Friday, April 18, 2014

“Pat talks to teenagers”

Three finds at a library book-sale: a selection of entries from Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, a Webster’s Third New International with marbled edges, and Pat Boone’s 1958 book of advice ’Twixt Twelve and Twenty. “Pat talks to teenagers,” says the cover. From the chapter “April Love”:

Kissing for fun is like playing with a beautiful candle in a roomful of dynamite! And it’s like any other beautiful thing — when it ceases to be rare, it loses its value and much of its beauty. I really think it’s better to amuse ourselves in some other way. For your own future enjoyment I say go bowling, or to a basketball game, or watch a good TV program (like the Pat Boone Chevy show!), at least for a while.
I would like to imagine a lost original for ’Twixt Twelve and Twenty, the print equivalent of “Tutti Frutti”: Little Richard Talks to Teenagers. That would be quite a book.

“’Twixt Twelve and Twenty” is also a song. Alas, it can be taken as an argument for kissing: “Don’t they know love is ageless when it’s true?”

[Small-world department: In April 1959, Boone’s book was fourth on The New York Times list of nonfiction bestsellers. In first place: Alexander King’s Mine Enemy Grows Older. Who is Alexander King, you ask? This page by Margie King Barab explains.]

comments: 9

The Crow said...

So, may your house be safe from tigers, too, Michael.

You post some of the most interesting things. Don't recall how I stumbled onto your blog, but I'm very glad I did.

Diane Schirf said...

Oooooo, marbled edges. I think the Merriam-Webster I won for the 6th grade spelling bee has marbled edges, and tabs (I'm not sure what to call them). Sadly, it's in a box somewhere, unpacked.

Michael Leddy said...

Your house too, Crow. My wife and I are very lucky to know Margie King Barab and her great husband Seymour Barab.

Diane, I wrote to Merriam-Webster years ago to ask what those things are called. The hollows are called thumb-notches, and the alphabet tabs are called thumb-index tabs or index tabs. Caution: if you unpack it, then you have to figure out how to get hold of a dictionary stand.

Diane Schirf said...

It's the collegiate edition, so even a 6th grader could handle it. I just hope it's still in okay shape because the movers didn't pack books correctly and the ones I've unpacked are bent up. Amazing to think that was 40 years ago! Thanks for the info.

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome, Diane, and belated congratulations on your victory.

Elaine said...

OMG I read that book! Probably in 1959. Somewhat makes me think, retrospectively, of the boy with his finger in the dike, as the great wave of Baby Boomers reached puberty....

Michael Leddy said...

OMG right back at you. :) Do you remember anything of it?

Elaine said...

All I remember is that Pat Boone was projecting the same squeaky-clean image that you'd see in his movies. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but....scarcely human.

Michael Leddy said...

The squeaks are pretty loud. I’m amused that he acknowledges having done at least some of the things he warns against, like drinking.