EH in 1896, ideals shining right off his cowlicks, dreaming of a better future.
Elbert not Ehlro-n (from the dept. of exploding tangents)

Massive, massive, gigantic, megagigundous difference between the Roycrofters and the guy responsible, besides the Martians, for that vast cult known as the sci-ummmologisumissimists. The guy whose name rhymes with, wouldn't you know it, Enron. Hm. Given that I once wrote an exposé for a magzine published by Ralph Lauren's son on EST offshoot the landmarx fourhum (not the real name), and thus nearly got sued by the cult's admin, I hesitate to even say the word scientolomoneybrainwashbarleywaterologiwhich. And yes, I know that one is not the other. But they both have formidable legal teams.
The inscription reads: Elbert Hubbard on Garnet leading Asbestos. Garnet according to the Elbert Hubbard museum was his favorite mare. Asbestos: her foal. (Hubbard Roycroft Museum)
Meanwhile, Elbert Hubbard. Actually there are some similarities between Elbert and the EST guy, to explore a tangent, which I can and will. (That's where that incredibly long tag with the words "tellingest line" comes in). 1) They both had names that started with "E" and had a short first and a long second syllable, though Elbert is a first name, and Ehrsatz (ok, it's Erhard) is a last name. 2) They were both salesmen, though Elbert was a soap salesman, and the EST guy sold used cars in St. Louis. But Elbert Hubbard did good things. Really good things. It wasn't about the money.
Cars during the transit strike in an American city during the 1970s. From Documerica, an amazing piece about the mess we were in during the 1970s, in the Atlantic.
 I knew Elbert had founded the Roycrofters, that Arts & Crafts colony in East Aurora, maker of the most lovely, lovely books (since he could not find a publisher), the most ornate yet perfect typography and ornament, and lots of seriously honest, lovely stuff.
Roycroft magazine stand from 1915, the same year the Lusitania sank.

I didn't know that Elbert and his wife (often referred to as his "second wife") —

"Elbert Hubbard with his second wife, Alice Moore Hubbard, and their daughter, Miriam" from the Hubbard Roycroft Museum.
— died while traveling on the Lusitania in 1915 when it was torpedoed by a German submarine. A very not Arts and Crafts way to go. A Roycrofter's booklet came into the shop from 1916, the strangely titled (until you read it) Message to Garcia.

The title gets its name from the fact that there is a man who has to get a message to Garcia, and, well, he does. And saves the day.

And that's what got me started looking up Elberto. History begs to be messed with in a writer's head, and to me the title sounds like a very modern short story, a Godotian plot, perhaps, where someone has to get a message to someone who may or may not be named Garcia, and perhaps the whole thing takes place in Miami on Calle Ocho, and the protagonist, a very anti antihero, finds himself stepping on toes every time he asked. As in, What, you think we're all named Garcia? 

Actor Andy Garcia
Of course this has nothing to do with Elbert Hubbard or his noble, noble ideals and the lovely little booklet, whose only flaw, really, is a grease penciled "2" on the cover. Who would do that? Certainly not someone who knew anything about Elbert, or loyalty.

No comments: