Wow. I don’t know if we’ll do that drive again. It was over 14 hours there because of traffic jams. When it’s already a long trip, a few traffic jams can really mess you up. I have a major gadget report coming your way, but in the meantime, the family history discovery of the year was this:
My aunt Helen (my mother’s sister) copyedited Norbert Wiener’s Cybernetics. She did a lot of copyediting work out of high school, and did a bunch of books from the Modern Library. But in the midst of some other recollection, she casually mentioned a dinner with Wiener and his wife and so I inquired further. Turns out she’d copyedited the book and they’d become friendly afterward. Indeed, her name — Helen Avati — turns up in the finding aid to his papers. She was surprised to find out that I was interested. I was simply blown away by the small-worldness of it all.
Wiener’s Cybernetics and The Human Use of Human Beings make short appearances in my mp3 manuscript. And so another circle is closed.
Last year’s discovery is here, though I somehow forgot to mention that another one of the family shoe store’s customers was Enrico Caruso (who makes a brief appearance in the Audible Past), and there was at one time supposedly a picture to prove it, though nobody seems to know where it is. I doubt it still exists.