Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Original Paintings by Nyla Gladine Thompson Mouth Painter c. 1950 Polio Survivor Collection Jim Linderman

 Nyla Gladine Thompson Mouth Painter

Small hand-painted works by a remarkable artist.  I've been collecting her original works for a few years, and always try to purchase them when I find them.  Do not be confused by reproduction postcards, which the artist also sold…these are all small oil paintings by a woman who painted with her mouth.

Ms. Thompson painted flowers, landscapes, animals and more.  A family genealogical site speculates she also painted (in sections at a time) decorations for a "Tee Pee" restaurant in Texas, this would likely be the Tee Pee Motel which was recently restored and put back to service by a lottery winner (!) but I can find no photographs of the decorations on the standing buildings.  They were certainly painted over or cleaned over the years.

That the artist manages to fully realize a recognizable, personal vision in her work is amazing considering her physical handicap.  The detail is extraordinary.  One distinguishing mark of her work is the countless specks she applies one at a time.  A primitive pointillist.   In the earliest work here, she has even decorated and signed the painting on the reverse to create a traditional postcard.
The best biographical material on the artist comes from Annette Patterson's website HERE.  Ms. Patterson has done a wonderful job tracing information on her extended Texas family, and has also written a book with several pages on Nyla.  Family photographs of the artist appear on the site.

Ms. Thompson was fairly well-known during her time.  The website shows letters she received from  both President Franklin Roosevelt (another polio survivor) and Lady Bird Johnson (a Texan who certainly loved flowers as much as Nyla.)  As such, it is odd that she has not been included in the many books published in the last 40 years or so on "outsider" artists.  She would seem to be right up Herbert Hemphill's alley, but I do not recall seeing her work in print.  I sold my Texas Folk Art books years ago, maybe someone can help here.

Nyla Gladine Thompson Paintings, each 4" x 6" circa 1940 - 1965 All Collection Jim Linderman
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Dollhouse Old Sparky MIniature Electric Chair

For the Dollhouse with everything.  A miniature Electric Chair.

Early Folk Art Whirligig Man (or Whirling Arms Toy) Collection Jim Linderman

Early Folk Art Whirligig Man (or Whirling Arms Toy.) Lovely wear and paint on this small spinning arms whirligig or toy.  There is an old wire mechanism (seen on reverse) which allows the arms to rotate and move back and forth.  

Wooden Whirling Arms Toy Circa 1880 Collection Jim Linderman


I probably should have saved this for Shark Week, but I post them as I find them.  Another of what Poet William Carlos Williams must have been thinking of when he wrote one of my favorite lines: "The pure products of America Go Crazy."  

"Wiggle Fish" Paper Fish "trick" novelty gag  1943  The Lester Game Co. Toledo, OH.  Collection Jim Linderman

The Big Goodyear Tire (Less Annoying than the Blimp?)

The other Goodyear Blimp: The Big Rolling Tire

As I looked up to confirm it was actually the Goodyear Blimp hovering over the putters during the U.S. Open this weekend, the first thing which came up was a question from someone asking "Am I the only person to dislike the noise of the Goodyear Blimp engines on sky sports coverage of the US golf open?" so I guess I'm not alone. 

Well, it's more about the brand than it is the blimp.  You THOUGHT of the blimp, and that's all they needed.  Brand AWARENESS is what they are after, and they've been doing it over 100 years.  The blimp first rose to the skies over 100 years ago.  1912.  Since then, I presume we have put cameras on the moon which could read the brand name on Phil's ball, but still..."Look in the Sky!  Goodyear!"

I'm not sure when this tire appeared, but not long after the blimp.  In 1926 Goodyear became the world's largest rubber company and they went public a year later.  This photo probably dates to then.

As I strive to be balanced in my reporting, let's see what Wiki says about Goodyear!

"Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst identified Goodyear as the 19th-largest corporate producer of air pollution in the United States, with roughly 4.16 million lbs of toxins released into the air annually. Major pollutants included sulfuric acid, cobalt compounds, and chlorine.[24] The Center for Public Integrity reports the Goodyear has been named as a potentially responsible party in at least 54 of the nation's Superfund toxic waste sites."

Well, I still like this big tire.

Original Snapshot Anonymous circa 1925? Collection Jim Linderman

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Folk Art Puppet Doll with Wooden Head

Early Folk Art Puppet (or doll) with wooden head. Circa 1920  Collection Jim Linderman

Singlee with Blowtorch

Singlee singes his snout for Ripley's Odditorium 1934 Century of Progress

Ships of the Air Newspaper Collectibles for Scrapping

For one young collector, the Sunday Funnies meant a pair of scissors and glue.  

One page from an enormous scrapbook found at an outdoor weekend flea market.  There are hundreds and hundreds of illustrations arranged a week at a time by subject.  Others include Inventions, Leaves, Transportation, History, Flags, Famous Men, Famous Women, Birds, Reptiles...a homemade encyclopedia one week at a time.

The Sunday Funnies went color around 1900, and while the strips today receive the most attention, there was a week's worth of work in each edition for the kids.  Puzzles, paper dolls, quizzes.  Some even included entire dioramas to be assembled.  

Each of the miraculous airships here are 2" x 3"

Scrapbook Pages (Inventions)  From an undated scrapbook.  Collection Jim Linderman


Tire Turtle Turtle Recycled Folk Art

A turtle with treads!  He gets good mileage, but often doesn't make it across the road.

Folk Art Turtle made from Tires Collection Jim Linderman

Cowboy Birthday Vernacular Photographs on the Backyard Range

Cowboy Birthday on the backyard range.  
Anonymous snapshots (no date) collection Jim Linderman

Harry Ingalls Scams Swindles Steals Frauds (and Tells your Fortune!) Crook with a Zodiac Astrological Turban and a Checkerd Past

Like all things not based on sound scientific research,  anything "Astrological" or "Zodiac" is a big fraud, and that the crap continues to appear in newspapers and such is amazing to me.  Not as in "ooh…that is so amazing that my horoscope came true" but as in "Gawd, how many stupid people believe that crap?"  How can a newspaper have any credibility if they run a daily astrology column, even if it IS the first (and only) thing folks turn to?  They might as well give coupons for "psychic readings"or free Tarot cards.   Thankfully, I am sure one can now purchase any number of Apps which will spin the lucky wheel for you.

(Sure enough…the first article I found is "THE BEST" astrology apps for Android.  Suckers.)

Read it here.  It is a scam.  It doesn't even qualify for "pseudo-science" or for that matter an art form.  It's crap.  A lie.  Fraud. In my opinion criminal and actionable.  Which means one could sue their psychic, except that you probably agree not to in the small print.

It is 2013 as I write this.  We've had centuries to weed out those who prey on the ignorance and blind trust of the people, yet still I hear advertisements for psychics and such.  All that has changed is the turban.  Now most are women. 

By all accounts (and there are very few) Harry Ingalls, self-proclaimed "Greatest Fortune Teller in the World" had a normal childhood in a well-to-do family which dated way back to the earliest days of the country in Massachusetts.  So why did he begin a career in scams, swindles and fraud?  Maybe the family cut him off from the old money.  I've gone over the box of cards here looking for the standard disclaimer "for entertainment only" but my third eye fails to find it. 

Harry wrote one book.  Tea Cup Reading: Tell Fortunes by Tea Leaves, which he published himself out of Swampscott, MA around 1930.  Yea…your fortune is shown in your tea leaves.  At that time, he was calling himself "The Master Mind" I guess.   Here he is the same year appearing with "The Checker Girls" whoever they were.  If my understanding of show business is true, one of the checker girls fell under his spell, he started drinking and it ended miserably.

When Harry began turning up with his gimmick on the radio, he called himself "The Wizard of Mental Telepathy" which reminds me to say there are no wizards and telepathy is a scam too.
An article on Harry appeared in 1957 in "The Yankee Seer" which could have been another of Harry's names.  A Seer is a clairvoyant.  There are no clairvoyants either.  Last night I must have had my oracle on, as I dreamed up some lucky numbers of my own!  Number one and number two…fortunately, I woke up and made it to the bathroom.

The deck of cards above are not scarce at all.  Harry sold a TON of them.  Even today, on a "Tarot" website I found a thread of seers discussing them STILL, so they turn up all the time. 


Life Size Folk Art Horse Mask with Shag Carpet Mane

Folk Art Horse Mask. The title here pretty much says it all.  Over 20 inches tall with nearly enough shag carpet to line the van.

Horse Mask circa 1970 Collection Jim Linderman


A Coupla Wrecks

 Anonymous junkyard snapshots No Date Collection Jim Linderman

True Story of The Monkees starring Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Neil Diamond and Boyce and Hart

First of all, let's dispel the myth Stephen Stills tried out to be one of the Monkees.  He now claims he was only trying to sell them songs.  I believe him.  He has integrity.  The producers went with songs written by Neil Diamond instead.   Oh…and songs written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who had also written the theme some for the soap Days of Our Lives.  Boyce and Hart even recorded the Monkee's songs with their band the Candy Store Prophets. 

Later when the Monkees  (rather the Monkees with lesser talent and less integrity than Mike Nesmith) toured amusement parks in 1975, Boyce and Hart filled in.  It was years after, and who cared.

Testimony to the good taste of the music consuming public, the Monkees have sold 65 million "copies" worldwide, but I'm not sure what a copy is.  Vinyl?  Compact Disc?  Vaporized digital apple u-tune? 

Lovable Mop-top Peter Tork was the first to quit…and he had to BUY his way out of the contract.  He had to PAY to leave.  Bad move Pete. 

Stephen Stills and Neil Young DID later provide backing tracks for the Simians.  I'm not sure if any of the tracks have been released on Neil's super huge box sets, but I hope so.

There is NO TRUTH to the rumor that Astronaut John Glenn tried out for the band...but he did replace a monkey in the Mercury Spacecraft Friendship Seven. 

For the record, in full disclosure, the author performed "Last Train to Clarksville" in a band in the 8th Grade.  We sucked like a Dyson, only worse.

Representative Monkey Postcard 1940 McKee Jungle Gardens Orchestra 
Collection Jim Linderman

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David Aschkenas Photographer

Copyright David Aschkenas

Copyright David Aschkenas

Copyright David Aschkenas

Copyright David Aschkenas

Master photographer and all around great guy David Aschkenas has been an acquaintance for some 15 or 20 years now, I'm guessing…but it took these extraordinary photographs he took on a recent trip to goose me into this post.  Talk about your folk art environments!  Some serious wood!

The photographs were taken near the border of the Czech Republic and Austria.  

The above photographs are not on the artist's website, but they should be.  I'm very pleased indeed David has given me permission to post them here.

Mr. Aschkenas is no one trick pony.  One look at his work will convince you.  I've known David as a consummate collector, but his eye obviously works on each side of the lens, and you'll enjoy browsing his site considerably.  Any artist who favors the work of Weegee and James Van Der Zee is a treasure to me.  His work has appeared in Time, Men's Digest, Stern..you name it. 

To get you started, HERE is a link to his remarkable series titled "Ice Painting" but they are all lovely. 

The artist David Aschkenas has a website with a considerable portfolio HERE

Shallow Grave Snapshot? True Crime in the Garage

Shallow Grave?  Unless these cops are digging for taters, I believe we have here the staple of murder and true crime, the shallow grave.  I am going to HOPE they are after some less gruesome  contraband.  The cops are taking a break to pose, while the grunt does the heavy work.

Click to enlarge...something looks fishy in the background.  Is that a backdrop?  A curious photograph.

Anonymous Snapshot, no date.  (Said to be Marshall, Michigan)  Collection Jim Linderman