Jay Gould: A Rascal Or Shrewd Businessman?
Not that Jay Gould single-handedly did any of these things.
He had help. Continue reading
Not that Jay Gould single-handedly did any of these things.
He had help. Continue reading
It’s possible that somewhere among Robby Krieger’s possessions is a rare leather bound inscribed copy of Jim Morrison’s book An American Prayer. It’s also very possible that the book is moldering in a storage unit or was misplaced long ago and discarded.
The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger is not quite sure. Continue reading
Anyone who has been to New York’s American Museum of Natural History is no doubt familiar with its amazing African mammal collection. Continue reading
In November 1972 Mott The Hoople embarked on a whirlwind tour of America, sometimes headlining, playing in large theaters and clubs. If you’re wondering, the English band’s name comes from a 1966 book. And after three years together they were developing a loyal following.
Mott’s current big hit, All The Young Dudes, written by their producer David Bowie was climbing up the charts. Continue reading
Before Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk arrived in the late 1960s and early 1970s there was no question as to who was the best catcher in the American League. It was the Detroit Tigers Bill Freehan.
I won’t recount Freehan’s excellent baseball career or personal story in too much detail here. Freehan told it himself while at the height of his playing days in a little known autobiography.
It is one of the best books ever written about the nuances of baseball. Behind The Mask was overshadowed because it came out the same year as ex-Yankee pitcher Jim Bouton’s explosive tell-all Ball Four. Continue reading
Lifelong New Yorker, Florence Adele Sloane kept a diary from 1893 – 1896. That in itself is not unusual. What is out of the ordinary is that the diary covers Florence’s life from the age of 19 through 23 and her observations on life and her surroundings are written with astute wisdom beyond her years. Continue reading
It’s a justifiable sentiment, because if John Fogerty was not a control freak, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) would never have become one of the most popular rock bands in the world.
Many CCR fans may be unaware, that Fogerty‘s bandmates; bassist Stu Cook, drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and Fogerty‘s older brother, rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, until CCR’s final album, contributed nothing to the band in terms of music, lyrics, production, mixing and arrangements of songs. Without John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival was nothing, according to Fogerty.
While that may sound like a self-inflated opinion, it is probably more of an objective fact. Between 1968 to 1972, John Fogerty as lead singer, sole songwriter, lead guitarist, arranger and producer, garnered over 20 hit singles and millions of album sales. CCR’s commercial success during that time was rivaled by no one except the Beatles and possibly Led Zeppelin. Continue reading
We’ve covered unusual epitaphs before and the question that always comes to mind is: did the deceased intend to have these words placed upon their monument or is it more often the work of some comedic relative?
This collection in book form entitled Funny Epitaphs collected by Arthur Wentworth Eaton, (The Mutual Book Company), Boston, 1902, gathers up epitaphs from around Great Britain and the United States.
These inscriptions are claimed to be on tombstones. Eaton does not disclose how he compiled the epitaphs. Some quick research shows Eaton probably collected the majority of epitaphs from previously published sources. Unfortunately, in many of the examples, Eaton does not give names or more importantly the cemetery or location where the inscription can be found.
Like Ripley’s Believe It or Not, you’ll have to decide for yourself if these epitaphs can really be found in a cemetery.
Some are not so funny, but profound. Here is a selection of some of the better and more unusual epitaphs.
Here lies the body of Johnny Haskell,
A lying, thieving, cheating rascal ;
He always lied, and now he lies,
He has no soul and cannot rise.
Beneath this stone a lump of clay,
Lies Arabella Young ;
Who on the 24th of May,
Began to hold her tongue.
On a tombstone in New Jersey :
Reader, pass on I — don’t waste your time
On bad biography and bitter rhyme ;
For what I ant, this crumbling clay insures.
And what I was, is no affair of yours
At Wolstanton :
Mrs. Ann Jennings
Some have children, some have none ;
Here lies the mother of twenty-one.
There is an epitaph of an eccentric character that
may be seen on a tombstone at the burying-grounds
near Hoosick Falls, New York. It reads :
Ruth Sprague, Daughter of Gibson and Elizabeth Sprague.
Died June 11, 1846, aged 9 years, 4 months, and 3 days.
She was stolen from the grave by Roderick R. Clow, dissected at Dr. P. M. Armstrong’s office, in Hoosick, N. Y., from which place her mutilated remains were obtained and deposited here.
Her body dissected by fiendish man,
Her bones anatomized,
Her soul, we trust, has risen to God,
Where few physicians rise.
Here I lie, and no wonder I am dead,
For the wheel of a wagon went over my head.
Tread softly mortals o’er the bones
Of this world’s wonder, Captain Jones,
Who told his glorious deeds to many
Yet never was believed by any.
Posterity let this suffice
He swore all’s true, yet here he lies.
This is all that remains of poor Ben Hough
He had forty-nine years and that was enough.
Of worldly goods he had his share,
And now he’s gone to the Devil’s snare.
Here lies the body of Henry Round
Who went to sea and never was found. Continue reading
On the internet you can absorb a lot of “facts” that are completely inaccurate. A skeptical reader should ask where is the information coming from? What is the source?
Unfortunately many mistaken or untrue beliefs, facts and quotations were originally put down in printed books. Sometimes there was shoddy research involved, other times hearsay was used as evidence and other times outright fabrications were entered as fact. Over time, some false facts have been repeated to the point where they become sources of truth.
That is why if you take the time you can discover some entertaining books out there that delve into history and provide context to factual events. These are books written not to provide revisionist history, but corrected history based upon thorough research end evidence.
Tom Burnham’s The Dictionary of Misinformation (1975) Thomas Y. Crowell Company is just such a book.
Burnham researched hundreds of stories, quotations and facts to compile a “dictionary” of reference, rumination and pure delight based upon “misinformation, misbelief, misconstruction and misquotation.”
Here are seven untrue historical facts that we found interesting:
Henry Ford created and introduced the assembly line in automobile factories –
In 1902, Ransom E. Olds of the Olds Motor Vehicle Company produced 2,500 cars using an assembly line method. Wooden platforms on casters passed between lines of workmen who added parts until the car was completed. The previous year Olds built just over 400 cars.
Henry Ford improved upon the idea using a conveyor belt system, which brought various parts to the production line. Ford’s innovation cut the time to produce a Model T down from a day and a half to 93 minutes.
The First English colonists ventured to New England in 1620 aboard the Mayflower-
In 1607, under the leadership of George Popham, 120 persons established a colony at what is now the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine. The colonists built a fort, houses, a stockade, and a storehouse.
Harsh circumstances abounded: an alliance with local Indians soon fell apart. An Indian attack on the colonists caused thirteen deaths. The site of the small settlement was exposed to brutal winter winds and a particularly severe early winter set in, resulting in food supplies giving out.
The colony’s sponsor in England passed away, and George Popham died on February 5, 1608. When a supply ship finally arrived the following June, the remaining colonists abandoned the settlement and returned to England.
Revolutionary patriot Nathan Hale’s dying words were: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” –
School teacher Nathan Hale was hung by the British in New York City for being a spy on September 22, 1776. American General William Hull claimed to have heard about Hale’s last words from a British soldier who witnessed the hanging. Hull’s daughter immortalized Hale’s words in 1848 when she published her father’s memoirs.
But an eyewitness account from British officer Frederick Mackensie, is what we might call on the spot reporting. Mackensie wrote the following in his diary:
“He (Hale) behaved with great composure and resolution, saying he thought it the duty of every good Officer to obey any orders given him by his Commander-in-Chief; and desired the Spectators to be at all times prepared to meet death in whatever shape it might appear.” Continue reading
Shades of 1946- Three stars of the last Red Sox American league championship team of 1946 (L-R) Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Ted Williams are working together in the Red Sox 1963 training camp in Scottsdale, Arizona to bring the Red Sox back to the position where they will seriously challenge the Yankees again for the pennant. photo: Sporting News April 1963
When Bobby Doerr passed away at the age of 99 this week, he had been the last ballplayer to have played major league baseball in the 1930s. At the age of 19 Doerr debuted in the major leagues on April 20, 1937.
Think about that for a moment. That was over 80 years ago. Doerr played against Lou Gehrig, Mickey Cochrane, Rogers Hornsby, Goose Goslin, Ossie Bluege and Mule Haas.
Doerr was a nine time all-star who had to retire prematurely at the age of 33 due to back problems. As great of a player Doerr was, he was an even better human being.
You get that assessment from the many people in and out of baseball who knew the man.
If you love baseball and have never read David Halberstam’s book, The Teammates (Hyperion) 2003, you should. This will give you a sense of Bobby Doerr, the man.. Continue reading