On July 13, 2012, my two daughters surprised me with a big box of wrapped gifts, informing me it was exactly 80 days until my 80th birthday and I would be able to unwrap one gift a day.  The gift items would commemorate a year in my life in some way.  Here is what I received for the first year – 1932.

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As promised, today, July 20, 2012, I am sharing the 7 gifts I received this week.

1933Recipe and souvenir folder from the Chicago World’s Fair for Durkee products.  I have a fairly large collection of product recipe pamphlets, but I didn’t have this one.

1934My youngest daughter knitted a pair of fingerless gloves from a 1934 pattern, overcoming some differences in needles and yarn.  These are so unbelievably soft.  They will definitely be worn next winter.

1935My youngest daughter knitted a “Hoover Blanket” from a 1935 pattern attributed to President Hoover’s wife.  The center of this baby-size blanket is double knit, done by knitting the front and back simultaneously.  The vintage green is my favorite.  It will make such a nice lap blanket.

1936My oldest daughter embroidered a Halloween huck towel from a 1936 pattern.  This will be a nice stand cover when I get out my Halloween decorations.


1937Sheet music from 1937 for The Donkey Serenade.  In the 1930s-40s, my family went to the picture show often, but always the ones my father wanted to see – westerns, historical dramas, war movies.  The only musicals we saw were the Road movies with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.  I don’t know how we wound up in a theater watching The Firefly with Alan Jones and Jeanette MacDonald, but I remember after watching Alan Jones sing his Donkey Serenade, my father got up abruptly and started toward the exit.  My mother, my little sister and I followed along and I said in a loud voice, “That was lousy with a capital L”.  At that point, my embarrassed mother gave me a stage whispered “HUSH” and a sharp nudge up the aisle.  My daughters have always enjoyed this story, which prompted the sheet music gift.  I never did care much for Alan Jones, but in later years, I enjoyed hearing and seeing his very cool son, Jack Jones.

1938My youngest daughter recorded 26 songs from the 1930s era onto a CD for me.  The first track was (what else?) The Donkey Serenade.  But there were a lot of songs I really liked – Lazy Bones, Boo Hoo, Happy Days are Here Again, Minnie the Moocher, Frankie and Johnny, You’re in the Money, Pennies from Heaven, etc.  There were only a couple of tracks that I didn’t remember, mostly big band numbers which I was too young to appreciate at the time.  I listen to these songs and I’m transported back to a flat on Elm Street in downtown Cincinnati.  A small radio was kept on the mantel and I can see my little sister and me listening intently to the latest hits.  I remember hearing Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen and thinking they were saying, “My Dear Mr. Shane”.  I’m not sure even my mother knew what they were saying on that recording.

1939Two postcards from the 1939 New York World’s Fair.  The card on the left shows a view of the statue of George Washington by James Earle Fraser, from the Sun Dial, Time and the Fates of Man by Paul Manship.  

The card on the right shows the Hall of Music.

I love vintage postcards and these will be wonderful additions to my collection.

Wonder what all those packages for next week contain?