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Interview with Wassmer

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  • Keith Emmons
    Hello all, Just had a telephone interview with Theodore Milton Wassmer. He is now 90-years-old, and still active in the art world in Utah. One of the nicest
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 28, 2000
      Hello all,

      Just had a telephone interview with Theodore Milton Wassmer. He is
      now 90-years-old, and still active in the art world in Utah. One of
      the nicest persons I've had the pleasure of chatting with in a while.
      It felt like I was talking to someone in his fifties... very alert
      and no sign of age in his voice at all. I was a little nervous (this
      is tj's area of expertise, not mine). But I really had this strong
      urge to personally talk to someone who actually knew Don Blanding.

      Mr. Wassmer started going by the name of Ted (instead of his middle
      name Milton) after World War II. He remembers Don...but didn't really
      know him extremely well. Apparently Ted had his first art showing in
      Carmel, in Don's house in 1938. There was an article about it in the
      Carmel Pine Cone. He talked about visiting the Blandings' in 1941 in
      Fort Pierce...apparently when he and his wife lived in New York City
      in the 1970's, they went to Immokolee every winter for about ten
      years. He is friends with Sally Putnam Chapman, and he gave her
      everything he had relating to Don (letters that he wrote to Ted for
      years, etc...) and she has everything now.

      He also mentioned that he was contacted a few years ago by Charles
      Lovell, and he was wondering what ever happened to the biography
      Lovell was working on. He asked me if he had died or something.
      That Lovell didn't miss a beat...I would sure love to see his
      research!

      Wassmer just recently finished writing his autobiography, and he
      promised to send me a copy (as long as I promised to send a check for
      $25 <smile>). He says he mentions everything about Blanding in the
      book...so I'll be very excited about getting and reading it. I forgot
      to ask him to sign it, but I imagine he will anyway.

      I found this website featuring a recent interview of Ted
      Wassmer...look at the picture on it and tell me that this man is
      really ninty!

      http://www.kued.org/manyfaces/utahsmanyfaces/interviews_script/wassmer
      .html

      Ted told me that he was good friends with Lucille Henderson down in
      Lawton, and that he corresponded with her for many years. Jim, do you
      have any of their letters in your files? He also mentioned that he
      loaned alot of Blanding material to someone down in Lawton who was
      putting together an exhibit years ago, and he never got the stuff
      back. He sounded a little peeved. He couldn't remember the name of
      the person, though...and when I asked him to think on it...he replied
      with some humor "what do you expect from a ninty year old man! I'm
      lucky if I can remember anything!"

      KEITH
    • dd17th@aol.com
      Keith - you mentioned that Mr. Wassmer loaned some items to a person down in Lawton. Did he mention what these items were and when this occurred? I believe
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 2, 2000
        Keith - you mentioned that Mr. Wassmer loaned some items to a person
        down in Lawton. Did he mention what these items were and when this
        occurred? I believe our previous director, Steve Wilson, became
        interested in DB after someone on the Institute of the Great Plains
        Board (a support group to the museum) spoke highly of Blanding. I am
        not privy to all the facts here, but that's what I've heard. When in
        California one year, Mr. Wilson talked to a number of people about
        Blanding. Mr. Wassmer might have been someone he spoke to. If
        Wassmer knows what is missing, we could search around for it. I
        think I've mentioned a few boxes of Blanding-related items were found
        in Wilson's office after he left the museum's employ which have never
        been inventoried. I would hate someone thinking badly of the museum
        because Mr. Wilson was negligent in his duties. As ever, {:-Deb

        --- In aloha-donblanding@egroups.com, "Keith Emmons"
        <keith2draw@e...> wrote:
        > Hello all,
        >
        >.... Jim, do you
        > have any of their letters in your files? He also mentioned that he
        > loaned alot of Blanding material to someone down in Lawton who was
        > putting together an exhibit years ago, and he never got the stuff
        > back. He sounded a little peeved. He couldn't remember the name of
        > the person, though...and when I asked him to think on it...he
        > replied with some humor "what do you expect from a ninty year old
        > man! I'm lucky if I can remember anything!"
        >
        > KEITH
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