News of the Week: Snow Wishes, Mickey Mantle, and the Great Gatsby Is Now a Vampire

In the news for the week ending January 22, 2021, are instant ice cream, smart lipstick, an undead Gatsby, a fat-shamed dog, and lots and lots of pie.

Picture of a winter landscape in the countryside.
Jolliolly / Shutterstock

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I Need More Winter

Just to live in New England in winter is a full-time job; you don’t have to ‘do’ anything. The idle pursuit of making-a-living is pushed to one side, where it belongs, in favor of living itself, a task of such immediacy, variety, beauty, and excitement that one is powerless to resist its wild embrace.”

—E.B. White, A Report in January, 1958

Sadly, the weather that Mr. White described in his essay hasn’t materialized around these parts this winter. We had a couple batches of snow early in the season, but since then there hasn’t been much at all, certainly nothing you could describe as “wild.”

I need more snow. I need more white. I need colder temps, more variety, beauty, and excitement.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want week after week of 10-inch snows that bring everything to a halt (though this particular year of staying home more than usual means fewer people commuting and on the road). I’m no longer at an age where I can look forward to having school days off and going outside to slide down a hill or make snow angels. Nothing really changes in a positive direction for me when there’s a snowstorm. I have to shovel more and worry about tweaking my back when I walk down the icy stairs.

But isn’t a snowstorm every once in a while a comforting thing?

I can’t even really tell that it’s winter right now. Yes, the temperatures have been in the 30s the past week, but when you’re inside all the time with the heat on, it could be November 6 or March 14. I only know it’s January because we just had Christmas, there was a presidential inauguration this week, and MeTV is in the middle of their special “Janu-Larry” Three Stooges programming.

I want to look outside my window and see a snow-covered landscape. I want the trees in the park across the street to have snow on the branches. I want to hear the snowplows go by my window, even if they do push snow onto the sidewalk I just shoveled. I want to see at least one storm so big that even the local news anchors are wearing sweaters instead of suits during their wall-to-wall live coverage (that’s when you know it’s a big storm).

I don’t know how many people are going to be writing about actually wanting more snow, because the word snow always translates in many people’s minds as “bad weather.” It’s almost an automatic reaction. But I don’t consider snow bad weather. It’s just part of the winter season, a beautiful, comforting part, and right now I want to see more of it. There’s plenty of sunny and hot days ahead — the days I would describe as “bad weather.” Let us have our New England winter. It may be a full-time job, but it’s a seasonal, temporary one.


If there’s not much snow, maybe we can at least have some ice. The cream kind, that is. The Consumer Electronics Show was just held, and there were announcements for the usual gadgets that will make the tech aficionados and early adopters salivate. But who cares about smartphones and smart lipstick when there’s now a machine for the home that dispenses ice cream like a Keurig dispenses coffee?

That’s the description given to the ColdSnap, a new device for your kitchen that will give you single servings of ice cream via pods similar to Keurig coffee makers. Takes about 90 seconds, though I’m going to guess you’re going to want more than one serving.

Mickey Mantle Sold

The troubled ballplayer might be astounded to find out that his Topps baseball card from 1952 just sold for $5.2 million. That breaks the all-time record set just last year with the sale of Mike Trout’s rookie card.

The Great Gatsby

It’s weird to think about classic books and characters now being in the public domain, awaiting writers to take those characters and make new stories from them. The copyright for many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories have run out (his last several stories will be in the public domain starting in 2022), and now F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is available too.

A few weeks ago I told you about the new novel Nick by Michael Farris Smith, which explores what Nick Carraway was up to before Gatsby. And soon we’re going to see more books, including a graphic novel and a novel titled The Great Gatsby Undead, which envisions Jay Gatsby as a vampire.

I can imagine an update of the novel, only shift all of the action from Long Island to Silicon Valley.

By the way, the Post may have played a significant role in The Great Gatsby being published.

Is It Possible to Fat-Shame a Dog?

I wouldn’t think so, but Miss Manner disagrees.

RIP Phil Spector, Don Sutton, Jimmie Rodgers, Joanne Rogers, Peter Mark Richman, Sylvain Sylvain, and Dorothy Cole

Phil Spector produced some of the greatest pop songs of the 20th century, including “To Know Him Is io Love Him,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” “Be My Baby,” “He’s a Rebel,” “Rock ’n’ Roll High School,” and “Spanish Harlem,” along with the Beatles album Let It Be and John Lennon’s Imagine. He was also convicted of murder in 2009. He died Saturday at the age of 81.

Don Sutton was a Hall of Fame pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers and several other teams. He’s third all-time in starts and seventh in number of strikeouts. He died this week at the age of 75.

Jimmie Rodgers was known for ’50s hits like “Honeycomb” and “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine.” He died this week at the age of 87.

Uploaded to YouTube by Jimmie Rodgers – Topic

Joanne Rogers was married to children’s TV icon Fred Rogers for over a half century. She was also a talented concert pianist. She died last week at the age of 92.

Peter Mark Richman was a veteran actor who appeared in such TV shows as Cain’s Hundred, Longstreet, Dynasty, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Three’s Company, Armstrong Circle Theatre, The Outer Limits, and Beverly Hills, 90210. He died last week at the age of 93.

Sylvain Sylvain was the co-founder of and lead guitarist for the ’70s band New York Dolls. He died last week at the age of 69.

Dorothy Cole was the oldest living Marine. She decided to serve her country after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. She died last week at the age of 107.

This Week in History

Benjamin Franklin Born (January 17, 1706)

As the Post celebrates 200 years, it’s important to remember the magazine has its roots in Franklin’s print shop.

Wham-O Starts to Produce Frisbees (January 23, 1957)

Inventor Walter Frederick Morrison originally called the toy disc the Flyin-Saucer and then the Pluto Platter. The name then became Frisbee after Wham-O found out that Yale University students were calling it that, for the Frisbie Pies that were popular at the school.

And yes, the Frisbie Pie Company is still in business.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Highway Snowplow (January 18, 1941)

Post cover depicting a snow plow clearing a highway of snow.
Highway Snowplow by Ski Weld, published January 18, 1941

This illustration is by Ski Weld, who did some of our most striking covers.

National Pie Day

It’s on Saturday. Not to be confused with National Pi Day, which is March 14.

I have to start with the recipe for Apple Pie, because it’s the most traditional of pies and also the best (I will fight you on this). For something fruity beyond apple, try this list of retro pies, including Double Lemon Pie and Orange-Raisin Pie. Hershey’s has a recipe for their Classic Chocolate Cream Pie, while Taste of Home has a Butterscotch Pie. The Domestic Rebel has a recipe for Easy Cold Brew Coffee Pie, which you could serve with tea.

Feeling adventurous? The Mid-Century Menu has a recipe for Alphabet Pie from 1941. Ingredients include alphabet-shaped pasta, canned pears, and red cinnamon candies.

Saturday is also Measure Your Feet Day. As far as I know, the two celebrations are not related.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

NFL Playoffs (January 24)

It’s down to the final four. The Bucs meet the Packers on Fox at 3 p.m. and the Bills play the Chiefs at 6:30 p.m. on CBS.

Australia Day (January 26)

It’s the official national holiday in … well, you know.

Featured image: Jolliolly / Shutterstock

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  1. Well, I’m sorry the weather isn’t to your liking, at least not yet. Winter DOES have 2 months left, but you need more snow, colder temps, more variety and excitement NOW. Here’s hoping you get it; cheers! Global warming could be the culprit, or it’s an ‘off’ winter. Everything else is.

    Thanks for the video of the Consumer Electronics Show. I like the ‘Hazel’ mask and a lot of the other fantasy stuff mainly for the VERY rich. GM’s flying car is really amazing! I can see them having limited use for businesses per the video. It’s something that would need a lot of legal restrictions.

    Realistically, the last thing we/I need are worries that flying cars could come crashing down at any time with disastrous results. People can barely drive on the road without crashing into homes and businesses on a literally daily basis as it is. The latest I heard (today) on my local news was a truck crashing and landing in a back yard pool. Often it’s restaurants or stores. Frankly it’s amazing more people aren’t killed. Hopefully this problem isn’t as bad as in L.A. in your city.

    Jay Gatsby as a vampire isn’t something I’d ever thought of before. Mitch McConnell as the complete embodiment of Satan though, yes!

    I agree with Miss Manners on the dog-shaming. If she’s become “pudgy” her pet parents are to blame. Even if the shaming is gentle, it’s not funny and the dog will sense something’s off. I didn’t know about the history of the Frisbee; they’ve always been around in my lifetime. Love the 1941 Ski Weld ‘Snowplow’ cover. Thanks for the link of his other covers. I love the one Ski did of the flying skiers, but they’re all striking.

    Happy 315th Birthday to Benjamin Franklin. “Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.”


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