Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Congratulations to the recent Easthampton, Massachusetts "Whoville" flashmob celebration. For those of you out of the loop, it is reckoned by fans of Dr. Seuss that the town of Easthampton, or at least the view of it over the craggy top of Mt. Tom, was the inspiration for Whoville in How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Maybe so. Certainly looks like a lot of "whos" turned out this night. Must be true.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This Christmas, Hallmark offers a new ornament for aviation buffs and fans of New England history. Here is the new addition to the Skys the Limit series of ornaments, the Gee Bee Super 1931 Sportster Model Z.
Aircraft pioneers the Granville Brothers established their fledging aircraft factory in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1929, turning an old farmer's field into a ramshackle airport near Liberty Street and St. James Avenue. Here they designed, built, and tested their remarkable planes, which broke speed records.
We'll have more on the Granville Brothers and their Gee Bee planes later on in the New Year, but for now, this flashy little tree ornament is a splendid souvenir of days gone by. It measures 3 and 3/8 inches wide wingspan, 2 inches long, and 1 inch high. It is a replica of the "City of Springfield" plane, the city's pride and namesake.
Have a look here at Hallmark's website for more information.
For a little more background on the Gee Bee, in a different way of telling it, here's my one-act play on the Granville Brothers and their airplane factory written as part of a project to educate Springfield school children on their city's history. It's called Soaring in the City of Springfield.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
As announced last week on my Another Old Movie Blog, I'm holding a giveaway for a paperback copy of my time-travel adventure Myths of the Modern Man. Just send me an email to JacquelineTLynch@gmail.com with the message: I WANT THE BOOK, and I'll throw your name in the hat. I'll pick the winner this Thursday, December 12th, and then I'll email the winner for the address to send the book. Nobody's email or mailing address will ever be published on this blog.
Now for a little synopsis:
Time traveler John Moore’s fate is determined by four women: the Celtic warrior queen Boudicca; Tailtu, a gentle slave purchased from another clan; Dr. Eleanor Roberts, a severe, jealous and brilliant woman who spearheads the time travel mission; and enigmatic Dr. Cheyenne L’Esperance, herself a time traveler from an even more distant future. Moore’s mission to survive three battles against the Roman legions coincides with survival tactics and backstabbing in the modern government department. The savage past clashes swords with the desperate future in a time continuum of treachery.
The interesting (or irritating, depending on your point of view) quirk about this novel is that the chapters alternate between first person narration -- when the time traveler goes back to Britannia, and third person -- when we see the future world from where his mission is being run, and possibly being betrayed. To show you what I mean, here's a couple samples from the book. This part here is in first person. The time-traveler is telling his version of the story:
We did not speak. They wanted to kill me now that we were far from the tribe and they were free to do it, but that would no longer serve their purpose and none of them could return to the Iceni if they did. For my part, I was here because I was a liability to the Queen now that I had shamed her, so she had to get rid of me, and yet she must have felt that I was the most potentially useful member of this diplomatic corps because of my ability to see in the future. I could impress and scare Cartimandua into joining the Iceni, in a way Dubh, nor Nemain, nor Cailte would be able to impress or frighten. Boudicca was that vindictive, and that brilliant.
And now we were going off the script. Boudicca, history tells us, did not achieve an alliance with Cartimandua. History does not record that she ever sought one. But, here we were, and how much of this was due to me?
When we were approached, disarmed, and brought to the queen’s tent under guard, Dubh strutted like a man who was about to get his terms.
Three guys bigger than him pushed the moron to his knees before the queen. I smiled. Nemain dropped to his knees quite voluntary and stared obediently at the ground. Cailte and I stood quietly, calmly looking around like we were going to buy the place, and then both of us slowly knelt as casually as if we had nothing better to do. A little more solemnity by either of us and it would have appeared we were jointly kneeling to receive our marriage blessing. It sickened me to discover how much alike he and I could be sometimes.
Now I had to take something into account. If for some reason I did not get myself to the correct quadrants within southern Britannia by the end of October, which I would know because of the celebration of the Samhein, then Eleanor could not bring me back. I would be stuck here. There was a geographic element to the successful machinations of gravitational time travel, even if you were sent to a time with no atlases. Getting hung up far north of where I was supposed to be would seal my fate and keep me here for the rest of my life.
Not that I really wanted to live the rest of my life in the late twenty-first century either, where survival fell into the hands not of the fittest, but of only those who could afford it. At least here, I stood as good a chance at living as anyone else here did. We all have to die sometime. It’s how you fill up your hours in the meantime that’s the big deal.
And this bit here is in 3rd person in the futuristic lab where all this larger-than-life science/sociology is being concocted:
Dr. L’Esperance ordered Eleanor, gently but firmly, to take off her clothes.
Eleanor’s growing sense of panic reduced her ability to think clearly, and her near-hysteria took the form of a sudden helpless resignation to take orders. Eleanor undressed, wondering what she would say if General English suddenly entered the lab, but almost wishing he would, anything to delay or stop this. Dr. L’Esperance looked pleased with the tunic she lifted from the satchel in which it had been secreted to the lab and as she examined it, spoke again of Milly’s efficiency, which Eleanor again grudgingly acknowledged to herself was the truth. She had never given Milly enough credit for being a good administrative assistant. Now Eleanor was being sent to hell, otherwise known as 60 A.D., because of it. This is what happened to people who were not kind to their staff.
Dr. L’Esperance slipped the long, saffron-colored tunic of some coarse linen over Eleanor’s naked body, and gave her a gentle hug to comfort her, because Eleanor was shaking. She fastened a plaited leather belt around Eleanor’s waist to draw the baggy tunic in close to her slender waist. Dr. L’Esperance then draped a woolen cloak around Eleanor’s shoulder, and fastened it with a thin silver brooch.
“They were quite vain, weren’t they?” Dr. L’Esperance said, “They loved their finery.” She placed a torque of twisted silver around Eleanor’s neck, to mark her as noblewoman and not peasant.
“Sit down,” Dr. L’Esperance said, and Eleanor, weak with anxiety, lowered herself to a lab stool. Dr. L’Esperance cupped Eleanor’s face in her hand and began to remove Eleanor’s makeup.
“My hypothesis about the staging area for captives is based on reports from this agency,” Dr. L’Esperance continued, “For you see, after your mission failed and Colonel Moore was not returned, as a way of deflecting public outcry against the agency, a follow-up mission occurred to save Colonel Moore, to attempt to retrieve him. Of course, you did not have the electromagnetic tracking technology then, so your operative’s mission was to remain for roughly half a year and manually search out Colonel Moore or information about his final status. His return was to be accomplished through a synchronized rendezvous point, in a similar arrangement to what you had with Colonel Moore.”
Eleanor glanced up into the luminous green eyes as Dr. L’Esperance delicately wiped Eleanor’s lips.
Eleanor found her voice again. “What happened?”
“Alas, the second attempt was also unsuccessful. That operative was also lost.” Dr. L’Esperance then brushed Eleanor’s hair, and the slow, soft stroking relaxed her to the point of recalling briefly her mother and her sister in the trailer park, the only other two important women in her life, and how she hated them, wishing now it were not so.
Mesmerized, she quietly replied, “The…the only other candidate qualified at this time is Colonel Yorke.”
“Yes. Brian K. Yorke was also lost.”
“I am responsible for two deaths.”
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Here's an earlier post on the Forbes & Wallace building.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Over at my Another Old Movie Blog we visited the Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit, Maine, here in this post. Recently, a drive has been started to help the Leavitt adapt to the new digital projectors that are so costly, and without which many small independent movie theaters, like the Leavitt, will go out of business. Here's the press release that was sent to me. I thought you might like to have a look, and help out if you can.
As many as 10,000 movie screens in North America could go dark by Dec 31st, 2013! http://www.rollingstone.com/
LEAVITT THEATRE KICKSTARTER: http://kck.st/HhQ8MO
By Dec. 31st Hollywood will cease distributing films to all movie theaters on celluloid reels in favor of digital prints. America's movie screens have been forced to buy digital projectors that can cost as much as $100,000. An estimated 10,000 screens – one in every five screens in North America – will go dark because they can't afford to convert.
Over 1000 independent old-school, mom-and-pop-owned movie palaces in small towns are struggling to come up with the price of conversion. They lack the cash and resources of big chain cinemas. And to make matters worse, the film companies are helping subsidize the large multiplexes' conversions but not the single screen movie houses.
The Leavitt Theatre in Ogunquit, Maine (est. 1923) is one of these theaters. A beautiful, classic, independent, family owned movie theater that has been showing first-run films for 90 years, they must go digital by Dec 31st or go dark!
Please click on the link below to find out more about a new KICKSTARTER drive. The Leavitt Theatre has just 25 DAYS (until Nov 30) to raise $60,000. They need help!
Please spread the word, even if you are unable to donate.
Also on Facebook
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Dismount and Murder third in the Double V Mysteries series is now available in eBook, and paperback. Elmer and Juliet continue their tentative relationship while investigating murder at a wealthy estate in Litchfield, Connecticut, in the summer of 1950, while a horse show on the grounds covers the tracks of a number of suspects. Elmer, an ex-convict, is now off parole, the Korean War has just started, and television antennas are starting to spring up on rooftops all over the place.
Then there's that missing corpse.
It's the dawn of a new, unsettling day.
Available in eBook and paperback online here:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection, easily spread among people in close quarters. Entire families were wiped out by the disease, but with absolutely no knowledge of germs, the infected victims and their frightened relatives sought other answers.
In rural New England, folklore persisted that in order to stop the disease, the body of a family member who died of it would be exhumed, and ritually desecrated in various manners—the organs would be removed and burned, or the head decapitated, or the body simply turned over to face downward.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and CreateSpace. It is available as an eBook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, Sony and other online shops.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16th, I'll be speaking before the Chicopee Historical Society in the Community Room of Ames Privilege, lower Springfield Street, Chicopee, Mass. on three men who all worked at the Ames Manufacturing Company during the Civil War, and how the links and coincidences between them illustrate the Northern Civil War experience in a small factory town. The event is free and open to the public.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Bridge Street on Shelburne Falls is the gateway to adventure. At least the alley to which the arrow on this handy sign is pointing. It leads us to...
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The recent Summer 2013 collection of poetry, the 10th issue, includes the work of several poets from around the country. The poems are richly evocative and tell soft, contemplative stories, brooding memories, or things that have happened to you before.
Have a look here at the Naugatuck River Review website for more information on the journal and how to subscribe, and here at Lori Desrosiers' blog for coming events of her own poetry readings.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
It's time for the Eastern States Exposition, or Big E, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, known as New England's "Great State Fair" in which all six New England states participate. It runs every day through Sunday, September 29th this year, so you've got plenty of chances to grab that caramel apple, that clam fritter, that Maine baked potato, that new gadget they're demonstrating you just can't do without, or yet another map of Vermont.
Have a look here at the official website for more info on exhibits, contests, and attractions.
And food vendors.
See you there.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
This is to announce a new book I'm publishing next month titled The Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts - A Northern Factory Town's Perspective on the Civil War.
It will be comprised of two essays previously appearing on this blog, in addition to a third article never before published, and will contain many photographs. Here is an excerpt from the foreword:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
A few photos in anticipation of the upcoming Labor Day holiday. Once upon a time, it meant more than the last backyard barbecue of summer.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
In this era of well-rehearsed sound bites and video imagery, it is rare to see the true and natural personalities of our public figures. The picture we get is intentionally artificial, but there was a time when common folk rose in politics and society and became large in the public eye though the force of their own natural personalities. One such man was George M. Stearns, a lawyer-orator of the nineteenth century.