Saturday, April 29, 2023

From the readers: Whirley mugs, cat plates and Uncle Ted's Ghoul School

Hope everyone has a dandy and safe weekend ahead. Here are the comments you've submitted since the last roundup.

Obscure nostalgia: 1970s plastic mugs from Whirley Industries: Commenting on this 2012 post, Anonymous writes: "I have the cow creamer! Purchased at a local restaurant, early 70s. Also have a 'Hands off!' yellow cup my son found recently while demolishing an old building. Always interesting to see what can be found in long-deserted buildings."

What a great find! I still can't believe the happenstance that led to us finding a shed full of Whirley Industries plastic mugs selling for a penny apiece in York County in 2012. I still have a couple of them — my replacement "HANDS OFF!" mug and a Mister Donut mug that's currently holding Q-Tips in my bathroom. (Don't judge.) 

Also, look at this absolutely wild variation on the "HANDS OFF!" Whirley theme that I stumbled across on the internet. The 1970s, man...
Christmas greetings from author Edna Albert: Geraldine Beattie writes: "I can verify her writing. She was my mother's cousin. I have letter and card written by Edna."

Thanks, Geraldine! Read more about Edna Albert in this post.

Old receipt for Landis Stone Meal Company in Lancaster County: Jim Bennett writes: "On Jan 28, 2012, you posted a blank invoice of the Landis Stone Meal Co. in Rheems, PA. Today, I was surfing and decided to pursue the family name of 'Landis.' I am Howard Landis' great-great-grandson. I remember him very well and, as a child, have been to the quarry. He, his wife and a daughter actually raised my mother because her father (Howard's son) was very irresponsible and the mother's family, who were Plain, wanted nothing to do with the baby. I have a few pieces of advertising from the quarry and memories. Harold and wife, and my grandfather, are buried in a small cemetery on land that was part of the quarry outside of Rheems."

Thank for your sharing that family history research, Jim! It adds a great deal to the story.

The elementary school in the City Behind the Fence: Frank Blackistone writes, "We lived in Oak Ridge from February 1944 to April 1954. I went to Cedar Hill School from 1944 to 1947. We had a great time in Oak Ridge. Looking back on our 10 years, I cannot think of a better place to grow up in."

WNEP-TV staff from 1975, including Miss Judy: Anthony Mascaro writes, "The Land of Hatchy Milatchy, Dialing for Dollars, Bowling for Dollars, Uncle Ted's Ghoul School, etc., were a priceless pastime that made WNEP-TV the local leader in community connected relationships. Growing up in the 1970s and watching these and other WNEP shows was as common on a local basis as watching The Waltons was on a national basis."

Now I want to learn more about Uncle Ted's Ghoul School! I was too young to stay up for that. I am fascinated by all of those regional horror hosts who were popular from the 1960s through 1980s and am already planning some posts on that topic for later this year. Looks like there's a Facebook group for Uncle Ted memories.

Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: Anonymous writes: "I enjoy selling and buying things. Cards and gadgets were available. Still remember my ID # ... LOL, that was late 1960s."

Big Boi's special dinner plate:
 HaeroMaero writes: "I love your plate with your cat's photo in it!! I should do one for my cat, too. Nice blog, Chris! Cheers." 

And Joan very nicely added: "You are THE BEST cat dad."

Aww, thanks. And these are just the outdoor cats. This morning I was downstairs at 5:45 a.m. because there are two stray females who are nursing kittens and always arrive promptly at dawn for their meal (Mamacita & Cirque de Soleil).

We had a crowd of five at the back door this morning, and that included Big Boi. He is now used to eating from his special plate, and he is usually a good boy about waiting his turn. (It helps that he's often very sleepy in the morning and naps until it's food time.) He's doing OK, but it would be really great if he stopped getting into fights with other tomcats. I've been mixing some Fish Mox (amoxicillin) into his food, because it's the only way to get him some medicine for his wounds/infections. He gobbles it right up, so I hope that's helping a little bit. He is getting quite ragged in his old age, and I'm sure he's not going to enjoy it when the thermometer reaches 100 tomorrow, as forecast.

Lamenting what we'll never know about Phyllis J. Stalnaker Harris: CherylP, responding to a suggestion by another commenter that Phyllis' meme was meant to make people laugh, wrote: "I did not laugh. I felt sorrow thinking about how terribly she was treated." 

I agree 100%.

Take a ride with Edwards Motor Transit Co.: Finally, responding to one of the oldest posts on Papergreat, Anonymous writes: "Drove this 4107 [bus] for Edwards back then. Edwards had only two of them, one dedicated to the Greyhound Washington D.C.-Buffalo route, the other dedicated to daily service from Williamsport to Pittsburgh. Good driving and handling coach."

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Book cover: "Warriors of Noomas"

  • Title: Warriors of Noomas
  • Series: #1 of 4 in the Noomas series
  • Author: Charles Nuetzel (born 1934). "In retirement he has become involved in swing dancing, a long time lover of Big Band jazz," his biography notes. "But more interestingly world travels have taken him (and his wife Brigitte) across the world, to Hawaii, Caribbean, Mexico, Kenya, Egypt, Peru, having a lifelong interest in ancient civilizations."
  • Cover artist who drew that toothy creature: Albert Nuetzel (1901-1969), who is Charles' father and was typically credited as Albert Nuetzell, according to the Internet Science Fiction Database.
  • Interior artist: Louis DeWitt
  • Publication date: 1969
  • Publisher: Powell Publications (Powell Sci-Fi) of Reseda, California. The company published about two dozen books in 1969 and 1970, including five by Charles Nuetzel, and then went kaput. Perhaps its most notable publication was 1969's Memos from Purgatory, an updated edition of the nonfiction book by Harlan Ellison that was first published in 1961.
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 211 (followed by several unnumbered pages of advertisements)
  • Cover price: 95 cents in 1969, the equivalent of $7.80 today
  • Provenance: There's a stamp on the inside front cover for Greg's Book Mart (see below), and it's a different Greg's Book Mart stamp than the one I wrote about in 2018. This one notes locations at the Wheatland Shopping Center in Lancaster and the Meadowbrook Antique Market in Leola, both in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Also, the name "Josie" has been written on the first page.
  • Back cover excerpt: "In his first thrilling adventure, Torlo Hannis wakes up on the planet of Noomas without memory of any past life, yet aware that he comes from a vast inter-galactic civilization." (Too bad he wasn't wearing a handy Galactitag.)
  • Dedication: "To: JUAN SEBASTIAN WEIR. Without whose father's indirect help this book would not have been possible."
  • First sentence: "I, Torlo Hannis, was born at the age of twenty-eight, without memory of my past life, without knowledge of the world in which I found myself."
  • Last sentence: "The silence is deafening for it leaves many questions unanswered."
  • Random excerpt from the middle #1: "The scene which we saw in the distance was beautiful in its primitive savagery. Colorful pennants flew from hundreds of spears around and in the city. Flying grav-disks were engaging in battle in the air along the perimeter of the wall."
  • Random excerpt from the middle #2: "Youi began singing a light, delicate ballad, but as if touched with too much liquor, slightly offkey."
  • Goodreads review: In 2009, Charles wrote: "I read this when I was hungry for a continuation of [Edgar Rice Burroughs'] sword and planet stuff and it was satisfying. Good swashbuckling adventure."
  • Amazon review: In 2013, Keith T. Gibson wrote: "This is basically a cheap knockoff of the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. ... The planet and landscapes aren't described very well, which removes one of the biggest reasons for reading these types of stories, and the story shows no originality, but on the plus-side, the hero isn't mindless, and actually thinks some of the time."
Posing with the back cover of Warriors of Noomas is LP. Technically, her name is Lost Pengin, but the rule is that you're allowed to call her anything that has the initials LP, so I call her Licorice Pizza, natch.