The Tablart Cy

In September I went to visit my friends Kitty and Cuddy at their home in beautiful Rhinebeck, NY.  It was my first time to that part of New York and the weekend was packed with activity.  College football games, a benefit concert at the Bearsville Theater, and a trip to baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

When I “checked in” at Kitty and Cuddy’s house, there was a gift bag waiting for me in my room.  Inside the bag, there were souvenir programs from Iowa State football games, basketball games, and the 1969 Drake Relays.  The note that accompanied the items said that they had belonged to Kitty’s brother.  I was struck by two powerful thoughts as I sat in the room and looked through my new treasure.  1.  I think I would have liked Dan as much as I like Kitty.  2.  Kitty already knew who I was and what made me tick before I ever set foot in their home.

Almost lost in the stack of programs was the gem of the bag.  A Tablart Correspondence Tablet, featuring Cy.  This instantly took me to my grandmother’s house.  There are always things about grandparents that really stick in your memory bank.  I remember a particular radio in her house that was always tuned to WMT while she cleaned or cooked.  I also remember these Tablart tablets.  There was a China hutch that sat in the dining room and if you needed something to draw on, or to make a list of important things to remember, you would open the long drawer just below the glass doors.  Here, you would find these notepads, and a wooden box that used to hold salt cod, but now was home to an assortment of pens and pencils.

According to my research, the Baker Paper Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, trademarked the Tablart name in 1954.  That trademark was renewed for 20 years in 1974.  That trademark is now expired and it appears that the Baker Paper Company has suffered the same fate.  This particular pad cost 49 cents when it was purchased.  I think that puts it in the late 60’s to early 70’s range.  When it came home from the Ben Franklin, or wherever it was purchased, it had 50 pages in it.

My Correspondence Tablet has 21 pages remaining between the covers.  I’ve spent a little time thinking about where those other 29 pages went.  Was Dan a letter writer?  Doodles? Diagrams of football plays?  More importantly was this important question.  What will happen to the 21 pages that are still attached?  And then it hit me.  The programs in that bag were great, and they are going to be used in my home.  But this little tablet needs to be used as it was intended.  To correspond with people.

So, here it is.  If, at some point during 2012, you open your mailbox or find an envelope on your desk and there is a note from me on a sheet of paper that has Cy in the upper left hand corner, you will know in an instant that you mean something special to me.  It’s the best way I can think of to share the treasure with others.

3 thoughts on “The Tablart Cy

  1. Tim!
    This is so wonderful! I know I gave those treasures to exactly the right person. Thank you so much for this very beautiful and thoughtful remembrance of Dan. I’m so glad you appreciated those things — I LOVE your memory of being at your grandmother’s house. I too used to look for paper the same way at my grandma’s, and my daughter did the very same thing at my mom’s — what a great image. Keep up the great writing. xo

  2. Tim, this piece began with Kitty’s generosity of spirit and ended with yours. Wonderful essay. I agree with Ms. Sheehan, keep it coming.

    • Chandra,

      Thank you for the sentiment. I also follow your website because of Kitty. Hoping to stop in person the next time I’m in Chicago.

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