Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Curse of the Blue Figurine Chronology (Part I)

Several years ago, probably as we were putting The Dullard’s Bane version of this website to pasture, I got the wild idea to go through the Johnny Dixon series and identify all the passages of time. When Bellairs noted the date, or a day or week or month passed, I scribbled down the particulars. Part of this was to gauge just how much of Johnny’s life was crammed into the “early 1950s” – the generic setting Bellairs used, and Strickland inherited. Also, if the events had happened chronologically, what year would it have been by the end of The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost? A case of too much time on someone’s hands? Maybe. Anyway, here’s when the initial chapters of The Curse of the Blue Figurine occurred:

January 1951

  • "It was a cold winter evening in January. The year was 1951." (3)
  • "Up until about six months before, Johnny had lived in New York State...." (5)
  • "Days passed. Weeks passed." (24)

February 1951

  • "One cold dark February day Johnny was standing under the big stone arch out in front of Saint Michael's School." (26)
  • "Days passed." (37)
  • "In the weeks that followed, Johnny and the professor became friends." (52)

March 1951

  • "March was a wintry month in Massachusetts that year.... But in the middle of March some rather odd things started to happen." (54)
  • "Johnny wanted to point out that it was not exactly the middle of winter but more like the end of it." (54)
  • "One windy night toward the end of March Johnny went to the movies by himself." (55)

April 1951

  • "A month passed. Windy March turned into sloppy wet April...." (63)
  • "...Johnny picked up the new April issues of Hobbies...." (63)
  • Toward the end of April Saint Michael's School has its yearly paper drive." (64)
  • Every day for three days the students of Saint Michael's School were let out of class...." (64)
  • "It was a chilly winter April night." (77)

May 1951

  • When Johnny walked into the church that morning, he suddenly remembered that it was the first day of May." (89)  Johnny has a run-in with Phil Absen at school and later finds Eddie Tompke throwing rocks near downtown.
    • May 1 is a Tuesday
  • "It was a bright, sunshiny Saturday in May..." (103)  "It was May 10, ten days after Johnny's run-in with Eddie Tompke." (104)
    • Saturday, May 10, 1951 is not a correct date.  May 10 was a Thursday.

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