Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Penguins as Pets

Penguins as Pets

Imagine a knock

on your door

& a package

lands at your

feet on the floor.

How neat,

right?

But wait,

the box moves

from side to side -

O M G !

It’s Alive!

Inside,

there’s

a Penguin!

Right before our

eyes -

for real!!

A Penguin!

But, how far

from Ideal!

Mr. Popper’s

Penguins

warns us

to be

careful

what we wish -

Serendipity

implies

we may regret

what

we end

with –   a Surprise

we hadn’t

quite

thought through.

Some how,

We will

have to make

do!

Just like Mr.

Popper

& his Pet -

or Two.

 

Ork!

 

Mr. Popper's Best Friend Was Not His Wife

Mr. Popper’s Best Friend
Was Not His Wife

 

Charming illustrated children’s book from 1938, when the radio ruled and people still believe in magic! Mr. Popper’s Penguins was written by Richard and Florence Atwater and illustrated (in blue & black) by Robert Lawson. Oh, so droll! I didn’t see the recent movie, but I don’t believe it could hold a candle to this vintage hardcover!

Highway 80 to Nowhere, 1928

1928, The Road to Nowhere

1928, The Road to Nowhere

Try to take

Highway 80

any where

today

& you’ll end

up in a lake -

Or  worse -

the desert

scrub.

That’s because,

my friend,

I-80 don’t exist

no more

as a hub.

It were

A pipe

dream for

promoters

back

in ’28,

who were

hoping to

link (wink, wink)

the Left and Right

Coasts

with a road.

These guys would

boast, “Hey,

Truth be told,

you

can take

U.S. 80

all the way

from

San Diego

Broadway to Broadway,

New York City!”

well,

those guys

fell just an

itty-bitty

short of their goal,

when Aviation took

off  around

then.

People scoffed -

I’d fly before

I drive that

far in my

car.

And, thus

the ignominious

halt

to U.S. 80

begun -

&

through

no fault

of its own,

became

an orange cone

zone.

 

U.S. Highway 80 - The Long & Winding Road

U.S. Highway 80 – The Long & Winding Road

Inspired by a 1928 promotional magazine, “The Broadway of America,” – describing the proposed route from San Diego’s Broadway to New York City’s.  This 50-page magazine features photos of hotels and landscapes along the way (Arizona, New Mexico), and adverts for tourists. When passenger airplanes became a popular mode of travel, about that time, U.S. Highway 80 began its decline.  Some remnants of it still exist in San Diego and Imperial Counties, where the road is now known as U.S. 8. Scarce magazine!! Lucky to have found it.

Thoroughbreads, 1942

 

The exact meaning - blood-lines traced back to Herod, Eclipse or Matchem.

Thoroughbred definition – blood-lines traced back to Herod, Eclipse or Matchem.

if I had my choice,

Or a voice in the

matter,

if I was a horse,

that is,

I’d choose to

be

a thoroughbred -

a lean, mean,

running machine.

Think

Kentucky

Derby.

But, as things

go,  if

I was a

horse, I know,

I’d

be

denied

a mounted

ride.

I’d be

a Nag, instead.

Quite familiar

with the term  -

A noun used

often

to describe

me.

All horsing aside,

When it

comes to thoroughbreds,

Some

are born

studs -

others

emerge as

duds.

Don’t ya think,

it’s chance?

A draw of

the straw?

for

horses

& for ppl?

for

ppl

&  for horses?

life may not

be

one long

fast-paced

race to the end.

Mebbe life’s

not so fair

& square

for horses

either.

 

Equipoise, at one time, he ran the fastest mile ever

Equipoise, at one time, he ran the fastest mile ever

Thoroughbreds, Story and Pictures by C.W. Anderson.  1942 illustrated hardcover – basically,  the ABCs of thoroughbreds. With drawings of some of the most famous race horses, including Seabiscuit, Equipoise, Exterminator, Whirlaway & more. Also, chapters on thoroughbred intelligence and idiosyncrasies, breeding and heredity, speed and pace, the jockeys and more. The book is a bit worn; the hinge is weak. But if you love horses, you won’t mind.  They seldom make books like this anymore.

The War of the Worlds

P1020117

Well, Wells -

Hell, Hells -

War by

any name

is Awful.

All around us

things blow-up,

ppl die,

lawful or

un-lawful -

war is not

confined

to Mars.

Wells knew this -

of this I’m sure.

But

he expired,

& wars endure

Allegories

like canons,

best when

fired.

 

 1964 perspective

1964 perspective

This is the “junior” children’s version of H.G. Wells’ masterpiece, War of the Worlds. Published by Whitman in 1964, this book is illustrated. It might be better “heard” on the radio than read, because imagination might be far more artistic than these drawings. A pictorial hardcover, 280 pages.

Repeat Patterns

Repeat Patterns, a manual for designers, artists & architects, 1993

Repeat Patterns, a manual for designers, artists & architects, 1993

 

One day or night

(loose or

tight)

we shall be

gazing down

up on the ground,

marveling at the maze

of patterns.

from where

we fly,

our

chance

to

spy

the grids,

the rows,

the lines,

the flows

of all

the many

patterns.

Wuz

Hard to see

foot to knee,

but

horizontally,

the place

begins to

make a kind

of

sense.

Patterns we

are and patterns

we be. Repeat

Repeat,

birth to

death,

totality.

 

Life & Death, repeat patterns

Life & Death, repeat patterns

 

from the softcover book, Repeat Patterns by Peter Phillips & Gillian Bunch. 1993. Thames + Hudson. Softcover, 192 pp. If you see patterns in everything, you don’t need this book. Otherwise, a great reference for designers, artists and architects.

 

 

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

me).

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,

beached

on the Raggedy

side

of things.

No  more cashmere

silk or leather

for me,

but ripped & torn

from stormy

weather.

Raggedy I am,

I am!

I need my own

Betsy Bonnet String

to

re-float

my boat.

Raggedy is one

thing

in a doll,

but quite

another

in an animated

soul -

so demanding -

when you fall,

t-shirt holes

& all,

broke, but

yes & yes,

still standing:

Raggedy

 

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,

sup

was all you got.

but, hey,

kiddo -

sardine sandwiches -

not that bad.

Depends on your perspective.

In 1929,

if that’s all you

had,

they were

more

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

Post-Revolution

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.

P1020062

 

Countless Treasures from MGM, 1970

 

The first great Hollywood auction - 1970

The first great Hollywood auction – 1970

Measure for

Measure,

There is no

greater

Treasure

than

some thing

movie star.

By far, things

film-related

might

as well

be gold-plated,

so

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

on

obscene.

movie stars -

the things

They leave behind -

crumbs to them

gems,

to some,

touch-stones

to others,

who love

to see

life played

out in

fantasy.

Such unruly

pleasures

truly

can not be

quantified.

 

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.