Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fritz and Tony

Am I the only person here who stopped the Blu-Ray player while watching Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained when Christoph Waltz introduced his two horses as "Fritz and Tony" and said, "Hey, William S. Hart and Tom Mix!" For it is a fact that the names of the horses belonging to the silent era's two greatest cowboys were Fritz the Pinto Pony and Tony the Wonder Horse.

That Tom and Tony on top, Bill and Fritz down below. (Do you suppose Tony signed his own name?)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Signing: Christel Schmidt, Author Of Mary Pickford: Queen Of The Movies

The 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival is this weekend down on the National Mall. Among those authors present will be one of the Monkey's favorites, Christel Schmidt whose book Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies is indispensable for fans of Mary Pickford, silent cinema or movies generally.

She'll be making some sort of speech (no doubt a good one) on Saturday at 10:55 a.m. in the History & Biography tent (near the Smithsonian Metro stop) and then signing copies of her book between Noon and 1 p.m.

Here's a picture of Christel. If you don't have an autographed copy of her book (I've got mine!), toddle on down there and tell her the Monkey sent you. That'll put you in solid!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Scenes From Defenders Day 2013

A panoramic view of Ft. McHenry where on September 14, 1814, American forces turned back the British invasion of Baltimore. When the following morning Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying above the fort, he penned "The Star-Bangled Banner," a.k.a. the National Anthem.

In honor of the occasion, volunteers for the Maryland Historical Society made a full-sized replica of the Star-Bangled Banner using period materials and methods. The "Stitchers," as they were known, received a pin and ribbon like the ones worn here by Katie-Bar-The-Door.

Active duty Marines donned the uniforms of their 200 year old counterparts and demonstrated the proper technique for firing an early 19th century cannon.

Mr Boh keeps an eye on us all.

All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.

Gov. Martin O'Malley and the horse he rode in on.

Preparing to hoist the flag. At thirty feet by forty-two feet, they needed the entire parade ground to unfold it.

And there it goes ...

Long may she wave. Note the unique design: fifteen stars, fifteen stripes.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

O Say Can You See

Tomorrow, I'll share photos from yesterday's Defender's Day celebration at Fort McHenry where the Maryland Historical Society hoisted a full-size replica of the Star-Bangled Banner. In the meantime, here's the segment CBS ran this morning on the Sunday Morning News.

At that point in the video when the "Stitchers," as the volunteers were known, unfolded the flag on the fort's parade ground just before the flag flies, Katie-Bar-The-Door is the one standing at the join of the red stripe and the white stripe on the right hand side of the screen—you do have eagle eyes, don't you?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Little Sew-And-Sew

Perhaps you have heard, perhaps not, but the Maryland Historical Society has painstakingly created a full-sized replica of the Star-Spangled Banner, the thirty-foot by forty-two foot flag that flew at Fort McHenry on September 14, 1814, during the British Empire's unsuccessful assault on Baltimore during the War of 1812—you know, the flag and battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write a little ditty alternately known as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "Our National Anthem."

I happen to know "painstaking" is a pretty accurate description of the work involved since Katie-Bar-The-Door was one of the volunteers who gave up multiple weekends to put it together, in her case something like twenty-eight hours (on top of her regular day job). Others gave more time than that.

As for the Monkey, I added a single symbolic stitch and then moved some tables around. Arts-and-crafty I'm not.

The flag will be flown at Fort McHenry on Defenders Day, this Saturday, September 14, 2013. If you're in the area, come on by.