Friday, April 27, 2012

Some interesting old paths to take….

Going there is most of the fun!

Imagine seeing a whole troop of Swedish and Finnish workers walking through here!

            Go for a walk in Rockport, and not only can you enjoy nature—you can also imagine the scene from a century ago. 
            Look at the forest trail in the picture above, and imagine scores of workers, mostly Scandinavian, striding through the woods, lunch pails in hand, on their way to put in a full day in the granite quarries. 
            You can almost see them now---  throngs of Swedes and Finns.  Rockport gained its name from all the granite on Cape Ann.  From about 1820 on until after 1945, Scandinavian immigrants came here, generation after generation, to do the back-breaking work of blasting huge granite chunks from the quarries.
            Pigeon Cove, the northern part of Rockport, was where the Korpis, Seppalas, Carlsons, Johnsons and Hautalas lived.  They walked through these woods to go to work in the quarries.  Today, seventy years after most quarries closed, you can still see little clues to the life they lived. 

Men quarrying granite, 19th century. Photo courtesy of Cape Ann Historical Museum.

            The granite these men quarried was carried on huge flatbeds pulled by oxen.  They carried it down to a pier nearby and hoisted it aboard barges which took the massive blocks down the coast to New York and Washington, where much of it is still in place in buildings there.

Flat Ledge Quarry in Rockport, with ocean in the distance. It’s a peaceful scene now, but imagine that quarry empty of water, with men and oxen across the wide bottom, removing the granite.  In 1872 they built a railway to replace the ox carts in moving the granite down to the seashore.

            All those Swedes and Finns, and some Norwegians and Danes, too, were a big change when they joined the original collection of old Yankees in Rockport.  Many families had worked in quarries back in their home countries, and so the hard work of drilling and chipping and hoisting was no surprise.  Neither was all the granite dust these men breathed in their 12-hour shifts.
            The women, and even some men in these families still have the traditional costumes of home, and every June at the Summer Solstice they celebrate Midsommar (Swedish), or Keskikesä (Finnish) or Midtsommer (Norwegian) or Midsommer (Danish) in Millbrook Meadow and down at Spiran Hall, Scandinavian headquarters in town. 
            In the old country there are also bonfires, but in Rockport we wait until the Fourth of July, when we have a large Fireman’s parade followed by a huge bonfire.
Finns, Swedes, Norwegians and a few non-Scandinavians
join to celebrate Midsommar in our Millbrook Meadow

            If you come here to Rockport, we have some great trails for jogging or walking, and for cross-country skiing in the winter.  Walk right up Summit Avenue, very near the train station and you are soon at Pool’s Hill where you can take one of several trails that lead you into dense woods for several miles, traveling through Dogtown.  Dogtown is some 4000 acres of rock strewn watershed woodland, pocked with quarries, between Rockport and Gloucester.
            Three hundred years ago, a few families of the most colorful sort lived in Dogtown.  [Read Anita Diamant’s novel, The Last Days of Dogtown for a fascinating look back at those days.  It’s fiction, but the real history is about as quirky.]

Pool’s Hill, looking out over Rockport. The workers trooped down this snowy path all winter.  If the snow got too deep, they had to take the tram.
Here are  the remnants of an old wooden derrick, held together with steel bands,  with old cables still attached, left over from the Nineteenth century. 

            A town with several miles of Atlantic coastline also has some delightful trails that take you right along the water’s edge on “The Atlantic Path”. 

A river of boulders and rocks rolls down a hill in the woods south of Rockport. This may be the result of the glaciers that covered Cape Ann 21,000 years ago. 

This is Steel Derrick Quarry, a popular Rockport swimming location.  This is also a backup water reservoir for the town. 
This is the Atlantic Path—a narrow footpath right along the tops of the cliffs.

The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:

Sweden: Stockholm Med Omgifningar Samt 1897 års Industri-Utställning I Ord Och Bild. 1896 Chicago, IL: Svenska Tribunens Förlag 167 pp. 26 x 18 cm. In Swedish, this book gives excellent view of Stockholm near end of 19th century. Many photographs. Blue cloth on board, gold and black printing, excellent condition. (0995) $18.00. Travel/Picture books.

Rockport (MA) Anchor Number 4, Published Annually by the Rockport Board of Trade 1953 Rockport, MA: Rockport Board of Trade. Guide for visitors to Rockport, MA. A diverting and pleasant guide to Rockport on Cape Ann in Massachusetts.  Inns and restaurants, art galleries. 55 pp. 12.4 x 20.6 cm. Paper booklet, good. (8083) $27.00. Travel

Rockport, MA: Ye Headlands of Cape Ann-- Real Estate Advertisement by Giles, Jason 1902 Rockport, MA: The Rockport Review. 32 pp. 23 x 15 cm. Booklet tells history of Rockport as it offers a parcel at the Headlands of the Norwood property.  Property is served by water and electric lights, with an easy walk of eight minutes to stores, markets and post office, and in ten minutes, to the B. & M. R.R. railway station.  Booklet shows the beginnings of granite breakwater in harbor, intended to provide 'Harbor of Refuge' for the North Atlantic Squadron of U.S. Navy war vessels during the summer months.  Photos of local sights, including two page spread showing photo of town and harbor, taken from belfry of the Congregational Church. Paper booklet, very good. (7282) $59.00. Travel/History

Zeppelin-Weltfahrten Vom ersten Luftschiff 1899 bis zu den Fahrten des L Z 127 "Graf Zeppelin" 1932. Cigarette-picture album with 264 silver-bromide photos and one metallic Weltflug-Gedenkmünze seal. [In German]  1933 Dresden, Germany: Bilderstelle-Lohse. Marvelous book tells the story of German Zeppelins, including their history, construction and operation. Small (6 x 4 cm.) photos from cigarette packages are pasted on heavy album-style pages toe help tell the story.  Includes maps of Zeppelin trips all over the world.  Some photos show happy passengers using restaurant, wash room and staterooms aboard  zeppelin, also aerial photos of cities and locations around the world, including U.S. Capitol, London Bridge, Kremlin.  [Interesting that only seven years later, German bombers were dropping bombs on some of these sites!]  Frontispiece photo of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin with tissue guard. Vorwort: Zeppelin-Weltfahrten-Bilder  liegen  nur den Packungen der Zigaretten-Marken: Club und Liga.  Photos and information on 25 Luftschiffen. . 54 sheets          34 x 24 cm. Paperback book with photo of Graf Zeppelin airship on cover, minor edgewear to cover, text and photos clean and complete. Album pages printed on heavy card stock. Very good.  (7971) $149.00. Travel/History

California: Wonderful California  Artgravure Book  1915 Chicago, IL: C.T. & Co., Artgravure. Album of sepia-toned photographs of California, including Mt. Shasta, Mt. Lassen, train at Shasta Springs, State Capitol at Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Tavern of Tamalpais, photos of San Francisco, Elks Flag Day at Berkeley; Oakland; Palo Alto; Lick Observatory; Casino and Natatorium at Santa Cruz; Hotel Del Monte; El Carmel Mission near Monterey; Hotel El Paso de Robles; Oil Gusher in San Joaquin Valley; Yosemite Valley; Stage coach driving through one of the Mariposa Big Trees; Los Angeles; Row of Bungalows in Los Angeles; San Pedro Harbor; Pasadena; more. 80 pp. 29 x 23 cm. Paper booklet with decorated heavy brown paper cover with string binding.  Cover has small chips in edges, good. (7343) $55.00. Travel

Cambridge Sketches by Cambridge Authors, with illustrations Edited by Merrill, Estelle M.H. "Jean Kincaid"  1896 Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Young Women's Christian Association  Colorful book about life in Cambridge in 1896, promoting advantages of Cambridge YWCA for young women arriving in town. "Some Thynges of Ye Olden Tyme" (1636) by Dr. Alexander McKenzie; "Tory Row" (Brattle Street) by Adeline A. Douglass; "Six O'Clock in Harvard Square" by Eleanor Parker Fiske gives colorful picture of the area a century ago; "Cambridge as a No-License City" by Frank Foxcroft (no saloons). "The Home of Radcliffe College" by Ada Ruth Kinsman. 264 pp. + adv. 14 x 20 cm. Burgundy cloth on board with gilt decoration showing the Washington Elm, top edge of pages gilded.. Edges rubbed and frayed,  very good. (3295) $49.00. Travel/Boston

Detroit, MI: Souvenir of Detroit, Fully Illustrated, containing a sketch of Detroit's History, Resources and Points of Interest 1891 Detroit, MI: Alvord & Co. History, attractions, including two bicycle clubs; the Detroit Wheelmen welcome visiting wheelmen.  Pictures of City Hall, Police Court, Police Headquarters, High School, Cass Public School, Water Works, Detroit Museum of Art, Michigan Central Depot, Bird's eye view of Central Market; Michigan Avenue; many views of Woodward Avenue; Bagley Fountain, Detroit Opera House, Belle Isle Park, many more. ~80 pp. 17 x 15 cm. Paper booklet, slight nick in top left corner at spine, very good. (7341) $48.00. Travel

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Earth Day and Lenin's Birthday

April 22 is Lenin’s Birthday—how about a

Subbotnik? (Субботник)


     V.I. Lenin (1870-1924) 

Sunday, April 22, is Lenin's Birthday.  He'd be 142.   It is also Earth Day, and it is not a coincidence.  It's regrettable that the Communists of the world seem to think that they are champions of preservation of the earth, because in the USSR they were very sloppy stewards. However, every year, even today, long after the USSR is gone, Russians observe his birthday with volunteer clean-up events.


Lenin's Subbotnik, cleaning up the Kremlin grounds, 1920

            The Soviets celebrated Lenin's Birthday with Subbotniks all over the country.  A Subbotnik is usually on a Saturday (Subbota, in Russian) and it's a day when good Soviet citizens are expected to get out and clean up a park or a neighborhood, and they offer their labor for free. 
             We lived in the Soviet Union when Leonid Brezhnev was General Secretary.  It was 1981 when we arrived, and 1983 when we left.  The Soviet Union at that time was seedy and threadbare, from Riga to Khabarovsk, across 11 time zones.   It was a country nearly on life support, struggling to fight a war in Afghanistan.
            Yet, seedy or not, we all knew that the USSR had a vast array of nuclear weapons, and they could blow us to kingdom come.

            It must have been a subtle thing when, I understand, a group at Stanford University started Earth Day, and set the day for April 22.  In the USSR the big Subbotnik fell on the Saturday nearest to Lenin’s Birthday. 

            We celebrated Earth Day in Rockport on Saturday, April 21.  I have a healthy lack of respect for communism and all its trappings, but today did seem like a good day for us to get together and do some cleanup in our Millbrook Meadow here in Rockport. 
            Our winter was remarkably short on snow, but it was cold enough, and here we appreciate Spring far more than people in more temperate climates.  And it really felt good to whack and cut tree branches and vines that had all grown together to practically dam up the little brook that runs through our Meadow. 
            Fourteen of us cut, dragged branches and raked, and made several huge piles, to get our Meadow ready for Spring and Summer, and still more Rockporters from the Garden Club cut and bagged hundreds of pounds of that sneaky, elusive and all-encompassing Japanese Knotweed.

 Riley Blanchard at left assists David Cutler and Cameron Smith, at right as they cleared heavy plant growth from Rockport’s Mill Brook on Earth Day, 2012.

            Not to change the subject, but here are some books and papers that I offer:

V.O.K.S. Published by the Soviet Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, Vol. II No. 4, 1931 by Yoffe, Yakovlev, Semyakin, Mikhailov, Tsypkin, et al. 1931       Moscow, USSR: VOKS,  Trubnikovsky Pereulok, 17. 100 pp. 17 x 26 cm. V.O.K.S. (Vsyesoyuznii Obschestvo Kulturniyi Svyazii Zagranitsiy), All-Union Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries was founded in 1925 and widely recognized as Stalin's heavy-handed effort at foreign propaganda.  "The Planning of Science"-- how it is done with the new Five-Year Plan, by the new socialist people. The language of the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" referring to the "shock-brigade troops and the storming detachment of Communist Youth" is so obviously immature, in its attempt to speak to a sophisticated foreign audience, yet satisfy all the propaganda needs of an ignorant bureaucracy at home. "Tecnics of the Future" by Academician A.F. Yoffe. talks of new ideas for harnessing solar energy, and efforts to harness water power (Volkhovstroi, Svirstroi, Dneprostroi). Poem "Industrial 1931" by Vassili Semyakin, a worker in a Moscow Co-operative Candy Factory. "The Fight for the Metal" story by N. Mikhailov, worker at the "Sickle and Hammer" Sheet-rolling Factory produces a fanciful story of the massive effort in the factory to fulfill the Five-Year Plan. Photos and text tell story of return of Maxim Gorki to Moscow in May, 1931. "What is Polytechnical Education?" by I. Pistrak includes photos of men and women learning on heavy machines. "Sverdlovia" Communist University by E. Ukhalov. Photo essay shows foreign workers in the USSR; Italian woman instructs Uzbek women workers in silk mill.  Periodical, heavy cardboard cover loose from text block, spine worn, edges frayed. Fair. (8126) $85.00.  History/Propaganda/Soviet Union

Mexico: Campbell's New Revised Complete Guide and Descriptive Book of Mexico by Campbell, Reau1 1909 Chicago, IL: Reau Campbell.  Very attractive, fresh-looking guide book to Mexico, written by a long-term scholar and traveler in Mexico, with many black and white photographs, taken in years before Pancho Villa and the events of 1914. Frontispiece is Photograph of President of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz (1830-1915). This book has geography, history, information about all parts of country.  Chronology of events includes 1908 merging of two national railroads.  Includes a very nice fold-out colored map of Mexico and inset maps of Mexico, D.F., etc.   352 pp. 14 x 18.7 cm. Maroon cloth on board with gilt decoration including Aztec figure and title. Spine title slightly faded, small crack inside rear hinge, yet very good. (4143) $26.00. Travel

Pettingell-Andrews Co. Lighting Furniture, Catalog No. 5 ca. 1910 Boston, MA: Pettingell-Andrews Co., Corner Pearl St. and Atlantic Ave. Large format catalog of lighting fixtures, or "lighting furniture". Commercial Lighting: H and B Celestialites; Keldon, Trojan, Ace; Duplex-a-lite; X-Ray Eye Comfort Indirect Lighting; Four-in-one Light; Aglight all glass; Brascolite. 48 pp. 27 x 40 cm. Catalogue, worn, front cover worn, back cover and price list missing; 15 x 3 cm strip from edge of pp 5-6 detached. Poor. (8119) $60.00. Advertising

Boston Harbor: Bird's Eye View of Boston Harbor in Colors --Along the South Shore to Plymouth, Cape Cod Canal and Provincetown Showing all Steamboat Routes 1914 Boston, MA: Wm. J. Finn, Rowes Wharf. Folded color map shows Boston Harbor and islands, Quincy Bay, Nantasket, Plymouth Bay to Provincetown. Folder includes ads for Hotel Pemberton and Pemberton Inn at Pemberton Landing. Hotel rates $4.0 a day and up; Fish and Lobster dinner $1.00, Lobster and Chicken Dinner, $1.50. Folder 48 x 38 cm. Paper folder and folded paper map, tiny tears in folds along bottom edge, still very good. (8113) $45.00. Maps

Canada: Map of the Grand Trunk of Canada and Connections: The Great International Route  ca. 1890 Buffalo, NY: Matthews, Northrup & Co., Engrs & Prs. Folded map shows railways from Topeka, KS in SW to Washington DC, detailed trunk all through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, across Quebec and Ontario, to Chicago, Milwaukee and Muskegon, west to Winnipeg, with inset showing routes to British Columbia and California. 1 map          80 x 42 cm. Paper folded map, stamped "From the Office of W.C. Tallman, New England Passenger Agent, 280 Washington St. Boston"; many tiny tears in folds, fair. (8118) $38.00. Travel

Jerusalem: A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif Jerusalem, published by the Supreme Moslem Council 1929 Jerusalem: Supreme Moslem Council. Guide describes"The August Sanctuary", a sacred enclosure of about 145,000 square meters. The two principal edifices are the Dome of the Rock and the mosque of al-Aqsa. Guide advises visitors of sacred nature of site, and warns not to smoke or bring dogs. Black and white photos of Fountain of Qait Bay, Southern Arcades and Pulpit of Burhaneddin, Dome of the Rock, al-Aqsa Mosque exterior and interior.  Booklet was used as entry ticket, and so a perforated triangle on back cover about 6 x 5 cm is removed.  16 pp. 16.4 x 21 cm. Paper booklet, bound by two staples. Clean. Perforated upper left hand corner of rear wrap removed. Booklet has two holes punched in fore edge throughout, this is apparently standard for this guide book. Very good. (8108) $65.00. Travel/Religious
Arrest of Polish Citizens bu Nazi soldiers, as depicted by children

W Oczach Dzieci: 10 lat Polski Ludowej w rysunkach dzieciecych [Through the Eyes of Children: 10 Years of the Polish People] In Polish. Zagala, Boleslaw; Jackiewiczowa, Elzbieta 1954 Warszawa, Poland: Nasza Ksiegarnia Warszawa.  Collection of delightful, full-color drawings by children during the years of World War II when Nazis occupied the country. Drawings include one labeled Wysadzenie pociagu niemieckiego przez partizantow polskich [Polish partisans blowing up German train], by Andrzej Wolniewicz, 13. Ewa Mehl, 7 draws a picture "Daddy Takes a Walk" shows prisoners in a concentration camp. Janina Piekarska, 14, drew a picture of Nazi soldiers arresting Polish people, all shown kneeling.  The children captured the terror and cruelty, and the heroism of liberators, and then rebuilding the country after the war. This copy has mimeographed summary in English pasted in front of book, and translation of titles of drawings pasted in back of book. ~85 pp. 28 x 20.6 cm. Blue-grey cloth on board, front hinge cracked, text block good, with added sheets containing translations. Good. (5377) $55.00. World War II/Poland

Weekly Bay State Democrat, Boston, Friday, February 17, 1843 Wright, Isaac H., Editor 1843 Boston, MA: Wright & Ballou, Proprietors, No. 14 Brazer's Building. Report on The Democratic Festival in Boston:  On Thursday, 9th February the Council, Senators and Representatives formed in procession at the Doric Hall of the State House, under the direction of Col. Peter Dunbar, Chief Marshal, and, preceded by a brass band, marched from the State House to Faneuil Hall, passing through Park, Tremont, Court, State streets, and Merchants' Row, in a Grand Triumphal March.  At 6 p.m. the Governor arrived, and there was a grand feast, but without any spiritous or fermented beverages.  List of all the toasts, including several that twisted the tail of Federalists, or Whigs. Discussion on the Oregon bill in Congress at Washington. Death of Isaac Hull at Philadelphia.  Laudatory letter to Massachusetts Democrats from Martin Van Buren.  4 pp. 42 x 60 cm. Newspaper, worn, fair. (8100) $27.00. Newspapers


Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev On the Occasion Of His Visit to the United States ©1959 New York, NY: International Arts and Sciences Press. 32 pp. 14 x 21 cm. N.S. Khrushchev, now 65, b. Kalinovka, Kursk Region.  Publication supplied by Soviet Embassy for organization which publishes "Soviet Highlights" Paper booklet with heavy glossy cover.  Very good. (2140) $10.60. Biography/History/Propaganda  

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Help us save Rockport's Green Jewel!

A Walk Through Millbrook Meadow
 and Around the Pond

Millbrook Meadow April 5th, 2012

            John Sparks and I asked Joe Parisi, Rockport’s Director of Public Works, to take a walk with us around Millbrook Meadow to start the process of putting together a plan for saving the Meadow.
            Each time the Mill Pond has flooded over the dam in recent years, the Meadow has been covered with water, and it drains very slowly.  The Mill Brook carries water from all over the Millbrook Watershed down, beside the MBTA Station and all the other businesses on Railroad Avenue, into the weed-choked pond, and finally out to Front Beach.  That brook is a snaggle-toothed mess.
Rocks lining Mill Brook are all jumbled near Beach Street.

            On Thursday, April 5th we met Joe for the tour.  Alice Segel, chairwoman of the Millbrook Meadow Committee, joined us. 
            Alice, who has been chairwoman of the Committee since 1998, stepped down a few days later, and Sam Coulbourn is interim chairman.  Alice has been a very devoted steward of our Meadow and we deeply appreciate all her years of service.
            John is chairman of an ad-hoc committee that we have formed to connect up the many people who would like to save our Meadow, the Mill Pond, and the whole watershed upstream.  He represents the Rockport Garden Club, and has already done a tremendous job of mapping out a plan for studying the next steps in saving the Meadow.  Alice and I represent the Millbrook Meadow Committee.

Millbrook Meadow after flood of 2006
            Mill Brook:  The brook that has carried water through the Meadow for over three centuries, and which at first formed the boundary between the first two families of Rockport, the Tarrs and the Pooles, has fallen on hard times.  Stones placed along much of its banks are displaced, some have fallen into the stream, and parts of the bank beside the stream have eroded. The south side of the brook bank needs to be built up. 
            Alice proposed aggressive repair to the Mill Brook that would include structures to create whirlpools to facilitate movement upstream of alewives and eels.  We’ll need to look into this more.  She also notes that the Garden Club is engaged in a project to cut back and eliminate the heavy growth of invasive Knotweed along the brook. 

            Meadow Ground:  We will need to have a soils expert examine the meadow as to its ability to handle sheet flow water runoff, and absorb water.  Will we need to modify the contour, or grade of the land?  Will we need to add fill soil?  Of course this will all have to be part of the permitting process.

            Dam:  Rebuilding of the Mill Dam will start after July 1, 2012; cannot start before then because that would interfere with spawning of alewives and eels. Construction should take about six months.  The new dam will be of reinforced cement, faced with old granite to resemble the dam before it blew out. Bruce Johnson, a local stonework contractor has a subcontract to do the facing work.
            Joe says that the contractor will use as much of the existing granite in the dam as possible.

            Frog Pond:  Joe says that DPW has permission and funding to clean out the Frog Pond, and will scoop out debris and invasive plant life as part of the dam construction project.

            Mill Pond:  We toured the       northwest bank of the pond, walking through the thick undergrowth that lines the pond.  We viewed the heavy plant life that has grown up in the pond in recent years, threatening to turn it into a bog.  There is no active plan nor any funding to dredge the pond, but we will keep on trying to put this forward as an important Town project.  Joe noted that he was interested in the plan that Karl Norwood, an abutter, showed him a year or so ago.  Karl, who resides in New Hampshire, took part in a pond clearing project in Bedford, NH and had some drawings and experience to share.  
Joe Parisi, Alice Segel and John Sparks view the weed-clogged Mill Pond

            Joe also noted that several local environmentalists would prefer to see the dam removed and allow nature to shape the meandering stream carrying the water from the upper watershed down to Millbrook Meadow. 
            Many of us, however, think that the pond is too much a part of the beauty of Rockport to be abandoned.  Moreover, from the days in the early 1700s when it was the main power source for mills, it has also been a year round source of enjoyment for Rockporters, who skate here in winter and fish here in spring, fall and summer.

Mill Pond June 29, 2001

What YOU can do:  We need volunteers now to help us bring Millbrook Meadow, the Mill Pond, and the whole Millbrook Watershed back to the robust life many remember from just a few years ago.
          Step one:  Come down to the Meadow on Saturday, April 21 for a big Earth Day Cleanup. We’ll work from 8 to 11 a.m. Bring a rake, shears, clippers or loppers. 
          Step two:  We need members in Millbrook Meadow Committee.  If you’d like to be a part of helping us protect this Green Jewel right in the heart of Rockport, join us!
          Step three:  We’re forming a Rockport Millbrook Watershed Conservancy, to help gather the brainpower and the energy to preserve and protect our Meadow and our Pond.  We can use your knowledge of plant life, animal life, land, water and rocks; or your eagerness to learn about how we can all help to protect this wonderful resource.
Contact us, to volunteer for anything, or everything!

Sam Coulbourn,                                       John Sparks,
Interim Chairman,                                     Garden Club                
Millbrook Meadow Committee                 978-546-9098

P.S.: If you have already volunteered, we thank you, and will keep you informed.

Overhead view of Millbrook Meadow and Mill Pond from Google Maps©

Monday, April 9, 2012

Our wonderful electronic world


(Left to right, Isaac Mocarski, Charlie and Elizabeth Coulbourn)

          It was Easter, and our grandkids were taking a break between dinner and dessert, in order to connect to the vast world of their friends and interests.

            With the plethora of electronic aids to our brains, one might think we are becoming a society of brilliant communicators, able to pluck the most obscure knowledge from the clouds, to assist us in scintillating writing and conversation.
            A new Athens may be on the horizon, with even the simplest soul able to transcend his or her meager education and understand the wisdom of the ages. 
            As an elder American I often think wistfully of those days when we went for days without communicating with anyone except face to face. It’s a whole new world, and I’m sure that it will get more electronically connected as time goes on. 
            Consider the article below.  Imagine—QR codes on gravestones!

QR codes everywhere — even on grave markers

By Laura Ruane, USA TODAY

When Edouard Garneau died last August, his wife of 53 years ordered a bench-style tombstone.

"I go and talk with him," said Faye Garneau, who admits she isn't so sure she likes that her own name is already inscribed there, too.

That wasn't all: Several months later, the monument maker added a high-tech innovation — a small, square image known as a quick response or QR code, affixed alongside the big letters spelling out Garneau.

The monument maker — a friend — was working on the code before Garneau died of cancer at age 78.

People scanning the code with their smartphones are taken to a website that includes Garneau's obituary and a photo gallery highlighting the Seattle-area businessman. They learn he was a collision auto body repair expert, a world traveler and a loving uncle. In the future, more photos and stories from family and friends can be added.

"I think it's a neat deal," Faye Garneau said. "It kind of keeps people alive a little longer, down through the generations."

'Free to think creatively'

The Seattle-based tombstone company is one of many new adopters of quick response or QR codes that also includes, a Florida nature trail and a T-shirt maker.
New uses for the technology are popping up almost daily, said Shane Greenstein, a professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who studies IT markets. That's because "the bugs are worked out" from the code, which was created in Japan in the early 1990s, Greenstein said, adding that "there's no licensing fee; there are no restrictions. Users are free to think creatively." And, they are.
In Seattle, Quiring Monuments has made code-adorned "living headstones" for about two months. It has sold about 30 so far, General Manager Jon Reece said, adding he's gotten "tons" of inquiries, often from people still very much alive: "They say, 'I want my story to be told the way I want it to be told.'"
Quiring Monuments offers the QR code, website and website hosting free to people buying new monuments from the company, Reece said, noting the company will add it to existing grave markers for $65.
On Sanibel Island, Fla., the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge unveiled QR code signs last month along Wildlife Drive, on which nearly 800,000 visitors a year travel by car, foot or bicycle.
"It was nice and easy," said 13-year-old Tom Garvey of Delran, N.J., who put his iPhone — an eighth-grade graduation gift — to use on the trail. The refuge's iNature Trail sports 10 signs, each with two QR codes — one that pulls up videos and educational websites for adults, and another that's tailored to children.
"We wanted to find that niche to get kids outdoors and excited about nature," said refuge ranger Toni Westland. The videos feature snippets about ospreys, alligators and other creatures living along the mangrove forest-dotted estuaries of the 6,400-acre refuge.
Newspapers, including USA TODAY, use the codes to direct readers to such items as videos and photos.

A multitude of uses

Examples elsewhere include:

Boulder, Colo., acoustic rock band SoundRabbit sells or hands out T-shirts with codes that take smartphones to free music downloads, said Chris Anton, band member, shirt creator and website design company co-owner.

•Lafayette, N.J.-based Fuzzy Nation, a designer and wholesaler of gifts for dog lovers, for the first time is putting QR codes on hangtags on its products sold at Macy's department stores nationwide, said Fuzzy Nation owner Jennifer Liu. The scanned code helps people enter a contest that began July 11. The contest promotes pet adoption and will earn one shelter a $10,000 stipend.

•Organizers of the Chevrolet Fireball Run Adventurally, from Sept. 23 through Oct. 1, say it will be the first national motoring event to use QR codes. For this year's multistate run though the South, competition cars will sport decals with codes. And, driving teams will distribute missing-child posters with codes. The scanned codes aid people with crucial information to share with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said J. Sanchez, event executive producer.

•Kansas City, Mo.-based mobile tech marketing firm Kickanotch sends code-imprinted frosted graham crackers to new clients as a "thank you" and to take them to a website offering more ideas for the codes, CEO Andy Lynn said.

•Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles, La., is using QR codes in its bulletins and posters to encourage sign-ups for special family and youth programs, said Steven Haney, church media director.
Real estate sales agent Marilyn Boudreaux did a double take when spying a code for the first time in the church's bulletin: "I was like, wow — we are with the times."
Her discovery occurred shortly after the worship service began. That made the QR code a temptation, Boudreaux said: "I wanted to pull out my phone, and scan it."

Now—The Personal Navigator offers some books and papers (alas, without QR codes!!) ….

Boston Monthly Magazine, Vol I. No. III, August, 1825 Knapp, Samuel L. Editor and Proprietor. 1825 Boston, MA: Samuel L. Knapp. 54 pp.           14.5 x 24 cm. Brilliant little magazine, in its third issue, aimed to present American literature instead of European."Nugæ Historiæ" (Gossip of History) "Quicquid agunt homines, votum, timor, ira, voluptas, Gaudia, discursus, nostri est farrago libelli."--Juvenal, Sat. I.  From Col. McLane's Journal, this is an interesting summary of General Washington's operations in the Revolutionary War, with Lafayette, a youth of uncommon spirit, and Baron Steuben, an experienced Prussian soldier, against Lord Cornwallis and Gen. Howe. Continued. "The Natural Rights of Woman" Tongue-in-cheek piece about man, since he was created 6000 years ago, has become wiser than his maker, and much wiser than woman. Written by D'Anville, "a woman who resides near us."  "Memoir of Stephen Hooper" read before the Boston Debating Society by Samuel L. Knapp. Hoope was born at Newburyport April 8, 1785, called to the bar in 1811. "A Visit to the Metropolis" by Agricola (Farmer), Letter dated June 21st, 1825, written after the corner stone of the Bunker Hill Monument was laid. Recent fire has removed undesirable buildings to make way for new.   Interview of Lafayette in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in the masonic halls of the old State House. Masonic ceremony to lay the corner stone. Address of Mr. Webster. A momentous event! Magazine, front cover waterstained, back cover torn near spine. Edges worn and frayed. Fair.  (8234) $50.00. History

King of Otaheite

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, May 1820, Vol. 2 No. 9 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Memoir of Rev. Henry Jessey. Review of sermon delivered at the ordination of Rev. Stephen Chapin by Jeremiah Chaplin, Professor of Divinity in the Maine Literary and Theological Institution, at North Yarmouth. Extract of letter from Missionary College, Serampore by W. Ward. [Note: Ward was among founders of this College in India in 1818. It still exists in 2008.] College is open to all denominations of Christians, and to as many heathen scholars as choose to avail themselves of its exercises and lectures. Letter from Pomare, King of Otaheite,Society Islands. Report on efforts to Christianize American Indians of the Oneida and Stockbridge; letter signed with marks by Oneida Indians asking to embrace Christianity. 34 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, poor. (6399) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

American Baptist Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, September 1820, Vol. 2 No. 11 Boston, MA: Baptist Missionary Society of Massachusetts. Frontispiece engraving of Rev'd James Manning Winchell, A.M. late pastor of the First Baptist Church in Boston. Memoir of the death of Mrs. Tamma Winchell, Rev. Winchell's widow. Tribute on death of Rev. Edward W. Wheelock, who, dying of consumption, left Rangoon for Calcutta, and died at sea. Letter from Mrs. Colman on the Burman Mission, mournfully relates last days of Rev. Wheelock. In letter to her sister she chides her for not answering for "nine long months" and goes on to tell her about revival of Buddhism in Burma, and building of pagodas.  32 pp. 15 x 24 cm. Paper periodical, edges frayed, page corners curled, poor. (6400) $34.00. Religious/Missionary

Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper:
American Messenger, May 1856; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 14. No. 5 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Statistics on intemperate persons among the inmates of the Baltimore almshouse: 60%. Mr. John Sadlier, member of the Parliament from Ireland, has just committed suicide, after having been engaged in enormous frauds. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  very good. (5360) $20.00. Religious/History

American Messenger, June 1856; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 14. No. 6 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Report on desperate condition of women ofChina, by Rev. John C. Lord of Ningpo:  They are slaves. Story about a dog who saved a store from burning in Troy, NY. War in Europe is ended, Treaty signed in Paris March 30 by Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Sardinia, Turkey, France, Prussia. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  spinefold torn 24 cm,  good. (5361) $20.00. Religious/History
American Messenger, April 1857; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 15. No. 4 New York, NY: The American Tract Society. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Florence Nightingale, her upbringing, and her service in the recent war in the Crimea. The Rev. Dr. Eli Smith died Jan. 11 in Beyrout,Syria, aged 55. His work was in translating, preparing and issuing a Bible in Arabic. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Newspaper,  very good. (5365) $20.00.  Religious/History

 American Messenger, June 1858; "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Luke 2:10. Vol. 16. No. 6   New York, NY: The American Tract Society. 4 pp. 38 x 56 cm. Americans eagerly awaited this monthly religious paper. National news, religious commentary. Missionary news. Bishop McIlvaine's Address at 33rd anniversary of the Society. Position on "anti-slavery".Minnesota was admitted into the confederacy of the United States May 12, making the number of states in the Union 32. Russia to adopt the new style of calendar, so that by 1912 their calendar will coincide with the Gregorian. The children's missionary vessel,"Morning Star" since arriving at the Sandwich islands in 1857 has made two important cruises. Newspaper,  very good.  (5372) $20.00.  Religious/History

 Andrew Peabody

Andrew P. Peabody: Three Sermons preached at the South Church, Portsmouth,NH December 25, 1859 and January 15, 1860 by Peabody, Andrew P., D.D. 1860Portsmouth, NH: James F. Shores, Jun. & Joseph H. Foster. Andrew P. Peabody became famous at the South Church when he stormed against the American victory in the Mexican-American war in 1847. A lifelong pacifist Unitarian preacher, Peabody was a champion of abolition. These three sermons, preached just before the start of the War Between the States, display his eloquence, religious fervor and absolute dedication to the Gospel of Christ. His last sermon is a Vindication of Unitarianism. 32 pp. 14 x 22 cm. (6441) $31.00. Religious/Unitarian

 Hosea Ballou

Ballou's Sermons: Select Sermons Delivered on Various Occasions from Important Passages of Scripture by Hosea Ballou, Pastor of the Second Universalist Society in Boston 1844 Boston, MA: A. Tompkins. Twenty-five sermons delivered between 1818 and 1829.  Christ our Example. Rich Man and Lazarus. False Teachers Compared to Foxes. Sinner meets with deserved punishment. The New Birth. The End of the World. Divine Truth, as represented by Tithes.  The Golden Calf. Evil of Striving Against God. Book belonged to Library of Rev. Eli Ballou, a prominent Vermont Clergyman. 350 pp. 12 x 19 cm. Cloth on board, blindstamped design, Small bookplate shows "Rev. Eli Ballou's Library". Endpapers torn out, leaving only edges. Except for that, appearance and condition very good.    (1757) $40.00. Religious
Our Woman Workers; Biographical Sketches of Women Eminent in theUniversalist Church for Literary, Philanthropic and Christian Work by Hanson, E.R. 1882 Chicago, IL: The Star and Covenant Office. Word-pictures of the women who helped to lay the foundations of the Unitarian church. In introduction author Hanson gives a scathing account of how Unitarianism rose in opposition to the male-centered faith that had dominated Christianity for so long.  This elegant book includes excellent engravings of 14 women, and biographies of an additional 130 or more. Includes Clara Barton; Henrietta A. (Burrington) Bingham; Rev. Augusta J. Chapin; Eunice H.(Waite)  Cobb; Phoebe A. (Coffin) Hanaford; Charlotte A. (Fillebrown)  Jerauld; Mary A. (Rice)  Livermore; Sarah C. (Edgarton) Mayo; Sarah M. (Clinton)  Perkins; Caroline M. (Fisher)  Sawyer; Julia H. (Kinney) Scott; Caroline A. (White)  Soule; M. Louise (Palmer) Thomas; Emeline C. Tomlinson, Alice and Phoebe Cary. 500 pp. 15.5 x 21 cm. Dark brown cloth on board with gilt lettering and blind-stamped design; minor rubbing on heel and toe of spine; Owner name, "Mary A. Mayo, 1882" on front free endpaper, along with "To Maria Dove and Elizabeth P. Ross, June 17, 1905." Very good. (4706) $67.00. Biography/Women's/Religious

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