"If there's a book that you want to read,
but it hasn't been written yet,
then you must write it."
   Toni Morrison

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A Time That Wasn’t

By | Norm's Author Blog | One Comment

Sometimes there are more engaging ways to share reflections on our common quandary. I offer my effort using verse.

A Time That Wasn’t

A COVID moment;
The rhythm of being takes pause.

An island in time,
A pact with fatalistic will.

Anxiously trusting
Our sacrifices will soon end.

A Time That Wasn’t,
Cloaking a new destiny.

The Philadelphia Story

By | Norm's Author Blog | 4 Comments

Although my book on the biographical history of the Job Tyler family (see previous blog) has now been self-published, I just came across a new biography that really needs to be shared.

The University of Michigan’s Clements Rare Books Library has a huge collection of artifacts from early American history. Recently the staff hosted an online discussion on one of their artifacts, the Scott-Montgomery family album, an excellent example of a complete and well-organized family photo album. The speaker mentioned key people in the Scott-Montgomery family, including Charlotte Hope Binney Tyler Montgomery. My ears perked up at the Tyler in the name and this encouraged me to do a bit of research. It turns out Charlotte was the mother of Colonel Robert Leaming Montgomery, whose wife was Hope Binney Tyler, a name found in our Job Tyler genealogy. Thus, through marriage our two families are connected, although it turns out it was more of a merger than a marriage.

Let me explain. Hope’s father, Sidney Frederick Tyler, was a Harvard-educated Philadelphia lawyer who organized four railroads in the late 19th century. Hope’s brother, George Frederick Tyler, was a wealthy Philadelphia banker who built one of the country’s last “great estates,” with horses, a dairy, forty employees, and a 10-car turntable garage. (His biography can be found in my book.)

Hope’s daughter was Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, who Wikipedia describes as a Main Line socialite and philanthropist and who Vanity Fair once called “the unofficial queen of Philadelphia’s WASP oligarchy.” She is most famous as the inspiration for the lead character Tracy Lord featured in the Philip Barry play, The Philadelphia Story, played by Katherine Hepburn in the film of the same name, and also featured in the musical-film High Society.

Although such family linkages are certainly intriguing to come across, I accept that such high-falutin’ ties will not make me any more societal or moneyed. I remain the same old Norm that I’ve always been; just ask Ilene.

A favorable review

By | Norm's Author Blog | Comments

For over thirty years, Ilene has been an active member of the Association for Preservation Technology, International. The most recent edition of the organization’s Bulletin includes a review of our historic preservation book. We are pleased with the reviewer’s assessment and want to share three brief excerpts with you.

Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice is a foundational book written to reach every person who is exploring the depth and breadth of historic preservation. Beginning students will be inspired as they cover the extensiveness of this field and find ideas for their future careers. Storied professionals who have been practicing for years will find important details and case studies that can be applied to their own work. Norman and Ilene Tyler and Ted Ligibel have developed a concise narrative and presentation method that encourages the reader to continue exploring with each topic and chapter. . . This is the third edition of this influential book, and while this edition is 140 pages longer that the first, the added content is necessary to detail the development of the profession over the past 20 years. The Tylers and Ligibel are skilled at adding new content seamlessly to each subject. . . The Tylers, well-known in the field of preservation, along with their coauthor Ligibel, offer their long history of work in this field to entice the next generation of preservationists.” (Todd Grover, Principal, MacDonald and Mack Architects, Minneapolis)

Publishing a Song

By | Norm's Author Blog | 4 Comments

As of today, Norm is a published music composer. As some of you may know, for a while I have been working on a musical, entitled “What Does It Mean?” which includes the libretto and 15 songs about two married architects with differing dreams.

Recently I discovered a web site that makes thousands of pieces of sheet music available for free. It is called free-scores.com. If you are interested in exploring a wealth of music to download, check it out.

On this web site anyone can upload as well, so I selected one of the songs from my musical, including lyrics and piano, and published it online for public consumption. It will be interesting to see if anyone downloads it or comments on it. The song can be found either under “Norm Tyler” or at:  https://www.free-scores.com/sheetmusic?p=awznT8xztn

Writing a Memoir

By | Norm's Author Blog | 5 Comments

We would like to embolden you to consider taking pen (or computer) in hand and consider writing a personal memoir. Such a project can satisfy you in a number of ways. To encourage you we share the following thoughts and quotes other writers.

William Zinsser, in his book On Writing Well, says, “No other nonfiction form goes so deeply to the roots of personal experience as the memoir—to all the drama and pain and humor and unexpectedness of life. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth. What gives it power is the narrowness of its focus. The memoir writer takes us back to some corner of his or her past that was unusually intense.

“Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life; it’s a deliberate construction. The crucial ingredient in memoir is people. You must summon back the men and women and children who notably crossed your life. The most interesting character in a memoir will turn out to be the person who wrote it. The best gift to offer is the gift of yourself.”

Stephen King shared thoughts in his book, On Writing. “When you first write something, you should write it for yourself. When you rewrite it, write it for everyone else. Take out everything that isn’t the story. Once it’s out there, you don’t own it anymore, everyone else does.

“You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

Gloria Steinem in her book, On the Road, says, “…there is no better moment in life than finding the right word.” In so many cases, like hers and perhaps like yours, the need to get the words out is the most compelling reason for writing. We do it to share our stories, to elicit responses from others, and because it feels good. Emily Dickinson said it simply: “Tell all the truth but tell it slant.”

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