Sunday, November 06, 2005

Collections: Ephemera ~ Paper Fans, etc.

This fan is among my favorites, as I prefer those with babies or small children as subject matter. It is titled "Lunch Time" and was painted by Maud Tousey Fangel. Fangel was born in Boston in 1881 and died in 1968. As you can see, it advertised Paschall's Bakery in Durham, NC. I have no idea of the age of this fan, but an antiques dealer once told me that fans with a "self" handle are older than most that have survived. I estimate it is from the 30's.

The next piece is a card I got in April, 1962 at the Metropole in NYC. In college at the time, I was participating in a school trip to visit museums in New York. Some of us loved jazz and were directed to the Metropole as being the premier place for it back then. We saw Dizzy Gillespie play, and his group alternated with Jack Teagarden that night. Between sets, Dizzy worked the crowd, and I got his autograph. If you had ever seen Dizzy play his trumpet, you would immediately have noticed his full cheeks, which "puffed out" into his neck when he was playing. I think that no one in human history had as well developed a set of neck and face muscles as Dizzy did.

The night that we went to the Metropole, I ordered a daquiri, it being just about the only drink I was familiar with at the time. It was so small that in spite of the fact I only sipped it, it was gone in no time. The servers kept coming back to the table asking for more drink orders and my budget was very limited at the time, so I declined. After the 4th request for my next drink order, I was told (by one of my friends) to order a "Singapore Sling", since they were much taller, and would last all night. Little did I know how potent a Sling was for a non-drinker! I was reeling after the second sip. We had not eaten dinner either. At 1:00 am, we had plans to meet up with the rest of the group at a Chinese restaurant on Mott Street, and we went by subway. That was my first experience on the subway, but all was well and we encountered no weirdos or criminals. The last time I rode a NYC subway, in May, it was crawling with weirdos. I don't know about criminals, but a lot of them looked as if they might have done a little time behind bars....LOL!
As for Dizzy, I once called a guy on a radio show who was telling people what their collections were worth. At that time, Dizzy was still alive. He said this card was worth approximately $30 to a Dizzy memorabilia collector, but that I should hold it until after Dizzy's death, when it would climb in value. He's been gone a few years, so I guess it's worth a bit more now.