Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Raven 175 -- January 29, 2020

Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" was first published 175 years ago today, on 29-January-1845.


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had tried to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore.

  And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“ ’Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; —
This it is, and nothing more.”

  Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” — here I opened wide the door; —
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
Merely this, and nothing more.

  Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind, and nothing more!”

  Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

  Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning — little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no sublunary being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

  But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered — not a feather then he fluttered —
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before —
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  Wondering at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster — so, when Hope he would adjure,
Stern Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure —
That sad answer, “Nevermore!”

  But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust, and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

  This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight [[lamp-light]] gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight [[lamp-light]] gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

  Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee — by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite — respite and Nepenthe [[nepenthe]] from thy memories of Lenore!
Let me quaff this kind Nepenthe [[nepenthe]] and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil! —
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore —
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? — tell me — tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us — by that God we both adore —
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting —
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

  And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

January, 2020 Version of the Cable Car Home Page -- January 26, 2020

Due to the medical issues of a family member, I am shamefully late in putting out my January updates.

I just put the January, 2020 version of my Cable Car Home Page on the server: 

It includes some new items:
1. Picture of the Month: A three car (grip car and two trailers) Chicago City Railway Wabash/Cottage Grove Avenue train terminates at Jackson Park. (source: Chicago Tribune Historical Photographs; CTA).
2. On the Chicago page, A ten and twenty year update about the Chicago City Railway, one of the most successful cable traction companies in the industry.

Ten years ago this month (January, 2010):
1. Picture of the Month: A stereo view of "State Street north from Madison" in Chicago
2. On the Chicago page, more about the Chicago City Railway, including a selection from the 1898 Report of Special Committee of the City Council of Chicago on the Street Railway Franchises & Operations and contemporary newspaper article:
-- Chicago -- Gripman Killed (Saint Paul Daily Globe, Friday, February 03, 1882)
-- THE CABLE-CAR LINE/Progress of the Work -- Eleven Trains and the Horse-Cars Still Running (Omaha Daily Bee, Wednesday, February 15, 1882)
-- Chicago -- Third Fatality (Sacramento Daily Record-Union, Saturday, March 25, 1882)
-- Chicago -- Fifteenth Victim (Saint Paul Daily Globe, Monday, September 04, 1882)
-- Killed by a Cable Car. (New-York Tribune, Wednesday, November 6, 1893)
-- STOPS CHICAGO CABLE LINES./The City Begins Active War on Street Car Company. (New-York Tribune, Thursday, January 18, 1906)
-- CABLES MAKE LAST RUN ON STREET IN CHICAGO (San Francisco Call, Sunday, July 23, 1906)
3. Added Bibliography item about Mayor Newsome's proposal to fill in part of Hallidie Plaza and install a reservoir or cistern below it
4. Added News and Bibliography items about the discovery of a relic of Saint Paul Minnesota's Selby Avenue cable car line

Twenty years ago this month (January, 2000):
1. Picture of the Month: State Street, Chicago
2. Roll out Chicago page with Chicago City Railway and excerpt from The Pit by Frank Norris.
3. Add Miscellany page
4. Add C B Holmes and Asa Hovey to the Who page
5. Add items about Muni's New Year's Eve plans to news and bibliography
6. Add links to Library of Congress page about cable cars and Don's Railspo

Coming in January, 2020: On the Cable Car Lines in Chicago page: A ten and twenty year update about the Chicago City Railway, one of the most successful companies in the industry

The Cable Car Home Page now has a Facebook page:

Joe Thompson
The Cable Car Home Page (updated 01-January-2020) 
San Francisco Bay Ferryboats (updated 31-January-2019)
Park Trains and Tourist Trains (updated 31-July-2019)
The Pneumatic Rolling-Sphere Carrier Delusion (updated spasmodically)
The Big V Riot Squad (new blog)

New Cat #73 -- January 26, 2020

I took the photo on 13-January-2020.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Year of the Rat -- January 25, 2020

Film Daily Yearbook, 1929
In honor of the beginning of Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rat, here is the most famous rodent in cinema, Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse.  Mickey made his debut in 1928.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Marias Massacre 150 -- January 23, 2020

Portland, Maine Daily Express, 29-January-1870

150 years ago today, US Army units killed about 200 Piegan Blackfeet in the Marias Massacre. Col Baker was Eugene M Baker.

A Helena, Montana, dispatch says that on the 18th inst, an expedition against certain tribes of Indians who have been stealing stock and murdering whites for the past several months, left Fort Shaw under the command of Col. Baker. The expedition consisted of four companies of cavalry and one company of infantry. Early on the morning of the 23d Col. Baker surprised Bear Chief's camp of over thirty lodges, and killed men, women and children. No quarter was given. The surprise was complete, and only six or eight men escaped. Bear Chief' was among the killed. Baker's loss was trifling. The other tribes of the Blackfeet, upon learning of the affair, immediately made all haste to reach the British Possessions, but it is understood that the expedition has the government's permission to cross the boundary line in pursuit. This news is confirmed by arrivals at Fort Benton.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cliff Rescue -- January 21, 2020

The San Francisco Fire Department's Cliff Rescue Unit was doing their grocery shopping at the Safeway at the Beach on 19-January-2020.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Happy Birthday, Dr King, 2020 -- January 20, 2020

"When evil men plot, good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Civil Liberties League is Formed -- January 19, 2020

Wheeling Intelligencer, January 26, 1920
100 years ago today, on 19-January-1920, the American Civil Liberties Union was formed to defend personal liberties in the United States.  


NEW YORK, Jan. 25. -- The formation of a new organization to be known as the American Civil Liberties union, "to champion in the highest courts the civil liberty rights of persons and organizations," was announced here tonight by Prof. Harry F. Ward of the Union Theological seminary, who will head the union. Others who will serve on the executive committee will be Helen Phelps Stokes, treasurer; Albert De Silver and Roger N. Baldwin. Walter Nelles is to be chief counsel.

On the national committees of the new organization are James H. Maurer, president of the Pennsylvania State Federation of Labor; Duncan McDonald, president of the Illinois State Federation of Labor; Helen Keller Hollquit, Jane Addams, Prof. Robert Morse Lovett and John Sayre.

The union, according to Prof. Ward, will fight in the courts all attempts to violate the right of free speech, free press and peaceful assemblage. He added that it was proposed to keep "industrial struggles in conformity with the constitution of the United States and of the several states of the union."

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Articles of Impeachment Sent to the Senate -- January 18, 2020

The House has appointed managers and delivered the articles of impeachment to the Senate.  Step two.

"According to Jane Taylor, 'the central character is notorious for his infantile engagement with his world. Ubu inhabits a domain of greedy self-gratification'. Jarry's metaphor for the modern man, he is an antihero—fat, ugly, vulgar, gluttonous, grandiose, dishonest, stupid, jejune, voracious, greedy, cruel, cowardly and evil..." -- Wikipedia

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Prohibition Begins -- January 16, 2020

Washington Times, January 16, 1920
100 years ago today, on 16-January-1920, the 18th Amendment, Prohibition, became the law of the land.  The law of unintended consequences came into effect soon after.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mercy SF -- January 11, 2020

We were sad to learn that Mercy High School in San Francisco is going to close at the end of the school year.  My mother-in-law, my wife and our daughter all went there and got an excellent education.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Don Larsen, RIP -- January 3, 2020

Korean War vet Don Larsen has died.  On 08-October-1956, he pitched the only perfect game that has ever been thrown in the World Series.  Pitching for the Yankees against the Dodgers' Sal Maglie, Larsen won 2-0.

He pitched for the San Francisco Giants from 1962 to 1964.  In 1962, the Giants finished the season tied for first with the Dodgers.  Larsen won the deciding third game.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Review of the Year -- January 1, 2019

South Bend News-Times, 31-December-1919
I hope everyone has a happy, peaceful, healthy and prosperous new year.

The South Bend News-Times remembered some of the events of 1919.  Click on the image to see a larger view.