When Mary Martin Was the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up

Longreads

Ben Yagoda | Longreads | December 2014 | 12 minutes (3,094 words)

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One day early in 1954, Mary Martin and her husband, Richard Halliday, were driving on the Merritt Parkway, near their home in Norwalk, Connecticut. On the car radio came Frank Sinatra’s new hit, “Young at Heart.” It was perfect! That is, the song had the exact sentiment and feel they wanted for the pet project they’d long been planning, a musical version of J.M. Barrie’s 1904 play Peter Pan (original subtitle: “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up”). Right on the spot, they decided they’d hire whoever had written the song to compose the score for their production.

It turned out that the words were by a young New Yorker, Carolyn Leigh, and the music by the veteran West Coast jazzman Johnny Richards. The next morning the phone rang in Leigh’s apartment…

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How to Fake a Medieval Fresco in Third Reich Germany

Longreads

Down in the schwahl, Malskat and the Feys set to work, attempting to reclaim history by scraping away the paint with which Olbers had tried to recapture the past. But subtracting what their predecessor had done—whether on account of Olbers’ pigments or the Feys’ incompetence—left almost none of the original paint. A nearly 700-year-old national treasure had vanished, and Ernst Fey was legally responsible for the disappearance.

Most likely Fey was the one to think of a fix. Unquestionably Malskat was the one who achieved it. Over the next several months, the erstwhile housepainter whitewashed the brick, discoloring his lime with pigment to give the walls an ancient tint. Onto this fresh surface he painted freehand his own version of the murals. Necessarily these were based on Olbers’ 19th-century restorations, reverse engineered to approximate the early medieval originals by reference to period examples in the professor’s catalogues. Drawing his figures…

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This Is Living — an Exclusive from Loitering: New & Collected Essays by Charles D’Ambrosio

Longreads

Charles D’Ambrosio  | Loitering | November 2014 | 25 minutes (5,836 words)

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Loitering: New & Collected EssaysFor our latest Longreads Exclusive, we are delighted to share “This Is Living,” an essay from Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering: New & Collected Essays, published by Tin House. Subscribe to Tin House and check out their book titles. Buy the book

I was seven and had a leather purse full of silver dollars, both of which, the purse and the coins, I considered valuable. I wanted them stored in the bank. At the time, the bank had an imposing landmark status in my map of the world, in part because it shared the same red brick as the public school, the two most substantial buildings in our town. As a Catholic school kid I did a lot of fundraising in the form of selling candy bars…

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That’s a Wrap: A Snapshot of November’s Photo 101 Course

The Daily Post

As I’d mentioned in the final Photography 101 post, congratulations again to participants in our first-ever Blogging U. course dedicated to photoblogging. November proved to be a fun, busy month of picture-taking and blog posting, and we hope you enjoyed meeting other bloggers in the Commons and pushing yourself to meet your daily publishing goals.

Throughout November, we were excited to see a wide range of participants — from brand-new bloggers to veteran photographers — connect, teach, and learn from one another. We also enjoyed seeing different interpretations of the daily themes, from your locations all over the world.

A wonderful interpretation of swarm: Synchronous Swarm, Mitch Zeissler, Exploratorius

We plan to run this course again, as well as new 201-level courses focused on different elements of photography. Throughout the month, we noted your feedback on the assortment of themes and tips, as well as the course pacing and…

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New Themes: Plane and Capoverso

WordPress.com News

Today, we welcome Plane and Capoverso to our WordPress.com theme showcase.

Plane

Plane

Say hello to Plane, the newest addition to our theme collection. Based on the Flato theme by ThemeMeme, Plane combines clean and modern design and a classic two-column layout. With support for both a custom header and a logo, it’s easy to make your site stand out from the crowd. Plane is the perfect choice for a travel or personal blog.

Learn more about Plane in the Theme Showcase, or activate it on your blog under Appearance → Themes.

Capoverso

capoversolg1

Designed by WordPress.com’s own Davide ‘Folletto’ Casali, Capoverso is a minimalist theme with strong typography, designed for those who want to make a bold statement in a simple way. The unique Front Page template allows you to display a large featured image of your choosing, overlaid with brief introductory text and a custom menu…

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Meet the Kids Who Don’t Want Toys For Christmas

Longreads

It had been only two days since Ruth Soukup had re-organized her daughters’ room, and there were still a few toys on the floor that her kids, then three and six years old, refused to pick up. “I would say to the girls, ‘If you can’t take care of your stuff, I’m going to have to take it all away,’” Soukup recalls. It was an empty threat, until that afternoon when Soukup realized she genuinely “wanted it all gone.”

Very calmly, Soukup started taking everything except for furniture out of their room and amassing their toys into a gigantic pile.

She took away all their dress-up clothes, baby dolls, Polly Pockets and stuffed animals, all of their Barbies, building blocks and toy trains, right down to the furniture from their dollhouse and play food from their kitchen. She even took the pink Pottery Barn Kids comforter from their bed.

Her…

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