Saturday, September 23, 2023

1968's "Voices from the Love Generation"

  • Title: Voices from the Love Generation
  • Editors: Edited and with an introduction and epilogue by Leonard Wolf (1923-2019), in collaboration with Deborah Wolf. They were married. I believe that Deborah Goleman Wolf is still alive; she is the author of the 1979 nonfiction book The Lesbian Community. Leonard Wolf went on to write many notable books about Dracula, especially focusing on Bram Stoker's novel. That makes him a good candidate to appear on Papergreat again in the future.
  • Cover design: William McLane
  • Interior photographs: Credited mostly to Ralph Ackerman (1941-2008), with some by Thomas Weir. The three photographs with this post are all by Ackerman. Weir is known for taking some famous shots of The Grateful Dead, though he is not related to the Dead's Bob Weir.
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Year: 1968
  • Pages: 283
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Provenance: This copy was formerly shelved in the Ramsdell Public Library in Housatonic, Massachusetts (not to be confused with Miskatonic University).
  • Dust jacket blurb: "Leonard Wolf, professor of English at San Francisco State College, has been involved with the Haight-Asbury Hippie community for over a year as an observer and as director of Happening House, a communications center in the district. Along with his admittedly straight sensibility, Mr. Wolf brought to his work in the community an open mind and a determination to understand the movement as it really is. Voices from the Love Generation is a collection of interviews with fifteen Hippies, recorded and arranged by Mr. Wolf and his wife Deborah. The startling candor, the rough language, the frankness about sex and drugs, indeed, the mere effort at communication with the straight world that characterize these interviews, are a tribute to the trust and respect the Wolfs have earned from the Hippies. This book is by the Hippies, not about them."
  • Dedication: "This book is affectionately dedicated to the entire Haight-Asbury community."
  • Quote from Lenore Kandel interview: "Love is a gift. No bargain. You love someone, you take them, and you accept them entirely. And they're supposed to accept you, wherever you're at, if they love you. The only way I know it's going to happen is by experimentation, by living, and by telling the truth."
  • Quote from Patrick Gleeson interview (pictured at right): "For one thing, I feel that if you want to find the roots of our present problems, the vital roots, you can go back to the seventeenth century and see them becoming public issues and big problems then. You can see the rise of technology [and] the thing Swift was so worried about — abstraction. It's only through abstraction that we can have cybernation and cybernation will finally free us from the hangups of the physical universe."
  • What is "cybnernation" in this context? Per Leonard Wolf's extensive glossary, cybernation is "electronically controlled industrial automation." 
  • Quote from Wes Wilson interview: "I think the hippies are sort of like a beginning of something which is going to be different. I think there will probably be very few people in the Haight-Asbury who will go into a very disciplined scene. ... I don't think the system we're living in is going to outlast the hippies. The system will change. The thing that's happening with hippies is a growth, not a static thing."
  • Full list of subjects interviewed: Peter Mackaness, Lenore Kandel, Steve Levine, Patrick Gleeson, Maggie Gaskin (pictured at top of this post), Charlotte Todd, Peter Cohon and Sam, Sandra Butler, Pancho, Tsvi Strauch, Teresa Murphy, Wes Wilson, Ron Thelin, Shirly Wise, and Peter Berg.
  • Rating on Goodreads: 4.20 stars (out of 5)
  • Goodreads review excerpt: In a long, insightful 2012 review, Tracey Madeley noted: "Throughout all the interviews there is a naivety and a hope for a better way of living. This is a great primary source for anyone wanting to study hippies, their values and ideas."
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.80 stars (out of 5)
  • Amazon review excerpt: In a long and also insightful 2011 review, Mary Mekko noted: "Anyone who wasn't there will find these extensive interviews, in many cases classic hippie-druggie rambling, to be very insightful. They show the innocence of some of the aspirants to a New Life, those who wished to shed encumbrances, broken families, unhappy pasts including their aimless academic pursuits, odd jobs, careers, or lack thereof. Attracted by the Free Love ideals, both young men and women found the experience of free sex encounters at that time in history to be liberating. Aided by acid trips, the world appeared to them to be their love oysters. ... A great book for recording the genuine thoughts of the time, before the 'scene got ugly.' Note also ... that the Haight-Ashbury was a CHEAP neighborhood. The whole movement depended on free handouts, free food, donated clothes, welfare checks and parents sending money. ... This is the kind of book one should read, in retrospect, to see how our society has come in the direction it has. The young people seem incredibly innocent, if not disingenuous. They so much yearn for a world of peace, love and harmony — where they won't have to work, put up with rules, roommates, discomfort, etc. etc. And where has such a place ever existed, I do wonder? One can almost yearn along with them as one reads their ramblings. In the end, the movement was a yearning ending in a yawn."
  • Related post: "The Flower People"

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

How about a Bloody Mary and some catfish terrine?

Another find on my trip to the Queen Creek Goodwill store was this copy of 1990's The Evolution of Cajun & Creole Cuisine. If I were still a book picker who was targeting finds for resale, this might have been a decent find, flippable for a few bucks more than I paid for it. But I bought it because I wanted to share the inscription on the inside front cover. It's a short list of ingredients for Eddie's Bloody Mary Mix! (Their exclamation point, not mine.)

  • 46 oz. V-8
  • 16 oz. Vodka
  • lemon juice
  • 2T Worcestershire 
  • 1T Tabasco
  • 1 t. Horseradish
  • 15 dashes salt
  • 15 dashes pepper
  • 2 dashes celery salt

I've never had a Bloody Mary, so I have no idea whether this is a typical, superior or inferior recipe.1 According to a cursory browsing of the internet, some suggested ingredients to take a Bloody Mary to the next level include pickle juice, garlic powder, Old Bay, orange juice, Clamato and beef bouillon. But please mix responsibly and, especially, drink responsibly.

Another fun thing I found in flipping through the book was the above photo of Terrine of Smoked Delta Pride Catfish. Terrine is basically in the same family as gelatins and aspics, which received a lot of coverage back in the early days of Papergreat, about a decade ago. Here are the links if you want to check out some of those horrors:

1. I'm more interested in the origin of the name Bloody Mary than I am in drinking one. Interestingly, there are way more contenders than the obvious idea that it's tied to the monstrous Mary I of England, who had a lot of her subjects killed. In a 2002 Chicago Tribune article, Andy Badeker writes: "It was named for (pick one) Mary Tudor, the 16th Century English queen with a heretic-burning habit; the actress Mary Pickford; a bartender's girlfriend who was regularly late; or Chicago's Bucket of Blood club, where 1920s newsmen went to have their livers hardened. These credits come from John Poister's 'The New American Bartender's Guide' and Salvatore Calabrese's 'Classic Cocktails.'"

Monday, September 18, 2023

Great links: "A Wrinkle in Time" mystery is solved

In May, Sarah Elizabeth asked a simple question on the Unquiet Things blog: "Why is it that in this current year of 2023, no one seems to know who the cover artist is for this iconic Dell Laurel-Leaf A Wrinkle in Time cover art?? In a time when we have so much information available to us at our literal fingertips, how could it possibly be that the above marvelously and terrifyingly iconic imagery is perpetually credited to 'unknown artist'?"

Solving this mystery was not straightforward, but it was solved.

I was one of the members of Generation X for whom this was, indeed, an iconic paperback (first printed in 1976). We were assigned to read it at C.E. McCall Middle School in Montoursville in fifth or sixth grade, circa 1981 to 1983, and I recall many worn copies of this exact paperback lining a shelf below the classroom window. The cover was an attention-grabber, even if the story itself wasn't the easiest entry point into science-fiction for this middle school student. But I'm so glad my teacher introduced us to thought-provoking, challenging books. That matters.

Elizabeth's post spurred a lot of speculation and work by book sleuths. And the mystery was finally solved: The illustrator was Richard Bober (1943-2022). It took nearly a half-century for him to get public credit.

Taking the handoff from Elizabeth and finding the answer was Amory Sivertson of the podcast WBUR podcast Endless Thread, which focuses on questions and stories related to Reddit posts (Elizabeth had set Reddit to the task of solving the mystery.)

You can listen to the 44-minute podcast or read the full transcript here. It's hugely entertaining, especially for book sleuths. (And, as an aside that I can agree with wholeheartedly, someone says, "15% of everything is destroyed by cats." Also, the mystery comes to a conclusion in a Pennsylvania basement.

As Elizabeth wrote triumphantly, "I am a bit overwhelmed, and I don’t know what more there is to say about it anymore, but the case is cracked, and the mystery is solved!"

The story even caught the attention of The New York Times, where staff writer Amanda Holpuch described Bober's cover artwork thusly: "The mystery cover art shows a strapping centaur with delicate wings flying above a menacing green face with bright red eyes. Craggy mountains and fluffy dark clouds surround the haunting figures. The website Book Riot called the art 'nightmare fuel.'"

Menacing green face? Yes.

Haunting figures? Yes.

Nightmare fuel? Yup.

But mystery cover art? No longer. That was Richard Bober who fueled our 1970s and 1980s imaginations with his cover artwork to accompany Madeleine L'Engle's award-winning novel. 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Examining "The Abominable Snowman" from all sides in 1977

Previous Contemporary Perspectives/Raintree children's books covered on Papergreat:

Today's book...
  • Title: The Abominable Snowman
  • Author: Barbara Antonopulos. I can't find anything about her or anything else she wrote. That's a mystery we should solve.
  • Cover illustrator: Lynn Sweat
  • Interior illustrations: Nilda Scherer (that includes the one above and the one below). A 1981 article in The New York Times mentions in passing that Scherer also worked as a courtroom sketch artist.
  • Publisher: A Contemporary Perspectives Inc. (CPI) book distributed by Raintree Children's Books, Milwaukee
  • Year: 1977
  • Pages: 48
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Photo research: "All photo research for this book was provided by Roberta Guerette." 
  • Chapter titles: Monster of the Moutain; Just How Abominable Is the Snowman?; Footprints in the Snow; Hillary's Search; The Village of Beding; The Snowman's Scalp; Man or Myth?; American Relatives?
  • First sentences: A small group of men made their way slowly up the steep mountain slope. The air was still. No one spoke as they climbed. Each man thought only of the blinding white snow and the steep mountain still ahead of him. Suddenly, the men froze in terror.
  • Last sentences: If these beasts are actually living in the mountains and forests around us, hopefully one day we will be able to prove that they do exist. By studying the Abominable Snowman, we may shed new light on the way people and animals have changed since prehistoric times. At this time, however, the strange case of the Abominable Snowman remains a great, unsolved mystery.
  • Pause for comment: I think it's important to point out here that these Contemporary Perspectives/Raintree books were rarely hyperbolic or sensationalized. Yes, they were attempting to attract young readers with topics like ghosts, spooky mysteries, cryptozoology, etc. — stuff most kids are fascinated by. And it was the 1970s, when Leonard Nimoy's In Search of... was a popular TV show. But, generally, these are reasonable, thoughtful children's books that try to get young readers to think about what is and isn't credible and decide for themselves. As I included in the Visions of the Future: Magic Boards post, one librarian stated, "We found that the books represented, throughout, both sides of the issue."
  • Excerpt from the middle #1: The scalp was examined by scientists in Chicago and Paris. But they didn't believe it had once belonged to a Snowman. In Chicago they believed that the "scalp" was really the hide of a serow — a wild goat antelope.
  • Excerpt from the middle #2: Others say the Abominable Snowman is really a human being. Lamas, the religious men of Nepal, sometimes wander in the mountains by themselves. From a distance, dressed in their large hooded robes, they could be mistaken for a Snowman.
  • About the above illustration: The illustration of Mih-Teh, Thelma and Dzu-Teh shows what the Sherpas describe as three types of Yeti. The largest is Dzu-Teh, which can be up to 8 feet tall. The middle-sized one is Mih-Teh, which is the fiercest and the most dangerous to man. And the smallest is Thelma, which is about the size of a human teenager. And it turns out that "Thelma" is as incorrect as it seems. Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman pointed out on Twitter earlier this year: "The editor of this book ... inserted a typo in the mix. The Teh-Ima, the Little Yeti, is a definite part of the history, not 'Thelma.'" You can read more about this on the Encyclopaedia of Cryptozoology.
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3.80 stars (out of 5)
  • Rating on Amazon: 4.00 stars (out of 5)
  • Amazon review: Matthew wrote: "This book I read when I was 9. It introduced me to the world of cryptids, ufos, and the paranormal. I've been looking everywhere for this book as I want to relive the nostalgia. Very good introduction to the abominable snowman."
  • Twitter mention #1: Folk Horror Revival (@folk_horror) calls it "a cool little book" and highlights more of the illustrations by Nilda Scherer.
  • Twitter mention #2: Richard Fay, responding to a post about favorite childhood books, wrote: "THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN by Barbara Antonopulos. Actually, the library in my grade school had a whole series of books about monsters and the unexplained. I read and re-read all of them! A while back, I ordered three of them to add to my personal library."
  • Movie moment: There are many, many movies about Yeti and Sasquatch. Most of them are low-budget films made during the 1970s that will likely never receive a Criterion release. I have not seen many movies from this genre, unless you're counting animated Christmas specials. My one recommendation, as a fan of most things Hammer, would be 1957's The Abominable Snowman, featuring Peter Cushing. And my recommendation of one to avoid would be 1977's Snowbeast. Joan and I watched it in August 2008 and, in our movie-watching journal, I wrote: "This made-for-TV flick is basically 'Jaws' with a Yeti, which we barely ever get to see. It's also 'Jaws' without a good script, good directing, good editing and good acting. But, hey, it's got Bo freaking Svenson." Why is that this 1977 children's book treated its audience with more respect than a movie made for adults in the same year?