· Reno County Picnic: Grasshoppers · It’s August 3, 1899, at the Old Settlers’ of Reno County picnic in Riverside Park, Hutchinson, Kansas. Loretta McMillan Collins, 51, eating watermelon; Sarah Jane Riddle McMurry, 45, drinking blackberry cider; and Julia Clementine Latimer Whiteside, 31, eating fresh cherry pie; are sitting in the shade. They’re all wearing fancy hats and talking about the good ole’ days. However, at age 31, Julia’s hardly eligible to be considered an old … [Read more...] about Reno County: Grasshopper Invasion of 1874
· Stories Are Everywhere: My Blogging Topics · MY PURPOSE in BLOGGING In 2017, when I sent my final draft of my novel, Taking Back the Bullet, to my editor, Jan Hurst, I started preparing drafts of written blogs for my new website hosted by Rosemary Miller, aka “The Tech Chick.” My unwritten mission statement was this: “To be in the moment, to enjoy the adventure, and to do my best for me and my readers.” The website was also designed to promote my books and be a public platform, a … [Read more...] about Stories Are Everywhere
· Is this man Elmer Swanson? Photo Postcard from the Past · Is this man Elmer Swanson? Morgan Williams, collector and expert on exaggeration postcards, sent me another postcard challenge. As I examined the image of the front and markings on the back, I thought, Boy, there isn’t much information here! The photograph had the feeling of early 1900s but the clues were sparse: a man, sharply dressed, was holding a sword next to a step-ladder. He was staged as if preparing to climb the … [Read more...] about Is this man Elmer Swanson?
· John O. Siemsen Framed by F. D. Conard in Garden City, Kansas · Last month I had my socks knocked off by a surprise email sent to my website as a comment to a blog/podcast I’d posted two months earlier. A person can’t prepare for unbelievable. My earlier post, “EXAGGERATION Postcards: Tall Tales from the Great Plains,” http://jimpotterauthor.com/exaggeration-postcards/ gave an abbreviated history of the cards, including an appreciation for Frank D. “Pop” Conard, a creative and … [Read more...] about John O. Siemsen
· Tall Tales from the Great Plains · #1 Are you old enough to remember road trip vacations down Route 66? How about the restroom breaks at service stations? I can still see the metal carousels advertising postcards for sale: 5 cents each, six for a quarter. One of my favorite cards was the Jackalope. #2 Fast forward to my collection of exaggeration postcards. The all-time best photographer-publisher of these cards is William H. Martin. A hundred years before Photoshop, he called … [Read more...] about EXAGGERATION Postcards
· Tall Tales · My Grandpa Clarence used to talk about the fertile farmland in western Kansas before the drought, grasshoppers, jack rabbits, and dust storms ravaged the country. He said he and the family had some extremely productive years for over a decade before "The Crash." When our family visited, just in case I doubted him, he would dig out his photographs and hand them to me as positive proof. "A picture's worth a thousand words," he'd advise, then silently begin rolling a cigarette … [Read more...] about Stretching the Truth
· Fake News · Today the media talks about the alarming impact of "fake news." No doubt that in our instant, mass communication world, one fraudulent or deceptive story can cause massive confusion with grave consequences. Check out this "exaggeration" post card from 1937 showing a rather large grasshopper that died of lead poisoning. Similar manipulated, tall-tale images had been in circulation since the early 1900's, the Golden Age of Postcards. The popularity of early cards was due … [Read more...] about Creative Writing