School, a member of the Adams County Historical Society and the Women's Christian Temperance Union ... and an author. I'm featuring one of her books today.

  • Title: Little Pilgrim to Penn's Woods
  • Author: Edna Albert (1878-1960)
  • Illustrator: Esther Brann (1899-1998)
  • Publisher: Longmans, Green and Co. (New York and Toronto)
  • Year: Originally published in 1930. This is the January 1952 reprint.
  • Pages: 300
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Dust jacket description: "This is the story of an eighteenth-century migration to the woods of William Penn told against a background that is historically notable. Selinda, the little pilgrim, is a real girl who with high courage and a singing heart traded old worlds for new. There is interwoven with the very atmosphere of the Rhineland and of Holland all the color and reality of pioneer life: an epic in homespun. The hardships of the journey are not minimized and yet are kept in the background as they would be in the mind of a child. And it is a joy to have the clear cut snapshots of the little towns, of the young Goethe, of the little Dutch Neltje, of the English sailors, of the Indian in his native forests, of eighteenth-century manners, without losing the sense of the idyllic unity of Selinda's story which the author has told with rare sympathy and surpassing interest."
  • Provenance: This copy was withdrawn from the Hamburg Junior High School Library Media Center.
  • Dedication: To my father who gave me in my childhood many a book of golden tales (Her father was Franklin Albert, 1838-1931)
  • Foreword: Written by Martin Grove Brumbaugh, who served as governor of Pennsylvania from 1915 to 1919, on March 8, 1930. He writes, "One cannot, in reading this narrative, fail to reach the conclusion that the author is really giving a type-story of a people who have so worthily aided in building this Commonwealth and, indeed, really a picture of her own ancestors. ... The volume merits and should have wide acceptance."
  • Some chapter titles: "The Silver Horn," "The Trumpeting Cherub," "Völker the Fiddler," "The Dam School," "Selinda's Indian Name," and "Wastela Visits the Boiling Springs."
  • First sentence: "Selinda perched on the end of the bench in her father's shop, playing with the shavings that rolled up before his plane."
  • Last sentence: "Her Story Finished October 16, 1764."
  • Random sentence from the middle: "The travelers stopped the whole day in York, for they had business also at the Land Office, but according to their custom they were off early on Tuesday, and evening found them camped near Dover, whence one road led out toward the mountain and on to Carlisle."
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3.5 stars out of 5 (2 ratings)
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.7 stars out of 5 (2 ratings)1
  • Amazon review: In 2019, Edith Dunn wrote: "I bought this because it was about the time in history that my ancestors left Germany to come to Pennsylvania. It gave me insight into the journey they took and difficulties encountered on their arduous trip. I also recognized many locations mentioned in Pennsylvania that I had visited in my childhood. It was a well written, descriptive book that helped me understand my ancestors. Although I'm in my 70's and have read this book twice, I feel it would be valuable to anyone wishing to know about pilgrims who came to America during colonial times."
  • More about Edna Albert: On the Ye Olde Sulphur Spa Historical Society Facebook page, this was written in 2016: "For her twentieth reunion, at Dickinson College, information provided by Miss Albert shows her pride in having been given suffrage under the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution as she noted, 'Republican. Votes.' She also noted that she had a Ford [automobile] named Peter." The page also indicates that Albert followed Little Pilgrim to Penn's Woods with two other books, The Shawl with the Yellow Bells and Peter of Smithfield, which was about her car.
  • More about her car: On Albert's Find A Grave page, this story was added by Roger Trostle earlier this year: "My mother told me this story. Edna Albert was driving to the Chestnut Grove Lutheran Church in Latimore one Sunday morning when she accidentally drove off the road in front of the Irvin Harbold Farm home. Her car narrowly missed a chicken house, rolling over completely and coming to rest on its four wheels. Not missing a beat, Edna drove her car back onto the road and on to Church. Other than her hat being a bit crooked, she was no worse for the wear and attended the worship service just as she set out to do."
  • And another story: Elmira Stambaugh adds this tale (which I have lightly edited) on the aforementioned Ye Olde Sulphur Spa Historical Society Facebook page in 2016: "My parents rented from her and she was a fascinating and kind lady. Sometimes when our parents were working and there was a thunderstorm, she would let us stay with her till our parents got home. She had this one room where she had an old typewriter and lots of books. I remember she had lots of National Geographics. We would spend a lot of time in that room looking at her books and playing with her typewriter. She would also take us to church at Chestnut Grove every Sunday. If I remember right, her car was a white coupe she called Peter!"

But wait, there's more!
Here is a look at the front endpapers designed by Esther Brann...


Footnote
1. You might be asking yourself, "How can a book with two ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 have an average rating of 4.7?" Good question. Amazon explains it this way: "Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings based on a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness."

Monday, July 27, 2020

Super Mega Summer 2020 Tucked Away Inside Post (old York Bible)


This post has been a very long time coming. My apologies for that.

Way back in December 2018, I received a mystery package in the mail that contained a small Bible. It was addressed to "Christopher A. Otto," and the return address label was St. Louis Catholic Youth Ministry in Clarksville, Maryland. An unsigned cursive note in the package stated: "Hoping you may be able to find some family member to give this to — or a good home for it. Showed up in a donation box."

So it's time to accomplish this mission of finding this Bible and its contents a proper home. Toward that goal, I'll document everything that is tucked away inside.

This Bible was published in 1899 by the American Bible Society. It is 4 inches wide, 5½ inches tall, and 1½ inches thick. We'll go through it from front to back and see what we can learn.

On the waterstained first page, there is name and a location written in neat cursive: Harry Morrow, Airville Penna.


Airville is an unincorporated community in rural southeastern York County. I've been there a few times, and you have to actively want to go there to find it; it's not a place you'd ever go through as part of everyday travels. According to 1886's History of York County, Pennsylvania, Airville was first called McSherrysville. Its residents included Aquila Montgomery, a Black man who built the town's second house. There is also this fascinating but not politically correct passage: "The mail for many years was carried on horse back by a dwarf called 'Little Philie Cole,' over a route extending from York to Bel Air, Md. It took him one week to make the trip. 'Little Philie' was a brave boy, and was afraid of nothing but thunder. If he saw an approaching storm, he would go into the nearest house and at once conceal himself in a feather bed, till it subsided."

So, Harry Morrow of Airville is one starting point...

In the pages of Genesis, there is an obituary clipped from a newspaper.


Thanks to Newspapers.com, we learn that this obituary is from the November 16, 1943, edition of The Gazette and Daily of York, Pennsylvania. I also determined that William Lee's date of death was November 12, 1943. He died at the hospital and was "aged 53 years, 6 months and 12 days." It's not immediately clear if there are any connections between Harry Morrow and anyone from the group of William Lee, Flora Lee, Russell Stewart, Robert Loomis, William Grandstaff, Frank G. Whitmore, Edgar Morgan and Clarence Lauer.

The plot thickens at 1 Kings. Tucked into the same page are two items: A remembrance card and a mystery snapshot.



It has long been common practice to tuck remembrance cards away inside Bibles after attending services. It's possible that T. Bernard Elsesser (1876-1944) was just an acquaintance of whoever owned this Bible in 1944. What's really interesting is that Elsesser was a major figure in York journalism. The front page of the June 2, 1944 edition of The Gazette and Daily notes:
"T. Bernard Elsesser, managing editor The Gazette and Daily and an employe of this newspaper for 54 years, died at 4:20 o'clock this morning at the York hospital. He was 67. Mr. Elsesser, a widely known newspaperman who rose from 'printer's devil' to the position of managing editor which he still held at the time of his death, had undergone a major operation May 24."


It's likely that, given his prominent position, Elsesser was known by many in the York community and that his funeral service has well-attended. So I'm guessing he was just an acquaintance and not a relative of the Bible owner.

And what's to make of this photograph? it's 2⅝ inches by 4⅝ inches. Frustratingly, nothing is written on the back. We just have a woman holding a small dog that doesn't look terribly pleased to be posing. Here's a closer look...


She looks about as grumpy as the dog about the whole situation. Who is she? Why is her picture in this Bible?

Moving along to Nehemiah, we find another mystery snapshot.


A blurry pier. Old people. Pelicans. No information written on the back. This does nothing to help us solve the mystery of this Bible.

Tucked between pages in Psalms, we find a trio of items. There are two newspaper clippings. One is another that's related to the death of William Lee. (Is it significant that he has two clippings in the same Bible?) It lists some of his relatives, including his daughter, Florence Lee.

And then there's a clipped obituary for Fern Eugina Husson, the infant daughter of Charles R. Husson (1891-1959) and Anna K. Worley Husson (1892-1961). Fern was 11 weeks old when she died in January 1923. She is buried with her mother and father in York's Prospect Hill Cemetery. (Minor spelling note: The clipped obituary states "Fern Eugina Husson" and Find A Grave states "Fern Eugenia Husson.")


The third item tucked away in this spot in another mystery photo from down the shore. Nothing is written on the back. Who is the well-dressed old woman posing with a pelican in the background?


A few pages later, still in Psalms, is perhaps the most intriguing item in the Bible — a very personal four-page note...


The full note states:
18 Sept.
Darling "Tiny"
I could not come and give you good-Bye in person as it would be too hard for me to do and also hard on you. Honey be good and I'll see in you in a year or two. As soon as I have an address I'll mail it to you. I leave today at 3:38 standard time from York and will be in Pittsburgh, California, Sat night the 21st at 8:00 PM. Don't know how far the Camp is from here.

When the Kiltie-band plays and if my Honey is down you may give him a kiss for me. He is a darling and how. Saw him Sat night. Don't tell anyone but I can trust you. He is Bill Paterson but he has asked me to call him "Pat," and is from Clearfield, Pa.

Well Honey you understand why I could not see you.

Love always
Fairy
I have a lot of questions about this note! What is the relationship/situation with Tiny, Fairy and Bill/Pat? "Pittsburgh" in California is most likely this Pittsburg in central California. The "Camp" referred to in the letter is probably Camp Stoneman, which was a major staging area for the Army in World War II and the Korean War. It was decommissioned in 1954, so that helps us tremendously in dating this note. (Also very helpful: September 21 was a Saturday in 1940 and 1946.)

Kiltie-band might refer to The Kiltie Band of York, which, according to its website, "was founded in 1928 and is still based in York, Pennsylvania with members from the surrounding region including York and Lancaster Counties and beyond."

The only full name we have is Bill Paterson of Clearfield, Pennsylvania. The name is very common, but Clearfield is relatively small. And so I found an obituary that's almost certainly his. William (Bill) Logie Paterson lived from 1921 to 2008. In World War II he co-piloted a B-17 Flying Fortress. But here's the part that caught my eye: "As a young boy, Bill learned to play the bagpipes and he took them every place he went, even into the service. He was certified to teach bagpipes by the College of Piping out of Glasgow, Scotland. He frequently taught at summer piping schools in California. Bill also made a trip to Japan to teach members of the Tokyo Pipe Band. He taught the original members of the Bellingham Pipe Band and for many years taught individual students in the fine art of piping."

I don't think it's a coincidence that the note mentions The Kiltie Band of York. This is definitely the Bill Paterson we're looking for. But who is Fairy?? And how does Fairy fit in with the people whose hands this Bible passed through?

Still in Psalms, there's a little bookmark that might or might not have been original to the 1899 Bible...


Finally, in Song of Solomon, we discover the fate of the man whose name is written on the first page of this Bible: Harry E. Morrow. It's a clipping from the January 4, 1941, edition of the York Daily Record, and it indicates that Morrow "was instantly killed ... when struck by a car as he was crossing the Belair road."


An article in the December 31, 1940, Gazette and Daily adds that Morrow was 46 when he died and gives a little more detail about his tragic death: "According to reports from Baltimore, Mr. Morrow had alighted from his auto to see how it had been damaged after it had struck a guard rail when he was hit by an oncoming car. ... Mr. Morrow, a son of Mrs. Martha Lee Morrow, 46 East Philadelphia street, and the late Russell Morrow, left York about two years ago for Baltimore where he was employed as a sheet metal worker. While in this city he worked as an automobile mechanic. ... Mr. Morrow was a veteran of the first World war, having seen service overseas. Surviving are his widow, Mr. Marian Thompson Morrow; two daughters, Dorothy and Evelyn..."

1940 was an incredibly sad year for Martha Lee Morrow. In late February, Russell Morrow (her husband) was arrested for drunkenness and disorderly conduct in York and placed in a cell. It allegedly wasn't until 15 hours after his arrest that police, unable to arouse Morrow, ordered his transfer to York hospital for medical attention. He died at the hospital several days later. Then, in December, Martha lost her son Harry in the aforementioned traffic accident.

An obvious thing to note is that Harry E. Morrow died in December 1940, yet some of the items we have encountered tucked away inside this Bible are clearly from after that date. So at least one person other than Morrow used it. My guess is that it was his mother, Martha Lee Morrow. It took some nosing around, but I was able to confirm that William Lee (whose 1943 obituary clippings are among the items tucked away inside) is Martha's brother (and thus Harry's uncle).

Is Martha the well-dressed woman at the shore and/or the woman holding the dog?

Martha J. Lee Morrow died on August 29, 1964, at age 90, nearly a quarter-century after the double tragedy of losing her husband and son in the same year. According to her obituary in The Gazette and Daily, she was survived by a daughter (Mrs. Earl T. Stein), five grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and a brother, John Y. Lee. Those might be the best jumping-off points to get this Bible back to someone who's related to Martha, so it will be interesting to see where things go from here.

Reach me with tips at chrisottopa (at) gmail.com.