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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Elmer's Tune

A folder I began doctoring in my freshman year of high school, I believe, and continued working on through high school and a year or two beyond. I no longer know what type the original folder was, but the delirious accretions reflected my interests. Snippets from Oddities, an animal bone, a plastic doll arm, photocopied images of Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, Andre Breton and other surrealist/ Dadaists, Rimbaud's face, one of Lovecraft's homes, a piece of a cigar package, a postcard depicting "Sylvester," a mummified man found in the Arizona desert, who was displayed in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the waterfront in Seattle, comic art by Richard Corben, R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, tiny reproductions of E.C. Comics covers, Lon Chaney as the Phantom of the Opera, a painting by William Holman Hunt called The Scapegoat, photos from old medical books, Tom Peterson's face (an icon from the 1960s through the 90s or so, Portland area retailer), and other images/objects, coated with hard layers of dried Elmer's glue. Incidentally, the familiar white stuff seems to be a pretty good preservative. I inexplicably painted the front cover black at some point, and then scraped as much of the pigment off as I could.
This folder, which transported notes and school work and documents, attracted notice and commentary from time to time. Other times, I used the standard "Pee Chee," or other folders. The Pee Chee folders, with their vibrant figures caught in sports activities, are still around, not changed much from the 60s or 70s. No doubt the tennis player and other athletes have racked up millions of alterations -- with drawn- on moustaches, afro hairstyles and the like -- over the years.


  1. Very creative and especially advanced for someone still in high school. I think it's a great reflection of all of the chaos, confusion, angst, and excitement of those adolescent years.

  2. Thanks Christine, "chaos, confusion, angst, and excitement" is pretty accurate. I can't identify what some of the stuff on there is myself!

  3. I can smell the glue...I like the shape of the flaps, becoming increasingly irregular. Amazing artifact, bringing me back to those years. Wish I knew what happened to mine. I remember there were occasional surgeries, requiring the original "tissue" of the folder to be brought to the surface, taped and sutured, soft pulpy fiber unlike the elephantitic plaques of the exterior.

  4. I'd need an x-ray to see what the original folder was.