Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Spauldeen Pinky Stickball Hell's Kitchen Memories and a set of Handmade Puppets 10th Avenue and 46th Street

In 1981 I moved to one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the world.  Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan.  It is still diverse, but not like it was.  At the time, my neighbors were 10 percent everything (White, Black, Gay, Straight, Sober, Drunk, Actor, Actress, Irish,  Puerto Rican…There were ten apartments in my rent-controlled walk up and it was a mini-United Nations.)  It was a neighborhood lost in time.  Only Hell's Kitchen could manage to be isolated a mere 4 blocks from Times Square, but it was.  Too dingy for tourists and not particularly safe.  But yes, as late as 1981 there were old neighborhoods left in Manhattan with families of 5 children living in railroad apartments.  My neighborhood was a treasure.  Two blocks from the Hudson River and no building taller than 6 stories…and regulated as such.  Hell's Kitchen was working class and it had big sky. I had four rooms and rock-bottom rock-solid rent control.  I stayed 30 years.

It was no less than a day before I saw my first stick ball game out of the third floor window and I knew I belonged.  Two of the first "New York" phrases I learned were "Pinky" and "Spauldeen."  Both referred to the one dollar pink rubber ball used for the primitive baseball game which entertained decades of New York youth.  The slap of a stick against a spauldeen was always followed by shouts of kids I would soon recognize and know by name.  I will never forget the first time I heard someone yell "Go get a Pinky" and someone would run to the Deli and return with a fresh one.  The Arabs who ran the deli kept a box of them near the door, and I honestly do not think they worried too much if one or two got lost.  Their kids played too, and to get them out of the store was great.   Everyone liked stickball.  It was a way of claiming the street, the community, the asphalt.   Girls practiced dance steps and marked the score with chalk.

Most stickball games were played in-between blowing horns.  Drivers didn't really mind too much, and knew when the play finished they would be waved through...a waiting car beeping a horn was part of the charm.  Hired cab drivers had to at least go through the motions, but for outsiders, the pure charm of  stickball relaxed the stiffest businessperson.  Relax, sit back, watch a play. It allowed young men to shout back grabbing their crotch like their older brothers had.  "The HORN blows, does the DRIVER?"

A few years after I moved to Hell's Kitchen, Crack cocaine was invented.  It was a tornado.  I watched it take youngster after youngster from my block…A complete horror.  Soon the cycle of detention, relapse, and prison all but robbed the entire team.  Good Kids I had come to love, kids who worked two jobs, kids I could trust to hold my door for me or walk my dog or hold a parking space when I rented a car…Tommy, Luke, Lance, I would see them mere shells, pock-marked, lifeless…the ball players all were missing, then missing for good.  Soon there were no kids…The streets were quiet.  A few families managed to stay together and get away.  Others dropped before my eyes, mothers and fathers unable to deal with the onslaught.  Good working families who laughed and watched and welcomed me turned inward in grief.

This set of Homemade puppets all have heads made out of Spauldeen Pinkies.  Some have a cotton covering with hand drawn features, others, presumably those in a little better shape, have faces drawn directly on the rubber.  While girls certainly were allowed to play stickball, and some very, very well indeed, I am still glad some of them found another use for some when the rubber lost some form.

I would like to thank the person who sent me this wonderful set of round rubber memories.

Set of Make-Do Puppets with Spauldeen Heads. No Date.  Likely 1960s?  Collection Jim Linderman 



Vintage Wood Angel Gabriel Weathervane with original paint traces

Vintage Wood Angel Gabriel Weathervane with original paint traces mid 20th century.
Collection Jim Linderman

Vintage Handmade Folk Art Fishing Tackle Box with Handpainted Lures

Vintage Handmade Folk Art Fishing Tackle Box, Two-sided with with original paint and Hand-painted Lures.  Prince Albert tin handle.  Signed "JOE" likely of Michigan origin. 
Collection Jim Linderman Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Vintage Folk Art Pig made of Galvanized Steel circa 1930 - 1940

Life size folk art head of a pig fashioned from galvanized steel.  Galvanized steel began being used in Farms around the 1930s, and since the material was designed not to rust, yet this piggy has, I'm going to guess it was an early make-do use.  More common are figures like the tin-man...I am even going to guess this was utilitarian, and made to be mounted on a building raising hogs.  

Galvanized "Tin Pig" circa 1930 - 1940 Collection Jim Linderman

Pole Sitting Tragedy ? Did one fall! Real Photo Postcard Mystery

Pole sitting as a means of demonstration, and during the Great Depression a way to raise money...but does this RPPC depict a tragedy?  It looks like someone is being carted away on a stretcher.  The two sitters on top watch the action with seemingly sloped shoulders of despair.  Any thought?

RPPC Pole sitters Real Photo Postcard turn of the century.  Collection Jim Linderman

Folk Art Handmade Ventriloquist / Puppet Head

Folk Art Handmade Ventriloquist / Puppet Head circa 1950? Collection Jim Linderman

Double Santa

Double Santa Crayon on Manila Paper 
Anonymous No Date (Likely two of 28 or so...)
Schoolroom Project

Old Hand Carved Articulated Woman Folk Art Christmas Ornament

Old Hand Carved Articulated Woman Folk Art Christmas Ornament Original Paint  Collection Jim Linderman

The first Polaroid Instant Photograph : Was it Sexist ?

Was the very first Polaroid photograph sexist?  Well, clubbing a mate is not generally thought of as proper dating etiquette these days, and certainly knocking your dinner date  companion out is taboo, and topical.

As you can see, this early sample Polaroid was distributed to shill the invention of Dr. Land, a goofy backdrop instant photo produced by his technique in a mere 60 seconds!  It is, of course, no better than the early Polaroid cameras.  Fuzzy, and a bit like looking into a polluted studio.  Still, the product revolutionized photography, including that done in the bedroom and rented hotel "no-tells".  Numerous examples are shown in the book SHY SHAMED SECRET SHADOWED HIDDEN of bold wives, lovers and dates now capable of making a secret erotic momento for their lover or john instantly.

Shy Shamed Secret Shadowed Hidden is now available as an instant PDF download for $8.99 HERE

Early Promotional Photograph / Salesman Sample for Polaroid Corporation circa 1948 Collection Jim Linderman

Launched Human Cannonball circa 1930 Stunt 8 x 10 photograph used for a Real Photo Postcard order

Launched!  Human Cannonball circa 1930  (8 x 10 original print used to fill an order for 500 Real Photo Post Cards) Van Fossen Photo Collection Jim Linderman

A Folk Art Collection of Wee Men

A Folk Art Collection of Wee Men with a penny to illustrate size...of the men.

The Clark Brothers of Chautaugua County Present a "Washer Woman" on Parade

For a time, the Clark Brothers pharmacy was the largest drug store in Chautaugua County.  Needless to say, according to the History of Chautaugua County by John Phillips Downs, "Politically, Mr. Clark is a staunch Republican..."  Who is playing the part of the washer woman is unknown.

Real Photo Postcard circa 1900 collection Jim Linderman

Antique Folk Art FREE AIR Sign circa 1930? Petroliana and gasbag comments from Fox News


An antique folk art FREE AIR sign, original paint, 30 inches long.  Inflating your tires correctly, it is generally agreed, can same some 3% of the gasoline used by your car, not to mention helping your automobile to run properly.  Multiply that by the number of cars.  Simple, right?

Not when it comes to the President of the United States, who the gas bags of wind at Fox News have told lies about ever since he took office.   Why?  Big Petroleum, Big Business and Big Deceit.  Above clip from Fox News website 2008.  

Antique Sign collection Jim Linderman

Nine Mysterious 19th Century Folk Art Pin Prick Hands on Paper with Orange Rubbings

Strange folk art pin prick rubbings of hands, both notable figures and fictional characters.  Bizarre parlor game?  Collection Jim Linderman

Puppet Family Antique Folk Art Sculpture

Folk Art hand carved puppet family.  Circa 1930?  Collection Jim Linderman
Books, ebooks and instant PDF downloads by the author available HERE

Antique Bowling Game Sideshow Carnival Made by Hand Folk Art

Someone threw the ball too hard, but this is the only example I have seen.  A make-shift carnival bowling game.  Plywood with complicated workings...I am going to guess this comes from the transitional days of the sideshow, when handmade gaming objects and targets were changing from somewhat primitive contraptions to more modern.  The mechanism might have been sold from a catalog, then assembled by the recipient...who knows.  Sold with a template to cut and install the works?  Ten pins and six llights.  Seriously, who knows?  The object, good from both sides, is 21" tall and 21" across.  I'm guessing 1940ish?  

Early Carnival Bowling Game collection Jim Linderman
NOTE:  Friend and follower Harold Gaines found the answer!
Since pinball machines and the like were made in very small quantities, the old ones look pretty sketchy once you pop them open and look beyond the fancy glass and cool art to see how they were put together.  They were basically hand-made, one at a time.  However, being professionals at the coin-op compaines, they did things like countersink lightbulb recesses that even a good amateur wouldn't.  Further, although your piece is in pretty bad shape, the quality is too high for a 1940's amateur job.  They just didn't have the specialized stuff like routers to make the professional looking cutout sections, soldered ring connectors with multiple colors of wire, etc.  It looks like the wiring is a combination of cloth and plastic insulated.  Plastic insulated wire wasn't introduced until the 1950's.  Finally, the rusty marks on the back side look way too symmetrical for an amatuer (especially a carny).  It looks like it was mated almost perfectly to something metallic, which was also very precisely made.  It just looks too well made to me even in it's (very) rough condition.  The guys at link could probably take one look at your pics and tell you, though. 

Snake Handler Original RPPC dated 1932

An unidentified Snake Handler stretches his arms as far as he can, but the serpent still has slack!  An original Real Photo Postcard dated on the reverse 1932.  Thanks to a fan and follower.

BOOKS, INSTANT PDF DOWNLOADS AND EBOOKS are available for free preview and purchase HERE

Giant Mid-Century Modern Paint Sales Incentive Store Display for Kem Tone Paint

Giant Mid-Century Modern Paint Sales Incentive Store Display for Kem Tone Paint
8 feet long.  A whole room for a room!
Collection Jim Linderman Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Radiator Paint Baby Shoes

A lovely pair of baby shoes preserved in silver paint
Collection Jim Linderman