Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Monday, June 27, 2011

Guest Author: Bernadette Pajer

Please welcome Bernadette Pajer, especially since it is her birthday. The times, they are a-changing...she's doing a fascinating look at how things have changed.
Happy June 27th! It happens to be my birthday, so I thought it would be fun to compare life in 1901, the year Professor Bradshaw solves his first case in Seattle, to life in 1963, the year I was born. It's such a short time in the grand scheme of things, just 62 years, but the difference is astounding. I've found a few quotes to illustrate how much the world changed (and yet how we're still profoundly connected.)

"Some Inside History and Physics of Flight, by Henry Neidig, M.E. . . .There is just as much likelihood that the granite bowlders [sic] of a dozen states will someday get up and fly back to their original strata, as there is that the Langley and Kress, or any other purely mechanical flying machines will become practical man-carrying realities."
                     The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 3, 1901

"X-15 Pilot Gains Astronaut's Wings EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., June 27. –(A.P.)— Air Force Capt. Robert A. Rushworth, warming up for an altitude-record try, guided the X-15 rocket plane more than 50 miles high today to earn his astronaut's wings."
                      The Seattle Times, June 27, 1963


"Some women, otherwise good and true, have a sort of moral want of taste, and wear too bright colors, too many glass beads, too much hair, and a combination of discordant materials which causes the heart of a good dresser to ache with anguish."
                       Manners and Social Usages by Mrs. John Sherwood, Revised edition of 1901.

"Inez Robb: Down With the Fancy-Pantsers NEW YORK This is the day to nail my fashion theses to the door. I am so avant garde that I believe women should look like women from the cradle to the grave and not like beatniks, freakniks or creepniks."
                    The Seattle Times, September 10, 1963

"TELEPHONE METHODS. May Be Completely Revolutionized by This New Invention.(Chicago Times-Herald) An invention threatens to do away almost entirely with the telephone girl . . . The new invention is called the autocommutator . . . every subscriber is supplied with an instrument consisting of a battery, transmitter, receiver, call bell, and a moveable dial with decimal figures."
                  The Seattle Daily Times, April 6, 1901.

"DEAR ABBY: You mentioned that some of the wires a father should pull to get his son into a good college were TV, hi-fi and telephone. I couldn't agree more heartily. I am 18 years old and have been glued to the "nutty box" almost since its invention."
                 The Seattle Times, June 3, 1963.


"I have a very great interest in your state, the great state of Washington, which I helped make, . . . Seattle and Tacoma are wonderful young cities, and are destined to become very great metropolises." President William McKinley as told by Mr. Baker of the Snoqualmie Falls Power Company.
                    The Seattle Daily Times, July 18, 1901 (two months before he was assassinated.)

"We need men who can dream of things that never were."
President John F. Kennedy
June 28, 1963 (the day after I was born, and five months before he was assassinated.)


"If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse."
Walt Disney, born 1901
(attended McKinley High School in Chicago)

"I was born into a world full of rocket ships and magic kingdoms, thanks to all those who came before me, following their passions and their dreams, and inspiring me to do the same."
Bernadette Pajer, born 1963
(attended Kennedy High School in Seattle)

In A SPARK OF DEATH, The First Professor Bradshaw Mystery, Benjamin Bradshaw, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington in 1901, discovers a colleague dead inside the Faraday Cage of the Electric Machine. The death is senseless and Bradshaw is the lone suspect. To protect his precious son and clear his name, he must find the killer.

His life and liberty threatened, Bradshaw discovers the thrill of investigation as he unveils a tangle of clues and questions. How had the Electric Machine’s Tesla Coil delivered a fatal shock? Was the murder personal—or connected to anarchism and President McKinley’s planned visit to Seattle and the new Snoqualmie Falls Power Plant? Bradshaw struggles to protect his own haunting secret as the hunt continues. Before it’s too late, will he discover the circuit path that led to a spark of death?

Thank you so much! I love these brief glimpses into our past and how things have changed!


Larry said...

One thing never changes. According to the older generation, the world was going rapidly to hell in a handbasket in 1901, and according to the newer older generation of 1963, it was moving faster than ever in that direction. Happy Birthday, Bernadette, and may we find you on your next birthday neck-deep in starred reviews and gold coins.

Tina said...

Happy birthday, Bernadette! The ancient Greeks also complained about the up and coming generation. It's been a popular pastime. So much changes and so much stays the same. Wish the Professor my best!

Bernadette Pajer said...

Oh, they've been saying that since words were invented. In THE BOOK OF THE COURTIER written in 1528, a bunch of folks sat around complaining about how kids had no respect or manners, and new-fangled ways were the doom of mankind. Me? I love new-fangled inventions. I wouldn't go back in time even if I could (well, maybe just to buy a little real estate and some shares in Microsoft). Thanks for the good wishes -- right back at ya with the Dec. release of your new medical mystery.

Susan Schreyer said...

Got a good chuckle out of all the quotes! Some of the changes are even greater now, of course (telephone comes to mind). Best of luck with your wonderful new book and have a very happy birthday!

Bernadette Pajer said...

Thanks Tina! I must say, with my first published book coming out next Tuesday, a happy healthy son, and a wonderful husband, I'm having the best birthday ever!

Bernadette Pajer said...

Thanks Susan! Is your third Thea Campbell mystery coming out soon?

Tammy said...

Fun stuff! Hope it's a fabulous birthday month!

Darlene Granberg said...

Happy Birthday, Bernadette! Enjoyed the blog post. Amazing how much things have changed in such a short time! Imagine - a world without telephones, computers, or electronic books (I am a hold out on the last one. Still like my paper copies.) Awaiting 'A Spark of Death' to hit the streets, so I can get my paper copy!

Bernadette Pajer said...

Off to a great start, thanks Tammy! And Darlene, I agree it's amazing how quickly the world changed. There were telephones in 1901--the invention I quote about above added the dial to the phone--but most people didn't have a telephone yet. I don't have the figures for '01, but in 1900 in Seattle, only 4,337 telephones were in use out of a population of 80,671. By the next year, Seattle's population jumped to 107,855! The linemen, both power and telephone, were never short of work!

Wendy Delaney said...

What fun quotes! I especially liked the one about the future (or lack thereof) of flight. Ironic that it came from a Seattleite whose decendants probably worked at Boeing!
Hope you had a wonderful birthday! :)