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GeorgeWashingtonCarver1

Carver’s rules for life, dethroning King Apostrophe, the author that Agatha Christie ‘remembered’: newsletter, July 12, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,7xx) on Friday, July 12, 2019. {% if subscriber.first_name != blank %} Hello {{ subscriber.first_name }}, {% else %} Hello, {% endif %} The honey harvest was completed last weekend at the Stovall house, and we gathered almost eight gallons of honey from three hives, […]

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Writing the national anthem, ripping off Dickens, publishing a Civil War memoir: newsletter, July 5, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,747) on Friday, July 5, 2019. I hope that everyone in America (and elsewhere) is having a happy Fourth of July and its aftermath. In America, we celebrate with fireworks, ice cream, baseball, cherry pie, cookouts, and just about anything else we can think of […]

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AntoniaFraser

Hemingway on writing, Fraser at writing, counterfeit books, and a podcast: newsletter, June 28, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,7xx) on Friday, June 28, 2019. The great satisfaction of a project nearing completion came for me this week with the arrival of proof copies of Loyal Mountaineers: The Civil War Memoirs of Will McTeer. McTeer left his home near the Great Smoky Mountains in […]

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Alfred Lord Tennyson1

A newspaper story becomes a famous poem, the domestic troubles of a famous poet, and a cure for our civil ills: newsletter, June 21, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,769) on Friday, June 21, 2019. The local library where I live — the Blount County Public Library — continues its vital work despite the county commission’s threat of underfunding its operation. The funding issues should be resolved in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the Blount County Friends […]

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The House of Rest

Julia Ward Howe’s visions of glory, the fountain pen, more about libraries: newsletter, June 14, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,775) on Friday, June 14, 2019.   Beans on the stand, tassels on the corn, blooms on the cucumbers, tomatoes on the vine — the garden continues to amaze us with its seasonable miracles. The months of planning, planting, watering, weeding, and watching are being […]

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Walt Whitman chases fame, Verse and Vision, libraries, and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, June 7, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,7xx) on Friday, June 7, 2019.     Celebrations of great moments and memories in the history of the United States continue during these weeks with Memorial Day, followed by D-Day (June 6), Flag Day (June 14), and then July the Fourth. Each of these times calls for clear-eyed reflection and assessment […]

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Sir Walter Scott writes himself out of debt, more on libraries, competing definitions of journalism: newsletter, May 31, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,7xx) on Friday, May 31, 2019. For the past six or seven weeks, we have left our beehives alone. This is the main honey-making season, and we did not want to do anything to disturb them. That changed this week when I opened them to make […]

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OleBert

What good are libraries, The Winds of War, and getting away with murder in the U.S.:newsletter, May 24, 2019

  For the last 105 weeks or so, this newsletter has been winging its electronic way to subscribers each Friday, rain or shine, hot or cold. We just passed our second birthday, and when I realized that the anniversary had come and gone, it was something of a shock — in a good way. I started […]

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MountainMill

Howard Pyle and the modern Robin Hood; Rick Atkinson’s new trilogy; and Ole Bert: newsletter, May 17, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,815) on Friday, May 17, 2019. The big news on the home front is that our local library is in danger. Because of the way things are structured around here, the Blount County Public Library (see the accompanying watercolor) is supported by three different governments: Maryville, Alcoa, […]

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AndrewMarvell

Andrew Marvell, Sherwood Anderson, a quarterback’s fall, and another poetry video: newsletter, May 10, 2019

{% if subscriber.first_name != blank %} Hello {{ subscriber.first_name }}, {% else %} Hello, {% endif %} The garden is growing, except for the corn. We planted six rows of sweet corn, and two-and-a-third of those rows came up. What happened to the other rows? We don’t know. Same soil, same weather, same everything. But […]

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CaseattheBat 1

More poetry videos, Casey at the Bat, Richard I, and Foothills Voices (vol. 2): newsletter, May 3, 2019

  The end of April meant the end of National Poetry Month, but the poems and the poetry continue. There is simply too much good stuff to fit into one month, and my awareness of National Poetry Month set me off on a long-term journey of poetry reading, painting, and videos (see below). I hope […]

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440px-Self-portrait_in_a_Straw_Hat_by_Elisabeth-Louise_Vigée-Lebrun

Marie Antionette’s female portraitist, videos, Mendelssohn, and the battle of Antietam: newsletter, April 26, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,830) on Friday, April 26, 2019.   This week a few folks — millions, in fact — celebrated World Book Day (April 23), an event begun in the 1990s by the United Nations to commemorate and recognize the importance of books to our world. One part of […]

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Watercolors as photography, the would-be Vermeer, Ridge Running, and Charles Darwin: newsletter, April 19, 2016

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,826) on Friday, April 19, 2019.   The scenes of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris this week shocked and appalled anyone with any sensitivity to art. To see such an architectural work of art consumed by flames provoked disbelief and despair. This great building had […]

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WilliamManchester

The would-be Vermeer, fountain pens, and the sad end of a great writer: newsletter, April 12, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,841) on Friday, April 12, 2019.   It continues to be April, and, among many other things, that means it continues to be National Poetry Month. I wrote a bit about that in last week’s newsletter, but I bring it up again because it struck a chord […]

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AndrewCarnegie

Handel, National Poetry Month, Andrew Carnegie and all things library: newsletter, April 5, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,8xx) on Friday, April 5, 2019. Possibly the most fun part of a fun week was pouring the bees. Right. Pouring the bees.  Every spring, whether my beehives survive or not, I order “packages” of new bees. These packages are actually wooden boxes, about the size […]

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MichaelConnelly

Michael Connelly, jury trials, NYC’s first female detective, and getting ready for National Poetry Month: newsletter, March 29, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,854) on Friday, March 29, 2019. Gardening has taken me from using a tiller attached to a tractor last week to this week using a smaller motorized tiller, a trencher, and finally a hoe. The result (so far): one row of onions is in the […]

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OleBurt2

Dick Francis, forensics, jury trials, and Ole Bert: newsletter, March 15, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,875) on Friday, March 15, 2019.     The news of this week of a major scandal in the collegiate admissions process has captured, and in some cases (mine) captivated, the attention of the nation, and rightly so. Having spent much of my adult life […]

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BCPL-talk

The Belfast Project’s secret tapes, Facebook’s (and our) profound mistake, and more on America’s first female detective: newsletter, March 8, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,884) on Friday, March 8, 2019.     March is not the most reliable of months weatherwise in East Tennessee — not like January or July. More often than not, the first week of March is balmy, giving us a little pre-spring, if you will. […]

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MaryvilleCityHall1

Ireland, the first female detective, and Aristotle on storytelling: newsletter, March 1, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,980) on Friday, March 1, 2019.     Ireland (rather than Georgia) has been on my mind this week — purely by coincidence. I mentioned last week that I was reading my first Tana French book, Faithful Place, which is set in Dublin. Then I heard from […]

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Springbrook-AlocaUMC

Lincoln’s first inaugural, the best-selling mystery writer you’ve never heard of, podcasts and more: newsletter, Feb. 22, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,914) on Friday, February 22, 2019.   Still painting, still writing, still editing, still reading — if I can do those things, then the massive amount of rain that East Tennessee has been getting fades is not as significance as it might be otherwise. It’s also […]

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