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Find of the Week Archive

Trying to sneak a shot of the famous Four-Hand-Squirrel-Man, the photographer was shoved hard by one of the the subject’s hands as he fed two baby squirrels with his other three. The camera was only able to capture only partial proof of the abnormality to bring back to his Circus’ freak show boss. “We’ve already got a Three Handed Woman! Now get back out there and find me someone with four of something, or you’re on Dunk Tank duty for the rest of the month!”


The man on the right was once the proud Captain of the Goodtime I. The tragic tale of that ship is still told today, in inns and pubs from Seattle Harbor all the way to downtown Seattle. The man on the left was working in the engine room, and he lost 97% of his sight that day. He can see shapes faintly if they are in very high contrast to their surroundings. Hence, the Captain has worn all white ever since the day he was freed from his full body cast following the tragedy. His beard has not grown one inch, due to his bizarre injuries, and the mental trauma he endured during those 45 minutes on the poopdeck. The blind engine boy is now very good at calculus, a subject he had been clinically diagnosed as “unable to be taught” as a child. One strange and potentially useful outcome of a bizarre maritime disaster.


Aaaaah, New Year’s Eve 2000, when we were all obliged to ignore math and calendars.

Stick-in-the-muds would point out that, according to the most basic mathematical truths, a decade has not passed until ten years have ended and the eleventh has begun. A century has not ended unless the full allotment of one hundred years have actually been completed. But go on to voice your boring old “opinion” that the new millennium will not begin until the dawn of 2001 , and you are shouted down as a party-pooper, an elitist, a pain in the butt.Where was the outrage?Where was Arthur C. Clarke, may he rest in peace, to chide us:”I called the book 2001 for a reason, people. It wasn’t just that it sounded nice.”

Could we, after waiting ALMOST 1,000 YEARS, really not wait just one more?

Oh, the often dark and stupid powers of Marketing.


Suzy and Katie live over three miles from the nearest bathroom, so when the car is in the shop and nature calls…well, tough luck Katie. Hope you can hold in that birthday mimosa you had with breakfast.


This was left inside the dust jacket of a copy of Dianeticssold to us by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.What a scoop!





Called by one art critic “the Howard Cosell” of the art world, it’s no wonder that when LeRoy Neimann, one-time cartoonist at Playboy, now the greatest sports painter of his day, found himself faced with the obvious and invincible fact of his surely ever-lasting artistic greatness he felt obliged, nay, perhaps even divinely compelled to begin publication of his own broadsheet newspaper, every inch of its nine pages jam-packed with news about his celebrity painting buddies as well as his glorious handlebar mustache, among other things.



Here I took an old elementary school photo of my mom and Camille Paglia, and, by using modern crime-fighting software, I digitally advanced their images to appear approximately as they would today, in 2008.

As you can see, during the process the ghostly image of the real Anastasia, identifiable by her royal handbag, appeared next to my mother, proving once and for all that Camille Paglia was, indeed, not the reincarnation of the lost Princess Anastasia.


Ok, so this looks like a pretty strange find-of-the-week, right? Well, what was actually found was a memory disc from a digital camera, and when I checked its content on my computer, I found a lot of vacation photos from a trip to Ireland. If anyone out there knows this man, this boy, or this horse, tell them to get in touch with me at paul@brooklinebooksmith.com to retrieve their holidays snaps.



What these two vacationing first-time para sailors don’t know is that I’ve used Photoshop to remove the cable that connects them to the boat below.Let’s watch what happens.


Ooh la la!


Go visit Ken, down in the Cinemasmith. He’s a brand new pop and some sort of genius. Within two minutes of looking at this deeply faded snapshot, he had determined the approximate year of the picture (from the umpire’s uniform,) which teams were playing at which ballpark, and who the third base coach was, if you can believe that.


After arduously taking notes for her lit class, student leaves them folded inside cover of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Study Skills which she then sells to the Used Book Cellar. During the following day’s oral exam on Salman Rushdie’s Shame, her brain freezes and all she can say is that “um…reality in the book was…like, folded in on itself…or maybe it wasn’t there at all. Can I be excused? I have to go really bad.”



How sad that lunch with your aunt & uncle is schmoozing…

Pixie Sticks in the bathroom…I remember those sorts of parties.


There is an air of deep sadness about this week’s find.


Without hesitation, I proclaim this wire, sent at 6 am on June 24, 1948,to be the greatest find-of-the-week in the history of b-mail.


What could I possibly say? The boy, he speaks for himself.


This is the perfect shoulder bag, captured in this terrifically composed snapshot slipped inside the covers of a book sold to the UBC recently. Look at that slim, flat-bottom design, sturdy construction and surprisingly roomy interior. With the stylish but practical reinforcement panels where the strap meets the body of the bag, this is a classic look, wearable for many springs to come, ladies.

Although that skirt is so three years ago.And don’t get me started on that balustrade she’s leaning on. Hello, are we Jane Austen?!


Just another incident of a cat eating a smaller cat.Is anyone really shocked at this behavior anymore?Kittens these days.



A fascinating newspaper clipping about repressive Soviet behavior.

From 1961.


A pretty impressive find tucked inside a book sold to the UBC this week. It’s a typewritten report from the Israeli Embassy, dated 1982, detailing policy background concerning the PLO.


Congratulations to the King and Queen of this year’s”Dead Under the Sea Homecoming Dance!”


In college, I spent time in a lot of time in the dorm rooms of fans of the band Cake. This Polaroid offers a remarkably accurate reconstruction of the bedside tables I observed there.


Hello! my name is Allie,

and if you talk smack

about my life again,

I’ll give you something to cry about.


A customer called in and sent me on a search down in the UBC, looking for his lost autograph book. I found it (making it this week’s find of the week), and it was filled with literary treasures, have no doubt. Edward P. Jones, William Gibson, Jane Goodall, Susan Cooper, John Banville, Michael Chabon, Gregory Maguire…the list goes on and on.I’m still deciding whether I should call him back to tell him I found it.

Kidding.



Here’s a newspaper clipping from the Lawrence, MA Evening Tribune, March, 1942, with a not very funny cartoon. BUT, on the other side there are fragments of tips for preparing for a blackout. Among them are calls for cessation of all outdoor weinie roasts and instructions on home ventilation. It’s a terrific snapshot of a time well before my own when the government:_a) asked citizens to participate during times of war

b) gave them specific instructions detailing exactly how they should prepare for the worst_but…

c) provided them with reasons to hope for the best

Of course, for my generation, that’s been boiled down to:_a) Don’t stop shopping.

b) Vote for us or you’ll all die in a variety of horrific ways we’re about to describe to you._

Here is a list from a doctor’s notepad, mostly a list of clothes; could be a wish list, or maybe a packing list,I really can’t tell. The front side ends with “Good Dart Set”, which is directly followed on the backside, in a completely different, more feminine hand, by “Photo Sitting for the Children.”


In a right-leaning world, Parrot is the only candidate that will stand up straightfor our jobs, our children, and our future. Vote for moral uprightness. Vote Parrot!



Found on the shelves in the UBC, this little religious tract about thefalseness of evolution really made me think.Then I thought for just one second longer and I felt alright again.



Several pages of notes from a training session for a cosmetics counter salesperson.I hope that losing the cheat sheet won’t cause them to forget “The Funnel Method” of getting a shopper to try the new line of Pore Enhancement Reducer with Clarifying Jojoba Wax Repelling Agent - Specially Formulated for The Pro-Active Woman With Factor 10 Dermal Tautness.


“That’s great, just lean right over onto her Jim!You too, Barb, really lean into Jim!I want to see the awkwardness! Show me the awkwardness!”


UBC buyer Carl found this pair of intensely personal letters posted on two consecutive days in 1980. The end of an affair is the subject, so I won’t go into any detail, and I’ve edited out any incriminating information. But I made sure to show the end of the second letter, perhaps the very last words exchanged between these two, where one party extends good luck wishes to the other party’s husband in his future goals in dentistry. I guess things appear to have ended without too much rancor..If the author or the recipient (or the dentist) is reading this, email me if you didn’t mean to lose this letter.


For the record, all you kids out there,I used only three of these techniques during my student career, and I turned out just fine.

I “actively participated in discussion” before, during, and after classes and study breaks; I recall reviewing a multitude of “wrong answers”; and I definitely “allowed for physical action in solving problems”, like when I crawled commando-style out of my Spanish class during a test for which I forgot to prepare a method of cheating.


One has to be specific.It seems everyone is called either Peter or Carrie these days.


A bit of history here. We have the proverbial cocktail napkin upon which the calculations were made that brought about the end of an era. Now I finally see why the bookstore altered its name all those years ago. How can you keep the name Paperback Booksmith when 183 + 50 = 233? Tell me, how?



This is a 19 step checklist of safety rules for a SCUBA diver.

The third item reads:”Never use oxygen in tank”

My prayers are with you, SCUBA guy.


A fragment of my home turf showed up inside the tattered covers down in the UBC this past week. Next door to my hometown of Plainville lies New Britain, CT, home of Stanley tools as well as the fearsome New Britain Red Sox. In their first season in the AA, playing at former Beehive Field, they won the league title behind the arm of one Roger Clemens.

No longer part of the Red Sox farm system, now they are called The Hardware City Rock Cats.

OK, what is a rock cat? I did some research, and the only “rock cat” I could find was this.So, that’s what the team was named after, huh? Seriously?Couldn’t be. The team is prob’ly named after something really awesome, like this cat that’s like a rock star.


I think this slip of paper is a reader’s personal index to pages in a book.What is this book?

Three pages devoted to collectibles? Weird, but coming right on the heels of “office/technology” I can appreciate the change of pace.

Six pages for the sex scene? That seems appropriate.

Wait, Nixon? Who wants Nixon right after…you know? Oh..DON’T be Nixon. I get it.


Wait…the “Best Painted Car” gets $150, and the “Most Aggressive Driver” gets only $100 more? And, if your car stalls out for more than two minutes you’re disqualified? I’m going to get my paintbrushes out, paint my car like a meatball sub, park it by the judges seats, claim my $150 and get out of there. Suckers!


Every week, I try to come up with something funny to say about the “find of the week,”but I just don’t think there is anything funny about Siamese twins, joined at the hair.

The list runs:

Gabriel Garcia MarquezBailey’s Irish CreamGlen FiddichDisposable DiapersMarsala

The first, fourth, and fifth items were apparently picked up, but unfortunately the social lubricants remain on the liquor store shelves.

As talented as Sr. Garcia-Marquez may be, a party that succeeds in bringing he and disposable diapers together but then misses out on the scotch is no party at all.


A postcard with lovely views of scenery, featuring waterfalls in Dixville, N.H., as well as a shot of the grand hotel, The Balsams, also in Dixville.Anyone out there ever stayed at The Balsams?


_“This is an earlierversion. There may benew rules.Anywaygreat familytrips!Muriel”

_

An earlier version of what? The American flag?New rules banning the super-imposing of teddy bears and smaller flags on top of the larger, original flag?What do you mean, Muriel, what do you mean?!


_” How mad + bad +sad it wasBut then how itwas sweet.

Ugh “_


Perhaps I shouldn’t be announcing this particular find because I feel sure they must read this newsletter, but I have found hard evidence that the Vikings are planning their next wave of raids on the coastline of the New World. The surprisingly rudimentary code was not difficult to crack: the plan involves a combination of their traditional high-prowed long ships, phone tapping, and the Pony Express.There is no immediate cause for alarm however, and I think the best thing we citizens can all do in this time of looming crisis is to continue to go about our daily lives.Keep shopping.Here.


Related

 

find of the week, march 1

 

find of the week in the UBC

by Paul
 

Find of the Week Archive, Part II

UBC Find of the Week
 

find of the week for grandma

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