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Clues from the past

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  • Keith Emmons
    I think in the last few months, we ve really learned a great deal of information about those who were close to Don Blanding at crucial times in his life. I
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 10, 2000
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      I think in the last few months, we've really learned a great deal of
      information about those who were close to Don Blanding at crucial
      times in his life.

      I spent a few hours last night reading through all of Don's books,
      looking for clues, based on the new information we have on the
      Creagers, Sawtelles, Tennents, and others.

      As I've said before, I think dedications at the beginning of his
      books, or at the start of his poems, are one his greatest clues to us
      as to how he felt about these friends & colleagues. Here are a few
      dedications from his Carmel years, which may have been one of the
      happier times in his life.

      Blanding started to write 'The Rest of the Road' while in Taos, in
      the summer of 1936...then did his two-month trip of the west with the
      Blandingmobile...and finally ended up in Carmel, where he finished
      the book, which was published in September.

      The book is dedicated to Scotty (I think they became extremely close
      in 1936-37). In the acknowledgements Don throws out almost a hundred
      first-names (many of which we've figured out already). Among them are
      Billie jean, Margaret Josephine, Will (the Creagers) - could
      Margaret, in addition to being the daughter's name, also have been
      Pinkie's real name?, or was Pinkie just not mentioned in his
      acknowledgement? He mentions Romain, which could be Margaret's
      husband, Romaine Young.

      He also mentions Madge (Madge Tennent), Maje (Majel Claflin, from Art
      school and New Mexico), Fred & Helen (Fred & Helen Ware, the actor
      and actress), Lucille (Lucille Henderson from Lawton?).

      Ed, Carmen, Corty (the Sawtelles), Ummie & Al (the von Tempski-Balls).

      ALSO: Helen & Bob Spencer, Ranald & Bonnie Cockburn, Ted Malone,
      Eddie Albright, Mildred Maureen Maloney, Jim & Margaret Northe,
      Thelma & Ross Miller, Florence Keene, Jack Argetsinger, Homer Hayes,
      Lahilahi Webb, Mamo Clark, Nettie Mae Jones, Loraine T. Stevens, Nell
      Martin, Phil Kubel, Granny Harris, Hado, etc...

      These were all the friends that Don held dear in the mid-thirties.

      Also in 'The Rest of the Road' Don dedicates these various poems:

      FAITHFUL to Lorraine T. Stevens (The Rowdy Duchess)
      EXILES FROM THE ISLANDS to Ranald Cockburn (Co-editor of Pine Cone)
      AH MANG CHU to Ted Narramore (went with Don to Micronesia in 1952)
      THE SIXTH SENSE to Carmen Sawtelle
      REMEMBERING A WISH to Armine von Tempski
      AN OLD TEXAS CUSTOM to Will and Margaret Josephine Creager
      MOON MOTHS for Hado (Who is this Hado???)

      In 'Drifter's Gold', he wrote partly in Carmel, and finished in
      Hawaii. It was published October 17th, 1939.

      One of his first poem dedications was WIND-HARP POOL for Helen Ware.
      She had died on January 25th of a throat infection. It had apparently
      devastated Don, and the circle of Carmel friends.

      ISLAND PERFUMES for Paul and Estrellita Jones, perfumers.
      KAPAKAHI for the Outdoor Circle (later did a show for in 1940)
      THE MOUNTAIN AND THE CLOD for Milton (Ted) Wassmer (his painting)
      STREET SCENE for Armine von Tempski
      THE GUARDIAN OF ALL GREEN, GROWING THINGS for Hado (????)
      TUNE for Ed Sawtelle (the infamous organist)
      PUPPET SHOW for John & Mitzi Eaton (later had puppet show in 1940)
      THE DOUBLE LIFE for Jack Argetsinger

      ------------

      A few more dedications which I figured out last night:

      in 'Today is Here', TWELVE STEPS was written for Maxwell Walker, a
      friend from Ft. Pierce, Florida, who was physically handicapped.

      A DISH OF ICE CREAM was written for Anna Blom, a friend originally
      from Russia, who owned a bookstore in Olympia, Washington.

      from 'Mostly California', FOR REVISERS, the initials E.H.G. (Edythe
      Hope Genee), E.B.Y. (Esther Baldwin York)...anyone have any ideas on
      the others: C.C., H.H.J., F.W., N.L., F.G., H.H., D.B., B.M., M.D.

      from 'Joy is an Inside Job', RAIN for Carmen and Prentice Sawtelle.

      and finally...

      JOYFUL RENDEZVOUS
      "So many I have loved are gone...are gone,
      Carl, Scotty, Earl, Cerise, Maje, Father, Mother,
      Prent, Andy, Bart & Jim, The Prodigal Brother,
      Somewhere between the Sunset and the Dawn."

      (Scotty Creager, Earl Cohan-Challenger, Majel Claflin, Prentice
      Sawtelle)

      But who is Carl, Cerise, Andy, Bart, Jim (and Hado)?
      'The Prodigal Brother' was mentioned in Hula Moons, who is he?

      -------------

      We've figured out so much this past year...but we have so much more
      to uncover and sort through. Blanding has given us so many clues, in
      his poems, stories and columns...it's up to us to figure them out.

      Keith
    • Cadia Los
      Keith, What a great way to spend a cold winter evening, reading through DB s books! Could Jim possibly be DB s own brother? ~~Cadia
      Message 2 of 4 , Dec 10, 2000
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        Keith,

        What a great way to spend a cold winter evening, reading through DB's
        books! Could "Jim" possibly be DB's own brother?

        ~~Cadia
      • Keith Emmons
        It might be his brother Jim. Keith ... DB s
        Message 3 of 4 , Dec 10, 2000
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          It might be his brother Jim.
          Keith




          --- In aloha-donblanding@egroups.com, "Cadia Los" <duchess@s...>
          wrote:
          > Keith,
          >
          > What a great way to spend a cold winter evening, reading through
          DB's
          > books! Could "Jim" possibly be DB's own brother?
          >
          > ~~Cadia
        • Gerald Argetsinger
          GREAT summary, Keith! Impressive and valuable. Jerry
          Message 4 of 4 , Dec 11, 2000
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            GREAT summary, Keith!

            Impressive and valuable.

            Jerry
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