krpalmer: Charlie Brown and Patty in the rain; Charlie Brown wears a fedora and trench coat (charlie brown)
[personal profile] krpalmer
This weekend seems to have been a time for buying lots of used books for me. Having noticed a poster in the library my computer user group meets in for a used book sale at a different library in a nearby town, I took a drive through the country and the first real flush of spring-like weather on Saturday and picked up a bag full of books. After that trip to somewhere I'd never been before, I headed back past a used book store in a tiny roadside clutter of houses that I'd been to before and there got a few more books... noticing in a box by the cash register the "Encyclopedia Year Book" for 1963, covering the events of 1962. (As far as other used book sales go, though, I noticed one in a downtown church just today and dropped in, but didn't see anything I wanted to buy.)

My grandparents had the "Encyclopedia Year Books" for 1961 and 1962, and they were interesting enough to read, but I suppose a little part of me felt like I was missing out on something for having things stop there. When I had the chance to get that forty-five year old year book, I took it, and noticed that although it still looked the same on the outside, Mercury-circling-the-globe dust jacket and all (now quite tattered and fragile), inside the book had been redesigned to resemble later "Encyclopedia Year Books," changing from articles arranged thematically to entries arranged alphabetically. I dipped into a world of the first Mercury orbital flights and the Kennedy presidency and the Seattle World's Fair... although I did have to remember that the Cuban Missile Crisis also happened that year, and in seeing civil rights and Vietnam get mentioned I had a sense of what was not just there but coming even in the midst of ample nostalgia fuel. There were local touches, though, such as the federal election in Canada that ushered in a period of minority government, the doctor's strike in Saskatchewan over the establishment of medicare there, and the first small demonstration nuclear power plant in Ontario going on-line. There were also lighter touches like a "Think Small" ad from Volkswagen, an article on geology that said "maybe there's something to that continental drift theory after all," and a "compact transistorized Electronic Secretary," basically an answering machine, that set next to an old-fashioned dial telephone looked to have about the footprint (if not the full height) of a microwave oven.

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