…1918 was the agreed time for hostilities to cease in that “war to end all wars”.
I have never been one who has recorded many of our family stories. Although on reflection I wish that I had.
But among the few that I have remembered occurred in Baltimore, MD on an evening of October 11, 1918.
It seems surprising, when I think about it. Even I had largely forgotten about it until reminded by my friends at Katherin’s Biergarten. And because I have knowledge now I am typing away at 2306 in a desire to get this posted before 0000.
In the 1880s, as the world was getting ready for electricity, there was a tremendous technological battle going on. Should direct current be used as a standard, or alternating current?
Just saw a good movie detailing this battle, called The Current War. With hindsight, it seems obvious who the winner should have been, and it was the eventual winner – alternating current (for reasons brought out in the movie).
But the movie highlights the battle between direct current’s proponent, Thomas Edison, and alternating current, championed by both George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla.
From what I know of the rivalry it was factual so what I didn’t know I will assume to be factual.
The picture that was above the bar at the Park Distillery, Banff, Alberta, Canada.
While I was at lake Louise, our wedding party headed 40 miles east on the Trans Canada Highway and had a dinner at Banff. The Park Distillery is a bit different from the trend these days. Instead of yet another beer microbrewery/restaurant, they make gin. And they are pretty famous for it apparently.
The restaurant – on the same site – isn’t bad either.
After our group finished dinner and we were on the way out ready to leave on our bus, someone on the staff casually mentioned about the fellow in the picture overlooking the bar.
I was born in Los Angeles in 1950. My father was born in Los Angeles in 1920. As he told me very little of his life, I learned a lot from his friends and relatives. Since he died, I have learned a bit more from my mother.
He went to UCLA, and to pay his way through college, he worked as a page for then NBC-Radio. Although a page, he was acquainted with a lot of the stars, such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and others. I told my mother that it is a shame he didn’t write a book of his experiences.
Like a lot of young men of that time, shortly after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army in 1942 during his 3rd year at UCLA. He became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, telling his mother that advancement was fast in the Airborne. My mother later asked him if he considered why advancement was so fast…
After the war, he had a hard time finding work before he took over his fathers import-export business, and my mother and I wonder why he didn’t use some of his contacts at NBC to get work there. Although I can’t see him as a studio exec.
His cousin there told me as boys they would ride their bicycles down the middle of Hollywood Blvd early in the morning. That’s hard to image today.
What occasionally amazes me is how little we know about many things in the world’s past.
When I was in Egypt years ago, every guide had a different story as to how the pyramids were built.
My late father had to me a rather profound observation years ago: “Other than electricity we’ve been been pretty much the same since the ancient times.”
Think about every modern conveyance that requires electricity. Just about everything.
Published on YouTube September 7, 2011 and shot by a volunteer firefighter.
Also, a tribute from Lex on Heather Lee Smith, a friend of one of our Lexicans