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Reams of the Unreal

Yesterday, Christopher and I took our yearly little trek to the VNSA book sale which takes place every February. This is one of the biggest used book sales in the country — and luckily it’s located just a short walk from our house. The sale is an amazing experience, with books (and book lovers) of every type filling up an entire huge hall. I ended up getting the eleven books pictured below for the sum of $17. Some are common; some I’ve never seen before. The Peter Arno cartoon collection from 1930 is one of the oldest books I’ve ever seen there. In the same section I found Wendell Ehret’s “Dear Gertrood”, a collection of illustrated letters from a WWII soldier. Ehret has a loose ‘n lively style that appears influenced by vintage Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, but I haven’t been able to find anything about him on the web. I also delighted in finding Favorite American Songs (1956), a sheet music collection gorgeously illustrated by Aurelius Battaglia. Leif Peng has a weblog entry and flickr photoset on Battaglia (which confirms that the book I got is a later, slimmer reprint that omitted many illustrations — oh well!). I’m also looking forward to reading Doris Day’s autobiography from 1976, a lady upon whom I’ve been having a strange fixation lately. All in all, a good day’s haul.

Booksale Booty, Feb. 2008

4 Thoughts on “Reams of the Unreal

  1. Peter Arno: score!

  2. Eric, I saw another Arno book there. A different collection from the ’50s. I should’ve gotten it for you!

  3. Michael Hedin on December 17, 2008 at 4:56 am said:

    I am looking for a copy of “Dear Gertrude” by Wendell Ehret. Do you have a copy you could sell me, or know of another place I could try to find a copy? This is a very important book for my father. It is part of an amazing story of his.

  4. Steven on July 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm said:

    All I could find about Wendell Ehret was that he served as Technician Fourth Grade and was a cartoonist for the “CBI Roundup”, an Army newspaper published during the China-Burma-Indian Campaign. After that, he seems to have dropped out of sight. Probably went back to punching cattle.

    Issues of the CBI Roundup can be read online here:

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