In 1957 I would stop by the drug store on Gravelly Lake Drive (now closed, near the Original House of Donuts) on my way home from Park Lodge Elementary. I would look at the issues in the magazine rack and if I had enough money I would buy the latest copy of MAD Magazine. The humor was juvenile, dumb, and irreverent. I loved it.
I was sad to see the news that MAD was ceasing the publication as I had known it and would rely on past glories and old articles and images. MAD Magazine was an American humor magazine. As an adolescent I appreciated the humor. It was founded in 1952. Wikipedia reports that “On July 3, 2019, it was widely reported that MAD would no longer be sold on newsstands by the end of the year; additionally, outside of end-of-year review issues, future issues would no longer feature new content, with the magazine instead relying on classic content from its nearly 67-year history.”
Cracked Magazine came along in 1958. It was a low-brow version of MAD Magazine, which I appreciated. The magazine folded in 2007. In addition to MAD and Cracked, I also liked Sick Magazine which was first published in 1960 and ceased operations at the end of the sixties.
At Hudtloff and Mann I admired the cartoons of my friend, Tony Schmidt. They were styled on some of the art work found in MAD. Later Tony and I were art students at the University of Puget Sound. He created the wedding rings for Peg and me. I think I paid him $10 for the silver rings.
As a sophomore at Clover Park in 1961-62 I would take the bus to school, but walk home to Ponders Corner. I would first stop at Clover Park Pharmacy and search for MAD, Cracked, and Sick, and other magazines or paperbacks that caught my attention. At Clover Park I would share jokes, and stories, much like I do now. I took “study hall” only once, but used it to read my favorite authors Ayn Rand and H. Allen Smith. On the whole, Smith was much funnier than Ayn Rand. Today I find her writing just plain absurd.
I still enjoy simple humor. I can’t read new issues of MAD, Cracked, and Sick, and I never saved the old copies, but sometimes for a laugh I’ll look back at my sophomore yearbook from Clover Park. Most of my friends were as simple as I was.