First, some background. From first grade to third grade I attended Yeshiva Dov Revel, an Orthodox Jewish elementary school in Forest Hills, Queens. At the time, the Board of Jewish Education published a magazine called World Over, which was given out at Jewish day schools. In their October 22, 1979 issue (also called the Heshvan 5740 issue, per the Hebrew calendar), they announced a contest. A girl named Jannie Elstein from Livingston, New Jersey, had written in to say that she liked the magazine, but thought she could do a better cover than they had used for their May 1979 issue. So the Art Editor of the magazine, known as "Arty Craft," established the First Annual Jannie Elstein Purim Cover Challenge. The winning entry, by a girl named Rachel Frank, was published as the cover of the February 18, 1980 issue. They also published some other covers inside, the five runner-ups. But I noticed that something was missing, and so in the October 10, 1980 issue, they published the following letter:
Dear World Over,
In Issue No. 2 (Heshvan 5740) you (Arty Craft) made a contest for the best Purim cover. It was named after Jannie Elstein (Elefant). Even thought she didn't win, I think, since the contest was named after her, that her cover (if she drew one) should be in your magazine.
Your devoted reader, liker, fan, etc.,
Michael A. Burstein
Forest Hills, NY
P.S. I wish to see her cover published on the P.O.B. page.
Ugh. Well, I was only ten years old at the time.
Anyway, they did publish Jannie's cover art, right under my letter, and that led Jannie to send me a letter thanking me. We corresponded for a bit, but we didn't have much in common, and the correspondence soon trickled down to nothing. I wonder where she is today?