Monday, December 2, 2013
Gave a presentation on Tom Thumb for the Old Saybrook Historical Society at the Acton Library, and had a lot of fun. I met a man (above) who graduated in the first class of the University of Bridgeport. He actually went to the Junior College of Connecticut, and it changed to UB during his senior year. Amazing guy, and still sharp as a tack.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
It was my pleasure to present the findings of my new book, Becoming Tom Thumb, at the University of Bridgeport art gallery last week.
The bookstore sold a bunch of books! I think they were happy. In attendance was a former ringmaster of the Barnum Festival, and he gifted me a few great souvenirs. Thanks to everyone who attended!
Friday, November 22, 2013
Stopped by Johnny Ad's Drive In in Old Saybrook for dinner the other night. The lobster bisque was so rich and buttery - maybe too rich!
The lobster roll, on the other hand, was not as buttery as some, so you could really taste the lobster.
The waffle fries were absolutely delicious - some of the best we've had. The cheese sauce they serve on the side is unnecessary.
The codfish tacos were also good. P.S. We took some of this home - it was a lot to eat! There is no skimping on the portions.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Had a great time presenting my new book at Trumbull Library and at Evergreen Woods last week. This week it is the art gallery of the ABC building at the University of Bridgeport on Wednesday at 4:30 and Old Saybrook Historical Society (at Acton Library) on Thursday at 7. I hope to see you there!
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Also known as the Touro Tower, the Stone Tower, etc. It is one of the great mysteries of early America. It was possibly built by Benedict Arnold the first, governor of Rhode Island, in the 1670s. However, it could be much older. It bears similarity to various Norse round towers and churches, and could have once sported a conical roof and a 'skirt' area. It has astronomical oddities that would make it unlikely to be a simple windmill, and a "Norman estate" is mentioned in Verrazano's observations of the area, long before Arnold and his ilk.
We had a chance to check it out recently, and it is definitely odd. If it was 17th century architecture it was nearly unique. The large stones near the base of the pillars are bizarre and not exactly smart, unless they were originally underground, or if there were flying buttress-like attachments to the rest holding it up.
In some ways it is slipshod and uneven, and in others so precise and astronomically centered, that it is hard NOT to be suspicious that Viking mariners built it long before the arrival of the pilgrims. I am no expert, but I understand why this strange building is at the heart of so many bizarre theories.