Saturday, November 6, 2021

Mystery RPPC: Century-old class photo

Here's an old real photo postcard featuring a school class photo from what was likely a one-room schoolhouse, in Somewhere U.S.A., some year. It's a Kruxo RPPC with no stamp box on the back. So I think that roughly puts it between 1910 and 1920. There's no writing on the back, and thus we know zilch about who these kids are.

It's always interesting to zoom in and examine the faces of all these children and wonder about how their lives unfolded. After doing that, this is a good place to start if you want to check out more RPPCs on Papergreat.

Climate crisis postcard from Germany

As the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference continues in meeting rooms in Glasgow, Scotland, and environmental activists continue their urgent marches and speeches in the streets outside those meeting rooms, I received this postcard with a scene of simple natural beauty this week from a fellow Postcrosser in Germany. 

The self-described "plantmom," vegan and zero-waste proponent wrote:
Hello from Germany! I hope we can create such a world before it's 10° C too late. The earth time is running out so fast. I hope politicians and rich people realize that money can't fix the problems with climate change. But I have hope in younger people, they don't take the shit anymore they have to live with. Wishing you happiness and health. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Movie posters for Agnès Varda's "Le Bonheur"

Just a short post today to share some of the amazing international posters for Agnès Varda's acclaimed 1965 film "Le Bonheur" (Happiness). It's one of the best films I've watched this year, and I'll be thinking about it for a long time.

I don't want to say anything about the plot, because if you have the opportunity to see it unspoiled, please do so. After you've seen it, a few interesting links you might wish to check out are this one by Abby Monteil, this one on the film's use of music by Adam Scovell, and this extensive, insight-filled photo essay on The Cine-Tourist.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Postcard for Haag's Hotel in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania

After all that Mild Fear, it's time for some food. Komm Esse states this postcard, which translates to "Come eat!" It's for the big spread at Haag's Hotel in Shartlesville, Pennsylvania.

Shartlesville, in a middle-of-nowhere spot just off Interstate 78 in Berks County, used to be quite the tourist spot, as it was also home to now-disassembled-and-gone model train layout extravaganza Roadside America (from which I have a big souvenir on my wall. I'll write more about that place before calling it quits on regular Papergreat postings.)

Haag's Hotel was also apparently quite the spot for good eats. The current building is what was rebuilt by Albert Jacob Haag in 1915 after a fire, according to

Retro Roadmap visited Haag's in 2012, and this is part of what Mod Betty had to say:
"While their website indicates they do technically have some hotel rooms for rent, it’s probably more well known for its PA Dutch breakfast that includes '15 or more dishes from which you may eat all you can' – do I know how to make Retro Roadhusband happy or what? While RRH was busy seeing if he could eat ALL that scrapple (yep. He did.) I ate my fill of bacon and then was off snapping photos of the grand interior, which can seat up to 350!"
Indeed, banquets were part of the hotel's business model, according to the information on the back of this Dexter Press/J.E. Reppert postcard:

Shartlesville, Pa. 19554
Shartlesville (Center of Town), Pennsylvania, 45 miles East of Harrisburg. Leave U.S. 22 (Interstate 78) at Shartlesville Exit. Telephone Bernville 215-488-6692. Open Daily, Sundays and Holidays. Closed Xmas. Pennsylvania Dutch Family Style Meals served from 11:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Standard Time. Air-Conditioned. We cater to banquets and bus groups.
Writing on Berks County Eats in 2016, Zach Brown also noted that Haag's Hotel was known for its collection of more than 200 ducks: "The ducks are everywhere. Stuffed. Wooden. Plastic. Rubber. From the moment you walk through the door, you can’t escape them. They’re on the wall. They’re on the window sills. There are even wicker napkin holders shaped like ducks on every table."

Yes, I wrote was known. The hotel closed on December 23, 2017, according to the Reading Eagle, and was put up for sale in January 2018. It hasn't reopened.

I found a bundle of photo posts with memories of Haag's Hotel on public Facebook pages (one nice thing Zuckerberg's site is good for):

One person reminisced: "I was last there a few years ago, before they closed. When I was younger it was one of my grandmothers favorite places to go. We used to make it a day by going to Roadside America, and more recently Cabela’s. Last time there the food was not what it used to be and the sweets and sours on the table family style were limited to 3 items. Just not the same."

On another page, I found that someone recently sold an original Haag's Hotel porch stick chair dating to around 1915. Here's a picture:
Getting back to this postcard, it was addressed to a woman in South Nyack, New York, but there's no postmark or year indicating when it was written/mailed. This is the cursive note:
"Thurs. Eve — Drove all day in the rain — Had dinner here & stayed in this Dutch Motel where we stayed 3 yrs ago  — Home tomorrow & I will be glad  —  Love Edith & John"

Sunday, October 31, 2021

1963 cover from "Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery" comic book

Happy Halloween! Mild Fear 2021 began on October 1 with Boris Karloff, so we'll bookend it nicely with this post about the horror icon. According to, "The Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery comics were originally published in the 1960s in a series of 97 issues by Gold Key. Each issue contained approximately 6 original stories featuring Boris Karloff. There were additional stories, puzzles and games in each issue, all in vibrant color by wonderful artists of the day."

This is the 12-cent July 1963 issue, which was No. 4 in the series. I wrote about one of its advertisements in April of this year

Regrettably, my online searching could not discover the name of the artist who deserves credit for this wonderful cover illustration. Perhaps someone else out there knows; there are a lot of experts on comic book history. I did find a great post on Tony Isabella's blog about issue that follows this, #5. For that one, he identifies the cover artist as George Wilson. But I don't know if Wilson also did this one.

So, that's a wrap. I'll leave you with these thoughts from Mr. Karloff...