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May 16, 2020



I assume you found out that yes, they had poker chips in 1930? (although I don't know about oil towns, they had them in Monte Carlo and similar locations before 1925)

(but YES all the fascinating historical tidbits that have nowhere to go except a blog! But at least there is a blog! :-) )


(also, depending on state law, you could either:
1. just declare yourselves married (via specific processes, usually related to local cultural/religious customs - see Quaker weddings way back when)(Quakers need a wedding license to get signed now, just like everyone else, as far as I know?) or
2. roust a pastor or judge out of bed and make them sign something or
3. have to wait two weeks or so before you could even get a license to get married.
So there is that. There are all sorts of things in Project Gutenberg books, including people eloping across state lines because eloping isn't legally possible where they are.)


(oh! Also! If you can find an archive with archivists/librarians to it that touches this time period/geography, then odds are decent that you can email them with weird questions and they will write you back! With footnotes!)(A friend of mine is an archivist [in an area that would be basically 100% useless to your novel]. But she and colleagues answer allll sorts of questions, and it sounds like the fun ones tend to be mostly on the "weird historical detail" side.)


KC - I dated a research librarian for a while. I can see how they’d be happy to get an interesting detail to research. I’m fully against poker chips now at my poker game. Did you know cowboys hated paper money because it would get wet?


To be honest, unless you're dealing with rich enough people (see: Monte Carlo), it would seem like in the era of silver dollars and gold coins being semi-normal, that you'd just use those instead? But I know very little about cowboys and their money/poker/etc. preferences...

(if they *did* want poker chips to even up all their money, it wouldn't be that hard to do. People made checkers out of slices of corn cob, or out of rounds of wood. But corn cob poker chips seem vaguely undignified...)

Yeah, there are brains that Really Like Puzzles out there! And it is so nice when the Brains That Really Like Puzzles get matched up with the sort of puzzles they delight in. :-) (also, when they get matched up with the people who can put up with the people who have brains that really like puzzles. :-) Not everyone is structured to enjoy that, even if the research-y, puzzle-y person is really nice rather than arrogant, and... some of them/us are arrogant and that is no fun for anyone, as far as I can tell?)


KC - the problem is that I also really like puzzles, and the puzzles are taking up too much time given their Small benefit. Then again, I don’t have a deadline for this thing, it’s been in a box for decades. Why not enjoy the process?


One of my husband's (rarely posted in) blogs is literally a repository for random details/weirdnesses discovered on the way to somewhere else, that won't actually make it into an article or even a footnote, but that someone else might be interested in or find useful for something. So you could maybe do a weekly Weird Stuff Learned This Week For The Novel entry, and I would not be sad (provided you enjoyed it; I'd enjoy reading it, but you enjoying the process is also important!). :-)


KC - well, now I need to know your husband’s blog.

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