THOUGHTS ON ROBERT LEWIS STEVENSON - 11.13.2021
November 13, 2021
Good Saturday afternoon. I'm author Richard V. Rupp, writing from Burbank, California. Welcome to RUPP'S NOTES/FBI SPECIAL AGENT HARTMAN SERIES posts.
It's unseasonably warm here in Burbank, with record temperatures being set. To a degree, that is good for me as I stay inside with the air conditioning on and write. It has been a productive week.
Though I must admit, on Friday, I watched a fantastic start to the college basketball season. No. 2 ranked UCLA against No. 4 ranked Villanova. UCLA pulled the game out in overtime. But both teams looked like they belonged in the NBA. UCLA reminded me of the teams I used to watch during the John Wooden days. I would not be surprised to see both UCLA and Nova in the final four.
In my novel SKYWARD, I pattern some of my characters after members of the Getty Family, who became extremely wealthy from the oil business, and billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, both of whom dream of exploring or colonizing space. They all have strong personalities. I bring this up because, on Friday, I noted November 15th was the birth date of Robert Louis Stevenson's. I always have loved his works (TREASURE ISLAND, STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR HYDE, and KIDNAPPED). In looking him up, I found someone who would fit perfectly into my 'Clique' of wealthy, intellectual San Francisco boys who want to colonize space.
Like my 'Clique,' Stevenson was initially homeschooled (Private Tutors). This was because Stevenson had a health problem. Again like my 'Clique,' he was then sent to prestigious private schools (Mr. Henderson's School, Edinburgh Academy). Finally, he went on to study engineering at the University of Edinburgh. It is said he had no enthusiasm for his studies and devoted much energy to avoiding lectures. He joined The Speculative Society, an exclusive debating club whose purpose was social interchange for practicing professional competency in rhetoric, argument, and the presentation of papers among fellow members. He dressed in a Bohemian manner and frequented pubs and brothels. Over time he rejected Christianity and declared himself an atheist. During his life, he went from being a "red-hot socialist" to becoming a "Conservative." Eventually, he expressed that "we are all becoming Socialist without knowing it." Instead of going to the Moon, he settled in Samoa. But, at the time, that was probably the equivalent of going to the Moon.
Here's a bit from my SKYWARD manuscript that relates to the above –
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The third week at St. Marks, all five boys were summoned to the Principal's Office. Principal Harrington sat behind his desk, looking at the five students standing in front of him. Mrs. Crenshaw was sitting in a corner chair watching. It was Harrington's policy for her to be included in all private meetings with the boys. After all, the school was located in San Francisco, where meetings between men and boys were suspect.
"Do you five have any idea why I have called you here?"
"Elon looked at the others, then responded for the group, "No, Sir. No idea at all."
Harrington stood and walked in front of the desk and sat on its corner. "You five have been accused of bullying other students, and we cannot have that here at St. Mark's."
"Sir, I don't think we have bullied anyone. Who says we have," Norm asked?
"Several students' parents have mentioned it to me. And I have been watching the five of you. Just the expressions of the other students you interact with tell me something is wrong. I know you're pals who hang around together and bully the other students."
Jeff responds, "Sir, I don't think you could classify us as pals. Pals tend to like each other. Elon and I actually despise each other. The only two who generally like each other in our group are Norman and Chris Bowman. That's only because they are twin brothers. So, Sir, we are actually a clique who likes to interact with each other."
Harrington looks up at the ceiling as he says, "Oh God. And, you five interact with the other students by bullying them."
"I don't think that is right, Sir," replied Norman.
"Oh, come on now, Mr. Bowman, you know the other students are afraid of you."
"Mr. Harrington, I have no idea why. We are new to the school and are used to looking out for each other. But, we don't bully.
"Don't be a smart Aleck with me!"
"I'm not, Sir."
"Do you even know what a smart Aleck means?"
Norman responds, "Of course, Sir. I always listen to what people say. Now taking your sentence. Don't be a smart Aleck. I realize that you are referring to a person or persons like us. And you don't want us because of our superior knowledge to talk above other students' knowledge level. Yes, Sir, a smart Alex is a person who has an IQ above most others. Am I right, Sir?
"No, no. Smart Aleck, with a K, not smart Alex. You five are full of yourselves."
"Is that all, Sir?"
Harrington responded in a frustrated voice, "Yes, that's all. Get on to your classes."
Once the Clique had left the office, Mrs. Crenshaw rose from her corner chair and offered, "I think you have just been intellectually bullied."
"Yes, Mrs. Crenshaw. I see a tough two years ahead."
As they walked down the hallway to their class, Norm commented, "Well, I think that went well."
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Until next time.
Richard V. Rupp, Author
Website – www.richardvrupp.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright©2021 by Richard V. Rupp