Archive for August, 2021

19th Amendment

August 26 is the anniversary of the ratification the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated) and Susan B. Anthony, Library of Congress photo

Old Ironsides

August 19, 1812: The USS Constitution defeated the British frigate HMS Guerriere off Nova Scotia during the War of 1812, earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.”

The question is how did the ship get from Nova Scotia to Boston Harbor, which it has called home at least since I was a kid.

I can’t answer that, but I can attest to its presence in Boston when I was in grammar school. Remember Field Trips? This was one of ours. Not that I remember the tour, but surely the bus ride from Revere.

Too bad I didn’t appreciate history at the time, surrounded as I was by “where it all began” as our teachers tried to drill into us.

For some reason, the drills involving the multiplication tables were more interesting to me. And now it’s too late — I could never climb onto the deck for the tour, any more than I could climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument, also the object of a Field Trip.

Where did your Field Trips take you?

Pure Sport

While everyone was glued to something called the Olympics, I decided to travel back to this month in 1950, August 11, in fact, when Boston Braves pitcher Vern Bickford pitched a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers, giving the Braves a win of 7-0.

Those were the days, my friend. Pure Sport, no soap opera behind-the-scenes tales or Vern Bickford throw mats and fragrances.

At least I thought so. A short time later, I learned about the Pure Business part, when the Braves ditched Boston for a more financially rewarding Milwaukee.

For more on this, see:

My short-lived love of Pure Baseball is enshrined in an authentic, signed photo of Warren Spahn on my bookcase. Spahn stands next to a Boston Braves hat (not authentic) and a pile of engineering reports. Places of honor.

M is for Mini

Some exciting news this week: reversion of rights!

I have my rights back to the last 4 Miniature Mysteries. By the end of the year, you’ll see all 9 as a set, with “matching” covers.

The first 3 have already been re-released, under my own name, with different covers from the original releases.

What’s in a name? Could mine have predisposed me to a life-long miniatures hobby and a string of mystery novels about a miniaturist? It makes as much sense as anything.

As a kid, I played with the one “toy” I had, which was a dollhouse my father built for me. Along with my favorite cousin, I turned everything into minis. We cut up old greeting cards and “framed” a bird or a flower or a bicycle to decorate the walls of my mini house. We sliced pieces of straw from a broom and made spaghetti. We covered sponges with scraps of fabric and made beds and easy chairs.

We had a whole life in miniature.

I’ve kept that hobby through my adult years. At one time or other, nearly everyone I know has received a miniature “something.” A small sewing scene for my quilt-making friend, a tiny cluttered dorm room for one stepdaughter, a miniature stable for another. In my home I have a post office, a 6-level museum, and a funeral parlor, all in miniature.

Photos on request!