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Captive Dreams
Ye Olde Booke Store

Mailed a bunch of books off to a blogfriend, then strolled across the street to a little used book store I patronize.  Browsed a bit and fortuitously encountered A.C.Crombie's Medieval and Early Modern Science.  It's vol. ii, but that's the fun centuries: XIII - XVII cent.  Except for that Black Death thingie.  Then, a couple bookcases later, John Lukacs' Outgrowing Democracy, in which he describes the collapse of the American Republic: The Degeneration of Popular Democracy to a Publicity Contest. The Passage from a Democratic Order to a Bureaucratic State. 

I asked the proprietor, an elderly fellow - i.e., older than me - if he could secure some particular books for me.  It's worth a few bucks to me not to have to hunt around.  I've been looking for W. Edwards Deming's The Statistical Adjustment of Data, because I have become interested in how the climate scientists adjust the raw data they harvest from the surface stations.  My impression is that there are no statisticians on "The Team."  To my surprise, the proprietor knew of Deming.  It turns out his father had been good friends with W.Ed back in the 1930s.  The number of intermediate acquaintances is always smaller than people suppose.  I also asked for another Lukacs book: The Passing of the Modern Age, which I had read years ago in a library copy.  I wanted this to inform an article I'm trying to write on the end of the Modern Ages. 

Meanwhile, finishing up Harry Turtledove's deCampian novel, Owls to Athens, and still going back to Huizinga's The Autumn of the Middle Ages, which requires slower reading, as well as Gilson's tome on Thomistic philosophy, ditto.

All this made possible by the sending unto Tor of the ms for In the Lion's Mouth, after a second pass by yr. obt. svt. that left 8000 words of immortal prose writhing in the blood and sand. 

Who'd a-thunk it?

Captive Dreams


John Thomas Flynn

JT Flynn
The 24th of July

Yeah, I know it's the 25th, but I'm behind. 

John Thomas Flynn, my grandfather's grandfather, was born in the early 1840s to Martin Flynn of Loughrea, Co. Galway, and his wife Honora Mahoney.  Martin was born ca. 1803 in either Loughrea or the nearby townland of Kilnadeema.  There are Flynns today still living in that area, and other scattered from Australia to Canada to Britain.  The story, told by a John Flynn of Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon, the old stronghold of the O'Flainn of Sil Maelruain, is that after the Cromwell War, one widowed Flynn mother was given the option of continuing to live in the family home provided she paid rent to the new English landlord.  Rather than do such a thing, "she took her family to live with her relatives down near Loughrea."  Apparently my family is descended from a stubborn old lady.  Much is thereby explained. 

The baptismal records of Loughrea list only five children for Martin and Honora: Mary, Martin, Mary, Martin, and Bridget.  There are no earlier records, but there is other evidence of an oldest brother named Patrick. 

Why there were two Marys and two Martins is suggested by their baptismal dates: 1842 and 1844 for the first two, and 1850 and 1853 for the second two.  What happened between Martin 1 and Mary 2 was the Great Hunger.  It is not a stretch to suppose that the first Mary and Martin died in the famine. 
The Sad Story of John FlynnCollapse )



Family Matters

Captive Dreams
1 Cousin -1 Wedding

I was traveling yesterday, but I ought to mention that my cousin's daughter was married on Saturday.  (That would be first cousin once removed.)

This would ordinary pass with little notice - I have a lot of cousins and many of them have children - except for the peculiarity of her husband, Steve. 

Steve and Amy were born on the same day, in the same hospital, barely minutes apart. 

Their mothers recovered in the same hospital room. 

They attended the same school, same high school. 

Now they will be married in the same church on the same day, not even minutes apart.... 

Hey, wait a minute.  That's true about all marriages, isn't it? 
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The families had already known each other before the kids were born.  It's kind of hard  not to know one another, since the Greater New York Metropolitan Area Easton PA is not.  Apparently, the national news thought this was "cute" and for a while poor cousin Harry was inundated with media calls. [Our common grandfather appears on the earlier post regarding Memorial Day.] 

They were married in the local church and the celebrant was the vicar general of the Diocese.  How'd they snag you? my father asked him.  I'm a cousin to the groom's mother, he replied.  [I think it was 'mother'.]  Well, it's the South Side, and as one of my other cousins - she who shared the same, ah, milk bar with me - once put it: "Whenever I was introduced to people as a kid, I assumed I was related to them somehow."  It wasn't called German Hill because of all the Italians.  And the part where I grew up wasn't called Schwar-Town because my grandmother's family was sparse.  So geht's, as we say, im Leben. 

Their reception was held in the State Theater, an old vaudeville cum movie palace back in the days when movie-going was an experience.  This is the same theater where the annual Freddy Awards are given for high school musicals, named after Fred the Ghost who haunts the theater.  (J. Fred Osterstock is also of German extraction, though not a relative so far as I know.)  A visual tour of the theater is here.  I used to go there to actually see movies. 

Anyhow, they did up the reception in a retro movies way.  A Playbill was printed, featuring the photo to the right on its cover.  The name of the play was "Happily Ever After."  Inside: "Act One: The Wedding" followed by a list of the musical numbers and readings.  Then "Act Two: The Reception" followed by the "Cast Members" (bridal party, etc.)

I thought it sounded like a hoot.


A Moment of Thanks

Captive Dreams


Memorial Day


My father's cousin: Sgt. Tommy Flynn, USMC, Vietnam.
Lived with villagers in the mountains:
CAP team, Papa Three, near Cam Lo just a few miles south of the DMZ, as described in A Voice of Hope

My father:
Pfc. Joseph Flynn, 5th Eng. Btn., 5th Marine Division, USMC
Iwo Jima, Japanese Occupation

My grandfather:
Pfc. Harry Singley, 304th Eng., 72nd "Rainbow" Div., AEF
St. Mihel, Meuse-Argonne Offensive
"a little shrapnel in the leg, a whiff of gas"

My wife's great-great grandfather:
Pvt. John H. Hammontree.  Co. H, 5th Tenn. Inf., US Vol.  (3rd Bgde, 3rd Div., 23rd Army Corps, US Army of the Ohio)
Atlanta Campaign: Dalton, Rocky Faced Ridge, Resaca (bullet wound in left leg)
(Note: The photo is actually of his cousin, Hiram Hammontree.  Nine or ten Hammontree cousins served in Company H, 5th Tenn. Vol.) 
My wife's great^4 grandfather:
Pvt. James Hammontree

Capt. Duncan's Co., Col. Bunch's Regt. (2nd Regt., East Tennessee Militia
Battle of Horseshoe Bend

Creek (Red Stick) War, incl. in War of 1812

My wife's great^6 granduncles (great-uncles of aforesaid James)
Pvt. John Hammontree. 

Capt. John Mountjoy's Co. of Foot, 10th Virginia, Continental Line.
Deceased. 24 Feb 1778 at Valley Forge.

Pvt. Harris[on] Hammontree.   
Capt. Wm. Cunningham's Co. of Foot, 1st Virginia, Continental Line.  
Reported sick at Valley Forge.  
Killed by Indians on VA frontier, 25 Jul. 1781 


The Fantasy Life of a Four-Year Old

Captive Dreams
Nito, We Hardly Knew Ye!

Some of you may remember that Adam had an imaginary girl friend named Nito.  I am grieved to report that Adam has told us that Nito has died. 

And has come back as a zombie. 

Clearly, he has been talking to his Uncle D. 


This Day in History

Captive Dreams
Making Amends

For those who recall this:

Sixty-five years ago today, a young man named Joe Flynn boarded ship preparing to depart Iwo Jima.  It departed the next day, his 20th birthday and the first day that the Old Man felt old.  During that approximately one month on that one island, more Americans died than in all the years of the Iraq War. 

He himself has now read that earlier post, having previously had difficulty opening the link.  However, he is disinclined to post his critique here.  He says I made several errors in my recollection of his recollections.  That would be recollections².  Thus: some corrections and additions. 

Read more...Collapse )


The Clapping Hands of God

Captive Dreams

StarShipSofa podcast has put up my story The Clapping Hands Of God.  You can listen to the story here. The intro for the story starts around the one hr mark.  I've been told that the story has be very well received. with many many emails regarding the story, some stating this has been the best show of StarShipSofa's life. The narration is by a guy called Mike Boris


This Day in History

Captive Dreams

Iwo Jima Day

Sixty-five years ago today, a young man named Joe Flynn was the first to climb down the netting from the side of his troopship and enter a smaller craft that would take him to an LST.  He fell off the netting, but a fortunate sway of the boat brought it underneath him, so he landed on his backpack in the boat rather than in the Pacific Ocean between the pitching boat and the hull of the troopship. 

LST is an abbreviation, Marines will tell you, for Large Slow Target. 

The seas were high and choppy and the boat got lost among the fleet and could not find the LST.  The navy pilot had to stop and ask for directions.  There were a lot of ships there.  (On one of them was a young navy rating who was my wife's uncle.)  When they finally reached the LST, all the good spots were taken by Marines from the later boats, who had not gotten lost and so arrived ahead of them.  So young Joe found a spot on deck: a tarp stretched across a hatchway.  He lay down to get some sack-time, figuring it might be a long while before he had the chance again. 

The LST was packed to the deckline with supplies, so the tarp was covering boxes and crates.  It was hard to get comfortable.  Finally, he grew curious.  Just what was he sacked out on?  So he lifted the edge of the tarp. 

The entire hold beneath him was packed with boxes labeled "Grenades." 

Well, he figured, if something did go wrong, at least he would never know it; and he stretched out and went to sleep. 
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Read more about Young JoeCollapse )


A Blast from the Past

Captive Dreams

M&M the millennial couple!

Here is a photo of a photo, taken by one of my bros from one of Pere's photo albums.  She is still every bit as beautiful as then.  I, on the other hand....



Captive Dreams

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