History lives. Sixty-two years can disappear in a second when a strange little almost-live thing falls out of an envelope and into your hands.In this case, we’re talking about a clean, intact copy of the September 4th, 1950 issue of Time Magazine’s Pacific Edition. I have regular reader Wolfie to thank for this cool item, which he found in a used book store in Japan. (I redacted the subscription label, but the original owner was stationed at 8th Army Headquarters, presumably as part of the Occupation forces.)
Yes, that’s Curtis LeMay, then head of the Strategic Air Command, on the cover, flanked by four B-36s, the main strategic bombers of the day. This cover is obviously a prime collectible for B-36 buffs such as myself, and I am extremely bucked to have it, particularly in such an interesting context. But this magazine is far more than its cover– it’s completely intact and ready to read, as full as any pre-Internet news magazine can be of articles, commentary, ads and reviews which I expect will be just as entertaining today as they were 62 years ago. Perhaps that should be “even more entertaining”, since they will be out of their original context and may require some amusing research to fully understand. I expect that a thorough reading of this magazine will lead my rather patchwork sense of history in some interesting directions and I will end up reading some books, watching some movies, and studying some subjects that might never have crossed my path before.