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Pick'Em Dream Book
by Rajah Rabo (pseudonym of Carl Z. Talbot)
Orig. pub. 1953; this is a facsimile reprint.
128 pages, saddle-stitched booklet.

This dream book is unique in that the Pick'Em system of Rajah Rabo consists of 104 pages of lists of dream image keywords with 9 consecutively-numbered selections for variations on the imagery. The 10th number in the set, deemed a "Special," is picked to play only on designated days of the week.

The dreams are given interpretations called "signifies" and "forecasts," and the sets of number picks with these interpretations are arrayed in the following format:

         DOPE                    SPECIAL 711 Mon. Wed. Fri.
         Man user           712  Signifies that some valuable in-
         Woman user         713  formation will be given you.
         Hop                714  Try to make good use of it.
         Reefers            715
         Smoke              716  FORECAST: try to cure your-
         To sell            717  self of the habit of criticizing  
         To see grow        718  others, and you will be able
         To steal           719  to keep your friends longer.
         To be arrested for 710   

There are also 5 pages of women's names, 4 pages of men's names, and 12 pages of monthly number picks.

The author of this book, Carl Z. Talbot, was an African American man born July 30, 1890 in Springfield, Massachusetts, who completed one year of high school and was listed in the Federal Census of 1940 as a "writer and publisher." He wrote under the pseudonym Rajah Rabo, and originally published his books in Mount Vernon, New York, a close suburb of Manhattan that happens to be the most northerly stop on the New York City subway lines. He died in May 1974, at the age of 83.

Talbot is best known for having written and published the Rajah Rabo 5-Star Mutuel Dream Book in 1932, with a "new improved" revised edition released in 1941 and the Pick'Em Dream Book by Rajah Rabo in 1953. His last booklet, "Rajah Rabo's H-Bomb," was published in April, 1973, when he was 82 years old.

In keeping with the time period, we find that in the "Pick 'Em," there are entries for "TELEVISION," "ATOMIC," and "HYDROGEN BOMB." Also, in the entry for "WAR," both "World no. 2" and "World no. 1" are given separate number picks.

As can be seen from the "DOPE" example given above, Mr. Talbot dealt unabashedly with topics that many dream book authors have traditionally avoided.

Under "CRAP GAME" he listed both "Crooked" and "Raided," under "FATHER" he listed "In jail," under "LYNCH" he listed "Down South," and under "BIBLE" he listed "Jewish."

Under "PROSTITUTE" he listed "to be robbed by," under "WALKING" he listed both "to police court" and "with the dead," and under "RESTAURANT" he listed "Jim Crow."

Under "THEATRE" he listed "Apollo" (a black venue in New York City), under "VOMIT" he listed "in subway," and under "NEWSPAPER" he listed both "Amsterdam News" (a black-owned paper in Harlem) and "P.M." (a short-lived left-wing radical paper in Manhattan mostly staffed by Jews).

He even worked out a ten-digit entry for "FAGGETT" [sic -- a misspelling of "Faggot," a homosexual man], with separate numbers for "Colored," "White," "Walking," "Talking," "Good-looking," "Ugly," "Drunk," "Sick," and "Talking to," as well as an unexpectedly positive "FORECAST," given the anti-gay prejudices of the time: "Don't throw away a valuable friendship because of those who love the life they live, and live the life they love." Suddenly the image on the cover -- of a darkly dashing turbaned young man with a mustache and a smile -- brings to mind memories of the 1950s rock'n'roll singer Little Richard and his wayward "Tutti Frutti" charisma.

Even though some of the lucky dream images in this book are old-fashioned, Rajah Rabo's system of dream number picks -- both in the Rajah Rabo 5-Star Mutuel Dream Book and the Pick'Em Dream Book by Rajah Rabo -- still holds a great deal of appeal to lottery and racetrack bettors. As evidence of this continuing popularity, a lengthy newspaper article on hoodoo practices in Macon, Georgia in 2000 made mention of the Rajah Rabo books.

All in all, Carl Talbot's individualistic touches, his unique number-picking system, and his frank embracing of the wilder side of life make the Pick'Em Dream Book by Rajah Rabo much more than "just another Dream Book." Frankly, it is an unsung gem of the genre.

More general information about dream books, policy wheels, and lottery betting will be found in the page about "Aunt Sally's Policy Players Dream Book"

Order the Pick'Em Dream Book from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.


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