Grand Years with Frank Morris

Searching for posts in the month of: May 2018

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 4 records of 4

THE GREAT WAR: The “gravest situations” yet faced in war, reported a US newspaper!

FRANK MORRIS

THE END IS NEAR!: THE LUSITANIA, THE FASTEST PASSENGER SHIP IN THE WORLD, ON ITS TRIP TO BRITAIN, LASTED ABOUT 18 MINUTES WAS ONLY 20-MILES FROM PORT WHEN A TORPEDO FROM THE U-20 HIT HER.

THE GREAT WAR. In 1915, the fastest ship in the world for passengers, the Cunard’s Lusitania, was on voyage from New York to Liverpool. A week before its sinking, the “the German Embassy in Washington advertised in the American press a general warning to travellers by ships in British waters,” notes a magazine caption in  The Great War at Sea. Toward the end of their journey, 20 miles from an unscheduled stop in Queenstown, Ireland, the U-20 submarine, commanded by Capitan Lieutenant Walther Schwieger, sent Lusitania to the bottom. Lusitania and the U-20 … NEXT WEEK.

COMING: THE TWO-UP GAME. You could get together a game of two-up in nothing flat. The only person that you need to find is a suitable ringkeeper, the spinner who tosses the coin. Hence the famous expression, “Come in, spinner.” A person could pick up a lot of money or, in the meantime, lose heaps.


COME, ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY: John Oxley’s trek into history!

Commemorate the Bicentenary of Oxley’s 1818 exploration later this year.

FRANK MORRIS

DAYS OF ADVERTURE: JOHN OXLEY’S NAME HAS BEEN COMMENORATED IN MANY PLACES OF NSW. Below: WAUCHOPE IS NOT VERY FAR FROM WHERE OXLEY  DISCOVERED THE HASTINGS RIVER.

John Oxley’s Bicentenary event gets under way in September commemorating Oxley’s historic explorations throughout the Hastings area in 1818 when he discovered the Hastings River which runs through Port Macquarie, NSW.

The great explorer, it is believed, either named the river after the borough in East Sussex, England, from which his wife came; or as a tribute to Warren Hastings, former governor general of India, who died in 1818.

Oxley’s name has been commemorated in many places throughout NSW.

ANY DESCENDANTS

Only a stone’s throw from Port Macquarie is Wauchope, which has the authentic recreation of an entire logging town of the l880s; it is situated
near the Hastings River which was discovered by explorer Oxley in 1818.

Wauchope District Historical Society is searching for any descendants of the men assigned to go with Oxley on his journey of discovery. Only two are reported as marrying and having children: George Simpson married Ann Hayden, Richard Watts married Eleanor Tomlinson.

Contact Jean May at jeanmay@avtiv8.net.au

NEXT: Explorer John Oxley finding new settlements. Coming on June 1.


SALVOS: “When life is absolutely awful, where do you turn. …”?

“MY LIFE WENT INTO A MASSIVE SPIN, I COULDN’T GET OVER IT.”

Selected by FRANK MORRIS

PERSON PLIGHT: ANGELA, MOTHER OF FIVE, SAID EVERYTHING WENT OUT OF CONTROL. WE FOUND OURSELVES HOMELESS. Below: THE FIRST THING I DID I WENT STRAIGHT TO THE SALVOS. THEY HAVE BEEN A GOD-SEND.

When disaster after disaster hit Angela, mother of five, it wasn’t long before long before she and her children were homeless.

“I nursed my ex-husband in hospital and was with him when he died. Then, only a few months later, my son Tom survived a deadly shark attack,” said Angela.

One disaster rapidly lead to another.

“I was burnt out working so many jobs to support my family. I got really sick with a chronic disease called M.E and needed six specialists. I lost my main job.

She said everything “spiralled down and we found ourselves homeless.” Said Angela: “For six months I put my kids with friends, slept under a friend’s house and shared a bunk with my son. My life went into a massive spin and I couldn’t get over the next awful thing that happened after the last one.”

Angela couldn’t believe the ill-fortune which had raised its head. The Salvos came to her rescue.

WAS OUT OF CONTROL

“The Salvos came into my life when everything went out of control. The Salvos helped with food and meals, housing and the bills. They offered counselling, help to get to hospital, and a medic alert bracelet,” she said.

But Angela’s heartache wasn’t over yet. After years of strenuous hardships to get on her feet again, last year’s floods inundated into Angela’s town and she lost everything.

She was babysitting her three grandchildren all under 3 years, when danger struck.

“By the time the police rescue boat pulled up we were standing in deep water,” said Angela. “It was still rising. I went straight to the Salvos, I couldn’t speak.

“We were dripping wet, freezing cold and shaking. They just wrapped us all up like big angels’ wings. They cocooned me and held me and let me cry it out. We were all exhausted and I knew we’d lost absolutely everything.

“Just as well the Salvos are always there,” concluded Angela said. “Whatever I needed would just appear; they have been a God-send.”

<< Please help the Salvos right now.  Your donation could put an end to homelessness, for one person at a time. Phone 13 72 58 or salvos.org.au/spiral


PRINCES OF THE FOURTH ESTATE: Final! Reporters found the pen mightier than the sword!

SPECTACULAR OR A SEEDY FAILURE? WHO WAS THE GRAND SUCCESS – MARK TWAIN OR DAN De QUILLE?

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

GUN WAS LAW – ALMOST: C.C. (JOE) GOODWIN, WHO TOOK OVER THE ENTERPRISE IN 1861, SAID DE QUILLE WAS AS GOOD A REPORTER AS MARK TWAIN. Below: ROLLIN M. DAGGETT WAS ASSOCIATED EDITOR AND CELEBRATED WRITER. Below: ALF DOTEN, ONE-TIME EDITOR OF THE ENTERPRISE, DAN DeQUILLE’S CAREER JUST EVAPORATED.

An entry from Alf Doten’s journal would read: “On board the passenger train this afternoon I found Dan De Quille – William Wright – with wife and daughter Lou. I had a talk with De Quille during the ten minutes stop. He was going to West Liberty, Iowa, their old home.

He never expects to come back because he is terribly broken down with rheumatism. He cannot live long anyway. Doten, in his journal said, “(He is) racked with it from shoulder to knees, back humped up double and is merely animated skin and bone, almost helpless.

“Can only walk about the house a little, grasping his cane with both hands. Has not been able to walk down from his residence … and back for nearly … or quite two years. He looks 90 years-old, yet was 68 on May 9 last – two months and 10 days older than I am.

“Promised to write to me when he gets home. Poor old dear boy, Dan, my most genial companion in our early Comstock reportorial days. Goodbye and I think forever personally on this earth …”

TWAIN THE FOUR-FLUSHER

Dan De Quille died on March 16, 1898.

Comparisons with his old partner, Mark Twain, are irresistible. They called Twain spectacular in the grand success compared with quiet De Quille the seedy failure.

But that was not the way they were remembered in Virginia City. Joe Farnsworth, the former State Printer, gave his youth to the Enterprise back shop in the 1890s. He learned about Twain from the old timers who had known him in the early days.

“From them I gathered the impression that Clemens (Twain) was regarded as the prime s.o.b of Virginia City while he was here.” Farnsworth heard Twain damned as a foul-minded, dirty-talking four flusher.

“One old fellow used a phrase I remember: ‘Mark Twain had no ear-muffs on when somebody else was buying. He could hear a live one order a round three doors from where he was standing. But he was deaf as a post when it was his turn to shout.’

LOVED AND RESPECTED

“I never heard admiration expressed for him personally by men who know him personally,” Farnsworth said. “Everybody on the staff hated Mark Twain and everybody really loved Dan De Quille. I think he was the most wonderful old man I ever knew.

“He couldn’t say three words to you before you were friends for life and wanted to put your arms around him. The time I speak of, he was poor as a church mouse. I don’t know what he did with his money. But in his old age I know he didn’t drink at all then.

“He was the grand old man of Virginia City and everybody in Nevada knew him by sight. I never knew a man more loved and respected.”

Judge C.C Goodwin wrote the obituary of Dan that took more than a column on the front page of the Enterprise. In it he coined the phrase that ought to be carved on Dan’s tombstone: “He was the most efficient and valuable man that even wore out his life in a newspaper office.”

<< Adapted from the Modern Monthly, 19??


FOODFROLICO: 1940s. We’re back again! This week … cabbage

THIS NO-WASTE-IN-THE-KITCHEN BECOMES SERIOUS EVERY DAY. COME ON NOW, HOW ABOUT COOKING THE MEALS AND GET A TRUE IDEA OF HOW THEY TASTED IN THE LAST CENTURY!

OUTER LEAVES OF GABBAGE

Wash the leaves under running water. Parboil them in the saucepan with boiling saltwater, about 1/2in high. Remove the leaves, spread on a board or a clean table. Thicken the juice in which they were cooked with flour and spice with any extract cube; or gravy powder. Taste for salt and pepper.

Heap on to each leaf a small portion of one of the stuffings below, and roll into a parcel.

Pack these cabbage parcels tightly into a saucepan with the gravy, and stew on the lowest flame until done. (The gravy improves considerably if you add a little sour milk to it.)

STUFFING FOR CABBAGE

FOR two cups of minced-meat, heat one cup of water in a saucepan. When it boils add the meat, stir immediately, and cook gently while stirring for about three minutes.

ADD enough breadcrumbs to thicken this meat stew. (Breadcrumbs thicken in liquid after a short time.) Taste for salt and pepper.

AN economical stuffing with sausage mince-meat can be obtained by mixing the meat with lentil puree. – Selected by FRANK MORRIS.

NEXT: HOW TO ADD THE “HEARTY” TASTE OF STALE BREAD WHEN YOU COOK ANY TYPE OF STEW -- IN THE TRUE 1940s STYLE.


THIS IDEA FROM THE 1940s WILL ADD RELISH TO YOUR MEAL: Serve mixed pickles with mince and hamburger steak, and pickled red cabbage or beetroot with lamb stew and pork dishes.

 

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 25 May 18

PRINCES OF THE FOURTH ESTATE: Part 3. Reporters found the pen mightier than the sword!

IF SOMEBODY ASKED JOE GOODMAN LATER ABOUT WHO WOULD EMERGE AS A LEADING AMERICAN LITERARY FIGURE, HE WOULD HAVE ANSWERED, WITHOUT HESITATION, DAN De QUILLE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

NEW CENTURY COMING: DAILY TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE IS SHAPING UP TO MEET THE 2OTH CENTURY. Below: ONE OF DAN DE QUILLE’S SUCCESSFUL BOOKS, THE BIG BONANZA. IT WAS ONE OF THE COUNTLESS PORTRAITS OF VIRGINIA AND THE COMSTOCK TO COME FROM HIS PEN. Below: MARK TWAIN, ROCKING AWAY AND SMOKING MAMMOTH CIGARS, IN HIS 70s.

From the International (booze den) they pushed out into the frozen night … and climbed Union Street to their B Street boarding house. There Mark stealthily helped himself to a wedge of the mince pie left out to cool in the kitchen.

Four or five sticks of firewood from Tom Fitch’s wood-box were needed to heat the room he shared with Dan.
Some nights they didn’t go home at all. But they trooped up and down the streets until dawn, sometimes with an excursion to the D Street line. Other nights they stayed on at the office, writing until breakfast, through the clatter of the thrashing presses and the chattering of the newsboys, who had been there since six.

Mark Twain and Dan De Quille had partnered for more a year as reporters on the Enterprise. Years later Joe Goodman remarked that if anyone had asked him at the time which of the two would emerge as a leading American literary figure, he would have said, without hesitation, Dan De Quille.

DRAWING $50 A WEEK

Well, we know how that worked out. Twenty years later, Mark Twain was spending his mornings in bed, propped up on silken pillows and smoking cigars the size of dynamite sticks; he’d be writing his immensely popular books, making huge investment blunders, and vacationing in Bermuda.

Dan De Quille was still pounding the board sidewalks of Virginia City, gathering news for the Enterprise, drawing his $50 a week.

Until the late 1880s, he was a familiar sight limping along the shabby streets of the played out City, in his antiquated black cloak and his sparse chin whiskers, as an eccentric old mandarin.

Alf Doten, himself a reporter for the Union and later for the Enterprise before becoming editor and publisher of the Gold Hill News, kept a daily journal all his life. Dan De Quille’s name appeared in it often during the 1860s; it was frequently in connection with late nights and drinking sprees.

HIS CAREER JUST VANISHED

On Christmas Eve in 1869, Doten noted in his journal, “Ran the News till we got it to press, then walked to Virginia … this evening ran the Enterprise, as Dan is discharged again for drunkenness.”

De Quille was rehired, and served the Enterprise more or less faithfully until 1885, when he was let go. He was employed again in 1887. Doten’s journals again mention his former colleague of earlier years. In April, 1887, “Dan DeQuille got drunk again today for the first time since he was back in his old position as local of the Enterprise.”

In June 23, he wrote: About 7pm (I) met Taggart on the street and he got me to fix up the local department of the Enterprise. Dan being too drunk, he been drinking heavily the last few days & other parties have had to do his work occasionally.”

On June 27, “Was about getting items, but Dan was sober enough to work tonight, so I was not needed.” June 29, 1888, “Dan on deck again.” Eventually, Dan’s career just evaporated and he got by on a small pension paid by John Mackay”.

After nearly 40 years on the Comstock, June 14, 1897, Dan De Quille went east to die.

<< Adapted from The Modern Monthly, 18??.

FINAL: Everyone on the staff hated Mark Twain whereas everybody really loved Dan De Quille, said Joe Farnsworth, the former State Printer of Virginia City. Next week.


NEXT WEEK: ANGELA, MOTHER OF FIVE, WENT INTO A REAL SPIN. “I COULDN’T GET OVER THE LAST AWFUL THING BEFORE THE NEXT AWFUL THING HAPPENED TO ME.” BUT GOING TO SALVOS HAS BEEN A GOD-SEND. PLEASE HELP RIGHT NOW – 13 72 58.


ROYAL ASSASINATION: PART 1. The day the Crown was in danger – the attempt on the King’s life

THURSDAY, JULY 17, 1936 -- POLICEMAN HURLS HIMSELF BEFORE THE ASSASSIN’S GUN. THE KING WAS UNMOVED.

HERE’S THE MAN: SPECIAL-CONSTABLE DICK, FAR RIGHT AND WEARING A PEAKED CAP, HOLDING THE MAN AFTER HE HAD MADE AN ATTEMPT ON THE KING’S LIFE. Below: WITH A SMILE, THE KING, LEFT, CASUALLY DISCUSSING THE INCIDENT. Below: THE 32-YEAR-OLD JOURNALIST, GEORGE McMAHON, WHO MADE AN ILL-ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE OF THE KING.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

In the dawn of English monarchy he (or she) who wore the Crown ran the high risk of violent death which is the danger part of the job. The notion of assassination had become a thing of the past, only to rear its head in a peculiar and well publicised fashion many years later.

George Andrew McMahon was placed under arrest in Constitution Hill after an attempt on the life of King Edward VIII. The King was on his way from the ceremony of the presentation of Colours. Special Constable Dick, of Hackney, whose prompt action saved the King’s life, assisted in holding the man at bay.

Special constable Dick was only on duty for the day.

His eye caught a glint of metal in the sunshine as the man moved on the outskirts of the crowd. He saw the man holding a revolver. Dick threw himself between the gun and the King, and pouncing on the assailant, knocked the revolver into the roadway.

He then arrested the gentleman whose name was George Andrew McMahon.

The King on horse-back was casually discussing the incident with a smile a few minutes after the assailant has been arrested; he remained the only sane person around.

‘STOP HIM, STOP HIM’

A woman in the crowd screamed “stop him, stop him” until she saw an arm appear and it struck the hand that held the revolver. At that stage, the woman said, “I headed a click, and the pistol fell at the feet on the King’s horse, which looked startled.

In was a bizarre incident. The 32-year-old journalist named George McMahon was seized by police and carried over their heads through a furious crowd who struck at him and shouted ‘Lynch him’.

McMahon, during his arrest, said he was making some kind of protest about an unspecified personal grievance and no intention of harming the King.

‘HE WAS AN ASSASSIN’

The episode was a sensation.

Later, when McMahon was on trial at the Central Criminal Court for possessing an offensive weapon, he claimed rather wildly that he was indeed an assassin in the pay of a foreign power.

More the anything else, the revolver incident was an alarming reminder that such things could happen – even in Britain.

<< Adapted from the Daily Mirror, UK, Friday, July 17, 1936; Marshall Cavendish Ltd, 1978.

Next: Royal Assassination: Even without wars and bloodshed, the rather risky life of the Middle Ages carried off many a Royal. Appearing in June.


AN EX-KING’S LIFE IN EXILE: “A garden is a mood,” says Edward the former King            

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

SURROUNDED BY FLOWERS: THIRTY MINUTES DRIVE FROM PARIS THERE IS AN ANCIENT MILL THAT THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OWN. “THIS IS WHERE THE DUCHESS AND I SPEND WEEKENDS AND THE SUMMER,” SAID THE DUKE.

The ex-King Edward, whose dramatic broadcast in 1936 as would lead to troubled times, as the UK reeled as his official abdication was announced. Twenty years later: the Duke of Windsor speaks on recreating an English country garden in France.

A garden is a mood, as Rousseau said, and my mood is one of intimacy, not splendour. It is a very tranquil place, where one can garden as one should, in old clothes, with one’s hands among familiar plants.

I loved the place

For me, it is a fascinating place where I can immerse myself in day-to-day detail. For the Duchess, it is a source of supply for the vases which dot every room in the mill. For our pug dogs, it is a private playground.

Our first real home, says the Duchess, was the little mill. I saw the mill in 1952. I loved the place immediately. This is the first (and only) home the Duke and I have owned since we were married; even our house in Paris in leased. She said:

It is so different from any house we have lived in before, because it is small and intimate and informal.

We’re used a great deal of furniture from Fort Belvedere, the Duke’s home when he was Prince of Wales and King.

<< Women’s Weekly Treasures; The voice of women since 1933; Bauer Media Pty Limited, Sydney.

lIIustration: “We love our furniture, big or small,” says the Duchess.


FOODFROLICO: Cooking in the 194Os. How good a cook are you?

GOOD COOKS WOULD BE KNOWN FOR, SAY, SERVING MEAT MUCH BETTER THAN THEY SERVED DELICIOUS POTATOES. THE TEST FOR A GOOD COOK IS WHETHER THEY ARE ABLE TO PREPARE OLD FASHIONED POTATOES.

HAVE A GO!: THE 1940s RECIPE. BOIL UP A HANDFUL OF DELICIOUS POTATOES AND MAKE THEM TASTEFUL AND APPETISING. Below: SOME POTATOES FROM THE 1940s. JUST LIKE OURS.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Here’s a test then, using the same recipe. Cook up a handful of potatoes the housewives way in the 1940s. Remember. Housewives who take pride in their cooking meat to a turn often serve up wet, mushy potatoes that are tasteless as they are unappetising.

Make the best of potatoes. They are worth it. Potatoes give you extra energy. They are cheap, or can be home-grown. Just follow the rules of this 1940s recipe.

There are boiled potatoes and boiled potatoes.

THE METHOD

Never peel a potato before cooking. Peeling wastes goodness and flavour. Scrub potatoes instead, cook them in their skins. Remove skins after cooking if you like. But you’ll find potatoes in their skins make good eating.

BOIL POTATOES

Start you’re action this way. First scrub them and put into a saucepan with just enough boiling salted water to cover them. Boil them SLOWLY for 10 minutes, then drain, cover with a clean cloth, put lid on again tightly add let potatoes STAND in a warm place for 20 minutes.

They then finish cooking in their own steam: this keeps them from breaking-up and makes them deliciously floury.

<< This was prepared by the Ministry of Food, London, 1940.


THIS IDEA FROM 1940s WILL ADD RELISH TO YOUR MEAL. For a meatless day, try ordinary canned sardines or fish heated in a frying pan or under the grill and serve with green vegetables or salad and boiled potatoes.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 18 May 18

GRANDMA: Part 3. My grandmother is my best friend!

MY AUNTY LEAH WAS THE FIRST TO SPEAK TO DAD WHEN SHE SAW THE OLD-NEW CAR. “SIB, YOU TAKE US ALL TO WORONORA THIS AFTERNOON. THAT’S WHERE MY MOTHER WAS BURIED. I SHUDDERED. I DON’T KNOW WHY?

FRANK MORRIS

MY GRANDMA: SHE NEVER GOT OVER THAT DRIVE TO WORONORA. LIKE MY LOOK-ALIKE GRANDMOTHER, ABOVE, SHE WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO SMILE OVER. Below: “SIB, YOU MISSED BY AN INCH,” BLURTED OUT MY AUNTY. SIB, WHO SHE WAS REFERRING TOO, WAS CYRIL, MY FATHER, HER BROTHER. Below: COMING BACK I CLOSED MY EYES.

Tiddlywinks, I thought. Dad had bought a new car. Or should I say old-new car. I was seven at the time. There it was parked at the gutter and shining – sparkling – green and white. It was a sedan – enough to seat six or seven persons.

The car he had before, I think, was a 1928 Hudson Six, in marvellous condition, with silver filigree and duco all brown. It was the only car I’d seen with blinds on the passenger windows.

“What’s it called, dad?” I asked all excited. “It a 1926 Overland son,” he said, with a touch of excitement. “All built in Australia.” I judge, he was proud to be an Aussie.

Grandma and my Uncle Bill came out to join the throng of neighbours who had also come down. While Uncle Bill was making his way across to the car; Aunty Leah would always speak her mind.

IT’S ACTUALLY ENGLISH

“Hey, Sib, you can all take us to Woronora this afternoon,” said Aunty. “What do you reckon?” He said nothing. Woronora was the funeral ground. Uncle Bill had already opened the bonnet and was poking around the engine.

But I knew dad would go. But I was thinking of the drive. I shuddered. I shuddered again. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. At long last, one of my friend’s showed up. But all through the morning I kept thinking of that drive.

Bill came in with good reports. “They thought of everything when it came to cars. Even a clock on the dashboard. Mind you, you don’t see too many of the Australian built cars of the 1920s.” But it was actually from Pommey-land right down to its hub caps.

We all had sandwiches for lunch and Aunty Leah kept her eye of clock. Bill wasn’t coming to Woronora. He put in some excuse that he work to do. He was dead-set frightened, no less, at the speed dad be driving up the highway. He and dad would always argue about his reckless driving.

“Come on, let’s get moving,” Aunty Leah said with a worried look on her face. Grandma and I went into the back, and Aunty Leah sat with dad in the front. And off we went. Dad wasted little time in getting to the highway.

SQUASHED LIKE A MELON

And then it was on. He hardly took his foot off the accelerator from Carss Park Drive to Sutherland. At one stage he was hitting some ungodly speed. “Come Sib, we’re not in a race,” Aunty Leah blurted out. “You’re are only inches from that bus.”

Aunty Leah was squeezing dad on the arm and she, herself, was screwed up like a melon. “Watch it, watch it – there are traffic lights going amber. Sib, you’ll never make it. He did. Aunty Leah relaxed and hung on to the side straps. The sign with “Sutherland” on it was in the distance. “Oh, thank God,” whispered Aunty Leah.

Grandma was a nervous wreck. Her rosary beads had been locked in her hands. She was mumbling away incoherently. I was weeping a little, I lay in a cruising position behind the seat where I peeled skin off my hands.
The afternoon drive was disastrous.

We got out of the car – Grandma stumbled – and we kind of marched to the cemetery. Dad looked fighting fit. We stayed a while and said a prayer. My dad looked down at Iris, his wife, and prayed. We made the two graves look spick and span.

“Let go home,” said Aunty Leah. We all marched to the car. Dad opened the back door for Grandma; Leah sat next her. I closed the door. I sat in front seat. I hung on to everything. Dad got in as if he were driving in a safari. The Overland blurred into action, and we were away.

Home.

A shuddering feeling went through my body. I closed my eyes, and they remained closed until we were home.
Frank Morris: A peculiar thing happened: Dad had quietened down. Two weeks after that disastrous trip to Woronora, he sold the Overland. Later he bought a 1928 Morris Bullnose, which was sprightly- looking. He only had the Morris just a few weeks. That was his ritual. I’d never noticed that before.

Next: I get a nasty cold; and five years later dad goes into hospital for the last time.


DEATH OF A KING: THE DAY THE CROWN WAS IN DANGER.

ROYAL ASSASINATIONS: The Crown was in danger on Thursday, July 16, 1936, when the King Edward V111 failed to fall to an assassin’s bullet. A policeman on duty hurls himself before the gun went off. An onlooking spectator could see how the “hit man” was holding the revolver and called the police. Someone cried: “Stop him”. The series starts next week.


The Princes of the Fourth Estate: Part 2. The reporters found the pen is mightier than the sword!

“I CAN NEVER FORGET MY FIRST DAY AS A REPORTER,” SAID MARK TWAIN. HE WROTE THAT 10 YEARS LATER IN ROUGHING IT.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

READ ALL ABOUT IT!: ANOTHER EDITION OF THE “FIRST PAPER IN NEVADA”, THE ENTERPRISE. Below: REPORTERS, READING IN THE DANK AND GASLIT PRESS ROOM, WAIT FOR THEIR PROOFS. Below: THE OLD-STYLE BUILDING, ONCE OCCUPIED BY THE ENTERPRISE.

When Mark Twain joined the growing Enterprise staff he was a careless, abrasive Missourian who took a reporter’s job because he preferred using a pencil to a shovel.

Until February, 1863, he signed himself “Josh” and had sent in correspondence from Aurora before being offered the $25 a week job. “I can never forget my first day’s experience as a reporter,” he wrote 10 years later in Roughing It.

Among other hilarious and dumfounding experiences he recalled that in the afternoon he had found some emigrant wagons going in to camp and had learned “that they had latterly come through hostile Indian country and had fared rather roughly.”

Continued Twain: “I made the best of the item that the circumstances permitted, and felt that if I were not confined within rigid limits by the presence of the reporters of the other papers I could add particulars that would make the article that much more interesting.

TO MAKE TROUBLE

“However, I found one wagon that was going on to California, and made some judicious inquiries of the proprietor. When I learned, through his short and surly answers to my cross-questioning, that he was certainly going on and would not be in the city the next day to make trouble.

“I got ahead of the other papers and took down his list of names and added his party to the killed and wounded. Having more scope here, I put this wagon through an Indian fight that to this day has no parallel in history.

“My two columns were filled. When I read them over in the morning I felt that I had found my legitimate vocation at last. I reasoned within myself that news, and stirring news too, was what a paper needed. I felt I was particularly endowed with the ability to furnish it.”

Mr Goodman says that Twain was as good a reporter as Dan, therefore he desired no higher commendation. With encouragement like that, reports Twain, I could take my pen and murder all the emigrants on the plains -- if need be.
“The interests of the paper demanded it,” said Twain.

EYES OF A WOLF

Those two quick glimpses of the wagon train are enough to hint at the characteristic differences in viewpoint of the reporters. It was De Quille’s clear, straightforward description versus Twain’s distorted and exaggerated vision.

If is easy to picture them as they sat on a winter’s night at a table in the press room, stabbing their steel-binned pens into a shared ink bottle, scribbling madly and bantering back and forth. Mark Twain, 27, was stocky and rumpled, with a bushy auburn moustache and eyes of a wolf; and Dan De Quille, 33, tall, slender and dark, a stringy black beard and an amiable nature.

As each story is completed, it is handed to the printers whose hands fly over the type cases like trained birds; and the reporters drink beer waiting for the proofs, each reading the other’s copy.

Twain remarks that it is cold out, and De Quille launches into an animated description of a former Enterprise building on A Street, with its simultaneous extremes of hot and cold; when the stove was stoked until it glowed cheery red in the freezing building.

HEAVY WOOL COATS

Everyone pulled their writing tables and type cases as close to the stove as they could get … the pressmen worked with feet wrapped in burlap bags against the biting cold.

But that wasn’t the worst of it.

The worst of it was when the weather warmed up a little and all the snow and ice began to melt and trickle through the holes in the roof. De Quille pantomimed for the grinning Twain how they had tacked strings to the ceiling at the worst of the leaks, to lead the dripping water over the side of the structure away from the furniture and machinery.

Sometimes there were so many strings, Twain said, that the upper part of the building looked as if it were festooned with cobwebs, the gleaming wet webs of some hideous huge spider.

When they had corrected the proofs, they shouldered their way into heavy wool coats and thundered down the stairs to the wooden sidewalk of C Street. They hurried south through the frosty night into the International Bar where they swept in almost to applause.

They were the minor princes of the fourth estate (here) to drink whiskey and eat oysters in the company of prosperous men.

<< Written by David W. Toll. Adapted from the Modern Monthly, 19??.

Next: At the Enterprise, Mark Twain and Dan De Quille’s partnership did not last.


PART 2: HEIDE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART passes on the curiosity like the painters did

THE REEDS LEAD THE WAY IN THE 1930S. THEY PURCHASE THE HEIDE PROPERTY, WHICH IS NAMED AFTER THE NEARBY TOWNSHIP OF HEIDELBERG, AND THE FARMHOUSE, AND RENOVATE IN FRENCH PROVINCIAL STYLE.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

ATTENTION: A QUIET SUNDAY AFTERNOON – MAX HARRIS (LEFT), SUNDAY REED, AND JOHN REED AT THE OTHER END OF THE TABLE. Below: WHO WAS REALLY “ERN MALLEY”?

The Reeds meet the Russian émigré artist Danila Vassilieff in 1937. John was about to open his first exhibition in Melbourne. Young painter Albert Tucker becomes a friend of the Reeds.

1938

John Reed, George Bell, Adrian Lawlor and Gino Nibbi establish the Contemporary Art Society (CAS).
Other friends they meet are artist Sidney Nolan and music critic John Sinclair.

1939

At the Herald Exhibition of French and British Contemporary Art held at Melbourne Town Hall, Albert Tucker introduced Sunday Reed to Joy Hester.

Journalist and budding author, Michael Keon, forms a friendship with the Reeds.

1940

The controversial painting, Boy and the Moon, done in 1939 to 1940, by Sidney Nolan, polarises opinion at the CAS annual exhibition.

1941

The wedding bells start ringing when Albert Tucker and Joy Lester marry on January 1.

Sidney Nolan and first wife, Elizabeth Paterson, are separated. Sidney moves to Heide. He lives there semi-permanently until 1947. A long affair with Sunday begins.

John’s sister Cynthia lived at Heide for several months.

The Adelaide poet and editor Max Harris meets up with the Reeds. Harris is from the radical journal Angry Penguins.

1942

Sidney Nolan is conscripted for war service; he takes on doing it in country Victoria.

While Albert Tucker serves in the army, his wife, Joy Hester, remains at Heide.

Michael Keon, the writer, stays at Heide until August.

1943

Max Harris and the Reeds set up the publishing firm Reed & Harris, with offices in Melbourne and Adelaide. Harris and John co-edit Angry Penguins.

1944

(Frank Morris wrote in 2003. “It was shock, horror! A case of literature, lies and headlines. The ‘Ern Malley’ hoax … was a “backyard” affair compared to the nation-stopping headliner of the 1990s – the Demidenko/Darville literary scandal.)

But, for the period, the 1990s is a long way off. The Angry Penguins saga, nevertheless, about the Ern Malley “hoax” poems, was causing a scandal which opened many jaws. The hoax severely damaged Reed & Harris’s reputation.
In July, Sidney goes absent without leave from the army and hides from authorities at a friend’s Parkville loft. He is made fourth partner in Reed & Harris.

1945

The Tuckers’ son, Sweeney Hallam Tucker, is born on February 4, that year.

Headlines! Max Harris moves to Melbourne where he will work more closely on Reed & Harris. The firm launches a broadsheet newspaper called Tomorrow.

<< Heidelberg Museum Modern Art; Frank Morris.

Next: Sidney Nolan finished his painting of Ned Kelly.

PART 3 OF THE HEIDELBERG MUSEUM WILL RESUME IN JULY.


Shop Window: Part 4. Heritage Place – A gift to the nation

Written and adapted by FRANK MORRIS

This is Collingrove in the Barossa Valley, South Australia. Collingrove is a magnificent country homestead complete with English gardens, The Angas’s built this homestead in 1856 to show how a family lived. It a rare example of how our pioneers attempted to recreate the ‘Old Country’ atmosphere of their origins. The homestead offers bed and breakfast stay overs … with each bedroom done in the French provincial style.  Shop Widow will resume later this year.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 11 May 18

PART 1. HEIDE MUSEUM 0F MODERN ART passes on the curiosity like the old painters did

FROM THE MID 1800 UNTIL 1930, THE SUBURB OF HEIDELBERG, VICTORIA, BECAME THE HOME OF ARTHUR STREETON, TOM ROBERTS, FRED McCUBBIN AND OTHER NAMES OF THE HEIDELBERG SCHOOL OF PAINTING WHO WANTED TO PAINT IN THE LOCAL AREA. IT BECAME ONE OF THEIR FAVOURITE GROUNDS.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

WEEKEND TOGETHERNESS: THE REEDS, JOHN AND SUNDAY, SPEND TIME WITH THEIR DAUGHTER AND CATS. Below: NORMAN LINDSAY (FAR RIGHT) CHALLENGED THE SUPREMANCY OF THE ‘WOWSER’. Below: REED’S COTTAGE, SURROUNDED BY BUSHLAND, IS ONLY FEW MINUTES AWAY FROM WHERE THE HEIDE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART NOW STANDS.

The new painters and many of their followers became a force in the small art world of Australia and they established new art societies which wrested the control of taste from the generation of well-intentioned Victorian gentlemen.

Not just Victorian gentlemen, mind you. From the type of gentlemen who had created the public art galleries of Melbourne and Sydney.

Such men had been nurtured upon the high moral values of John Ruskin and saw art primarily as a moral force in civil society. The new men on the other hand championed the doctrine of art for art’s sake. In the course of their struggle for recognition, however, they gradually became more nationalistic in their outlook.

MORALITY PREDOMINATED

From depicting small sketches full of breeze and sunshine, the Heidelberg painters turned to the heroism of frontier life.

The Meldrum method of tonal realism dominated the practice of portraiture in Australia throughout the 1920s and 30s.

Famous artist Norman Lindsay, a splendid graphic artist, fine writer and a talented watercolour painter, challenged first the supremacy of the “wowser” to determine the course of Australian culture at a time when a puritanical Victorian morality predominated.

The plein-air mode of painting disseminated by the Heidelberg painters and the tonal portraiture of Meldrum faded out in the late 1930s.

A few isolated artists pioneered modern ideas from about 1913.

1930

John Reed and Sunday Quinn meet at a tennis party in Toorak at the home of Sunday’s cousins, the Shackell family. Reed was from Evandale, Tasmania, and Quinn, came from Melbourne. He was born 1901 and she in 1905.

1932

John and Sunday married at St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne on January 13.

1934

In July, the Reeds purchase the Heide property in two lots: two-and-three quarter acres, including the farm-house from the estate of James and Jessie Lang; and just under twelve acres from Alfred Roberts.

The property’s name was Heide, after the nearby township of Heidelberg.

They renovated the house in French provincial style, and planted exotic trees; they establish the first kitchen garden in the district.

1935

The Reeds moved into the farmhouse, Heide 1, and set up a unique private library which included modernist literature, international art books, journals and magazines.

They champion modern art of the day and their social circle comprised avant-garde artists, writers and musicians, notably painters, among whom were Sam Atyeo and Moya Dyring.

1936

Neil Douglas, gardener, conservationist and artist, assisted with the development of the property. At the same time, he encourages the Reeds to establish a self-sufficient lifestyle – with milking cows, chickens, ducks and bee hives to complete the kitchen garden.

Sam Atyeo leaves for Europe.

<< Heidelberg Museum; the critics; Frank Morris.

Next: Reeds friend Max Harris launches a newspaper call Tomorrow.


FLASHBACK: The homecoming of Mark Twain

HIS REAL NAME IS SAM CLEMENS BUT HE WAS BETTER KNOWN BY HIS PEN NAME, MARK TWAIN, AMERICAN AUTHOR AND HUMOURIST.

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Mark Twain defined a classic as a book that people praise but don’t read. Judging from notes scrawled in the 

margins of some recently discovered classics from Twain’s original collection his reading habits were far from cursory.

Though many of the 3500 books in Twain’s personal library were lost in his travels, or eventually sold to collectors, 271 of them – 120 annotated by Twain – surfaced in 1997 in some old wooden barrels at a California auction house.

Among them were the works of Shakespeare, Longfellow and Shelley, as well as provocative novels and French erotica.

LEGENDARY HUMOURIST

The books, consigned in 1951 by Twain’s daughter, Clara, to a buyer, have at last returned to Mark Twain’s old Connecticut stomping grounds. The books were acquired by Mark Twain House, a museum in Hartford where Twain once lived and wrote many of his famous novels.

One of the last specimens of Twain scholarship, the collection reveals new insights into the mind of the legendary humourist.

Because many of the century-old books are fragile, only a handful are on display at the museum. The rest are kept at Trinity College in Hartford where they are available only to scholars. The books are noted for their marginalia; Twain was knows to jot down his critique of a book in its margins.

To some Twain scholars just a few words scrawled in a margin reveal an entire mode of his thinking. In Charles Darwin’s Journal of Researches, for example, Twain wrote, “Can any plausible excuse be furnished for the crime of creating the human race?”

<< Adapted by Frank Morris from The Homecoming of Samuel Clemens, Biblio, November 1997.


Princes of the Fourth Estate: Part 1. The reporters found the pen is mightier than the sword

ANYONE WHO READ THE TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE OF THE 1860S COULD HAVE TOLD YOU WHICH OF ITS TWO REPORTERS WOULD GO ON TO FAME AND FORTUNE.

DAVID W. TOLL           Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

FLAG FLYING: THE TERRITORIAL ENTERPRISE MASTHEAD WHEN IT TOOK OVER THE VIRGINIA CITY NEWS. IT PROMOTES ITSELF AS “NEVADA’S FIRST NEWSPAPER”. Below: SAM CLEMENS (MARK TWAIN), WHO WAS CARELESS AND ABRASIVE, JOINED THE ENTERPRISE IN 1862. Below: DAN DE QUILLE (WILLIAM WRIGHT) WROTE ARTICLES FOR THE GOLDEN ERA.

The long lost Territorial Enterprise was one of the great newspapers of the frontier west. So brilliant was its history that books have been written about it. One of them was by Comstock Commotion’s Lucius Beebe.

Beebe writes: “The story of the Enterprise in its early years is a story of perfect timing. Almost at the very moment the Goodman and McCarthy assumed complete ownership, it became established that the Comstock’s surface diggings and ores of easily accessible outcroppings were actually the merest superficial traces of incalculable bonanzas which would be available for deep mining.”

The timing, of course, was perfect; but what made the Enterprise a great paper was its staff. The roster of names reads like a Murderer’s Row of frontier western journalists.

Editor Joe Goodman had been the founder of the Golden Era, a popular monthly published in San Francisco during the tumultuous years of the California gold rush.

He was a practical printer, a poet of high reputation, and an accomplished duelist as he demonstrated in 1863. He shot Tom Fitch, who was the editor of the rival Virginia City Union, in the knee.

STRIKE A BLOW

Goodman’s partner, Denis McCarthy, ran the mechanical side of the paper. Later, he published the Virginia Evening Chronicle for many years.

Rollin Daggett, later Congressman, is Goodman’s associate editor and a celebrated writer. Daggett became the United States Minister to King Kalakaua of Hawaii.

“The pen, in his hand, is like a mighty trip-hammer, which is so nicely adjusted that he can, at will, strike a blow which seems like a caress. And the next moment hurl hundred-ton blows, one after another, with the quickness of lightning, and filling … the air around with fire,” said McCarthy.

That was the assessment of Judge C.C Goodwin, when he was Enterprise editor in the1870s. He later edited the Salt Lake Tribune for more than 20 years.

And the local reporters were Mark Twain and Dan De Quille. De Quille, was born William Wright, in Iowa in 1829, had come west in 1857. He left his wife and daughter behind in West Liberty, Iowa, as he his tried his luck in the California gold fields.

ABRASIVE MARK TWAIN

He worked as a miner and wrote articles and sketches for magazines; the Golden Era was one of them. He came to the Comstock in 1860 and settled in Silver City as a prospector. The following years, when Joe Goodman and Denis McCarthy took over the Enterprise, he began sending them correspondence.                   

He was hired as a local reporter in 1861. And Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) joined the staff in the spring of 1862.

“In those early day,” De Quille wrote, “there were in the town many desperate characters and some bloody affrays were of frequent occurrence. Sometime, while a reporter was engaged in gleaning the particulars in regard to some shooting scrape another would start … and the news gatherer suddenly found himself in the midst of flying bullets.

De Quille also recalled that in the early days “the arrival of an emigrant train was still a big event. The train often remained encamped in the suburbs of the town several days before proceeding to California. By that time, all persons were thoroughly pumped.”

<< From The Modern Monthly- Frank Morris.

Next week: “I can never forget my first day’s experience as a reporter,” Mark Twain wrote 10 years later. “Dumfounding days” on Territorial Enterprise.


THE GALLERY: Diane Arbus: Her portraits stand as powerful allegories

FRANK MORRIS

UNSHIFTABLE: ARBUS’S PORTRAITS WERE AMAZING … HER STYLE WAS IN FULL FLIGHT. Below: TWO PEOPLE, WAITING. JUST ONE OF THE ARBUS’S ICONIC IMAGES.

Diane Arbus , the American photographer has, it seems, an unshiftable position in the American portraits scene. There has been comers and goers of people who have delivered amazing portraits but on the whole they seen to have paled alongside Arbus.

Born in 1923, Arbus is one of the standouts in the history of photography. Arbus’s images are unique in every description, and are one of “the powerful allegories” of post-war America.

Talking about the total impact of Arbus’s images, Anne O’Hehir said, “Once seen, are rarely forgotten!”

O’Hehir said works such as Identical twins, Roselle, NJ, l967, Child with toy hand grenade, Central Park, New York City, have been described “as two of the most celebrated images in the history of the medium.”

SOCIETY MARGINS

The Heide exhibition, featuring 35 of Arbus’s most iconic and confrontational images from 1961 to 71, “will examine the last decade of Arbus’s life, the period in which her style is in full flight,” said O’Hehir.

“Her work has polarised viewers who question whether she exploited or empowered her subjects, who were often drawn from society’s margins.”

The programs notes that Arbus’s photographs are exhibited alongside a selection of works by other leading American lens-people who influenced Arbus. These works were shown alongside hers, or have been influenced by her, in the 1960s.

They include the famous images by Lisette Model, Walker Evans and Weegee, her contemporaries Willian Klein, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Milton Rogovin, and a slightly younger generation, work by Mary Ellen Mark and Willian Eggleston.

At the Heide Gallery, Heide 111, until June 17, 2018.


Shop Window:  Part 3. Heritage Place - A gift to the Nation!

FRANK MORRIS

In 1987, the historic Pump House was to be restored by the Darling Harbour Authority Australia. The building, also known as the Pier Street Pumping Station, was constructed in 1891. This followed the establishment of the Sydney and Suburban Hydraulic Power Company in 1888.

The Pump, which was to power the extensive hydraulic system which operated lifts, cranes and banks vault door, ceased operation in 1975. Housing the above equipment, it was connected to 50 miles of pipes which ran throughout the city.

MAINTAIN HISTORY

Since then, the building had been unused. The 96-year-old structure, which is the remaining link with the old system of hydraulic power, has an Italianate façade which is highly attractive.

“This is a unique building,” said Laurie Brereton, the State Minister of Public Works. “It combines an historic setting with a prime location minutes away from the waterfront. The applicants will have to maintain the building’s historic atmosphere.”

Nearby is the Power House Museum.

<< Frank Morris used Historic Australia, 1987, as a background to the article.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 04 May 18

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