Friday, June 24, 2011

Your Man in Service

I found this mixed in with a bunch of 45's at an estate sale a few weeks ago.  Hard to imagine a family would let something like this go.

Pepsi-Cola sponsered these records which were recorded at Red Cross stations overseas during World War II.  It was a way for servicemen to send their voice home to their loved ones.  The envelope reads "Your Mother's Voice", but it is a distinctly male voice on the record, although what is said on the record is unrecognizable to me.  I transferred it from a phonograph at 45 rpm and converted to 78 rpm which is the speed at which the record was recorded.  I tried to remove the noise, but what's being said is still very faint.  I'm not sure if it was a bad recording to begin with, or the acetate has degraded that much over the years.  Maybe you can make something out.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Old Days

"Old days,
Good times I remember.
Fun days,
Filled with simple pleasures.
Drive-in movies,
Comic books and blue jeans,
Howdy Doody,
Baseball cards and birthdays
Take me back
To a world gone away.
Seem like yesterday…"

from "Old Days" by Chicago.

I'm too young to have watched Howdy Doody, I was never into baseball cards, and I never went to a drive-in theater until I was an adult, but comic books I can relate to.

I was first exposed to comics through my older brothers' collections of Silver Age Marvel comics. They had sold most of them by the time I came along, but a few tattered copies remained on the floor of our basement. It was there I became fascinated with The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, and above all, Spider-man. I'm sure this is why I "made mine Marvel." I was never a DC fan, even though I loved watching Batman and Superman on television. I was even a fan of the Saturday morning Superfriends shows. But to me, their characters were never as believable as the Marvel characters who had lives outside of being a hero, and who sometimes lost their fights, and usually the girl too.

Later, I would buy my own comics with my $1 allowance at the Rexall's Drugstore in Franview Plaza in Lemay, Missouri.  $1 would buy 3 comics and still leave change for candy from Ben Franklin.

But even given my Marvel leanings, when I came across these 60's DC issues at a garage sale a couple summers ago for $1 a piece, I couldn't pass. My brothers had a few DC comics, and I recall seeing these issues advertised within them.

Adventure Comics #340, January 1966

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Snoopy Comes Home -- With Me

I picked these up at a sale on Susan Road last Saturday.  They were marked $5, but I got them for $3.  They probably date from the early '70's.

 I've always had a soft spot for Peanuts and Snoopy licensed products actually aren't that common as Charles Schulz was pretty protective of his properties.  I thought these were unusual and they reminded me of that scene in Snoopy Come Home where he's surfing at the beach (about 2:30 into the clip).

I don't have a boat and nobody I know water skis, so these are destined for eBay.

Monday, June 13, 2011

All Mixed Up

About a month ago, there was an estate sale close enough to work that I was able to go over lunch. What drew me to it intially was a slightly off camera shot of a huge lot of swizzle sticks adverstised on I have a friend (and follower of this blog) that collects these, so I'm always on the lookout.

The swizzle sticks were still there when I arrived and I quickly grabbed those and another glass full that hadn't been shown in the picture. It was the largest collection I've ever come across (221 as it turns out).  They were $5.  One batch is in what might be an ice bucket, the others in a western-themed mug.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super 8 -- The Sequel!

Weird.  I posted last night about seeing the movie "Super 8" and told about the Sankyo Sound XL-40S super 8 camera I found 6 years ago.  This morning I went garage saling and came across yet another super 8 camera.  This one is a Penney's (as in J. C. ) model P-1 which is actually a rebranded Zenomatic Z-20.  It was released between 1966 and 1967.  It came with a case and original instructions.  It appears to work fine.  Price was $6, but I talked the lady down to $4.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Super 8

I took my son to the movies today to see "Super 8".  If you're unfamiliar with the movie, it's set in 1979 and is in the genre of such 80's movies as The Goonies and Stand By Me.  In case you're not quite sure of when the movie is set, writer-director J. J. Abrams not so subtly reminds, and in some cases, hits you over the head with this fact.  Less than 5 minutes into the movie, you've been treated to E.L.O.'s "Don't Bring Me Down" and Wings' "Silly Love Songs" along with a potpourri of 70's product placement.

The movie revolves around a boy obsessed with winning a film contest by filming his own monster movie on super 8 film starring his friends.  While filming a pivotal scene at a train station, the boys, and camera, witness a train derailment that unleashes....well, I won't spoil it for you.

I have to admit, one of the reasons I wanted to see this film was my own devotion to the super 8 format.

When I was child, about once a year, my parents would borrow a super 8 projector from friends or relatives and we would drag out our own collection of films chronicling past vacations.  Years later, I decided I wanted to shoot some of my own super 8 film and document some of my own family's adventures.

Back in 2005, I found a Sankyo Sound XL-40S super 8 camera at a garage sale for $10.  It was originally produced in 1975.

I promptly joined 8mm forum and learned where to buy and develop super 8 film.  Unfortunately, I also learned you could no longer buy sound film.  But buying silent film is fairly easy, your choices spanning eBay, private sellers, or directly from Kodak.  Getting it developed was a little trickier.  As it turns out, there is only one place left in the United States that develops super 8 film, Dwayne's Photo in Kansas. 

I ordered 1 roll of film.  After all, I had no idea if the camera worked and at $15 for a 3-minute cartridge, I wasn't going gamble any more.  As it turned out, the camera worked perfectly and I shot my kids in many summer activities -- playing in the sprinkler, the pool, and camping.  But I didn't know whether I had captured anything until I sent the cartridge to Dwayne's for development.  When it came back, I immediately got out my Elmo ST-600M super 8 projector I picked up on eBay years before and threaded it up.  I was very pleased with the results and ordered more film with the intent of filming those scenes that I felt played best on super 8 film -- Halloween, Christmas, vacations, all those events typically filmed when this camera was state of the art.  It costs another $15 to develop, so the costs average out to $10 per minute.  Not a cheap investement, but a fun one.

J. J. Abrams clearly wanted to accomplish 2 things -- he wanted desperately to create a movie in the 80's style of Steven Spielberg and he wanted to create a movie that kids today would remember years from now.  I can't say I was blown away by the movie, and to me, it missed it's mark matching E.T. or Raiders of the Lost Ark.  But while on the surface it might seem it was aimed at my generation, I think it was aimed at the kids of today and for what it's worth, my son said he loved it and wanted to see it again.

I'd love to see a revival of super 8 film as a result of this movie and I suspect there might be a little bump in the sales of cameras.  It remains to be seen whether the interest, and the movie, will be lasting.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Can't sleep, noisemaker'll get me

I went to an estate sale Friday during lunch with a co-worker.  There, I was presented with the inevitable question: How do you pass up a cigar-smoking, fingernail-polish-wearing, pig-nosed clown noisemaker?  The answer: you don't.

Here it is, presented for your nightmares:

I've posted before about my noisemaker collection.  I believe this one is older, considering it has a wooden handle.  It's a standard, ratchet noisemaker.  No manufacturer's mark.

I pity to child who was handed this on New Year's Eve.
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