A SUBSCRIPTION FOR DESPAIR
After many years of using the Internet, I think we forget that there was a time when people didn't have many ways reaching out to people. What would we do without our bulletin boards and personal blogs to spread our random thoughts like so many seeds to the masses? One of the relics of ephemera in my collection shows how it was done forty years ago.
Some time ago at a yard sale I came across a pile of magazines called "Women's Household". At first glance they just looked like your run of the mill women's recipe and crafts magazine, but with each one I picked up I was stunned; I had never seen such despair wrapped up in so much yarn. The woman running the sale, gave them all to me for a dollar, saying "Take them all, they are just going in the garbage." I knew I'd do something with them someday, I guess this blog is it.
"Women's Household" was a monthly crafts publication which sold for 25 cents an issue. Their slogan was "Meet Other Friendly Woman Just Like You". The key phrase being 'just like you'; middle aged women isolated in small towns across America. Every month readers were encouraged to participate in the writing of the articles, such as My Pet Peeve, or Words I Live By, My Diet or just to write a poem about Christ or their cat. Subscribers were able to read fascinating articles about fellow crafters such as in the column "Her Creative Busy Hands"
In the section, 'Calling Young Homemakers', you'll meet young woman who express the frustration with their new marriage, like my husband works too much, I can't get along with his mother, or my husband lost his leg in a boiler accident.
Or you can visit with the furry companions of the readers in the column 'All About Pets',
Granted some of the features are very informative such as Glamourizing Discards, Dishcloth Pillow, or learn to make a Rattle that won't rattle.
My favorite section is Missing Persons Corner. Here people ask for help in finding a long, long lost friend or relative. Usually the description of the person is vague at best, i.e., liked to drive cars; five foot five, last seen in Pensacola Florida. The most amazing thing is that they even have a section for people found.
Equally as sad, is the column, "Write to a Shut-in". Here people write details of their or some friend's illnesses pleading with people to write them. For example: This very sweet lady is a shut-in. She has a limb off below the knee and needs encouragement; Or this man is quite poor and ill with no cure in sight, he would dearly love a card. My heart bleeds and I just have to turn the page to be cheered up by a photo of a woman who collects antique ceramic toothpick holders. I had no idea that there was such a thing, let alone that there were people that collected them. I hope that when Mrs. Stinnett passed on someone worthy got this grand collection.
Nestled among the articles and patterns for knitted cozies are deceptive ads for diets and instant face lifts in a jar.
So like the internet not much has changed.
Someday, when I'm in my dotage (in 2-3 years from now) I'll sit and scan in all these Women's Household magazines and create a website. In the meantime, quilting circle anyone?