I often enjoy the various thoughts and images of interest that are emailed to me by you fine folks out there in Internetland. It recently occurred to me that the other Secret Fun readers would likely take interest in some of this content too. So I figured I'd share some slivers of selected correspondence in this here post. This is just a sampling of mostly recent stuff that particularly lent itself to Showing 'N' Telling, so you needn't feel left out if your electronic mail doesn't appear below. (My replies have already been sent to the respective senders) So let the reading of mail begin...
"Dear Mr. Demarais,
...A few years ago my wife and I came up with the notion of making novelty and gag theme edible treats for our family Christmas gifts. I recently posted about this on my blog at www.scottsaavedra.blogspot.com and I thought if anybody could appreciate such a thing it might be you."
Wow--someone else in the universe has given this image some thought besides me. My earliest pop culture memory is this seldom-encountered cornucopia. For years, I thought I'd just dreamed it until I came upon it in a used book store, whereupon I was so moved that I did a small series of paintings (I'm a painter) based on it. The most worked-out version can be found in a seven-foot-wide image"
I was looking at your "My memories" page and found the Fruit Stripe gum wrapper. When I was a kid there was a commercial for that gum that featured a cartoon zebra who couldn't stop laughing because he loved the gum so much. One day my mom bought a pack of Fruit Stripe for me and, like the zebra, I laughed and laughed. Of course it was this forced laugh that my mother (and virtually everyone within a 25-foot radius) found really annoying. Finally she yelled at me and I stopped.And that is my Fruit Stripe gum story. Thanks for letting me share."
[An old post I did on these Space Soldiers continues to generate correspondence. Here are two emails about them...]
Wow, I just found your blog! I'm doing something very similar but
concentrating mostly on toys. Check it out:
http://jeffsoldtoys.blogspot.com/ I made a post about this pink
astronaut guy I had and searched for a couple days looking for
information on him. Somehow I found your site and much to my surprise
you not only had the astronaut but you also had pictures of the whole
set. We had all these but they were giant sized. We had a set of the
small ones too, but we liked the big ones because they were similar in
size to He Man guys..."
"...In case you were still wondering about these, they were called "GALAXY LASER TEAM with space monsters". They were produced by a company called Processed Plastic Company (PPCo) for their Tim-Mee Toy Company brand. (Info from this page, towards the bottom: http://www.angelfire.com/biz/toysoldierhq/Timmeeciv.html)
PPCo was bout out by J. Lloyd International in 2005. You can see a couple of the Galaxy Laser Team figures at the bottom of their About Us page: http://www.processedplastic.com/aboutus.html "
"A couple of years ago I bought this dude at a poster/collectible shop for $10. I never knew exactly where he came from, but I had guessed Target. He's huge - about 3 ft across by 4 feet tall. There is no better feeling than knowing he's looking over my shoulder even now. Thanks for helping me discover his origins..."
"A friend of mine (who is a designer named "Fonzie") found this sticker in a grocery store in Providence (I think last year). It was on a squash which he purchased for the sole purpose of getting this sticker. I really thought you would appreciate it. It seems like an odd campaign for selling produce.... "
"... I did want to send a picture of my sister and I on Halloween, 1972. I am most proud of my "Gorilla" costume as it was my first year to choose what I wanted to be. I love the old masks- they were so basic yet so creepy. Thanks again for an amazing site- it makes me long for my "Mighty Men and Monster Maker" (I also had "Fashion Plates", "Little Van Goes" and "Great Greetings") "
Hey man, love your site and your blog! Saw your post about the dime store halloween toys, and had to send you a pic of my Chop Suey Specs. I am not sure if you have seen these before ( I am sure you have) but they are pretty amazing.In that amazingly racist what were they thinking kinda way.I actually picked these up in Abracadabra in Manhatten. For the past couple years you could go in there and just find weirdo vintage items from the 70s and 80s mixed in with new stuff..."
"it's been in the back of my mind. i did some stitching to uncover the truth. has this occurred to you?"
...as was poking around your Secret Fun Blog it was like looking at my own childhood.
...I saw your post on the Creature from the Black Lagoon aquarium figure, and I knew I had to send you an email. That Creature is a vivid memory of my childhood. I can remember the day we purchased him for our fish tank.
I had grown up with an aquarium in the house, but we never had one of those bubble action things in the tank. Now at the age of 5, I was deciding we were long overdue for some bubble action animation. My mother wasn't too keen on having a monster in the tank, and gently attempted to guide me to a different selection. "Don't you think it might scare the fish?" I can remember her saying, but the Creature was my favorite and one of the coolest things I'd seen.
The Creature found a home in our fish tank for the next 3 years doing his bubbly waist bends 24/7 - and the fish didn't seem to mind. Then one day we were preparing to move to a new house, and the tank was being taken down. As the Creature was being removed by my father, the little Gill-Man broke at the waist. I can remember being upset, but never thought of keeping him as a toy. He had after all spent years at the bottom of a fish tank.
After the tank was set up at our new house, I selected a new bubble action decoration - a barrel that opened to reveal a pirate skull. Again not a favorite choice of my mothers. The last bubble action thing we put in the tank was the treasure chest which when opened displayed a wealth sparkling plastic gems. Finally this was something I know made my mother happy.
One of the reasons I didn't think to keep the Creature as a toy was because I already had a nice rubber Gill-Man, and I still have him. Knowing that you're a Creature fan, I thought I do a little "show and tell" send you a pic. I got him some time in the late 70's, and I think he was purchased at K Mart. He's about 7 1/2 inches (I posed him next to a DVD box for scale), and still has much of its original paint for something that became a frequent bathtub toy.
I'm a bit thankful that your post sparked me to dig out my old Creature. I had tossed him in the bottom of a file drawer with some other old plastic toys, and when I found him his leg was resting on a yo-yo that was begin to go through that weird plastic melt/rot. I don't know if you know what I'm talking about, but I've had other plastic toys get this strange rot too (like when I was inspecting some Star Wars figures I had in storage - the Gamorrean Guard was look kinda funky, but the other figures were fine). Anyways the Creature was mostly unharmed by the yo-yo's rot, and the only wound he has is a small shiny mark on the back of his leg."
[Lastly, after months of hassling John to send me his photos of the Denver Casa Bonita restaurant, he finally did. Then I turned around and forgot to mention them for many additional months. Until now...]
After an eternity or three, I have finally posted my Casa Bonita pictures on a little family website I created. If you click on “photos”, every dang picture I took back in September is on there. I tried to identify each picture so you would have some idea what you are looking at. It’s so dark in that place, and using a flash completely ruins the look and mood of the place. So I used the flash as little as possible, which resulted in a few blurry photos. I think they look best if you click on “slideshow.” Here’s the link "
Here's a preview...
[Thanks again John and thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write and comment. It's always a pleasure to hear from you. Additionally, thanks to all of you mysterious lurkers who watch the goings-on from the shadows.]