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A mystery for readers to ponder
Old 09-27-2009, 08:56 AM   #1
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A mystery for readers to ponder

I volunteer with a neighborhood organization dedicating to helping seniors "age in place." I meet a lot of fascinating people and one of them recently provided a mysterious anecdote in an interview for the organization's newsletter. In his worklife he organized materials collections at the Library of Congress. James Michener donated his papers to the Library but called back a few months later asking the Library to send someone over to pick up some papers he wanted to add. Our guy had a vacation home on the Eastern Shore near Michener's house and volunteered to go. He spent a day drinking with Michener and then brought a package of papers back to the Library. The package included an envelope sealed with wax and marked, "Not to be opened until 25 years after my death." So, Michener fans, what's the secret? The envelope is in a vault at the Library not to be opened until 2022 so we won't know for sure for a more than a decade.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:11 AM   #2
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I volunteer with a neighborhood organization dedicating to helping seniors "age in place." I meet a lot of fascinating people and one of them recently provided a mysterious anecdote in an interview for the organization's newsletter. In his worklife he organized materials collections at the Library of Congress. James Michener donated his papers to the Library but called back a few months later asking the Library to send someone over to pick up some papers he wanted to add. Our guy had a vacation home on the Eastern Shore near Michener's house and volunteered to go. He spent a day drinking with Michener and then brought a package of papers back to the Library. The package included an envelope sealed with wax and marked, "Not to be opened until 25 years after my death." So, Michener fans, what's the secret? The envelope is in a vault at the Library not to be opened until 2022 so we won't know for sure for a more than a decade.
Ooh!! What a neat mystery. I absolutely *love* real life mysteries to wonder about, and to ponder upon. I am still pondering the JFK assassination and wondering if Oswald was or was not a lone assassin. I remember Jackie Kennedy Onassis saying that we would know for sure in time, so often I wonder if there will be more revealed about the events and people surrounding that too, eventually.

I don't know that much about Michener except that I read a couple of his books when I was a pre-teenager, and loved them. When I lived in Hawaii, there seemed to be a lot of public and private contraversy about what was thought to be his mis-characterization of some aspects of life in that state. But given his in-depth writings, I suppose that is to be expected.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:14 AM   #3
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Interesting, Don, are you a Michener fan?

I haven't read all his books but "The Drifters" come to mind. Something to ponder.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:18 AM   #4
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Darn, Want2retire, you beat me to the punch.
I'd say he has the name of who ordered the JFK shooting in the envelope. Michener likely had a long discussion with LBJ, who imho knew.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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Darn, Want2retire, you beat me to the punch.
I'd say he has the name of who ordered the JFK shooting in the envelope. Michener likely had a long discussion with LBJ, who imho knew.
I think LBJ knew the truth about the JFK assassination (whether it was lone gunman or what), and I think Jackie knew. Well, I am absolutely convinced that she thought she knew, at any rate. But I have no clue as to whether or not Michener was involved in any of that.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:22 AM   #6
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Interesting, Don, are you a Michener fan?

I haven't read all his books but "The Drifters" come to mind. Something to ponder.
Not really a fan boy but I read a few of his books years ago and enjoyed them.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:59 AM   #7
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I read most of his books years ago so I would guess it is a new book . Since his books usually dealt with places and their history my guess is Vietnam or Iraq .
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:24 AM   #8
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The Drifters is actually one of my all time favorite novels. I haven't read any of his other stuff, but that book--the time and place aspects of it--just fantastic.
I'll have to pull it off the shelf again now that you've reminded me all over again what a great story it is.
What a great mystery, though! I'd not be a good person to be in charge of something like that--I'm afraid I'd peek!
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Old 09-27-2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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I am a big fan of Michener. (I have a 1st edition copy of "Tales of the South Pacific.") I have read all of his books as well as the numerous articles and short stories he wrote. I miss his indepth research and the way he, for instance, began "Hawaii" with the formation of the planet we live on.

"The Drifters" came at a time in my life that made it all the more powerful than usual, I suppose. I also enjoyed "The Covenant" during that period. "Colorado" (because I live here) was the most couldn't-put-down of them all. Golly, "Space" also deserves special mention.

I miss him.

I suspect, however, that the "mystery" will be as "earth shaking" as the identity of "Deep Throat" was.
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Old 09-27-2009, 12:41 PM   #10
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Still like Michener's the missionaries “came to do good, and ended up doing well” from his Hawaii.
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Old 09-27-2009, 01:08 PM   #11
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The only Michener book I ever finished was Space.
I started Hawaii but some 4 letter word that starts with a "w" interfered.

As for the mystery envelope, I have no clue.
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
I am still pondering the JFK assassination and wondering if Oswald was or was not a lone assassin.
Everybody knows there was a coverup. Fidel + CIA + KGB, all headed by LBJ in cahoots with RMN.

Michener’s secret: serial plagiarism, especially “The Covenant”.
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Old 09-27-2009, 04:53 PM   #13
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I started Hawaii but some 4 letter word that starts with a "w" interfered.
I wanted to buy and read Hawaii the year it was published, but (believe it or not) my parents sternly forbade it. They had heard so many really awful things about it from all of their friends and associates, who told them Michener mischaracterized the Islands and Islanders to such an extent that they didn't want their daughter to read it.

I figured that if it was THAT contraversial, there must be a great big kernel of truth in it! But out of respect to my parents I didn't read it and haven't got around to it after their deaths.

MichaelB, I have one thing to say: ~~>
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:48 PM   #14
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....
Michener’s secret: serial plagiarism, especially “The Covenant”.
I thought he stole his own material between "Iberia" and "The Drifters."

Here is the Library of Congress list:

James A. Michener Papers (Library of Congress)

Looks like his journals are not microfilmed (Part III Closed materials, 1906-1992, n.d.). I have no idea what that means or if it has anything to do with the sealed items.

I’m guessing the sealed pouch is personal, and imagine he did find out who is birth parents were and wrote something about it. Alternatively, it is a detailed description of an affair with the lady who died toward the end of "Hawaii." Such a vivid character.

Wow, Donheff, you’ve found a thread topic that can stay open for 13+ years.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:21 PM   #15
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I just read one called "Caravans", set in Afghanistan just after WWII.
Kinda lame as a novel, IMHO, but incredibly fascinating in what it had
to tell about Afghanistan, a pretty fascinating country - and of course,
"as timely as today's headlines" !
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:10 AM   #16
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Wow, Donheff, you’ve found a thread topic that can stay open for 13+ years.
Now I will have to remember to bump it once a year. But what if we find out in 2022 that this guy's story is a hoax? You guys will come after me with pitch forks
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Old 09-28-2009, 07:21 AM   #17
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I read The Drifters. Now I are one.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:30 AM   #18
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This might be it: Michener did promise to reveal how he could tell psychic things. Honest...I read it somewhere that he had learned how to do this from some older lady on some island/far-off place when he was writing one of his books. I guess she taught him, and he was good at the skill.
Since Michener is on record as saying he would reveal how he did it before he died, it was disappointing that he died without telling anything . I was hoping he would. How cool would it be to be able to tell someone about their past and future? How is it done?
And now I have to wait more time to find out? Phoooooey!!!! I was really irritated when he died and didn't pass this knowledge on (whining I say, but you prooooomised, James), so I am hoping that this is what it is. Really hoping...
This Michener revelation is documented somewhere in a magazine or newspaper. I just cannot remember which one, sorry.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:08 PM   #19
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Just remembered: I'm pretty sure I read this in The Parade magazine that they put in your Sunday newspaper. Wonder if we can find their archives?
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:47 PM   #20
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Just remembered: I'm pretty sure I read this in The Parade magazine that they put in your Sunday newspaper. Wonder if we can find their archives?
Or could it be his "Egyptian Princess" referred to on Page 2 of this issue of The James A. Michener Society Newsletter.
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