Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Margaret D / Car

Posted in Automobiles, History, Mental Health, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 24/02/2015

  Margaret D arrived at Willard with almost her entire household as well as her car.  Which in this case was a Dodge Brothers Coupe that she bought new in 1934.  Here is what Hemmings has to say about it.  An amazing automobile.

This is the first page of the notebook where she kept track of trips that she took in it.  I am quite familiar with the first legs of the journey, having grown up in Western Pennsylvania.  Especially the Salamanca, NY to Bradford, PA leg.  And my great friend and college roommate Gail grew up in Ridgeway, where I have spent quite a bit of time.

I am just blown away when I think about the stories contained in these suitcases.  Thanks for following along with me.

Willard Suitcases / Margaret D / Question * Update!

Posted in Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 18/02/2015

Yesterday we had a very productive day shooting more of Margaret D’s possessions.  Every once in a while, something completely unexpected pops up.  Among the many photographs in Margaret’s collection was this picture postcard.  It was so unlike everything else that she had that it was a bit of a shock.  There was no information on the back, but I thought I immediately knew the identity of the woman in the bathing suit.  Peg wasn’t so sure.  So I am opening it up for all of you to help us figure out who this is.  In a few days, I will post my guess, along with more images from the shoot.  As I mentioned before, Margaret came to Willard with almost an entire household.  It will take us months to get through it all, but is a remarkable look into her life.

Wow, my sister Karen nailed it.  Ann Miller.  Look in the comments to see the other responses.  Here is the original that she tracked down on the web.

Thanks Sis!  And I owe Peggy a beer.  My money was on Bess Myerson.

Willard Suitcases / Margaret D

Posted in Asylums, Mental Health, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 05/02/2015

On Tuesday, Peg and I started in on Margaret D’s cases.  By all accounts she came to Willard with her entire household, which included a car.  There is so much of hers in the collection that we literally did not know where or how to start.  The first shot we took is of this remnant of a shipping label, and it seemed as good a place as any to begin.  She came to Willard from the Mount Morris TB Hospital, but I haven’t yet seen anything with a date on it to know for sure when she arrived.

It will take us weeks to get through her things, but now that we have started, I feel excited to proceed.  I will continue to post about her as we move ahead.

My son Peter sent me a link to an interesting article in Sunday’s Washington Post.  It is about a woman who struggles with a lot of the same issues that many Willard patients must have experienced.  Here is the link.

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