Monday, March 25, 2013

The Story Continues!

Happy Monday, Ephemeraologists!

I hope you all had a wonderful week!  I have, due in large part to this still-developing story that I first brought you last week!

If you haven't read the Korn Kinx story yet, read it first.  But to summarize, I had been randomly contacted by a gentleman named Larry, who found me via Google search - turns out I have (had!) a vintage bag with some historical meaning.  I decided that Larry and his family needed the Korn Kinx bag more than I did.

Shortly after I wrote the blog post last Monday, I mailed that bag.  Well, last Wednesday, I received this wonderful e-mail:
 Just wanted to let you know that the bag arrived today. Mom was so surprised and excited!  My father used to say that you are grown up when you realize the adults are just old kids. My Mom was as excited as a twelve year old at Christmas. Thank you for your generosity and for letting my mom feel like a girl again!  I will get a photo to you tomorrow. She wouldn't let me take her picture until she got her hair done. She has an appointment in the morning so I'll swing by when I get off work and get a shot for you. Anything in particular you want for the shot?  I thought at least I could get a shot of her holding it for you.
  Thank you SO MUCH!
To say that my day was made when I received that e-mail is a gross understatement.  Even better was when I received the e-mail with the photo of Shirley holding the Korn Kinx bag:

The wording on the bottom reads, "For some
reason, we sometimes called them Korn Kinx,
but maybe that was just a name "us kids"
thought up."  No, Shirley - you were right! :)
See what I mean?  :D  But to me the absolute BEST part of this whole story is the fact that I was able to help prove that Shirley's recollections were indeed correct!  Remember in the last post when Larry said that his mom SWORE they were called Korn Kinx but there was no evidence to support her memory (and as you can see, even wrote down that recollection for posterity)? VOILA! Here's the proof - in a 70+ year-old cellophane bag.  Maybe, just for a few minutes, I was able to transport 83 year-young Shirley back to her 16 year-old self, just like Larry's dad used to say.  :)

In one of Larry's most recent e-mails, he wrote, "This whole experience has been the highlight of my year (so far at least)! I don't believe in "luck" but I do believe in Divine providence. I just love the way things "work out" and I am so happy to have made your acquaintance. This story isn't quite over yet. I'll keep you posted."

I can't wait!  Stay tuned for more on this AMAZING connection!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Ephemera Connections!

My best friend/sister Jen and I were having a very in-depth discussion the other day about the Internet - or, namely, how it has completely changed the landscape of our lives.  It has touched everything - how we're entertained, how we read, how we watch TV, how we shop, how we socialize - the list is endless.  And even though my husband makes his living off of the Internet (he and his brother own a website development company), I would be lying if I told you that the conversation was optimistic and rosy.  It was not.  We were sitting in a bookstore at the time, prematurely mourning its demise.

Fast-forward to Saturday night - I had been gone all day to a class in Milwaukee (I was a student this time!) and was checking my e-mail when I returned home.  Well, what follows not only made my night, but my entire week!  Here, paraphrased, is the fun e-mail:
"Hello. My name is Larry and I live in the town of Darien, Wisconsin where your Cheez Korn Kinx bag was made. My mother (who is 83 years young) had been telling the story for years about when she was in school, they would walk across the street to where the Korn Kinx were made and fill their 3 cent paper bags with fresh warm Korn Kinx. We are currently in the process of researching the history behind the Korn Kinx and stumbled on your blog showing the bag. My mother found it first but her dial up connection is very slow and she wasn't able to follow the link to your web page. She was so excited to actually find an image of the bag as it proved that her memory of calling them Kinx wasn't faulty. The name was changed in about 1940 to Korn Kurls when Melbourn Reed bought out his competitor Edward P. Wilson who had been called back to active duty in WWII.
Both men worked together at the Beloit, Wisconsin company Flakall, where the raw material was accidentally produced from a machine that made flaked animal food. Yes, they are the original cheese flavored puffed and flavored snack that all others followed. Because Flakall patented the process, all Cheetos, cheese doodles, Chee Whees, etc. were licensed by Flakall of Beloit. You quite possibly have the only remaining bag in existence and it carries some historical significance. PLEASE take good care of it in its original state if you can. Edward P. Wilson's son is still alive at 92 and I spoke with him last week. He told me stories of how he worked for his dad at Flakall in 1939 when he was 17 and how his dad brought home some of the puffed corn to their kitchen and all the flavors his mother tried before she came up with the cheese flavoring. The Wilsons baked their Korn Kurls, whereas Reed fried theirs in butter. Anyway, I was wondering if you could scan the front and back of the bag and send me the image for our research project. The Wilsons are very excited that someone after all these years is interested in telling their story which might have been lost to history. Edward Wilson told me that he eats cheese puffs every day and he had a bowl of them next to his chair even as we spoke."
*GASP*  Isn't this INCREDIBLE!!  All because I happened to write that post and feature this bag:

Well, the minute I finished reading the message I drafted one of my own, which I will share with you:
"Oh my gosh - your e-mail made my night!!  What a wonderful story!!  See, now THIS is why I write my blog.  I firmly believe that these little bits of "throwaway" ephemera MATTER.  And as your story attests, many times these little bags and doodads and whatnot actually have important historical significance! 

Larry, I would love to scan the bag for you, but I would actually like to do something else instead - can I send you the bag?  I want you to have it.  I can tell how much it means to you and your mom and the Wilson family, and it would give me much pleasure to give it to you - it's the VERY least I could do after the lovely e-mail you've sent me!  :)

All I'll need is your address and I can have it in the post on Monday morning.  :)

Thank you, Larry (and please thank your mom, too!) for reading the blog!!!  I'm THRILLED that you found this particular post and that it might help you out!"
Larry and I exchanged a few more e-mails with addresses and the like, plus another fun surprise which I will post as soon as I hear the outcome.  Isn't this just so fun!?!?

So - from the bad part of our Brave New World, to one of the best parts - there is NO WAY that this could've happened if it weren't for our Internet.  But because of one little post, I am now reuniting a family with a little slice of personal nostalgia.  Like I said in my e-mail to Larry - THIS is why I write this blog, and I'm so grateful that we live in an age where I can connect with folks who feel the same as I!

Monday, March 11, 2013

A 175K Giveaway!!

Good morning Ephemeraologists!

Happy Daylight Saving Time!  I hope you're all adjusting to the time change - and if not, here's something that might make it easier to swallow ----

I'm doing a GIVEAWAY!

Last week, the blog hit a milestone - it now has been viewed over 175 THOUSAND times!  I can't believe it.  I am filled with awe that this has happened - I mean, I'm pretty sure that some of these views are because of spam, but still!  I know that I have wonderful readers, and I thank you so very much for that.

And I'm very excited about our prize pack!  Our good friends Trina at The Paper Flea Market and Annie at SilverCrow Creations, have agreed to give out awesome gift certificates - you won't want to pass up the opportunity!  If you enter the contest and win, you will receive a $15 certificate from Paper Flea, and a $20 certificate from SilverCrow!  That's a whopping $35 to spend on awesome ephemera!!

Here are the details:

1.  Comment below, or on the Facebook page (but not both), and tell us your favorite topic on Ephemeraology!  It can be a certain decade you love hearing about, your favorite post, ephemera you've noticed here, what you'd love to hear about in the future - whatever!  I can't wait to hear what you have to say!
2.  I will be drawing a name at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 14.  I will let you know via e-mail, so...
3.  IN YOUR COMMENT, YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS USING THE name(at)domain(dot)com FORMAT!!!  If you don't include it, I will assume you didn't read the directions at all and that you don't want to win.  :)

Okay!  Let's see those comments start rollin' in!  :D

A HUGE thank you to The Paper Flea Market and SilverCrow Creations for being so wonderful.  Thank you so much, Trina and Annie!  :D