- Good afternoon folks. I spent 2 1/2 hours on
Friday reading the archived posts. Well actually
I managed to read perhaps thirty messages which
had intriguing headers.
The previous night I spent a couple of hours enjoying
Cadia and Keith's websites. Whew!! A lot of reading,
but oooooh that delicious Blanding art.
I must say you are all doing very well with the research.
It is quite clear that this whole process of team-detective
work, via the Internet, is going to create a whole new
following and appreciation for Blanding's work.
I really can't say why the work attracts me. It just does.
As I kid I was a big fan of Virgil Finlay, the Science Fiction
illustrator. I still am. His technique for putting black ink
on the panel is different than Blanding's, but it strikes the
same chord with me.
The first book I picked up was MEMORY ROOM, but I believe
D.B. was already known to me through my research. I would have
to back paddle through the reearch to find when, but I think
it relates to bio-files for people in the Carmel / Oceano area.
I have a few questions, if I might. Anyone who cares to comment
would be welcome.
-Did D.B. ever explain clearly why he suddenly abandoned his
friendship network and professional contacts, to travel half
way around the world to the islands? What was the primary
Most of his work is illustration - books and commercial design.
What percentage of his work was for the gallery? There are
pastel portraits. He did wall panels. Has anyone made a catalog
of the full range of his work? What are the highest prices
realized to date? I'm not being mercenary here - but this is
a "collector" mailgroup?
Cheers. Ron in British Columbia
- Greetings Ron,
Could I ask you what the basis of your Carmel research was? Maybe
we could throw out a few names of folks from Carmel to see if they
are in your bio-files.
I came across this blurb in the Bend Bulletin on Feb. 12, 1913:
"Mrs. L.P. Hudson, mother of C.S. Hudson, who has been visiting at
her son's home here for several months left Sunday morning. From Bend
she goes to Oklahoma City."
So Donald was a cousin to C.S. Bend, cashier and co-director of the
First National Bank where he worked for a year. I knew there had to
be a connection. Aunt Sarah was probably headed back to the Blandings
in Lawton. Do you think there would be an article in the Lawton
newspapers about her return?
C.S. Hudson began building a house in February of 1912, which was
completed in June of that year. Chances are Donald stayed in this
house while in Bend:
"Work was started Thursday on the foundation for another handsome
residence in Bend. This will be the home of C.S. Hudson, which will
be built at the corner of Ohio and Front streets, on lot 7 of block
4. It will be an eight-room frame building, two stories high, and
will be modern in every way. The cost will be about $2,000. The
contract has been let to J.W. Dimick and construction will be carried
on as rapidly as possible. The location is one of the best in town,
along the riverfront and affording a fine view of the mountains."
I have a fuzzy microfilm copy of the completed house.
Do you think this house is still standing?
- Hello, Ron....and welcome!
Mice to have another Canadian member of the group (the only other one
I know about is Bill in Quebec). Yes, we are mostly fans and
collectors, but as any good collector knows, research into a subject
is part of the fun.
I hope you've also had a chance to look at the material in the
Files. We have lots of photos, and I've been transcribing newspaper
articles by and about Don Blanding.
Blanding left home the first time at 15 (to Bend, Oregon, where we
now know his cousin C. S. Hudson, was a bank president), then again
at 18 (again to Bend, then on to the Chicago Art Institute), and
finally to the Islands at age 21. Blanding came from a family of
vagabonds. Both the Kimbles and the Blandings were part of the
westward migration of the 1840s to the 1890s, so exploring new
territory really was in DB's blood.
Blanding was primarily an illustrator, though he was commissioned to
do decorative artwork. Painting or drawing for gallery exhibition
and sale was not his style. The market has yet to be established for
DB's artwork; the collectibility comes primarily from his association
By the way, we do know that DB's lecture tours included Canada. Any
help you'd care to give in finding more material. . . .
However, we are still uncovering bits and pieces of DB's life, so
anything is possible!
Just a few errors in your last email.
Blanding did leave home at 15...but it was to go to Yellowstone, as a
busboy at the Yellowstone Inn, with an as yet unidentified uncle. He
worked there for three summers.
C.S. Hudson was one of four directors of the bank...the president was
U.C. Coe, the frontier doctor who amoung other deeds delivered
Dorothy and George Pualmer Putnams baby David.
- --- In aloha-donblanding@y..., "Cadia Los" <duchess@s...> wrote:
> Hello, Ron....and welcome!one
> Mice to have another Canadian member of the group (the only other
> I hope you've also had a chance to look at the material in theThanks Cadio. I recognize that you were the pioneer of this
Blanding reearch circle, but you lit the fuze of a Keith's
rocket, and have assembled a cast of Baker Street type sleuths.
I was actually down to Seattle on July 22, and checked out several
of the shops in Pike Place Market. I may have even eyeballed you,
but now that we are acquainted and I will seek you out next time.
Your website was the first I checked out. Then I jumped to Keith's.
Yes I will certainly help the group solve a mystery or two. First
I have to figure out how I can be useful. I have some background
in history and biography, so I can contribute. The approach of this
mailgroup seems to be to generate clues, ideas etc, and correct the
errors as the research leads pay off or dry up. The bonus is that it
also promotes an interest in Don Blanding's art and poetry. As dear
Martha says ... "That's a good thing!"
> By the way, we do know that DB's lecture tours included Canada. AnyI was just looking at Keith's Timeline. He says:
> help you'd care to give in finding more material. . . .
"1916 - 00/00 Travels up to Nova Scotia"
and then in a Dec. 30, 2000 contribution to the Society mail list:
"1913-1916 Addresses - Quebec & Nova Scotia, Canada"
What is the published or ephemera evidence you both base this on?
Best Wishes ! I am going to enjoy contributing to this group I think.
Ron in British Columbia
We have no exact evidence, other than what Blanding has stated in
interviews and generic biographies.
Page 134 of the Rest of the Road :
"For a time he lived in Quebec; then he moved on again to Nova Scotia
and points north, south and east."
According to Blanding's Chicago Art Institute transcripts, his last
class was mid-March of 1916...and apparently he saw the play 'Bird of
Paradise' in Kansas City around late November/early December, on his
way back from Canada. So he may have been up north for as long as
eight months, working odd jobs.
We have no real evidence of this, and I wouldn't even know where to
start looking...perhaps in a Quebec newspaper...anyone speak french?
> What is the published or ephemera evidence you both base this on?
> Best Wishes! I am going to enjoy contributing to this group I think.
- --- In aloha-donblanding@y..., keith2draw@h... wrote:
> We have no exact evidence, other than what Blanding has stated inThanks Keith. Sorry for the basic questions. It's going to take
> interviews and generic biographies.
> According to Blanding's Chicago Art Institute transcripts, his last
> class was mid-March of 1916...and apparently he saw the play 'Bird
>of Paradise' in Kansas City around late November/early December, on
> way back from Canada. So he may have been up north for as long as
> eight months, working odd jobs.
> We have no real evidence of this, and I wouldn't even know where to
> start looking...perhaps in a Quebec newspaper...anyone speak french?
me a few days to get up to speed with this group. I did read about
fifty of the archived messages, but NO WAY do I have the time to
read 2000 stored messages, much of which are sure to be repetitive.
The basic "Netiquette" I have always practiced since learning
to Web crawl in early 1996 is, read - think - and then contribute,
lest I make an ass of myself.
Another basic question then - one which seems to have preoccupied
you for well over a year...
Where did this "Bird of Paradise" anecdote get its start?
I don't buy it. I think it's a myth. I have the two page
bio of Blanding from CURRENT BIOGRAPHY (1957)p60 "In 1915 he saw
the play THE BIRD OF PARADISE starring Lenore Ulric in Kansas City
and was so entranced by the setting that within a week he was on his
way to Hawaii." This was repeated in the NEW YORK TIMES obituary.
How old is the anecdote? Where does it first appear, please?
Cheers! Ron Jack in B.C.
My reference was to lecture tours in the 1950s. However, in the
Files is a transcription of a 1931 article from the Honolulu Star-
Bulletin that mentions DB was vacationing on one of the Thousand
Islands in August 1931.
Also in the Files is a Star-Bulletin profile of DB in conjunction
with his beginning the "Vagabond's House" column in September 1953.
One paragraph says:
For 25 years with the World Celebrities Lecture Course on the
"girdle-gobble-and-gabble" circuit, he has lectured in every State
in the United States and much of Canada and England, always with the
theme, "I Love Hawaii."
DB's 1956-57 lecture tour included a stop in Calgary; I have a
postcard that DB wrote on May 8, 1957. Other Canadian cities may
have been part of his itinerary.
So newspaper articles from almost any year between 1928 and 1957 are
likely sources of information. If you have access to microfilm or
bound copies of Canadian newspapers -- an index would help! -- then
you may be able to locate material.
You're very perceptive. Blanding was a bit of a showman, and I've
always felt he embellished his stories and experiences with little
The first time I can recollect him telling the 'Bird of Paradise'
story is in the early thirties...which means his facts could have
been fuzzy by then. For one thing, Lenore Ulrich made the role of
Luana famous...but she was never performing that role during the time
DB would have been in KC.
As you can see, we're still not exactly sure when Blanding DID arrive
in the islands. My best guess is Dec. 1916 because of his college
transcripts...but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. He could
have enrolled for the March 1916 classes, but left in the winter of
1915 and never attended them.
We may never know for sure. But I love a mystery...so the search goes
- --- In aloha-donblanding@y..., keith2draw@h... wrote:
> Ron,Keith... Bingo! You are absolutely right! He enrolled for the
> You're very perceptive. Blanding was a bit of a showman, and I've
> always felt he embellished his stories and experiences with little
> white lies.
> My best guess is Dec. 1916 because of his college
> transcripts...but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. He could
> have enrolled for the March 1916 classes, but left in the winter of
> 1915 and never attended them.
March 1916 classes in Chicago, but never attended.
In a day or two I will fill you in on what he was really doing.
I have to get into my research binders tonight and cross index a
Cheers Ron Jack
PS Keith and Cadio both. My Yahoo account is registered in Asia
(although I am in greater Vancouver, B.C.)
which is why the header shows Monday August 6, early a.m.
If you care that your posts have the correst date and time,
you cannot bounce my message back with annotations. You have
to generate a new message. Sorry.
- Cadia, I forgot that you're in Seattle! Thanks to our new Canadian friend,
Ron, the connection in the little grey cells clicked. I'll be coming from
Idaho (Shakespeare Fest and backpacking in the Sawtooths) and would like to
come through your town on the way back to California. If you give me the
address of your shop, I'll be sure to visit. I should be through on
September 6th or so. Looking forward to meeting you, I've been visiting
your website for about 2 years. Thx, michael brookman
- Michael and Ron....
As most of the group knows, I do not have a shop at the Market. That
is just my mailing address. However, Michael, I would enjoy meeting
you in September. Since the 6th is a weekday, I'll be working but
I'm sure we can schedule lunch or something. And Ron, if you get
down this way, please let me know as well.
As for time/date on e-mails, that is controlled by the sender. If a
message is sent from the group website (as I generally do), the time
is recorded as Pacific (Seattle) time regardless of the location of
sender or recipient. In any case, the messages appear in the order
received. Many group members do not receive individual e-mails so
the time/date on the header is not important anyway.
For my personal e-mail address, I frequently get responses to e-mails
that appear to have been sent before I even send a message -- mainly
because the sender has not set his/her e-mail system to local time.
Sometimes even the year is wrong!