Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Rodrigo L

Posted in Asylums, Mental Health, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 24/07/2015

Willard Suitcases

Rodrigo was a reader.  His collection of books was extensive and interesting.

Rodrigo L

He was also a bit of a writer. Below is a novel that he wrote that was part of his library.

Rodrigo L

It is interesting how he changed the dedication.

Rodrigo L

He must have been working with some sort of editor or teacher, as there are lots of corrections in red ink.

Rodrigo L

Some of his books were from his days at Salt Lake High School.  The collected issues of the school publication “Red and Black” were among his books.

Rodrigo L

This was the only evidence of his byline that I could find.

Rodrigo L

Frustrating to have to obscure his surname.

There is so much amazing material here, and I have to keep reminding myself that I am just documenting the collection as a photographer, and not as a social historian.  The temptation is to photograph everything that made his life so interesting, but I reckon I would never finish.

Peggy was especially helpful is setting up and organizing our work yesterday.  Here is a shot of her cheerful presence in front of a setup for which she was largely responsible.  Thanks Peg.

Peggy Ross

5 Responses

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  1. marketing4introverts said, on 24/07/2015 at 11:37 am

    A small thing: I noticed the dripping candles (candles don’t drip like that anymore) on top of the books on the header of the book which contains his article. I studied book binding for awhile and those are perfect examples of the rounded outside edge and back you get when you hammer the signatures before binding. We don’t, obviously, bind books that way anymore, but how interesting to see that kind of detail in even just the header of a book from that time. Plus the ribbon of decoration at the top. Pretty! Dhyan

    • joncrispin said, on 24/07/2015 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Dhyan, These books date from the early part of the 20th century. He was in high school around 1915. Thanks, as always for your interesting comments. Jon

  2. Elisa said, on 24/07/2015 at 1:16 pm

    Gosh Jon I wish you had an accidental error when you go back to photograph this mans picture history and just by chance accidentally include his full name.

    • joncrispin said, on 24/07/2015 at 3:02 pm

      Elisa, It’s funny that you would mention this. When I first published Rodrigo’s post, I missed scrubbing his name from one of the photographs. I always reread the posts once they go up, and I caught it. It is so frustrating. The museum is very concerned about names, as is OMH. But, the good news is that there is legislation working its way through the State House to be able to release names if the residents died over 50 years ago (as all of the suitcase owners have). I wrote about it in one of the Willard open house posts. I can only hope. Thanks so much for following and paying attention. Best, Jon

  3. barbara brown swinney said, on 10/08/2015 at 6:06 pm

    I found this particular article so interesting! I love books and especially old books. Rodrigo must have found books very comforting. Reading keeps the mind sharp and open for observation, meditation and thought along with using a person’s imagination. Reading and writing can be a place to escape from everything around you. I imagine that those around him at Willard became the subject of many a story in his mind and even perhaps on paper…thank you for sharing. Barbara S.


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