Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Some of us are old enough to remember savings passbooks, where every deposit, withdrawal, or interest payment was duly and carefully typed into small passbooks the customer kept. The passbooks were a bit smaller than passports but had the same important feel to them. I come across old passbooks every so often and am frequently impressed by the diligence with which people put money into their savings accounts. Apparently the U.S. now has a negative savings rate (heaven knows I do), but this wasn't always so. Here's one from 1977-78.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Notgeld was emergency money locally issued by towns, businesses, and municipalities primarily in Germany between the two world wars. The graphics and lettering are often quite beautiful (if difficult to read). These, and about a hundred other examples, were part of a fascinating collection of odds and ends I recovered from a house in Arlington, VA. Presumably the previous owner was one of the gentlemen shown in the old photo-booth snapshot I found among the lot. Most of the collection, which included coins, music boxes, South American carvings, and vintage keychains, seems to have been built in the 1950s.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The company where I work part-time recently had an IPO. A $15.00 dividend was given for each share an employee owned prior to the IPO. Checks arrived last week.
I'm dimly aware as I track through the drab officeplace that many of the people I dully interact with are now fantastically flush with cash. The prematurely gray AA who's been here for decades, the hyper-focused project coordinator with her ridiculous shawls, the avuncular suburban dad whose work is a mystery to me, the homely Focus-on-the-Family member who writes copy (it's your lucky day, Mr. Dobson)—all these people just got many, many thousands of dollars in the mail, many into the six figures.
Me? I had squirrelled away 12 shares, thank you. $180.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
1. Where does a fella find a bottle like that. Note the old slot machines.
2. This drawing kinda makes me uncomfortable.
3. Those Quaker oatmeal packets are to me what madeleines were to Proust.
4. Did Freddie lose his eye?
5. What did Victor do? (dated 1/26/1972)
All the preceding items were recovered from a large old file cabinet that once belonged to a Washington, DC, schoolteacher who taught in the 1960s and 70s. Among all the teaching guides (most having to do with Negro history, from back when "negro" was the preferred term) were treasure troves of ephemera that the teacher, Mrs. Turner, had saved, presumably to use in teaching. There were old food labels, newspaper clippings, notes from students and faculty, and drawings.