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The Secret and Mysterious Freckled Goldfish Club

After writing Poppy Ott and the Freckled Goldfish, Leo Edwards launched a fan club based on incidents in the book. It was called The Secret and Mysterious Order of the Freckled Goldfish. The reader response was overwhelming and by 19xx, there were over 30,000 members. Club members received a membership card, pin and a manual of lodge rituals suggested by the author. To disseminate club news, Edwards presided over "Our Chatter-Box," a column which appeared in subsequent editions of the Jerry Todd and Poppy Ott books. Whether members or not, all readers were encouraged to submit letters and poems for publication in this periodic feature, which was quite unique for series books.

The motto of a Freckled Goldfish was:

A Freckled Goldfish is full of fun: So grin!
A Freckled Goldfish is healthy: So grow!
A Freckled Goldfish is clean: So wash your ears!
A Freckled Goldfish is honorable: So behave yourself!

As a member, you received a membership card, a button, and a handbook describing the club. Following is an excerpt from the handbook:

You too, can be a

Boys living near my home in Wisconsin, who read the manuscript of the book Poppy Ott and the Freckled Goldfish before it was published, asked me eagerly if I cared if they got up a real secret lodge, like Poppy’s, as featured in the book’s seventh chapter.

That gave me an idea. Why not go my enthusiastic young friends one better, I thought, and get up a widely extended secret “fun” lodge, open to all Poppy Ott and Jerry Todd fans everywhere?

Now there are local branches of the Order all over the United States and there are well over 10,000 members.

The Chatterbox, a feature that ap-pears in every Leo Edwards book, carries news of the various Club activities. It is made up of letters and poems written by the boys. All letters are personally answered by me and those that seem of general interest I keep aside and put in the first Chatterbox that has room for it.

Each member receives a membership card and button designed by Bert Salg, the popular illustrator of these books.

Any boy anywhere, of any size, age or color, who has a friendly feeling toward Poppy and Jerry is welcome to join. It will cost you two two-cent United States postage stamps. One stamp will pay the postage and the other stamp will partly cover the cost of the card, button and envelope.

In applying for membership, please
observe these simple rules:

(1) Write your name plainly.
(2) Supply your complete address.
(3) Give your age.
(4) Enclose two two-cent United States postage stamps
(5) Address your letter to,

Cambridge – Wis.

Fred Thompson, Freckled Goldfish member number 4277, provides this picture of his membership card and button.

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