Monday, January 14, 2002

My Weekly Reader enjoys a tribute in the LA Times (link found courtesy of Jim Romaneski's Media News). The piece doesn't really talk about the 'forties and 'fifties boosterism of this little publication, grade-adjusted and thoroughly read by every kid who subscribed, all four pages of it. Everything I know about Atoms for Peace and Project Mohole is thanks to My Weekly Reader, now much changed, of course. The Saturday Evening Post was big on the McCarthy hearings, the Appalachin conference, Estes Kefauver and his hearings. Though the SatEvePost had many color illustrations in those days, political stories were always illustrated with black-and-white photographs. It was funny the say the illustrations for Perry Mason stories in the Post came to resemble Raymond Burr once the TV show began to be broadcast. I always loved the Alexander Botts Earthworm Tractor stories, especially, but thought that some Tugboat Annie stories were better than others. I didn't much like Time Magazine because it didn't have many pictures, but I was very happy when somebody gave me a hugh stack of Reader's Digest issues. Besides the joke pages, I liked anything about foreign countries and remember reading about burning political issues of the day that are now pretty much on their way to being forgotten other than to those people to whom they personally matter: fighting Communist partisans in Greece, General McArthur versus Truman, the Mau-Mau versus European settlers in Kenya (RD was on the side of the settlers, of course). Jomo Kenyatta was painted as a great villain. I wonder what informed thought holds these days. Among available periodicals, my other favorite reading from as soon as I could stand to read without pictures was to be found in the New Yorker: Audax Minor about racing (mostly at Saratoga) and E.M. Frimbo about railroads.


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