The Last Lemp

St. Louis Magazine:

On October 18, 2012, the Riverfront Times published a story headlined “One of the Last Lemps,” identifying “Andrew Lemp Paulsen” as “the last remaining descendant of Anna Lemp” and describing his tours of the crypt, with “insider history.” Paulsen told the reporter he’d never known that people were so interested in his family’s ghostly history until he was in college and happened to see a magazine that named the Lemp Mansion one of the “top 10 most haunted places in America.” The RFT article included photos of Paulsen and of William Lemp Jr., the latter captioned “Proof that well-defined jawlines and strong schnozes run in the family.”

There was one small problem. According to her obituary in The New York Times, Anne-Marie Konta died on April 16, 1973—11 years before Andrew Paulsen was born.

The story of the Lemp family is a weird one. It’s supremely intertwined with the history of St. Louis, and parallels its own rise and fall over the years.

That someone engaged in what can only be described as a long con to prove himself a Lemp family member is fairly bizarre, but interesting to read about.

A Nazi Graphics Standards Manual

Steve Heller:

Designers and design historians told me over the years that they had heard about the existence of a Nazi graphics standards manual. No one could say they actually saw it, but they knew of someone who had. So it grew into something of a Big Foot or Loch Ness Monster tale, until one day I actually saw it too – and it had been right under my nose the whole time.

Oddly fascinating.

Historically Hardcore

This poster is making the rounds on Reddit today:

As you might have guessed, it’s not actually from the Smithsonian (though it should be), but checking the Reddit thread, the original source is a student art project by designer Jenny Burrows. You can find a blog post about it, including two more posters in the same style, here. Prints are available from DeviantArt, and I sincerely hope some teachers buy them because they are awesome.

Fort de Chartres

Earlier today, we took the children to visit Fort de Chartres, which is a state park and a reconstruction of one of the oldest fortifications in the state of Illinois. The armory room (the standing building in the corner of the wall) has been partially reconstructed but is the oldest standing building in Illinois.

Let’s Play Musical Themes

Tonight’s been a game of flipping from one theme to another for me. I have been using Carrington for a while here, but I grew bored with the base look of the thing and wanted something a little more unique.

I worked with one for a while—even edited some old posts in order to fit the theme—but discovered a few problems in the admin side of the theme and unfortunately had to abandon it.

What I landed on is something that interests me greatly. It’s originally designed for a photoblog. The big thing you will notice is that it doesn’t have a traditional front page like most blogs do; it instead has a series of images. Each post on the blog will now have an image uploaded that works with the theme of the post. I’m going to use a combination of images from my own photography (something I intend to continue working on) and Creative Commons-licensed works from flickr like the one that accompanies this post.

I will of course give credit where credit is due for any and all CC-licensed images.

In addition, I’ve taken some steps to simplify here. You’ll notice that the new theme doesn’t support a standard sidebar. I’m OK with this, as I normally find that sidebars tend to get overly cluttered and stick out like sore thumbs. The main page wouldn’t work with them anyway, and if you’re interested in my Delicious links or in my Twitter posts, I’m sure you’ll just find your way over to those services anyway.

I’m also taking a large chunk of posts beyond a certain date, permanently archiving them, and removing them from the site. The past is great, and I will always have a record of those posts and stories, but right now I want to focus more on the present and on what I have going on. Everyone’s entitled to a reset once in a while.

(Photo credit: “Musical Chairs” by flickr user David Maddison.)