Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Louis Jacques Mande' Daguerre... Inventor of the Daguerreotype .(The first successful photograph system)..But who would believe what he did not like!

This photograph of Daguerre was taken by Charles R. Meade of New York City in 1848. The Photo was taken in Brie-Sur-Maine, which is where Daguerre's chateau was located.
Meade and several other photographers were there with the intent to capture the inventor on film...
But a strange fact emerges...Louis Daguerre was camera shy! He did not like to be photographed!! They were all sent away with their cameras.
However Meade, who was president of Meade Brothers studio in NYC was not to be outdone. He returned to the Daguerre home later and persuaded Daguerre's niece and wife to intercede for him.
Finally the camera shy Daguerre posed for this picture. One of the few of the man who changed the world tremendously, by his wonderful invention.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The dedication of the Washington Monument in 1885...It took 37 years to finish and build... Also it's capstone was a most unusual metal ...

The Washington Monument as it looked after work was stopped on it in the early 1850's. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848 by Dolly Madison and Mrs. Alexander Hamilton. It was planned to be a very great monument..But funding was not available just a few years after work was started. During the bitter Civil War, Lincoln would often gaze at the stump of what was planned to be the Washington Monument. It was in plain view to him in the White House. The dedication of the massive monument on February 21, 1885..This day was very windy, cold and nearly unbearable. It was the final completion of a monument that had been started by last of the Revolutionary generation. Sadly when work was started again, the same kind of granite was not available. So there would always be a the line where work was resumed on the monument. You can see it plainly today. The laying of the capstone on December 6, 1884..This photo was taken from the ground, nearly 550 feet below ........Here below is a photo of the crew with the impressive capstone. Amazingly the capstone was made of a very rare metal in 1884..One that would in their minds show the importance of such a capstone. What was that substance??????
It was a three thousand, three hundred pound capstone of aluminum! One of the rarest metals on earth at the time!

Not gold, silver, copper....Just aluminum.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mark Twain sounds just like Hal Holbrook? One would think it would be the other way around.

Mark Twain ..(1835-1910)...Below ..Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain

Mark Twain has been gone for nearly a century. Yet he is still very much alive for us in the many imitators who portray him.
Perhaps the most famous is Hal Holbrook. When I was a boy, I had an album of his. It said in the liner notes, he learned to speak like Twain by listening to some of the great mans recordings.......Let's screech the brakes here!!!!

There is not one recording existent in this world of Mark Twain!!! Not a one!!!!

So where did Mr Holbrook get the voice he uses...He made it up to fit the person he was portraying. It is quite good.....But is it like Twain???? Who the hell knows?

Mark Twain never made a commercial recording. Mark Twain did make a few personal recordings but they have long since been destroyed. He even made a recording for recording pioneer Bettini. But that has long since been destroyed.
There is nothing to know what he sounded like. Only good guesses. But our image of Mark Twain will always be as Hal Holbrook.
Now there are imitators imitating Holbrook! I have a feeling that Twain may have had a voice like Holbrooks, but he may have sounded like Col. Sanders too...No one knows..

So the next time you see someone imitating Mark Twain , tell them they did a great Hal Holbrook!

So I thought it would be good to note that it makes sense today to say that Mark Twain sounds just like Hal Holbrook.

Amazingly so!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Today I always wear bow ties...I have found I wore them even when I was very young

Here I am with Santa Claus in December 1961. I was amazed when I found this picture I was in a bow tie. I have found a few pictures from the early 1960's in which I am in bow ties. I guess it was a cool thing to do for kids...Or what parents thought was a good idea. Bow ties have never quite been cool...But always a statement...I am real happy to know I was wearing them back then. I wonder what I asked Santa for??

Friday, May 04, 2007

The amazing elastic woman Rose Mary Woods. She gave it all for Nixon.

Here is a cartoon so much in line with the thoughts of the day.

Here she shows how she did it.

I was in high school during the Watergate mess. It brought out some wonderful dark comedy. Most of it was not planned or designed to be such. I watched the TV all the time...I watched all the meetings....When you went shopping, all the stores would have it playing..It was everywhere.
One of the great moments came when the issue of tapes was brought up. Rose Mary Woods was Nixon's private Secretary. When Nixon's tapes were given to the courts...One of the ones that seemed to have much really wonderful stuff on it suddenly went blank.
The person who gave themselves the blame was no one other than Ms. Woods. She said she quite accidentally erased the tape by answering the phone, typing a letter, and working with the tape machine at the same time...
However, the stretch she said she did would have been difficult for a gymnast.....Well we knew it was not true then..and now we really know it was not true.
She even posed for a picture..showing how she did it!!!!!
Eighteen minutes in that position???? Give me a break!! Even if it was a short moment it was a very difficult thing to explain. But my how she tried. It is truly wonderful to have such a loyal and wonderful person on your staff. I am sure she was adored by Nixon.
But she was loyal to the last. Just like Evelyn Lincoln..President Kennedy's personal secretary. She never saw anything...Had Kennedy asked her too, I am sure she would have gone to the gallows just like Rose Mary Woods did for Nixon. They were both of the same quality
But one of the great moments of Watergate was of Woods trying to make others believe what she said she did. One of the great moments of comedy in the dark days of Watergate.