I found them in a Victorian box the cover decorated with miniature roses of days long ago. I remember the day which was cold, wet and a time where I had nothing constructive to do. Being an only child, there were days like this so I decided to play in our basement and look through old packing boxes of memorabilia.
It was my grandmother’s box and it looked like it had contained real flowers at once time. The box was like the cover of a book and had a gold binding. Scripted writing said “roses for you” and I wondered if my grandfather had given real roses from this box on a special occasion. But it wasn’t dark and disintegrating flowers that I found beneath the cover, but piles and piles of 5 by 7 sheets of yellowed newspaper clippings. There had to be over a hundred comics and in each corner the label read “The Good Old Days by Erwin L. Hess.
These had been printed in the 1950’s but their black and white pictures depicted the world much younger, in fact, beginning at the turn of the century. The detail of each comic frame reminded me of scenes from perfect doll house rooms. You could look at one drawing several times and still not see everything. This shows a celebration of the Fourth of July in 1954 but it talks about remembering 1919; over a hundred years ago. That is why I have taken out the box many times through the years.
Today, begins the journey of the good old days series and I will post a story and comic to match a topic throughout the year. Of course, I will also being doing other writings about everything and anything. However, you will always know by the yellowed comic chosen with label and title, The Good Old Days.
There is an expression that says “one picture is worth a thousand words”. As you view the comics in later posts, not only do you learn about the past and its progression, but you will experience the artful moments of family, canvases of adventure, scenes of the seasons and just plain enjoyment. You will realize the milestones of invention, the joys of house and home, entertainment in different forms and that unconditional love for family or friends has never changed from past to present.
Erwin L. Hess was an artist for all types of comics and began “The Good Old Days” series in 1947. Believe it or not, the comics were still being published until 1981.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s, he did artwork for comics such as Roy Rogers. He had also illustrated several children’s books. He had become quite popular for his creation of Captain Midnight , another newspaper comic strip.