That's right - Genuine S&H Green Stamps. My mom collected these for decades, as well as Gold Bonds. We found bushels of unredeemed booklets in the closet last month, mostly Gold Bonds. I can't say how much they're worth. But I do know that Gold Bond used to be a small Midwestern company, and is now a gargantuan multinational that owns Radisson, Carlson/Wagonlit travel, Country Kitchen restaurants, TGIFriday's, and more. Did my mother's coupon hoarding allow them to assemble the capital to build this empire? If she had redeemed her cache, would the company have stumbled and failed? We'll never know. I know she did cash in her Green Stamps - and that company isn't around any more.

I found much more than old trading stamps, though. I found a stack of old magazines, cookbooks, appliance manuals, etc. From these has come my latest contribution to AOL's slowdown: The Gallery of Regrettable Food, a 1.5 MB site devoted to bad food, bad recipes, and curious advertisements. I found, for example, an ad in which Eleanor Roosevelt endorses hot dogs, Edward G. Robinson endorses deep freezers, and unpalatable foodstuffs of all variety are photographed in glaring, gut-turning color. You may wonder - how do I know it's really Eleanor Roosevelt, and not Edward G. Robinson in a wig? I just do.

Most of the pictures have been reduced in size and resolution to facilitate quick browsing. A little blotchiness is a small price to pay for a speedier web, right? And do you really want a 198K picture of the Jolly Green Giant shaving his cob at waist level?

The last Pioneer Press column is here. Much maligned Star Wars piece due next Monday, with a new edition. See you then.


Feb 26 97


PIONEER PRESS has the LAST column. Plus, there's always this:

Yet another web diary

Bad foodstuffs -

and the ads that loved them.


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Guide to Current Content:

Pioneer Press links to my harmless local column.

Newhouse News links to my snarky political column.

Extra Misc contains pieces published elsewhere, such as the Washington Post or AOL, plus pictures accumulated from the month.

Matchbook Diary links to a monthly meditation on a matchbook from my collection.

The Daily Bleat links to a daily diary of occasional interest.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food is just that.

Archives contains past editions of this site, columns from 1996, Matchbook Diaries, and information on my books.

Links - well, figure it out.

Pictures - for when you've seen everything else in this site.

Your Host tells you a little about the author of this site.

All words and graphics c. 1997 James Lileks, except the design of the stamps (obviously) and the newspaper-reading man in the column pages; that image c. 1996 CSA Archives. Take what you like; please link back here if you find anything you like enough to steal.