Okay, more about the Closet.

I’ll show you some pictures when it’s cleaned and sorted. The thing that nags me is this: everything in the Closet of Mysteries would find a good home with some collector. Pan Am cutlery? I got it. Major Matt Mason figurine? Here you go. Complete set of 1950s A&P coffee brand coin banks? Got that. But whoever gets them after me will at best be like me, displaying them at home and perhaps putting them online to assist the A&P Coffee Coin Bank Collector Community, or just keep them in the dark of a box, for some reason, until they pass to someone else.

There’s a better word for the Closet: a reliquary of the 20th century. Cufflinks from the World’s Fair of 1939. A small ice cream box from 1953 with Bing Crosby’s picture. But I can imagine some estate-sale arranger looking at a simple pink plastic drinking cup, and thinking: eh, that’s nothing.

And it is! But. It was brought to our house in Fargo by the Welcome Wagon when we moved in, along with a copy of “Specialities of the House,” the recipe book that launched the Gallery. It was the cup in which Mom made the hated warm-salt-water cure for sore throat, and every time I look at it I know what its purpose was.

Consider a simple box.

Gosh, what's inside?

Some vintage bottle caps from the days when New York Mills had a Nehi bottler, and newspaper production clips from the pieces I did about the Fair for the Pioneer Press, long ago.

Old medicine labels, my childhood library card, an original iMac promo card

Subway and transit tokens! Because I have those! For some reason!

Milk bottle caps and Butternut coffee Christmas club coupons

Oh hey, another box

A collection of Starbucks cards, pins, and StarTribune fair lip balm

And so on and so on. All in bags, sorted away, ready to make some collector happy.

For a while. Then miserable. DIVEST! I say.

keep I know I will whisper.




It's 1936, and we're heading off to Bismarck, North Dakota.

“Drouth” is such an odd-looking word; it’s like reading about a policeman finding “clews.”

Hope she will give clews about how to grow Tu-Lips in a drouth



Charming kids:

For some reason, Gizmodo did a story about here, in 2015:

To outsiders, 17-year-old Gladys MacKnight seemed an unlikely killer, as did her boyfriend, 18-year-old Donald Wightman. But to those who knew the high school sweethearts, the death of Gladys’ mother, Helen, wasn’t entirely shocking. (Though being hacked to death in one’s own kitchen certainly is.)

She got out after 14 years.



He just wants to have a vacation; leave him in peace

Don't ire the man


Schoolboard graft?

The textbook racket?





Finally: another of the innumerable and often interchangeable single-panel cartoons that crowded the back page:

He was respected: Clark employed a loose, naturalistic drawing style to illustrate minor human foibles and familiar family situations. In the mid-1930s, George Jean Nathan's The American Spectator commented, "Clark, creator of Side Glances, deserves unqualified recognition for a penetrating picture of our middle class."

He died in 1981, meaning he lived long enough to see how his trade matured. Wonder what he thought of it.


That'll do; see you around.




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