Saturday, January 23, 2021

"Winnie Winkle" and the Tucked Away Inside Envelope

Joan said, "You keep carrying your Winnie Winkle around the house." So I reckoned I should finally get around to this post so I don't have to carry it around anymore.

Part I: The book
  • Title: Winnie Winkle and the Diamond Heirlooms
  • From the title page: "An original story based on Martin Branner's famous newspaper strip 'Winnie Winkle'"
  • Story by: Helen Berke
  • Illustrated by: Martin Branner
  • From the dust jacket: In answer to her friend's urgent call Winnie Winkle cancels her vacation plans and goes to Chicago, only to hurried off to a lonely farm in search of a hidden legacy. Although held prisoners by two crooks, Winnie and her friends, Mary Dee and Tommy, manage to outwit their jailers, search out the hidden legacy, and escape with the treasure intact.
  • Well, that pretty much gives away the plot: Yes.
  • Publisher: Whitman Publishing Co., Racine, Wisconsin
  • Year: 1946
  • Pages: 248
  • Format: Hardcover 
  • First sentence: Winnie Winkle pirouetted merrily in front of the full length mirror.
  • Last sentence: Winnie said and waved good night to her friends.
  • Random sentence from the middle #1: Under the influence of good French cooking, soft lights, and sweet music, Winnie's annoyance vanished.
  • Random sentence from the middle #2: In the sanctuary of her own room, Winnie sat down on the chaise longue.
  • Reviews: I couldn't find any online reviews of this book, but I found this item under "School News" in the April 23, 1959, edition of The Lenox (Iowa) Time Table: "We are very sorry that Cheryl Beck is on the absent list. She has the chicken pox. We hope her a speedy return. Our teacher is reading a mystery book named, 'Winnie Winkle and the Diamond Heirlooms.' For Art Class we did a mosaic. Mosaic art is used in Mexican buildings and in sidewalks."
Part II: Tucked away inside          
Tucked away inside this old book was a letter that was mailed almost exactly 70 years ago, in January 1951. It was sent from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Written in cursive and on lined paper, it states:

Phila. 42, Pa.

Dear Sandra,
I don't know whether I have have written and thanked you before but if I have I would like to thank you again for the nice wallet which came just before Christmas. I will be proud to carry it with me.

Boy! Is it snowing! It's the kind of snow that comes down in great big flakes.

I hope you'll pardon some of my mistakes. I am watching T.V. and I watch a little and write a little. Now I'm looking at a movie. It's called "The Black Doll" (a "whodone-it") with Donald Wood [sic]. Before I was watching "Robert Q.'s Matinee" with Robert Q. Lewis. He's neat!

Boy! Are we having a lot of work in school. It seems there's always something. Book reports, tests, etc.

Tonight Rudy goes to a dinner-dance given by his graduating class. He gets out the end of this month (out of school that is).

I heard a good joke the other day. Here it is: We used to have a cow but it wouldn't given milk, so we had to sell him! HA! HA!

I got a swell pair of shoe rollerskates and a case for Christmas (among other things). Just what I wanted!

I must close now hoping to hear from you soon,
All my love,

P.S. Rudy took some nice movies of the Mummers Parade, New Years Day. We can't wait until they come back. Now watching Howdy Doody! 

We may come up soon. I'm not sure. Please tell your girlfriend that I haven't had time to answer her letter.

This is probably (almost certainly?) the Sandra Orwig who was the recipient of the letter. She was a 1955 graduate of Sunbury High School and died in 2019.  

RPPC: Summer 1919

This AZO real photo postcard features two women sitting on a bench in a lovely park or backyard. An empty wooden crate is on the ground next to them. It looks like they're dressed up for a special occasion, or perhaps for Sunday church.

There is cursive writing on the back. It states: "Mrs. Frank Beddow and Minnie G., Summer 1919"

One more fragment of information — Minnie's last name, a location, etc., — would have been helpful and might have allowed us to zero in on at least one positive identity. Alas, "Frank Beddow" is too common of a name to get us anywhere definitively.

There was a Frank Beddow who was born in Missouri and would have been in his early 30s around the time of this photo. But he didn't get married until 1926, so no dice.

The was a Frank Beddow who got in a lot of trouble with the law in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1924. But who knows?

* * *

OK, I'll play...

Friday, January 22, 2021

The future is going to be so confused about us