Saturday, July 24, 2021

Snapshots & some finds during a thrift store Saturday in Arizona

"Sing the Polka Mass" with Peter & Paul and the Wendinger Band (1979). There is a YouTube video devoted to this, in which the reviewer listens to unusual records, folds laundry and cracks wise. I did not purchase this album.
An amazing birdcage that Ashar and I came across.
Some of the books that I bought for $1 apiece.

Meanwhile, while browsing (and wearing my mask) I overheard this nearby exchange between two women, which angered/frustrated/saddened me:

#1: "So, I know someone from work who was vaccinated, and they got COVID."
#2: "Of course they did."
#1: "That wasn't supposed to happen."
#2: "That’s because the vaccination doesn’t do a damn thing." <--misinformation!

Vaccinations work. Get vaccinated!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Book cover: "Strangely Enough!"

  • Title: Strangely Enough!
  • Author: C.B. Colby (1904-1977). His full name is Carroll Burleigh Colby.
  • Cover illustrator: Harvey Parks
  • Interior illustrator: David Lockhart (See some of his illustrations in this 2010 post on The Haunted Closet)
  • Publisher: Scholastic Book Services (T 438)
  • Year: 1971 (12th printing)
  • About this edition: This is an abridged edition of Colby's book, which was first published in 1959.
  • Pages: 184
  • Format: Paperback
  • Dimensions: 4¼ inches by 6¼ inches (not quite as tall as a standard mass market paperback)
  • Price: 60 cents
  • Provenance: Purchased at the Salvation Army store in Casa Grande, Arizona, this year along with Moment in the Sun and a couple of other books.
  • Back cover blurb: "80 hair-raising tales to fascinate and intrigue anyone who's ever had a nightmare. Stories of apparitions and spirits ... incredible happenings and impossible escapes — plus a flying saucerful of science oddities. Scores of rapid-fire spine chillers — some of them you'll never forget, even if you want to."
  • First sentence: It would be impossible for me to name and thank individually all those who have contributed in one way or another to the list of stories on the following pages.
  • Last sentence: Can you?
  • Random excerpt from the middle #1: Did you ever wonder what becomes of old radio and TV programs that are sent out into space 24 hours a day? Do they just fade out and vanish, or do they keep travelling through space forever, perhaps to be picked up by creatures on other planets? [This is the urban legend of the KLEE TV signal.]
  • Random sentence from the middle #2: Perhaps it really is true that dogs can see what we cannot.
  • Rating on Goodreads: 4.00 stars (out of 5)
  • Goodreads review excerpt #1: In 2009, Shawn wrote: "This was one of the first books I owned as a child. ... I bought it from the bookmobile in, probably, 1976 or so. It was one of the most influential books on my young life. ... I just recently found a replacement copy for my long lost original."
  • Goodreads review excerpt #2: In 2012, Dachokie wrote: "As a Generation X’er, born in the late 60’s, I had the luxury of experiencing my elementary school years in the glorious, care-free, child-friendly 70’s. In lieu of video games, electronic gadgetry and cable/satellite, we had Wacky Packages, Sears Christmas Wish Books, Koogle Peanut Butter Spread and a choice of three television channels to choose from (actually, five … if you could adjust the ears for a UHF channel or two). We also had those wonderful Scholastic Book Fairs back then that offered awesome books like STRANGELY ENOUGH."
  • Goodreads review excerpt #3: In 2016, John wrote: "I read this book in grammar school in the '60s. I bought it at the school bookmobile. (I wonder if they still exist?) I loved Strangely Enough. It's made up of short two and three page stories each accompanied by a illustration. ... It was perfect for me because in the those days I was a poor reader and just beginning to get interested in books. I'm now sorry that I sold it along with all my childhood books."
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.8 stars (out of 5)
  • Amazon review excerpt: In 2016, Tom wrote: "When I opened it and read a story to my 20 year old daughter it was like a breath of sweet air from almost 50 years ago when I was a boy. She immediately went online and we ordered the Scary Stories Treasury by Alvin Schwartz from her childhood. This is a wonderful and fun heritage!"
  • 2011 comment from "DrGiggles68" on The Haunted Closet blog post: "I work at a single-stream recycling plant, and that book came down the conveyor belt today! SCORE!!!"
As you can tell from those reviews, there's much love and nostalgia for various editions of Strangely Enough!, especially among folks of my generation. I picked those excerpts in particular, because they're the ones that resounded the most with me. (Though I must admit, shamefully, that I had never heard of Koogle Peanut Butter Spread.) 

I'm fairly certain, after looking through this Scholastic paperback, that we had an edition of Strangely Enough! in the attic of our house in Clayton, New Jersey. The KLEE-TV tale is the one that I definitely remember (though that was surely included in other books, too). Here are what some of the other covers look like, courtesy of Google searches...

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Postcrossing roundup: Summer 2021

Some of the Arizona postcards I've been mailing around the world.

It's time for another seasonal roundup of interesting and encouraging thank-you emails I've gotten from Postcrossers around the world who have received postcards from me since Spring. These are from oldest to newest. 

Marco from Germany wrote: “Hello Chris, thank you very much for sharing your childhood library memories with me and also for choosing such beautiful flower stamps. Wow, I didn't even know about Ruth Manning-Sanders and her fairytales. My favourites, not as a child though but when I studied English in high school, were Oscar Wilde's fairytales, so Wilde-ish. Wish you all the best in your new surroundings and never stop to discover the world."

Xapphirea from the Netherlands wrote: “Hi Chris, Thank you for your lovely postcard and your wool, I love it, I have progressed beyond my shoulder now to the front :) I will put the book of Ruth Manning-Sanders on my read list. And keep hope, the world is slowly but surely returning to normal. Fingers crossed this is the last pandemic we see in our lifetime. Keep your chin up, friend, things will be better!"

[Note: I sent Xapphirea about three feet of yarn in an envelope with the postcard. She's asking for everyone to send her a piece, so she can put together a "Postcrossing sweater." Follow along here.]

Gerti from Germany wrote: “Dear Chus (?). Thank your very much for your card from Florence. How can you cope with 47 degrees [Celsius]? I am feeling sick when temperature rise above 30. I agree water will be an issue. We in Germany had some rain last winter and spring. But is was still not enough for filling up the groundwater. I hope it soon will rain in Arizona's desert. Happy postcrossing."

Hans from the Netherlands wrote: “Hello Chris! Thank you so much for your beautiful card that I received today! I agree with your opinion. Independent, well-informed newsgathering is nowadays more important then ever. Thank you as well for the neat stamps you'd loaded on the card. Stay safe!"

AnneMie from Belgium wrote: “Hello Chris, Thank you for your History-card. Always interesting. I had a Great Aunt in Detroit and a Great Uncle in California. Both went to the U.S.A. in the 1930-1935. She came every year to Belgium until she was 96! At 98 she died. Arizona would be TOOOOOOO HOT for me!!! I like the Belgian weather!!!! I like Emma Thompson in her Nanny McPhee performance. Keep well."

June from Germany wrote: “Hello, Chris. Thanks so much for the wonderful postcard! :) I was a bookworm all my life and to this day read voraciously -- when I was a kid my mother would take us to the town library twice a week to get books because my sis and I read the books as fast as we could get them. lol. As I type this I have your blog open in my browser, and I'll certainly take a good look and have a good read. Take care, and hope you have a wonderful day. Best wishes."

Luci from Belarus wrote: “Hello Chris~ I am very glad that I received such a postcard from you. I didn’t think that a postcard with a part of the LGBT flag would come to me and I feel so warm in my heart that it did come. In Russia there is a law on 'propaganda of homosexuality' and perhaps it would not have come there :( In Belarus, this probably does not exist and I, again, am so glad that it came! But I warn you that recipients from Russia may have problems due to such postcards :( I am proud of your son, say hello to the cats and admire your work. I looked at your site, and you are a great fellow! Keep up the good work, I believe that everything you do is not in vain <3 I listened to the artist you recommended to me [Brian Eno] and I can say that I like 'By This River' composition the most. It is very peaceful~ I can recommend you 'Nicolai Patricio - Somewhere But Not Here'. Calms me down a lot. Thank you also for your interest in my hometown! I am very pleased! Wünsche alles Gute."

Olga from Israel wrote: “Hi Chris! Thank you for the adorable card -- I think it's one of my favorite cards I ever received :) so cute! Thank you also for the book recommendations, I'll be sure to check them out. Best regards."

Birgit from Germany wrote: “Hello Chris! Thank you for the beautiful card! A place so far away that is completely different from Germany. You have a drought and we have had a flood like I have never seen here before. We didn't take any damage, but it hit a lot of people in my city badly. All the best!"

And, finally, an emoji-filled message from Theo in France:

Grocery list left behind on shelf at the supermarket

Found by Joan on a shelf at Fry's here in Arizona last weekend. 

Between the Jell-O, ice cream, whip cream, and angel food cake, there are a lot of desserts happening in this desert household. By the way, "Private Selection" is Fry's generic store brand. 

Related posts 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Poignant inscription discovered at a bookstore

I didn't buy the book, but I had to snap a photograph with my iPhone.1 I spotted this 1981 inscription inside The Art Treasures from Moscow Museums, which was on the shelves of Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Mesa, Arizona. 

Carol and Richard had something special 40 years ago, for a moment in time.

1. The only book I did buy was a very nice 1969 first edition of Clifford Irving's Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory, the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time, complete with dust jacket, for just $4. As a big fan of Orson Welles' F for Fake, I was quite pleased with this find.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Short & sweet "From the readers"

It's a nice summer Sunday for a short roundup of recent reader comments!

Hoping to see UFOs for 1976 bicentennial Independence Day: Wendyvee of alerted me to the "You know you are from Girard or Lake City, PA when..." public group on Facebook. There's a March 8, 2019, post in which someone asks, "I was wondering does anyone remember the ufo landing site built in or around lake city back in the 70's."

That question spurred more than 50 comments about the famed UFO port that I blogged about earlier this month. Here are some of the more interesting comments:

  • "Yes it was at community park and my niece loved to go see it when she came to visit. Also we would take my kids to go on the big slide and swings and they always wanted to see it."
  • "I remember a helicopter landing on it with green man taking someone."
  • "yup that was my Dad that they took."
  • "I thought it was your DAD that was a great memory"
  • "I think the only other time we had national attention was studs turkel came to town"
  • "Yes I do, always wondered what the $&@% archaeologists would think of it if they dug it up 20,000 yrs from now. It would start a whole controversy."

In addition, Brian Busby of The Dusty Bookcase commented on the UFO post:

"I wonder whether the good people of Lake City weren't inspired by the St Paul, Alberta UFO Landing Pad. Constructed in 1967 for — you guessed it — Canada's Centennial, it's recognized by Guinness World Records as the first official UFO landing pad. This is not to take anything away from Lake City's project, which I note is the world's '1st official UFO landing port [emphasis mine].'

"An UFO enthusiast in my adolescence, I'd have visited both. As a skeptical adult, I've made made no attempt, though I'm happy to report that the St. Paul pad hasn't shared the same fate as the Lake City port.

"You may enjoy this two-year-old report from the CBC: 'For Canada's centennial, the Alberta town of St. Paul built a UFO landing pad ... but why?'"

Vanished place: Old South Bar-B-Q Ranch in Clewiston, Florida: Unknown writes: "Jim McCorvey was the creator of this restaurant. He was taught by Joe Culpepper of Plantation Pit Barbecue in Miami, circa 1958. Joe also taught the owner of Carboys Barbecue [?] and many others. Joe was a kind and giving Christian man. My Dad"

Vintage photo: Learning practical design in Boston: Dr. Geoff Drutchas writes: "Thanks for a fascinating post. The 'Students of practical design at work-school of industrial art, Boston,' pictured in the Henry Davenport Northrop volume were more likely enrolled at the Lowell School of Practical Design, which was organized under the auspices of MIT. The school, located in Boston's Back Bay, is now part of Northeastern University."

"Whispers of Transylvania" photo postcards: Inky writes: "The photos on these are lovely. Can't help wondering if that 'lurk' in the poem was meant to be 'look' and things went wrong in translation. If looked at from a folkloric perspective, though, maybe lurking after deer in Transylvania is perfectly normal."

Morris didn't fare much worse than Louie Youngkeit: Commenting on this decade-old post, "M. Anon" notes that Louie Youngkeit filed for the American Party nomination for Utah senator in 1974 and appears not to have advanced to the primary. 

That time Tony Pérez mailed me his autograph: Commenting on Facebook, Nena Zachary Challenner writes: "Great story and keepsake!"

Lost Corners: "SPACE WANTS TO KILL YOU": Roger Allen writes: "As well as schadenfreude at their discomfort, the other pleasure to be derived from the Great Macho Competition is knowing they aren't spending money on things even more pointless and damaging for the rest of us."