Monday, February 27, 2023

From the readers: Hatchy Milatchy, library tales, Maude Adams and more

A lot of great comments have arrived within just the past month. Thank you all so much!

WNEP-TV staff from 1975, including Miss Judy: Anonymous writes: "Hatchy Milatchy was magic. When the gates would open at the beginning of the show, my brother and I would be on the floor as up close to the TV as my Mom would let us and for that hour every morning life was magic! Was it an hour or less, I can't recall. The kid has become an old lady."

Thank you for sharing this memory! We need more Hatchy Milatchy memories for posterity. There are not nearly enough of them on the internet. Maybe I'll curate a post of YouTube comments. Please send in any memories you have of this and other regional children's shows.

"Prinzess Victoria" and a tiny old package of sewing needles: Anonymous writes: "I have just found one in a sewing case and I wondered if it had any value, it has a leather case, add an embroidery top with a zipper. And it has the stamp in your number 3 the silver eye Blunts."

I am rarely an expert in the valuation of anything that I feature on the blog, but I wish you well with learning more about this.

Some of the books that helped to inspire Ruth Manning-Sanders: Cat, who pens the Cat's Wire blog, writes: "I don't know Ruth Manning-Sanders — I'm from Southwest Germany — but the picture of the German fairy tale books gave me a huge flashback to my childhood! When I was a child and teenager, our local library had a whole shelf full of these books and I loved the look of all the beautiful spines together. As I obviously had neither the space nor money to own them myself, I at least wanted to read each one of them and also read them to my little brother, but I don't think I ever made it all the way through. So many books to read, so little time. That was 45 to 50 years ago, and the library doesn't have the books anymore, but the happy memory remains."

Thank you for sharing this great memory. Libraries provide some of our most cherished memories, which is one reason, of many, why we should be defending them strongly against critics in the United States who want to remove certain books from shelves and/or reduce library funding. In another related note, I'll have some posts in the near future about those Manning-Sanders books that were auctioned off. Some of them, happily, are now at my house.

Moving along, this might be the only blog that jumps from Ruth Manning-Sanders' fairy tale books to the history surrounding the Manson family...

The Lost Corners of Paul Crockett: Wings Hauser — probably the Wings Hauser — responded to an ongoing conversation in the comments section of this 2018 post. The following contains some small edits for clarity and, for full disclosure, I don't understand everything being referenced here by Hauser: "I grew up with the Watkins family at Lake Sherwood. Paul’s older brother was my age, David was his name — an intense painter of large canvas. The Watkins fam hated us. They were very dedicated Catholics. ... Paul was I believe prez of the TOHS [Thousand Oaks High School] student body. A year later he was procuring women for Manson ... after the Manson trials. Paul, Brooks and Paul Crockett show up at my house in Thousand Oaks. My wife fell under his spell and within a month we were living on SHOSHONE WITH THE PAULS AND BROOKS. I spent 6 months out there with this bunch when finally I took my daughter of 13 months and left the idiots behind. ... I’ll save what happen in those six months for a later day." 

Enjoy these vintage recipes for the Everhot Electric Roasterette: There have been some other comments over the years about the family histories of those mentioned in this post. The latest is from Julie F. Jackson: "Interesting info. My grandmother, Nettie Underwood, married Charles E. Swartzbaugh Jr. It was the second marriage for both of them; they both were widows/widowers. Charles died suddenly after a few months of their marriage."

Postcard: Maude Adams as Peter Pan: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "I was obsessed with Maude Adams back in the 1980s due to the movie Somewhere in Time, in which the main female lead, played by Jane Seymour, is based upon her. I have some sheet music with her photo on the front and did have her autograph for a while, though I ended up selling that."

I was also a fan of that Christopher Reeve time-travel film, though I think it was mostly because I loved its use of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. (Of course, I didn't know who wrote that theme or what it was called when I was a kid. I also didn't realize at the time that the screenwriter of Somewhere in Time, Richard Matheson, was also the screenwriter of Vincent Price's The Last Man on Earth. And that both were based upon his novels.)

Answering questions about my reading history and habits: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: 
"I started reading Martin Short's autobiography on vacation this past summer, but didn't quite make it to the end (a couple chapters left). It was good and I need to finish it. I find it hard to sit and read at home. I suffer like you do from the inability to stay awake more than 15 minutes when I read.
"Beverly Cleary's books were some of my favorites as a child as well, especially Runaway Ralph.

"My mother read Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears to me and I have fond memories of that.

"I had a run during college where I read a lot of Stephen King (and Richard Bachmann). I went through them pretty quickly, reading for hours at a time.

"I belonged to a Science Fiction book club during college as well, so I ended up with quite a few books I wouldn't have normally read simply because I didn't return the refusal slips in time.

"I've been thinning my book collection recently and came upon the paperback version of The Three Investigators in The Mystery of Monster Mountain and thought of you. You've probably already read it and/or have it, but if you want it, drop me a line."

Thanks, Tom! And congratulations on spelling The Berenstain Bears correctly, even if that spelling is from an alternate universe than the one in which we grew up. Regarding your kind offer, about a year-and-a-half ago I came across someone who was reading the Three Investigators books to her grandchildren (or maybe it was her nieces and nephews), but she lamented that they were impossible and/or too expensive to find. So I sent most of my mine to her; that's where those books needed to be.

And, while we're on the topic, one final Three Investigators note...

The Three Investigators #1: The Secret of Terror Castle: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "I found this page because I was looking for those graveyard endpapers. I still am a fan of the series that I started reading about 1970-71. The end of book #2, The Mystery of the Stuttering Parrot, has a great, spooky scene in an old cemetery. That chapter and the conclusion that follows are some of the best writing I ever have read in a children's book!"

1970 calendar tucked away inside 1936 book about Blacky the Wasp: Anonymous writes: "Black Sabbath's debut LP was released on February 13, 1970. I am so glad this handy source clarified the date."

Ha, ha, ha! Let's make jokes about cooking and eating elephants. Anonymous writes: "I love elephants too but I think this joke can only be taken with tongue in cheek in order to use the homophone for hare/ hair. Wouldn't you agree?" 

Yes, I agree. And it's definitely possible that my level of outrage was unnecessarily over the top in this 2016 post. I must have been cranky about something else. 

Elaborately designed envelope for Bennett Printing Company: Anonymous writes: "My father retired from Bennett's. He worked in the shop."

Snapshot & memories: Our little bookstore: Tom from Garage Sale Finds, who has been super-generous with comments this month and has a blog you really should check out, writes: "I just recently winnowed my own Amazon bookstore collection for similar reasons [to the reasons that Joan and I left Amazon circa 2015]. Too many listed that would actually result in a loss after Amazon's take. The books I have listed now easily fit on half of a small bookcase. Organizing by color is actually genius, I wish I'd thought of it when I had my full volume going. It was always a pain searching through my tubs to find that one book that sold. It was always the last one in the tub."

Finally, while it doesn't relate to a specific blog post, Christelle in Belgium shared some kind thoughts in early February after receiving a postcard from me through Postcrossing: "Hello Chris! Thank you for the nice postcard you sent me. I had a look at your blog and your cats' pictures on Instagram. ... About your blog, as you, I love old pictures and postcards! I like the story they can tell or the one we can imagine!"

Mama Orange next to some books that are sorted by genre, not color.

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