Monthly Archives: April 2009

Investigating Jibbitz

The hiatus for the past couple of weeks was caused by my travelling to Florida, and doing essentially nothing, except eating and sleeping, and much of the stuff you simply don’t want to read about.

I bought some neat Apple accessories for my iPOD Classic and so it now has a choice of skins, and I can play it on the car radio and recharge it at the same time. I have loaded countless CD on the thing — it’s 120GB and about 95% empty. I also downloaded a couple of CBC’s poscasts, but haven’t got around to listening to them yet. I am resisting the urge to dowload MP4 movies, because I want to investigate how to creat MP4 movies from my countless DVD’s that I have on hand.

I sorted through the eight boxes of covers from the August Derleth collection, that I assembled before leaving from two large banker’s files: there were some extraordinary finds there to itemize a few:

1. A tied cover from Baraboo dated 1939 which has one of the Derleth SAC Prairie cinderellas on it beside the postage stamp. It is delightful to finally see, and proves that at least one of the 20,000 that Derleth distributed survived the sands of time. Can anybody out there in cyberspace identify a second legitmate use?

2. A set of time dated currency from 50th Anniverary of The Barnum and Bailey Circus, Baraboo dating from 1933. there is a 5 cent, 10cent, 25 cent, 25 cent, 50cent and $100 bill. Each coupon is numbered. They are in an envelope in mint condition. I have never seen this item before; likely used as a promotion for the local merchants, redeamable up to Nov 1933 at the Chamber of Commerce. I suspect the set is worthless now — or extremely valuable to a collector. In any case they are not for sale. Would like some more information on them — if available.

3. A soldier’s letter from the Civil War. Not stamped or cancelled but posted Free Mail. The rear of the cover is missing and may have been stamped or cancelled.

4. A pre 1840 stampless cover from Germany.

5. a Return to sender item, still in its original envelope which is a catalogue that Derleth sent out in 1943 entitled “Arham House Books”. The enclosure is in mint condition, although the staples are rusted, and I suspect it has a large value as an Arkham House Ephemera item. The envelope matches the phamphlet, and is defaced by multiple markings resulting in it being returned.

6. A second Return to sender item that Derleth saved which contains another Arham Phamphlet of later date. I don’t have it in front of me now, but it is franked with a 1 cent precanel. This is one of few uses of this rate that I have identified in the pile, but I suspect this was a 3rf class for bulk mailing of the period.

7. Countless envelopes opened by the censors from soldiers abroad to overseas mail from customers abroad during the war. They make an interesting collection in themselves.

8. Many first day covers using Derleth and Arkham and M&M envelopes. There are many duplicates here, and I will try and assemble some for Windy City, and you can ask to see them there. The four main envelopes are: 1) book editor of Madison State Times; 2) member of the School Board 3) Stanton and Lee 4) Arkham House.

9. a nice pile of early US postal stationary both envelopes and postcards which reuire sorting with a catalogue. This is not one of my specialties

10. A large pile of early US mail featuring a plethora of early Sauk City postmarks on both front and back. Some postcards were backstamped Sauk City as well. I suspect this practice was discontinued by decree at some point. But it certainly enchances these psot cards!

11. Finally a great selection of envelopes from Barlow, Lovecraft (some with notes on the back), Bradbury (from Ireland), Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Lord Dunsany, Dwig (with art work on the front cover) and many others to list fails my memory.

I am now occupied with creating a couple of jibbitz* for my CROCs (shoes). I stopped off at the Outlet Mall in St. Augustine on the way down, and got some wild colors, as well as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, as well as a pair of Packers jibbitz (that’s the big G!) I would like to do a jibbitz for The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box and for Arkham House. Will stop in again on my way north to pick up a pair of White CROCS.

* jibbitz: Now if you are not “au fait” with the word, it is jewelry that youth place on their CROCS shoes with various levels of significance. Ask your children or your grandchildren if you are of a certain age. If you have no young people to consult — use

Now back to the projects: War Christmas; Walt Whitman’s Canada; 100 Sherlock Holmes Crossword Puzzles; Under the Darkling Sky; The Compleat Adventures of the Suicide Squad; The Electronic Rohmer Review (e-RR) ; Star of Dreams by H. Bedford-Jones; Chang and RAfferty; and Philip Strange.