Crossing Paths and Discovered Gems

You never know where a clue will lead.

During this time of extended-family visits, I’d like to share a few gems from our extended family of readers and some bits from my files–a pot-luck blog post, if you will. You’re an interesting and talented lot out there; keep your discoveries and contributions coming!

Our friend Ellen shared a story about her mother and tea:

Ellen's tea cup
Look for bubbles in your teacup!

“I inherited this lovely cup from my mother’s collection in 1988. She and I shared many a cup of tea together before her passing. As long as I remember, whenever the tea was poured and there was any slight evidence of bubbles on the surface of her tea, she would scoop them up with her spoon and say she would receive money soon! I have never followed this tradition to receive any money but it is never too late!”

Terri did some research that she shared on our Facebook page:

“I blame this all on Patti…I just finished her blog and now I’m reading The Trail of Conflict. Because of inspiration in one of the posts I’ve been stopping to listen to music mentioned, or to look up outfits, car styles for the two years prior to publication, etc. In chapter X Jerry is ‘singing’ a song. This led me to the poet John Masefield who wrote the words. Masefield had done two tours in America in the early 1900’s to read his poetry. No ‘song’ from that era of time but I thought it fun to find this version by a Georgia artist. I thought the song lovely and wanted to share.”

(Listen to it here. The song begins at 1:47.)

John Masefield
John Masefield was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom, 1930-1967

While we’re listening to songs, you may recognize this title from Billboard’s top songs of  December, 1945: “As Long As I Live.” The Paul Van Husen agency told Emilie Loring in a letter that her book inspired the lyric.

Virginia alertly followed a clue and found this gem that connects to a famous illustrator:

Squander Bug
by Theodore Geisel, “Dr. Seuss”

“I was just rereading Keepers of the Faith and Nancy Barton uses the phrase, “the squander bug.” In looking that up, I found the graphic design for that phrase was by Theodore Geisel.”

Theodore Geisel, of course, was Dr. Seuss.

[Virginia writes, photographs, designs, collects, researches… a kindred spirit. Her all-purpose blog is here. Follow her links to find other sites where she posts her writing and research.]

More famous illustrators crossed paths with Emilie Loring. Her story, “Converting Phyllis,” was illustrated in The Mother’s Magazine by Katharine Sturges Dodge. You probably recognize her style from childhood books.


Katharine Sturges Dodge
by Katharine Sturges Dodge

You may not recognize the name of William Starling Burgess, who designed the Atlantic Class sailboat and the “Brutal Beast” boats used in Blue Hill, Maine for children’s sailing classes. The Lorings knew Burgess through Victor’s brother, a yacht-racing official.

I bet you do know Burgess’ daughter, who was also named “Starling Burgess,” but is better known by the name she chose for herself: “Tasha Tudor.” Did Tasha ever come to Blue Hill? We will have to find out!

Tasha Tudor illustration
The Lorings knew Tasha Tudor’s father.

Finally, have you heard of James Montgomery Flagg? He illustrated Emilie Loring’s 1921 story, “A Box from Nixon’s.”

James Montgomery Flagg, The Box from Nixon's, 1921
Emilie Loring’s “The Box from Nixon’s,” illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg

I am sure you will recognize his most famous work, which he created in 1917:

Flagg, I Want You
by James Montgomery Flagg

I hope you have all had a heartwarming week. Keep sharing, through blog post comments, email, and our Facebook page. And keep your eyes out for more precious gems!



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