Periodically speaking...

For many, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial welcoming of the lazy, hazy summer season. For me it heralds the attack of the tag sale! Strewn up and down Route 28 this weekend were cardboard signs, balloons, and day-glo arrows pointing the way to undiscovered oddities. Some of my favorite finds of past years have been an ashtray with bite,

a kitty with attitude,

and a sweet leather-clad transistor radio.

This weekend I found a treasure trove of old magazines. Horticulture from the mid 50's:

Boys' Life, from the late 60s:

My older brother was a Boy Scout and received Boys' Life every month. I loved the cartoons and the articles of derring-do set in the great outdoors. I even sent away for a snake bite kit, just in case of a deadly cobra strike. I was sure there were dozens hidden in the manicured lawn of my suburban Long Island home. Reading Boys' Life, I also felt the very real sting of sexism. The Girl Scouts were a joke. We never learned to tie a knot, or shoot an arrow, or build a campfire in front of a lean-to. No one told us how to survive a bear attack - just sell the damn cookies. And so, I lived vicariously through Boys' Life. How cool to revisit its pages!

I hit the jackpot with the next find...take a look!

Look magazine was huge! These issues all date from 1961-1962, when their readership topped 7 million! This was the dawn of the new frontier - the era of Kennedy and cocktails...

of sexy cigarettes...

 and even sexier cars.

 The continental cuisine of Chef Boyardee...

 ...and the wholesome goodness packed in a pop art can.

 Most importantly, it was an era marked by America's love affair with molded gelatin.

When I was in grad school, I worked part-time in the periodicals department of a large college library. Sunday mornings were my favorite - not many students and rooms and rooms full of bound treasure at my fingertips! I spent many hours hunched in a corner by the stacks pouring through it all, turning the pages and marvelling at a history my parents and grandparents lived through. So yeah, I get a little flushed and my heart quickens when I spot a nicely preserved piece of yore...perhaps a bit moldy, but allergies schmallergies, I got it all for $3 bucks!


  1. Awesome discoveries, but I have to say I have some issues with the sandwich halves facing out. I suspect it's a secret Communist message.