‘Bertie’ is clearly legible but whom did he present the Zane Grey to that Christmas in 1951? Was it ‘Jasmine’, or ‘mommie’? Or was it Jammie or Tammie? It’s clear the name ends in ‘mmie’, but I’m unsure of the first few letters. A sibling’s present to another perhaps?

Making the assumption that a woman perhaps wouldn’t enjoy reading Zane Grey, I would guess the receiver was a white male. Again, assuming Zane Grey was read by the young, I would pin the receiver down to a white male around 17-25. The stoic, curtness of tone suggests that both, the giver and receiver were in a farming community. They are therefore white, male, today around 85-90.

Why white? For one, around 1951, Canada was just as racist as America and for the love of me, I just cannot picture a Canadian (or even American) black presenting another black a Zane Grey novel, the author being known for stories that glorified white settlers.

The tone in the words is cold, curt even. Maybe back in 1951, folks were that way. But the times couldn’t have been hard. Like the US – untouched by devastation – Canada’s arms, petroleum, heavy engineering and ship building industry had benefited economically from the war. The Canadian economy was booming.


I bought the book anyway. Heck, it costed me $1 at Nova, the secondhand book store down by the river. I love Zane Grey and besides, the book has a certain antique value. Who knows? I might be able to sell it on Ebay for $5000 in a coupla years.

Am I not exceptionally smart? In the spirit of James Bond’s now famous words of introduction – I am Bong, Spunky Bong.


Acronym explained:-

WHOGAFA : Who Gives A Fuck Anyway