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25 January 2004

Peanuts Are Bad
One of the one-room-schoolhouses I went to was named Stone School, on Ontario, Canada. I'm not in the group picture for it, as I was absent -- however Deborah is there looking geeky. At Stone School the boys had to demonstrate that they had a pocket handkerchief each morning, as I recall. One trick was to pull the trouser pocket insideout and claim it to be a handkerchief -- which worked, I think. I had a crush on a boy who wore his pajamas under his clothes. At one point a gypsy girl briefly attended, and sat directly in front of me. She smelled bad and her hair was an uncombed mass of tangles, so, of course, being about 6 I hated her. Her name was Stephanie. I reckon she disappeared after a week or less. At that time my cousin Christopher lived in London, Ontario, and we'd go and visit. I remember the flamboyant and thoroughly wonderful woman who lived next door, and her daughter, who was a friend of mine. We were sitting, the daughter and I, and it came up that she knew her mother's first name. With horror I learned that the wonderful woman's name was Stephanie, which name had acquired from that poor, despised little girl, an overwhelming taint! The big (to me, although she was tiny) Stephanie had grown peanuts, which was considered rather a feat. That was the first time I heard about peanuts, which I met again when I lived in the United States, and a new friend I'd met while riding around on my horse offered to make lunch for us. We rode to her house, and put our horses in her barn, then went to her house and she made peanutbutter-and-jelly-sandwiches which were truly the most horrible things I'd ever put in my mouth. I can taste them still, forty-odd years later, and I certainly haven't had one since then. I don't like peanuts outside of a few very specific items. I like Thai peanut sauce. I waver between sometimes liking and sometimes not liking Reese's peanut butter cups, and once in a while I want a piece of bread with something like pre-buyout Crazy Richard's chunky peanut butter on it. You remember the label drawn by "Charlie the Cat Drawler."
Truly, these things named "peanuts" are not to be trusted. How can one trust them -- they AREN'T NUTS. It's the depths of depravity that Mexican marzipan is made out of peanuts and not almonds. Almonds are proper nuts, and taste good. In the USA one could formerly buy proper chocolate bars, such as Kit Kats. Then, in the 1960s, Hershey bought out the US Kit Kat rights and first replaced the hazelnuts with peanuts (yuk), then took out the peanuts. One nice thing about a two-room-schoolhouse I went to in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, was that we learned a great many weird songs. We learned "Goober Peas," (Peas, peas, peas, peas, eating goober peas. Goodness! How delicious! Eating goober peas!) an ironic Confederate Army starvation song, which was a great favorite of mine.

Related to "Pea" -- Later on I lived in Delaware. If you take a boat from Delaware City you can get to Pea Patch Island, which began as a sandbar that a bargeload of peas got stranded on (I've read, anyway). The peas grew and caused the island to form, until it became big enough for a Confederate fort to be built on it. The fort was captured by the Yankees, who made it into a prison. When I used to go there it was Unimproved, and was ruins and goats. Now it's been all titivated up, but it's still probably worth seeing. I remember an old map drawn by a Frenchman, which had the (then tiny) island labeled, "Pip Ash."

Pumpkins Are Good
As a small child in Canada I had a little teaset with the picture of something I remember as being called Punkinhead on it. I remember being 6 and making food for the burglars, as I called it for God knows what reason. I also used to call the pips in grapes "burglars," so who know what I thought the word "burglars" meant.* Anyway, there are just two pieces in my possession now, of the Punkinhead teaset. What the hell -- what in the world? I will look it up on the internet....................................................moments later

"Introduced and Sold only in Canada and England, their Wonderful Punkinhead Teddy Bear is depicted on each of these Rare Old Vintage Doll or Children's Porcelain Dishes.

This 5 Vintage Dish Set circa 1940's to early 1950's have the Famous Handpainted Character "Punkinhead" illustrated in a whimsical cartoon form in the colors of deep brown, bright red, yellow and outlined in black on all the china."

I would never have identified that creature as a teddy bear. I have had it in my mind's eye for 50 years, and I've never known what the hell it was supposed to be. The 5 pieces -- hardly what I'd call a set since it is 2 saucers, 2 plates, and a lidless, chipped sugar basin -- could be mine for $50 + $6 S&H. I see I have a saucer and an oval platter. I think I have another piece -- maybe an unchipped but lidless sugar basin. Such riches I am unworthy of possessing!

.................................................more surfing...........................
Punkinhead was from Eaton's Department Store, and that character was used for teddies, puppets, and teasets (that I've seen online and maybe there were other things). A little 10" Punkinhead teddy is listed as SOLD -- the price was $1628. Are people INSANE? Don't answer that. I would reckon my teaset came from a rummage sale, not from a store. I don't remember going to stores, although I remember perfectly well going to rummage sales. If one had the things from those sales, how lucky one would be! My old doll was from a rummage sale -- a composition doll that was likely 50 years old when I acquired her. I don't think she's worth anything to anyone but me.

*Every morning I had a boiled egg, which I would eat with "dippies," or toast fingers applied to the egg in order to suck up the yoke. After the egg was eaten I'd turn it over in the eggcup and crack it, exclaiming to my mother when the eggshell was revealed as empty, that "the burglars" had eaten the egg. I also remember peeling grapes to get a better look at the "burglars" inside.
No! That's not right! It was the SPIDERS that'd eaten the eggs.

posted by - 12:25 PM


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