Yep, back in Fall River.
Great meeting the forum members at the B&B & yak about Li zzie….Mike S. & wife Katrina, (pick out that Oak Grove plot now); Richard Behrens who has a keen insight on the case & can tell a funny story, Don S. “the sponge” , Bob Shaw, the birthday boy, Fall River historian Kenneth Champlin and the others. At dinner Thursday night with Don and Bob at Al Mac, FRHN reporter Debbie Allard was at a booth acoss from us & heard us talking about the AJB photo and recognized me and came over to our booth…we chatted for a while; her article will be in Sunday’s paper and she sent her photog over to Luther’s store/museum today where he was finishing up just as we arrived.
I introduced Bob Dube to Carl Becker and showed him the framed painting. Gracious Dube, who thinks the nose doesn’t quite match, invited Carl to come over to Maplecroft but not before Carl told us Michael Martins came by to look at it – wanting to see it himself for more scrutiny beyond the digital replica and of course thinks it Andrew (as I do) offered to take the painting and have it “properly” hung in an appropriate place at the FRHS. Right. Wonder what MM might give him (i.e., the Swansea Historical Society) in exchange – perhaps one of his/those lovely Victorian dresses. hmmm? 😉 Rest assured, it ain’t gonna happen. The portrait will remain at Luther’s.
The other cool thing we saw at Luther’s today was Orin Gardner’s autograph book which includes some of Emma’s writing, scripture and philosophical writings in her own hand “Emma L. Borden”, 1881, others back to 1850’s….it was Orin’s autograph book – excellent condition….I kinda think Emma had possession of that portrait of her “dear” father and it subsequently got into Orin’s hands after her death. Makes sense to me.
Dube treated us to a nice Italian luncheon in Somerset before heading back to Maplecroft where he explained all the maple leaf carvings, etc. Generous with his time as always. Funniest line of the day: Dube to George Quigley: “So who did you vote for?” Quigley to Dube: “Sullivan. He’s Irish.” You had to be there.
Ken Champlin is amazing…he knows FR history inside out and knows all what’s going on ‘under the surface” of FR, and the skinny on contemporaries. Love to dish with him. He pointed out where Sarah Cornell was originally buried at the old cemetery off South Main (her remains and headstone was moved to Oak Grove in 1905) and the place where she was found on Durfee Farm by the haystack. Also the site of the original cotton mill built in 1811 and so much more. We talked long into the night and kept moving place to place. Dinner was at Me-Sums and we had specialty dishes and shared a chow mein sandwich…good thing, too, they are huge! I learn more talking with Ken than I do reading ten books; he’s a virtual encyclopedia…If you haven’t read his articles in the Spinner series, you should…they are wonderful. Ken’s chart of the Greater & Lesser Bordens is usually with me on my visits to Oak Grove, only this time I left it at home. Ken in person is even better.
I think I’ve gotten 5 hours sleep since leaving Payson and I’m exhausted. If it wasn’t for this laptop and Wi-Fi I’d be asleep already….early wakeup for his FR Underground Railroad history lesson tomorrow, other locals to meet – new introductions (Philip Silvia?) and more media cards to fill up with the camera. OH, paid my regular homage to the FR Room and noted a Lizzie Borden display at the FR Library, must have been a school project. 🙂