Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sonny Boy Packing Bag

This is the identical blog from yesterday's Wetcreek Blog. I just wanted to document this Sonny Boy bag in my museum.

If you know me, you know that I am a retired English teacher who gave up reading books when I retired from teaching almost five years ago.

Believe me, I have tried to get through novels, but once I have passed the halfway point I lose interest. Even long airplane flights do not provide the impetus to finish a book.

Now magazine articles are another matter. They are usually short and sweet. Some can even be read from back to front, and I like that! Plus magazines can be tossed aside when you get tired and fall asleep, but books need BOOKMARKS :(.

The bookmark for my latest book endeavor has the same name as the book title. Who would have thought that in the same week I would have two Sonny Boys on our coffee table?

The book is written in Dutch, but it is non-fiction. Just as my former students loved "true stories," so do I. And I like that being written in Dutch keeps my language skills a bit sharpened. The setting of the book in Scheveningen, The Netherlands in the years before WWII is also appealing. And then the circumstances of Sonny Boy in the predominantly white Dutch society keeps my interest. So maybe Annejet van den Zijl wrote a winner, at least for me.

My mother gave me the white corn meal wrapper that I used as a bookmark in the photo below. When I was born, my father worked for Interstate Grocery Company (later Helena Wholesale, Inc.) in Helena, Arkansas. This wrapper came from the company before they went out of business. It would have been used to pack degerminated white corn meal. For years I heard about Sonny Boy meal and King Biscuit Flour, and now I have a wrapper to frame.

I found the following ad on the Internet:

"Seller's description: "Down in Helena, Ark. in 1941, Sonny Boy Williamson and Robert Junior Lockwood had a 15-minute show on KFFA radio daily at noon. They were so popular, their sponsor, King Biscuit Flour, created a Sonny Boy brand corn meal mix which the band promoted on their radio show and on rural tours of Arkansas. This is a never-used empty bag of the cornmeal. The cornmeal continued to be produced and sold at least into the '90s, when this bag was likely printed. We managed to procure a couple of these, purchased at Cat Head Delta Blues in Clarksdale some years ago and we're told there aren't any more."

These folks were asking $25.00 for their bag in 2009! There is at least ONE more. Mine!

Now listen to Sonny Boy :

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Incredible Hulk, The Magician, and My Favorite Martian

Before Christmas I was looking for three signed photographs to frame and give to our son for his media/entertainment room. Actually, I did not look too hard. Today while we were finishing up our painting gallery in the dining room, we sorted through the artwork in our photo room upstairs. Hidden among the junk were the three (50 year old!) photos you can see below.

Here is the story:
When I was in junior high and again in high school our family made two trips out to Burbank, California to visit my dad's favorite sister Helyn. She was a dear, but tough old gal who lived a much wilder life than most of her siblings back in the Deep South. Rumor has it that she married 5 times, and I only remember meeting Johnny. He was the husband who came to visit us with my aunt, and my mom prepared quail. I think that was the first and last time we ate quail. Who knows where my parents got those little birds. But Uncle Johnny liked it so much that he even got it on his nose. (crazy what little girls remember)

But both times we visited Aunt Helyn in California, she was single. The first visit we stayed in her small little bungalow, and the second time we had brought along another aunt so we stayed in Aunt Helyn's rental house in the front of her bungalow.

What I remember the most about both vacations were the fun day trips to the television studios. The three photographs below came from a visit to the set of "My Favorite Martian." As Aunt Helyn worked for Larry Harmon Productions (Bozo the Clown), she took us right into the filming set of this popular 1960's television program. We met Bill Bixby, Ray Walston, and Pamela Britton and had a tour of the set. My brothers and I received signed photos of those three actors, and now I have framed mine for our son. This morning I compared all three signatures with authentic ones on the Internet, and they look "real" to me.

Our son probably has never heard of "My Favorite Martian," but he was a big fan of "The Incredible Hulk." Almost everyone knows that Lou Ferrigno was the green Hulk, but Bill Bixby played the handsome Dr. David Banner who metamorphoses into the green Hulk. Bixby died at the age of 59 in 1993 from prostate cancer.

As for beautiful Pamela Britton, her role as the nosy and ditzy landlady in "My Favorite Martian" from 1963-66 was her signature role in movies and television. She died from a brain tumor at the age of 51 in 1974.

You guessed it. Ray Walston is my favorite Martian. Although Walston played many roles in numerous plays, movies and television shows, our son probably remembers seeing him play Academy groundskeeper "Boothby" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and later on in "Star Trek: Voyager." Walston died from a six year battle with lupus in 2001 at the age of 86.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Barley Twist Table

When I found this little table in the apartment, it was gray instead of brown. Someone had either left it in a barn or scrubbed it down to the old wood. How old it is or whether it was a second store purchase or a family heirloom, I have no idea. But I loved it when I found it, and I love it now that it is in our living room.

Furniture lovers call the legs barley twist, so finding little side tables like this on the Internet is quite easy. But this sweetie has an added attraction. The four sides were hand-carved with flowers and curly cues. The tabletop has warped and distinctly shows the three pieces of wood used to make it. Because the edges are beautifully beveled, you almost overlook the cracks between the slats of wood.

I wish I had taken a "before" photo of this sweetheart when she was old and gray. After soaking up one good slurp of Pledge Revitalizing Oil with Natural Orange Oil, she looks presentable and a keeper. The wood is still so dry that another polishing is probably in order.

I just flipped her upside-down to look for a makers name. This is what I found. No name, but reasonably new wooden braces and lots of rusty metal L braces that look old, but not antique. And, of course, one dead spider. A Dutch spider, I presume.

Both the table and spider will rest in peace.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Original Polish Pottery Ceramika Boleseawiecka

Hand Made In Poland

Last year in March we drove over into Poland just to say we had been there. If you have been following my blog, you may remember my post about visiting Peenemunde, Germany and then driving along the really long shopping avenue into Poland.

Most of the metal buildings were just vending stalls selling clothes and Polish sausage and tobacco items, but we happened to see a nice little white stucco shop selling Polish ceramics. After looking for bargains (as usual) and not finding too many, I settled on something unusual. You can see below a strangely shaped water pitcher decorated with blue and gold pansies. And it is stamped and has a signature of the person who painted it.

I am happy with this addition to my blue and white pitcher collection.