I had made peace with my family until my daughter and her tea party lover called me a “parasite” because I get SSI. She saw me as weak. She wanted to attract the attention of the millionaires who hovered around our creative family legacy. I may be the first author to compare Tolkien to Washington Irving. A Nazgul Black Rider is found in Sleepy Hollow. I should be holding court at Disney Studios. My salary is not a consideration. I love my work. I am so impressed with Irving’s – hands across the water.
In the summer of 1817, he visited Walter Scott, beginning a lifelong personal and professional friendship. Irving continued writing: he composed the short story “Rip Van Winkle” overnight while staying with his sister Sarah and her husband, Henry van Wart in Birmingham, England, a place that also inspired other works. In October 1818, Irving’s brother William secured for Irving a post as chief clerk to the United States Navy, and urged him to return home. Irving turned the offer down, opting to stay in England to pursue a writing career.
From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by name of Sleepy Hollow … A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere.
— Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement. Other residents say an old Native American chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows here before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper that had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.
The “Legend” relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. Crane, a Yankee and an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel’s extravagant wealth. Bones, the local hero, vies with Ichabod for Katrina’s hand, playing a series of pranks on the jittery schoolmaster, and the fate of Sleepy Hollow’s fortune weighs in the balance for some time. The tension between the three is soon brought to a head. On a placid autumn night, the ambitious Crane attends a harvest party at the Van Tassels’ homestead. He dances, partakes in the feast, and listens to ghostly legends told by Brom and the locals, but his true aim is to propose to Katrina after the guests leave. His intentions, however, are ill-fated.
Bloemfontein (“flower fountain” in Dutch) was the capital of the independent Boer republic of the Orange Free State, now Free State province. It gave birth to the African National Congress in 1912, the rightwing National Party in 1914 and athlete Zola Budd in 1966. It has a monument and museum devoted to the Anglo-Boer war but struggles to compete with Cape Town or Kruger Park as a tourist hub.
The Hobbit is playing at cinemas in Bloemfontein, but not everyone realises its local significance. “I’m amazed,” said Phindile Magagula, 43, a chef and painter. “I watched the movies but I didn’t know he was born here. I would never have imagined.”
I called Vicki and Drew in Bullhead City and caught them going on a raid with twenty four other brave souls on Everquest. My sister has been a citizen of Everquest almost from the beginning in 1999. At the same time I am a citizen of Ancientsites, now Ancientworlds. I was there when I heard about Everquest, but did not join because it was an action game versus a site for history buffs. Can action and knowlege be united?
Drew is employing her artistic gift to create a character for an ex-member of Everquest who has made his own game. She is getting paid to do this. I told her our family history is bigger then Walt Disney. I have talked about creating my own game with the Corbin brothers.
Here is a chance for all members of our family to put their angst aside and join a greater endeavor…
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