Announcing two new Papier Plume inks for the 2018 Chicago Pen Show: Bootlegger’s Sacrament and Da Blue

Papier Plume Da Blue and Bootlegger's Sacrament

Papier Plume of New Orleans has once again made two special limited edition inks for the Chicago Pen Show: Da Blue and Bootlegger’s Sacrament.

I’m dropping the dime today, with a quick first look at these inks. Over the next few days, I’ll post detailed reviews with photos, including writing samples. And keep checking back for a giveaway. Papier Plume has generously given me a bottle of each ink for a lucky Fountain Pen Follies reader.

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The Mark Twain Cure

Montblanc BMW writing sample

I have been in something of a reading funk for the last four months, but I recently found a book I sped through with a smile: a collection of Mark Twain quotes.

Like the foregoing, which is certainly my motto: “Do not put off until tomorrow what can be put until day-after-tomorrow.”

And this one, which encapsulates my pen and ink problem, but makes me feel better about it:  “A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.”

Caran d'Ache Divine Pink writing sample

And then there’s this comment that Twain had Satan make to a newcomer to Hell.

Parker Penman Sapphire writing sample

I guess even in the late 1800s and early 1900s, we Chicagoans must have been enthusiastic civic boosters, and a little hard to take.

Ah well, we love our city. At least we’re number one.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

My blogger friend Diane and I met in WordPress Blogging 101. She blogs at the fantastic LadiesWhoLunchReviews.  We have a lot in common, including geography.  I live north of Chicago, and she lives southwest of Chicago, but we’re both proud Chicagoans.  In fact, we are both so proud of the news around our fair city that we wanted to share two of these stories with you.

Not that we are in favor of impaired driving, at all. These stories are only funny because luckily no one got hurt.  I look at these as cautionary tales.  The lesson of mine would be: if you think, “let’s blow this popsicle stand” is the appropriate response to “you are under arrest,” you might have had a few too many.  Or perhaps: remember that many restaurants deliver.

Diane has a companion piece here, and be sure to click on that, because it’s equally head-shaking.  Driving in the Chicago area is not for the meek.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times and Fox News, reporting here, a 60-year-old woman was arrested Easter Sunday evening at a McDonald’s in suburban Chicago, after she allegedly was found passed out in her car in the drive-through lane just after 9 at night.

Witnesses reported that the car had been blocking the drive-through lane for at least 20 minutes by the time the police arrived.  And I know Chicago drivers, so I bet some of the folks stuck behind her might have been laying on their horns just a bit during that 20 minutes.

But, heck, some good might have come of this.  Blocking a fast food drive-through might have saved a few people’s arteries that night.  Maybe a few people decided to just go home and eat celery sticks, or turn in early.  I mean, it was after 9 at night; that’s bedtime for many of us suburbanites.

Anyway, when the police arrived and found the drive-through sleeper, they decided to charge her with allegedly being under the influence of alcohol.

But this is where the story takes another twist.  Once they arrested her, the police brought her into the station to book her.  At which point she allegedly attempted to “flee” the booking area and leave the station.  Except, of course, that she was at a police station. Meaning that there were lots of police there to stop her.  And I’m thinking that they probably had taken away her keys in the first place.

So, yes, the phrase “Darwin Awards” comes to mind.

But then again, she was probably still hungry.


By Victorgrigas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

An Old Chicago Postcard


A friend sent me this vintage postcard depicting the old Chicago Stadium.

I love seeing the old stadium. The stadium was opened in 1929 for the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, who would later share it with the Chicago Bulls.  The stadium was known as the “Madhouse on Madison” because there were three close-in tiers of seats full of cheering fans, with a large organ providing sound effects.  It was the loudest, most exciting stadium I’ve ever experienced.

We call it the old stadium now, because it was demolished in 1995 and replaced with a newer building just across the street, the United Center, with an exterior modeled on its predecessor.

The old stadium hosted more than just sports, and it was one of those events that prompted the sending of this postcard.  In July of 1940, the 1940 Democratic National Convention was held at the Chicago Stadium, and President Franklin Roosevelt was nominated to run for his third term. The situation in Europe was dark: the Nazis had marched into Paris in June and were preparing for the imminent launch of the Battle of Britain.

Here’s the reverse of the postcard.


“Greeting from the Convention,” from Arthur P. Schalick. The postmark is July 19, 1949, the day after the convention ended. Arthur P. Schalick turns out to be a local official from New Jersey who would later have a high school named after him.  I like the green ink he used.  I also like the trick of writing big when you have less to say.  That got me through a few exams in my student days, so I recognize a kindred spirit. I imagine he sent a stack of these to supporters and contacts back home.

It’s very nice to meet Arthur P. Schalick. I’m glad to have his postcard.  It makes me think of those days, and that great old building.