Friday, March 25, 2016

GENEALOGY | Henry Method of Numbering

The two main starting points of genealogical organization are "Pedigrees", which start with a person, probably living, and working backward, and "Family Groups", which start with an ancestor, commonly the earliest one identifiable, and work forward.

The topic is–what is best practice? The criteria I use are two, simplicity and sortability:

Simplicity. A numbering system should require the fewest keystrokes possible.

Sortability.  A numbering system should be sortable using standard sorting routines, which sort numbers first and then letters. Staff members of the Society of Genealogists in London told me that the Roman numerals are becoming less favored because they are impossible to sort by computer using standard alphanumeric sorting algorithms.

Pedigrees – Ascending Numbering Systems – The Ahnentafel

The Ahnentafel. Ahnentafel is German for "ancestor table". This numbering is also known as the Eytzinger Method or Sosa or Sosa-Stradonitz Method. It allows for the numbering of ancestors beginning with a descendant. It is a simple and sortable system.

The principle is simply that the number of people in each generation doubles. So if we start with ourself, there are 2 parents, 4 grandparents etc. So the number of a person's father is the double of their own number, and the number of a person's mother is the double of their own, plus one. For instance, if the number of John Smith is 10, his father is 20, and his mother is 21.

The first 15 numbers, identifying individuals in 4 generations, are as follows:
(First Generation)
1 Subject
(Second Generation)
2 Father
3 Mother
(Third Generation)
4 Father's father
5 Father's mother
6 Mother's father
7 Mother's mother
(Fourth Generation)
8 Father's father's father
9 Father's father's mother
10 Father's mother's father
11 Father's mother's mother
12 Mother's father's father
13 Mother's father's mother
14 Mother's mother's father
15 Mother's mother's mother.

Ahnentafel with generation. To show each person's generation, the ahnentafel numbering may be preceded by the generation number, just an added column in a table. It is unnecessary, but could be useful. It is sortable.
(First Generation)
1-1 (01-001) Subject
(Second Generation)
2-2 (02-002) Father
2-3 (02-003) Mother
(Third Generation)
3-4 (03-004) Father's father
3-5 (03-005) Father's mother
3-6 (03-006) Mother's father
3-7 (03-007) Mother's mother

Family Group Numbering (Descending) – Defects

Existing numbering systems for family groups have problems of simplicity or sortability.

Register System

The Register System was created in 1870 for use in the New England Historic and Genealogical Register published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, in Boston, Mass. It uses both common numerals (1, 2, 3, 4) and Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, iv). Problem: Roman numerals violate the principle of sortability.

(Generation One)
1 Progenitor
2 i Child
   ii Child (no progeny)
   iii Child (no progeny)
3 iv Child
(Generation Two)
2 Child
   i Grandchild (no progeny)
   ii Grandchild (no progeny)
3 Child
4 i Grandchild
(Generation Three)
4 Grandchild
5   i Great-grandchild
    ii Great-grandchild (no progeny)
6 iii Great-grandchild
7 iv Great-grandchild

NGSQ System

The NGSQ System is named for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly published by the National Genealogical Society in Arlington, Virginia, which uses the method in its articles. It is sometimes called the "Record System" or the "Modified Register System" because it derives from the Register System. The main difference is in the method of numbering for children who are not carried forward into future generations. Problem: It uses Roman numerals and plus signs and therefore violates the rule of sortability.

(Generation One)
1 Progenitor
 + 2 i Child
    3 ii Child (no progeny)
   4 iii Child (no progeny)
 +5 iv Child
(Generation Two)
2 Child
    6 i Grandchild (no progeny)
    7 ii Grandchild (no progeny)
5 Child
 + 8 i Grandchild
(Generation Three)
8 Grandchild
 +  9 i Great-grandchild
    10 ii Great-grandchild (no progeny)
 + 11 iii Great-grandchild
 + 12 iv Great-grandchild

d'Aboville System

The d'Aboville System is a descending numbering method developed by Jacques d'Aboville in 1940 that is very similar to the Henry System, widely used in France. This is the system that Thijs Boissevain used for his extensive Boissevain Family Group with thousands of names. Periods are used to separate the generations.  No changes in numbering are needed for families with more than nine children. Problem: The periods are unnecessary if a system is treated for numbering children beyond nine. It violates the rule of simplicity.
1 Progenitor
1.1 Child
1.1.1 Grandchild Great-grandchild Great-grandchild
1.1.2 Grandchild
1.2 Child
1.2.1 Grandchild Great-grandchild
1.2.2 Grandchild Great-grandchild
1.2.3 Grandchild
... etc. to
1.2.9 Grandchild
1.2.10 Grandchild

Henry System

The Henry System is a descending system created by Reginald Buchanan Henry for a genealogy of the families of the presidents of the United States that he wrote in 1935. It can be organized either by generation or not. The system begins with 1. The oldest child becomes 11, the next child is 12, and so on. The oldest child of 11 is 111, the next 112, and so on. The system allows one to derive an ancestor's relationship based on their number. For example, 621 is the first child of 62, who is the second child of 6, who is the sixth child of his parents. In the Henry System, when there are more than nine children, X is used for the 10th child, A is used for the 11th child, B is used for the 12th child, and so on. In the Modified Henry System, when there are more than nine children, numbers greater than nine are placed in parentheses. Problem: The progression X, A, B and the use of parentheses in the modified system do not sort correctly using standard sorting routines.

Other Systems

The Meurgey de Tupigny System uses Roman numerals for generations. Problem: Violates rule of sortability.

The de Villiers/Pama System gives letters to generations, and then numbers children in birth order. Problem: It violates rule of simplicity: The letters in this case are unnecessary and duplicative.

Suggested Solution

Use the Henry System but start numbering the 10th child A, the 11th B and so forth. This makes it sortable.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

WOODIN | Finding His Bio in a Bookstore

Autobiographies are shelved in this bookstore by last
name of the author. Franklin and Eleanor is also
shelved under the author, i.e., Rowley.
My previous post showed where one would look for biographical information in a library.

This is about where a biography of Will Woodin might be found in a bookstore.

The bookstore I have examined in detail is the Vero Beach Book Center in Vero Beach, Fla. It is the only listed independent bookstore between Orlando and Palm Beach.

Biographies in Author Order

Chernow's Hamilton is next
to the story of a Holocaust
survivor, Chiger.
You won't find nearly as much in a bookstore as in a library about genealogies of families or small areas. The reason is that these books are not big sellers and space is at a high premium in bookstores, which tend to be in prime commercial space. Biographies can be big sellers. But in a bookstore, they can be harder to find:
  • In a library, biographies are shelved by name of the person who is the subject of the biography.
  • In a bookstore, biographies are shelved by author, not the name of the biographee–except for  autobiographies, where the authors are also the subjects.
Didion is next to Keynes because
Daugherty is next to Davenport.
So comparative shopping among biographies may be hard to do. Hence Franklin and Eleanor (see photo at top), by Hazel Rowley, is between autobiographies of Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld. Biographies of FDR could be shelved anywhere in the alphabet.
Some books have the covers facing out. (At the new
Amazon store in Seattle, all covers face out.)

TV tie-in
Bookstores feature some books by showing their whole cover facing out.

In the new Amazon bricks-and-mortar store in Seattle (with another in the pipeline in San Diego), all the books face out, as shown on the first page of the Business Section of the NY Times on Saturday and in an article in GeekWire.

Bookstores are less concerned about having many biographies as having the ones that people are looking for. Some biographies sell themselves based on their subjects, like Prince Philip or Teddy Roosevelt.

FDR is next Lincoln's cabinet
because both are by Goodwin. 
It helps if the biographee is a television personality like Regis Philbin or the late Roger Ebert, or  a classically famous author like Mark Twain (his "Autobiography" is actually a collection of his writings).

A good bet for sales are books about royalty in the news, like [Prince] William & Catherine [Kate Middleton] or William and Harry.

Note from the photos of the shelves how important it is to have a cover that can be read quickly, in large type.

From all of the above, it seems that a book about Will Woodin would have to have FDR in the name, to establish Woodin's closest connection to fame today. Treasury Secretary is a long title and by itself does not establish Woodin's importance.

A title like How Roosevelt and Woodin Calmed the Banks gets the subject matter across. If this could be tied into the election-year debate about Glass-Steagall, even better.

Woodin's name is so little known that a title might be better not including it, as in FDR's Money Man. This conveys that Woodin was the person to whom FDR delegated all the money problems that the country faced when FDR was inaugurated:
  • The need for greenbacks.
  • The need for more liquidity from the  Federal Reserve.
  • The need for gold (gold reserves were declining).
  • The long-term need for fiscal spending to reduce unemployment.
American History Books in Author Order

Another approach to shelving a biography of Will Woodin would be to put it under American History. It would most likely go chronologically between books on the Crash of 1929 and books on the Great Depression. It belongs exactly next to a book on FDR's First Hundred Days. Here are some key books that evaluate the First Hundred Days and the New Deal, starting with the three most recent, two of which sought to knock the New Deal from its pedestal:

2007. Amity Schlaes, Amity. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (Harper Collins).
2006. Alter,  Jonathan. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (Simon & Schuster).
2003. Powell, Jim. FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great  Depression (Crown Forum).
1999. Kennedy, David M. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press).
1993. McElvaine, Robert S. The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941 (New York: Random House).
1989. Anthony Badger, The New Deal: The Depression Years, 1933-1940 (Ivan R. Dee).
1963. Leuchtenburg, William E. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940 (Harper & Row).
1958. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Age of Roosevelt: The Coming of the New Deal (Houghton Mifflin).

1939. Moley, Raymond. After Seven Years (Harper Brothers).

Better Place: Business Books

Banks and banking never fail to
draw business interest. The
business reader wants a takeaway.
A better place to be than in American History is the Business Section of a bookstore. These books will be found at airport newsstands and get reviewed in places where book-buyers will find them – the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, The Economist, Forbes etc.

Business books need a takeaway. Business buyers want to be educated so they can do their jobs better.

A book on Will Woodin fits the criteria. 

The Big Short updates 1929-33
 to 2008-2016.
Woodin was a Main Street executive, the top executive in a company town, Berwick, Pa. His company was swept up in the merger boom of the 1890s. Originally named Jackson & Woodin, the company was renamed American Car & Foundry in 1899, and it gobbled up other railway car manufacturers to become the largest car manufacturer in the country. It benefited greatly from New York City's new subway system and then the commuter rail boom. 

In 1928, Woodin was CEO of one of the 20 companies in the Dow. He was also Chairman of another company in the Dow, American Locomotive Co. The rise of his company is a history lesson of the 100 years leading up to 1929.

Woodin's second act was as confidant and financier of FDR's ascent to the presidency and then as the man who carried out the calming of a panic-stricken country. In addition to creating liquidity, FDR and Woodin got through the Glass-Steagall deal to insure bank deposits while preventing speculators from having access to the insured deposits. The Glass-Steagall Act is often cited but few people understand how and why it was enacted.

Even Better Place: Staff Picks
A better place for a book is in a section called "Staff Picks", where  bookstore staff pick out books they like or think their customers will like.

To get here, presumably one would have to establish a connection between the customers and the subject matter. So a book on Will Woodin could be promoted to staff in bookstores in Pennsylvania, where he came from, and New York and Washington, D.C., where he went.

Another way to get a bookstore to pick the book would be to establish a local connection in another way. Two of Woodin's children retired to Vero Beach, for example, and he has many descendants who still live there. Tucson and Sedona, Arizona also have Woodin grandchildren in residence.

Best Place: Best Sellers

The best place to be–and libraries also offer these shelves–is on a best-seller shelf.

This is harder to maneuver onto. The shelves are filled based on periodic consultation of a standard ranking system, such as the New York Times Book Review section, which has weekly rankings of the nationally top-selling books in fiction and nonfiction as well as other categories.

Biographies routinely make it onto the best-seller list. The shelf at right includes recent biographies of Jefferson, the Wright Brothers, Reagan, Clementine Churchill and the Koch Brothers (Dark Money).

The inclusion of two books on Vero Beach and Palm Beach suggests they are on a local (Florida? Southern Florida?) best-seller ranking.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

WOODIN | Finding His Bio in a Library

William H. Woodin,
Secretary of the Treasury, 1933
Where does a biography fit in the book marketplace? I will approach this from three perspectives:
  1. A well-stocked library.
  2. A bricks-and-mortar-bookstore.
  3. Online sources.
Today, I write about the library, using as my example William H. Woodin, whose biography I am writing.

1. A Library

My library research began with browsing in the library of the Society of Genealogists in London and the NY Public Library.

My in-depth research on the book marketplace was at the Indian River County Main Library in Vero Beach, Fla. This is well-stocked, serving an affluent community that values knowledge and culture.  The county's per capita income ranks #7 out of 199 counties in Florida. The Vero Beach 32963 zip code is one of three wealthiest in Florida that include at least 1,000 taxpayers (the other two are Palm Beach and Longboat Key). At the end of the 20th Century, the library was first or second in Florida in per capita attendance at adult programs and new borrowers.

The Genealogy and Local History Room

The genealogical resources at the library have benefited from unusual support:
  • The Julian W. Lowenstein Family in 1985 through a bequest donated towards a new two-story Main Library that opened in 1991.  The much-expanded 2nd floor houses the Florida History and Genealogy Department.
  • Indian River County added significant support of the reference and genealogy departments–in the decade after 1991 the genealogy department quadrupled in size, to 4,000 square feet.
  • The Indian River County Historical Society donated photographs (5,000+) and documents (20+ boxes) to the library's Archive Center, which has more than 35,000 titles, 40,000 microfiches, 11,000 microfilms, nine computers and Wi-Fi.
In the Genealogy room are histories of families and local areas. The books go deep into ancestors and descendants. The local history books often include more than one family and seek to show how the area played its part in the history of the county, state and nation. These books are of huge interest to the families and residents of the local areas, but beyond that they have a limited audience.

I recently reviewed the product of years of research by Edgar Jadwin of his ancestors and relatives, who have played a great part in the maintenance of a strong U.S. military through two, going for three, centuries–his grandfather of the same name was Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers in 1926-29. His book, written over the years with the help of members of the Indian River Genealogical Society, is a good example of the family-history genre. His book is useful and interesting, but because it is produced by a local printer rather than national publisher it is not so accessible to a wider audience. It lacks some of the visual aids and other anchors that help a reader follow a long stretch of time over broad areas of the earth.

I found nothing about Will Woodin in the Genealogy area at the Indian River County Main Library, but I did find information about the two of Will Woodin's three daughters who retired to Vero Beach (Mary Miner and Libby Rowe). I went back a second time only to find that the Genealogy area is closed on Saturday and Sunday (as well as during the lunch hour on weekdays) although the library itself is open these days. I can report that there are paper files only in the New York Public Library, and not much there, and the same is true of the Society of Genealogists in London. The Woodins have been largely forgotten by genealogists catering to the print media, and unfairly so.

I have accumulated more material on Will Woodin's ancestors and descendants than is likely to be of interest to a general reader, but will be of great value to some people. This material might be carved out and published as a print-on-demand book for genealogists and family members.

Biography Shelves

Nothing between Woodhull and Woodruff.
At the Indian River Main Library, biographies are located in huge rows of shelves filed, naturally, by last name of the biographee. A natural market for any book about a person is the biographical shelving.

There is no book about Will Woodin or any other Woodin. The biographies skip from Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States, to Judy Woodruff.

The question will be asked by anyone faced with a missing biography–"Why is he/she important?" The answer would be, for Will Woodin, that (1) he rose in 1928 to become President or Chairman of two of the 20 huge companies that then made up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and then (2) he became Treasury Secretary at the most challenging period of American history for its labor and financial markets.

Dual-biography (Kennedy and Roosevelt), and
Multiple Biography (FDR and His Enemies).
Woodin can be found mentioned in passing in biographies of FDR, in comparative/group biographies (e.g., Beschloss's Kennedy and Roosevelt) and in collections of biographies like Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, on Lincoln's cabinet.

Of least relevance, he is in theme-neutral collections by geographical area (county, state and nation) or by industry and occupation. The brief biographies of Woodin that appear in many such collections are too short to establish a story beyond a few bare facts.

American History Shelves

Another place the biography might be shelved is in history–American History–especially if the title suggests something other than a conventional biography, by, for example:
  • Going beyond biography, as in FDR and His Enemies. Such a book could show the bravery and loyalty of Woodin in supporting FDR as a Republican deeply entrenched in the New York establishment.
  • Focusing on only one period of a biography, as The Great Depression. Woodin's life naturally falls into two parts. The first might be called Woodin and the Capitalization of the Railway Car Industry, up to 1928. The second could be called FDR and Woodin–The Panic and Calming of 1929-33.
So there is a strategic question for an author and a publisher–does one want to be sold and filed as a biography, as a comparative or collective  biography, or as a study of a period of history built around a biography.

For Will Woodin, my biographee, the easiest approach is to call the book a biography and make that clear in the title: Will Woodin, the Man Who Calmed the Panic, focusing on his last four years, or Will Woodin: From Main Street, Wall Street, White House, which gives a fuller hint of the breadth of the story that Woodin represents. A book devoted to Woodin has the advantage of filling a clear gap, because Woodin has not yet been given a book-length biography.

But from the perspective of the library-book buyer, it might be more interesting to focus on the period of history, as in The Rise and Fall of Financial Capitalism, 1890-1933, which would use Woodin's life as the spine of a narrative showing how (1) In 1890-1928 a middle-sized firm was pumped up into a giant company that in 1928 was one of the 20 index companies in the Dow, and then (2) In 1929-33 the global financial system collapsed, only to be put back on its feet by FDR and Woodin–but too late to prevent the rise of Hitler to his German dictatorship. The second half would include the Glass-Steagall Act and other reforms that were put in place in 1933. A final chapter would swiftly review the unwinding of Grass-Steagall and the financial meltdown of 2008, as a way of underlining the significance of Woodin's achievement.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

CON MEN | Victor Lustig's Ten Con-mandments

"Count" Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower not just once, but twice. He told his victims in a hotel room that it was found to have structural and engineering defects and was going to be torn down to make room for other buildings and that he was commissioned to auction off the tower.

He was extremely talented, spoke five languages, could handle a pack of cards as deftly as any blackjack dealer or magician. He was described as the smoothest con man that ever lived.

The Smithsonian Magazine has printed Lustig's Ten Con-mandments:
1. Be a patient listener (it is this, not fast talking, that gets a con-man his coups).
2. Never look bored.
3. Wait for the other person to reveal any political opinions, then agree with them.
4. Let the other person reveal religious views, then have the same ones.
5. Hint at sex talk, but don’t follow it up unless the other fellow shows a strong interest.
6. Never discuss illness, unless some special concern is shown.
7. Never pry into a person’s personal circumstances (they’ll tell you all eventually).
8. Never boast. Just let your importance be quietly obvious.
9. Never be untidy.
10. Never get drunk.

Seems to me these are good principles for any discourse. I often wonder why con men get into their line of work. The ones I have known have had talents that are highly valued in the mainstream economy.

He was sent to Alcatraz in 1936 for 20 years and died in captivity in 1947.

Monday, March 7, 2016

RESCUE | Marbrisa Yacht Club Eyewitness Report

Two yachts from the 19-boat Marbrisa Yacht Club fleet circle #27 with a fallen mast. Photos © JT Marlin.
It is common in races to have mast problems, but rarely on such a relatively calm day. However, this mishap occurred earlier today during the Marbrisa Yacht Club Commodore's Monday Race in Vero Beach, Fla.

The skipper of #27 was not found on the scene.
I was an eyewitness to the sudden and startling development. Because of the relatively low wind speed, the rescue boat was not ready for action and had to be called in, so the rescue was delayed.

The major difficulty for other yachts that quickly arrived on the scene was that the mast was still held to the deck of #27 by three of its four stays, so it was impossible for the other boats to bring it in.

A major concern of the Race Committee was that the skipper of #27 was nowhere in sight. The two boats that reached the scene of #27 searched in vain for him.

Various theories have been advanced for the loss of the mast and the absence of the skipper.

Examination of #27 after the disaster suggests unusual stress on the port stay, which caused the screws holding the stay to the deck to come loose. The failure of the port stay resulted in the mast falling to the starboard side. A veteran boat-builder observed, shaking his head upon looking at #27:
The mast needs all four stays anchored to the deck; if one fails, they all fail. It's the same with the boat-builder–he is an absent member of the crew of every boat. Be careful who you pick to build your boat and maintain it.
The first boats on the scene left after a careful search
and an attempt to move the stricken #27.

Marbrisa Yacht Club officials speculated that when the mast fell over, it knocked the skipper unconscious.

The Club has contracted for a SCUBA team to search the area. A former Navy Seal who lives in Fort Pierce is leading the effort.

The Marbrisa Yacht Club is not releasing, and has requested me not to publish, any full names of race participants. A spokesman said: "The Club is conducting a thorough search of the area and we will not release any details until after notification, if necessary, of next of kin."

The U.S. Coast Guard has been notified.

The boats first on the scene abandoned their search and called for a power boat to come to the scene. Participants in the race were shaken up by the disaster and did not want to comment about the tragedy.

Postscript (Monday evening)

Two forms of rescue arrived on the scene. The Marbrisa Yacht Club (MYC) Commodore, Leo, arrived with a fan-driven electric-powered rescue boat. This is able to maneuver in shallow water because no below-the-water-line props are used, only the fan on the deck of the boat.

But before Commodore Leo was able to put his rescue boat into action, Fleet Captain Richard bravely stepped out into the water and – risking being sucked underwater by the quicksand – captured the disabled boat and hauled it to shore.

For his swift and successful rescue action today, the MYC at a special meeting has awarded Richard its highest honor, the Marbrisa Medal of Merit, for "bravery and pluck beyond the ordinary".
Richard lands the boat. Note
failure of port stay.

Photos of the dramatic rescue are below.
Fleet Captain Richard rescues #27. Richard is
awarded MYC's highest honor, the Medal of Merit.

Commodore Leo arrives with rescue boat #24 but is beaten to the punch.

The only remaining question was about the missing skipper.

The best explanation is that the boat was "borrowed" and that the skipper was never on it in the first place.

Further Postscript, Tuesday Morning

I was able to contact the missing skipper, Vice Commodore Tom, and he sent a note thanking the Fleet Captain for rescuing his boat.

He said that it was indeed "borrowed" and that he knew that the port side stay was in need of maintenance. He added:
And to think I missed this grand affair with Capt Richard wading into the great unknown with the possibility that the residual team would only bring home his chapeau as he was drawn into a nether world with a loud deglutition noise being the last of him! Methinks his reward was minimal at best but well deserved. Perhaps Leo's flat boat with its supra-aqua wind-blow propulsion becomes an essential stand-by for harrowing eventualities and prevention of the need for lockjaw inoculations.
For readers unfamiliar with the term of art "deglutition", it describes a three-stage sequence comparable (in the sense that the 2nd and 3rd stages are involuntarily linked to the first) to the three stages of the Moon Landing Launch:
1. Act of swallowing, ordinarily voluntary, with lip closure and tooth approximation. 2. Involuntary peristalsis, which carries the bolus of food or mouthful of water down the esophagus, with under normal conditions a synchronous blockage of the nasal passage and pharyngeal airway. 3. Passage of the bolus of food or mouthful of water through the length of the esophagus and into the stomach via peristaltic waves.
Commodore Leo has the last word:
We also generated three other findings in the wake of the disaster: 1. There are no alligators in this stretch of water. 2. Skipper Allen was great at pushing the disabled boat up to the point that the fallen mast acted as an anchor. 3. Capt. Richard proved beyond any further doubt among the officers of the MYC that manipulating the rudder of Boat A has no effect on the direction of travel of Boat B unless the two boats are in direct contact.

TRAVEL | Lessons from Erin Andrews Fears (Comment)

Erin Andrews.
A Nashville jury has awarded Erin Andrews $55 million in a damage suit against a stalker (51% responsible) with a camera, who in 2009 posted a 5-minute video of her in her hotel room when she was getting ready to retire for the evening, and a Marriott hotel (49%) that disclosed to the stalker what room she was in.

Andrews is a sports reporter for Fox News, after many years at ESPN. The stalker manipulated the peephole to take the video.

To emphasize the fear that the invasion-of-privacy trauma created, Andrews listed precautions she says she now takes when she travels.
  1. If a specific room has been booked for her, she changes it.
  2. She tells the front desk a man is traveling with her whether or not it is the case. 
  3. She never allows porters to bring her bags to her room. 
  4. Ditto for food in the room – no room service.
  5. She leaves the Do Not Disturb sign outside all the time.
  6. She checks the bed, clock, air-conditioning grate and especially the bathroom for hidden cameras.
  7. She covers the front-door peephole.
  8. She won't stay in a room that is part of connected suite.

Some of these fears do sound trauma-induced. But others are good ideas for anyone to bear in mind. My candidates for silly, at least for most travelers: 1, 3, 5, 7. My candidates for good ideas are 2, 4, 6.

Fortunately for anyone staying in hotels, the heavy penalty imposed on the Marriott is doubtless prompting some more rigorous privacy safeguards.

DEATH | Mar. 7–Stanley Kubrick (Comment)

Stanley Kubrick.
This day in 1999, American film director  Stanley Kubrick died in Hertfordshire, England, at 70.

Born in New York City in 1928, Kubrick became interested in photography in high school and at 17 got a job as a staff photographer for Look magazine.

An assignment to cover a boxing match inspired him to make The Day of the Fight, a documentary short (1951) that was bought by a news service, and he was launched. He directed his first five feature films he was living in the United States. The next eight were produced when he was living in Britain. These 13 feature films explore the Dark Side of human existence–war, murder, horror, pederasty, cults.
  1. Fear and Desire (1953) was his first feature-length movie, dealing with war. An indie movie, it got little attention outside New York City, where it was praised.
  2. Killer’s Kiss (1955) and
  3. The Killing (1956) brought him Hollywood interest.
  4. Paths of Glory (1957) starred Kirk Douglas. It was about military injustice in the French army during World War I. 
  5. Spartacus (1960) was another Douglas movie, about the slave rebellion led by the Roman slave Spartacus in 73 B.C. The film was a hit and won four Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, which was attributed to Russell Metty but was largely Kubrick’s work.
  6. Lolita (1962) was based on the  novel by Vladimir Nabokov. By this time Kubrick had moved to the UK and lived in Hertfordshire near his studio.
  7. Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was another success. Starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, it made fun of the nuclear arms race. It earned Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor.
  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was co-written with English writer Arthur C. Clarke.It is considered by many to be the greatest sci-fi film ever made. It won a Best Visual Effects Academy Award. 
  9. A Clockwork Orange (1971) was a social commentary set in the near future. The U.S. rating was X and the UK banned it. However, it collected four Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
  10. Barry Lyndon (1975) was a picturesque movie based on the 19th-century novel by William Thackeray. Kubrick took a record 300 days to shoot the film. 
  11. The Shining (1980), starring Jack Nicholson as the caretaker of a mountain resort who goes insane, was a horror masterpiece. Jack Nicholson said in an interview that his acting for this movie was helped by his having taken experimental drugs.
  12. Full Metal Jacket (1987) covered the Vietnam War and had an anti-war theme. It was popular with cinemagoers and critics.
  13. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) was a puzzling thriller about a monkish sex cult, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Kubrick died at 70 after turning in his final cut of the film.

I met Stanley Kubrick in England in the 1980s.  I remember him looking like he does in the photo at top. His wife was a member of a group of painters in Hertfordshire that included my sister Brigid and I attended a party that he was at. Kubrick was extremely intense and seemed to be looking for intensity in return. I was surely a disappointment.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

WW2 | Mar. 6, 1945–Dutch Kill SS Gen. Rauter

Nazi Lt. Gen. Hans Rauter, convicted
 of war crimes and executed in 1949.
Young members of the Dutch Resistance, attempting to hijack an SS truck in Apeldoorn, Holland, on this day shot the Nazi SS Leader in Holland.

However, Johann Baptist Albin (Hanns) Rauter (1895-1949), a high-ranking Austrian, was not killed, and he exacted a steep price in his reprisal for his injury and humiliation.

He was the highest SS and Police Leader in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during 1940-1945, reporting directly to Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler, although nominally under  the Nazi governor of the Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, also Austrian.

Rauter was riding in the ambushed truck, filled with food destined for the nearby Luftwaffe base. The previous "Hunger Winter" left much of occupied Holland close to famine conditions. The Resistance workers were raiding the truck not because its passengers included the commander of the Dutch SS, but because it had food inside.

The Dutch Resistance was one of the fiercest of all the underground movements in Nazi-occupied Europe. It was composed of independently organized groups from all segments of Dutch society, ranging from conservative older bankers, housewives to young people motivated by ideology or revenge or patriotism. The Dutch Foreign Minister wrote after the war:
The Dutch never accepted the German contention that… the war was over. [T]heir acts of resistance and sabotage grew more audacious as time passed.” 
Reuter responded to every act of Resistance with savage and escalated brutality.  In 1941, during the General Strike in Amsterdam and nearby towns among Dutch workers to protest the round-up of almost 400 Dutch Jews, Rauter ordered the SS and Wehrmacht troops to open fire on the strikers, killing 11. The Jews, whom the strikers were trying to protect, were deported to Buchenwald and all were dead by the fall.

Dutch acts of resistance and sabotage included:
  • hiding Allied soldiers and pilots who either parachuted or crash-landed within Dutch territory, 
  • hiding Dutch Jews,  
  • killing German troops and senior Dutch collaborators,
  • raiding offices to obtain ration coupons or destroy identification records,
  • raiding supply vehicles or depots to obtain food for starving Dutch families,
  • printing and distributing underground newspapers.
Rauter's retaliation for the assault on his truck was to order the SS to round up and summarily execute 263 Dutchmen. Some were Resistance fighters already being held in prison.

After World War II Rauter was convicted in the Netherlands court in The Hague of crimes against humanity and was executed, after an unsuccessful appeal in Nuremberg, by a firing squad.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

R.I.P. | Anne Gerli, Will Woodin's Last Surviving Granddaughter

Anne Gerli (1923-2016)
Anne Harvey Gerli, 92, passed away on March 3, 2016. She is survived by her daughters Anne G. Shean, Mary G. Clarke and Carol G. Deane, six grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and her cat, Pussywillow. She was pre-deceased by her husbands, Carl W. Gram and David C. Gerli.

She was the sole surviving granddaughter of William H. Woodin, secretary of the Treasury under FDR. Of the original seven grandchildren of Will and Nan Woodin, three grandsons now survive – Charlie Miner, Jr., of East Hampton, N.Y.  and Vero Beach, Fla., who was a close companion to his cousin Anne Gerli; William H. Woodin III of Tucson, Ariz.; and William W. (Woody) Rowe of Sedona, Ariz.

Anne Gerli was the youngest president of the New York Junior League, and advocated for the rights of women and the mentally ill as president and board member of The Women's Prison Association, Girls Service League and Fountain House.

Anne Gerli
She was an avid tennis player and figure skater. She  was a member of The Skating Club of New York for 80 years, and a national figure skating judge for more than 70 years, and served U.S. Figure Skating as vice president and world team leader in 1985 and Olympic representative in 1981-82.

Gerli was elected and inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame, Class of 2015. The induction ceremony took place during the January 2015 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, N.C. Joining Gerli in the Class of 2015 were two-time Olympian David Santee and choreographer Ricky Harris. Gerli is famed in the skating world for her work on three initiatives:
  • The accelerated judges program, which encourages high-level test and competitive skaters to become judges.
  • The young internationals program, which sent young skaters to European non-qualifying competitions to gain experience. 
  • Creation of the U.S. Junior Championships ("junior nationals").
Gerli was a past president of the Garden Club of East Hampton.

There will be a memorial service Friday, March 11 at 2 pm at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Sources: U.S. Figure Skating website, New York Times obituary notice, independent inquiries.

FAMILY HISTORY | The Writers GIG, Vero Beach, Fla.

Edgar Jadwin telling the story of his book to the Writers'
"GIG" at the Indian River Genealogical Society, Vero
Beach, Fla. Photo by JT Marlin.
The Indian River Genealogical Society met in February in Vero Beach and I was astounded at the large number of people in attendance–I estimated 150.

A certified genealogist gave a talk on using the Internet and software applications for genealogical research. However, her slides are proprietary so I cannot reproduce them.

However, at the meeting I signed up as a member and I found out about the Writers' Genealogical Interest Group, or "GIG". The subject of that meeting was a family history written by a long-time member of the group, Edgar Jadwin, who turns 90 in September of this year. He is a proud Army Brat, a group that should not be underestimated. I have written about Army Brats elsewhere.

Jadwin comes from a military family. He writes about some of them:
Edgar Jadwin (L) with Mary Mitchell, who guides
the Writers' GIG at the Genealogical Society.
  • His grandfather, Lt. Gen. Edgar Jadwin (1865-1931), who graduated first in his class from West Point in 1890. 
  • His second cousin once removed, Flight Commander David Mckelvey Peterson (1895-1919), who graduated from Lehigh in 1915 and became a World War I flying ace with six victories, one in the Lafayette Escadrille and five with the U.S. Army Air Service. He was awarded two Distinguished Service Crosses. He died in an aviation accident after World War I.
  • His uncle Maj. Gen. Thomas (Long John) Hearn (1890-1980), a graduate of the West Point Class of 1915 that included Bradley, Eisenhower and other generals. He got his name from the fact that he was 6'5" tall. He served as Gen. Stilwell's chief of staff in the China/Burma/India march of 1944.
  • His first cousin by marriage, Maj. Gen. Charles R. Sniffen (Ret. 1981), born 1924. who participated in actions in Italy in World War II, in Korea, and in the Vietnam War. His awards are numerous, including the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit with One Oak Leaf Cluster. Two sons followed him into the military. One is Charles (Chip) Sniffen, a 1979 West Point graduate who served in Korea, with many merit awards to his credit, and is now at the Department of Defense serving the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The other is Chaplain (rank of Colonel) Peter R. Sniffen, born in 1962, earned his BA from VMI and his Master's degree in Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has served as chaplain in Germany and Afghanistan. In 2015 he was appointed Commander of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, S.C.
  • His father, Col. Cornelius Comegys Jadwin II (1896-1982), graduated from West Point in 1918. His father's story is told through the eyes of his son, who traveled around the world with him. In the Army, Col. Jadwin mastered the equestrian arts and taught them to other army personnel. He was a member of the Army Polo Team. (It may be hard to remember this in 2016, but until World War II when tank technology was taken by the Wehrmacht to a new level, horses were still thought of as a basic unit of military warfare. Police forces still find them useful for crowd control.)
Edgar Jadwin, Author.
Photo by JT Marlin.
Some of the highlights of the book include his time at Hotchkiss (shortened by one year by the war), his application to Princeton and his acceptance and deferral, his military train and wartime service in North Africa, his study at Princeton with other G.I.s after the war, and his business career.

Jadwin is excited to have finished his book, which took him many years to write. He is extravagant in thanking the people who worked with him on finishing the 140-page family history–the Writer's GIG, Mary Mitchell in particular; his editor, who did not charge him for his help; and the printer who put it all together.

Clearly, the book was a meaningful exercise for him and his work would be justified on that basis alone. It is a valuable resource for other people in his family. It should be of value in helping to tie together individuals in the military and in other institutions that Jadwin was associated with. I believe that it could have a wider audience if it were given a further edit with an eye to what would interest people outside his own family. The material is there and just needs the edge that a professional writer can give it, answering questions like:
  • What are the hallmarks of a Welsh heritage (the Jadwin name is Welsh)?
  • How are Brats similar (I am a U.N. Brat and I can see some commonalities)
Jadwin (L) and your blogger. Photo
by Mary Mitchell.
Also, the book could be much improved if the photographs were larger and better reproduced. They also require captions.

Jadwin is too modest to charge for his book and he is giving it away. I think he should do this only in return for getting feedback on the book, with the idea of doing another edition. 

His family has served their country well and they deserve the best. Meanwhile, he shouldn't have to make it a gift. He should put a proper price on the book and give it away only to people like me who write it up and help promote it, or who return his favor by giving him comments!

Meanwhile, I am grateful for the various writers' groups I have attended, one of which met regularly at my mother's home in Berkhamsted, Herts., UK. Another is the Poets & Writers Group at the Harvard Club of New York City, and the Amagansett Library Writers Group, which I attend in the summertime. In addition, the Tuesday lunches of Manhattan's Coffee House Club, which has some of the characteristics of a writers group, since almost everyone there is wrapped up in the moment with writing, reading or publishing something!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

TIME LINE | The Nazis in 1922, 1933

First mention of the Nazis.
 Link tweeted by Jon Ostrower.
Time Line

Nov. 22, 1922 | The New York Times writes that Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda is just a temporary gimmick to get attention.

Mar. 4, 1933 | FDR is inaugurated for the first time in USA.

Mar. 5, 1933 | Adolf Hitler votes in his last contested election.