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Monthly Archives: October 2010

In Re: Pumpkin Carving

The three of us paged through the two pumpkin design books, and then approached the pumpkins with the carving equipment. We had enjoyed a leisurely lunch at The Blackhawk Restaurant, and had no other events planned for the rest of the afternoon. Henry Russell selected a ghostly gobblin, while Rodney Schroeter selected a cat sitting erect. When the job was done we sat back in our chairs, and watched the world go by, reflecting on the literary world, the August Derleth Society, the rise of Arkham House and the schedule of publications in the next two years, and finally how many angels will fit on the head of a pin!

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Walden West 2010

I spent the Columbus Day Weekend again this year in Sauk City, Wisconsin. In Canada that’s The Thanksgiving Day Weekend. American Thanksiving is the last Thursday in November, and it is also a wonderful family tradition when families gather together to celebrate a successful harvest. I stayed in a small hotel on the edge of town,a nd Rick the manager was most an excellent host, and mounted a sign to advertise the event.

The members of the August Derleth Society met for dinner at The Feed Mill in Mazomanie.  I had the fish because it was Friday,  And left a tip to pay the bill by credit card only to find the gratuity had already bee added to the bill because it was a group event.  The scheduled  tour of the Train Museum was called off because the key was otherwise in use. Karen Nelson and Kay Price sat across from me, both fouunding members of the Society back in 1978.

The next morning toured the new August Derleth exhibit  at The Tripp Museum in Prairie du Sac which had been painstakingly assembled by the curator Jack Berndt. The group adjourned to the back room in the Blue Spoon across the street. This room has a gorgeous view of the Wisconsin River below the dam. The water level was at a record high because of records rains upriver.

The annual meeting followed on a early lunch. The neeting was chaired by Rodney Schroeter in the absence of Ken Grant, the President. The minutes will be posted by yours truly.  The group next gathered at The Freethinkers Hall. Kay Price gave a spell-binding presentation with the help of series of old photographs mounted on foam board, and received a long overdue globe from Mary Schweitzer. David Schweitzer gave an excellent reading Walden West impersonating August Derleth.

Henry and Pat Russell lead the car caravan to view the car colo(u)rs in the Baraboo Bluffs and ended up at Ski-Hi Apple Orchard for a wide selection of apples, coffee and especially apple pie.  It is interesting to note that August Derleth patronized the same orchard as far back as 1942 as the illustrated post-card from Jessie indicates. What are Whitneys? a type of apple back in the 1940s. This post card was dated August 26, 1943. In any case they still had Golden Delicious on sale that day.

The group travelled back for Jim Kirschstein’s presentation n the Sauk City Library. Both retrospective vignettes, memorable and well worth seeing again.

The group met wfor dinner at Leystra’s restaurant, and then assembled at Auigust Derelth’s grave for a poetry reading. I didn’t read a poem, but did give my annual report to Augie instead. There wasn’t a mishap with the two pumpkins this year, skilfully carved by Rodney Schroeter and Henry Russell.

The next morning I took a tour of August Derleth Park. The day before Sue Kennedy had presented her attempts to reintroduce native species back into the park. I hadn’t been there for some years, and it looked pretty good to my uneducated eye. So I snapped a picture of The Wisconsin River.

 

Tatoos and Tobacco in Another Era

Over the past day or so, I have been photocopying and scanning a series of stories by William E. Barrett featuring “Needle Mike” a detective who went around applying rather unusal tatoos on various bodies — alive and dead. It was a seies of tales that appeared in Dime Detective in the 1930’s and 1940’s and it is virtually forgotten today, except for a small and select group of afficiadoes who recommended the project as a Lost Treasure in the first place.

Tattoes are today a rather more socially accepted method of body mutilation, than they were 60 years ago, except if you were in the Navy, or a member of a culture with a longstanding tradition of body marking, and of course, not to mention the despiciable body numbering used in German Prison Camps during WWII.  Some designs I have seen, I have to admit are “Beautiful,” — but here there is a generation gap, — in my opinion, not stippled on a human body.

And now were are a little off topic, I wanted to illustrate some examples of advertising on the back of these same pulp magazines which encouraged the reader to abuse their bodies in quite a different way –tobacco. The two adds illustrated below appear to copyrighted by Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co.  — a company I have never heard of before. I suppose I could “google” them, but suffice to say, these adds would be construed as illegal or at best misinformed in the present day.

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2010 in Tattooes, Tobacco