January 6, 1951
ADOPTED BY: ST. THOMAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN FALLS CITY
In these troubled days there is always available the refuge and inspiration and courage-giving influence of the church. These worshipers have prayed for an enlightened world and for strength to bring about that enlightenment, and meanwhile a cleansing blanket of snow has fallen silently outside like an answering benediction. John Falter, while thinking of all religions, used as a model St. Paul's Episcopal Church in pleasant Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
He has chopped down a tree or two, temporarily, and moved in houses from other Doylestown streets. He wants it understood that the little lady chatting persistently with the rector in the doorway, thereby bottlenecking most of the congregation inside, is nobody in particular.
March 3, 1951
ADOPTED BY: CAROL TUBACH JOHNSON
While the young virtuoso executes her recital, we'll whisper the news that the older gentleman on the couch is George Falter, father of Artist John Falter. Although a proprietor of two clothing stores, he does not knowingly sit with his coat flung open like that, publicizing his suit label. His son, striving earnestly for realism, painstakingly painted the label so that it was clearly readable. But alas! The label had to be painstakingly rendered unreadable, on the theory that ads should go on other pages. Regarding those people in the picture who seem to think that the musical child should be seen and not heard, wouldn't it be interesting if someday they had to pay three dollars a head to hear her in Carnegie Hall?
April 14, 1951
ADOPTED BY: BUTCH & DOBEY HAWS
FOR THE FALLS CITY JOURNAL
Some newspaper pitchers have better control than others. We recall one young marksman who nine out of ten times could hit a front door, wham! These unexpected crashes were very startling to the people indoors, many of whom at that hour had not yet fortified their nerves with breakfast coffee. Eventually the sharpshooter was urged just to drop his wares quietly into a bush or flower bed, in the orthodox way—a request that baffled, him, for the poor lad was striving to please people. The boy in John Falter's scene merely aspires to his porches, and sometimes does. But let's not be critical. How would you like to arise at four A.M., deliver fifty papers--come heat, cold, sleet or simoon -- then really start the day's work, at school?
May 5, 1951
ADOPTED BY: BETH & RANDY SICKEL
Boys will be human beings and have differences of opinion. What a pity it is that all human differences, including international, can't be settled as illustrated--by a couple of stronger parties, who prefer peace to war, striding out of their living rooms in great annoyance and thundering, "You two fellows stop this nonsense and shake hands, or we'll tan both of you!"
John Falter's battle scene raises a nice question: if the lad in the red shirt started the fight by loyally proclaiming, "My pop can lick your pop," and if his father has just licked him with that switch, is this justice or rank ingratitude? That canine moaning in the background is evidently dismayed at the spectacle of human beings fighting like cats and dogs.
June 16, 1951
ADOPTED BY: TRULA & MERLE BACHMAN
Well, the trembly groom has got the ring on the correct finger of his lady without dropping it, and now the line forms on the right to kiss the bride. As this congratulatory ceremony tends to fall flat for the female guests, we always wondered why it isn't the custom for them all to buss the groom. Our art department, asked why the father of the bride is unapparent in the picture, speculates that he is either looking for some punch, turning handsprings out on the lawn or just invisible in the background as usual. John Falter's groom has a look in his eye suggesting that he doesn't care for the aged wolf who is munching the bridal cheek. He's probably fuming. Two to one the old goat will go around the line again for a second helping.
August 18, 1951
ADOPTED BY: JOHN & LORALEE WEAVER
Sometimes Nature rains on a picnic; sometimes she is just neutral; and sometimes, as in the mood caught by John Falter's brush, she glories in the occasion herself, painting a magic sunset, smoothing the waterways into mirrors, tempering the temperature, even arranging for watermelons to be at their most luscious ripeness. These picnickers are nice people who deserve all this, for they are picking up their wastepaper. By and by they will be full of food and beauty and sleepiness, and go home, to the disgust of the boy and girl alone out there with their dreams. Those two want to see the stars gleam out, and the moon rise and cross the sky and disappear, and then watch the new day dawn—and maybe stay on to see the sun set again.
September 29, 1951
ADOPTED BY: THE FAMILY OF AMOS YODER
John Falter has brought various branches of this family together for Sunday-evening supper, and that will be fun if little Bobby ceases pulling out little Mary's hair, and the losers in the croquet conflict don't wind up mad, as Uncle Redmallet and Aunty Yellowmallet seem to be over the sad event about to overtake the former's ball.
Young Bluemallet better have that transplanted golf stroke of his under control or he will wallop his foot through the wicket at the far right. Speaking of golf, the only identified personality on view is Betsy, the dog, who dwells in Atchison, Kansas, with Clancy Miller, Falter's golf partner. Betsy, told that she had become a cover girl, wagged her tail for three hours without stopping. Says Falter.
December 8, 1951
ADOPTED BY: THE ROTARY CLUB OF FALLS CITY
Now, says John Falter with his brush, something different enters the thinking and the feeling of people. In all sorts of symbolism it finds expression. Holly wreaths are woven and mistletoe is gathered. The little green trees are brought down from the woods. Shop windows glow; school windows are brightly decorated; before long, all the home windows will sparkle with the tinsel and multicolored lights and candles that are inside. Now the moods of everyone have less room than usual for tensions and worry and crossness, and there are more smiles than frowns, more cheery greetings that grunts, more happiness than melancholy in the air. Again, thank God, the world is exalted by that old, new blessing—the Christmas spirit.
January 26, 1952
ADOPTED BY: FRED & BEV OTTO
Oh, what fun it is to ride on flashing skates, if you know how to pick them up and put them down without landing on your nose in the middle of next week. When snow falls and has to be shoveled off the ice, the joy of skating wanes; but so what? For oh, what fun it is to ski. John Falter saw these gay blades on a Pennsylvania pond and, instead of donning skates and snapping the whip with them, the coward painted them. The last time Falter went skating--at age ten—he spent the afternoon collecting pieces of ice in which minnows were frozen. He says, honest, that he took the ice home, melted it, and minnows came alive and that presently his parents were upset to find fish swimming in the bathtub in January. Queer people, painters.
March 15, 1952
ADOPTED BY: LAVERNE YOESEL
The young lady is sweet sixteen--and it sure took a long time getting here, thinks she. Everybody has had a gay dinner, after singing "Happy Birthday!" in the affectionate but bizarre voices typical of such recitals. So now Sweet Sixteen undertakes to unlight all the candles with one typhonic blast, to bring true a glowing wish that soon one John Jones, who is fabulously handsome, will agitate the telephone and invite her to the Junior Prom. All the candles will go out except one--yet presently Jones will call up anyway, which won't surprise the woman much, for she was 90 per cent sure he was going to in the first place. John Falter doesn't paint candles very well; they should be spreading wax mulch all over the cake.
April 26, 1952
ADOPTED BY: RON & GAY CIMA
John Falter, whose little boyhood was spent in the Midwest, claims that that region has the most hair-curling lightning and thunder in the U.S.A. Now an Easterner, he still, in retrospect, is so scared of those awful fireworks that he only recently got up the courage to paint this cover. Details from his horror memories are the way trees turn up the undersides of their leaves and look like phantoms, and the way dogs turn up their chins and wail. When we expressed surprise that somebody has remembered to close all those windows, Falter said he originally had a woman shutting one of them, but got mad at her face, and closed the window himself. One person in the picture is happy--the lad who now can quit spading.
July 5, 1952
ADOPTED BY: DICK & MARY JANE GIST
The family has reunioned to celebrate their independence, and Mr. Smilenow is going to squeeze them all into one photograph or smother in the attempt. After everybody has looked unnaturally pleasant for a while, the camera professor, emerging from his shroud, will tell them to look pleasant, and their tired-out faces will collapse into shocking sun squints just as the camera snicks. Great-grandma is the smart one; in her mellow old wisdom she's thinking, I'll just save my gumption till he's ready, and then turn on a smile that'll make me the belle of the tintype. Let's ignore Uncle Gourmand on the stoop, and those exasperating boys, either one of whom may grow up to be President; and merely ask artist Falter: "Why isn't it raining?"
January 16, 1943
ADOPTED BY: RODGER & DIANN MERZ
Beginning at the top, a word to each of these "golfers":
1--Now, now don't commit suicide. It's only a game. Laugh ha! ha!"
2--Going to waggle all night?
3--And what are you trying to do, kill a snake?
4--Oh, marry the girl.
5--Pretty good form. ("Pretty good!" interjects artist Falter. "That happens to be a carefully executed likeness of a fellow named Bobby Jones!") Correction: Pretty! Good form!
6--Last ball. Don't use it, Mister. Go home thinking what a sweet shot it would have been.
7--So you belt 'em 200 yards, you exhibitionist?
8--Mom, if you hit your shoe, it won't feel nice.
9--Ever try both feet off the ground?
10--Ah, a true golfer! Greater love for sport hath no man than to make such a goon of himself.
August 23, 1952
ADOPTED BY: RODGER & DIANN MERZ
One of the values of a vacation is to build up strength to survive the labors and shocks related to terminating said vacation. It is a known scientific fact that it is twice as hard to pack up to come home as to go away and that during a vacation the speed of growing grass accelerates 4.7 times. Also, the corn in the garden hastens to mature, so that when the folks return it will be too old to chew. Artist Falter, already saddened by this scene, will be desolate to know that the key to the house is on papa's key ring in his shorts at the bottom of the trunk on top of the car. But, cheerio! Be it ever so depreciated, there's no place like home after its inhabitants have been back long enough to get the joint under control again.
November 1, 1952
ADOPTED BY: THE ROTARY CLUB OF FALLS CITY
Once again (and whatever became of summer?) the fodder's in the shock and the frost is on the jack-o-lantern. Papa and the little Halloweeners will now cut faces in the punkins and papa will cut his finger, but he won't bleed long, only until he burns the finger on a candle--cauterizes it, a form of healing. Then everybody will bob for apples and have gay fun, even mother, the one who gets to swab up the mess on the floor. These are the wise, wholesome ways to merrymake on Allhallows eve, and we rejoice that the kids in John Falter's scene do not plan to hang a pail of milk over Farmer Smith's door, ring the doorbell and watch him get wet. That would be naughty, wasting valuable milk when water would do just as well.
December 6, 1952
ADOPTED BY: THE FAMILY OF ANN GARLAND
Now comes the season when women buy a fresh set of colored nooses to donate to men. This is a beneficial rite, as it hinders men from going around with empty collars, looking like bums and being comfortable. Opposite sexes are a great help to each other. Take high heels; if it weren't for the way men look at such matters, women probably would go around in sneakers, looking like bumesses, and being comfortable. Getting some deep thinking in here, aren't we? Regarding the cover, some of those cravats are all right, and as this is a time of good will toward men, let us forgive John Falter for the others. You decide which are which. A word of advice to the lady trying out that tie against the party with the nauseated expressions: No.
January 10, 1953
ADOPTED BY: THE ROTARY CLUB OF FALLS CITY
Making angels in the snow is a traditional childhood delight in many regions, but little known in others, such as Florida and Southern Cal. It is not to be confused with another northern tradition, shoveling snow. It is a kindlier delight than socking one another in the eye with snowballs; besides, the snow in John Falter's scene is too dry to pack. When the clothing of angel makers is wet enough, they go indoors, but are not immediately associated with angels in their mothers' minds. Still, the mothers usually calm down, drawing strength from the memory that in the good old days, their mothers usually calmed down. Was it the philosopher Aristotle who exclaimed, "Pshaw! What are snow and kids for but to get together"?
April 18, 1953
ADOPTED BY: THE ROTARY CLUB OF FALLS CITY
It is regrettable to note that Mrs. Homemaker is about to step on the apple, which is deadlier than a banana peel, and land upside down in the clothes basket. Following this routine domestic incident, how will she react to mother's little helpers? Any impulse to make gestures with a hairbrush will be frustrated by the thought that a helpful, creative impulse in children should not be frustrated.
If she employs the intellectual approach, she will expose herself to the comeback, "But, mother, when daddy puts on the chef's hat, the kitchen gets awfler than this." We guess Mrs. H., being human, will yell around for a minute, then repent, and in a loving, sobby way clean up, reflecting that it was all Mrs. Nextdoor's fault. Or John Falter's.
June 20, 1953
ADOPTED BY: CINDY FARMER
Little Harry Helicopter is now getting bawled out for being the only person in John Falter's picture exhibiting any signs of imagination, daring, enterprise and inventive genius. If memory serves, people also used to counsel the Wright brothers to come right down from there and stop being silly. Wouldn't it be a charming twist if the inventor had something in that fuselage enabling him now to fly straight up into the air? Anyway, instead of the lad's parents' being critical, they should admire his judgment in deciding not to take off from that water tower. By the way, who stove in papa's fender--papa? If they'd let Harry drive, he could do better. Grandpa is saying, "Let Harry be! I used to jump farther than that. Without wings."
July 11, 1953
ADOPTED BY: ED & PAT O’GRADY
In New York's famous wilderness, Central Park, you can hike, boat, bicycle, ride horseback, woo a wife, climb small mountains, get lost in small woods, and on the zoo trails meet many wild animals including people who make faces at monkeys. If you don't think New Yorkers get more exercise than country people, buy some liniment and see how far you can trudge in the park without crying, "Help! Taxi!" To this resort go many sailors to take a vacation from water by rowing a boat weighted down by a girl--a curious phenomenon, as you would think the girl would row the sailor. That one soldier in the picture is not lost; he is following the girl. And that painter is not John Falter--John can paint without a beard.
October 17, 1953
ADOPTED BY: FRED MOREHOUSE
IN MEMORY OF CHARLIE, JANE & TOMMY MOREHOUSE
As autumn and John Falter paint eerie shadows across the gridiron; once again we find education interfering with the development of football players. Does this school teacher think of the young forward passer as a triple-threat man of All-American possibilities? Does she reflect that if she squeezes more football time into the curriculum, the boy may win fame as a college grid great, and fortune as a pyrotechnic pro? More likely she regards him as a triple-threat educational challenge and is wisely dedicated to prying three Rs into him, letting athletic scholarships fall where they may. But regarding that impending touchdown, we bet she knows enough football to rule it illegal--ball was snapped after the school bell rang.
May 1, 1954
ADOPTED BY: JOHN & JEAN METZGER
Artist John Falter got two of those lads--Bill the Redhead Fassett and Michael the Plaidshirt Lane--excused from a St. Louis school to pose with baseballer Stan the man Musial. This upset the boys, as all boys hate to miss school. Thanks to artistic license, that lad getting the autograph is Red Fassett, a year older with black hair--a double-header pose. The lass is Patricia Wilson, and the boy with the ball and the leg without a boy are parts of Dave King; they are friends of Falter in Belvedere, California--where, by the way, Falter is building a new glass house on a cliff. Imagine how lucky those St. Louis models felt when they wound up with forty revered Musial autographs. "Wow!" one said in awe. "Will we clean up selling these at school!"
June 5, 1954
ADOPTED BY: GERALD & KATHY HOPP
Down out of the city's cubbyholes come the inhabitants to enjoy some fresh air and automobile fumes. On second thought, ignore that glum remark, for actually these folks are having a swell time. Leaving the ladies to gossip blissfully, notice how children don't really live in the city or in the country, but on a tricycle, under a fireman's hat, or in the placeless glow of mother's affection, like little rubber legs there at the left. And does it matter where a boy is if he has a ball, especially if this includes the thrill of fleeting from a garden with an old fuss-budget in hot pursuit? John Falter did well to put a helmet on that ball boy; the lad soon will fly into outer space.
August 14, 1954
ADOPTED BY: EVELYN LARKIN DAVIDSON
Small boys, a lazy summer day, a covered bridge, a crick or creek to play with, and a snake--how can one better define bliss? Substitute for small boys, old boys, and the definition still stands up fine. Once, oh, so long ago, there was a covered bridge that was haunted by a banshee who was jealous of the wind singing in the trees and uttered irascible, hair-raising moans. Few boys, though, can expect such bliss as a covered bridge plus a terrifying haunt. By the way, John Falter painted that bridge from life; its warning of "$5 fine for...smoking segars on" is an old rural Pennsylvaniaism, not a sample of the way the artist himself organizes words. Shouldn't Falter be fined $5 for letting that boy walk the dangerous wall on?
October 23, 1954
ADOPTED BY: JIM & DIANE SEFRIED
Father has so much to be thankful for. His children pursue a soul-refreshing art. His home is a mecca for young people, so stimulating to have around the house. And now, as he enters the house, after a neurotic day in the office and being rather savage in mood, thankfully he can remind himself that music hath charms to soothe the savage beast. Mother whispers to him, "Cool chamber music, eh? They're all in for dinner, and I fear this may last far into the evening. But Cheerio, Paterfamilias! You can read your paper in the back bedroom and be thankful that I remembered to bring home your earplugs from the beach." Say, do you think John Falter really understands this cover? Why did he paint father looking unthankful?
January 8, 1955
ADOPTED BY: ALYCE SCOTT
Oh, see the darling little ones Mrs. Pussycat has evolved. Father Human and his wife seem to regard this event as a kitastrophe, and if that isn't a ghastly pun, you try to make a worse one. Well, things will work out--out into other houses. Kittens being so cute and lovable--when they come one at a time anyway--let us have faith that presently the children will deal out this collection among neighborhood children who have no kittens and whose parents have mice.
As for Old Dog Towser, who, according to John Falter's brush, is about to burst into tears, he should cheer up. For that heart of a child is so much bigger than a house that it can easily, warmly shelter ten cats, ten dogs, a garter snake and a Shetland pony.
March 26, 1955
ADOPTED BY: BUTCH & DOBEY HAWS
FOR DENNIS SIEF
How funny such an incident is. Provided it happens to somebody else. Actually, if Mrs. Scattergood had as keen a sense of humor as, say, Mark Twain, she could laugh heartily at this herself. She hasn't. Well, maybe there'll be a chain reaction which will cheer her up some; for instance, if that round man tips over and gets rolling, he will gather no moss to the bottom of the hill. How funny such an incident is. And if that round grapefruit rolls out of the market bag, and the Samaritan who is stopping items with his foot impulsively stomps on it, surely Mrs. S. will perceive the humor in that. By the way, it does seem as if painter John Falter could have had the compassion to make the poor lady's dog a retriever.
May 28, 1955
ADOPTED BY: BUTCH HAWS, NANCY HAWS MERZ & DEBBIE HAWS HOOD
IN MEMORY OF MIKE HAWS
These Kansas lads have caught a whale of a catfish; wonder if their father went fishing, too, and hasn't yet caught a minnow? The catfish's future is uncertain, as mother is too far away for the expression on her face to be safely interpreted. Some people consider cat steaks more enthralling than lobster Newburg; others would as soon think of eating creamed rubber heels; and native-Kansan* John Falter poses a third possibility--he once caught a big cat which, because his folks had already eaten catfish until they were ready to miaow, was reverently but firmly filed away underground. One thing about mother seems clear; she will run a high temperature if her fisherboys enter the house without scraping Kansas off their feet.
*John was a native Nebraskan
August 6, 1955
ADOPTED BY: KATHY BUCHHOLZ MARTIN
IN MEMORY OF JOHN & KATIE BUCHHOLZ
The charm of golf is its relaxing good-fellowship; see how relaxed, how in tune with the music of the spheres, half of those good fellows are. In case you don't comprehend golf, if that small, white sphere had dropped into the cavity, the relaxation would have been vice versa. Maybe it didn't drop because an ant, weary of being run over by golf balls, humped his back, then ran away squeaking with laughter; or maybe the contestant didn't strike the ball hard enough. Actually, a golfer should be madder about missing a putt by five feet than by one antmeter, but, happily for Mr. Falter, human nature is peculiar. Well, in time those sad fellows may see the humor of all this; you can bet their friends will do all they can to help.
November 5, 1955
ADOPTED BY: DONALD & MARIANNE EVANS NICOLA
One thing never grows old for boys and old boys, the lure of adventure in far, pioneering places. It's a cumulative lure; see how that vapor trail jetting past the ancient square-rigger is blending new futures into all the pasts. Once there were the seven seas to pioneer, and six continents; now, the thirteen skies above them, and by-and-by it will be new worlds beyond the skies, on and on to where, nobody knows.
What an age this is for dream-minded boys, imagining themselves yesterday's sailors and tomorrow's rocket pilots, clutching atomic pistols and wearing----Hey! Have those boys lost their Davy Crockett caps? As this space is getting cramped, how's for consulting page 160 for the story of that alluring ship which the old salt is spinning for the young salts?
All covers are copyright of the Saturday Evening Post Society.