Monday, November 28, 2022

Teeny Tiny Videos!

 I've beamed myself into the 21st century by making 10-12 second videos about my stories. Every day I try to learn a new mini-skill to see where that takes me. I've been posting these on  TikTok, Twitter, etc. Hmm. Maybe I'll post them here, too!

The Riddle of Penncroft Farm: Meeting Aunt Cass

But before I’d taken more than a few steps, an eerie sound stopped me in my tracks. A spooky stream of notes, wheezy and piercing, was coming from the house. “What’s that?” I said in a hoarse whisper. Without missing a beat, Mom answered matter-of-factly, “Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, unless I miss my guess.” Dad sang along. “Duddle-la . . . deedle deedle deet deeeeee. Remember, Lars, when we saw 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? That’s the pipe organ piece Captain Nemo played on board his submarine.” “Oh yeah,” I gulped. “Captain Nemo on the Nautilus.” “It’s only Cass playing her pump organ,” Mom said. “Go in and introduce yourself, Lars. You’re the one she’s most anxious to see. Besides, I have a surprise for her I have to dig out.” Suddenly I wasn’t too keen about walking into that creepy old place by myself. Swallowing hard, I marched to the door and tried the handle. It didn’t budge.               

 -The Riddle of Penncroft Farm © 1989 by Dorothea Jensen

Once I envisioned Aunt Cass working the foot pedals of an old-fashioned organ, it occurred to me that this was a bit like an exercise machine. That made me think of the Nautilus, very popular. This in turn made me think of the Nautilus in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea movie I saw as a child. 

Here's a link to a video of me reading this part of the story. (I posted a number of excerpts of The Riddle of Penncroft Farm videos on PBS and other websites during the 2020 shutdown.) Enjoy!

Forgot to post: Labor Day Fun at the Museum of the American Revolution

I had a wonderful day at the terrific Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia on Saturday. I joined six other members of the American Friends of Lafayette to speak with museum-goers about Major General Lafayette. 


A Note of the British Arriving in Philadelphia


From "They Passed this Way," by Marc A. Brier, Valley Forge Nationl Historical Pastrk, September 2002

On September 26, Philadelphia fell into British hands.

At half past eight, this morning, Lord Cornwallis with two battalions of British Grenadiers marched in and took possession of the city. *
Captain Montressor

*The grenadiers were physically and psychologically intimidating individuals that the British army sent on special missions. They wore tall bear skin hats bearing the Latin motto "Nec Aspera Terrent,” which translates as: “Difficulties be Damned.”

Citizen Response

Some Philadelphians were happy to see the British come, as evidenced by the comments of seventeen-year- old loyalist Robert Morton

To the great relief of the inhabitants who have too long suffered under the yoke of arbitrary Power; and who testified their approbation of the arrival of the troops by the loudest acclamations of joy.

Others simply wondered what was to befall them during the British occupation.

A ten-year-old boy known only as “J.C.” remembered

Their tranquil look and dignified appearance have left an impression on my mind, that the British grenadiers were inimitable ... I went up to the front rank of the grenadiers when they had entered Second Street, when several of them addressed me thus, -- 'How do you do, young one -- how are you, my boy' -- in a brotherly tone, that seems to still vibrate on my ear; then reached out their hands, and severally caught mine, and shook it, not with the exalting shake of conquerers, as I thought, but with a sympathizing one for the vanquished.