Women of History: Jeanette MacDonald

Author’s Note:  This was originally meant for two weeks ago but I had trouble writing it.  I’m still not very happy with the outcome, but it is complete.  I may revisit Jeanette in the future and rewrite this better.

In the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day on July 4th.  This month’s theme is going to be American women of history.    While Canada also celebrates Canada Day in the month of July, I’ll be doing Canadian women of history another month.

Our first WHO is Jeanette MacDonald.  Jeanette MacDonald is an American Actress from the 1930s.  About a decade ago, my grandmother and I, who liked to watch old classic films together, started watching operettas, in particular the ones done by Jeanette and her frequent Co-star Nelson Eddy.  We collected movies, stills and other things relating to Jeanette and Nelson.

Jeannette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The year of her birth is somewhat of a mystery as different records say different things.  According to a baptismal record, the year of her birth was in 1903.  However, later in life Jeanette would change her name (dropping an n), and her year of birth (Saying it was 1907).  Even her gravestone lists the 1907 date, and her widower, Gene Raymond, would continue to insist it was 1907.  However, several sources now list the 1903 date as accurate. Continue reading

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Research Queries

I promised myself I would post something every day, so I’m keeping my promise.  Its just that recent events have gotten me so annoyed that I’m not at all in a creative mood.  So I apologize in advance if this is below my usual level of so-so writing.

You know what?  Nevermind, I’ll just ramble and not write something.  Just think.

I have seasons 1 & 2 of NCIS for reference and 10 + 4 seasons of the Stargates. So I have plenty of reference material for my NCIS fic (Which since I’m watching it recently its become the forefront for a bit).  Except for the Ziva years.  I’ve seen episodes, but nothing that would give me a an idea about how to write Ziva or Jenny.  My sister claims Jenny is in season 2, but I haven’t seen all of season 2 yet.

Well, I have family for Navy references (My grandfather, Uncle, Aunt and cousin are all in the Navy or NROTC.  So I have somewhere to go for information other then the history section of the Navy’s website and wikipedia.

Here is a question to those who read this… Where do you do your most research?  Online?  Books?  Interviewing people around you?  For example, if you were writing a medical drama, or someone in your story had an injury, would you consult WebMD, a nurses handbook, or a nurse.  Perhaps all three?  Just wondering.  I know with original fiction people research alot in various ways, but what about Fanfiction.  Do you think it is just as important?  And do you make sure you have two or more sources for each fact or do you look it up, and decide its right?

I’m kinda curious about that now.  And how many people use Wikipedia as their definite source of information.  Like earlier today, My grandmother was telling me and my mother a story about her family and the fact they drank Pluto Water.  My mother and I had never heard of it so we looked it up to see if my Grandma’s memory was correct and it was.  According to Wiki, Pluto Water was a mineral rich bottled water, which acted much like a laxative would.

But if I was writing a story about the time period my Great Grandparents lived in and the time my grandma was a child, would I rely on just wiki?  Personally, I probably wouldn’t.  Wiki is good to have around when you need to remember something, check something out or want a starting place to start your research, but since its a user-edited encylcopedia and anyone can change it to say whatever they want (at least for awhile before someone who knows better corrects it) its not a good solid source for research.

An example I have of why Wiki is not a good definitive source is the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald conflict.  Now there are two subgroups amongst the fans.  Well, those who care about it anyway, but half believe the two were happily married to other people, while another half believed they were in love with each other.  And for awhile the Wiki on these two stars would go back and forth wither or not the biography by Sharon Rich was true or not and wither Jeanette and Nelson had a love affair.   So someone who was just researching perhaps Operetta singers of the 1930s would be given false information depending on what fan he asked and what time he looked it up on Wiki.