Friday, December 21, 2018


First and foremost, happy holidays and a safe and joyous Yule from me and the Watson!

This is a short and belated post to announce the publication of "But Still They Come" my book on the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast.

I was glad to be able to do the reveal at the October meeting of The Red Headed League of NJ where I was also the keynote speaker.

The book can be obtained directly from my published, Galde Press.

And now, you can order it from Amazon. I found it highly amusing that I got an e-mail from Amazon, saying that they have a book to recommend, based on my interests:

Yup. My own book. Hope I enjoy it.

A happy part of working on this book was making new contacts and friends. One of these is artist Robert Hummel. He has now done three murals on the imagined battle of Grovers Mill. The first hangs in the Grover's Mill Coffee House

This was in honor of the 70th anniversary of the broadcast. 

Scene II was for the 75th, and is privately owned:

And now, Robert has completed the third in the series for the 80th anniversary:

Of course, Robert has pieces of wonderful art focused on the Princeton area and beyond...

                                  A Night on Nassau Street
                                Guardian of Palmer Square

                            Einstein's Date With The Universe

There are even prints to be found in various local businesses, such as Chez Alice Gourmet Cafe & Bakery:

And there are many more!

Robert does have prints for sale. Check out his site at:

From all of us to all of you...

See ya next year!

Sunday, October 7, 2018


I have always wanted to go to The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, aka The Mutter Museum. I had heard about it over a decade ago, on one of those "Scariest Places" programs. My reaction was an immediate, "Oooooh...must go there...need to go there..." I was promised by an old friend that we would take the trip, but her promises were empty. After waiting for over a year, I just gave up on the idea.  Plus my legs were getting weaker. I didn't think they could accomodate the mobility impaired.

Then, this year, I heard they had a special exhibit in their gallery called "Woven Strands". It featured phenomenal works of human hair, from family souvenirs to memento mori pieces. It was only there until mid-September. As a memento mori collector, I knew this was a sign from the Universe saying, "Get thee to the Mutter!"

My friends Bob and Maureen were willing to take me as a belated birthday present. Yes, there were wheelchairs available and handicap access to everything (except the outside medical garden). 

This why to the hair!

Pictures in the gallery were allowed, although they were not permitted in the main museum, out of respect for the remains. That impressed me. What impressed me even more was the security staff. The head of security - Christine -  fetched a wheelchair, got me in it, and took me to the main lobby via the small freight elevator. The building is an ode to marble, from its statuary, to its grand stairway, to the freakin' conference room bathroom on the 2nd floor. What a beautiful place!

Because of my wheelchair, Christine escorted Maureen and me to the second floor, via the elevator. Here were two elegant rooms used for conferences and meetings. She apparently loves these rooms and was happy to show them off and allow pictures. (As mentioned prior, it also has a grand bathroom).

(I have a "thing" for beautifully detailed ceilings)
Also on this second floor, closed to the public, is the museum research library. Apparently one needs an act of God/dess to gain access, but Maureen and I were drooling. What marvels were awaiting behind those locked doors?

When you enter the museum on the main floor, the Thompson Gallery is directly to the right of the admissions desk. Examples of the hair weaving included jewelry, gimp work in books, and domes, but my heart stopped at the complexity and size of the hanging art. Here are the ones I loved the most:

I have a sizable collection of mourning hair art myself (53 pieces so far). Although I have some wonderful examples of the various hair working techniques, they are small in comparison to these giant master works. A few of my own favorite pieces follow below:

Of course, special exhibits are a small portion of the museum. The Mutter has an amazing assortment of bones, skulls, civil war damaged limbs, slides of Einstein's brain, antiquated medical equipment, plasters showing the diseases of the eye, hands, internal organs, and the like.

The following photos are from the museum's website and publications...

"The Soap Lady is the name given to a woman whose body was exhumed in Philadelphia in 1875. The specimen is unique because a fatty substance called adipocere encases the remains."
(Mutter Museum website)

I found "The Soap Lady" fascinating. I had once done an article for Fate Magazine regarding Dean Mable Smith Douglass of Rutgers University. She drowned in Lake Placid and, when her body was discovered, it had undergone the process of adipocere.  This fine lady greets you, with her eternal scream, as you enter the museum proper.

Among the medical oddities is this wax cast of an elderly French washer woman. She had a horn growing from her forehead. It was removed and sits next to her in the display case.

Can you believe the above conjoined twins were born alive?

These little ones touched my heart. I must not be the only one for they are also the poster children for the collection.

This paster cast was made from the bodies of conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker after their autopsy in 1874. Eng is on the left, and Chang, who died first (presumably of a cerebral clot) is on the right. In life, their usual position was standing side-by-side, with an arm over each other's shoulder. (Mutter Museum website)

The Hyrtl skull collection is displayed with indicators of age, sex, race, employment, and cause of death. It's a unique study.

Plaster samples of diseases of the eye.

World's largest colon. (The poor guy was constipated. Good grief!)

There are wonders too numerous to mention. Thankfully, the museum provides a  map so that you can guide your way along the upper and lower levels of displays.

Thanks again to Bob and Maureen for one of the best times I've had in years. Thanks to Christine and her security staff for their excellent care.  If you want to do something special, in the spirit of Halloween, make your way to the Mutter! (19 S 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA