When he is not working at his real job or recording a podcast, Stephen and his wife are kept busy hunting for raspberries and autumn olives with their 7 kids, two dogs, and exploring our many acres of paradise.
There are exactly three musicals that I actually like. The Phantom of the Opera is one of them. As my wife is very used to by now, when Autumn rolls around, I start playing the Phantoms ominous music. Its sort of a childhood tradition. For some reason during the days leading up to Halloween, my mom used to blast the 1986 version on the living room speakers. So, I suppose its learned behavior.It’s as much a part of Halloween for me as Dracula. And frankly, I think the Phantom is creepier.I was fortunate enough to see The Phantom of the Opera live in Toronto when I was ten years old – and I’ll never forget it because it scared the crap out of me. As soon as the lifeless body of the murdered stagehand came swinging down from the rafters in a noose, I knew this was a different kind of show.So for this Halloween season, my favorite season of the year, I wondered if perhaps I could do an Almost Episode of the inspiration behind the novel. I’ve always heard that the author claimed it was based on a true story, but I had never actually looked into it. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. Hopefully you will be too. So close your eyes, start a journey to a strange new world, as we discover the real story behind the music of the night, in this Almost Episode: Finding the Phantom.
Welcome everyone to season 2 of Written in Blood History, now part of the Evergreen Podcast Network. I am truly grateful and honored to have you as a listener. Your continued listenership gives me the motivation to keep this little hobby of mine up, one which I thoroughly enjoy.Today’s subject is one that I had on the docket for season one but kept getting postponing. Whenever I pick a biographical subject to do a show on, I need to be able to relate to them on some level. Otherwise the passion just isn’t there for me. Other history podcasters can do any subject any time, anywhere, and that’s great. But it’s just not how I work.Our subject today was a slave of the American South before and during the civil war. And so, what could I, a white guy of 100% western-European origin relate to with a chattel slave of the south? How could I possibly do justice to his story? I take this very seriously because, even though this is just a simple little history podcast, these people were real people. Its out of respect for the dead that I try to present them in a way I think they would have liked to be presented, while staying factual and reasonable at the same time.Put simply, I was intimidated by the thought of doing a bio on someone that I just had no way of relating to, and without a solid cross section of experience, I was quite sure my attempt would fall short.But it turns out this slave and I do have something in common. And it’s something that was right in front of my face throughout the entire research phase. I simply failed to recognize it.And so, without further filibustering from me, I present to you the first subject of season 2, and he is an awesome one, Robert Smalls: Born a Man.
I’ll keep this short since this isn’t really a history episode, but more of a transition from season one to season two. I went into this thing with very little idea of how long I would be doing it, or even exactly who I would be covering. It began with my interest in genealogy, which is why many of my early episodes have somewhat of a pedigree connection to me. And I still have more of those episodes planned actually.But since the first episode was well received, and since I enjoyed doing a history podcast so much, I decided to expand into other historical figures, whose stories, I felt deserved to be told in a way that I wanted to hear them.Then I hit up my sister who happens to be a graphic artist and she started producing the kickass cover art that runs with each episode. Soon I began including the Almost Episodes as a way of publishing something of value on a more frequent basis, plus I just had so many stories that I wanted to tell that either didn’t have enough meat for a full episode, or weren’t specifically biographies.
If this is your first time listening, you may want to go back and start with Part I of Patton, which bring you up to speed into the peace time era between world wars where Part II picks up.Oh, and by the way, the subject of this episode was blunt and at times vulgar and insensitive person by today’s standards. Because I will be quoting him, it should be expected that there will be some rough language. So, this is an official language warning. While I try to avoid being gratuitous, I don’t want to present a false image of the subject either. If this type of language is a problem for you, then now is the time to tune out.For everyone else, I’m not going to spend much time here with an intro, other than a reminder to turn your volume up for Dario’s expertly crafted versions of The Overture of 1812, it’s a piece of music as epic as the man we are learning about. That man is Patton: The Force Multiplier. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/writteninbloodhistory)
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Creator Details

Jun 17th, 1985
South Bend, Indiana, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
15 hours, 11 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 998970