Episode 2.4 -Reynolds and Johnson

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Episode 2.4: Reynolds and Johnson is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? You can start with Series 1, Episode 1. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Series 2, Episode 4, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

This episode references Samuel Johnson, the poet, satirist, critic, and lexicographer  born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England, on September 18, 1709. Detail of the painting referred to in the episode can be seen above. The full painting is below.

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And here is a list of the original members of the Club:

  • Dr Samuel Johnson
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds
  • Mr Edmund Burke
  • Dr Christopher Nugent
  • Mr Topham Beauclerk
  • Mr Bennet Langton
  • Dr Oliver Goldsmith
  • Mr Anthony Chamier
  • Sir John Hawkins

If you’ve listened to the episode, then you know that I am especially interested in the second name on that list. Is it our Reynolds? I don’t know, but there is certainly something going on here. Here is a link to a student project on the Club that is very informative. It includes a waxwork relief of the Club’s original members as well as the exact locations of their meetings over the years. And here is a nearly hour long video that cycles through 434 paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Thanks to my sister Thalia, Police Chief Roger Talkens of the Barton Police Department, and Professor Clyde Northworth for making this episode possible. Thanks also to Ross Boyd, Prom Queen, and Ben Von Wildenhaus for providing the music. Thanks also Shawn Crapo, Laura Scafati, Paul Bellfeuie, and Jon Briggs for the support.

Josh Strickens, if you are out there listening, then please consider contacting me. I have some questions.

Sincerely,

John Herman

Episode 2.3 – Kenneth, What is the Frequency?

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Episode 2.3: Kenneth, What is the Frequency? is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? You can start with Series 1, Episode 1. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Series 2, Episode 3, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

This episode takes place the night of a full moon, which leads to a very bad decision. The full moon has been attributed to many bad decisions throughout history. In fact there are several names for the effect the full moon has on one’s behavior. According to an article in Scientific American entitled “Lunacy and the Full Moon,” “Greek philosopher Aristotle and Roman historian Pliny the Elder suggested that the brain was the ‘moistest’ organ in the body and thereby most susceptible to the pernicious influences of the moon, which triggers the tides. Belief in the ‘lunar lunacy effect,’ or ‘Transylvania effect,’ as it is sometimes called, persisted in Europe through the Middle Ages, when humans were widely reputed to transmogrify into werewolves or vampires during a full moon.”

This episode gets its name from Dan Rather’s experience in 1986 when he was attacked by a stranger who would later be convicted of murder. This same individual later told his psychiatrist that he was a time traveler from a parallel world in the year 2265. The assailant served 25 years in prison, was released in 2010, and currently lives in NY. Mental Floss did a thorough post on these strange events as well as the pop culture fascination with it.

Here is Dan Rather as he looked one month before his attack:

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Thanks to my sister Thalia, Jason Sentry, Kurt Shanes, and Amy Connell for making this episode possible. Thanks also to Ross Boyd, Tori Miller of Four Hands, Prom Queen, and Ben Von Wildenhaus for providing the music. Thanks also Shawn Crapo, Laura Scafati, Chris Klemmer of the podcast New Hampshirecast,  Lindsay Verschueren, and Paul Verschueren for the support.

I conclude the story of my stay in Barton, New Hampshire in two weeks. Let’s talk then.

Sincerely,

John Herman

Episode 2.2 – Barton

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Episode 2.2: Barton is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? You can start with Series 1, Episode 1 or you are welcome to start right from Series 2, Episode 1. It’s up to you. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Series 2, Episode 2, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

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One of the tracks heard during this episode was composed especially for the program by New Hampshire musician Ross Boyd, a dedicated music educator, engineer, and composer. Ross’s creativity abounds whether in the teaching studio, the recording studio, or working on original musical projects. Check him out by clicking the image for his latest album below:

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This is the first episode to recount the events that happened during my Barton High School 20th class reunion. During my next episode, things will get strange. Like I said in the episode, I am not sure I will ever understand what happened.

Thanks to my sister Thalia, Sarah Fillingate, Alfred P. Daniels, Jason Sentry, and Carol Smith for making this episode possible. Thanks also to Ross Boyd, Prom Queen, and Rudy Sims for providing the music. Thanks also Laura Scafati, Chris Klemmer of New Hampshirecast,  and Angel Smith for the support.

Let’s talk in two weeks.

Sincerely,

John Herman

Episode 2.1 – The Pineapple

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Episode 2.1: The Pineapple is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? You can start with Series 1, Episode 1 or you are welcome to start right from Series 2, Episode 1. It’s up to you. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Series 2, Episode 1, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

As explained in the episode, this audio project was inspired by a mysterious pineapple that I discovered drawn on the hidden side of the index card that was fastened to a box I inherited from a missing acquaintance. The pineapple is a very common motif. In fact, there are countless images to be found on Pinterest that in some way resemble the pineapple alluded to in Episode 2.1. Click below to scroll through some of the pineapples people have collected.

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One of the music artists featured in this episode is Tory Miller, specifically from his collaborative project Fo(u)r Hands, but Tory is fairly prolific, releasing both solo work and collaborations with other very talented musicians. Check him out at ToryMillerMusic.com

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Check back to this site for more companion materials to the podcast as each episode is released. Future posts will include links and images to support your efforts to help me solve the mystery.

Thanks to my sister Thalia, Police Chief Ronald Talkens, Reggie Rogerstone, and Donhack Furniture for making this episode possible. In addition to Tory Miller, thanks to Rudy Sims, Prom Queen, and Ben Von Wildenhaus for providing the music.

Thanks also Laura Scafati and Matt Gold for the support.

Let’s talk in two weeks.

Sincerely,

John Herman

Episode 6 – Requiem

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Episode 6: Requiem is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? Here is Episode 1. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Episode 6, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

Episode 6 is a reference to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem Mass, the famous composer’s final work. Click below for a performance of the work.

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The cause of Mozart’s death is a mystery. Officially his death was attributed to “hitziges Frieselfieber” or a severe miliary fever. Researchers have proposed at least 118 causes of death, including strep throat, trichinosis, the flu, and mercury poisoning. Here is a brief video telling the story behind Mozart’s final days and the composition of the requiem which is even more mysterious then the brief telling that Tom Alligost offered.

Also referenced during this episode was Scotland’s Glamis castle, which is also known as Scotland’s most haunted castle. Glamis Castle is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public. If anyone is listening from Scotland, then please be in touch with any thoughts.

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Finally, as promised, here is a list of all the album slipcase covers that I now own as quadruplicates:

  1. Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
  2. Nether Lands by Dan Fogelberg
  3. Stardust by Willie Nelson
  4. John Denver’s Greatest Hits by John Denver
  5. Philosophy of the World by The Shaggs
  6. An Evening with Mantovani by Mantovani and His Orchestra
  7. Among My Souvenirs by Bing Crosby
  8. Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins featuring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke

This project is a co-production with Partners in Crime Media. Thanks to Tom Alligost, Calista Kira, and my wife Carol for making this episode possible. Thanks also to Prom Queen, Ben Von Wildenhaus, and Rudy Sims for providing the music. Thanks also Jeremy Murphy, Erika Kestenbaum Skoglund, and Jordan Smith for the support.

Please take a moment to rate and review this program on iTunes so word can spread. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Herman

 

Episode 5: A Blooming Flower

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Episode 5: A Blooming Flower is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? Here is Episode 1. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Episode 5, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

Two weeks before the first episode of this podcast debuted, the world’s largest flower, which blooms about once a decade, bloomed in New Hampshire. The corpse flower, as it is called because of the putrid stench that accompanies its blooming, is pictured above at its Dartmouth College home. Read about the blooming here. While it is a mystery to what kind of flower is mentioned in the recording uncovered by Tom Alligost, the infamous corpse flower seemed like a suitable choice to feature.

In this episode a second quote attributed to Sir Lancelot Canning, a fiction creation of author Edgar Allan Poe, was discovered by a listener. The quote (below) was in the introduction to a literary journal, The Stylus, that Poe intended to edit.

——— unbending that all men Of thy firm TRUTH may say — “Lo!  this is writ With the antique iron pen.”  ~Launcelot Canning

Poe says that “the ‘The Stylus’ will include about one hundred royal octavo pages, in single column, per month; forming two thick volumes per year. In its mechanical appearance — in its typography, paper and binding — it will far surpass all American journals of its kind. Engravings, when used, will be in the highest style of Art, but are promised only in obvious illustration of the text, and in strict keeping with the Magazine character.”

Of course Poe died mysteriously before he could complete the project.

The intended cover to the journal is seen below.

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Here is a music video for the song “Black and Blue” by Prom Queen which is featured in this episode. Of note, the version featured is an alternative acoustic version of the song.

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And here is a video of Ben Von Wildenhaus performing “The Limping Axeman,” his song featured in the episode.

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Additional music for this episode was provided by Rudy Sims performing on his iPad.

This project is a co-production with Partners in Crime Media. Thanks to Tom Alligost, Michael Brobitz, Alison Peruch, Rob Rhetlidge, and my wife Carol for making this episode possible. Thanks also Matthew Carano and Jeremy Murphy for the support.

Please take a moment to rate and review this program on iTunes so the word can spread about the project. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Herman

Episode 4: Eventide

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Episode 4: Eventide is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? Here is Episode 1. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Episode 4, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.

Several record albums have been mention during the podcast including Whipped Cream & Other Delights (1965) by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Nether Lands by Dan Fogelberg, and most recently Stardust (1978) by Willie Nelson. Click on the album cover below to hear a track from each album respectively.

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The coffee shop where I met Jessica Moreleck during this episode is one of my frequent haunts. It is called Crackskull’s Coffee and Books. If you stop by, then tell them John Herman sent you. I usually have the Chai Charger, medium, hot. Earlier in this post was a photo of how Crackskull’s appeared in the late 1800’s when it was a pharmacy. Below is a photo of how Crackskull’s looks today (photo by Roger Goun).

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Finally here is Prom Queen performing “Good Cop, Bad Cop” live:

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Music for this episode was provided by Prom Queen and Ben Von Wildenhaus. Thanks to Tom Alligost, Jessica Moreleck, Josh Strickens, and my wife Carol for making this episode possible. Thanks also to Karen Fei, Jeremy Murphy, Shawn Crapo, and Partners in Crime Media for the support.

Please take a moment to rate and review this program on iTunes so the word can spread about the project. Thank you.

Sincerely,

John Herman