The US Congressional crusade against Tales From the Crypt and other horror comics in the mid-1950 (see Hajdu, The Ten-Cent Plague) had a British equivalent resulting in The Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act of 1955, and the flashpoint was an incident in the Gorbals district of Glasgow in 1954, when 400 children were discovered searching the Southern Necropolis for a vampire with iron teeth.
Of course all of the coverage, either from the panicky Fifties, or the academical present, assumes the vampire didn't exist. What if he only got away? Here's the pitch: a vampire is feeding off the inhabitants of Glasgow, moving up from the sick and weak to policemen and councillors, until the authorities, in a fit of denial, ban comic books. But the children rise up and begin to hunt him through the Gorbals slums (above), which you must admit would make a fantastic horror location, if they still existed. M meets Seven Up!
Seems that one of Hans Holbein the Younger's unfinished projects was a manga on the life of Sir Thomas More, probably abandoned for political reasons. For the actual history of this sketch and the More family group portrait see here.
To any Canadian who bothers to think about it, the notion that Scottish soccer would choose as its off-season the months of May and June seems ... daft. That's exactly when I would want to play, not January. Granted, the Scots don't often get much of what we would describe as winter. But this year they did. This NASA photo shows Britain as she appeared on January 7, 2010. My club of interest, Greenock Morton, managed to get in three matches in January, and two in February, and need to play two per week for the rest of the season to make up for games postponed due to the frozen pitch. One of the projected effects of climate change is that Britain will begin to experience weather that is more in line with its high latitude, which should mean more Canada-like winters. And possibly soccer in May and June. Douglas
[April 18: Due to a combination of bad weather and a good Cup run, Raith Rovers must play six matches in the final two weeks.]
Today (or tomorrow) is Annie Hamilton's birthday. Born March 16, 1866 in tiny Brookfield, Hamilton went on to be the first woman to graduate in medicine in Nova Scotia in 1894. (Dalhousie has an annual scholarship in her name. For about a decade she ran a practice in Halifax's North End before emigrating to China as a medical missionary in 1903 and lived there until her death in Shanghai in 1941.
I happened on her name somewhere in my background reading about Jean Ewen and the co-incidence of name and birthplace sent me to my files. And, yes, indeed she is a very distant maternal relative (second cousin, fourth remove). Not so distant in time when you realize that she was ten years older than my great grandfather and grew up in the same county.
A little more can be gleaned from Arthur J. Lindsay's Knox Church, Brookfield, Nova Scotia. A History of the Congregation. (1976). You're unlikely to find this in a library close to you but somehow I have two copies (or I did before the great book exodus of 2010), including one once owned by Franklyn Hicks (yes, Henry's brother). Though I'd take Lindsay's account with a grain or two of salt it adds some details to Hamilton's story:
Annie Isabell Hamilton was fourteen when she first became involved in Missionary work in the church. That was in 1880 when she became a collector for the Home and Foreign Missionary Society in Brookfield. As she walked the miles from house to house collecting the nickles and pennies, she may well have dreamed of becoming a Missionary to help the heathen in exotic foreign lands. In any case, she brought in $12.63, which was more than a third of all the money collected for missions in Brookfield that year.
Determined and persuasive.
And some of that determination may have been fostered by what seems to have been a difficult family situation. Her father William "Queer Bill" Hamilton was roughly 62 when he started a second family with roughly 26 year old Mary Irwin McShannick (alternately Muckleshanick) who had been married twice before and brought her eldest child Harriet into the marriage. After having five children with Mary, William "went off to New Brunswick to live, leaving the mother and the five children to manage the farm. This they did as well as they could and when 'Queer Bill' returned home several years later he was too old to farm again. He died soon after, in 1887, when Annie was twenty-one. Her mother died two weeks later."
There's much left unsaid in that description of a complex family life and migration with William leaving the family sometime in his 70s and returning home to die in his 80s. During his absence Hamilton finished Normal school and worked as a teacher. After her parents' deaths, she helped her siblings finish their educations and maintain the farm until they emigrated to the United States.
Chris Chelios became the second oldest active NHLer ever the other day when he suited up for Atlanta versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. At 48 he's still three years shy of Gordie Howe's record. This will be his 26th NHL season. Unlike Howe he has never taken a year off. For most of this season he has played for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. During the 2004-05 lockout year he was with the Motor City Mechanics of the UHL, and in 1994 he appeared for Biel of the Swiss league. I used to greet the mention of his name with the line, "Chelios? I hated that guy!" but I've come around and I would seriously like to see him top Howe's longevity record. Douglas