I might have posted this before where some of you have seen it. If so, apologies for the duplication. 

  Before the story itself, a preface. This was about 1945/6.

  When I was a small boy I had a blackboard. An old-fashioned one, used with chalk and rubbed with a felt eraser. I loved and used it so much that, periodically, I'd rub through the black on the board. My mother had a solution. She'd canvass the family about the records we had (all 78s of course). Any that no one would miss? She'd take the cited ones, break them into small pieces, put them into a double boiler on the stove, slowly reduce them to a liquid, take a brush, paint my blackboard with it, and tell me to let it dry. Presto! I had a fresh, new blackboard. At least until it wore through again, with which more unwanted records were melted and painted. (The records to be melted down could not be Columbias because of their paper inner cores.)

  So at last -- yet another use for 78s.

  I was an announcer and producer at WFMT in Chicago for thirty-five years. We all prepared newscasts as part of our daily shifts. One of our news sources was Reuters. In addition to major news coverage, they occasionally sent witty and humorous items. The following was one. I've kept it framed on my wall. (There is no year in it. It was probably about 1980.)



  Shepton Mallet, England, July 2, Reuter -- A magistrates [sic] court here was told today of the local destitutes' top drink -- boiled phonograph records.

  Scotsman Thomas Duncan, 50, said the hit beverage was made by breaking up and boiling old 78 r.p.m. records.

  Duncan was jailed for 30 days for stealing two brass vases from a house where he went for water to dilute his favorite drink.

  The police analyst in this town about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Bristol is to study Duncan's claims.

Reuter 1935

  Don Tait