Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The final volume of the Northwestern-Newberry THE WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE--LAST OF 15 VOLUMES

1965-2018 The Hardback of the Final Volume of the Northwestern-Newberry THE WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE

Publishing date, 2017; date received by its editors, 2018

Cold February morning

Why anyone whose white ancestors came to what became the US in the 1600s is kin to everyone almost

If you have 131,072 15 great grandparents and their children had the usual 10 children and so on down a few generations, is it any wonder that Taylor Swift and Matt Damon show up as Pottenger cousins, 13 or 14 or whatever it is. I should not have been surprised yesterday to find that someone on Roots (Bill Hader--whom I had never heard of) is a cousin. Even without going across the Atlantic, your folks come early, you are kin to millions, and not just a few millions. And not just Southerners. My surprise is how many Northerners have Pennsylvania or Maryland ancestors in common with mine. Well, the Annapolis folks were too good to keep South.

I am thinking about Walker Gilmer; forget the Gilmores, he is probably one of the Maryland Walkers like me. I should have checked earlier.

Walker Gilmer--I waited too long to see if I could find him


Frank Walker Gilmer
Monday, February 5, 2018
Dr. Frank Walker Gilmer, the well-known professor, passed away on Jan. 22, 2018, after a long illness.
He and his wife, Peggy had been residents of Greencastle since 1963.

I failed in earlier attempts to check on Walker and Peggy. Today I tried again and found the obituary.

This is what I wrote in MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE (p. 24):
I planned to study for the qualifying exams in the fall of 1962 but in the spring Walker Gilmer importuned me one Friday to come out to Libertyville for the weekend to prep him for the exams by talking out answers to old essay questions and memorizing facts from his meticulously devised flash cards. Saturday evening I called Hayford and asked if I could take the exams with Walker on Monday. He shrugged off the sign-up rules and agreed. Ernest Samuels fumed but did not put up a fight about letting me take the exam, although when I answered Hayford's little throwaway Melville question humorously he observed that this was "no place for levity."

Too late to see if Walker saw it.