Raggedy Ann and Betsy Bonnet Strings, 1943

A True Friend to The Raggedys

A True Friend to The Raggedys

Like Ann (and Andy)

Raggedy, I am

& also Rude &

Randy -

(or so it’s how

I see


Never thought

I’d reach this

Shore -

the one marked Dollar Store. 

I thought

I was bound

for Tiffany!

But, no,

not to be -

I ended,


on the Raggedy


of things.

No  more cashmere

silk or leather

for me,

but ripped & torn

from stormy


Raggedy I am,

I am!

I need my own

Betsy Bonnet String



my boat.

Raggedy is one


in a doll,

but quite


in an animated

soul -

so demanding -

when you fall,

t-shirt holes

& all,

broke, but

yes & yes,

still standing:



The Raggedys (inanimate)

The Raggedys (inanimate)


This is one of the later books in the Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann and Andy series. It was illustrated by his brother, Justin, and published in 1943. Betsy (aka Betsy Bonnet Spring) is one of those magical people the Raggedys seem to run into when they enter the Deep Deep Woods. Hardcover, in pictorial boards, 95 pp. First Ed.




Meals for Small Families, 1929

Tight Times

Tight Times

times were tight

in 1929!

Depression hit,

& then,

you know,

in a blink &

a wink -

from soup to (pea)nuts,

if you were plucky enough

to get lucky

& score

some Planters.

There were Recipes

for tin-can stews

- heat ‘em up &

eat ‘em up,

cuz some times,


was all you got.

but, hey,

kiddo -

sardine sandwiches -

not that bad.

Depends on your perspective.

In 1929,

if that’s all you


they were


than fine.


- from Meals for Small Families, a 1929 illustrated (Art Deco) cookbook. Published at the beginning of  The Great Depression, this charming cookbook no doubt cheered the anxious cook on – with recipes for sardine sandwiches and oatmeal pancakes. “Metabolism, raw foods, exactness in chewing, calories, fats and vitamins – possibly by tomorrow we will learn that scientific cookery 0f the food attractively served and eaten in leisure fashion – is what really gives you the mental and physical balance we all desire and need.”  Well-said, Jean Mowat, Cookbook author. Well-said.


small meals, small appetites, small food budgets

small meals, small appetites, small food budgets

Contemporary Chinese Painting, 1988

Chinese Contemporary Art

Chinese Contemporary Art


Art springs forth like plum blossoms

Ripe fruit tastes better


A book can also be a catalog; a catalog can also be a book. This is from  the 1988 art exhibit catalog of Chinese Contemporary Art – including 15 Chinese artists, whose work could finally be seen post-Cultural-Revolution. It was originally shown at The University of Illinois, Urbana- Champagne. Shown here is not only a graceful blend of traditional & modern art, but the expression of creative freedom. We should never take that for granted.



Countless Treasures from MGM, 1970


The first great Hollywood auction - 1970

The first great Hollywood auction – 1970

Measure for


There is no




some thing

movie star.

By far, things



as well

be gold-plated,


Desirable they

are – the things

movie star.

Who wouldn’t

pant for

a signed Cary Grant

or a hat Gable

once wore,

tilted in

a scene,

before he

kissed Monroe.

We are star-struck

on this planet,

gazing at the well -

endowed who

draw a crowd,

with so much ardor,

you know,

it borders



movie stars -

the things

They leave behind -

crumbs to them


to some,


to others,

who love

to see

life played

out in


Such unruly



can not be



Going once, going twice! Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz

Going once, going twice! Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz

This is a 1970 catalog from the David Weisz’s 18-day Auction of MGM’s props and costumes. Above, left, Judy Garland’s costume as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. The ruby slippers brought $15,000 – a whopping sum 44 years ago. This huge auction (350,000 items in wardrobe, alone) ignited film-related collecting as a hobby and a business. So they say. The catalog, itself, is collectible — in part for the color photographs of both the majestic props and costumes from MGM films over many decades.





Walt Disney’s Living Desert, 1954

Walt Disney's First True-Life Adventure Book

Walt Disney’s First True-Life Adventure Book

Silent desert teemed

with life unseen, til Disney

lit a moonlight beam

Out among the cacti and the sage brush

Out among the cacti and the sage brush

Walt Disney’s Living Desert , published in 1954, was the first in a series of True-Life Adventure books written by Jane Werner and the Staff of the Walt Disney Studio. The books were based on the Disney Adventure films – in which, Walt Disney said,  “animals in their wild state were the only actors.Nature itself was the dramatist, while we merely stood by as cameramen and editors of the story.”  Photos above show the cover and the title page from this 123-page hardcover. After 60 years, still a wonderful read.

The Cordon Bleu Cook Book, 1947

Before Julia, there was Dione

Before Julia, there was Dione



I am the

Cook who

is bleu, but

for another reason.

I am sad.

I simply

can not cook.

I am so bad

when it comes to

preparing any meal,

for any season,

I opt for take-out.

Like liver, I am

the wurst


No book can

change that.

You could be


you could be

dying to slake

your thirst,

& if I was

around, you’d

be eating your hat,


The best

I could make



be a scrambled

egg: one of

my two



If wishes

came true,

I would cook like

Dione Lucas

of Cordon Bleu.

I would prepare


French meals,

with nary a


But I know,

this is not to be.

I belong, instead,

in the long

long lines

that wind around

the counters


Hometown Buffet.

I am a stranger

in my own kitchen.

She COULD cook

She COULD cook


the Cordon Bleu Cook Book is a 1947 first edition by Dione Lucas. A decade or two before Julia, Dione was translating French recipes into something Americans could cook. Well, maybe most Americans. Dione was the owner of the Cordon Bleu Restaurant and Cooking School in New York City. She was known “especially for her omelets without equal.” 322 pages.

Ms. Marilyn Monroe, the Unexpected Cover Girl

The Unexpected Cover Girl

The Unexpected Cover Girl

All these diff


come to me,

looking at this



& Marilyn Monroe.


an unlikely pair -

one just be-ginning -

one no longer there.

But Ms., in its 2nd

issue,    like

a Femme,

with blazing guns,

went straight for

heart & mind &

kleenex tissue  -


A kind of memorial

to the late



who had it all -

and, at the



Look at the cover

& gently weep.

Feminism lives

(weakly) &

Monroe still sleeps.




This copy of Ms. Magazine was published in August, 1972. It was the second issue – and it featured a startling cover – Marilyn Monroe, and inside, articles about her by Gloria Steinem. The articles were tender mercies – recounting her life and guesses about her death. This is an amazing vintage magazine – a classic, in fact – for many reasons & many poems.

Herbert Hoover, Who?


Herbert Hoover

may have the


of being a President

no one remembers.

In other words -


He ruled

from 1929-33,

but  lost his popularity

when he couldn’t

fix the Depression.

The public’s Expression

was to throw him out

in favor of FDR,

who everybody remembers

so far.

Hoover still has

a Dam named after him,

which is something -

when you’ve not


very much

in the way

of libraries

and statues.

Let’s hear it for Herbert


not a vaccum cleaner,

but a President,

who could not make

the bad news

drain away.


He remains



– This is a First Edition, 1934 from Scribner’s. Possibly not a popular book, then or now, as it was written shortly after Hoover lost the Presidency to FDR. Still, scholars who study the Presidency  - and particularly Hoover, may find this worth reading. No photographs, unfortunately.

Little Lotta, 1964


Little Lotta gotta eat a meat sandwich!

Little Lotta gotta eat a meat sandwich!

What you been missing

all these years – is

a politically incorrect

comic girl -

Little Lotta.

She no Sarah Silverman,

for sure. but

she don’t have to stand up

on stage,

erect  & immature

to offend.

she a cartoon, after all,

and she can pratfall

all she want to make

you laugh - gaffe

after gaffe.

(in this case,

over-eating). She scarf


mile-high san’wiches


a whole ham!


Harvey comic books

are sorta marvey!

The be irreverent,

w Richie Rich,

Little Dot &

Mr. Plump  - so

far from correct!

but who give a damn?

they be funny!

now we  got

3-D robot -


50 feet tall. But

big as they are,

they no fun,

at t’all.


Little Lotta was published by Harvey comics from 1953-’72. And sporadically after thaet. This is an issue from 1964 – worth, in some cases, as much as a vintage book. But I’m not giving this baby up. Precious – in so many ways, not the least of which is its in your-face humour.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Really?


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Are we talkin’


or movie?



it’s a bitch

when you talk


& ppl don’t know

if you mean

Broadway play



for folks who love

Liz Taylor

to Reece’s Pieces.

Here’s the down-low,

I’m talkin’ book -

my Signed

Albee paperback


nary a look-

when I put it up

for sale.

I mean

the Playwright SIGNED

a g-d vintage


& nobody cared.

Are you kidding me?

Edward Albee -

the eminent author -


than Liz and Dick

in their unguarded


I bet their


would sell


But not,


Tiny Alice

screams her head off.

The Zoo Story

animals, like girls,

run wild.

it’s a sad story

when movie stars

get all the glory.

if it weren’t for

paper + pen:

Virginia Woolf -

what then?


The movie or the play or the book?

The movie or the play or the paperback book?

Edward Albee wrote the play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1961-2. It appeared on Broadway and was a massive hit, receiving the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Tony Awards as the Best Play of the 1962-3 season. The Mike Nichols directed-film, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton came out in 1966.  This Pocket Book paperback, signed by Albee, on the title page, is a later-printing from the early 1980s.  It’s uncommon for any author to sign a paperback. Huzzah!