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  • David Grassé

Progress?

Returned from Paris two weeks ago with a head cold. I am not complaining, just sharing. This was my first trip out of the country. That is not exactly true. I have been to Mexico, but when you grow up in Arizona, going to Mexico is like visiting your neighbor.

Paris is an amazing place. We saw most the museums (Musee d'Orsay and Musee Carnavalet were my favorites), all the cemeteries (paid respects to Baudelaire, Huysmans, Maupassant, and Balzac, to name a few), saw some beautiful sites and ate some great food. If my finances allow, I will be returning to France in a couple years.

As to my projects, I have been publishing a few articles and have a few on deck. The Tombstone Epitaph and The Journal of the Wild West History Association have been very good to me, and are taking everything I send them. Upcoming articles include the story of Jennie Bauters, the famed madame of Jerome, and the tale of the killing of Tucson Police Officer William Katzenstein, who bullied a young Mexican man named Teodoro Elias until the latter retaliated with a pistol. Recently, these journals published my stories about Frank Wattron, the Sheriff of Navajo County, who wrote the controversial invitation to the hanging of George Smiley, and May Woodson, who shot her lover William Kinsman to death in front of the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone. Now, I am looking for more good, short stories to write about. The book manuscripts are still up in the air. I am still waiting to hear from the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Genealogy Program about Edna Loftus' deportation hearing (I put the request in last January). In the interim, I hired another service to see if I could track down Edna's relatives and daughter. After a few months, the researcher wrote me back, saying they could find nothing. This led us to conclude "Edna Loftus" was stage name. I wrote the National Archives in Berlin to see if I could obtain a copy of her marriage certificate (when she married Winnie O'Connor, the jockey) and I wrote the National Archives at College Park, Maryland to see if the records of her re-marriage at the U.S. Consul in France were extant. I may have to take a trip to Maryland to do the research myself, as the archivist there was only able to check the records of two of the numerous consul which were in France at that time. The University of Nevada peer review process for Let's Go Rob a Train! A History of Train Robbery in the Arizona Territory continues. They sent me the review of one of the "peers," who seems very knowledgeable about trains, but seemed to have missed the point the manuscript is focusing on the robberies and the men who committed them, not the trains they robbed. The peer also suggested I pick three to study in detail and gloss over the others. Basically, he thinks the manuscript is still too long. Ironically, he suggested I look at two of the successful robberies and one unsuccessful robbery. The whole point of the study is that only one was successful, and the rest of these heists were dismal failures due to the inexperience of the robbers. There is supposed to be a second peer review, which I am waiting on. John Boessenecker suggested I shop the manuscript around some more. I will if the University of Nevada Press starts demanding a serious rewriting. I do not have any book manuscripts I am currently working on, though I have a few projects I have laid aside, such as a deconstruction of the myth of the Arizona Rangers, a history of Holbrook, and a look at domestic homicide in the territory.

And that is all the news that is news. I will be more diligent about keeping this blog current. (The photo is me at the grave of Guy De Maupassant in the Montparnasse Cemetery)



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