Classic Covers: Are You Ready for Some Football?

What a face! Check out artist Alan Foster’s November 12, 1927, cover of the boy receiving instructions from a teammate. Judging from his expression, is he confused? Or has the teammate sent him on a suicide mission? The cover is the perfect kick off for our salute to football season.

Another terrific face appears on the November 1933 Country Gentleman cover by artist Henry Hintermeister. While the kid may be small, his concentration is intense. The dog, however, is just concentrating on the water bucket. We all have our priorities.

<em>You Can Be the Water Boy</em><br />Frances Tipton Hunter<br />November 27, 1937
You Can Be the Water Boy
Frances Tipton Hunter
November 27, 1937

How do you become suddenly popular when you’re the smallest kid in the neighborhood? Get a brand-new football for your birthday. Artist Frances Tipton Hunter painted the cutest kids, and the November 27, 1937, cover is a picture-perfect example. The adorable tyke shifts attention away from the bigger kids, who, apparently, would like to get a game going. It appears that negotiations involve offering him the exalted position of water boy in exchange for use of the ball. Is this the same boy concentrating so intently on the game on the 1933 Country Gentleman cover mentioned earlier? Hmmm.

When did the first football cover appear on The Saturday Evening Post? Would you believe October 27, 1900? This painting of what appears to be a rousing game came from an artist who rarely scored a coveted Saturday Evening Post cover. His name remains “Unknown.”

It’s crunch time for the boys in artist Frederic Stanley’s November 1926 cover. Unfortunately, what is being crunched appears to be the boy on the bottom. Did we mention this can be a rough sport? Need further evidence? See Norman Rockwell’s November 1925 cover. Ouch! Right in the breadbasket.

Let the games begin! But may all your football memories be less painful!

No Chips Allowed: Simple Game-Time Snacks

Put the chips away and try these snacks on for size. Make your own crisps for a trio of dips.

Homemade Pita Crisps
Homemade Pita Crisps

Homemade Pita Crisps

(Makes 16 servings, 4 pita chips per person)

Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut pitas into 8 triangle pieces. (Divide each one by 4 and pull apart each triangle into 2 separate halves.) Place pita pieces in single layer on cookie sheets, lightly coat with spray and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Make them all or just one. Paired with our Homemade Pita Crisps, these easy dips are surefire crowd-pleasers.

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Madge's Hummus
Madge’s Hummus


Tailgating before noon? Wake up with pizza for breakfast!

Do you have a traditional family recipe you’d like to share? Send your story and recipe to [email protected] or post them in the comment section below.

Promising Treatment for Leg Pain

Doctors routinely insert metal tubes, or stents, in heart arteries to restore blood flow, preventing heart damage and saving lives. Now, an advanced version of the minimally invasive therapy available in Europe is offering hope to millions of people with advanced peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a condition that blocks circulation to the legs and is a leading cause of amputation—especially among diabetics.

“Currently, blockages in the legs can be treated with angioplasty, bypass surgery, and with bare metal stents,” Rob Lyles, vice president and global leader of Cook Medical’s Peripheral Intervention division, explains to the Post. “Data from a 1200-patient clinical trial, which included diabetics and other hard-to-treat patients, show that the new stent was as effective as bypass surgery, and without the risks associated with opening the leg.”

The Zilver PTX stent by Cook Medical props open the main blood vessel in the thigh—the superficial femoral artery. The stent then delivers the drug paclitaxel to cells in the vessel wall to reduce the risk of new blockages.

“The superficial femoral artery is difficult to treat because of the torque and flexing that takes place in the area as a result of normal movements like running, walking, or sitting,” Lyles says. “Zilver PTX uses a self-expanding metal called nitinol. The stent will move with the person—expanding when the artery expands, compressing when the artery compresses—which is an especially important feature for stents placed in the legs.”

The Zilver PTX stent by Cook Medical props open the main blood vessel in the thigh—the superficial femoral artery. The stent then delivers the drug paclitaxel to cells in the vessel wall to reduce the risk of new blockages.

In another key advance, the innovative device is the first drug-eluting stent free of a plastic compound linked to allergic reactions, clot formation, and inflammation.

PAD occurs when fatty deposits build up within the lining of the arteries and reduce blood flow. The most common symptom of PAD is leg pain during exercise. Severely reduced blood flow in the limbs (known as critical limb ischemia (CLI) is characterized by leg pain at rest and nonhealing wounds. Gangrene may lead to amputation of the leg or foot.

The Zilver stent, considered an investigational device in the United States, was approved this summer in Europe and is now being used in more than 50 countries.

“The awarding of the CE Mark is set to herald a revolution in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease,” comments lead study investigator Dr. Michael Dake of Stanford University Medical School in California. “The global study proves that the Zilver PTX has the integrity, safety, and durability needed to successfully address many of the well-known limitations of current treatments for the management of PAD.”

For information about ongoing U.S. studies of the Zilver stent for PAD, talk with your physician and visit

The Unanswerable Question: Who Killed JFK?

Ilustration of President John F. Kennedy. Illustration by Fred Otnes
Illustration by Fred Otnes

There is no better example of Americans’ chronic suspicion of their government than the fate of the Warren Commission Report, released 50 years ago this week.

President Johnson requested a President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy within weeks of the shooting. Months later, the Commission presented its report which confirmed the official version offered by the Justice Department: A lone, crazed gunman, acting alone, killed the president.

America wasn’t buying it. Even before the Commission met for the first time, the majority of Americans no longer believed a lone shooter was responsible. A 1963 poll showed 52 percent of Americans believed a conspiracy was behind the assassination. Over the years, America’s faith in the Commission’s findings has fallen so low that a 1998 survey showed 90 percent of Americans believed a conspiracy was involved.

How wrong could the Commission be to earn such disregard? Was it incompetent, corrupt, or both?

In the Post article “The Kennedy Assassination” published in 1967, Richard J. Whalen addressed some of the reasons why the Report was so widely discounted.

First were the commissioners themselves: stolid, deliberate people—three senators, a congressman (Gerald Ford), a former head of the CIA, a former head of the World Bank, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court. It was a group unlikely to favor fantastic premises, or indulge their imaginations. According to Whalen, “The Chief Justice was understandably reluctant to assume the task forced on him by the President, for he was miscast. In a unique situation, demanding a supple and pragmatic, yet unswerving, truthseeker, he was a figure of granitic rectitude and decorum.”

Next was the questionable evidence. Medical records from the hospital disappeared, reappeared, then disappeared again. Some witnesses were ignored, others questioned at great length. Witnesses contradicted each other, and appeared inconsistent with what could be seen in the Zapruder film.

"The Kennedy Assassination"<br />by Richard J. Whalen<br />January 14, 1967
“The Kennedy Assassination”
by Richard J. Whalen
January 14, 1967

Then the Commission began to divide over the “single-bullet” theory, which asserted that a single bullet caused multiple wounds to Kennedy and Texas governor John Connally.

“The arguing within the commission over the single-bullet theory continued until the Report was in its final drafts. Sen. Russell, Sen. John Sherman Cooper and Congressman Hale Boggs remained unpersuaded, and were at most willing to call the evidence ‘credible.’ Dulles, John J. McCloy, and Congressman Gerald R. Ford believed the theory offered the most reasonable explanation: Ford, for one, wanted to describe the evidence as ‘compelling.’ The views of the Chief Justice are unknown.

“[Pennsylvania Senator Arlen] Specter, Norman Redlich and other members of the commission staff unsuccessfully opposed the attempt to straddle this crucial question. They realized only too well, being closer to the evidence and the dilemma it posed, that it was indeed essential for the commission to find that a single bullet had struck both victims if the single assassin conclusion was to be convincing.

“Finally McCloy suggested a compromise [in wording]—“very persuasive” —and this fundamental difference of opinion was fuzzed up in the final language of the Report… The shaky evidence beneath the commission’s findings goes deeper than the hedged and flatly contradictory expert testimony on the single-bullet theory.”

Whalen concluded that “the very foundation of the commission’s account is built on disputed ground.” The Commission’s unwillingness to investigate inconsistencies in the autopsy didn’t mean there had been a conspiracy to kill Kennedy, but it certainly gave the appearance of a cover-up.

The “hard evidence”—the physical, forensic evidence from the shooting—still indicated Oswald was the killer, Whalen wrote. But the “soft evidence”—the theories and conjecture— “tends to support the possibility of a second assassin. Why not, then, face in that direction and weigh every shred of evidence, old or new?”

It seems a modest, reasonable request. America only wants the truth. Give us the facts. But the facts in this case never seem to fit together. Instead of answers, questions just lead to more questions. After a half century of examination, the truth of the assassination seems more elusive than ever.

In 1967, Whalen suggested a special joint committee of Congress could put to rest many of the questions about the assassination. Such a committee convened in 1979: the United House Select Committee on Assassinations. It concluded that a conspiracy might have existed, but would say nothing more definite.  In 1992, Congress began releasing the internal files of the Select Committee to the public in 1992, but it has not yet led to any conclusive answers.

And so we’re left with the incredible conclusion of the Warren Commission: a lone gunmen seized an opportunity to shoot the president, and succeeded. He was quickly arrested, but killed by another lone gunman before he answered any questions. It hardly inspires belief. Yet the alternative explanations are even more fantastic.

Given the country’s emotional investment in the death of Kennedy, it’s possible the Warren Commission could never have succeeded. It was trying to answer the question “Who shot the president?” when the country wanted to know “How could something like this happen?” And it never addressed the larger question: How could a government that couldn’t even protect its chief executive from a solitary maniac be trusted to investigate his death?

Click here to read “The Kennedy Assassination” by Richard J. Whalen, January 14, 1967 (PDF).

No Leaf Left Behind: 7 Yard-Prepping Tips for the Season

As the growing season comes to a close, there are still a few more chores that call the gardener to action. Mowing, watering, pruning, and cleaning continue to beckon. But it’s important to prepare your yard for the upcoming season. Here are seven ways to make sure your yard doesn’t “fall” apart.

Keep on mowin’
Lawns need mowing as long as the grass continues to grow—some years continuing through most of the fall. Newly planted flowers, trees, and shrubs should be watered thoroughly every week or so, right up until the ground freezes, especially if rainfall is lacking. Perennials, trees, and shrubs all continue to lose water through the winter, so you want them to go into dormancy with plentiful moisture.

No leaf left behind
Fallen leaves should be recycled, either where they fall or transferred to another spot. Dry leaves can be mowed to bits, gathered for use as winter mulch, or raked to the compost pile. Small leaves such as honey locust may be left as is, but larger leaves such as oak and maple should be shredded to speed decomposition and prevent smothering.

Don’t prune out
Trees and shrubs should be assessed, but fall pruning should be restricted to removal of only dead or damaged limbs. Save major pruning chores for late winter.

Don’t be a fool, clean your tools
Winterize your gardening tools as freezing temperatures become the norm by first giving them a thorough cleaning. Those steel wool scrubbing pads sold for cleaning barbeque grills are great for removing caked-on soil from shovels, hoes, trowels, and spades. Scrub the blades and handles with soap and water, and allow them to dry completely before storing. Rub a little linseed oil or similar protector over wood handles to keep the wood from drying and splitting.

Be the sharpest in the shed
Sharpen your tools now to ensure a quick start in spring when your gardening enthusiasm returns anew.

Drain water from garden hoses and sprinklers, and hang them to dry before coiling the hoses for storage. Hoses left outdoors during the winter are likely to crack and split, especially if they still have water inside. And while you’re at it, now is a good time to replace washers and repair leaks while they are fresh in your mind.

Caution: hazardous material
Rinse and dry your fertilizer spreader and oil moving parts. Pesticide sprayers should be rinsed and allowed to drip dry before storing. The best way to dispose of unused chemicals in the sprayer is to apply the product as directed on the label. Allowing pesticide to sit in the sprayer over winter will result in clogged hoses and nozzles and will be more difficult to clean after the fact. Store unused pesticides in their original containers with the label intact. Place all pesticides away from children’s and pets’ reach in either a locked cabinet or a storage shelf at least 4 feet off the ground and protected from both freezing temperatures and excessive heat.

Winterizing the lawnmower
When you are fairly certain your lawn has seen its last mowing for this season, it’s time to winterize the mower. Check local service providers for those that offer mower winterization or use the following checklist to do it yourself. Check the owner’s manual for your specific machine before you start.

—Drain or stabilize the fuel. You can either run the mower until it is out of fuel, or fill the tank and add a stabilizer product. If choosing the latter, run the mower for a few minutes after adding the stabilizer to allow it to reach the carburetor.

—Change the oil and dispose of used oil properly. Your local recycling center or solid waste management district office can advise.

—Clean the blades/mowing deck. Scrape off caked-on debris using a barbeque scrubber; use thick leather gloves to protect your skin from cuts.

—Charge the battery. If your machine uses a battery, charge it now and repeat periodically through winter.

—Lubricate moving parts. Check owner’s manual for specifics.

—Change plugs and filters and sharpen blades. These can wait until spring, if preferred.

Ah, now it’s time to enjoy some well-deserved R&R curled up next to the fireplace with your favorite gardening book!

B. Rosie Lerner is the Purdue Extension Consumer Horticulturist at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Can Your Own Tomato Sauce

No self-respecting kitchen should be without a tomato sauce on hand. It’s the basis of many a good dish that can be prepared in minutes, and it’s easy to can your own. Here’s how:


Tomato Sauce

(1 pint-sized jar holds 2 cups)

Wash tomatoes and dip 4 or 5 at a time in boiling water for 30 seconds, using a steaming basket for easy retrieval. Dip in cold water for 30 seconds. Slip off skins and remove stem ends. Cut into quarters into measuring cup and then into bowl. When you have 7 cups, prepare rest of sauce.

Heat oil and butter or margarine. Stir in onions, peppers, and garlic. Cook until onion is soft.

Add tomatoes, oregano, basil leaves, salt, and sugar. Stir until mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until mixture is thick.


Pour hot tomato sauce into hot, clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch head room. Adjust lids and closure. Place on a rack in a pressure saucepan and process 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure (10 minutes in standard pressure canner). Remove from heat and do not open canner until pressure has returned to 0.

For tomato canning safety recommendations, click here.

Composting: What Every Gardener Should Know

Autumn frosts usually means lots of clean up around the yard and garden. Why not turn that yard waste into treasure?

Composting is a naturally occurring process that breaks down organic materials into an excellent soil amendment that improves soil structure, as well as adds some nutrients. Composting recycles your garden wastes, improves your soil, and reduces disposal costs.

All organic materials will break down eventually, but gardeners can speed up the process with good management. The basic ingredients for successful composting include organic materials and microorganisms with the proper balance of carbon, nitrogen, water, and oxygen.

What Goes in the Pile?
Good candidates for composting include end-of-the-season garden plants, pulled weeds, grass clippings, tree leaves, and plant trimmings. The smaller the particle size, the faster the organic materials will break down—chopped or shredded plants will compost more quickly. Some kitchen wastes, such as vegetable and fruit scraps and coffee or tea grounds, can also be added. These materials should be buried in the center of the compost pile to avoid attracting insects, rodents, and neighborhood pets.

Some organic materials are best left out of the compost pile because of possible health hazards or attractiveness to pests. Because of the danger of disease transmission, human and pet feces should not be composted. Meat scraps, bones and fats will likely attract unwanted visitors.

Backyard composters might do best to avoid materials heavily infested with weed seeds, insects and disease organisms. Although a properly managed compost pile should generate enough heat in the center to kill most of these pests, ensuring uniform heat can be difficult, particularly in a small compost pile.

Break It Down
Microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, are responsible for breaking down the organic materials in yard waste. Although commercially packaged compost starter is available, adding a little soil or finished compost will supply all the microbes you need for composting. Microorganisms require a proper environment to work efficiently.

Nitrogen is needed by the microbes in order to break down and use the carbon found in organic materials. The ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the compost pile will affect the rate of decomposition. If the carbon content is too high, decomposition will be slow. If the nitrogen content is too high, ammonia gas can be given off, creating foul odors. The ideal ratio for composting can be achieved by combining fresh green with brown dry materials, such as fresh grass clippings with dry tree leaves. At this time of year when there is likely to be an abundance of dry materials, you can add a little livestock manure or packaged fertilizer.

Do I Need to Water the Compost?
Water is also needed for efficient microbial action and uniform heating. Compost with optimum moisture content should resemble that of a moistened sponge that has the excess water squeezed out. Be prepared to the water the compost if rainfall is lacking.

Oxygen is just as important for efficient decomposition and to prevent foul odors. Breakdown occurs more slowly when oxygen is lacking and foul odors from fermentation will result.

How High Is Too High?
The center of a properly managed compost pile will generate heat as the microorganisms break down the organic matter. A good-sized compost heap, approximately 4-5 feet in diameter and 4-5 feet deep, should reach 130-160 F in the center. Turn the pile with a pitchfork or shovel at least once or twice a month to keep the materials supplied with oxygen and to bring outer contents to the center for heating. Small amounts of organic materials can be added to actively composting piles, but it’s best to start a new pile when compost becomes too tall to work by hand.

Compost can be ready to use in as soon as a month or as long as a year, depending on how well the pile is constructed and tended. Finished compost should look much like a uniform potting soil, with no indication of what materials originally went into the pile.

Compost can be used as a soil amendment in the garden to add some nutrients, but its primary advantage is that of improving soil structure. Adding compost increases water-holding capacity, aeration, and nutrient exchange sites in the soil.

Author B. Rosie Lerner is the Purdue Extension Consumer Horticulturist at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Classic Covers: Autumn Art

The magnificent maple on the October 27, 1956, cover was a century-old beauty in Atchison, Kansas. Artist John Falter claimed if he had painted the whole tree, that week’s issue of the Post would have been 3 feet tall. To the boys, however, it is simply a background to gridiron season. To us, it’s a nearly perfect autumn cover.

The charming scene of children attempting to get friendly with an irresistible colt is one of the many beautiful landscapes John Clymer did for the Post. Little Sis is a bit leery, but her brother knows his way around horses. Clymer also loved horses, as we see on the October 20, 1956, cover of the two horseback riders against multihued tamaracks in Washington State. Alas, the young man seems more interested in observing his blushing riding partner than in the blushing tints of the trees.

If you’re over 40, we’re willing to bet you have four distinct autumn memories from childhood:

<em>Walking Home Through Leaves</em> by John Clymer, October 7, 1950
Walking Home Through Leaves by John Clymer, October 7, 1950

1) Shuffling through the leaves on your way home, as depicted in the October 7, 1950, cover of the boy, girl, and dog (also by artist John Clymer).

2) Playing in a pile of freshly raked leaves, like the boy in Clymer’s October 16, 1954, cover. (Isn’t that why you rake them in the first place?)

3) Burning leaves, as the man and boy on J.C. Leyendecker’s November 6, 1937, cover and the couple on artist John Newton Howitt’s December 1936 cover are doing.

4) The chill of an autumn rain, captured on Clymer’s October 20, 1962, cover. “If there is a puddle to be found, kids will find it and walk in it,” the artist said.

Autumn also celebrates the harvest, as we see in artist Mead Schaeffer’s October 1948 cover. And flying south for the winter, as the mallards are doing on another gorgeous Clymer cover from October 1957. And hayrides! The young folks on Alan Foster’s September 30, 1933, cover enjoy the crisp evening air. If you click on the image and observe, it raises an interesting question: When is the last time you wore a tie and spiffy shoes on a hayride, such as the young man with the ukulele? Never mind—they’re having a blast.

Do Americans Get Second Chances?

Gatsby Girls Cover
The Post can’t let September pass by without noting the birthday (September 24th) of one of its greatest contributors. F. Scott Fitzgerald published 69 of his short stories in our magazine between 1920 and 1937. He was the defining voice of the Jazz-Age generation—probably, as some have argued, because he invented it. Americans read his stories avidly, savoring their technical brilliance and looking for explanations for the brash, frantic young adults who were so unlike their parents.

He had an undeniable talent for storytelling, as well as skill in composing aphorisms. For example: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

But Fitzgerald’s work was rooted in doomed romance and thwarted ideals, which sometimes emerged in cynical expressions:

“I’m a romantic; a sentimental person thinks things will last, a romantic person hopes against hope that they won’t.”

“After all, life hasn’t much to offer except youth, and I suppose for older people, the love of youth in others.”

“Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.”

It was in this spirit that Fitzgerald wrote one of his most frequently quoted lines: “There are no second acts in American lives.”

It is a lone sentence, without context, found among the pages for a novel he never finished. Yet journalists often quote it when writing about failure. The phrase has been widely interpreted to mean that America gives no second chances. The value of the statement rests on its being written by Fitzgerald, who is presumably something of an authority on lost opportunities.

"The Swimmers" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, October 19, 1929.
“The Swimmers” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, October 19, 1929.

Did Fitzgerald Believe It?
Like many generalizations, it sounds more true than it, in fact, is. Generations of immigrants, for example, would argue the point. America was the great second act that spared millions of Europeans—the poor, unskilled, disadvantaged, and disgraced—from lives of obscurity and frustration.

Perhaps Fitzgerald meant Americans granted only one chance at success. If so, he was ignoring the comebacks of bankrupt author Mark Twain, failed Congressman Abraham Lincoln, and paralyzed ex-Assistant Navy Secretary Franklin Roosevelt. He was also disregarding the numerous new acts in the lives of Benjamin Franklin or Frederick Douglass.

Whatever faith Fitzgerald put into that sentence, it wasn’t shared by his contemporary, William Faulkner (born September 25, a year and a day after Fitzgerald). Faulkner was also a frequent contributor to the Post, which published 22 of his short stories between 1930 and 1967.

Faulkner was no romantic. In fact, he continually wrote of how romantic sentiments had crippled the South. His stories, which were almost all based in his native Mississippi, chronicled the South’s stubborn resistance to modern life and the damage done by hopes of resurrecting the past. His work earned him the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949.

He is perhaps less popular among American readers. His writing can be dense and convoluted. But he wrote about things that truly mattered, and were universal, not just Southern.

The Struggle That Lies Beyond Opportunity
In Faulkner’s Nobel acceptance speech, he looked far beyond second chances and missed opportunities, which limited a writer’s vision.

“The young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

“[The writer] must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed—love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice …

“I believe that man will not merely endure: He will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.”

After these noble thoughts from Faulkner, we should let Fitzgerald make the case for second acts in American lives. He does so in his short story, “The Swimmers.” In its conclusion, he writes of an American sailing for Europe:

“Watching the fading city, the fading shore, from the desk of the Majestic, he had a sense of overwhelming gratitude and of gladness that America was there, that under the ugly debris of industry the rich land still pushed up, incorrigibly lavish and fertile, and that in the heart of the leaderless people the old generosities and devotions fought on, breaking out sometimes in fanaticism and excess, but indomitable and undefeated. There was a lost generation in the saddle at the moment, but it seemed to him that the men coming on, the men of the war, were better; and all his old feeling that America was a bizarre accident, a sort of historical sport, had gone forever. The best of America was the best of the world …

“France was a land, England was a people, but America, having about it still that quality of the idea, was harder to utter—it was the graves at Shiloh and the tired, drawn, nervous faces of its great men, and country boys dying in the Argonne for a phrase that was empty before their bodies withered. It was a willingness of the heart.”

FAULKNER  (1897-1962)
“Thrift,” Sept. 6, 1930
“Red Leaves,” Oct. 25, 1930
“Lizards in Jamshyd’s Courtyard,” Feb. 27, 1932
“Turn About,” March 5, 1932
“A Mountain Victory,” Dec. 3, 1932
“A Bear Hunt,” Feb 10, 1934
“Ambuscade,” Sept. 29, 1934
“Retreat,” Oct. 13, 1934
“Raid,” Nov. 3, 1934
“The Unvanquished,” Nov. 14, 1936
“Vendee,” Dec. 5, 1936
“Hand Upon the Waters,” Nov. 4, 1939
“Tomorrow,” Nov. 23, 1940
“The Tall Man,” May 31, 1941
“Two Soldiers,” March 28, 1942
“The Bear,” May 9, 1942
“Shingles for the Lord,” Feb. 13, 1943
“Race at Morning,” March 5, 1955
“The Waifs,” May 4, 1957
“Hell Creek Crossing,” March 31, 1962
“Mr. Acarius,” Oct. 9, 1965
“The Wishing Tree,” April 8, 1967

FITZGERALD stories and articles (1896-1940)
“Head and Shoulders,” Feb. 21, 1920
“Myra Meets His Family,” March 20, 1920
“The Camel’s Back,” April 24, 1920
“Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” May 1, 1920
“The Ice Palace,” May 22, 1920
“The Offshore Pirate,” May 29, 1920
“The Popular Girl,” Feb 11, Feb. 18, 1922
“Gretchen’s Forty Winks,” March 15, 1924
“How to Live on $36,000 a Year,” April 5, 1924
“The Third Casket,” May 31, 1924
“The Unspeakable Egg,” July 12, 1924
“John Jackson’s Arcady,” July 26, 1924
“How to Live on Practically Nothing a Year,” Sept. 20, 1924
“Love in the Night,” March 14, 1925
“A Penny Spent,” Oct. 10, 1925
“Presumption,” Jan. 9, 1926
“The Adolescent Marriage,” March 6, 1926
“Jacob’s Ladder,” Aug. 20, 1927
“The Love Boat,” Oct. 8, 1927
“A Short Trip Home,” Dec. 17, 1927
“Bowl,” Jan. 21, 1928
“Magnetism,” March 3, 1928
“The Scandal Detectives,” April 28, 1928
“A Night of the Fair,” July 21, 1928
“The Freshest Boy,” July 28, 1928
“He Thinks He Is Wonderful,” Sept. 29, 1928
“The Captured Shadow,” Dec. 29, 1928
“The Perfect Life,” Jan. 5, 1929
“The Last of the Belles,” March 2, 1929
“Forging Ahead,” March 30, 1929
“Basil and Cleopatra,” April 27, 1929
“The Rough Crossing,” June 8, 1929
“Majesty,” July 13, 1929
“At Your Age,” Aug. 17, 1929
“The Swimmers,” Oct. 19, 1929
“Two Wrongs,” Jan. 18, 1930
“First Blood,” April 5, 1930
“A Millionaire’s Girl,” May 17, 1930
“A Nice Quiet Place,” May 31, 1930
“The Bridal Party,” Aug. 9, 1930
“A Woman With a Past,” Sept. 6, 1930
“Our Trip Abroad,” Oct. 11, 1930
“A Snobbish Story,” Nov. 29, 1930
“The Hotel Child,” Jan. 31, 1931
“Babylon Revisited,” Feb. 21, 1931
“Indecision,” May 16, 1931
“A New Leaf,” July 4, 1931
“Emotional Bankruptcy,”  Aug. 15, 1931
“Between Three and Four,” Sept. 5, 1931
“A Change of Class,” Sept. 26, 1931
“A Freeze-Out,” Dec. 19, 1931
“Diagnosis,” Feb. 20, 1932
“Flight and Pursuit,” May 14, 1932
“Family in the Wind,” Jun 4, 1932
“The Rubber Check,” Aug 6, 1932
“What a Handsome Pair!” Aug 27, 1932
“One Interne,” Nov 5, 1932
“One Hundred False Starts,” March 4, 1933
“On Schedule,” March 18, 1933
“More than Just a House,” June 24, 1933
“I Got Shoes,” Sept. 23, 1933
“The Family Bus,” Nov. 4, 1933
“No Flowers,” July 21, 1934
“New Types,” Sept. 22, 1934
“Her Last Case,” Nov. 3, 1934
“Zone of Accident,” July 13, 1935
“Too Cute For Words,” April 18, 1936
“Inside the House,” June 13, 1936
“Trouble,” March 6, 1937

New Hand Therapy

New Therapy to Restore Hand Function Moves Closer to Approval

A unanimous decision by an FDA advisory committee on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, paves the way for full approval of a novel and noninvasive treatment to restore hand function (and quality of life) for people with the potentially disabling condition called Dupuytren’s (DEW-peh-trins) contracture. The strong endorsement is based on clinical trial results published earlier this month showing injections of an experimental drug that helped straighten disfigured finger joints in two-thirds of the study participants.

Dupuytren’s affects as many as 27 million people in the United States and Europe and tends to run in families. Over time, a rope-like cord of collagen forms under the skin and around the tendon of a finger, bending it toward the palm and “locking” it in place.

Ken Nelson, who—along with his 91-year-old father and 30-year-old son—has Dupuytren’s, was unwilling to gamble on conventional surgery to treat the condition. He first noted unusual growths developing in the palm of his left hand in the early 1960s.

“I was eventually referred to the Indiana Hand Center, and they knew almost immediately that I had Dupuytren’s,” Ken tells the Post. “The doctor described extensive surgery to open up the palms of the hands and delicately remove the abnormal tissue. I basically fled.”

Over time, his condition progressed.

“About 10 years ago, the problem also appeared in my right hand,” Nelson recalls “The small fingers and the ones next to them began to contract to the point that the tips of my fingers were jammed into the palm of my hand. Both thumbs also began to bend over.

“It was very disruptive to me. I could no longer play the piano, which I enjoy. Putting on a pair of gloves became almost impossible. I had to hunt and peck at the keyboard and even bought a voice-activated program so that I could write by speaking into a microphone on my computer. But I continued to tell my doctors, ‘Maybe one day medical science will develop something that is not going to be as intrusive as surgery.’ It was a trade-off for me, and I decided to not do anything.”

Recently, Ken’s wife saw a notice in the local newspaper seeking candidates to test an injectable treatment for Dupuytren’s. He applied, went through the lengthy approval process, and was accepted into the study.

During the experimental procedure, doctors inject Xiaflex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum made by Auxilium Pharmaceuticals) into Dupuytren’s cords in the hand, taking care to avoid the surrounding area. The cord gradually weakens and then ruptures, releasing the tendon and helping to restore the finger’s normal position and movement.

“Dr. Thomas Kaplan injected one cord in my left hand,” Ken reports. “The next day, he started to gently pull back on the affected finger. I felt a stinging sensation and then heard the cord popping and snapping. I had to look away. But then he said, ‘OK, we’re done. I’m happy.’ I looked at my hand, and, for the first time in 10 years, my finger was straight. I got tears in my eyes and hugged the doctor. It was like a miracle to me.”

Phase III data show the promising treatment significantly reduced the angle of contracture of the finger joint closest to the palm of the hand (called the metacarpophalangeal or MP joint) and the middle joint (or proximal interphalangeal or PIP joint), regardless of severity. Multiple treatments may achieve the best results.

“Xiaflex is an enzyme that comes from the bacterium called Clostridium histolyticum,” study investigator Dr. Thomas Kaplan, who treated Ken Nelson at the Indiana Hand Center in Indianapolis, explained to the Post. “In Dupuytren’s disease, multiple fibers of collagen run along the cord. When the enzyme is injected into the cord, it starts ‘cutting’ the fibers into progressively smaller fragments, weakening the cord in that section.”

Investigators believe that many patients with Dupuytren’s may benefit from the first-in-its-class treatment option. Early intervention may prove to be the most effective approach.

“Multicenter study results published in The New England Journal of Medicine show that 89 percent of MP joints with contracture less than 50 degrees were fully corrected, and 81 percent of PIP joints less than 40 degrees were fully corrected by the experimental treatment,” explains Dr. Kaplan, who is also clinical assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine.
A final FDA decision on Xiaflex is expected within three months. Once approved, experts predict the drug could hit the market next spring.

“Hopefully, this research will represent a whole new treatment paradigm for Dupuytren’s that will be more tolerable and provide patients a better experience than we have been able to offer them with surgery,” adds Dr. Kaplan. “It is really exciting.”

Nelson, now 65, enthusiastically agrees.

“I can play the piano again,” he says. “A quality of life has been returned to me that I had never expected to experience again. I am thrilled with the outcome and my wife is happy too—I can do more chores!”

Swift Summer

Running with summer was a race
Till, far from the familiar town,
He comes upon an altered place
Of green now turning, bronze to brown;

And suddenly strange, irresolute,
Stands in an orchard where the haze
Of autumn enters, and the fruit
Falls final as these summer days:

And over his tanned shoulder looks,
Dreading too soon the senseless chime
Of the harsh bell, and the hard books
Recalling him from his true time.

Published September 12,1953, The Saturday Evening Post.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkins are in season September through November. Instead of canned pumpkin, try using fresh pumpkin puree in your favorite pumpkin recipes. For the best results, slice and seed a fresh pumpkin (sugar pumpkin varieties are recommended) and roast in a 325 F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until tender. When cool, remove skin and mash or puree the flesh.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes
Pumpkin Pancakes

(Makes about 10 pancakes)


Whisk dry ingredients together in medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine wet ingredients and mix well. Whisk the wet ingredients into dry mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Using ladle or 1/3 measuring cup, pour batter onto hot griddle or pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles form. Flip and cook other side for 1-2 minutes.

Song upon Maturity

Oh, now I need no longer fear
Ingratitude, the jealous smile;
For I have known the face of lies
This bitter while.

Familiarity has brought
An end to everything I fear.
I am more moved by honesty
Than by a sneer.

So having skirted sand and swamp
And having tasted briny sea,
I walk the firmer pathways of

And past the little hills of hate,
Beyond the little fence of fright,
I see so infinite a view
They kept from sight.

Published in The Saturday Evening Post, September 12, 1953.

The Best Rockwell Covers You’ve Never Seen

Think you know all the Norman Rockwell covers for The Saturday Evening Post? Since there were well over 300, probably not. Many of them you’ve seen time and time again, but we’ve dug up some you may have never seen—or if you have, you may have forgotten.

Rockwell’s first cover, which you may not recall seeing unless you’re over 100 years old (and if you are, bless you for finding this on the computer), was the May 20, 1916, The Babysitter. A rather unhappy lad is pushing a baby carriage, while his buddies are off to play baseball. If they would just go play baseball, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad, but their “see ya, sucker” attitude is a bit much.

Knowledge is Power, October 27, 1917
Knowledge is Power, October 27, 1917

Knowledge Is Power! Another cover we don’t see that much shows us a teacher with a visitor to the classroom. From the look in the schoolmarm’s eyes, we can deduce that it is a very interesting visitor. Little Johnny has to stay late and write “Knowledge Is Power” on the blackboard a zillion times. The student seems to have a different view of that wise saying than the teacher intended.

We had nearly forgotten this one: From 1919 we see a man locking up the office, leaving a note on the door that says, “Gone on Important Business,” the imperative business being that it’s too nice a day to work. The motivational sign over his desk declaring “Do It Now” no doubt refers to playing golf.

Armor, November 3, 1962
Armor, November 3, 1962

Oh sure, you think, come up with covers from 80 or 90 years ago, but what about the ’50s and ’60s—I’ll remember those, smarty. OK, here’s one from 1962: Rockwell visited the John Woodman Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts (yep, that’s a mouthful), and you’ll need to click on it to see how extremely detailed this painting is. As sometimes happened, the Rockwell imagination went a little off-kilter. The guard taking a lunch break is strictly a Rockwell creation (that wasn’t in the museum), and you have to look very closely to see what else—this is the off-kilter part—the horse underneath that sumptuous armor is watching! OK, we’re not sure if this intrigues us or creeps us out.

Shuffletons Barbershop, April 29, 1950
Shuffleton’s Barbershop, April 29, 1950

You probably remember Rockwell’s famous barbershop quartet cover, but few remember Shuffleton’s Barbershop from 1950. The charming old place, virtually unchanged from 1907, or so the editors informed us, is also highly detailed from the stove and coal bucket to the minutiae of design on the barber’s chair. But it’s the after-hours peek into the back room that draws us, as the real barber, Rob Shuffleton, trades his scissors and razor for a cello to make music with his buddies. Rockwell told the editors that Rob “is a tonsorial virtuoso who always trims his locks exactly the right length.”

<em>Christmas Homecoming</em>, December 25, 1948
Christmas Homecoming, December 25, 1948

But Rockwell was all about faces, and we would like for you to click on the Christmas 1948 cover: The faces are not only wonderful, they were important faces to Rockwell. They were friends, family, and neighbors. Rockwell liked the cute little pigtailed girl so much, he painted her twice—she was only “twins” on this cover. The lady enthusiastically hugging the young blond man is none other than Mrs. Rockwell, and the young man being welcomed so warmly is their son Jerry. Son Peter Rockwell is to the far left, and the young man in the plaid shirt is son Tommy. There are two famous artists in this cover, and you’ll probably recognize the one with the pipe as Rockwell himself. The delightful grandmother is none other than Rockwell friend, Grandma Moses. May all your homecomings be every bit as joyous.



How 1930s Hollywood Heroes Were Made

The legend began with the Noble Savage: the idealized Native American who embodied the natural man—moral, stoic, self-reliant, and free. James Fennimore Cooper took this heroic ideal a step further, giving us the frontiersman: a noble white man who lived among Indians. Ned Buntline took the idea of the frontiersman and created the chivalrous outlaw: men forced by their honor to live outside society, but continually defend the law.

When Hollywood began filming Westerns, it offered a new, equally improbable style of hero: the strong, silent, shy cowpoke. He was a sturdy, fair-playing, boisterous cavalier who righted wrongs, laughed heartily at bunkhouse pranks, and carelessly broke the wills of stallions and the hearts of women. Despite his improbability, he drew the admired imitation of men and boys, who affected Gary Cooper’s drawl and Tom Mix’s contagious smile.

The high heroic standards of these cowboys seemed to leave little creative room for new heroes. Yet, such a hero emerged in the 1930s: a man who was so dedicated to righteousness that he abandoned his personal life and identity. The Lone Ranger donned a mask to become the champion of law (and spend a lot of time explaining why he dressed like an outlaw to serve justice).

The mask was necessary to keep the hero aloof from the everyday life. Folk heroes were required to live apart from the public. It explained to children why they didn’t keep bumping into Batman at the supermarket.

You have to consider certain rules of the fantastic and the practical when creating a hero. George W. Trendle described these rules in 1939 when he told J. Bryan, III, how he invented the hero for a low-budget program on his Detroit radio station.

The Logic of the Fantastic

Hi-yo, Silver! by J. Bryan, III, October 14, 1939
Hi-yo, Silver! by J. Bryan, III, October 14, 1939

“… the program had to be dramatic, because drama was inexpensive, required no-name stars, and could be home-cooked.

“Now follow his reasoning step by step: Drama, but what kind of drama—for adult or kids? For kids, because they are less critical, and therefore the program need not be so expensive or elaborate. Besides, Trendle believed that most parents buy advertised products because their kids coax them into it.

“What kind of kid drama? Trendle knew that kids’ favorites were crime stories and Westerns. He dismissed crime because he wanted his program to be completely wholesome. He also wanted one that would lend itself to premiums from future sponsors. A crime program admitted little more than masks, badges, and weapons, but a Western opened the field of costume and saddlery as well.

“Western drama of what period? Not contemporary, because the script writer would be cramped by having to defer to probability. Drama postulates a hero. What kind would this one be? Young or mature? Mature, because it is better to respect than to envy. Finally, how to distinguish him from a thousand other Western heroes? Trendle wasn’t sure about this.

“He unveiled [the concept] before his studio staff, in December, 1932. Their first objection was that the hero had no mystery and little romance. Why not make him a sort of benevolent outlaw and give him a mask? Fine! Then it was suggested that he needed something distinctive as an identification. How about a super-horse …?

“His first script was revised 15 times before Trendle gave it a trial broadcast, late at night, and unannounced except to the office staff and the sales force. They reported that they liked the story, but they didn’t like the Ranger’s way of talking; his language seemed to have an Eastern flavor. Trendle stood firm. The Ranger was an Easterner, he said. He might even be from Harvard. At least he was an educated man, and he was going to talk like one. The signature to this first script was: “Come along, Silver! … That’s the boy! … Hi-yi! (hearty laugh). … Now cut loose, and awa-a-ay! (Hoofs pounding harder and fade-out).”

The radio audience grew slowly until Trendle offered a free toy gun to the first 300 listeners who wrote the station. Nearly 25,000 children responded. (There were few opportunities for free toys in 1933.)

The publicity garnered much needed publicity, but the Lone Ranger was soon succeeding without giveaways. Kids admired his unswerving dedication to justice without a trace of personal flaws.

“No secular myth has ever grasped the popular fancy with such strength. It is hard to see why … The Ranger is carved from … cold marble. He has no vices; he hasn’t even any relaxations. He never laughs; he never even smiles.

“[The original] Ranger was a happy-go-lucky swashbuckler who laughed at the discomfited crooks as he rode off. Trendle saw him as a sterner character, ‘the embodiment,’ in his own phrase, ‘of granted prayer.’ So presently all suggestions of humor were erased; the Ranger never smiled again. Trendle didn’t like the “Hi-Yi,” either … History does not preserve the name of the genius who finally evolved ‘Hi-Yo!’ ”

The Lone Ranger’s radio program lasted from 1933 to 1954—2,956 episodes.

Sixty years ago, on September 15, 1949, the Lone Ranger debuted on television, running for 221 episodes more than eight years.

The Arrival of the Family Hero

Heroes Showing Up for Duty, October 31, 1942
Heroes Showing Up for Duty, October 31, 1942

In time, the stern, rigid character of the Lone Ranger was succeeded in popularity by more human heroes. A decade later (on September 12, 1959), the next generation of Western heroes emerged. The Cartwright family on Bonanza became the most popular show on television. (It was also remarkable that it was broadcast in color from its first episode.) The single father dealing with three cowboy sons had far less of the righteousness of the Lone Ranger, but public tastes had shifted away from the austere, masked figure. Bonanza appeared on NBC between 1959 and 1973, a span of 430 episodes.

Ultimately, the ideal of the lone dispenser of justice grew too distant from television audiences. Peaking in the 1960s, when horses galloped through most of primetime programming on all three networks, the cowboy faded into the sunset.

The return of the Western is repeatedly announced, but never arrives. The Lone Ranger lives on, though, in innumerable television heroes, who borrow his stern, unyielding quest for justice.

If he stages a comeback, he’ll need a stronger disguise than just a mask. We can believe almost any improbability in a hero, but in our globally networked world, a secret identity is unimaginable.

Click here to read “Hi-yo, Silver!” by J. Bryan, III, October 14, 1939 (PDF).

Nutrition and Fitness Tips for Coping with Stress

You have more control over how your body handles stress than you might think, advises exercise physiologist Jenny Evans.

“Stress will never go away completely,” says the popular wellness expert and coach. “It’s not about eliminating the factors that cause your stress; it’s more about training the body to adapt and recover from it more successfully.”

Research studies link stress with a variety of physical ailments from headache to depression to symptoms that mimic a heart attack. Evans offers these nutrition and fitness tips to prevent harmful stress overload.

Opt for snacks and meals that contain a combination of protein, fiber, and fat to steady your blood glucose levels and cut down on food cravings.

Practice mindful eating. Don’t eat while sitting in front of a computer at work or in front of a television at home. Put down the fork (or spoon) between bites.

Eat a small meal or snack every three to four hours to help prevent glucose levels from becoming too low or too high.

Fit fitness into your life. Aerobic activity and interval training reduce stress, boost energy, and help people get the deep sleep they need.

“It’s best to take on intense physical activity during the day or up three to four hours before bed,” adds Jenny Evans, who is also creator of the fitness program PowerHouse Hit the Deck. “Body temperatures increase during exercise and can take several hours to drop. It’s important to allow the body to cool off before sleep because cooler body temperatures are associated with sleep onset.”

The bottom line: Don’t consider stress as a synonym for distress. To protect your health and well-being, identify the stressors in your life, reduce the ones you can, and find healthy ways to respond to the ones that are not in your control.

“A family member or a boss at work is never going to ask less of you day to day,” says Evans, “but if you learn how to properly cope with stress, these demands become easier to handle.”

Click here for satisfying snack ideas.