So there I was in New Harbor, Maine waking up in a bed and breakfast, the Gosnold Arms overlooking the harbor and the ferry that I would take to Monhegan, when two text messages squeaked through the lousy Verizon coverage.2 comments
Here is an e-mail I got from one of Outer Island's caretakers:1 comment
My dear Aunt Judy gave me this program from my grandfather's play, If You Get It, Do You Want It?1 comment
Did you miss the readings in Portland and NYC? You can watch a film of the NYC reading with this link:3 comments
After our Portland book reading and signing, my mom and I headed off to NYC. On December 11, we had a book reading in her studio. Molly Shea did a great job of setting up the studio for the reading including putting out yummy eats and an Outer Island plate.2 comments
After 83 years in the making, Leonard Dankmar Weil's Outer Island memoir was finally launched on December 3, 2010. The reading took place in Portland, Oregon at Blue Sky Gallery, where my mom had a show of her ( and Jose Betancourt's) cyanotypes (blueprints). It was so beautiful to see the strong beautiful work on the walls around us as she and I read from her father's first book.
My brother helped me upload the the text of my grandfather's book yesterday. I tried to have as light a touch as possible in "reconstituting" my grandfather's memoir. I weighed the importance of each word that I added and made sure to highlight and track each one. In the end I added only 1,310 words of the 40,751 word manuscript - about 3% percent.
I am in the process of picking photos for the Outer Island book (that I have "reconstituted" from my grandfather's notes and papers). My brother, Chris, is helping me get the file ready to send to an on-line publisher - Lulu.com. We work late at night at his house and fortify ourselves with dark chocolate. Yet to do: pick out the cover pictures, make a few changes in text and send it off for printing!1 comment
My grandfather, Leonard Dankmar Weil, will soon, publish his first book. I have been working for a year to finish his memoir of Outer Island - an island he and his wife bought in 1927 and lived on for much of the rest of their lives. I visited NY this month to read my parents the proposed manuscript and to look for photos to put in the book. Both endeavors were successful. My mom had two changes she requested to the writing and we dug out at least 50 photos of the island for possible inclusion in the book.
I have been going through my grandfather's notes for his memoir of Outer Island. I've discovered some wonderful lists of things he wanted to write about. Here is one compilation of four lists. It discusses their two goats: Mary Lou and Leaf-God.
June is the month for me to share gems I've found in my grandfather, Leonard Dankmar Weil's, writing. Here is a marvelous list...the contents of the old house on the island. Seems like a goldmine for writing prompts (pick any four and tell why they were destined to be together? - if any readers would like to attempt this writing challenge - I'll post it on my blog!).17 comments
As promised, here is a wonderful piece of writing that my grandfather, Leonard Dankmar Weil, wrote in 1941. I have edited it lightly, changing little. Here, first is a picture of the first page of the manuscript as I have found it:1 comment
In 1927 my grandparents, Leonard D. Weil and Grace Fisher Weil, bought a six-acre island in the Long Island Sound off of the coast of Stony Creek, Connecticut. The island was known as Two Tree Island, and Outer Island, as it was the furthest out in the sound. The purchase was a first anniversary present to each other – an extravagance that they knew would never be matched. They moved onto the island and lived out their lives on this beautiful isle. My grandfather had recently graduated from Yale Drama School and went on to be a life-long writer. My grandparents had four children; my mother, Susan, is the second eldest. My mother recently handed me a folder containing 215 pages of an island memoir her father had written, sporadically and in various formats, from 1927 – 1932. SEA LIFE AND LOVES is a free-standing piece that was tucked into the folder. I believe it was written in 1927 and 1928. One character that may need explaining is Addison. He was a lobsterman who had spent much of his boyhood helping the previous owner of the island, Professor Verrell of Yale University. Addison took my grandparents under his wing, showing them the workings of island living and becoming a dear friend for life.3 comments
For my recent fiftieth birthday my mom, Susan Weil, dreamed up a surprise trip to Outer Island - the island her father and mother bought in 1927. The island was sold in the early sixties (at the direction of my grandmother's will - she didn't want her kids following her dream - she wanted them to follow their own dreams)(although as far as I am concerned I don't see anything wrong with following your grandparent's dreams!). Since I have been working hard with my grandfather's island memoir, mom knew it would be extra special for me to go to the island. I hadn't been there since I was 3.
Many of you know that I have discovered a draft of my grandfather's memoir about Outer Island - an island he bought his wife for their first anniversary. On the island he made a transformation from a well-to-do young man groomed to be a stock broker to an island man. Here is a section where he talks lovingly about his daily chores.1 comment
My poet friend Beth Enson has told me that I am good at describing detritus. I took it as a compliment. Now I see where I get it from. Here is a section of text from my grandfather's memoir that I am working on. I try to type up 5 pages a day. I found this section today where he describes some of the unseen things he and my grandmother bought when they, on impulse, bought an island from the estate of a deceased professor at Yale:1 comment
I have been working on editing my grandfather's several attempts at a writing a memoir about the island he bought in 1927. He gave up the life he was groomed for as a business man and lived with his wife and kids on an island, fishing and lobstering. I have about 215 pages - about 60 of which are handwritten. Everything is out of order and not one single essay is complete. There are at least five page ones and lots of strange pagination systems. I found this one-page fragment of reflections on the stock market crash of 1930. It seems relevant to our own age of excesses. Enjoy the wonderful work of my grandfather, Leonard Dankmar Weil! (I have left the text exactly as I found it - for now. I have not corrected spelling or punctuation. That will come later)
I have finished reading through all 215 pages of notes and typing that I have from my grandfather. I see a book which doesn't try to present a seamless story - because there is not one. I think I am looking at pieces of 6 or 7 attempts to write about his island - Outer Island. None are complete. I see the book being a compendium of writing and photographs. There is definitely a cohesive narrative with a clear beginning, a hefty middle, and hints of a conclusion. The narrative clearly goes from 1927 through 1932. I believe that most of it was written in 1932. The fall of the stock market is a pivotal point in the narrative with their change in means shifting the look of their experiment but not their joy in the island. With the fall of the stock market they shift into a more focused attempt at self-sufficiency on their little island. I hope to get a small self-published edition of the book within a year. It seems relevant to our own days of over-indulgence and a stock market "correction."1 comment
Here is a picture of my grandfather - the wonderful writer. I am looking forward to editing his nonfiction writing into a cohesive memoir.
Here is the conclusion of (my grandfather) Leonard Dankmar Weil's piece called Sea Life and Loves. It takes place in 1927 and was written, I believe, a few years later. It is about their life on Outer Island in the Long Island Sound, off the coast of Connecticut. It is presented as written, completely unedited - that will come later.5 comments
What follows is about half of a piece I found in my grandfather's - Leonard Dankmar Weil's - non-fiction writing about an island he bought for his new wife (or did they buy it together?) on their first anniversary. It is called Sea Life and Loves. Some background information: Grace and Leonard are newlyweds. The island is Outer Island in the Long Island Sound. Addison is a neighbor lobsterman.69 comments