Things We Dredged Up

There are still seats available at the Dredge Concert Thursday night. If you have not been lured in by the offer of choral carols or spiked egg nog, I’ll have to pull out the big guns and mention what I have for sale.

The Dredge offering has traditionally followed the pattern of the old Very Merry Bazaar. “What do you have for sale this year?” I’d be asked every year, and every year I would answer, “Art books, cookbooks, books on Chicago, and anything else I think folks will want.”

This plan, elementary though it may be, has served us well. Everybody eats, everybody looks at pictures, and everybody knows what city this is (well, after a few glasses of the egg nog, that might be a bit iffy, but why cavil? It’s cold outside.)

So, among the other offerings, I have a massive history of banking in Illinois, if you’re interested, and a fine book on flower arrangement with a silk cover. There are cookbooks of almost all descriptions (we have not put out the grundgy ones that were too near when the pressure cooker blew its top: we save those for July.)

There will be a collection of unused Christmas cards designed for Fanny Butcher, ranging from the 1930s through the mid-70s (duplicates from the collection upstairs.) I realized I had to put these out when I saw that her Scottie, Duncan, was on many of the cards, and that his name, Duncan, was apparently short for Duncan Disorderly.

There’s a collection of sheet music, most of it 100 years old or better, some of it with covers that are, well, obviously from a previous era. (Why does the attractive young lady on this cover of “Mandy Lane” have to pose in front of cotton bolls, just because she’s African-American? The composer called her Mandy Lane in the first place so that it would rhyme with “fields of sugar cane”. No cotton in the song at all, friend.) I have a collection of Century of Progress snapshots, and some Century of Progress Colortype postcards as well. There will be DVDs and CDs with a holiday bent (some of it bent indeed) and a pair of dolls that look like Amish Cabbage Patch Kids. (I don’t make these things; I just sell ‘em.)

And if I can figure out how to display it, I will put out the Black Cat Press’s famous Christmas Story, a Yuletide tale of a book collector who scrimps and saves to buy a book he needs for his collection only to have his wife find the money and spend it on CHRISTMAS. It’s a modestly rare little item itself, and runs around $25. The problem is that it measures about one inch by an inch and a half, which presents certain display problems.

Be careful where you set down the glass of egg nog, will you? If this book disappears because it stuck to the bottom of someone’s glass, next year you’re getting nothing but tap water and soda crackers. Salt-FREE soda crackers! 

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