Thursday, October 8, 2020

From the readers: Witches, Hurr's, floods, Vincent Price & Baba Looey

Pop on your bunny slippers and grab a mug of tea. It's time for another rollicking edition of From the Readers. I've dawdled on this for too long, which means there's a pretty big stockpile to share. Special thanks to all of the older readers sharing wonderful mid-century memories that might otherwise be lost.

I connected Morten, a librarian and Princess Bride fan in Norway, with Papergreat via Postcrossing. He sent these helpful comments about the 2013 post Theodor Kittelsen postcard: Trollkjerringer på Norefjell: "Dear Chris, thank you for linking to your blog post about Kittelsen's witches. This image was new to me, and you appear to be well informed in many things. Allow me to suggest a few edits:
  • 'Enerett' is a noun, not a first name. It's an archaic word for 'copyright'
  • The word 'trollkjerringer' is plural, as it ends with '-er'. A single witch is a 'trollkjerring'
  • Norefjell is just 40 km away from Kittelsen's home at Lauvlia. And the Norefjell range must have been the local equivalent to Blocksberg"

Meanwhile, in early July I wrote a little bit about Atomic Plot (Dale of the Mounted #9). In that post, I mentioned blogger Brian Busby of The Dusty Bookcase, who is fond of the Dale of the Mounted books but had never read Atomic Plot. So I got in touch with Brian and was able to send him Atomic Plot, because that is clearly the proper home for the book. Here's the link to his enjoyable recent review of Dale's atomic adventure.

Some 1965 Amazing Stories ads were too amazing to be true: Here's another roundabout connection. Aaron Raisey, writing on Instagram, recently featured an "advertising booklet from 1953 for a long-gone establishment called Werewolf Bookshop featuring Gnome Press." He links to my Papergreat post because of its short mention of some of the history of Werewolf Bookshop. In addition, Aaron emailed me and mentioned something else: "As an aside, I see you have an interest in Ruth Manning-Sanders. One of my very favourite books from my childhood is A Book of Ghosts and Goblins. I read this so many times as an elementary school kid in the late 70s. Some of those stories scared the bejesus out of me!!  Maybe 8 or so years ago I picked up first editions of this and A Book of Enchantments and Curses. They will appear on my Instagram at some point in the future." Raisey's Instagram account is highly recommended for Papergreat followers and book lovers. Recent posts have featured Sargasso of Space, Iceworld, The Enormous Egg and a couple of novels by Clifford Simak.

Rest of the old grocery store photos: Tom from the dandy Garage Sale Finds blog writes: "I believe the toy on his shoulder is Quick Draw McGraw's sidekick, Baba Looey. As for the Native American cartoon, it almost looks like the Ernie the Keebler Elf behind him, so could be something related to that, although I'm thrown by the 'Klear' drum the other Native American is beating."

Vanished place: Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch in Clewiston, Florida: Mr. Two Cents writes: "Ah yes. I remember always chuckling at the funny epitaphs on the tombstones of the little graveyard near the parking lot."

Montoursville 2018: Hurr's: Anonymous writes: "When I lived as a 10-year-old kid on Randall Circle in Williamsport, we used to bike to a Hurr's stand by the road that was shaped like a malted milk glass or mixer. I think it had a huge fake straw sticking out the top. Anybody remember that? It would have been 1943, when the TNT plant was being built."

Real photo postcard: Flooded Sunbury, Pa., in 1936: Harvey writes: "I remember the 1936 flood while living as a kid near Forty Fort. My dad was called to help evacuate his boss's house, moving furniture to save it, etc. Later a small book about it was published, Lest We Forget. I remember it on our bookshelf. Forty Fort was badly flooded; people spoke of the coffins floating uprooted from the graveyard."

Mystery RPPC: Feeding a chipmunk at Yellowstone: Alyxyn writes: "My name is Robert Brawn and I currently reside in Eugene, Oregon. It is my understanding that 'Grant Brawn' is a relative of mine through my father Richard's father, Sumner Brawn. My family is out of Yoncalla, Oregon, but my grandfather's family had a large presence in Portland as well."

A label for Frostie Root Beer (a jailhouse-born beverage): Two comments on this popular 2012 post:
  • Unknown writes: "Just found Frostie blue cream soda at an Aldi in Gallatin, Tennessee. Still trying to find their root beer."
  • ptrain8 writes: "As of Summer 2020, Frostie Root Beer, Diet Root Beer, Grape Soda, Blue Cream Soda and Orange Soda are now available at Food Lion stores out of Salisbury, North Carolina."
Book Cover of the Day: What's up with his toes? Ziaheart, commenting on one of Papergreat's super-earliest posts, notes: "The stories are so enjoyable that they're literal toe-curlers."

"Only long enough to make a beginning" (a short post about the 1958 science-fiction novel 43,000 Years Later): Anthony J. Langford writes: "Reading it now. Finding it full of interesting, satirical and insightful passages like the one you present."

Happy 100th birthday, Vincent Price: Margaret Leona Garnto shares these memories: "I am a Vincent Price fan too. I have been a fan of his for many years since the 1970s, and I have admired his work on television and in the movies of his that I have seen on TV. I even had a crush on him from late 1973 to mid-1978. He was also my favorite Hollywood Squares panelist at that time, and I always enjoyed listening to his witty answers to the questions that he was asked on the show. I have never met him personally, but I met him only in dreams that I had about him back then, including a scary dream about him back in early January of 1973, where he made a room go dark and gave me quite a scare."

Saturday's postcard: Whale at Moon Valley Park in Milford, Pa.: Wendyvee, commenting on Twitter, wrote: "Reminds me of a mini version of Fantasyland. I've been there on my bike several times; but post Moon Valley."

Bushkill Falls: "A Delightful One-Day Auto Trip": Unknown writes: "I have that same poster. I think it is 1934."

Eight awesome things you'll never find inside e-books: Pip writes: "My grandfather owned Ell's Books in Newcastle. I now live in Newcastle and lots of elderly people still ask me if I'm related to Ell's Books ... then they tell me all their lovely memories!"

Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: Irv Kettler shares these lovely memories: "I, too, had great experience 70 years ago sending off for a sample box of cheerful cards. Every person commented as to how they had never seen such pretty cards. I even sold scalloped stationery to a young teenage boy. Those cards 'sold' themselves and my younger sisters continued that legacy after I went off to military school — for another TEN years! I learned a lot about selling and keeping customers such that when I started my own insurance business, I became a beloved agent."

1979 Star Wars toy ads: Taylor2878 writes: "Just goes to show have far the franchise and the world of marketing has advanced through the years. The first releases of Star Wars toys were very interesting because they offered a wide variety of choices in different categories. If you wanna learn more about the history of Star Wars Toys, you can go check out The Toy Report for more information about the releases of Star Wars figures dating back to the first releases and the present releases."

Scholastic Fest: #11, Nine Witch Tales: Unknown writes: "I checked this book out from my school library when I was in 6th grade. I loved it! Excellent Halloween read. I never forgot it."

Real photo postcard: Steam Valley Mountain sign: Wendyvee, commenting on Papergreat's Facebook page, wrote: "Came for the vintage photo .... stayed for the Bigfoot sighting."

A time-honored school tradition: The excuse note: Unknown writes: "My store is in Waynesboro Virginia, where Fishburne Military School is located. It is definitely a pennant from that school."

"Mystery at Long Barrow House":  Ziaheart writes: "Is ... Becky pouting because she doesn't have chores to do? And she's being described as petulant for wanting to help with chores? My, how times changed."

"For perfect attendance at school": Ziaheart writes: "The odd double-lines on the signature makes my cynical self wonder if Marie hadn't written the note herself and forged her teacher's signature."

Postcard: One-room Amish school near Arthur, Illinois: Unknown writes: "I'd like to know more about the Liberty Amish school that was located southeast of Arthur, Illinois, several years ago. My wife, Doris Painter, went to this school for two years sometime around 1938-1942. Does anyone have a listing of the students from this era?"

Memories of the Junior Deluxe Editions from Nelson Doubleday: Unknown writes: "My mother signed me up to Junior Deluxe Editions when I was 10 years old. I grew up reading them."

Obscure and fabulous movie poster: Wendyvee, commenting on Facebook, wrote: "I definitely see why you were reminded of Bonnie MacLean. I love her style."

Promotional postcard for arcade game with Bimbo the clown: Unknown writes: "That was my grandfather's company. His name was Eugene Daddis. Hence Daddi-o." ... (Ironically, I had written, "There's a good chance that's the last Daddi-O reference on Papergreat." How wrong I was!)

Lamenting what we'll never know about Phyllis J. Stalnaker Harris: LindoLuciano writes: "You look at those eyes — you see more than any earthly records could have collected; you see Phyllis J. Stalnaker's soul. There's Vivian Maier, who recently became known post-mortem too — she and her body of work that immortalized dozens of individuals through single snapshots, too. And there's Elizabeth Short of course — another one who died too young, whose life became reduced to two words: Black Dahlia. And now, as if by a delayed miraculous twist of fate, the world knows they exist. Their lives were prematurely ended and their dreams went unfulfilled for the most part — but their souls must be smiling now, in eternity."

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