The Fairy Diary Day 8 #TFDbyRWOz2

The Fairy Diary Day 8

Meribabell writes:

Why me?

Does he think our recent animosity would make me more motivated? 

Then, why have me apologize?

I could not even direct my questions to the High Fairy. Simply could not. And he, for his part, only pointed me in the direction I must go and supplied me with a case in which to carry the note that he had given me. 

He will continue to communicate with me through that note. I will be able to write back but he did not encourage that outright. 

There is room in the bottom of the case for me to pack my diary. Most of my writing, I feel, will be done there.

The Narrator’s Tale #TFDbyRWOz2 D minus 1

I tried to start from the first page, but every attempt was thwarted. With a mind of its own it would fan its pages forward to a spot that I believe was the same on each occasion. 

At last I gave in and went with its ‘suggestion.’

And that was how I was introduced to the writer of this volume, or at the least, the author commencing from that spot. 

If not for the evidence of my own eyes that have seen the writing appear from nowhere on to the page, I would not give any credence to what he claims to be.

The Narrator’s Tale #TFDbyRWOz2 D minus 4

So much more to puzzle over. I spent hours turning pages, looking for clues or a key to help me translate. I took to counting the pages with writing and lost count somewhere around the two thousand mark, and still more pages with text lay ahead. 

At that point I thought to check out the covers – but they were clean, not even anything I could assume was a signature of ownership. 

Days later I finally reached the last page of written material. Well short of half way through the volume. 

And there before my eyes, in flashes of brilliant light more letters drew themselves onto the page. And when finished the book closed up and the lock relocked.

Announcement #1939TheMiracleYear

1939 The Miracle Year Announcement

Now that I have finished the last post for DEW (Diary of the End of the World), I’ve been thinking about making another daily post on another of my interests.  For some time I have been researching the background for a play that I plan to write. I have always had an interest in ‘film’ – aka ‘the movies’ – aka ‘the picture show’ – aka ‘the flickers.’ (I guess that covers the generations). I propose to chronicle the people, films and events of a year that many consider to be a watershed in the history of film – 1939. I hold a particular fondness for those that were released that year – the year that many call the “Miracle Year.”

The show business newspaper Variety kicked off the new year of 1939 with an article touting the 33rd anniversary of their publication, and tied it back to a similar milestone which marked a third of century since the beginnings of Hollywood, the film capital of the world.

It enumerates a number of companies that made the journey from the east for the sunshine state and for the freedom that move allowed them from the fees of the Edison Patent company. There were some instances of visits purely to cover newsworthy events – such as the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, but most were sent by the entrepreneurs responsible for the growing number of nickelodeons sprouting across the face of the nation – with the intent of making films themselves to keep those silver screens lit, and their seats filled.

Hopefully everyone will find this as entertaining as I do. And mayhaps will move them to sample the films of that bygone era. They will be immeasurably enriched.

So stay tuned and Watch this Space.

Thirty Years in the Making

Thirty Years in the Making

William Wilberforce

In 1987 I returned from a mission trip to Argentina. It was a important time in my life. And an impactful one. In fact, I believed that the next step for my life and that of my family was a move to Buenos Aires as a missionary.

It made sense – given my training in language (for my minor in Spanish I had studied under an Argentine professor),  and the fact that the witness of a Wycliffe Bible translator had been an element in my conversion seven years earlier.

So while I was waiting for things to come together – certain things would have to happen if it were to come to pass, I was avidly reading biographies of missionaries and other historical Christian figures. One such individual was the British statesman and Christian, William Wilberforce – an important political figure in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He believed that God’s call upon his life was to bring an end to the slave trade. Something about this man as portrayed in the biography by John Pollock resonated deeply in my consciousness.

More people needed to know about him, his love for God, and how that motivated him.

I was sitting in church service, and thoughts were percolating through my brain about Wilberforce, like – someone should make a movie about him. A Voice said to me – No, it’s a musical.

What a great idea I said to myself (for Wilberforce had a reputation as a marvelous singer). But I was called elsewhere. What did it have to do with me? I was waiting for leading as a missionary.

That all ended when the Lord spoke through the Scripture in another Sunday service. The words of Ezekiel shattered the image of what I thought I was called to. I am not sending you to a people of another tongue [Ezekiel 3:5]. I know the word was directed at my heart, to tell me that my call was not as a missionary to a foreign land.

So what to do.

Another word came. Another sermon had a phrase that hit my heart too. What’s that in your hand? [Exodus 4:2] I had recently bought a fountain pen, with which I took down notes from the sermons.

I put it all together. And began to write a musical based on the life of William Wilberforce.

I have just completed the first draft this last week.

“Wilber – A Musical.”

It has been a long journey. And all in God’s timing. There were certain things I needed to learn and to experience along the way.

Now I am waiting to see what’s next.

Day One Hundred Eighty Six morning #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Lyle writes:

– How I dislike writing things down. ‘Enough’ is so much better suited for this. But now with him in the hands of Moglen and Stan it falls to me to keep the chronicle going.

– I came back into the encampment after a quick trip down to the desert. I found the narrow track with little problem. Flowers should be well on the way.

Grazie informed me about ‘Enough’s seizure and insisted on going with me to the city. There at the gate, we were turned away with no comment.

I was successful in restoring calm to the camp.

How I pity Moglen should he try to coerce my friend.

1928 San Francisco Research The Cars

1928 San Francisco The Cars

One piece of advice pitched to writers entails tailoring a character part for a particular actor or star. It indeed can be helpful, especially if you intend to approach that actor later.  But what if you have a comedian in mind for a serious part? It’s hard enough as it is to keep your character reined in to your purposes without losing it all to ensuing wackiness.

But that is not the subject of this post, thankfully, rather I had a different question.

What kind of cars should I include?

This was a question I tackled in my background research for my script set in 1928 San Francisco. I definitely wanted a Duesenberg as one of the “players.” But was it available in San Francisco at this time?

The Internet Archive to the rescue again. A search there turned up scans of a weekly publication that proved helpful – the San Francisco News Letter. In its January 28th edition for 1928 there was an article about the Twelfth Annual Pacific Automobile Show set to run from that date through February 4. It lists what the attendees will see – Haughty limousines – sporty racing models – family cars – roadsters – sedans and sedanettes – coupes and couplets – broughams and landaulets. Or as it more prosaically describes them – “Shining things of steel that are the magic carpets of modern transportation.”

I gleaned some interesting facts from the article. Rather than extolling the virtues of the mechanics of their operation, as had been the past habit, they were now touting the comfort for the people within – seats that conformed to the body’s curvature – lighters, mirrors, match safes, vanity cases – and some items switched from the accessory category to standard – bumpers, shocks and headlights. And San Francisco itself was being praised for its climate as being perfect for year round motoring. It went on to add that a coastline highway from British Columbia to Mexico was then underway, and of particular note – San Francisco was not yet directly connected to Santa Cruz in that manner. A good fact to know.

Flipping through the pages I came upon a Duesenberg. So that was in. The main antagonist gets that one. But what about the rest of the cast?

I’ve always wanted to include a vehicle that had this capability:

1928 San Francisco Research The Cars2

The arsenal behind the front seat back. An online search alerted me to Al Capone’s car of choice, the 1928 Cadillac. Seems like an apropos choice.

(Aside – I was checking on the magazine’s next edition to see if there was any follow up and found this headline – Street Murder – from which I take the following excerpts – “our first taste of the thing which is disgracing Chicago…a man shot in the public streets of San Francisco by an assassin from a closed car…in connection with the liquor trade…the similarity to the Chicago affairs is very marked”).

So I was on the hunt for a Cadillac in San Francisco.

Here is a list, regrouped into their “families” and their points of origin. First, those outside of Detroit and Michigan:

Franklins (of Syracuse NY.  Luxury car. It had a radiator grill that was for looks. It actually was a dummy and functioned as the air intake for its air-cooled engine).

Chandlers (from Cleveland OH, medium priced cars).

Stutz (of Indianapolis, IN).

The Kissel (made in Wisconsin. Amelia Earhart drove one of these).

The Kleiber (of San Francisco, CA. A truck firm that built some passenger cars, a five passenger Brougham went for only $1950. Sold only on the West Coast).

Locomobiles (of Bridgeport CT, originally a steam car, but converted to internal combustion shortly after the turn of the century, at this time part of Durant Motors).

And switching to Michigan, we pick up with the Durant Company again:
The Star
The Durant
(both built by the Durant Company (1922-28). William C. Durant was the founder of the General Motors Holding Company, but at this time was out of GM and looking to duplicate the philosophy he had created there with a range of offerings for various tastes and pocket books).

Hudsons
Essexes
(both by Hudson)

Chryslers
(With some interesting omissions – Plymouths, DeSotos and Dodges. The Plymouths and Desotos were new for 1928, and perhaps not yet available. And the troubled Dodge company was bought by Chrysler this year, so maybe their deal was not yet consummated).

Lincolns
(at this time part of the Ford company, though operating separately. There are no other Fords listed, which I thought odd).

GM products (in order from cheapest to most expensive).
Chevys
Pontiacs
Oakland All-Americans (not from the community across the bay, but of Pontiac MI; bought by GM in 1909; absorbed into Pontiac in 1931)
Oldsmobiles
Buicks
LaSalles (recently introduced to fill the gap between the Buick and the Cadillac).
But NO Cadillacs.

For that matter there are no Packards and Pierce Arrows mentioned either. But my mind is made up, I want a Cadillac, and a Cadillac it will be. So there!

If anyone complains, I can always build a backstory.