Radio stars (Oct 1938)

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The show's founder describes many of the unique hobbies of his mike guests "DEAR MR. ELMAN," the letter in my hand said, "under separate cover I am sending you a bomb." You can imagine my feelings! While it's true that in my capacity as producer of the Hobby Lobby radio program a great many odd articles come to me in the mail, still—a bomb! There was a certain uneasiness in the office until a small, ominously heavy package arrived from E. J. Bullock of Syracuse, New York. It might have been innocent, or it might have been from a crank. We took no chances, and opened the thing under water. Sure enough, it was a bomb! An authentic World War hand grenade, looking very ugly and entirely efficient, though Mr. Bullock, the sender, assured us that it was unloaded. This gentleman's hobby is collecting bombs from the World War, and this particular one rests now, among a thousand other curious articles, in one of the exhibition cases in my office. And in spite of the as- surance of its harmlessness, I assure you that no one has tried to pull the firing pin—and no one will! This is only one example of the thousands of un- usual letters and articles that have come to me during the year of Hobby Lobby's existence; most of them, thank heavens, not so nerve racking. The walls of my office, for example, are covered with the pictures made by hobbyists. But not ordinary pictures. There's one made of crepe paper that's highly decorative; the paper is 22 Hobbyist Elman examines the work of a person who makes various articles out of egg- shells, then hand-paints them. rolled into thin strips, like yarn, and applied to the back- ground like embroidery. There's a picture, made of vari- colored bits of natural sponge, that has a three-dimen- sional quality. There are several sand pictures that are very artistic. Yes—sand, and only the natural colored sands of the world are used; grays, blacks, browns, reds and pure whites. There's an attractive picture made of egg-shells, colored and cemented to the background in a mosaic-like arrangement and, too, there's the picture painted by Mrs. J. B. Clopton of Huntsville, Alabama, that I still take down from time to time and marvel at. It's painted in oils, and while it's quite true that Rem- brandt or Velasquez painted finer pictures, I'm sure neither of them ever painted one on a cobweb! The frame is glassed on both sides so that it may be looked through and, amazing as it seems, this lady has painted a group of flowers, in oils, on an actual cobweb! Don't ask me how—I can hardly believe it myself except that there it is. But one doesn't get hardened to this hobby business, and that's what makes it so fascinating. I'm constantly being amazed at some of the beautiful objects turned out by hobbyists. Here is a tiny, copper teakettle, less than a half-inch in diameter, that was pounded out of a single penny by a convict serving a term in prison. The little kettle is perfectly proportioned, highly polished and