Friday, December 11, 2009

New Stories

Still, even after this long, I found two new stories about Astor...1st. He was having dinner with his friends and there was an explosion from upstairs. He excuses himself and comes back saying that it wasn't nothing much. His friend says, but on the contrary, it was very dear, as it took their dear friend from them. Astor promised to be more social in the future...

Story 2- He was coming home late at night and the lackey at the door had fallen asleep on the job. Astor and his friend managed to get in after a bit, without waking the lackey and were headed upstairs, when from behind them them, the butler had whapped the sleeping lackey with a copy of Astor's book. Astor saw this and said, 'Looks like my book was a big hit...'

Okay, so maybe it was funnier in the newspaper...

There was also an early article about Jack making it possible for his wife to play with a bulb of electricity like you would with a gas flue, and the newspaper person was very impressed with this, saying that Astor could make a lot of money if he would market his inventions using electricity in the house...but Astor said that he was only playing around with electricity...

Yet, someone put the indoor light bulb into play and it has changed everything. He was a man ahead of his times.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Still Researching.

Okay, the high has left, and I am back to where I was...which is to say that I am back to reading newspapers and stacking the ones I am going to do something with, and throwing away the ones I'm not. There are a lot of duplicates, both in articles in different newspapers and in same newspaper same article...But I try to err on the side of caution, on the adage of 'when in doubt, keep...'

Still a lot of work ahead, still a bunch of stuff to go through, but I am ready to keep pushing on...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The trip, again.

I just realized that this windfall means that I now have the money for the first part of my Astor trip...

I have the feeling that I am getting help from another source on this book, almost as if the old Colonel, himself, was helping me...:) At this point, it looks as if I will have no problem getting all the money I need for all my different trips.

Of course, this means I am going to have to actually finish the book...I just hope that I have it in me.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Moving on...

I probably shouldn't confess this, but as this is an out of way blog in an out of the way corner which very few people (who aren't my close, personal friends...who I twisted their arms to go take a look at this wonderful, special....*that's enough*...not to be missed...*okaayy, Charlotte, that's enough*...but mommmm....*glaring look*) will even come to see.

We got a windfall today, how much I am not going to tell...but it was enough for me to go to Amazon and purchase the last 43 books I was needing to get for my research. I am not exaggerating. I really did purchase 43 books. I didn't break a thousand, but I got close. I only have 12 more years to print out on Astor (and only Astor) on Newspaper Archive and I will be done with that as well. But what I like about this, is that the research wheel is closing (sorry for the mixed metaphor there.) and I can see an actual end to this part of the work. I may even be done by the time the trip comes...*ooohhh, that sounds good.* I have things to track down but I will be doing that as I work putting all of this into folders that will be useful during my writing process. I have made mistakes in my research, but I have learned from them. I probably bought too many books, and then had to repurchase books that I utterly destroyed in my quest...when I thought this was only going to be research for my fiction book. If I stick in this genre, and I have no reason to think that I won't (at this moment--because who knows what passions will attack me in the future.), then much of the work will have been done.

As I do my books, I will be doing two non-fiction books, one I don't plan on submitting for publication and one I do. You already know about that one. I meant that I will make a notebook for culture and manners of the times, but...hey...this could be another book for those writer's guides...for writers...*Yeah, girlfriend, milk that cow...*

Okay, enough dreaming, I need to get back to work...I still have my two hours of research ahead of me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Trip Plans

Here is my total trip plans--well more like the idea, general that I have going right now. Things always have a way of changing.

First to California to where the Shafter papers are, to pick up the Astor References listed in them. I plan to fly there and back, the rest, I will probably drive.

Then to Florida to visit the Barum Museum where they have two actual rooms from the Astor mansion, bought when it was being torn down. They also have some Astor artwork there.

Then to the Biltmore to see that, after that,-- to the University of North Carolina where some Astor papers are being stored. Brief stop there. Madeleine Astor later had a plantation there in North Carolina called The Dixie, so I'd like to find that.

Then to Washington, DC to go to the National Archives, and also, the Library of Congress--for the usual reasons.

After Washington, I hope to make New York, where I'd like to see where Astor had his mansion and the area where he worked. I'd like to go see the Metropolitan museum and Central Park. Then, I'd like to visit the pier that the Titanic was suppose to dock at. Not so much for Titanic's sake, but to give me the general area where ships of that time docked.

Trinity Church is on my list, where I'd like to leave flowers on both Madeleine and Jack Astor's graves. Then some research time at the Main Library, as well as to look at the painting of Jack Astor there. The historical society is also on the list of places to stop and do research.

Once done with this, I'd like to go to Newport -- to see mainly Beechwood, The New York Yacht Club and the Newport Casino. Then off to Bar Harbor to see where Jack and Madeleine met, and to take a gander at the Newport Newspapers being held at the University of Maine's library. There is also a museum in Maine that has a full steamboat on dry dock, and exhibits from Web Stewart, a contemporary of Astor's. And since I am in the neighborhood, I'd like to take a look around Bangor, the stomping grounds of my favorite author, just to say I did.

Ferncliff in Rhinebeck comes after that, to take a looksee at the Astor Estate, and to do research at Rhinebeck Historical Society. They seem to have a lot of Astor related material there as well as photos that I haven't seen. I expect to be there several days, at least.

Oh, I forgot, lastly, I plan on going to England, Paris, and Scotland to visit friends. If my money holds out, then I want/will take a Titanic memorial cruise in 2012 to recreate what it must have been like. I am simply looking to get feel for the time of year, and the overall feel of what it must have been like to be on ship.

Of course, I know all of this is subject to change by vicissitude, the universe and a God that doesn't mind playing a joke or two on people who plan too much. I still believe that while my plans have a very small change to work out exactly as planned, that I will be in exactly the right places, at the exact right times to get what I need. I am an optimist, after all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Photos all done

I have sorted and labled all the photos on the other site. Gosh what a big job. Now, I will only have to do it when I post new photos...and it gives a nice reference point to this blog.

Continued to read in the old newspapers. No new stories. Still...glad to be done with these photos.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Same old, same old.

I am still reading through old newspapers and weeding out the extras, the non-related, non-usable, etc. I still have two more boxes to go though. Next Time...I WILL put them away as I print them. I swear! This is madness what I am doing. I did not realize how much my eyes would hate the small print of these things for two hours a day. I have perhaps 5000 sheets more to read? Two boxes that held 2500 sheets each. Most of which went to printing newspapers...ugh. I don't think I really want to know.

Got a new story on Astor today. One I had not seen before. Seems that a soldier was suffering from Typhoid Fever but the Sgt. couldn't let him in the hospital tent because the medical doc hadn't signed papers to let the man into the mostly empty tent. JJ Astor rode up, saw the man and asked about the soldier. He was told that the soldier had fever and that they could not let him in yet. JJ took out a twenty (about 500 to you and me) and handed it to the Sgt. 'I have had Typhoid Fever. The man needs ice on his head and ice baths. He must be suffering greatly.' The Sgt. did not want private money for a military person but his officer talked him into accepting the money saying that Col. Astor would never miss it and the soldier really did need it.

I have also read where he helped to organize supply runs after the war was basically in Cuba to help the sick soldiers there as medical supplies were running low. He was a generous man who just did what needed to be done. See why I am looking for him?