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Curious

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  • canoeist35
    This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question during some discussions of Don Blanding s Vernonware designs on another board. I am curious
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 29, 2007
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      This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
      during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
      another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known about
      his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
      Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading through
      the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
      timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
      did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes parts
      of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
      Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of Hawaii
      not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
      the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
      or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
      tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
      certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
      known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
      plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
      must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall impression
      I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.

      Michael
    • canoeist35
      I m surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in this forum on such a fundamental
      Message 2 of 14 , Sep 12, 2007
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        I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
        (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
        this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
        possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
        That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
        loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
        this?

        Michael



        --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35"
        <canoeist35@...> wrote:
        >
        > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
        > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
        > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
        about
        > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
        > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
        through
        > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
        > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
        > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
        parts
        > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
        > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
        Hawaii
        > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
        > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
        > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
        > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
        > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
        > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
        > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
        > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
        impression
        > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
        >
        > Michael
        >
      • keith2draw
        Michael, This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past 7-8 years, and the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don t
        Message 3 of 14 , Sep 13, 2007
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          Michael,

          This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past 7-8 years, and
          the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don't know. He had a very public
          personna, but he was in fact a very private person. His close friends were very protective
          of his privacy and he lived in a time where sexual preferences were not openly talked
          about.

          He definately had girlfriends and was engaged to be married on at least three
          occasions...and did get married once, which ended in divorce after only a few years.

          He had male companions too, for lengths of time, which seem to be more intimate than
          would be normal for a mere friendship. They too didn't last very long though.

          So the feeling is that he was probably bi-sexual, but that he was not able to committ to
          relationships for more than a year or two.

          I have been researching Don personally for almost a decade now, and I have read
          hundereds of letters to and from him; read hundreds of articles and dozens of interviews;
          met and talked to people who knew him; and I can honestly say I have never seen any
          evidence that would point one way or another as to his sexual orientation.

          And the consensus amoung us is that it doesn't really matter one way or another anyway.
          He is defined by his verse, his art, and his many creative pursuits...and not by his love life,
          or lack thereof.

          Keith Emmons



          --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@...> wrote:
          >
          > I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
          > (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
          > this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
          > possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
          > That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
          > loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
          > this?
          >
          > Michael
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35"
          > <canoeist35@> wrote:
          > >
          > > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
          > > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
          > > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
          > about
          > > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
          > > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
          > through
          > > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
          > > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
          > > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
          > parts
          > > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
          > > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
          > Hawaii
          > > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
          > > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
          > > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
          > > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
          > > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
          > > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
          > > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
          > > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
          > impression
          > > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
          > >
          > > Michael
          > >
          >
        • mauibandb@aol.com
          Thanks Keith well said aloha Maui Tom ************************************** See what s new at http://www.aol.com [Non-text portions of this message have been
          Message 4 of 14 , Sep 13, 2007
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            Thanks Keith well said

            aloha
            Maui Tom



            ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jackie Collins
            Dear Keith ~ That was quite the most beautiful description of DB that I have read of late. You describe his being an artist with all the sincerity of an
            Message 5 of 14 , Sep 13, 2007
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              Dear Keith ~
              That was quite the most beautiful description of DB that I have
              read of late. You describe his being an artist with all the sincerity of
              an open-minded and loyal follower of his work and his soul.

              Warmest Aloha, Jackie



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: keith2draw
              To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 5:41 PM
              Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious


              Michael,

              This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past 7-8 years, and
              the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don't know. He had a very public
              personna, but he was in fact a very private person. His close friends were very protective
              of his privacy and he lived in a time where sexual preferences were not openly talked
              about.

              He definately had girlfriends and was engaged to be married on at least three
              occasions...and did get married once, which ended in divorce after only a few years.

              He had male companions too, for lengths of time, which seem to be more intimate than
              would be normal for a mere friendship. They too didn't last very long though.

              So the feeling is that he was probably bi-sexual, but that he was not able to committ to
              relationships for more than a year or two.

              I have been researching Don personally for almost a decade now, and I have read
              hundereds of letters to and from him; read hundreds of articles and dozens of interviews;
              met and talked to people who knew him; and I can honestly say I have never seen any
              evidence that would point one way or another as to his sexual orientation.

              And the consensus amoung us is that it doesn't really matter one way or another anyway.
              He is defined by his verse, his art, and his many creative pursuits...and not by his love life,
              or lack thereof.

              Keith Emmons

              --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
              > (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
              > this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
              > possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
              > That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
              > loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
              > this?
              >
              > Michael
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35"
              > <canoeist35@> wrote:
              > >
              > > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
              > > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
              > > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
              > about
              > > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
              > > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
              > through
              > > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
              > > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
              > > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
              > parts
              > > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
              > > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
              > Hawaii
              > > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
              > > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
              > > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
              > > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
              > > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
              > > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
              > > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
              > > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
              > impression
              > > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
              > >
              > > Michael
              > >
              >





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Linda Allred
              I, personally, don t see that it matters and wouldn t want to spend the time trying to figure it out. What he s given to the world says enough as to what kind
              Message 6 of 14 , Sep 13, 2007
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                I, personally, don't see that it matters and wouldn't want to spend the time trying to figure it out. What he's given to the world says enough as to what kind of man he was. Linda


                ----- Original Message ----
                From: keith2draw <keith2draw@...>
                To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:41:53 PM
                Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious

                Michael,

                This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past 7-8 years, and
                the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don't know. He had a very public
                personna, but he was in fact a very private person. His close friends were very protective
                of his privacy and he lived in a time where sexual preferences were not openly talked
                about.

                He definately had girlfriends and was engaged to be married on at least three
                occasions... and did get married once, which ended in divorce after only a few years.

                He had male companions too, for lengths of time, which seem to be more intimate than
                would be normal for a mere friendship. They too didn't last very long though.

                So the feeling is that he was probably bi-sexual, but that he was not able to committ to
                relationships for more than a year or two.

                I have been researching Don personally for almost a decade now, and I have read
                hundereds of letters to and from him; read hundreds of articles and dozens of interviews;
                met and talked to people who knew him; and I can honestly say I have never seen any
                evidence that would point one way or another as to his sexual orientation.

                And the consensus amoung us is that it doesn't really matter one way or another anyway.
                He is defined by his verse, his art, and his many creative pursuits...and not by his love life,
                or lack thereof.

                Keith Emmons

                --- In aloha-donblanding@ yahoogroups. com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@ ...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
                > (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
                > this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
                > possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
                > That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
                > loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
                > this?
                >
                > Michael
                >
                >
                >
                > --- In aloha-donblanding@ yahoogroups. com, "canoeist35"
                > <canoeist35@ > wrote:
                > >
                > > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
                > > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
                > > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
                > about
                > > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
                > > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
                > through
                > > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
                > > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
                > > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
                > parts
                > > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
                > > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
                > Hawaii
                > > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
                > > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
                > > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
                > > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
                > > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
                > > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
                > > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
                > > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
                > impression
                > > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
                > >
                > > Michael
                > >
                >




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Mike Gothard
                Hi all, This has been a most intriguing dialogue, though seemingly one-sided until now. It s interesting that we discuss the minutest of minutia regarding Don
                Message 7 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
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                  Hi all,

                  This has been a most intriguing dialogue, though seemingly one-sided until
                  now. It's interesting that we discuss the minutest of minutia regarding
                  Don - his life, his art, his habits, his history - and then we feign
                  disinterest in this one area of his life as though a discussion would in
                  some way tarnish his image. We spend time trying to figure out what he ate
                  for breakfast on a trip to California on a specific day of the year; seems
                  something as pervasive as his sexual orientation would not just be as
                  important but even more so given the fact that it shaped him far more than
                  whether he ate bran or blueberry muffins on Thursday, April 3, 1924. I
                  agree that in the big scheme of things it really doesn't matter. But
                  neither does so much else of what we speculate and research about his life.
                  We all respect his work or we probably wouldn't ponder, diagogue, and lurk
                  here searching for answers and points of interest if we were apt to pass
                  judgment.

                  With that said, thanks, Michael, for continuing to probe with academic
                  integrity. And thanks, Keith, for shedding light on this and so many other
                  facets of Mr. Blanding's life.

                  Have a great weekend all,
                  Mike


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Linda Allred" <linall9@...>
                  To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 12:16 AM
                  Subject: Re: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious


                  > I, personally, don't see that it matters and wouldn't want to spend the
                  > time trying to figure it out. What he's given to the world says enough as
                  > to what kind of man he was. Linda
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message ----
                  > From: keith2draw <keith2draw@...>
                  > To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 10:41:53 PM
                  > Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious
                  >
                  > Michael,
                  >
                  > This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past
                  > 7-8 years, and
                  > the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don't know. He had a
                  > very public
                  > personna, but he was in fact a very private person. His close friends were
                  > very protective
                  > of his privacy and he lived in a time where sexual preferences were not
                  > openly talked
                  > about.
                  >
                  > He definately had girlfriends and was engaged to be married on at least
                  > three
                  > occasions... and did get married once, which ended in divorce after only a
                  > few years.
                  >
                  > He had male companions too, for lengths of time, which seem to be more
                  > intimate than
                  > would be normal for a mere friendship. They too didn't last very long
                  > though.
                  >
                  > So the feeling is that he was probably bi-sexual, but that he was not able
                  > to committ to
                  > relationships for more than a year or two.
                  >
                  > I have been researching Don personally for almost a decade now, and I have
                  > read
                  > hundereds of letters to and from him; read hundreds of articles and dozens
                  > of interviews;
                  > met and talked to people who knew him; and I can honestly say I have never
                  > seen any
                  > evidence that would point one way or another as to his sexual orientation.
                  >
                  > And the consensus amoung us is that it doesn't really matter one way or
                  > another anyway.
                  > He is defined by his verse, his art, and his many creative pursuits...and
                  > not by his love life,
                  > or lack thereof.
                  >
                  > Keith Emmons
                  >
                  > --- In aloha-donblanding@ yahoogroups. com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@ ...>
                  > wrote:
                  >>
                  >> I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
                  >> (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
                  >> this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
                  >> possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
                  >> That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
                  >> loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
                  >> this?
                  >>
                  >> Michael
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> --- In aloha-donblanding@ yahoogroups. com, "canoeist35"
                  >> <canoeist35@ > wrote:
                  >> >
                  >> > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
                  >> > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
                  >> > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
                  >> about
                  >> > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
                  >> > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
                  >> through
                  >> > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
                  >> > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
                  >> > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
                  >> parts
                  >> > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
                  >> > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
                  >> Hawaii
                  >> > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
                  >> > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
                  >> > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
                  >> > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
                  >> > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
                  >> > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
                  >> > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
                  >> > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
                  >> impression
                  >> > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
                  >> >
                  >> > Michael
                  >> >
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                  > aloha-donblanding-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Bev Leinbach
                  Mahalo, Well done Keith! Bev. _____ From: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com [mailto:aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of keith2draw Sent: Thursday,
                  Message 8 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Mahalo,



                    Well done Keith!



                    Bev.

                    _____

                    From: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of keith2draw
                    Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 8:42 PM
                    To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious



                    Michael,

                    This board has had conversations on this subject many times over the past
                    7-8 years, and
                    the conclusion that we have reached is that we just don't know. He had a
                    very public
                    personna, but he was in fact a very private person. His close friends were
                    very protective
                    of his privacy and he lived in a time where sexual preferences were not
                    openly talked
                    about.

                    He definately had girlfriends and was engaged to be married on at least
                    three
                    occasions...and did get married once, which ended in divorce after only a
                    few years.

                    He had male companions too, for lengths of time, which seem to be more
                    intimate than
                    would be normal for a mere friendship. They too didn't last very long
                    though.

                    So the feeling is that he was probably bi-sexual, but that he was not able
                    to committ to
                    relationships for more than a year or two.

                    I have been researching Don personally for almost a decade now, and I have
                    read
                    hundereds of letters to and from him; read hundreds of articles and dozens
                    of interviews;
                    met and talked to people who knew him; and I can honestly say I have never
                    seen any
                    evidence that would point one way or another as to his sexual orientation.

                    And the consensus amoung us is that it doesn't really matter one way or
                    another anyway.
                    He is defined by his verse, his art, and his many creative pursuits...and
                    not by his love life,
                    or lack thereof.

                    Keith Emmons

                    --- In aloha-donblanding@ <mailto:aloha-donblanding%40yahoogroups.com>
                    yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I'm surprised to see that no one replied to my previous post
                    > (below). Is there really nothing known by the DB aficionados in
                    > this forum on such a fundamental aspect of his life? Or is this
                    > possibly another case of people not wanting to discuss the subject?
                    > That would seem the ultimate disrespect to DB, though, so I'm at a
                    > loss on the silence here. Not one person had a reply to make on
                    > this?
                    >
                    > Michael
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In aloha-donblanding@ <mailto:aloha-donblanding%40yahoogroups.com>
                    yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35"
                    > <canoeist35@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > This forum was suggested to me when I raised this general question
                    > > during some discussions of Don Blanding's Vernonware designs on
                    > > another board. I am curious about what, if anything, is known
                    > about
                    > > his broken engagement with Ruth Norton, and his divorce from the
                    > > Binney woman (whose full name I forget right now). Reading
                    > through
                    > > the biographical material I've been able to find, including the
                    > > timeline with all its details--plus a dozen or so of the poems--I
                    > > did get occasional impressions of elements that were sometimes
                    > parts
                    > > of a closeted life. Is there anything definite known about Don
                    > > Blanding's intimate relationships? He wrote so eloquently of
                    > Hawaii
                    > > not merely for its beauty, but also for its value as a refuge from
                    > > the harsher world he had known. If someone were either homosexual
                    > > or sexually ambivalent, the change from Oklahoma, say, to the
                    > > tolerance and relaxed atmosphere he described in Hawaii would
                    > > certainly have seemed that much more like paradise. Are there any
                    > > known facts that would establish an answer to that issue quite
                    > > plainly, one way or the other? It would certainly seem like there
                    > > must be such facts on record somewhere. Yet the overall
                    > impression
                    > > I've received (to date) is one of pure mystery.
                    > >
                    > > Michael
                    > >
                    >





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • keith2draw
                    Aloha Mike & Michael, You ve made good points, and they are all well taken. There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we are all
                    Message 9 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Aloha Mike & Michael,

                      You've made good points, and they are all well taken.

                      There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we are all busy
                      piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine articles, long lost
                      interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years ago and has been
                      gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having previously written and
                      researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already have for say someone
                      like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because, frankly, he wasn't as
                      important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead themselves. There
                      are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously no-one alive who
                      shared his early, developmental years.

                      To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of work that Don left behind.
                      So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it on this board, it's the
                      detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his life. We in no way mean to
                      infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things) ...it's just fun to see little
                      slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time [sorry, horrible cliche].

                      Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan. 2000) have discussed
                      many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality) ...but folks who have
                      joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue and assume everything is
                      trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some of our older posts for
                      more detailed talks that have already transpired.

                      The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life, his feelings, dreams,
                      inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details like where he lived, who he
                      knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the moment. And if discovering
                      that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3, 1924 leads to finding an
                      entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at him...well then there we
                      have our proof!

                      I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel that if Don was
                      gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would just add to the interest. Most
                      of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that keeps us from discussing it
                      (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's just that until we know
                      for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he was gay, it would have had
                      a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he separated his public
                      personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by men as well, from his
                      private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But until we get the "smoking
                      gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we plug away on the
                      research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere and revealing. It just takes
                      time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc... which takes up the bulk of
                      our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.

                      I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.

                      Keith
                    • Mike Gothard
                      Hi Keith, Exactly! Thanks for the perspective. You re so right in that many of us have not been in on the discussions from years ago, even though we avail
                      Message 10 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hi Keith,

                        Exactly! Thanks for the perspective. You're so right in that many of us
                        have not been in on the discussions from years ago, even though we avail
                        ourselves of the past posts. I dabble in restoring/collecting/using vintage
                        fountain pens and feel the same frustration that I'm sure many of you
                        experience when us "newbies" question or try to put two-and-two together for
                        the first time. We forget the "cloud of witnesses" that have gone before us
                        :)

                        Actually, one of the reasons I lurk here (yes, I'm afraid I am a lurker as I
                        fit squarely into your description of already having too many irons in too
                        many fires) is because of the minutia and the passion with which you guys
                        continue to search...it's facinating! I do the same in the world of
                        fountain pens as well.

                        Anyway, thanks, Keith, for your gracious response and thanks to all for
                        allowing us dabblers to dabble here. This is a great group and I consider
                        it a privilege to be part of the ongoing dialogue.

                        Have a great weekend,
                        Mike


                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "keith2draw" <keith2draw@...>
                        To: <aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, September 14, 2007 10:17 AM
                        Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Curious


                        > Aloha Mike & Michael,
                        >
                        > You've made good points, and they are all well taken.
                        >
                        > There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we
                        > are all busy
                        > piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine
                        > articles, long lost
                        > interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years ago
                        > and has been
                        > gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having previously
                        > written and
                        > researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already have
                        > for say someone
                        > like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because, frankly,
                        > he wasn't as
                        > important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead
                        > themselves. There
                        > are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously
                        > no-one alive who
                        > shared his early, developmental years.
                        >
                        > To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of work
                        > that Don left behind.
                        > So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it on
                        > this board, it's the
                        > detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his life. We
                        > in no way mean to
                        > infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things) ...it's
                        > just fun to see little
                        > slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time [sorry,
                        > horrible cliche].
                        >
                        > Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan. 2000)
                        > have discussed
                        > many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality) ...but
                        > folks who have
                        > joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue and
                        > assume everything is
                        > trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some of our
                        > older posts for
                        > more detailed talks that have already transpired.
                        >
                        > The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life, his
                        > feelings, dreams,
                        > inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details like
                        > where he lived, who he
                        > knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the moment. And
                        > if discovering
                        > that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3, 1924
                        > leads to finding an
                        > entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at
                        > him...well then there we
                        > have our proof!
                        >
                        > I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel that
                        > if Don was
                        > gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would just add
                        > to the interest. Most
                        > of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that keeps us
                        > from discussing it
                        > (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's just
                        > that until we know
                        > for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he was
                        > gay, it would have had
                        > a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he separated
                        > his public
                        > personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by men as
                        > well, from his
                        > private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But until
                        > we get the "smoking
                        > gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we plug
                        > away on the
                        > research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere and
                        > revealing. It just takes
                        > time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc... which
                        > takes up the bulk of
                        > our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.
                        >
                        > I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.
                        >
                        > Keith
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > To Post a message, send it to: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
                        >
                        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                        > aloha-donblanding-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • canoeist35
                        Keith, I appreciated your first reply and this additional post. I had read the timeline on your website line-by-line before I ever asked any questions about
                        Message 11 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Keith, I appreciated your first reply and this additional post. I
                          had read the timeline on your website line-by-line before I ever
                          asked any questions about Don. Parts of the timeline seemed to fit
                          the classic "closeted" life--unfortunately for DB. So did some
                          aspects of the poems I read, plus some of the photos--just in my
                          opinion, of course. I am a little dubious about even the bi-sexual
                          aspect, personally, but I am a newbie on all this. I don't think
                          any of this diminishes or demeans Don Blanding in any way--if
                          anything, it only adds to the complexity and interest his life
                          presents, IMO. It may affect how some of the poetry needs to be
                          read, though. If I can venture one more thought, it seems worth
                          recollecting that he began as an ad man who knew how to craft an
                          image. Maybe he continued to feel he had to do that with some of
                          his poetry? In any event, his tenderness, humor, and decency come
                          pouring out of most of the poems and articles I have read. And,
                          later, his sadness, too. I get the impression DB's was far from a
                          simple story. My two cents here.

                          Michael



                          --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "keith2draw"
                          <keith2draw@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Aloha Mike & Michael,
                          >
                          > You've made good points, and they are all well taken.
                          >
                          > There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board,
                          and we are all busy
                          > piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts,
                          magazine articles, long lost
                          > interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114
                          years ago and has been
                          > gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having
                          previously written and
                          > researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would
                          already have for say someone
                          > like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because,
                          frankly, he wasn't as
                          > important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now
                          dead themselves. There
                          > are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but
                          obviously no-one alive who
                          > shared his early, developmental years.
                          >
                          > To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body
                          of work that Don left behind.
                          > So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts
                          it on this board, it's the
                          > detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his
                          life. We in no way mean to
                          > infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of
                          things) ...it's just fun to see little
                          > slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time
                          [sorry, horrible cliche].
                          >
                          > Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan.
                          2000) have discussed
                          > many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his
                          sexuality) ...but folks who have
                          > joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter
                          dialogue and assume everything is
                          > trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read
                          some of our older posts for
                          > more detailed talks that have already transpired.
                          >
                          > The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's
                          life, his feelings, dreams,
                          > inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details
                          like where he lived, who he
                          > knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the
                          moment. And if discovering
                          > that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3,
                          1924 leads to finding an
                          > entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at
                          him...well then there we
                          > have our proof!
                          >
                          > I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one
                          feel that if Don was
                          > gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would
                          just add to the interest. Most
                          > of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that
                          keeps us from discussing it
                          > (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum)
                          it's just that until we know
                          > for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he
                          was gay, it would have had
                          > a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he
                          separated his public
                          > personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by
                          men as well, from his
                          > private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit.
                          But until we get the "smoking
                          > gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual
                          preference....we plug away on the
                          > research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere
                          and revealing. It just takes
                          > time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc...
                          which takes up the bulk of
                          > our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.
                          >
                          > I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.
                          >
                          > Keith
                          >
                        • canoeist35
                          ... and lurk ... pass ... Exactly. Well said, Mike. Gaining knowledge of more of the facts of his life is not to judge Don Blanding in some negative way. It
                          Message 12 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Gothard"
                            <75vette@...> wrote:
                            > We all respect his work or we probably wouldn't ponder, dialogue,
                            and lurk
                            > here searching for answers and points of interest if we were apt to
                            pass
                            > judgment.

                            Exactly. Well said, Mike. Gaining knowledge of more of the facts of
                            his life is not to judge Don Blanding in some negative way. It is to
                            understand better. I don't think there is anything to fear from
                            knowing the truth--at least not in the case of DB! And I'm going to
                            do one of those no-no's, and maintain that Don Blanding would agree
                            with that sentiment. I appreciated reading your post.

                            Michael
                          • THOMAS MARKLE
                            Boy did I miss a lot of discussion.....I have 20 minutes on this computer, so......I liked Keith s response and others as well. Don s sexual persuasion is not
                            Message 13 of 14 , Sep 14, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Boy did I miss a lot of discussion.....I have 20 minutes on this computer, so......I liked Keith's response and others as well. Don's sexual persuasion is not the important piece we are researching. It is there and known but so what. I've interviewed several people in their 80's who said, "Oh, Don Blanding that gay boy from Waikiki, he was so well liked by everyone that no one cares what he is". That's a pretty accurate quote. He was a personality, wordsmith, artist and mooch. He was loved most anywhere he went. As researchers we uncover little bits of information that sometimes lead to other finds that lead to newer finds, so on and so forth. That's research. I met an antique dealer on Kauai that had some DB pottery and we got to talking and now she's interested in our site. She didn't know we were researching him and was really excited about it. What Cadia and the rest of us have done in 7 years is amazing as far as I'm concerned. Aloha to all...tj

                              keith2draw <keith2draw@...> wrote: Aloha Mike & Michael,

                              You've made good points, and they are all well taken.

                              There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board, and we are all busy
                              piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine articles, long lost
                              interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years ago and has been
                              gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having previously written and
                              researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already have for say someone
                              like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because, frankly, he wasn't as
                              important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead themselves. There
                              are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously no-one alive who
                              shared his early, developmental years.

                              To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of work that Don left behind.
                              So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it on this board, it's the
                              detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his life. We in no way mean to
                              infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things) ...it's just fun to see little
                              slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time [sorry, horrible cliche].

                              Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan. 2000) have discussed
                              many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality) ...but folks who have
                              joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue and assume everything is
                              trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some of our older posts for
                              more detailed talks that have already transpired.

                              The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life, his feelings, dreams,
                              inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details like where he lived, who he
                              knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the moment. And if discovering
                              that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3, 1924 leads to finding an
                              entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at him...well then there we
                              have our proof!

                              I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel that if Don was
                              gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would just add to the interest. Most
                              of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that keeps us from discussing it
                              (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's just that until we know
                              for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he was gay, it would have had
                              a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he separated his public
                              personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by men as well, from his
                              private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But until we get the "smoking
                              gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we plug away on the
                              research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere and revealing. It just takes
                              time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc... which takes up the bulk of
                              our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.

                              I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.

                              Keith






                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • kathysip3
                              ... and we are all busy ... articles, long lost ... ago and has been ... previously written and ... have for say someone ... frankly, he wasn t as ...
                              Message 14 of 14 , Oct 1, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "keith2draw"
                                <keith2draw@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Aloha Mike & Michael,
                                >
                                > You've made good points, and they are all well taken.
                                >
                                > There are about 4-5 Blanding researchers who frequent this board,
                                and we are all busy
                                > piecing together his life from obscure newspaper accounts, magazine
                                articles, long lost
                                > interviews and ebay ephemera. Blanding was after all born 114 years
                                ago and has been
                                > gone for half a century. We do not have the luxury of having
                                previously written and
                                > researched volumes of details on his life, such as you would already
                                have for say someone
                                > like Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe or Gertrude Stein (because,
                                frankly, he wasn't as
                                > important as these folks). The people who knew Don well are now dead
                                themselves. There
                                > are some old-timers that knew him in his later years...but obviously
                                no-one alive who
                                > shared his early, developmental years.
                                >
                                > To us, the thrill of the hunt is as enjoyable as the actual body of
                                work that Don left behind.
                                > So when one of us discovers a new clue (however small), and posts it
                                on this board, it's the
                                > detective in us gloating about finding a long-lost detail of his
                                life. We in no way mean to
                                > infer any importance to the clues (in the grand scheme of things)
                                ...it's just fun to see little
                                > slices of his life from a distance through the binoculars of time
                                [sorry, horrible cliche].
                                >
                                > Those of us who have been on this board from the beginning (Jan.
                                2000) have discussed
                                > many complex aspects of Don's life in-depth (such as his sexuality)
                                ...but folks who have
                                > joined us in the last year or two will only see the lighter dialogue
                                and assume everything is
                                > trivial on the board. I urge all newcomers to go back and read some
                                of our older posts for
                                > more detailed talks that have already transpired.
                                >
                                > The bottom line is that to try and get to the "meat" of Don's life,
                                his feelings, dreams,
                                > inclinations and quirks, we have to sort out all the finer details
                                like where he lived, who he
                                > knew, and who he wrote to. That's all we have to go on for the
                                moment. And if discovering
                                > that he had a bran muffin with Edgar Cayce on Thursday, April 3,
                                1924 leads to finding an
                                > entry in Edgar Cayce's diary that states Don made a sexual pass at
                                him...well then there we
                                > have our proof!
                                >
                                > I think most of us are mature, open-minded adults and I for one feel
                                that if Don was
                                > gay..."so what!" It wouldn't tarnish his image at all...it would
                                just add to the interest. Most
                                > of us have expressed that opinion here. It's not disinterest that
                                keeps us from discussing it
                                > (and as I said, we have talked about it in the past ad naseum) it's
                                just that until we know
                                > for sure, one way or the other, it would just be conjecture. If he
                                was gay, it would have had
                                > a huge impact on how he lived his life, who he trusted, how he
                                separated his public
                                > personna of a big, strapping ladies-man poet who was respected by
                                men as well, from his
                                > private, gentle, secluded life when not on the lecture circuit. But
                                until we get the "smoking
                                > gun" letter or diary entry which reveals his sexual preference....we
                                plug away on the
                                > research and try to build a profile of Don that is honest, sincere
                                and revealing. It just takes
                                > time. Most of us have either 9-to-5 jobs, kids, grandkids, etc...
                                which takes up the bulk of
                                > our time, and research has to wait for rare free time.
                                >
                                > I will say, this is the best dialogue we've had in a long time.
                                >
                                > Keith
                                >
                                > I have to agree with everyone else, great dialogue, by far the most
                                >interesting of discussions I have read in along time. Thanks to all.
                                > I still love his work, be he a, a, or whatever.....

                                > Kathy
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