January 16, 2004
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES NEWSLETTER #238
And welcome to the first newsletter of 2004. We arrived back from the sultry Caribbean in time for the current abysmal weather system. "Cold" does not begin to describe it. And of course all our suffering is compounded by the constantly chattering alarmist media. Every evening after the usual two hour newcast, during which the weather is a major topic shouted in one's ear every five minutes or so, one settles down to watch something on TV that is actually entertaining. However, the instant Noah Wylie's face appears in the ER, so does a crawl along the bottom of the screen, which has dutifully just bong-bonged to get our attention. Warning! cold weather is coming its coming its only a week away cold weather is just four days away cold weather is here oh its so cold here dress carefully don't go out be careful driving see the dangerous commute the weather is so cold here's a picture of the cold weather oh the cold weather is over what cold weather that was here's the result of all that cold weather more cold weather on the way. When I was a kid the weatherman was a guy with a map and a crayon. He drew a cartoon character with an umbrella when it was going to rain. Now the weatherman is a media star and every rainstorm is a major crisis. We're all being newsed to death. And so I take my place, swathed in sweaters and socks and sweatpants and fluffy slippers (dress in layers the weatherman said), typing to you Dear Accumulators. Which makes me one of those awful news people who talks about the weather incessantly.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF I ACTUALLY LOVE IT BUT ONLY THE FROZEN KIND BECAUSE THE FRESH KIND IS SO TIME CONSUMING TO CLEAN
Popeye is celebrating his 75th birthday. Actually, New York is celebrating Popeye's 75th birthday. In honor of the one-eyed slugger's natal anniversary, the Empire State building will be illuminated by spinach green lights this weekend. The character made his debut in Elzie Segar's "Thimble Theatre" comic strip on Jan. 17, 1929, a strip already populated by Olive Oyl and Bluto. Segar, who died in 1938, based all the characters in the strip on people from his home town of Chester, Illinois. It is believed that Popeye was based on one Frank Fiegel, a one-eyed man who smoked a pipe and got into numerous fistfights. Similarly, a tall, thin local woman with a bun at the nape of her neck is believed to have been the inspiration for Olive Oyl. Residents who remember both individuals describe them as "creepy". I think a guy with one eye who eats spinach from the can and instantly becomes a fighting machine is pretty creepy, not to mention his taste for whiny, clumsy women. When next you're in the town of Chester, Illinois, don't miss the Popeye Museum.
STRETCHING THE DEFINITION OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
This story comes from He Who Is The Light Of My Life, who apparently finds the subject matter quite hilarious. After you've read it I know you'll feel sorry for me. The Discovery Museum in Hartford, Connecticut has opened a "grossology" exhibit. It consists of things like a climbing wall modeled on human skin - complete with oozing pimples and hairy moles, and "Burp Man," a cartoon character who lets out a big, loud belch after visitors pump his stomach full of soda, according to The Associated Press. There are also bad breath exhibits, a machine that simulates the production of intestinal gas, and a character with a dripping nose. The museum staff says the exhibit "stinks". No doubt. The exhibit is meant to educate young people about bodily functions. Ah yes, the extreme cold affects different people in different ways. When you are cooped up indoors for long periods of time it's amazing what you'll do to amuse yourself.
POSSIBLY RARE BOOK OF THE FUTURE
New York State Senator from Brooklyn Martin Golden wants a certain children's book removed from a list of "suitable" school textbooks beause it depicts an American family living in a car, according to the New York Post. Golden says all the other countries in the book are treated well, but the US city in it is depicted as graffiti-covered, with burned-out buildings and a family living in a car. The book, "This is My House", by Arthur Dorros, shows people in Bolivia living in stone cottages when 70% of the population lives below the poverty line, according to Golden. He adds that the mud-brick homes in Mali are also presented as a much better alternative to living in the United States. "Young children should not be led to believe that this [living in a car] is the norm," he said. Furthermore, the illustration that features the car shows boarded-up buildings behind it. The accompanying text reads, "This is my hows." Well, I'm with Senator Golden. Spelling counts.
Okay, Accumulators. Time to start dinner, after which I plan to get under several layers of bedding and watch some tube. Don't want to miss any of those weather reports running along the bottom of the screen. Tomorrow and Sunday I'll be autographing books at the Antiques At The Pier Show on the west side of Manhattan. If you're in the nabe, stop by and say "hi!". Hope they have heat in the building. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2004 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #238
U.S. Library of Congress
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