So in my mind, Zorro is more romantic than basically anything. I am tempted by this Collector's Item as I have never been tempted before:
Zorro, in case you -- poor unfortunate soul -- have not heard, is an action hero who originated in the 1920s. His tale was set in old-time Spanish California, where he engages in many stirring exploits in order to protect the weak! Also, he wears a black cape and wields a rapier. And he has a secret identity as a wealthy landowner. And he is an amazing dancer. And he is famously ironic and seductive. Ah, Zorro. He even inspired the creation of Batman, did you know?
The first Zorro story, "The Curse of Capistrano", came out in 1919. In 1920 it became a legend by means of a movie adaptation called "The Mark of Zorro", starring Douglas Fairbanks. By the strange alchemy of books-turned-movies, the movie was then recreated as a 1924 book and titled "The Mark of Zorro", which is dedicated to Douglas Fairbanks. Our copy of this rare book has the beautiful original dust jacket, upon which we see Zorro and his lady love in a tense tryst; of course the text features all the usual rhetorical flourishes and glorious action, and the whole comes to $250.00.
Now that I've told you where my heart lies, the question that started this post -- "more romantic: Army vs. Zorro?" -- is, I hope, not pre-emptively settled. Because you are certainly entitled to your own opinion, and I acknowledge that there is some romanticism to the army! And here at the store we occasionally get nice military memorabilia of various types. Like this week's Affordable and Interesting little sign:
For only $12.50, you may own this piece of memorabilia from the World War II era. It is simply made, and shows the starkness of the war effort. I feature it here because I like the fonts, and I also like the spare little stars at each side of the bit that says "NAVY V-1 PLAN". It even piqued my curiosity enough to Google for "V-1 plan", at which point I found a stirring YouTube video that was made to support the United States Navy V-1 (click here). Although I may be a bleeding heart Zorro-lover in my personal life, I do feel that we ought to support our troops.
On a less serious note, you know what else I totally support? Racing pigeon unions! They're my Favorite, or at at least they are today!
This souvenir book was created and sold at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, and it contains many tracts about pigeon racing, as well as advertisements from relevant organizations; notes from pigeon clubs; and a program for the Union's visit to the Fair. Also, there are some loose unbound certificates included!
Several antique American Racing Pigeon Union Diplomas, no less. These documents list the starting points for competitive pigeons, as well as the pigeons' speeds and other aspects of the competitive experience. As it happens, the American Pigeon Racing Union still has a website, including an astonishingly detailed "Introduction and History" page (click here). Maybe I should call them and let them know about this historical find, available for only $150.00! Or maybe you will snap it up instead. Only a soulless human could fail to love pigeons.
Which do you suppose is faster: a racing pigeon, or Zorro on his trusty horse Tornado? Please ponder that question over the next few weeks, dear readers, and I'll see you when you're done pondering.