Updates from the Blog / 11.01.2012

This has been a great first week. With the help of my wife, I came up with the name Ghosts of D.C. on Monday and by Wednesday, the blog up and running with the first post. Incidentally, I was a little trigger happy with posts and knocked out two more posts that night. I also stayed up exceedingly late on most nights queuing up posts for the next day, to the detriment of my health, but it was worth it. A few themes began to crystallize that I will be following down the road. My favorite is "From the Crazy Vault" with all the ridiculous stuff I come across in old Washington Post articles. I can't decided if I'm happy or sad to know that things were always messed up. The one I most enjoyed doing was this one, about 1036 Park Rd. NW, the building currently occupied by Red Rocks (and yes, I convinced my wife to go that night). The coolest one  was the Hendrix bit (who knew the Washington Hilton was so hip in the 60s?) followed by the post on the Beatles concert in 1964 (this one was the most popular one). The biggest dud of the week was this one. I take this to mean that people don't like books (WTF?). We kicked off our presence on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, gaining a bunch of followers and sharing our stories through those social communities. On a slight tangent ... I keep switching between "I" and "we" because I feel the latter includes all the people who help me by giving my ideas or proofreading, primarily my wife, who is indulging me in this new hobby of mine. Also, a quick note. Per a reader recommendation made by @JustinHerman, I'm going to change the profile pictures for both Twitter and Facebook to something a little more recognizable -- the Capitol Dome under construction. It's the image to the right.
Faces & Places of Yesterday / 09.01.2012

This is a great one for "Faces of Yesterday" ... this group of young boys worked as Dime Messenger Service boys, with their headquarters at 1228 H St. NW. Lewis Hine, the American sociologist and photographer took this photo in the spring 1912. The baby-faced boy in the middle is Eddie Tahoory (14 years old) and he recently started working there. The boy with the spectacles on the left is Earle Griffith (15 years old). He lived with his mother -- who eloped with a boarder -- at 107 15th St. NW (odd, because this is now the Ellipse ... maybe it's supposed to be 107 15th St. NE). Eddie lived at 108 4th St. NE, and surely spent a number of afternoons running around Stanton Park with his friends. Lewis asked the boys several questions while taking their photograph. They said they never know when they would get home each night as they usually worked one or more nights each week and often worked well past midnight. The previous Christmas, the office has a 9-year-old boy running errands for them, and he made a lot of money from tips (child labor laws were quite different back then). Each week they would pull in about $7 for their work. Evidently, the office policy was to not send the young boys into the tougher neighborhoods like Swampoodle, Murder Bay, or the red light district, but the boys would go when a call sent them in, which was not very often.