Baseball’s Original Cast: Tallymen, Base Tenders, and Strikers

The Emilie Loring Collection

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Were he alive today, Emilie Loring’s father, George Melville Baker, would be on all of the entertainment and talk shows.  Funny and eloquent, George could sing, act, and keep an audience in stitches with one-liners and jokes.

He was a Boston insider, connected with the movers and shakers of his day: Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, theater players, opera stars, suffragist Julia Ward Howe, and Charles Sumner, the abolitionist. As a performer, author, and publisher, he felt the public’s pulse, sensed the average reader’s taste, and always stayed just one step in front of it.

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George Baker had some important firsts.  He was responsible for the first, American editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. He published the first play about electronic dating (only it was telegraph then!); developed young readers with the first, successful children’s magazine; and created nineteenth-century serials that paved the way for standards like Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins…

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Fair Tomorrow on the Cape

The Emilie Loring Collection

Lighthouses wpr400Cape Cod is lighthouses, sand dunes, boardwalks, and sand fences. It’s shellfish—take your pick: lobster, clams, or scallops—plus cranberries, ice cream cones, and coaster bikes. When you grow up in Arizona, as I did, Cape Cod seems magical. I invoked it when I painted my home a salt-sea gray and again when I planted clambering, pink roses in my gardens. But Emilie Loring finally got me to visit. She lived in Barnstable when she was in her twenties, and I had to go see.

Travel is simple on the Cape. Highway 6 runs its full length with exits for the many villages on the Bay side and the Atlantic.  I chose to stay on the Bay side. My ancestor Experience Mitchell crossed Cape Cod Bay on the Anne to land at Plymouth in 1623, a bit of genealogical history that became more real when I could see how that body of water appeared.

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Beautiful Things In Life Are Just As Real

The Emilie Loring Collection

“To the readers of my stories who, by spoken or written word, have recognized beneath the magic glamour of romance and adventure the clear flame of my belief that the beautiful things of life are as real as the ugly things of life, that gay courage may turn threatened defeat into victory, that hitching one’s wagon to the star of achievement will lift one high above the quicksands of discouragement.”  Dedication of Lighted Windows

Version 2If there is a quintessentially “Emilie” quote, this is it, and it appeared first as the dedication to Lighted Windows. It’s a wonderful statement. “The beautiful things of life are as real as the ugly things of life.” My family has heard me repeat that so often that my daughter put it on a mug for my birthday. (Yes, that is a blueberry birthday cake in the background.) But even without the dedication, Lighted Windows

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Tragic Undercurrents in “Swift Water”

The Emilie Loring Collection

Swift Water is so different from Emilie Loring’s other novels. When Jean Randolph arrives home, Ezry Barker asks,

“Say, Jean, been gittin’ into trouble so soon? Seems though I see th’ old symptoms. Didn’t fetch the Turrible Twin along with ye, did ye?”

But that’s just what this book is about:  terrible twins.

Roadster ad 1929’s “most fashionable” yellow roadster

Jean’s mother is an author, so absorbed in her writing career that her marriage has fallen apart, her husband loves another woman, and her daughter lives selfishly, without purpose. She enters the story in a dazzling, yellow roadster.

With a wicked, little smile of defiance the girl at the wheel kept on her impetuous course.

Emilie’s characters usually fly planes, ride horses, speak multiple languages, play piano, and sing. But not Jean.

“I have no talent, no parlor tricks. I play the organ creditably, that’s all.”

Secretly, she takes lessons on the church’s carillon…

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Inspiring Pemaquid Point

We were cropped from the conga line!

The Emilie Loring Collection

Pemaquid Light wpr 350“I’m perched on the lookout spying for goodwill ships and treasure islands, and priceless friends, and lovely summer seas with just enough squalls to make me appreciate fair weather.” Uncharted Seas

I can well imagine this as a quote from Pemaquid Point’s Lighthouse, standing sentinel for its one-hundred-eighty-first year on the coast of Maine.

You’ll find Pemaquid Point “just fourteen scenic miles south of Damariscotta,” as the locals say—or sixty miles north of Portland, for the rest of us. It’s remote enough to discourage swarms of tourists but simple enough to find when you want beauty and inspiration.

Damariscotta is the departure point from Highway 1, and I’d like to say we carefully checked out the nearby dining choices, but the truth is, we were hungry, and the Schooner Landing was right there. Lucky us, then, to enjoy delicious haddock on their waterside deck before setting out to explore.

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Emilie Loring’s Gardens

The Emilie Loring Collection

seed catalogs 1927 sq wprIt’s that time of the year when gardeners’ fingers itch to get back into the dirt. Snuggled under afghans, cradling hot drinks in our hands, we turn the pages of our gardening catalogs and dream of the months to come.

“Growth rampant, fruit long and slim, dark green throughout the entire length with a light white marking at the blossom end. That’s what we want. Put down one ounce Improved White Spine.” My Dearest Love

It is seventy degrees and sunny here today, so I’d be feeling the gardening urge, even if I hadn’t just read Gay Courage.

Maine, Eve Emilie Loring in her garden at Wellesley Hills

Emilie Loring loved gardens. There was one-half acre between her home and her mother’s in Wellesley Hills, and she planted her first garden there, including a grape arbor which Victor tended. During World War I, she joined the Women’s National Farm and Garden…

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