Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pope Pius XII & 9th National Eucharistic Congress

This linen postcard of Pope Pius XII commemorated the 9th National Eucharistic Congress held at St. Paul - Minneapolis in June 1941. The pope did not atttend the Congress but spoke over the radio to those assembled for the Congress.

Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, was appointed Vatican Secretary of State in 1930. In 1936 he toured a number of cities in the United States. The trip covered about eight thousand miles in seven days, mainly by chartered plane.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Paul Bunyan at Escanaba Smelt Jamboree

This 1940 linen postcard shows Paul Bunyan and Sourdough Sam with Paul's Smelt Fryin Pan at the Escanaba Smelt Jamboree.

Smelt are small slender fish with silvery bellies. Smelt ascend tributary streams from the Great Lakes to spawn. Nets are used to dip the smelt from the streams. A 1941 release from the Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service describes the smelt as "one of the most delicious of pan fishes, the flesh being lean and sweet with a particularly delicate flavor."

Escanaba's first Smelt Jamboree was in 1935. Time Magazine had an April 18, 1938 article "Smelt v. Tourists" describing the fourth Escanaba Smelt Jamboree. Twenty thousand tourists reportedly attended. Events included a Smeltiana comic opera, coronation of a a Smelt King and Queen, banquets, smelt-eating contests, a parade, and bonfire.

Large smelt runs appear to be a thing of the past. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has current information on "Smelt Dipping Opportunities." The smelt dipping season is mid-April to early May, depending on temperatures and location.
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