Looking at my Stuff I Forget lists from 2017, I was mildly astonished that I was having trouble recalling any of that stuff. It was all too obvious. Maybe writing these slips-of-mind down inoculates them against slippage for all time. I suspect however that my mental fuzziness was temporary, and due to overindulgence in spirits.
I will resume the list at number 32, but there may be some duplication here. Asterisk means I went and looked it up.
32. Karen and whatsername, the Jews from Lawrence, LI, father was a judge, Moki is friend to whatsername. 28 Feb 2020. (Pat Burstein, Karen Burstein)
33. Fuss and Feather, the Halls of Montezuma, who was that? 8 Sept 2018. (Winfield Scott)
34. Hamilton Ford, Henderson Ford, what is the movie actor’s name? 1 Sept 2018. (Harrison Ford)
35. Fake bard by James MacPherson, did tales of Cuchalain, big fad in the 1700s. 31 Aug 2018. (Ossian)
36. The Virgin guy. Rick Linter, whatever. 16 June 2018. (Richard Branson)
37. The song used for Merrie Melodies theme. Took a day or two to come to me. The Looney Tunes thing wasn’t any problem. 13 June 2018. (Merrie Melodies tune is “Merrily We Roll Along.” Looney Tunes is “The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down.”)
38. Big hill part of Paris where Sacre Coeur is…north…name like Montparnasse but other end of town…a little north of Clichy…St Jean Baptiste… Paris Commune started there, there were cannon… name like mount of saints… (Montmartre!* I had to look up Sacre Coeur. A remarkable memory hole.)
39. Head covering Arab men wear in the Levant. 9 June 2018. (Kefayeh)
40. Obama advisor, mulatta born in Iran. 3 Apr 2018. (Valerie Jarrett)
41. Name of LBJ’s hitman? 2 Apr 2018. (Oh, Mac Wallace.)
[updated 19 May 2020]
42. Who did ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’? (*Charlie Daniels)
43. English poet, novelist (The Mayor of Casterbridge). (Thomas Hardy)
44. The ‘Tipping Point’ guy. (Malcolm Gladwell*)
45. Lining of your uterus? (endometrium)
46. That big Cal-Neva lake in Northern California. (Tahoe)
47. Who wrote The Servant? Jewish writer, married Antonia Fraser. (Harold Pinter*, yes had to look this up.)
48. The TV sitcom Frasier, what was it a spinoff of? (*Cheers; I never would have remembered that, so this isn’t a real memory lapse.)
49. Frasier’s wife, Lilith? Jewish, she was in the Chicago musical revival. (Bebe Neuwirth, this took a while to come to me.)
50. Christopher Caldwell book? (Age of Entitlement*…I really blanked out, had to look this up.)
51. The odd meat company with the Musketeer name. (D’Artagnan*)
52. London prison with the funny name. (Wormwood Scrubs*)
53. 1960s actress who was in the Smirnoff Mule ads with Woody Allen. (Julie Newmar*)
54. Nice guy who was a friend of Michael S-DeF and came to our brunch on West 29th St around May 1980, and a few weeks later we walked through Alphabet Town. Friend of Elizabeth Ashley. “She doesn’t like women.” (Bob Corpora) I completely blanked out on this one but the name came to me after 5 or 10 minutes.
55. Australian/American actress who was married to Tom Cruise, in this thing with tom cruise Keeny Randall Kim Stopcock there’s a K in there (*Nicole Kidman). Seriously, had to look up.
56. County seat of Saratoga. Something springs. (Ballston Spa.)
57. Novelist whose name is like Hart Crane. Maggie, a Girl of the Streets. (*Stephen Crane)
58. Juvenile actress 1940, wisecracker, Philadelphia Story, Babes on Broadway (Ginny Weidlin? No, Ginny *Weidler).
59. Dennis… actor who was in Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, Rebel Without a Cause, Giant? (something about something that clamps shut) was married to that Jewish actress in Three Women. (Dennis Hopper. But he was never married to Janice Rule and I don’t know why I thought that, or was sure she was Jewish.)
60. French chef guy, worked for DeGaulle, ran the HJ industrial kitchen in the early 60s. (Jacques Pepin)
61. Pointy-nosed French actress, in Chabrol movies. (Isabel Huppert* but came up with name Sandrine Bonnaire first.)
[updated 9 May 2021]
62. Boomtown Rats Live Aid guy, saw him at the Oriel in ’96, the day he got divorce from Paula Yates. Bob something. (Bob Geldof)
63. Guy in class of ’73…[actually ’74] Scotland enthusiast. Black hair, nose with bulbous tip at end. Wanted to study Scots law. CSP knew him. Perhaps in Morse? (Bill Eakins)
64. Harare. Where is Harare? Capital of some African country, I’m sure. (*formerly Salisbury, Rhodesia, now “Zimbabwe”)
65. French stew with navy beans and sausage or duck confit…in a bowl, what do you call it? (*Cassoulet; had to browse through recipes)
66. Art Nouveau hotel in Asheville, I knew the name when talking to Tom, who was once the only guest. Grove Park Inn? (Yes)
67. Pen-and-ink comic strip (in the Telegraph?) about City Man. By Peattie? Alex? (Yes, and it’s still going.)
68. That Jewish late-life TS who was in the Sea Org. “Hidden: a Gender.” (*Kate Bornstein, found it somewhere.)
69. Ambassador to USSR, married to Marjorie Meriwether Post. (Joseph Davies)
70. Boozy, snobby, English character actor. In Noble House, A Private Function, Alfie. (Denholm Elliott)
This continues the series left off in Picture Post 8, right here: https://margotdarby.com/news/2019/11/picture-post-6-2/
Some curious facts about the two submarine inventors, Robert Fulton and John Philip Holland. Both were of Irish background, and both designed their boats specifically to be used against the British. Yet both ended up giving their designs to the British.
The Clare-born Holland, who went on to found Electric Boat, was actually funded by Fenians in the 1870s-1880s. The plan seems to be that his electric and diesel submarines would sink the Royal Navy.
Instead, he ended up building submarines for the US Navy and the Royal Navy itself.
Many years earlier, Pennsylvania-born Fulton designed his submarines under commission from France’s First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte. Alas, Napoleon lost interest in Fulton’s undersea boat, the Nautilus, just as he later lost interest in transporting his Grand Armée across the English Channel on Fulton’s steam-powered barges.
So Fulton gave up on France, and went to England. Pitt’s government in the early 1800s didn’t do anything with Fulton’s designs, either; or indeed with any submarine designs for many decades. And Fulton ended up going back to America, where he famously launched steamboats on the Hudson.
Nearly a century later, the United States Navy commissioned its first Holland-built electric submarine, the USS Holland. Not to be outdone, the Royal Navy decided to order one too, and called it the HMS Holland 1. And then Imperial Germany decided it too liked the idea of Holland’s U-boats. So the race was on.
John Philip Holland died in 1914, at the start of the Great War. He thought his undersea boats would end naval warfare, but of course they had the opposite effect.
But while Holland is commemorated as the inventor of the modern submarine, Fulton is almost entirely forgotten in that regard. We all know him as the steamboat man. But he was also an innovative painter, who created the most popular tourist attraction in Paris in the late 1790s: the Panorama painting. This was a illustration inside a huge cylinder, providing a 360-degree view of some part of Paris or its environs.
The first painting was a view of Paris from the Tuileries Palace. The Panorama became the subject of popular songs, and gave Paris a nickname: Paname.
Robert Fulton perished in rather ludicrous circumstances while crossing the frozen Hudson River in 1815 with his good friend Thomas Addis Emmet. The Irish-born Emmet, the richest lawyer in New York City, was probably also the fattest. He fell through the ice. Fulton jumped in to rescue him. Emmet survived, Fulton died of pneumonia.