Booze, booze, the firemen cried,

So my sweetheart came home today and kissed me. Then she said, “Oh, I probably shouldn’t have done that. I had diarrhea earlier today, and there’s a stomach bug going around my office.”

Well . . . off to the dusty, months-undisturbed shelf I went. A nice swig of JW Black. Swirled it around a bit, spat it out. **Like **that smokiness. Might have done some good too, who knows?

Aaah, who said romance is dead :slight_smile:


Ah, but Monday I had a romantic interlude such as I haven’t enjoyed in years.

I’m getting a book on electrical history ready for publication. It started out as a joint project with my now-late mentor. What I wasn’t quite satisfied with is the cover, which had naught but title, subtitle, and authors’ names. Over the weekend, I learned that the Smithsonian Institution Archives owned material that might provide an illustration.

I went down there, found the place, and asked about the material. They gave me an application to fill out and sign. Then I had to store my case, the magazines I had with me, and my pens into a locker. After this, I was allowed into their reading room . . .with my loose papers, a camera, and a pencil.

After a few minutes, the librarian came in, rolling a cart with the two boxes I had requested. I didn’t know whether I was going to see fiches, copies, or what.

I opened the first one, and took out the content of the first compartment. It was a notebook containing the daily experimental journal of Andrew Vail, kept as he worked with Samuel Morse to create and then run the first telegraph system. Before this, all the observation, all the studies that had been performed with amber, with lodestones, with dissimilar metals in contact and in acid to generate charges, all of this had been leading toward understanding. With this first practical telegraph, all that work yielded its first practical results in a tool. (I’m not ignoring the lightning rod.)

The Smithsonian Archives provide strips of cardboard to use as placeholders for when a document is removed from its box. At first, I didn’t even want to touch the pages of these irreplaceable 1830s-1840s notebooks, but turned them with the cardboard.

It was such a high. The photographs that I brought home are not great art, but they are such a wonderful thing to own, a little like observing this century-and-a-half earlier work. Being daily journals, they gave me such a sense of taking each step, trying out different possibilities, as they figured out how to make this new thing work.

So for me romance sure is not dead.

That sounds exciting. Has it been accepted for publication? I think the history of how things developed is always interesting.

I wish you loads of luck with the book, an achievement indeed. I wrote a book, story of a rescue dog and sent it off to around 15 different publishers and literary agents with no success.

As you say, romance, can be found in different ways.


Thanks, Christine.

No, it wasn’t, though we shopped it to various publishers, including McGraw-Hill, which published my first two books. “Interesting, but too narrow a market,” was the general pronouncement. Its audience is primarily electricians and inspectors interested in where the rules int he electrical code came from, plus a small subset of electricians and other folks. Over the couple of years since my mentor died I’ve been learning about layout and other bookmanship topics, and it will be privately published. It may not make money, but it will get his legacy out to his sizable group of fans.