Stone of Remembrance

February 13, 2007

True True Crime

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 21:03

Good crime writers learn by getting the story from the folks who have been there. It’s off my beat at the moment, but if I wanted to learn about actual police work, I’d ask the actual policemen over at Semper Fi. “Richie” is an old friend, and I’ve heard some of his police stories before.

It’s a strange, alien world out there, one most of us never get to see. Probably a good thing. Check it out – it’s on the blogroll now.

Shirley-Eustis House

Filed under: Commentary, Writing — admin @ 19:10

This morning I was given a private tour of the Shirley-Eustis House, originally built for William Shirley, colonial governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

It is “one of only four remaining Royal Colonial Governors’ mansions in the country and the only one actually built by a Royal Colonial Governor . . . One of a handful of Boston’s national landmarks that pre-date 1750, the House represents an unusually long continuum in American history, serving as the home of two distinguished Governors – one Royal and one Federal (William Eustis).”

Due to the extensive changes to the structure over the years as Roxbury grew up around it, the house has a mix of styles – some Georgian, some French Empire era, some Federal – and renovations are ongoing. Fortunately, the one room I use for a scene in my current writing project – the first scene, in fact – is intact, and looks very much like it would have in 1754, not long after the house was built.

Visiting the house gave me several pieces of information that will have to be incorporated into the scene, and which would have been overlooked had I not made the visit. While the period (pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts) and the setting (Governor Shirley’s mansion) are completely unknown to almost every potential reader, I want to get the details right, holding myself to the same standards I would apply to anything I read.

There aren’t too many landmarks like this that have survived two-and-a-half centuries. This one shows signs of hard use, but has a certain charm to it. The cupola is still standing, and from it you can view Dorchester Heights and all of the surrounding neighborhood. The commander of the Massachusetts 6th Regiment stood where I was this morning, and could see the British fleet in South Bay . . . and the gun batteries that General Washington had moved to where they commanded the landward approach to the town of Boston in 1775.

More evidence of my thesis that history actually, ultimately, is about people.

Fashion For Nerds

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 18:58

One can only wonder how my friend Slet spends his day . . . but at least I can be confident that he knows about wearing pants.

More nerd fashion advice at the main page. Tip o’ the . . . well, you get the idea.

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