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:
Me in office
I moved
1 mint minute
was too long
to sit
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.

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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

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

Star Trek Tweet of the Year #2

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