Semi-Treasures III

Yes, my lemondrop dumplings, there will be many wonders at this year’s Book Fair. We will have an amazing number of quilting books, books signed by everyone from Mike Ditka to Vincent price (just got a signed Garry Trudeau today), and, of course, that beat-up old leather book which a local business group awarded to William Hake “Big Bill” Thompson when he first ran for Mayor of Chicago. And, as always, we have a few wonders which prove that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and true value cannot be measured by a mere number on the first white page. (Translation: please come buy these things before we break a rib giggling.) We have several campaign buttons for causes we don’t really remember. What was the “There’s Something Going On Under the John Hancock Building” all about? And I’m sure there was something meaningful behind the button AND matching keychain which urge you to “Be Your Own Reason”.

We have not one but FOUR electric typewriters. Hey, think about it. A sonsy young lady who read my reports said to me once, “I love your paperwork. It’s got all those cute bumps on the back.” Apple and Microsoft have yet to find a way to duplicate this effect with a mere printer.

We have a book on the space program which is double-autographed. It is not signed by the two astronauts whose names appear on the cover, but by the two writers whose names are listed under theirs in small print on the title page.

We have, as mentioned, several 78 RPM records featuring the work of concert whistler Sybil Sanderson Fagan.

Were you wondering, as I was, whether K-Tel had made the transition from LPs advertised on late night TV to the age of the CD? Relax, banana gravy: we have a number of K-Tel CDs, still in their shrinkwrap.

A number of people have been unloading their videocassettes on us, and some of these, I am sure, are rapidly becoming rare. You can, for example, find BOTH versions of “Parent Trap”: the mere original with Hayley Mills AND the immortal classic starring Lindsay Lohan. Don’t tell me your VCR doesn’t work. I have a couple of those as well. (No Betamax so far this year.)

If I can remember where I put them (it’s difficult to know what, exactly, is the right place for such things) I have somebody’s boxful of glass insulators from telephone poles.

AND, same as last year, the nicest treasure at all: once again, the Newberry Book Fair does not include a single copy—signed or unsigned—of the book by Illinois’s most recently convicted ex-governor.

Enjoy.

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