paper boy

rifling through boxes of old papers excites few. it is something i don’t do that much anymore but when i do there are many factors that lead me to start digging. the dealer and what else he’s selling is one. what’s on top. is it old? if so, how old? legal papers? letters? is this just one person’s stuff or has the dealer merely thrown everything together? often the dealer has never looked through the papers in question. i have carefully combed through the materials and discovered a little letterhead or old photo, something that i think has some wonderful typography or uniqueness, only to have the dealer say, “wow that was in there?! it’s not for sale.” crazy, right? and annoying. if i were a hobo i would mark the dealer’s booth with a sign saying “beware: untrustworthy.” this piece of stationery was found in just such a way. a box full of random papers and what seemed to be discarded papers. there was no rhyme or reason to what was thrown together, but i was familiar with the dealer and he generally had a good eye. i felt there might but something he had overlooked, though he’s not know for selling things cheaply. he expects a fair price and never gives a deal. so running across this letterhead was a surprise. i had never heard of henry j stahlhut but just loved his letter of september 17, 1934. almost 80 years ago. doesn’t it inspire you to write such a lovely thank you? it seems mr stahlhut and gus traveled to jackie’s and heyworth’s for dinner and stayed over. he lovingly illustrates the highlights for us. as you might suspect, mr stahlhut is an illustrator. google images turns up many wonderful examples of his work. he has done many gourmet magazine covers, cookbooks and the like. i can’t help but love each little drawing. the cats are my favorites. how could you throw this away? i recall discovering the second page and spending a significant amount of time trying to find the first page of the letter. often i don’t like to buy just one item after searching for so long. that’s because it puts too much emphasis on the one item, causing the dealer to examine it much too carefully, and his price usually goes up. the price turned out to be twenty dollars. more than i wanted to pay, but i didn’t argue. contentment comes in many forms, and happiness is finding an overlooked treasure in a big pile of papers.

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  1. Charming

    Comment by Stacy Z — 31/01/2012 LINK TO THIS COMMENT

  2. exquisite!! the cats are my favourite too, each seems to have its own personality. Love how bold the colours still are after all these years

    Comment by Sasha — 20/02/2012 LINK TO THIS COMMENT

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