Thomas Wolfe's Rhinebeck

Thomas Wolfe, a titan of American letters in the late 1920s and ’30s, was well known for the lyrical quality, autobiographical nature, and sheer length of his novels. The recent limited-release film Genius committed to cinema the story of Charles Scribner's Sons editor Maxwell Perkins and his efforts to shepherd Wolfe's debut novel, Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life, to publication.  An obscure fact about this half-forgotten author is that a substantial portion of Look Homeward, Angel, perhaps as many as seven chapters, was produced in Rhinebeck, N.Y., on the Fox Hollow estate in the summer of 1927.  

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On the Streets of Philadelphia

Just before 8 a.m. on the day of Hillary Clinton’s speech, some of the protestors were milling and others were waking up to a humid morning. One pair started to pack up their camping gear. A man slept in the open air and another slept with his arm over his face beneath a tarp tied from the ground to the fence of a baseball field. Two young men with mitts lobbed a baseball back and forth and talked. 

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The Wreck of the Steamboat Swallow

She was one of the fastest steamboats on the Hudson River, but that night, April 7, 1845, you wouldn’t have known it. The Swallow, under command of Captain A. H. Squires, on its overnight trip from Albany to New York City was moving nowhere near her usual speed heading south towards Manhattan through a gale-force wind and intermittent bouts of snow and sleet being dumped from a black and angry sky. One passenger described the wind as “moaning with a terrible splendour” that brought to mind a Charles Dickens’ story, “Chimes,” in which the wind is personified as a malevolent spirit. 

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Kingston's Cement Graveyard

The Cement Graveyard is located in East Kingston, which is a bit of a misnomer, since East Kingston is actually North of central Kingston. It’s also a bit of a misnomer to say the Cement Graveyard is ‘in’ East Kingston, since the Cement Graveyard isn’t ‘in’ anywhere but the woods. I parked on Railroad Avenue and walked the mile and a half down John Street to get there. There were houses on the sides of the road at first, but both the houses and the road petered away until I was on a dirt path in the middle of the forest.

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