Thursday, July 16, 2020


This week my daughter brought to my attention an 1893 publication about a reunion in Danvers of people who had been active in the anti-slavery cause.

Here's a brief quote from the Preface, page xi, that mentions some family members:

Mrs. Abel Nichols, not to mention others, was of North Danvers, and she and her husband were among the best of abolitionists. Their daughter, the late Mrs. Eben G. Berry, recalled with what fear and trembling she was wont, as a young girl, to circulate anti-slavery documents, and their nephew, Mr. Andrew Nichols, now of Danvers, son of Dr. Andrew Nichols, remembers how he used to be stoned in the streets for procuring subscribers to anti-slavery papers.

The full publication (190 pages) is available online in the Internet Archive.  Title page:


 of the
held by the
 at the
APRIL 26, 1893,
With Introductions, Letters, and Sketches.

You can access the digitized copy at this address:

There is a search option, so you can type in a word or name, and find where it appears in the text.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Hugh Downs & early TV

Today I learned of the death of Hugh Downs, who lived to age 99.  He will be missed. For decades his friendly face and calm voice on TV were so frequent that it seemed like we knew him.  In today's newspaper I learned something new about his career –– his early role as an announcer for the children's TV show "Kukla, Fran, and Ollie."

That was the very first TV show I watched.  I recall a very small screen on the TV, which was rectangular box perched on top of Daddy's dresser (safely out of reach of our young hands). Perhaps the voice of Hugh Downs was one of the first TV voices I ever heard?

I found this short YouTube video today of Mr. Downs talking about his experience with that Kukla, Fran, and Ollie show:

Nine years ago I had written a brief blog entry about my early TV experiences. I included a link to a short video of Kukla, Fran, and Ollie in action. I'm pleased that the link still works; it's fun to see the puppets and Fran again. (No announcer in that short clip, though.)