My Brimful Book: Favorite Poems of Childhood

My Brimful Book: An All-New Collection of All-Time Favorites, illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Margot Austin and Wesley Dennis.  The Platt & Munk Co., 1960.

Remember how I bought this book at the Kansas Barn Sale last month?

Ooooo, endpapers!  LOVE, love, love pretty endpapers.

Well, I thought I'd take a few days, here and there, to show you what the innards of this lovely, oversized picture book actually look like!

As you can see from the Table of Contents, the book is really three books in one.  In order to show you all the pretty pictures, I thought I'd split this post into three!  So let us begin with the first section.

Yes, Tasha Tudor.  She would be the main reason I bought the book.

There isn't much left for me to say, is there?  Platt & Munk released First Poems of Childhood a few year later.  Leanne scanned some of it on her blog, Vintage Books for the Very Young.  Same illustrations, adjusted for a differently sized book.

I'll have part two next week!

[Edit: Part Two is here, Part Three is here.]

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Our All Hallows Eve

To all of my friends here in the United States, Happy Election Day! May obnoxious political ads be a thing of the past. (Or at least until presidential primary season, which shouldn't be until 2016, but it does seem to start earlier and earlier...)

But let's talk Halloween!  One more time!

Little Red: Wolf Hunter and Amelia Earhart went trick-or-treating in our favorite neighborhood. Our own neighborhood was dark this year. My husband only had three groups of trick-or-treaters. However, in nearby College Hill, there is a street that is blocked off every Halloween, with elaborate decorations and people passing out candy in driveways. The spectacle and atmosphere is so fun and fabulous. We started a couple blocks away, hitting some nearby houses and running into friends, then stopped by the Community Theatre to show off costumes to our theatre friends. Then we hit Halloween Street!

We didn't linger. We had to head home, where my grandmother was waiting for us. After picking her up, we headed to the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum for their annual Torchlight Tour.

The Torchlight Tour is such a fun little event. The Coleman company provides little flashlights, and you explore most of the museum in the dark! The museum is housed in the old City Building, designed by Proudfoot & Bird in the 1890s. Little Sis doesn't usually care for the old Otis elevator, preferring the grand stairs, but even she wouldn't complain about the elevator, as long as she could keep wearing her airplane!

We headed up to the foot of the clock tower first. There were slides projected high on the brick wall, showing the higher parts of the tower that were only accessible by taking the very tall, zig-zagging, rickety wooden stairs. as well as historical photos. From there, we explored the rest of the building: the "Wichita Cottage" exhibit, the "Magic City" history of early Wichita exhibit, a display of mid-century furniture, the exhibit of the Air Capital during the war years, the old soda fountain area with lots of Mentholatum memorabilia...

The girls' favorite spot, however, is the childhood exhibit. There's nothing like looking at antique toys and books in the dark, with flashlights. It's a bit creepy, like snooping in a very clean old attic.

And there are dolls! Lots of old dolls!

I took one last picture with my phone, before hopping into the car. I don't know where the green light came from, but I love this picture!

Then it was home to our jack o'lanterns and Mr. B, who had some beef and noodles waiting for the girls, in case they needed one last bit of real, non-candy food before bed. (They did.)

Thanks for spending your October with Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes! I know I go overboard, but seriously, October through January is my favorite chunk of the year.

Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder Monday: ShowBiz Pizza Place

I was 6 once. Or did I turn 7 here? I'm not even sure.

Happy Monday, good readers!  I hope all of my Halloweeny buddies had a safe and fabulous Halloween. Saturday, All Hallows Day, was Little Sis's birthday, although we won't have a party until this coming Saturday. Instead, we went to a little boy's sixth birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's

If you aren't familiar with Chuck E. Cheese's, it's a themed pizza restaurant featuring animal robots and video screens, where the kids can run around and play games for a token per game, winning tickets to exchange for cheap prizes. The girls usually have a blast, but every time I step into a Chuck E. Cheese's, I cannot help but remember its predecessor, ShowBiz Pizza Place.

ShowBiz Pizza Place was originally Chuck E. Cheese's main competitor, and while it eventually bought out Chuck E. Cheese's, it was the Chuck E. characters and less elaborate staging that won out.

ShowBiz was bigger and better. Its main star was Billy Bob, the big band was called the Rock-Afire Explosion, and when you had a birthday party there, you were given an actual record album, or in my sister's case a couple years later, a 45 single.

Yep, still have it!

They always had those infamous ball pits to play in, too. I had a couple of birthday parties there in the '80s, my sister had one (where she cried, cried, cried - Billy Bob scared her!), we attended a few others, and sometimes, my dad would take us there just for fun. I had a stuffed Billy Bob (that, sadly, is no more) that an uncle bought me at an Oklahoma City location. The pizza was nothing to write home about, but my sister and I have very fond memories of ShowBiz.  Although we had outgrown it, we were sad when the Wichita locations closed. By the time my little brother was five or so, we had our Chuck E. Cheese's. He had a birthday party there, but it was clearly not the same.

A few years ago, when we first got Hulu Plus, Mr. B and I watched a documentary about ShowBiz Pizza and the creator of the original animatronic characters, called The Rock-Afire Explosion. My husband did not grow up near a ShowBiz, so he has no memories of the place, but even he found the film interesting, and in the end, a little sad. You can read the synopsis here.

It is no longer on Hulu, but you can rent it through Amazon Instant, or there's a link through the website. Here's the trailer:

Spin did an article about the ShowBiz superfan who purchased a band from the original creator and set it up in his shed. There are videos on YouTube of the Rock-Afire Explosion performing newer songs.

The band has also made appearances in some official music videos.

Thanks, internet, for keeping my fuzzy memories well-fed.

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