Boston Mycological Club

2011 Holiday Bazaar Rivals Filene's Basement

Article by Pam Chamberlain. Photos by Susan Brand.

The annual holiday "duff sale" (our mushroom-themed tag sale) and movie night took place on Monday, December 5. Over fifty members and friends attended, and our clubroom at the Harvard Herbarium was simply buzzing with excitement and sales transactions.

Duplicate books in our Club's or Harvard's library, and many older books from the Club's archives were offered for sale. We did a brisk business of selling works by some of the best American mycologists of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as William Coker, William Farlow, Ralph Singer, Alexander Smith, and Harry Thiers. There were some beautifully illustrated volumes, and lucky members managed some fine picks. Catherine Hammond's poster Twenty Five Common Mushrooms of New England and other artworks were available. All told, the Club's coffers grew by several hundred dollars.

Their most popular items were fresh chanterelles, black trumpets, hedgehogs, and oysters, and choice dried morels and candy caps.
Their most popular items were fresh chanterelles, black trumpets, hedgehogs, and oysters, and choice dried morels and candy caps.

A delectable transaction.
A delectable transaction.

Ben Maleson and Mei Ching Maleson-Shen brought many milk crates full of items to sell, including mushroom T-shirts, mugs, truffle oils, mouse pads, and key chains.

The table looked like erstwhile Filene's Basement, with eager buyers elbowing for a good position near the scales and cash box!

A few other members also had items for sale. This was the place to put those old field guides and unique ceramic mushroom-shaped thingamajigs back into circulation. Consider your future contributions as part of the green re-gifting trend.


After the thrill of the hunt eased, Club president Susan Goldhor introduced the movie of the evening, Father Frost/ Morozko.

We settled in with cider and popcorn to watch this full length 1964 film, a mash up of many a Grimm's fairy tale rolled into a famous Russian folk story. The cast of characters included a vain prince, a Russian Cinderella, Baba Yaga and her chicken house, a great dog, and a mushroom sorcerer. Oh yes, and Father Frost. If you missed the December 5 showing, you can catch it any year on Russian TV around New Year's. Or if you enjoy satire, you can watch all ten segments of the film on YouTube as an episode of the cult cable show, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (or MST3K). (Start at about minute 6 at the link above.) The little mushroom guy is worth watching for.

Club members peruse their bargains before the movie begins.
Club members peruse their bargains before the movie begins.

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