Andy P. Tucker was a disabled veteran who enjoyed collecting mechanical pencils. In 1951, he sent this letter (or versions of it) to newspapers throughout the United States:
I don't know what kind of response he got, but here's a picture of him in 1952 with his collection. The picture ran in various papers.
I can't find any information about what became of Tucker's collection. Was it thrown away when he died? Or is it sitting in a box in someone's basement? Who knows.
However, Tucker isn't the only person to have collected mechanical pencils. Jonathan A. Veley now maintains what he calls his Mechanical Pencil Museum, with an accompanying Leadhead's Pencil Blog. But a search of Veley's blog doesn't produce any references to Tucker, so I'm not sure if Veley is aware of his predecessor.
Today, the average upstanding citizen is a pale shadow of his or her riotous ancestors. We don't drink as much or smoke as much or act goofy in public as much (despite the roll call of weird behaviors as collected by our Fearless Leader, Chuck.)
Look at this boring clip of a contemporary American Legion parade from last year.
Then view this account from 1947, when randy old codger Legionnaires rode bucking ATVs through the streets, poured water from hotel windows, and shocked innocent women with cattle prods (probably the very ones sold through Johnson Smith catalogs, as shown earlier on WU).
Now, answer truly: which era would you rather live in?
Curling? Curling!?! Was this really a prime activity of the Rotary Club, even--or especially--back in 1973?
Interstate curling leagues and tournaments? Charity curling events, attended by beaming wives and kids?
Somebody please inform us if they ever heard of a connection before, between Rotarians and curling.
"Taping," by the way, for all you youngsters out there, does not refer to crafting items from duct tape or preparing one's hands for a mixed martial arts bout, but to capturing sounds with one's reel-to-reel magnetic tape recorder.