Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Serendipitous conversations with Alan.

In the course of a serendipitous conversation with Alan Casline, I was recently set upon a path of discovery that I am still in the midst of. Alan mentioned that he recalled a glossary that he believed was attributed to "Davey Crockett". Remembering that Davey Crockett had written his autobiography from my study of Scot-Irish history, I queried the Internet Archive for just such a book. I found it, but it was not what Alan or I had been searching for.

So, undaunted I queried the name "Crockett" and found much to my surprise, my Literary Godfather: Samuel Rutherford Crockett.

Who, wrote text in "The Kings English" and dialog in Good Galloway Scots...!!!!

Samuel Rutherford Crockett was a contemporary and friend of Robert Louis Stevenson. In his introduction to "The Stickit Minister", he relates that he wrote to Stevenson during the time that he was confined at the Saranac Lake Sanatorium in Saranac Lake N.Y.

The next thing I did, was to Google Stevenson at Saranac Lake. It seems that the Stevenson Society of America has in its possession, at the Stevenson Cottage Museum in Saranac, copies of his "Moral Emblems". In short: Woodcut illustrations, made by him and published in Switzerland by his then "thirteen year old" stepson while they were there for "the cure" to TB. The same search which eventually brought him to Saranac lake as well.

Blockcuts are Alan's thingee! Text written in Lowland Scots is my thingee! Neat the way things happen like that. I don't know that Alan would say that the hand of God was at work here, but I believe it was and thats enough for me.

To quote Crockett quoting Stevenson: ("Write," you said, "my Timothy, no longer verse, but use Good Galloway Scots for your stomach's sake- and mine. There be overly many at the old tooth-comb!" [sic] "If you do, I'll read every word!" )

And so he did. And so shall I!

Every book I can get my hands on for the last three days!

First, "Tales of Our Coast." Now "The Sticket Minister." and next, who knows!

"Will you, nil you,
you must read-
and every word."

With pleasure!

obeedude 22/Aug/07