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On the Tarbell Trail
09-30-2012, 08:44 AM
Post: #1
On the Tarbell Trail
Yesterday marked a major milestone on the Tarbell Trail. I completed going through her Lincoln correspondence and downloaded EVERY letter in that collection. I have well over 5,600 letters (all of which I've read). Now, I am going to work on a preliminary outline of what I want to write, and then I will tackle her non-Lincoln correspondence, which is far more voluminous than her Lincoln material.

I am also patiently waiting for Allegheny College to put up the material related to the books she wrote. However, that probably won't be up before sometime next year.

I hope to have a book proposal ready by the end of the year, or late February at the latest.

We now return you to your original programming.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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09-30-2012, 09:29 AM
Post: #2
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Kudos on your progress, Rob!
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09-30-2012, 10:57 AM (This post was last modified: 10-07-2012 06:12 AM by LincolnMan.)
Post: #3
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Amazing. How do you have time to work a job?

Bill Nash
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09-30-2012, 11:24 AM
Post: #4
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Quote:Amazing. How do you have job to work a job?

I'm supposed to have a job? Smile

Actually, once I'm home, on my days off, and on vacations, I spend every single minute I can in front of my computer. I haven't watched television in weeks, and my wife has taken over our bathroom remodel (which was supposed to have been done a few months ago...oh well, it's still functioning).

What's really going to hurt is when I have to start printing all those letters and other papers out. I've been stocking up on ink and paper, and storage boxes to put the files in. I've got to get my office cleaned out to make more room.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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09-30-2012, 04:02 PM
Post: #5
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Just to give you an idea what I will be doing in the next few weeks. The stack of papers on the right is the non-Lincoln A-Z finding aid for Tarbell's paper which I just finished printing out. The folder on the left is the A-Z finding aid for her Lincoln-related correspondence.

[Image: 005jfs.jpg]

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Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-01-2012, 10:06 AM
Post: #6
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
(09-30-2012 04:02 PM)Rob Wick Wrote:  Just to give you an idea what I will be doing in the next few weeks. The stack of papers on the right is the non-Lincoln A-Z finding aid for Tarbell's paper which I just finished printing out. The folder on the left is the A-Z finding aid for her Lincoln-related correspondence.

[Image: 005jfs.jpg]

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Best
Rob

Rob,

I noticed the little train on your desk. Are you a train person or model or toy train railroader?

Joe
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10-01-2012, 10:54 AM (This post was last modified: 10-01-2012 10:57 AM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #7
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Joe,

Not really, but there is a story behind it.

When I was a little boy, I wanted a train set. My mother, who after my father died was left with four children to raise on her own, barely had enough money to pay bills let alone splurge on a train set. She liked to do ceramics, and made that train set for me one Christmas. On the side is says "RW Railroad." Unfortunately, I lost one of the pieces in a move, and they have chipped a bit, so I keep them on my desk to protect them, plus to remind me of one of the greatest women I've ever known.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-06-2012, 02:11 PM (This post was last modified: 10-06-2012 02:11 PM by Rob Wick.)
Post: #8
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Today I got a package from Smith College in Massachusetts which has some of Tarbell's letters to and from John S. Phillips and J. McCan Davis.

The letters to Phillips were especially moving, given that some of them were written just a few short months before Tarbell's death in 1944. In some she laments her inability to type, which she took up just a few years before her death, as well as how "Mr. Parkinson" is making his presence known (she suffered from Parkinson's Disease). What really struck me, though, was the letters she wrote by hand. She was so insistent on making herself understood that she spent hours on a two-page letter. Her stamina and strength are amazing, and though I'm something of a cynic about such things, they are inspirational.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-07-2012, 06:15 AM
Post: #9
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Rob: what are you "somewhat a cynic" about?-didn't quite understand what you meant.

Bill Nash
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10-07-2012, 07:08 AM
Post: #10
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Bill,

Cynical about finding inspiration from most people.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-07-2012, 03:49 PM
Post: #11
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
(10-01-2012 10:54 AM)Rob Wick Wrote:  Joe,

Not really, but there is a story behind it.

When I was a little boy, I wanted a train set. My mother, who after my father died was left with four children to raise on her own, barely had enough money to pay bills let alone splurge on a train set. She liked to do ceramics, and made that train set for me one Christmas. On the side is says "RW Railroad." Unfortunately, I lost one of the pieces in a move, and they have chipped a bit, so I keep them on my desk to protect them, plus to remind me of one of the greatest women I've ever known.

Best
Rob
Rob,

Those kinds of "treasures" are priceless. I have things like that on my library shelves that keep my parents alive to me every day. Thanks for sharing.

Joe
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10-08-2012, 10:49 AM
Post: #12
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Last night I finished Kathleen Brady's Ida Tarbell: Portrait of a Muckraker (which I highly recommend to anyone wanting a succinct biography of her). Toward the end of the book, in which Brady describes Tarbell's last days, there was a paragraph which I'd like to share which will hit home to anyone who has watched a loved one die whether through old age or a terminal illness.

Brady writes:

Her own fatigue increased her empathy for others. Increasingly, Tarbell found herself thinking of a puppy that she had found in 1906 after she left McClure. She had rented a house in Nantucket and the collie that was there gave birth. The weakest of the litter kept crawling away to die, but Tarbell would bring it back to the sun. Over and over the puppy kept struggling away, trying to find a place to die in peace. She thought she understood that puppy now.

That passage speaks volumes.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-12-2012, 08:23 AM
Post: #13
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
I'm now at the point I had hoped to be at soon.

I'm not going to be around as much for a while, as I've reached a point where I need to start writing. I will still visit here and comment on whatever posts interest me.

Let the writing begin.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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10-12-2012, 08:47 AM
Post: #14
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Good luck Rob, of coarse this means we are all going to have to work harder to fill the emptiness and void in you absence.

Seriously though, good luck! I will miss you insight, knowledge and wit. Don't be gone to much, your presence helps the rest of us rise to a higher level of thought and you bring an interestng perspective to our discusions.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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10-12-2012, 08:54 AM
Post: #15
RE: On the Tarbell Trail
Thanks Gene. I doubt the void will be too big, though. Like I said, I will be back from time to time, and once I get to where I need a break from Ida, I'll come back with a ton more of Tough Tarbell Trivia. Big Grin

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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