investigative 5

Really you’ve got to expect it. I didn’t know Mark Twain had written detective fiction. Of course he did. Of course he satirizes Sherlock Holmes! Of course the story is set it in a mining camp out West, there being precedent in Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, published fifteen years before. And of course Twain called his A Double-barreled Detective Story.

The double-barreled is metaphor for two detectives working on the same murder case. Sherlock Holmes uses observation and scientific analysis. Archie Stillman (non de plume) uses his nose for scent analysis. Each detective has strengths and weaknesses — Sherlock Holmes’ weakness is Mark Twain — who burlesqued him mercilessly. (Almost)

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putting up, and taking down

 

Holy Week images were made by Maine artist Nancy Jacob while in Guatemala, and used here with permission. This scene is of readying the crucifixion. Beside it lovers of Christ remove him from the cross. The celebration of holy week is a consuming enterprise throughout the country. Everyone takes part and processions are filled with folks, real and constructed. 

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carrying His cross through the streets

Christ carries His cross through the streets

 

Holy Week images were made by Maine artist Nancy Jacob while in Guatemala, and used here with permission. The celebration of Semana Santa in Guatemala  is a consuming enterprise throughout the country. Everyone takes part, and processions are filled with folks, real and constructed. Here you see the latter.

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investigative 2

my neighbor is quoted: see bottom of picture-linked essay

To read part one of investigative, click here.

I’m not yet embroiled in the investigation, but must, like any detective, do the legwork, tedious inspection of clues no matter how trivial or overblown. Much is needed. Lots of background on the ‘ 98 ice storm and other winter storms germane to the thoughts and actions of characters. This kind of work is, well, work. Something much more interesting to me is building the mystery-story structure. Also, My imagination’s been marinating in enjoyable stories of detection by various authors in both print and unabridged audio versions. It’s said Sayers immersed in mysteries before writing them. I have how-to books but don’t plan to read them… unless I get stuck?

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investigative

image from the portland press herald. photo by Gordon Chibroski

 

Had thought The God’s Cycle was dead and, investigating the matter,… turns out a detective fiction might help with that inquiry. Naturally, this being the Town of Gott’im, it would not be hard-boiled, would not be noir, or PD James. Not even Sayers. It won’t be Chandler, of course, but I do rely on his method to get me through this crucial investigation. Meaning I, the author, don’t know whodunit. I will let the story itself teach me that. In fact, I don’t even know who it was done to yet.

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Johnny’s Bridge receives new history

johnny’s bridge has new origins

For an example of town column news content, here’s something on “Johnny’s Bridge,” mentioned elsewhere among pages I’ve written on Maine. This is a change not in the name itself but of the history of Johnny’s Bridge. Thankfully the name remains! Newcomers have sometimes changed place names in some of our communities, made now historic transitions from, for example, Mud Pond to Starlight Pond. And some newcomers would rather have their family name, say on a road, or have some other quirky designation in place of an old settler’s name. While Bean’s Corner is still locally known as such, those “from away” may not realize this and may use the Atlas name: East Be. East Be is in fact a hamlet, so no harm done.

Johnny’s Bridge, on the other hand, has itself been replaced, rebuilt a few times, most recently last year. And still, the name remains.

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the town column

main street

The Town Column is an intimate news item found in local weeklies, historically, across the nation. Relevant, in print, it’s fortunate to have town columns continue in the age of digitization. Rural community is greatly supported by the continuing institution of the local weekly. It informs us, but also defends all other communal institutions through reportage of everything from schools, town management, churches, clubs and societies, businesses, and local entertainment. But the town columns referred to in this Green and Blue House entry are, additionally, the cozy-news source, the one that makes the reader especially welcome and participating as an individual.

In our local are many columns, each representing rural town-news, towns associated in our territorial school district.

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Christmas works

Our series of three, on working xmas, begins HERE.

…There is a cold breeze outside the car, though nothing moves but a plastic rag knotted on a tree limb — the tree one of those slender naked beauties above the car. Just so light, the rag floats on an otherwise nonexistent breath available to any eye passing or peeping out the nursing home window. I’m parked below the Church between it and the nursing home, waiting for Mass to begin. I don’t recall ever being in a Catholic Church before.

All over New England, in old once-successful mill towns, one finds these astonishing structures in brick or stone. One day this granite mass before me will be christened a basilica. Now it is a reminder that those coming across the border, the French-Canadian immigrants, gave unstintingly out of a bounty of labor not well-paid. For these workers, especially, often were not well treated… and in Yankee communities they were often despised.

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Democracy in a small Maine town

HERE IS A VINTAGE CIRCA 1941 PHOTO OF A LOCAL TOWN HALL.

 

greenwood town hall

 

No account of Maine’s development and spirit would be complete without mention of its great sea-faring activities. Even before statehood in 1820, Maine produced ships for the military and for private merchant fleets. Maine had the lumber to produce ships, it had the ocean front–2500 miles of it–from which to commence. The CHRONICLE editor points out that sea-faring gave what would have been a fairly provincial existence the worldly experience necessary to broaden thought. Country boys were given a chance to learn the skill, gain in authority, and see places only dreamed of by many.

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