March 2013 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Thomas Pynchon’s first novel V. In the interim Pynchon has published a corpus of work which make him arguably the greatest American novelist of this period. New York City serves as one of the locales for the novel. Pynchon, one of the world’s greatest recluses, reportedly lives in New York City. Penguin Press has recently announced the Pynchon will publish his next novel in September, 2013. It is titled Bleeding Edge and is eagerly anticipated.
Ruben Tucker was born in Ansonia, CT on 29 January, 1911. He graduated from West Point with the class of 1935. He was known in his military career for his aversion to paperwork. He joined the 82nd Airborne and rose to command of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He won a bevy of medals for heroic service at Sicily, Anzio and Normandy. His commanding officer, Gen. James Gavin later said in a 1982 interview that “when Tucker left Italy, he had an orange crate full of official charges against his soldiers and he just threw the whole crate into the ocean.”
Calling all genealogists! Come to a workshop on June 5 from 11-12:30 in the Library Technology Center. John O’Donnell, Danbury Library’s local history and genealogy expert, will be talking about the Ancestry database, how to create a research log, and the Genealogical Proof Standard. Register for this workshop online at danburylibrary.org, click on “Events” or call (203) 797-4527.
As part of the celebration of the sesquicentennial celebration of the Civil War there is an ongoing effort to reconstruct the Lincoln Funeral Train from 1865 and have it ready to retrace the original route of the train in 2015 to commemorate this special anniversary. The original train carried the body of Lincoln as well as that of his son Willie from Washington, D.C. to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois.
Recently while reading a World War Two book, The Path to Victory by Douglas Porch, I came across a word which I was unfamiliar with. The word is stonk which means a concentrated artillery bombardment. It is said to be formed from elements of the artillery term Standard Regimental Concentration. Bruce Cutler who was a poet who served in the Naples campaign in 1944 wrote a poem about it:
your stonk is your American way of winning the war
your stonk is when you take your whole production, Rock Island
Arsenal ’42 or whatever arsenal
in South Carolina, South Dakota, no difference
you throw it at the krauts from six to eight a.m.
maybe add a naval stonk to your stonk being the really big suckers that take out the little towns on the mountainsides…