Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Here's a promotional card created for Jim Sleeper's 1st Orange County Almanac of Historical Oddities (OCUSA Press, 1971). The hole in the upper left corner mimics the hole drilled through each copy of the almanac itself. Why? "This is for the installation of the Almanac on a short nail within arm's reach of wherever the reader sits down to do most of his serious thinking," wrote Jim on page two. "Articles have been tailored to coincide with the usual time reserved for these moments of enlightenment."

Despite the inauspicious reading enviornment originally suggested for these volumes, Jim's almanacs really are an indispensable part of of any Orange Countian's personal library. I treasure my copies and have backup copies, just in case. They are full of fascinating historical facts, stories, and observations -- rendered with an brilliant (if curmudgeonly) wit and charm that delights even those readers who've never before expressed an interest in local history. Not just a remix of material from other sources, the Almanacs are primarily composed of accurate content you'll find nowhere else, which makes them essential reference material for local historians.

Curiously, "the usual time reserved for these moments of enlightenment" also happens to be about the same length of the average, modern, Facebook-addled attention span. So even the grand-kids will enjoy the Amanacs, assuming they've learned how to turn pages in actual books.

If you do not have all three editions of Jim's Almanac, give yourself a belated Christmas present. The third edition is available through the Orange County Historical Society and sometimes through the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society. The first and second editions are harder to find, but often turn up on Amazon.


blue earth bound said...

I have a signed copy of the 1st edition in mint condition if anyone is looking for one. Plantsun@gmail.con

Anonymous said...

Good post.

Milo Anderson said...

Merry christmas to all !! Ho Ho Ho !! May this christmas be the best christmas of all time. And the spirit of christmas bring loads of joy into everyone's lives.