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An Interview With Simon Loxley

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fraternizing with Alpha Delta Phi

The third in an occasional series about where John Bellairs lived during his time in Chicago.

No, John Bellairs was not a member of any social or professional fraternal organization, from what we can tell.  Yet, one may ask why he once lived in a University of Chicago fraternity house.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Something About American Wizards

Florence Zimmerman and Jonathan Barnavelt
We have a LiveJournal user looking for "American Wizards of the fantasy type", originating from literature or wherever else.  The blogger has started off the list with some familiar names and we're in good company:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

48 Years for an Autograph?

Algernon Blackwood
This is easily one of the strangest stories about John that we’ve heard: someone uses the checkout card from the back of a library book (presumably owned at one point by the University of Chicago) as a bookmark and finds John Bellairs checked the book out on November 10, 1959 – 48 years ago yesterday.
Adding to the mystique is that it was an Algernon Blackwood anthology, something we can easily see John enjoying (our favorite of his tales is Secret Worship - we do recommend it, just not after midnight...).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Researching Bellairs the Boy Scout

BSA Troop 112
In a 1990 article with the Haverhill Eagle-Tribune, when asked about his childhood, John Bellairs noted he was somewhat of a loner until he made some "lifelong friends in the Boy Scouts."

We know John was a member of Marshall Boy Scout Troop 112 in 1951, and some of his Scouting experiences snuck into his books over the years. Take the story of Johnny Dixon, also a member of Troop 112: he goes off to Scout camp and also meets a lifelong friend in Byron Ferguson [The Mummy, the Will and the Crypt]. Camp Chocorua was probably influenced by his attendance at Camp T. Ben Johnston on Sherman Lake outside Augusta, Michigan, itself about 8 miles west of Battle Creek.