Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2011 November 16 • Wednesday

Jonathan Katz once joked that the children's bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had a self-help section. You could make the same joke about Park Slope.

Most Park Slope parents knock themselves out trying to do special things for their kids. Well, look on this old magazine, ye parents, and despair!

This is the February 1954 issue of Everywoman's magazine, "The Woman's Guide to Better Living", and it's surprisingly cool. There's a very sympathetic article about teenagers and a short story by Ray Bradbury.

(The latter is called "Dinner at Dawn" and is not science fiction. The narrator's grandmother is a great cook but she cooks by instinct and her kitchen is a mess. Cousin Rose gives her a cookbook and cleans up her kitchen and ruins grandma's cooking for everybody.)

But what caught my eye was the cover story, "Build Your Child a Cardboard Nursery". I know parents who have been very resourceful with cardboard boxes but I've never seen anything like this before.

Who doesn't want a wing-back chair made of cardboard? I wonder how long one of these would actually last in a household with children. Probably not as long as it takes you to make it!