Saturday, December 26, 2020

New edition of Ruth Manning-Sanders' "A Book of Witches"

On this Boxing Day, I have some dandy book news. MAB Media recently published a gorgeous new edition of A Book of Witches, which was written by Ruth Manning-Sanders, illustrated by Robin Jacques and first published in London in 1965. It was the fourth volume in the Manning-Sanders/Jacques "A Book of..." series. And it's full of great witchy fun.

Additionally, I am honored and humbled to have penned the introduction for this new edition of A Book of Witches. It was a wonderful opportunity to help spread the story of Manning-Sanders' amazing life (check out the 60+ posts on this blog for more) and to share my enthusiasm for these volumes with a new generation of readers. MAB Media plans to publish new editions of other Manning-Sanders books, complete with the Jacques illustrations, in the near future. It's a wonderful opportunity for folks to enjoy the tales and the delightful illustrations without having to track down increasingly rare and/or expensive used copies online.

A Book of Witches is available in both hardcover and paperback from or any of your favorite booksellers.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas Day mystery RPPC

Merry Christmas! Vrolijk kerstfeest. Crăciun fericit. 圣诞节快乐

For today's holly-jolly merriment, we have this studio-posed real photo postcard of four girls sitting in a sleigh that's being "pulled" by what appears, sadly, to be a taxidermied white-tailed deer, presumably serving as a stiff reindeer substitute.

The background is a nice, if not entirely convincing, matte painting of a snow-covered landscape, complete with some sort of estate or mansion. The girls are coordinated with their white outfits/dresses. It was certainly a Big Deal that they went to the studio to have their group photograph taken.

I've always wondered how many postcards people received for such studio RPPCs. Was it possible to get more than one RPPC of the same photograph? That would make them possible to send out to friends and family. I might be naive in this thinking, though, especially depending which decade we're talking about in the early 20th century. Experts on the topic would certainly know better.

One reason I wonder whether multiple copies were made of some of these RPPCs is because I come across so many blank ones. The postcard was never sent and no one ever annotated the back, giving us names, dates and places. Was this because they were an "extra" card from the lot? Or, in this case, is it even possible that this was an RPPC "proof," given the "3" scratched in the corner?

This particular blank mystery RPPC was produced by PMC, according to the stamp box on the back, as identified through Its two upward arrows and two downward arrows date it to between 1907 and 1915, according to Playle. So, these girls were all born before the Great War.2

Here's a closer look at them and the "reindeer." 
Christmas Day footnotes
1., which has been an invaluable resource for Papergreat over the past decade, has this note on its website: "IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Postcard Sales and Auction site will be closing soon. Sales will cease on December 22, 2020, and the site will close on December 31, 2020. The deltiology information areas of the site will remain open. If you have any questions, please email us at Thank you for your support over these many years."

Big bummer. I am glad the "deltiology information" areas will remain. They are important knowledge for historians and ephmeraologists.

2. And so Happy Christmas (war is over)
We hope you had fun (if you want it)
The near and the dear ones (war is over)
The old and the young (now)

Thursday, December 24, 2020

She was very serious about you having a Real Happy Christmas

I have no idea who she is, of course. But she is extremely serious. And possibly ticked off. Possibly about being on this postcard. (And imagine how ticked off she'd be to know we're still looking at her photograph 112 years later. Will this postcard haunt us??)

This Christmas RPPC, with its redundant messages printed on the front, is from the Davidson Bros.' Real Photgraphic Series and was printed in England. It was postmarked in New Haven, Missouri, in December 1908 and mailed to Miss Martha Radtke in Morrison, Missouri, about 23 miles to the west, as the crow flies.

Here's my best guess at the message on the back, which was written in cursive pencil:
I would like to be in your neighbor hood Xmas., but can't say for shure that I'll be up. Would certainly like to meet you again.
A Friend (A.H.J.)

A.H.J is my best guess on those initials, by the way. Joan, who is the only other person I know who looks at as much old cursive as I do, concurs. Is A.H.J. the woman on the front? If so, why did she sign as A Friend and with her initials, instead of her name? These mysteries will never be solved! Now I'm as ticked off as she looks.

Enjoy your Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"Dear Santa" through the years

Delving into the newspaper archives, I pulled out some "Dear Santa" letters that have been published in American newspapers over a stretch of more than a century. Some things never go out of style; some things very much do go out of style. Enjoy!

Cumberland (Maryland) Evening Times, 1899

The Winona (Mississippi) Times, 1934
The Eunice (Louisiana) News, 1978
The Kilgore (Texas) News Herald, 2011

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

"Fröhliche Weihnachten" German Christmas postcard

Fröhliche Weihnachten means "Merry Christmas!" in German. This Post-Karte was mailed from Germany on December 25, 1906, with a red Germania Deutsches Reich stamp with a value of 10 pfennig. It was postmarked again on the front when it arrived at its destination of Eureka, California, sometime in early January.

It was sent to Hermann Schulze and his family.

Here's a closer look at the front of the card and then a look at the back...

Monday, December 21, 2020

"Bright Star of Hope" vintage Christmas postcard (with cat)

As the final countdown to Christmas continues, this vintage postcard, mailed to Alice McClintock way back in the day, features a woman in green, a young boy in yellow, a young girl in pink and red, and, stealing the show, a cat who doesn't give a damn about any of it. 

It's possible that these three are attempting to break into a house through a window and the cat is doing very little to stop them. 

Or maybe I'm just overthinking it all.

The text on the postcard states:

Loving Christmas Greetings
On this Christmas kind greeting I send thee,
My wish would keep joy by they side,
With Fortune's glad sun ever shining,
And the bright Star of Hope for they guide.

Simon [or insert a turn-of-the-century struggling writer's name here] probably got paid half a shilling to write that hokum before being told to move on to the Easter postcard verses. Or to go find Bartleby.

And, no, it's not a famous verse or a stolen poem. Google tells me: "No results found for 'With Fortune's glad sun ever shining.' " So we're making SEO history tonight on the blog again. Break out the saké.

This week in the reality that is 2020, the "bright Star of Hope" is the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn, as seen from the Earth. They haven't come this close, from our vantage, since 1623, and, according Marina Koren in The Atlantic, "The last time the planets appeared this close and could be seen from the ground was in 1226," when Notre-Dame de Paris was still in its early decades of construction. 

Here's a look at the back of the postcard:

Sunday, December 20, 2020

"Fraught with happiness" Christmas postcard

This postcard, with its Christmas hot pinks and baby blues, was mailed on Christmas Eve 1912 from tiny Colfax, Wisconsin, to tinier Leeds, North Dakota. The card was published by E.A. Schwerdtfeger & Co. of London, New York and Berlin. 

"Fraught with happiness" seems like an odd turn of phrase for the final line of verse on the front, but maybe it wasn't as odd a century ago with that usage. Or maybe it's just a bad line. It happens.

The card, which was sent to Miss Goldie Skeie, includes this short, uninformative note:
Colfax, Wis. Dec. 23.
A merry Xmas and a happy new year to you all, from all here.
Bertha Berg

Bertha does have nice cursive handwriting, at least. And I suppose we have Goldie and perhaps her descendants to thank for this postcard's continued existence. More Christmas postcards to come as the week continues! 

Saturday, December 19, 2020

D. Louis Tonti, Mr. Safety

Sharing this amusing newspaper item I found while researching the previous post. It's from the March 25, 1964, edition of the Daily News of New York City.

Dessert recipes that Emma Smith passed around to her friends

I have a copy of The Pennsylvania Dutch and their Cookery (subtitle: "Their history, art, accomplishments, also a broad collection of their food recipes") that seemingly received wide circulation among a group of friends in 1937 and 1938.
The book was written by J. George Frederick (author of Cooking as Men Like It, For and Against Technocracy, How Bright Is Your Child? and Humanism as a Way of Life, among other titles) and published in 1935 by The Business Bourse of New York. When Frederick died in 1964, his obituary noted that he was also the president of the Gourmet Society of New York.

On the blank first page, someone — we might presume that it was Emma Smith — pasted a sheet of paper to serve as a circulation sheet. The book went first to Helen Raub and then continued to others on two-week intervals from late 1937 through the summer of 1938, when it was scheduled to return to Emma Smith.

Here are the other names on the list: Edna Eshleman, Della Book, Grace Hassler, Joe Groff, Anna Miller, Velma Aument, Blanche Eshleman, Ethel McClure, Olive McClure, Edna Miller, Rebecca Pollock, Vera Forbes, Margaret Groff, Mary Boyce, Edna Groff, Sena Reynolds, Mary LeFevre, and Winona Newswenger.

I wasn't 100% sure that Sena was correct for that one first name, but there was a Sena Groff Reynolds who lived in southern Lancaster County during this time period, so I think I'm correct. Many of these, in fact, are traditional Lancaster County family names. 

In the preface, the author writes: "Let us make no mistake about it: The Pennsylvania Dutch provided a far greater proportion of the bone and sinew of American tradition and value than the small size of their territory would indicate."

And that brings us to some recipes! While the book collects recipes for everything from Dutch Eel Soup to Sauerkraut Tulpehocken, I thought I'd merrily focus on some sweets that would certainly be appropriate for the Christmas season.

Philadelphia Pudding
  • 6 or 8 apples
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cream (or milk)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
Wash and core but do not peel the apples (of the tart kind). Arrange in bake pan with plenty of space. Dot each apple with butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and put some raisins in the cores. (If there is cider, pour some in each core). Bake until soft. Then make a batter of the egg whites, the sugar mixed with the egg yolks, the cream or milk, almost a tablespoon of butter and the flour into which the baking powder has been sifted. Pour this batter over the apples and bake until brown. Serve hot  — perhaps with hard sauce.

Schwingfelder (Potato) Cakes
  • 1 cup potatoes mashed
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 yeastcake
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
Mix 1 cup of sugar and the hot mashed potatoes; after cooling add 1 cup flour and yeast, dissolved; beat and let rise 3 hours. Mix lard, butter, 1 cup of sugar, eggs and salt; mix this with the sponge and beat vigorously, and stir stiff. Let rise overnight, roll out, cut, place biscuits in pans, spread with melted butter, sift brown sugar over them. Bake 20-30 minutes in moderate oven.

Blitz Kucha, Ephrata
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup black walnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream the sugar and butter, blend with the eggs, beaten. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, and then add alternately the milk and the vanilla. Pour into a bake pan, sprinkle with the cinnamon and the sugar and the chopped walnuts. Bake for 30 minutes in a moderate oven.

For more seasonal recipes, see the Holly Jolly Papergreat Directory of Christmas Posts and scroll down to "Recipes." 

Bonus Photo #1
From the photo shoot for this post.

Bonus Photo #2
My assistant complicated the writing of this post.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Utter mystery photo

Sigh. I wish I knew more about this found photo. But it comes with no clues whatsoever. We can't even tell much about these two girls posing in a backyard based upon their clothing, can we? Wouldn't it be amazing to know more about the lives they lived? 

The snapshot, including the white border, is just 2⅜ inches wide. The pots on the tree stumps are an interesting design touch. That sapling in the background might be a huge tree now. Or perhaps it's long gone. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Dad's encounter with Dick Allen

Former Major League Baseball player Dick Allen died Monday at age 78. He began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963 and, as a Black superstar in the stormy decade of civil rights, had seven sometimes tumultous seasons in the City of Brotherly Love. He then returned to Philadelphia as an aging slugger in 1975 and 1976. 

Dad says he and Allen once sat side-by-side in the back of a Lockheed L-1011 going from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. It would have been 1980 or 1981. 

They had a few drinks and Dad "tried to talk about everything but baseball." Allen had a lifelong love of horses and owned a horse ranch, which was one topic of discussion. 

"Great player. Great person," Dad says.

Despite having the necessary credentials, Dick Allen is still not a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. 

Andrew B. Distler wrote a great piece about Allen for The Undefeated in September. An excerpt:
"Allen is among the most famous of the 'second wave' of Black MLB players who became stars in the 1960s and ’70s. These players came of age watching Black stars such as Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron. Some, including Allen, had grown up in integrated towns. Yet they were expected to abide by a double standard. Though the league was integrated, Black players were expected to be quiet, humble and grateful that they were allowed to play professional baseball. ...

"Allen was anything but quiet. He spent his career defiantly rejecting the role of 'grateful Black player.' He demanded a higher salary to match his immense talent and didn’t bother to cozy up to sportswriters. He famously fought with a white teammate who had hurled a racial slur — and ended up being blamed for the altercation himself, enduring death threats in the aftermath.

"While Allen’s statistics match those of many white players in the Hall, his reputation as a troublemaker — the stereotypical 'angry Black man' — derailed his chances."

If Allen eventually is enshrined in Cooperstown, it's a terrible shame that it will have happened after he could have attended the event.

Allen's No. 15 was retired by the Phillies in September.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Postcard of former school house in Avis, Pennsylvania

What a building! Every time I see a postcard or photo of an old school of this type, I think of the building that's described so perfectly (and forbodingly) in Dan Simmons' 1991 horror novel Summer of Night

The front of the postcard indicates that this is the School House in Avis, Pa. If you look closely, two numbers have been written on the building. Under the photograph, the handwriting states: "(1. my room before noon) (2. my room afternoon) L.B.B."

Avis is a tiny borough in northcentral Pennsylvania, about 18 miles west of Williamsport. Its population took a big jump in the 1960s and has been steadily around 1,500 for the past three decades. 

This postcard was mailed from Avis to Mrs. L.E. Campbell in the logging town of Cross Fork sometime in the 1910s.

The cursive message states:
Dear Mrs. C. — Suppose you will be surprised to hear I have another position as Grammar Grade Teacher here. Like it first class, yet the offer was a surprise have 40 pupils of my own and in afternoon have part of the High School students in my care. Don't know how long I'll have to stay the regular teacher has a broken arm, may be here 3 wks, maybe 3 mo, Write me a long letter soon, Love to all.
Your friend
Leah, Avis, Pa.

So, Leah is L.B.B., but that's the extent of what we know of her name. Surely that won't be enough to indentify this substitute teacher of a century ago. Too bad. 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Semi-psychedelic book cover: "Gather in the Hall of the Planets"

  • Title: Gather in the Hall of the Planets
  • Author: K.M. O'Donnell (a pen name for Barry N. Malzberg)
  • Groovy cover illustrator who is 90% of the reason for this post: Jack Gaughan (1930-1985)
  • Publisher: Ace Books (Ace Double 27415, paired with O'Donnell's In the Pocket and Other S-F Stories on the flipside)
  • Cover price: 75 cents
  • Year: 1971
  • Pages: 121 (the flipside novel is 132 pages, followed by 3 pages of advertisements)
  • Format: Paperback
  • Title page secondary text: "Being a novelized version of the remarkable interplanetary events that took place at the World Science Fiction Convention of 1974."
  • Dedication: For Donald A. Wollheim
  • First sentence: In the August night, three aliens come to Kvass and sit to converse with him.
  • Last sentence: Considering the way that things were going his career when the whole goddamned thing broke open over him, this is probably for the very best.
  • Random passage from the middle: "Hey, Marcus, would you notice if there seem to be any aliens around the convention? People who don't seem quite human, that is to say; people a little bit out of the ordinary."
  • Random long sentence from the middle: "Katie Elizabeth Templeton is gathering strength and force; Katie Elizabeth Templeton is reaching deep into her history to emerge with a stinging left hook that is somehow intrinsic to her quest for human relationships and Kvass, succumbing once again to his feeling of detachment (but with a good overlay of panic as well; he recognizes at least three of the editors to whom Katie has been talking; he needs these markets), floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee, slips the hook and a following jab and, discovering a small space between bodies to his left, runs to daylight."
  • Amazon review excerpt: In 2015, Timo Pietila wrote: "An alien visits an almost-past-his-prime science fiction author and tells him that one of the visitors of the upcoming Worldcon is an alien in disguise. He is supposed to find out who the imposter is, or humanity is doomed as the aliens will then destroy humanity as unworthy. The alien is supposed to be someone he knows very well. Unfortunately, most people he meets at the Worldcon are pretty strange – but they are being their normal selves. How will it be possible to find the alien? Or since his career is nothing really spectacular, should he even bother? Why should he even care about humanity? A very cynical book with a cynical protagonist and cynical outlook towards fandom. The author seems to hate fandom and conventions and lets it show."
  • Excerpt from Rich Horton's Strange at Ecbatan blog: "The bulk of the action takes place at the Worldcon. Naturally a big part of the joke is that SF fans and writers are strange enough that there is no way you can tell if one of them is an alien. ... Besides Kvass's search for the alien, there are passages describing rather cynically a typical convention, with annoying fans, sex-mad quasi-groupies, and drunk pros. There are what seem to be portrayals of a few well-known SF figures: A. E. van Vogt, Sam Moskowitz, Fred Pohl, Damon Knight, John Campbell, and probably others I missed." ... Check out Horton's full post for other interesting thoughts on Malzberg's bibliography.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Once again: Holly Jolly Papergreat Directory of Christmas Posts

The list of Christmas-themed posts on Papergreat continues to grow. There are nearly 200 now! So, in a year in which we need festiveness, merriment and Mariah more than ever, it's time for a newly updated directory of all the Ho-Ho-Holiday Goodness that's been posted here over the years. Postcards, recipes, fashion, advertisements, greeting cards — there's something for everyone. So bookmark it and scroll through it at your leisure this month when you need a break from the sorrow and stress of the real world.

Greeting cards


Books and magazines
Fashion and decorations

Miscellaneous merriment

Friday, December 4, 2020

A bookmark and a correction about an old bookstore

About 3,200 days ago, I wrote a "Tucked Away Inside" post about a "book fair" coupon found inside a paperback copy of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. That short post had a significant error. I assumed that the coupons and bookmark were promotions for an annual book sale.

In fact, Book Fair was the name of a bookstore in Baltimore, Maryland. Three demerits for Younger Chris, on account of sloppy detective work.

I learned this when I found another Book Fair bookmark, this one featuring a 1981 calendar and discovered inside a copy of a 1977 nonfiction book cheerily titled The Day Before Doomsday.1

In a 2012 post, the Atomic Books Blog noted this: "Over the years, Baltimore has seen a lot of bookstores come and go. 40 years ago, the city region had over 25 booksellers. Here's how they were described in a city guide called Bawlamer: An Informal Guide To A Livelier Baltimore from 1974, published by the Citizens Planning and Housing Association." Book Fair, which was at 3121 St. Paul Street, was described this way in that city guide: "If you were worn out from rummaging through uncatalogued, dust-laden stacks, this neat, well-stocked, well-organized shop may have been just what you were after."

I'm not sure when Book Fair closed up shop. That address currently has available office space, where an entrepreneur could be a co-tenant with Bank of America and Sam's Bagels.

1. Excerpt from Sidney Lens' book: "It is highly doubtful that a war which kills off as many as two billion people (of a world population of four billion) will end in anything but the cries of the sick and the lash of a dictator demanding more work to bury the dead and speed 'recovery.'"

Sorry, I was detained for a bit in Forest City

No, I wasn't actually detained in Forest City by a throng of adoring women. I've just been dealing, like everyone else, with the holidays (safely) and the horror novel that is 2020, and I was looking for something silly to get back into the Papergreat swing.1

This postcard was never mailed and no publisher is listed, so I can only guess what decade it dates to. Straw hats for men began to surge into popularity late in the 19th century, so this could really be from just about any time early in the 20th century. The back of the card is "split," allowing for both correspondence and an address, so that would put it after March 1907, when the U.S. postal regulations changed.

And what Forest City is this? There are four significant places called Forest City in the United States: in Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and Iowa. Additionally, very small "Forest City" locations exist in Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Minnesota and South Dakota. "The Forest City" is a famous historical nickname for Cleveland. But it's also been used for other cities, including Atlanta. So we can only speculate which place this postcard is referring to.

On the back, in cursive, someone has written just this: "Would ent mind being a lad like this." (Interesting linguistic use of "ent" there!) 

Dreary footnote
1. For posterity, and to keep up the practice of documenting "signs of the times" headlines throughout this COVID-19 year on Papergreat, here is a collection of some I came across this morning:
  • Covid Fighters Run Out of Weapons With Virus Spreading in Homes
  • Sun-Belt Return Targets Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas 
  • Doctors Ration Intensive Care 
  • Vaccine Side Effects Risk Sidelining Health Workers While Cases Surge
  • California to be locked down for 3 WEEKS 
  • BUST: Food Pantries Reach 'Crisis Level' 
  • BREAKING: For the first time, CDC advises everyone to wear masks indoors when not at home
  • U.S. added just 245,000 jobs in November, a worrisome sign
  • Pandemic is pushing America’s 911 system to ‘breaking point,’ ambulance operators say
  • Employers start preparing for the coronavirus vaccine with a question: Can we require it?
  • Report: Center City retail is being decimated by the pandemic. ‘It’s horrible.’
  • Biden says he will ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days as cases surge in Pa. and nationally; Philly airport coronavirus testing to open
  • Pa. reports 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 in one day, and asks public to help protect hospitals from filling

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Pittsburgh newspaper clippings from 147 years ago

 A three-legged cat, an "ancient-looking" revolver and more.

Here are some clippings from the August 4, 1873, edition of the The Pittsburgh Daily Commercial that you might find intriguing on this Saturday night.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Friday's mostly mystery photo

This is Ray.

That's all we know beyond what we can see here. His name is written on the front and back of the 3½-inch-wide photograph. The snapshot was once pasted into a photo album, the kind with the black-paper pages. (It's kind of odd, and certainly I've been guilty of this at times, to think about all the modern folks who has meticulously removed pasted photographs, one by one, from old albums and scrapbooks. Sometime it's to preserve them in better or easier ways. Sometimes it's to save just a few pieces of ephemera from an otherwise mundane repository of memories. Sometimes it's so that those snapshots can be sold individually in flea markets and antique stores.)

Ray is certainly cleaned up real well for this photograph. Shirt, jacket, pants and a nice belt. Face scrubbed and hair combed. Would he rather be wearing jeans and a T-shirt and climbing that tree behind him?

If we had to guess a time period based on his clothes, this might be a little bit after World War II, right? 

Is Ray still around? How about those houses and that tree? What were his family's plans on this day? What were the other photos once surrounding this on the page of the photo album? Siblings? Pets? Birthdays? Vacations? 

And who ultimately removed it from the photo album? A family member? A stranger? 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday's mystery photo

Today's snapshot is 2⅝ inches wide, was once pasted into a scrapbook/photo album, and is slightly out of focus. A young woman with short hair and a necklace looks into the distance — not at the photographer — as she casts a shadow onto what appears to be a well-constructed barn complex. That's it. That's all we know. Was another photographer taking a straight-on shot of her at the time, and this photographer decided to document it from the side? Or was "moody" the intent of the photo? Am I wrong to say that her shoes do not seem to be proper footwear for someone who might spend time around this barn? Is that a ring on her finger? 

Mystery photos contain so many mysteries!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Wednesday's semi-mystery photo

For today's camping photo, which is 3½ inches wide, we do have some caption information on the back. It states:
NO 47
This would be the Dorst Creek Campground at Sequoia National Park in central California. Their hike was the Little Baldy Trail (or Little Baldy Dome Trail). The peak of that trail is said to provide an amazing view, if there's good weather. The National Park Service website states:
"The Little Baldy Trail climbs along switchbacks to the top of a granite dome, passing an incredible variety of wildlfowers along the way. The trail starts from the highest point on the Generals Highway, winding 1.7 miles (2.7 km) and gaining 790 feet (241 m) in elevation. At the top, enjoy views of the Great Western Divide and beyond. You might rest and have a picnic while enjoying this 360-degree view. When you're done, return the way you came for a total of 3.4-mile (5.5-km) round-trip hike."  
The California Through My Lens blog has some nice photos of the hike.

I don't know anything else about this photo. Who these campers were, or even when they were camping. The car that's pictured might give us some hints as to the era, though.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Tuesday's mystery photo

Today's mystery photo features a dapper-looking young person standing on some very nice brick steps. Clearly, this family was not struggling financially.

The snapshot, which is 2¾ inches wide, was once pasted in a scrapbook and there is no identifying information that I can discern, although I can see small portions of the stamp from the business that processed the photo long ago.

I'm no expert on clothing, but this is certainly an interesting outfit, with the wide-collar shirt, double-breasted overcoat, cuffed pants and dress shoes. Spinning a (silly) modern context onto a vintage photo, I might say this kid is cosplaying as either Draco Malfoy or Tilda Swinton. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Monday's mystery photo

Let's have some mystery snapshots as part of the mix this week. (Heck, I have enough to get through that I could probably post one per weekday through the end of the year.) 

This photo of a young girl measures 2⅝ inches by 4⅜ inches. It was important enough that it was once, long ago, pasted in someone's scrapbook. But it has been removed and there is no identifying information on the back. 

What can we know about this? We can only guess, as always. The girl's shoes and the quality of the small portion of the house we can see behind her would seemingly indicate the household was not poor.

Beyond that, it's all guesswork. When was this? Where was this? What kind of life did she have? I reckon it's possible that she's still alive, sitting somewhere with all her lifelong wisdsom and wondering what the hell has gone so wrong with the world in 2020.