The Tower of London No. 3 on my Bucket List

 

book cover Tales from the Tower of LondonIf money and time were not an issue, and if you were asked which of the many famous buildings anywhere in the world you would like to visit, would you reply Angor Watt, Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Wall of China, the White House, Parliament, or maybe, the Tower of London?

Before reading The Tower of London by Daniel Diehl and Mark Donnelly, my answer may have been anywhere but the Tower of London.  My knowledge before reading Diehl and Donnelly’s book was negligible, that is close to nothing, less than nothing if you must know – nada (Texan speak for zero) –all I knew, it was somewhere in England — enough said.

After reading The Tower of London (Tower), visiting the “White Tower”  went to number 3 on my personal bucket list.

While this post could expand for several thousand words, for the sake of expediency (and to make this more enjoyable ), the list below explains some of the more interesting insights surrounding the building and its famous historical residents. (There are many, many more).

800px-Tower_of_London_viewed_from_the_River_Thames tower photo

* Of all the many  world  sites with universal recognition, only the Tower is a castle (World Heritage sites).

*The Tower is the most painted, drawn, and photographed building in the world (Diehl & Donnelly).

*Other than the White House, the Tower is the only building which has been used as a permanent residence (among World Heritage sites).      Photo courtesy of LIVE SCIENCE  https://www.livescience.com/42821-tower-of-london.html Credit: Marek Stefunko | Shutterstock

*The Tower of London is a 900-year-old castle in central London and in addition to holding the crown jewels, it has been the “royal mint, a zoo, an administration office, an armory, and barracks, and used as a royal residence until the 17th century.” (LIVE SCIENCE).

*William the Conqueror began the building of the Tower in 1078.  The White Tower and a few sections of “the old Roman city wall,” are all that remain of the original building site. (Diehl & Donnelly).

* Tower historian Geoffrey Parnell writes in his book “The Tower of London Past & Present” (Sutton Publishing, 1998) that the tower was expanded for about 250 years after William the Conqueror’s time. Today, the complex’s series of buildings and fortifications sprawls over 12 acres.  (LIVE SCIENCE).

Lady Jane Grey* Famous prisoners included Lady Jane Grey, who was queen for about a week in the 6th century before she was deposed by Mary I.  Also imprisoned were two princes, Edward and Richard, ages 12 and 9, sons of Edward IV (died 1483). They appear never to have left the tower alive and some thought they were killed by Richard III, their uncle who took the throne for himself. (Diehl & Donnelly) (LIVE SCIENCE).

Photo of Lady Jane Grey and Katherine Howard: Wiki Commons: George Whiting Flagg: Lady Jane Grey Preparing for Execution. 1835.

*Two of Henry VIII’s wives, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard, were imprisoned and executed. Henry VIII, who turned England into a Protestant country, and King’s counselor Thomas More. (LIVE SCIENCE) (Diehl & Donnelly).

*Another notable prisoner, Guy Fawkes, who in 1605 attempted to blow up the House of catherine howardLords and the king by detonating 38 barrels of gunpowder in the cellars below. He was imprisoned in the tower, tortured, and executed. (Diehl & Donnelly)       Photo of Anne Boleyn:  WikiCommons: By Wenceslaus Hollar Artwork from University of Toronto Public DomainAnne Boleyn photo

Today, the Tower maintains the Crown Jewels and what is left of a limited collection of “Royal Regalia…destroyed in the 17th century…pre-civil war.” (LIVE SCIENCE).

crown jewels

 

 

“There are over 23,500 jewels there today. The Crown Jewels were moved to the Martin Tower after the Jewel House was demolished.

The total value of the jewels is estimated to exceed £20 billion.” (https://www.visitbritainshop.com/world/articles/top-10-facts-about-the-tower-of-london/)

crown Imperial

This version of the Imperial State Crown was worn by George V and is now housed in the Tower of London.

Credit: Public domain. https://www.livescience.com/42821-tower-of-london.html

The “Line of Kings,” Armor Collection

“The tower also contains an impressive collection of armor, called the “Line of Kings,” a show at the tower that first started more than 300 years ago, it features such items as a life-size wooden horse carved about 1690 and a set of armor, gilded with gold, created for Charles I around 1612.” (LIVE SCIENCE).   Photo  By Jonathan Cardy – Own work, Commons attribution by owner.Line of Kings

“The tower also contains an impressive collection of armor, called the “Line of Kings,” a show at the tower that first started more than 300 years ago, it features such items as a life-size wooden horse carved about 1690 and a set of armor, gilded with gold, created for Charles I around 1612.” (LIVE SCIENCE).   Photo  By Jonathan Cardy – Own work, Commons attribution.

Bonfire Night – Guy Fawkes

“Remember, remember, the 5th of November: gunpowder, treason and plot.”

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes and 12 conspirators attempted to kill King James King of England by loading 36 barrels of gunpowder into the Houses of Parliament prior to its opening in opposition to the continued persecution of Catholics by the Protestants.  In a last-minute check, Fawkes was detained and the plot discovered.  Fawkes was imprisoned in the Tower and tortured, after breaking, he was executed.

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes 1570-1606 interrogated by James I 1566-1625 and his council in the King’s bedchamber, from Illustrations of English and Scottish History Volume I (1884). http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/(after)-Ralston,-William/Guy-Fawkes-1570-1606-Interrogated-By-James-I-1566-1625-And-His-Council-In-The-King’s-Bedchamber,-From-Illustrations-Of-English-And-Scottish-History-Volume-I.html  Wiki Commons. Country of Origin, Scotland.

The Ravens of the Tower of London

Ravens 1

The Ravens of the Tower of London are a group of  six captive ravens residing in the Tower.  Tradition asserts “their presence protect the Crown and the tower; a super- stition holds that “if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it”.

Some historians, including the Tower’s official historian believe the “tower’s raven mythology is likely to be a Victorian flight of fantasy.”  Jubilee and Munin

(Wikipedia) (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia; “Jubilee and Munin, two of the Tower’s ravens.”)

World Heritage Site

The Tower is a World Heritage Site hosting over 2 million visitors a year.

“The main threat to the site today is not rebels, foreign armies or falling bombs (bomb damage happened during World War II) but rather the exhaust of cars. It’s a problem that threatens to turn the White Tower into a yellow color, something which none of the previous threats could ever do. (LIVE SCIENCE).”

HAUNTED TOWER

Along with being over 900 years old, the Tower has resident ghosts.  The notable ghosts include “Henry VI, Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry the VIII, and nursemaid of Prince Edward, Dame Sybil, and a grizzly bear” that resided in the Tower long ago.

 

There is much, much more to learn about the Tower, its history, its residents, and its other-worldly guests!  If you are able, be sure to consider it as a place to visit, or merely research, you won’t be disappointed!  There are thousands of real and possible stories to be had at the Tower, you only have to look!

last pic tower with water

Public Domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tower-of-London-0026

References:

Diehl, Daniel and Donnelly, Mark P. Tales of the Tower of London. Sutton Publishing Limited. (2004).

Top 10 facts about the Tower of London.  https://www.visitbritainshop.com/world/articles/top-10-facts-about-the-tower-of-london/

Tower of London. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_London Wikipedia.

Tower of London: Facts & History. https://www.livescience.com/42821-tower-of-london.html

 

A former paralegal, Renee Kimball has a master’s degree in criminal justice. Among her interests are reading and writing. She is an active Animal Advocate, fosters and rescues both dogs and cats from shelters, and works with various organizations to find them forever homes.

The Wild Hunt and Samhain #folklore

It’s that time of year where everything is eerie and the ghoulies and ghosties come out to play.

Okay, not in my side of the world where things are warming up and the sun sticks around longer than the night. But in the northern hemisphere… Ah, now there things are getting dark and dire as the time for the veil between worlds gets thinner and thinner as Samhain approaches.

Samhain? you might ask. It’s the precursor for what is now called Halloween.

If you want to check out the Celtic roots of Halloween, read this awesome article over on newgrange.com.

Now that we know that during Samhain that which divides our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest, we also know that spirits and whatnot can pass through to ours.

Like what?

The Wild Hunt, for instance.

Belief in the Wild Hunt was once widespread across most of Europe. Common belief held that it was led by a supernatural master (Odin in Norse lore, King Herla in Britain, Gwyn ap Nudd in Wales, etc.) with a special prey in mind (Odin sought the Fairy Wood Wives, Gwyn ap Nudd herded the souls of the dead to the Underworld). The Hunt generally comprised spectral huntsmen on horseback accompanied by a pack of fairy hounds (usually white with red ears). It could fly through the air, pound over the earth, or hover just above the ground during its hunt.

The Wild Hunt is called many different things and described in many different ways depending on time and place.

On the Isle of Man, a band of 13 hunters rode out on frosty, moonlit nights on the Manx Fairy Hunt, as described in Thomas Keightley’s The Fairy Mythology (1828).

“…he heard the cry of huntsmen, the thunder of horses’ hooves, and the trumpeting of horns. He wondered why the hunt was out at night in such frost. It crossed his path several times and under the light of the moon, he saw the riders as clear as day. There were 13 huntsmen on horseback, dressed in green…”

In the Highlands of Scotland, the formidable fairy Sluagh, is often described as the souls of the unforgiven dead. They would take to the air in a great flock, hunting mortal souls to join their number. They also enjoy shooting cats, dogs, sheep, and cattle with elfshot (poisoned darts). An account in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica (1900) describes a sighting of them in the Outer Hebrides:

“…on hearing the call, the dogs ran outside, and when the men had gathered their wits, they followed. In the bright blue night sky, they beheld a multitude of spirits with hounds on leashes and hawks perched on hands. The air was filled with music, like tinkling bells, mingled with the shouts of the sluagh calling to their hounds…”

Of course, the Wild Hunt was often associated with demons and witches as Christianity spread over the globe. Not that they were particularly sweet and cuddly to start out with…

Just like everything else, they’ve been relegated to the realm of fancy. But as recently as the 1940s, the Wild Hunt was heard passing by on Halloween near Taunton, Somerset.

In my own writing, the Hunt is slightly different. There are steeds (the spectral horses mentioned in folklore, though mine can take any shape it pleases) and the Pack (which can be the huntsmen or the hounds – they can take either shape at will). They can also manipulate the emotions of mortals and fae alike.

You can check out a short story featuring them in the Clarion Call Anthology FairyTale Riot! that will be released at the end of the month. I had loads of fun writing my short story.

I hope you learned something new, got a great scare and possibly a great read for the darker months ahead. I’ll be doing a proper post about FairyTale Riot! over on my blog on Sunday (with a review) if you’d like to check it out.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren is the author of New Adult, Young Adult and children’s fiction filled with mythology and folklore. Her dark fantasy stories can be read for free on Wattpad and on her blog Ronel the Mythmaker. She won Fiction Writer of the Year 2016 for her Afrikaans stories on INK: Skryf in Afrikaans. Her published works can be viewed on Goodreads.

Ronel can be found tweeting about writing and other things that interest her, arguing with her characters, researching folklore for her newest story or playing with her Rottweilers when she’s not actually writing.

All of her books are available for purchase on Amazon and other online retailers.

Connect with Ronel:

Amazon : Twitter : Pinterest : Google+ : Goodreads : Ronel the Mythmaker : Instagram : Newsletter

Our Buddy by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

 

The first vehicle I remember from my childhood was a white Mercedes Benz with four doors and a trunk. The interior seats were of a gray and white decorative pattern. Before my younger brother was born, my parents and I took many trips from our home in Tucson, Arizona.

We called the car Buddy. After my younger brother was born, when he was old enough, Dad started calling him Buddy, and I was confused. My brother’s given name was Andy, so why was Dad calling him Buddy? I was too young to understand that “buddy” was also a term of endearment.

Three years after my younger brother was born, after a second car was purchased, Buddy took Dad and me all the way from Tucson to Sheridan, Wyoming. The year was 1971, and I was ten years old. Dad would have gone on his own, but on the night he planned to leave, while we were eating supper, he asked if I wanted to come, and I said yes, since I was always up for an adventure.

We left that night. Because it was close to my bedtime, I camped out in Buddy’s back seat while Dad drove for a few hours. When we stopped, he unrolled a sleeping bag on the ground near the car. We were still in Arizona.

The next day, we drove through the Navaho Reservation and into Colorado, stopping at Four Corners, where Dad said we lost an hour. That night, we ended up in Durango, and I remember thinking it strange that it was still light at eight o’clock in the evening. That night, we visited several bars. Years later, this experience inspired a poem from my collection, How to Build A Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.

The next day, we stopped at Mesa Verde, then spent the night with friends in Beulah, and the following evening, Dad left me in Denver with my maternal grandmother while he drove the rest of the way to Sheridan.

I stayed with Grammy and Granddad Hinkley in Denver for several weeks. During that time, Dad and his mother, Grandma Johnson, went to Las Vegas and back to Denver, where they picked me up. We drove to Sheridan in Grandma’s Cadillac because Buddy quit working after Dad reached Sheridan the first time.

We’d come here because Grandpa Johnson died in the fall of the previous year, and Grandma needed help with the family’s coin-operated machine business. During the weeks I spent in Sheridan, Buddy sat neglected in front of Grandma’s house. Dad was too busy running the business and keeping me entertained to worry about fixing the car. When we drove anywhere, we either used Grandma’s car or one of the company vehicles. When it was time for me to start school, Dad drove me to Denver, again in Grandma’s Cadillac, and I boarded a plane for Tucson. I wondered if I would ever see Buddy again.

In October of that year, Buddy somehow managed to get Dad home safe and sound. Two years later, we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, so Dad could run the business full time. We had two cars: Buddy and the other Mercedes Benz we called 220S Baby. We rented a U-Haul truck to carry our earthly possessions. Dad drove the U-Haul, towing Buddy, while Mother drove 220S Baby.

After we settled in Sheridan, Buddy eventually retired and was relegated to a space in our driveway behind the garage. When Andy became a teen-ager, Mother wanted him to fix up and use the old car, but Andy wasn’t interested, and Dad didn’t like the idea for some reason. She eventually gave Andy her old Fiat when she bought a new Subaru. There were other cars, a gray Buick station wagon, a number of pick-up trucks and a van that were used mostly for the coin-operated machine business, a Plymouth Reliant station wagon, a Mitsubishi, and a red Subaru station wagon that Andy inherited after Dad passed away and gave to his son as a graduation present. For a couple of years when my husband was alive and partially paralyzed by two strokes, I owned a red wheelchair-accessible van. However, our Buddy, a reliable car for years, will always be foremost in my memory.

***

I’m the author of a memoir, two poetry collections, and a romance novel. I’m currently working on another novel. My work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

 

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Forever is Never Too Long

Thanks to Rhonda Partain for inspiring this. I believe that if you truly love someone, forever is never too long.

Most marriages aren’t fraught with the turmoil that ours was. When my late husband Bill and I were married in the fall of 2005, I was in my forties, and he was nineteen years my senior. Three months after our wedding, Bill suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. A year later, he suffered another stroke, just as we were thinking maybe he’d get back on his feet again. That never happened.

For six years, I cared for him at home. With the use of only one arm and leg, he could do little for himself. Nevertheless, I loved him, and it never crossed my mind to leave him and find another. I would have cared for him for another twenty years, but in the fall of 2012, he started to decline, and it became difficult for me to lift him. I had to move him to a nursing home where he died a month later. You can read more about this in My Ideal Partner.

Some young people nowadays look on marriage as if they were buying a car. They move in together so they can test-drive the relationship. I don’t have a problem with this, but years after they’ve decided they’re right for each other, they toss the marriage aside like an old car that is no longer of use to them. Not only is this heartbreaking for the parties involved, but it’s also not fair to any children they may have had during that time. These children didn’t choose to be born and deserve a stable family environment.

If a spouse is abusive or unfaithful, that’s one thing, but simply falling out of love with your significant other should never happen. If you’re considering marriage, be sure. Be very sure you two are compatible and that you really want to spend the rest of your lives together. A marriage isn’t a car. You can’t trade it in for another model when you get tired of it. If you truly love the one you want to marry, forever will never be too long.

***

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

My Downtown Memories by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Thanks to Mike Staton’s post  here for inspiring this. When I was growing up in the 1960’s, my family was living in Tucson, Arizona, and a trip downtown was exciting because we had to drive through a large tunnel in order to get there. Dad or Mother kept honking the horn, as we drove through, and I loved the way the sound reverberated.

Once downtown, I enjoyed shopping in department stores with escalators and elevators. During the Christmas season, visiting Santa Claus was the highlight of any shopping trip. We often ate at a cafeteria, where my favorite meal was turkey with dressing and sweet potatoes. On my eleventh birthday, my parents took me and my younger brother to dinner at an Italian restaurant, where we ate outside on a patio.

The Tucson Community Center opened downtown while we were still living there, and Dad and I heard such performers as The Carpenters and Sonny and Cher. This facility also had a music hall where we heard performances of such works as Benjamin Britton’s A Celebration of Carols and Karl Orf’s Carmina Burana. We even heard a production of Rosini’s The Barber of Seville.

After we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1973, going downtown wasn’t nearly as exciting. The only tunnels were underpasses on the freeway. None of the department stores had escalators. One had an elevator, but it was old and creaky and had to be run by a human operator. However, there was a café where I enjoyed drinking milk shakes after school.

Now, that café has since been replaced by another that doesn’t serve milk shakes. The department store with the elevator is gone, as are other stores that were there during my childhood. I still enjoy walking downtown from my home in favorable weather to do banking and other errands.

***

Now, in celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll conclude with a poem I wrote that was inspired by a childhood memory of downtown Sheridan at night. This is an acrostic in which the first letter of each line spells “downtown.” You can click on the title to hear me read it.

***

MOONLIGHT MADNESS

 

 

Dancing lights from cars pass

on busy sidewalks

with stores of all sorts to delight shoppers who have

not a care in the world, as they stroll

to Penney’s, Woolworth’s

on streets that are crowded

with babies in strollers, children, and adults

needing nothing more than to shop and enjoy.

 

***

 

What do you remember about downtown when you were growing up? What has changed since then?

 

***

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

 

A Wrong Righted

 Posted by Renee Kimball

Oxford University Press.

Gray’s Anatomy was published for the first time in 1858.   What later was to become known as the “Bible of the medical profession,” has been continually published for over 150 years with almost no changes.  Certainly, an achievement for any book, much less a medical reference text.

In 2008, Dr. Ruth Richardson’s published The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame, a historical investigation detailing the creation of Gray’s Anatomy.   Richardson’s history offers a tale set in Victorian England of personal sacrifice, herculean ego, complex class differences, and clandestine intrigue.

Unknown by many, there were two authors of the original Gray’s Anatomy: “. . .  Henry Gray, anatomist, pathologist, and surgeon and Henry Vandyke Carter, apothecary-surgeon, microscopist, physician and artist” (Robinson).  Dr. Henry Gray was not the only contributor of the famous text as most would believe but had sought to block– even negate in its entirety—the monumental contributions of Dr. Henry Vandyke, illustrator of Gray’s.

Richardson shows that Dr. Henry Gray intentionally sought to diminish Carter’s involvement throughout the printing process and failed to even thank Carter for his efforts.  All this, despite Carter having worked over three years, producing illustrations that surpassed anything previously published.

Was it hubris, ego, class differences, or plain self-aggrandizement which caused Henry Gray to attempt to obliterate the overwhelming contribution that Dr. Carter provided in the creation of the seminal work?

To answer that question, Richardson successfully transports the reader into the heart of the Victorian England of Dickens—class struggle, excruciating poverty, workhouse cruelty and death, the ghoulish world of grave robbing, and murder for corpses.  It was during this time of social change, when class and wealth ruled government and society, Gray’s was conceived and published.

It also was a time when the English medical profession was in flux.  It was, for the most part, a profession dominated by wealth, class, and heredity.  Most medical schools were privately owned and rife with nepotism.  With the right familial standing and social connections, a medical degree was assured regardless of ability.

The medical schools were also the largest purveyors of stolen corpses.  The corpse was the chief learning tool of the medical student and fresh bodies were in demand.  However, acquiring a fresh corpse for dissection was illegal unless the body was that of a hanged murderer.

Because of the difficulties related to obtaining corpses, school administrators were indifferent regarding the true origin of the bodies.  At that time a corpse cost between £7 – £10 (British) pounds (U.S. $9.73 -$14.05).  For those who lived in egregious poverty, robbing graves provided an easy profit.

Robbing graves was so common place that an outraged public demanded the law changed.  The Anatomy Act was passed in 1832.

The Act offered an alternate and legitimate source of bodies– bodies of indigents who died in workhouses.  The Act closed a gap in supply, and Gray’s further filled a knowledge gap by producing an easily accessible and readable printed medical reference.

Prior to Gray’s, other anatomy books were illustrated; however, illustrations were cartoonish and unprofessional.  Richardson asserts that Carter, for the very first time, rendered illustrations in which the subjects appeared without pain and with such careful respect that the anatomical diagrams ensured the overall success of Gray’s.  No one before Carter had shown such tenderness with the subjects nor such consideration.

Robinson’s research confirms the extent of Carter’s involvement and contribution to Gray’s.  It is highly regrettable Carter was never rightfully acknowledged during his lifetime for his unique gifts to the seminal work.

The question as to why Dr. Henry Gray chose not to acknowledge Carter’s work will remain unanswered.   We are, however, entirely and eternally grateful that Dr. Richardson’s study has set the Gray’s authorial record straight.  Richardson has successfully righted an egregious wrong and ensured the credit Dr. Henry Vandyke Carter so justly deserved.

References

The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame.  Oxford University Press. (2008)

The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy.  Book Review. (Part(s) 1 and 2). Online. Blackwell Blackwell’s Bookshops Published on May 13, 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Zv0IVCohg

Oxford University Press. Photo of Richardson’s book copied from this site.  PHOTO REFERENCE

Fresh Fiction for Today’s Reader. http://freshfiction.com/author.php?id=29582 Ruth Richardson

The Telegraph, 29 Oct 2008.  The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, fortune, Fame by Ruth Richardson- review October 29, 2008   Noel Malcolm https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/3562651/The-Making-of-Mr-Grays-Anatomy-Bodies-Books-Fortune-Fame-by-Ruth-Richardson-review.html

The making of Mr. Gray’s anatomy Bodies, books, fortune, fame. Review. John T. Hansen. Journal of Clinical Investigation. J Clin Invest. 2009 May 1; 119(5): 1056. Published online 2009 May 1. doi:  10.1172/JCI39002 PMCID: PMC2673841. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673841/

***

A former paralegal, Renee Kimball has a master’s degree in criminal justice. Among her interests are reading and writing. She is an active Animal Advocate and fosters and rescues both dogs and cats from shelters and works with various organizations to find them forever homes.

How I Fell in Love with My Ideal Partner by Abbie Johnson Taylor

In the winter of 2002, I was single and living here in Sheridan, Wyoming.  A couple of months after subscribing, I decided to pose a question on Newsreel, an audio magazine where people with visual impairments could share ideas and music and trade or sell items. Being a writer who attended workshops away from my computer on a regular basis, I wanted to know if there was any way to transfer a document from a braille note-taker to my computer. At the time, most note[takers didn’t use standard word processing formats, so the answers I received weren’t satisfactory.

 

One of these came from Bill Taylor, who lived in Fowler, Colorado, where he grew up and where he owned a computer store for twenty years. I don’t remember his answer, but I do recall him asking me about my writing. I responded that I wrote fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and that I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home. He then wrote back and said his mother lived in a nursing home. We had a little something in common.

 

Over the next couple of years, we corresponded, mainly by email but occasionally by phone. He’d downloaded over a hundred songs on his computer, and he sent me some of these on cassettes. I emailed him some of my writing. In the spring of 2003, when I started work on my first novel, We Shall Overcome, I sent him chapters, and he responded with feedback.

 

In the spring of 2004, on our way to visit my brother and his family in New Mexico, my father and I decided to stop in Fowler to see Bill, although it was a bit out of the way. Bill and I visited for about half an hour, and I discovered that he, like me, was a fan of Dr. Pepper. The following December, we returned, on our way to New Mexico for Christmas, and took Bill out to breakfast. At that time, he suggested we kiss under the mistletoe in his living room, but I thought he was joking.

 

In January of 2005, I received a braille letter from him in the mail and the shock of my life when I read it. He was asking me to marry him. At first, I thought he wanted me to move to Fowler, an idea I didn’t like, since I’d lived in Sheridan for years and wasn’t about to start from scratch in a new town. However, when I spooke to him on the phone after receiving his letter, he told me he wanted to move to Sheridan. He was tired of his home town, where there wasn’t much to do. Although I still didn’t know if I loved him, this was definitely a game-changer.

 

A couple of months later, he came to Sheridan to visit and proposed to me officially at a restaurant in the presence of family and friends. Something clicked, and I said yes.

 

In July, he moved to Sheridan, and I quit my job at the nursing home. In September, we were married. I wish I could say that was the end, and we’re still living happily ever after, thanks to Newsreel, but that was not to be.

 

In January of 2006, Bill suffered a stroke that confined him to a wheelchair. He spent nine months in the same nursing home where I’d worked, and I brought him home in September of that year. We’d hoped he would be back on his feet some day, but in January of 2007, he suffered a second stroke, not as severe, but bad enough to set him back to the point where he could never walk again. I cared for him at home until he passed in October 2012.

 

Despite the trials and tribulations of him only having the use of one arm and leg and me being his caregiver, most of our time together was happy, and we both looked forward to the arrival of Newsreel each month, first through the mail on cassette, then via digital download. You can read our complete story in a memoir I published in 2016, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

If I hadn’t met Bill, I probably would still be working forty-hour weeks in the nursing home and may not have published four books. If not for Newsreel, I wouldn’t have met Bill. I hope this audio publication continues for at least another sixty years.

 

Now it’s your turn. How did you meet your ideal partner? Was it love at first site, or did it take a while? Maybe the song you hear when you click below will inspire you. It’s one I wanted to sing at my wedding but didn’t think I could.

 

Annie’s Song

 

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

A Thanksgiving Song

I’m Abbie Johnson Taylor, and I wrote this post.

 

Here’s a little ditty I wrote and posted in 2015 that I’m re-blogging. Years ago when my grandmother was alive, I enjoyed walking to her house, even as an adult. Now, our town boasts a series of connected cement walkways that would have provided a scenic route from my house to hers if she were still alive.

 

The following is set to a familiar tune we associate with Thanksgiving. To hear me sing it while accompanying myself on piano, click below. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Over the Bridge and Along the Creek

 

 

 

Over the bridge and along the creek to Grandma’s house I go.

My cane knows the way. I will not stray as through the leaves I go.

Over the bridge and along the creek, now Grandma’s house I spy.

Hurray for the turkey, stuffing, and yams and Grandma’s apple pie.

 

Over the bridge and along the creek to Grandma’s house I go.

My dog knows the way so “Forward,” I say as along the path we go.

Over the bridge and along the creek, now Grandma’s house we spy.

I must insure my trusty guide does not eat Grandma’s pie. Ruff ruff.

 

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I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

 

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

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Old West Entertainers

Post by Doris McCraw

Doris

I love entertainment; movies, plays, opera, and symphony along with so many other forms. One thing I always stop and read when I’m researching is the entertainment that those in the 1800s enjoyed. Since I’ve been in the ‘stacks’ lately researching an outlaw for an upcoming presentation and paper, I thought I’d share some ‘lighter’ news.

Many think of the Old West as cowboys, outlaws, and generally an overall free for all. That was not always the case. There were many a traveling company who were available and put on many shows across the Western states. You also individual entertainers who ‘rode the circuit’.

In Colorado Springs in 1881, the town was treated to a presentation of Camille.  You can follow the link to the ‘review’ of the event. camille in colorado springs 1881

How about the “Old Time Medicine Show”? Back Stage with a Medicine Show Fifty Years Ago by William P Burt is an article from the Colorado Magazine from July 1942. If you would like to read the article, and I suggest you do, follow this link: http://www.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/files/Researchers/ColoradoMagazine_v19n4_July1942.pdf

Back then, there was no television, radio let alone computers and streaming. Many people found ways to entertain themselves with dances, musical recitals. If you look at the city directories of the day, you would find a number of musicians and actors offering their services as teachers. I suppose dreams of making it were just a valid back then as now.

You had people like Lilly Langtree, Sarah Bernhardt, Eddie Foy, Blind Tom, Lotta Crabtree and many a traveling theater companies. Of course there were the Booth’s, one of whom became famous for his actions as opposed to his talents, which from reviews of the day were considerable.

So the next time you turn on the television, radio or listen to your device, remember the ‘entertainers’ who became famous in the early day. Maybe even check out your own newspapers to find out who entertained folks back in the day. You may be surprised.

And to book release news, I’ve a story in the newly released Medieval anthology “One Yuletide Knight” from Prairie Rose Publications.

One Yuletide Knight by [Macgillivray, Deborah , Townsend, Lindsay, Breeding, Cynthia, Raines, Angela, Kincaid, Keena, Sherry-Crews, Patti, Wells, Beverly, Thompson, Dawn]
http://amzn.to/2lVmma1
Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

 

NERO WOLFE BANQUET

 

Ever hear of the Wolfe Pack?

All mystery writers and everyone else who loves a good read should know who Rex Stout is. He introduced us to the modern mystery by his characters: Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. The 70’s TV series was loosely based on his books, Ellery Queen.

 

 

Many years ago, when I first began to write mysteries, I was told by a well-known author to read Rex Stout. I did. His books are fun to read. We’re introduced to a private detective who never leaves his brownstone and his gumshoe, Archie.

 

Nero loves beer and orchids. Archie loves milk and chasing down the bad guys. It’s a fit made in heaven.

I recently had the opportunity to attend The Rex Stout Banquet when I attended a convention in Toronto, Canada. It was fabulous. No words could explain it.

We toasted each other constantly with all the many guest speakers. The meal was to die for. The passed canapes included caviar. The salad was made from butter lettuce. The vegetables were also to die for. However, the peppered beef tenderloin melted in my mouth. The desert almost dropped me to my knees it was so good, Hazelnut and caramel mousse. Can you beat that?

 

 

 

We also had fun with making up parodies using characters names. One group received a standing ovation. An older gentleman from our table wanted to sing solo, so we let him. We also had trivia questions to answer during the evening. It was so much fun. My friend, Carol Pouliot sat beside me and we had so much fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I encourage everyone to experience this banquet if the chance should ever arise. It was well worth it!

I write the First Ladies mystery series, historical mysteries, poetry, and picture books.

http://www.barbaraschlichting.com

https://twitter.com/BSchlichting

https://www.goodreads.com/BarbSchlichting