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[aloha-donblanding] Biographical Questions

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  • TikiRoom18@aol.com
    Hello I have a few biographical quesions regarding Don s life that I have always wondered about. Hopefully some of you may be able to help me.. here goes: 1) I
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 21, 2000
      Hello

      I have a few biographical quesions regarding Don's life that I have always
      wondered about. Hopefully some of you may be able to help me.. here goes:

      1) I know that Don was married to a woman named Dorothy, Im not sure of her
      maiden name, was this Don's first marriage? Was she a writer? Did he and
      Dorothy divorce? Did he ever have children?

      2) I've heard of someone named "Scotty" mentioned here, someone who died. Who
      was he to Don?

      3) In one of Don's books he writes a poem called (if memory serves...) "When
      I Was Blind". I assume from the poem that he had a medical problem that
      caused a temporary blindness, is this correct? Any background on that?

      4) How many recordings of Don' s poems were released on record? Does anyone
      know the dates these were recorded/released? I am aware of one, with the
      title "Twelve Great Poems From Vagabond's House", which are a series of poems
      from "Vagabond's House", were there others? He had such a great speaking
      voice, it would be a shame if little else survives...

      Okay.. that's enough for now.... I'm really enjoying reading the letters
      from this group.. There have been times in the past when it has felt like I
      was the only one who had any knowledge of Don Blanding. It's nice to see that
      there are others....

      Aloha!
      Larry
    • Cadia Los
      Larry, To answer your questions: (1) Dorothy Binney Putnam (Haven s aunt) was the wife of George Putnam of publishing fame until 1931, when he divorced
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 22, 2000
        Larry,

        To answer your questions:

        (1) Dorothy Binney Putnam (Haven's aunt) was the wife of George Putnam of
        publishing fame until 1931, when he divorced Dorothy to marry Amelia
        Earhart. In 1940, Dorothy married Don Blanding; they had been friends since
        they met in 1912 in Bend, OR, where George was beginning his published career as
        editor of the local newspaper. Dorothy was Don's only wife; they divorced about
        1947. Dorothy had several children from her earlier marriage; a granddaughter
        is Sally Chapman, the author of Whistled Like a Bird, based on Dorothy's
        diaries.

        (2)"Scotty," to whom The Rest of the Road was dedicated in 1937, was Don's
        secretary, according to Jerry A. who is in this group. I gather that the
        relationship was much closer. [Jerry, would you like to fill us in?]

        (3) "While I Was Blind" appears in Songs of the Seven Senses (1931). This book
        is dedicated to the "Rowdy Duchess," the illustration I use as my logo. Haven
        says that the "duchess" was Dorothy The reference to blindness is
        figurative; he was not blind.

        (4)I believe the 12 Vagabond's House poems are the only ones on a recording
        (LP), recorded about 1954. Six of them are also on 45 rpm EP's. I
        have cassette copies of both versions as well as the LP. The LP was to have
        been the first of a series, but I have no evidence that an y more albums were
        ever made. (Joe Venuti is the violinist; I can't put my hands on the LP to find
        out who the other musicians are.) Personally, I was somewhat disappointed at
        the high, reedy tone of DB's voice; I expected it to be much more
        powerful. Of course, the recordings were made when he was about 60 years old.

        Larry, when I started collecting DB nearly 40 years ago, believe me, I was
        usually met with "Don who?" Only in the past 6 or 7 years have I encountered
        competition when I go hunting for DB books and other memorabilia. Used to be, i
        could get most of it very inexpensively! Now...well, with the internet and my
        website and now this group...Oh, well, I'm enjoying it, too.

        More soon...

        ~~Cadia
      • TikiRoom18@aol.com
        In a message dated 00-01-22 03:59:02 EST, you write:
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 22, 2000
          In a message dated 00-01-22 03:59:02 EST, you write:

          << when I started collecting DB nearly 40 years ago, believe me, I was
          usually met with "Don who?" Only in the past 6 or 7 years have I encountered
          competition when I go hunting for DB books and other memorabilia. Used to
          be, i
          could get most of it very inexpensively! Now...well, with the internet and
          my
          website and now this group...Oh, well, I'm enjoying it, too. >>



          I see you also remember the days of the $3-5 editions of Don's books, eh? I
          am glad that there is now more of a demand for his remaining books. Don's
          talent certainly deserves this wider audience. The only downfall is when you
          have ONE more book to get and prices skyrocket because of competition.... oh
          well... Do you know that in some antiques and used book stores in Hawaii it
          is difficult to find Hula Moons for under $50-60? I'm talking about ANY
          edition! Here's a hint.. if you have extras laying around that you want to
          sell, commision them to Hawaii bookstores! :-)
          Thanks so much for answering my questions, it does help me get a fuller
          picture of this interesting writer.

          Aloha!
          larry
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