Verne and Dorothy and the roaring teens

Posted by Preston G. on November 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Nov 072011
Verne and Dorothy and the roaring teens

It turns out that just down the road from where we used to put the boat in the lake there is a monument in the town of Benbrook that connects, sort of, to Verne and Dorothy’s early life. The monument marks the spot that British dancer, actor and aviator Vernon Castle died in a military training plane crash in Feb. 1918. Vernon Castle had moved to New York from England early in the century and started a career in acting and dancing. In 1911 he married Irene Foote of New York. They became the Fred and Ginger Rogers of their day, dancing on stage and in silent movies from 1911 to 1916 when Vernon returned to England and joined the Royal Flying Corps to do his part in the Great War.

Verne G. and telegraphy

Posted by Preston G. on October 31, 2011 at 12:40 am
Oct 312011
Verne G. and telegraphy

In March 1919 Verne moved to an apartment a couple of blocks east of Westlake Park (now MacArthur Park) just west of downtown Los Angeles. The picture is actually from a few years before he lived in L.A. but it’s all I could find. It serves as a fortuitous illustration for this post on Verne’s interest in telegraphy, since it has all those wires in the foreground.

Verne G., Dorothy L. and the “demon rum”

Posted by Preston G. on October 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm
Oct 072011

I have noted before that both Verne and Dorothy were strongly in favor of Prohibition. Verne saw the contrast between Arizona, which instituted statewide prohibition at the beginning of 1915, coincidentally at the moment when the Garrisons moved to San Simon, and New Mexico, which was only a few miles away and still wet. As expected the N.M. towns were full of saloons and all that went with that.

Verne G. and the water in California

Posted by Preston G. on September 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm
Sep 232011
Verne G. and the water in California

Verne claimed to not be particularly impressed with Los Angeles, but one thing he did like was getting in the water. He went frequently to the Bimini Baths in the summer of 1918, a large private bathhouse on a natural hot spring just northwest of downtown L.A. The Baths were a feature of L.A. life from 1900 to 1951, at least if you were white. He could take a streetcar to the baths – you can see the line in the upper right of the photo.

Sep 222011

Notes and Transcriptions of Letters

This is all my notes and transcriptions of the letters as it stands at the moment. I have read all the letters through 1918, except for a few in 1917, and a few from 1919, and the summary was based on that. I have taken notes on all the letters through Sept., 1915 and a fair number from 1917 and 1918. I will fill in the gaps as I get a chance.

This is a very long post, but I wanted to make it available to anyone who is impatient. It will help to read the summary posted earlier before you read this. I am marking recently added letters with an *, so if you just want to see recently added stuff, do a Find command in your browser for *.

Mrs. William Oscar Garrison and Winston S. Churchill

Posted by Preston G. on September 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Sep 102011

I was just watching Antiques Roadshow and it made me think of the only artifact in our house that could go possibly get on that show, at least now that my mother has sold her 18th century violin.

Verne and Dorothy were among the generation of Americans that moved in droves from the country to the city. Both began their lives in fairly big cites (Fort Worth and Dallas), but neither town was very old – both traced their beginnings to around 1850, but neither really got going until after the Civil War. Verne and Dorothy were born into a world where horses and trains were central, but saw in their youth the rise of the automobile. Both of them were comfortable in both worlds. In the newly transcribed letter in this post, you see how much Verne liked the old world, which he inhabited in an AZ that was still a frontier. In other letters, you see how much he liked the new world of photography, telegraphy, telephones, cars and the rapid expansion of science.

Verne’s paternal grandfather was Lovick Pierce Garrison. He was a seemingly interesting character. When he was 55 yrs old he graduated with an M.D. from Emory Medical College in Atlanta. Aside from his age, the remarkable thing is that it was 1865, the year the Civil War ended. He subsequently moved to east Texas, like so many southerners after the Civil War, and lived in Garrison, Texas. He later moved to Dallas. He died in 1881. His third wife Sarah Moore G., with whom he had no children, lived on until 1916, when Dorothy noticed her obituary and wrote to Verne in AZ to tell him.

Sep 012011

This is an updated summary of Verne G.’s and Dorothy Logan’s relationship from V.’s letters to D. from 1913-1919. Recently added material is marked with *s.

Aug 312011

Verne G. by late May, 1918 was working for the Associated Press receiving the news by telegraphy. During 1918, the world and Verne had a prolonged and very serious encounter with a new strain of the influenza virus. They didn’t even know what a virus was, but before long they knew that it was no joke.