Sunday, November 16, 2008

November/December 2008

It’s the holiday season already! November is the busiest month of the year for us at Piñata Publishing, and December follows closely behind. Each November we participate in several "Christmas Made In The South" shows, and this year we’ll return to exhibit in both Savannah and Jacksonville. Our Event Calendar has those dates so please join us .

I’m delighted to report that after months of researching for the Jekyll Island Millionaires book, I’ve finally begun writing! Due to many school author visits, art shows, and book festivals these past few weeks, I’ve had to write in “bits and spurts.” When I wrote the last few chapters of An Angry Drum Echoed, I went to Tybee Island and hibernated for two weeks, so I could write undisturbed for ten hours a day! Now I’m happy with two uninterrupted hours to write. I’m trying not to give myself an unrealistic deadline for this huge historical saga, so that I can be fair to the characters and the stories.

In the last BLOG I asked if anyone knew how many times Louis Comfort Tiffany visited Jekyll Island. For those who haven’t been here, one of the most beautiful stained-glass windows made by Mr. Tiffany, portraying the theme “David Set Singers Before the Lord,” is here on Jekyll. It was installed in Faith Chapel on March 27, 1921. There has been some question as to whether Mr. Tiffany himself installed the window, but we do know that he was here at least once before that. Only one person attempted to answer the question, so I will leave it on the BLOG for a while longer to see if anyone else can answer. And again, I’ll send the “winner” a copy of one of my seven books.

I’m still looking for interesting anecdotes on Joseph Pulitzer and J.P Morgan. Both characters will be featured throughout the book, and I’m searching for unusual or virtually unknown stories about them. Please share and I’ll give you credit in the Resource Pages in the back of the book.

This month’s tidbit about the Millionaires: During the era of the Big Apple dance craze, the Millionaires decided to have a dance on Jekyll but realized they didn’t know how to dance it. Earl Hill, son of Charlie Hill who worked years for the Maurice family, was talked into inviting twelve black couples to the island to teach them. The Jekyll Island Club members bought new tuxedos for the men and gowns for the ladies, and they were brought over to teach the Millionaires how to dance the Big Apple. The Club employees made up the band, led by “Washboard” Robert Ivory, who later became a professional musician. The band struck up a lively tune and the dancing began. The twelve couples showed how the dance was done, and then the Millionaires tried it, but just couldn’t get the hang of it. So, the couples split up and each danced with one of the Millionaires. Now these twenty-four dancers could rightfully say they had danced with a Millionaire!

Mike and I wish you a loving, peaceful holiday season.

Blessings throughout 2009!

Pamela

1 comment:

jekylltise said...

Hi Pamela - I was fascinated by your mentioning the Big Apple Dance Craze. Had never heard this term or a discription of the dance, so I did a little google research and found the following: "About the Big Apple:
The Big Apple was a 1930's dance craze that started in South Carolina and caused a frenzy when it hit Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. The Big Apple is danced in a circle, and is loaded with high-energy jazz steps and fun footwork. The Big Apple is a super addition to any swing dancer's repertoire, and learning it is a great way to pick up the styling of some of the original Lindy Hoppers. In the last few years, the Big Apple has enjoyed a revival in popularity among dancers worldwide.

Hep Jen will teach the most widely known version of the Big Apple, as performed by Whitey's Lindy Hoppers (with Frankie Manning!) in the 1939 movie "Jittering Jitterbugs".

This will be a fast-paced jazz dance class. No partner is required. Expect to get a workout!

Learn every 1930's jazz step you ever wanted to know: Flying Charleston, Spank the Baby, the Suzy Q, Apple Jacks, Ride the Pony, Breeze the Knees, Shorty George, Break A Leg, and many more!"

In my mind's eye, I try to picture the very proper "millionaires and their ladies" trying to capture the mood of this dance. Even if they didn't get the knack of the dance, they were entertained by the "experts" - the same way my wife and I are entertained each Monday night by "Dancing With the Stars" - They use steps I don't recognize - do you ???

Look forward to your visit with Jekyll Rotary on Wednesday. 19 November.

Best Tise Eyler