June 26, 2008

I remember Whitman Press-Out Books...

When I was a kid in the late 1970's /early 1980's, airline travel was a bit expensive for my family.  We moved a lot, like every two to three years, often to places ton opposite sides of the country.  I think the only way my Mom could keep me occupied during those long trips was to buy me a sack full of activity and coloring books.  It was a cheap way of shutting me up - and she always made me wait, like, an hour into the trip before I could open them.  This was before cars had built-in televisions and dvd players  - wow, writing that makes me feel really old.

My favorites to were always the Whitman Press-Out books or as we called them, "punch-out" books.  I loved assembling these little three-dimensional paper dioramas complete with little paper characters to play inside.  The back seat floor in my parents' Cutlass Oldsmobile transformed into a bustling airport, a natural history museum filled with dinosaurs, a wild African safari or even an old-time circus.  

Of course, I always lost the pieces along the way or my Mom secretly threw them in the trash after we got to our destination.  That part of my memory is always foggy.  At any rate, I remember vividly how much fun it was to construct worlds with just a few pieces of paper. Maybe it's one of the things that inspired the work I do today - or maybe it is just something cool from childhood.  



Anonymous said...

having a nostalgic moment and was thinking of these things i remember from being a kid when my grandparents would buy these for me off the old magazine racks at our local grocery store. great pictures!

brandoblues from texas

Anonymous said...

I remember these also. I had the airport one and I also had one that was a city with houses, skyscrapers, and stores.