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    Default Black Heart Cherry

    Quote from "AngelsDanceUpwards" April 2, 2004

    p. 1
    Department of Game and Resources

    p. 2
    Lux Nova
    social functions in New York
    summers in Nantucket

    p. 3
    Chanterelles, Amanitas

    p. 5
    satellite, gravity, orbit allusions
    "22 miles north of the city"

    p. 6
    Townsand Banks, only son of commercial construction giant
    "understood the end game"
    nickname "T"

    p. 7
    farmboys are cunningly observant like foxes
    the game of the big town
    the big game goes down

    p. 9
    her number on the back of a matchbook (T's mom)
    bathroom, women's loo, restroom (why 3 different nouns for the same place on the same page?)
    Les

    p. 10
    twentyone or twentytwo gray marble treads to the top with one landing in between

    p. 11
    THERE IS NO PAGE 11?!

    p. 12
    Ms. Mary, twenty years, $5.50 / hour

    p. 13
    "Smith" girl, Mary saw what the narrator could not
    10 years later, Diane Smith, "searching the past"

    I am under the impression that the entire puzzle is made up of allusions. Find all of the text allusions and then they will lead you to the key.

    For now, it looks like there is one main allusion and one red herring in every chapter. Not sure how they'll piece together, though....
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by nodon Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:20 am

    While on a plane ride, I jotted down interesting/odd things about each story, intending to research and come up with answers. The research is not complete, the answers elusive. But here's some stuff:

    Golden Chantarelles - the Queen of the Forest - a mushroom used by the "world's great chefs"

    Amanita mushrooms - some or all are toxic.

    A chestnut tree in full bloom, always interesting - not sure I've ever seen one so I don't know how interesting it is but there is a famous painting by Renoir called "Chestnut Tree in Bloom". Ah ha! perhaps it's in a museum somewhere in the U.S., but from what I could find it's in a private collection, location unknown.
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by forest_blight Sun Jul 31, 2005 8:11 pm

    p. 2. Lux nova is a very specific reference to the transformed light that falls through the windows of Chartres Cathedral or Abbey Church of St. Denis. Could indicate Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, etc. Designed by Abbot Suger (1081-1151). http://www.cloaca.be/northern.htm

    p. 14. Chestnut is a common descriptor for a certain color/variety of horse, as in "chestnut mare."

    From a horseracing glossary:

    BLANKET FINISH Horses finishing so closely together they could be covered by a blanket.
    TRIPLE CROWN In the United States, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.
    VALET Person who attends riders and keeps their wardrobe and equipment in order.
    TREAD part of a stirrup.

    p. 1. There is no such thing as the Department of Game and Resources. Never was. Is DGR important? The Department of Gaming and Racing is New South Wales' governmental body in charge of that sort of thing. There is a Diamond G Ranch in San Antonio. But it isn't likely to apply here.
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by forest_blight Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:34 pm

    Okay, I've had a chance to re-read this chapter, and I have some thoughts.

    First, what is the significance of the title? There is a cherry tree at the end, but cherries are not the official tree of any state (see previous theories). Google book search may be our best friend in this hunt. Here is a paragraph from Chapter 1 of "Andrew Golding: A Tale of the Great Plague" by Annie E. Keeling. I have boldfaced items that bear comparison to Black Heart Cherry:

    I looked at Althea and thought Mrs. Golding was not much mistaken; for if I were to write my sister's description, it would need but the change of a word or two to make it pass for a portrait of my father. Like him, she is tall and slender and well-shaped; her complexion pale and clear, her hair almost black, very thick, softer than the finest silk, and curling in loose rings at the ends; her brows and eyelashes black also, but her eyes a blue-grey, appearing black when she is much moved or in deep thought; and she moves with admirable grace, showing a kind of nobleness in all her carriage. Myself am of low stature, and of shape nothing like so slender; indeed one hath told me I am dark and round as a blackheart cherry; so I could well think that at Mrs. Golding's years I should be very like her, though perhaps less comely.

    The phrase "blackheart cherry" or "black heart cherry" is also mentioned in D. H. Lawrence's "The White Peacock" and a number of other books, according to Google.

    Some old and some new...

    p. 1. There is no such thing as the Department of Game and Resources. Never was. Is DGR important? The Department of Gaming and Racing is New South Wales' governmental body in charge of that sort of thing. There is a Diamond G Ranch in San Antonio.

    p. 2. Lux nova is a very specific reference to the transformed light that falls through the windows of Chartres Cathedral or Abbey Church of St. Denis. Could indicate Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, etc. Designed by Abbot Suger (1081-1151). http://www.cloaca.be/northern.htm.

    p. 3. "As the fauna changed..." I think the author means "flora" here, as the context is plant life rather than animal life. Intentional?

    p. 3. Amanita: several species of poisonous mushrooms.

    p. 3. Chantarelle: expensive, edible mushrooms.

    p. 4. "...a dozen stories all starting with 'One time I...'" may be a reference to a story collection whose stories actually do start that way.

    p. 5. The allusions to planetary motion may be a reference to the way horses "orbit" the center of a track during a race.

    p. 6. Regarding the cerise tie, Wikipedia says, "The name comes from the French word meaning cherry. The word 'cherry' itself comes from the Norman cherise."

    p. 6. "He understood the end game..." -- a chess reference?

    p. 6. "What a mesmerizing site." gmatt (3/25/5) says, "I agree that the misuse of words could lead to a discovery. I have recently been obsessed with the page six misuse of 'What a mesmerizing site.' (should be 'What a mesmerizing SIGHT.').

    p. 7. "...sporting the game of the big town" -- a hunting reference? Following paragraph: "The big game goes down just like the lesser ones; you just have to use a bigger gun and stalk a little more. Do you even have a gun?" Next page: "You missed." "I never fired."

    p. 7. "It's on the tip of my tongue and I just can't get it out" -- a hint that the girl's name (Diane) may be important?

    p. 8. ..."already half-flagged" -- another horse reference? "Half-flag" is a move in horse vaulting.

    p. 9. "...and lose the tie" -- as in lose an otherwise tied race?

    p. 9. "...proper shoe presentation." A reference to horseshoes?

    p. 9. Is Les important?

    pp. 9+ apparently describe a horse race. A famous/fictional one? "I came through the restroom gate with too much speed and almost slammed the girl in the flowered dress." "I ... allowed her to pass first." "I didn't have much time -- less than two minutes" (The Kentucky Derby is widely known as "the most exciting two minutes in sports"). "She was three treads ahead…" "I slowed my natural pace to stay three treads behind." "I focused on the pattern of white carnations and red roses on her dress." "She kept the same pace." "She navigated the landing turn without looking back. For a fraction of a second, her right kneww was not six inches from my right ear. As I made the turn, still three steps behind, I heard the din of a boisterous crowd from above." "I could hear a muted announcer speaking steadily but the crowd's roar did not seem to pause for him." "I was still half a riser from the lobby level and did not have the best angle for viewing her eyes and lips." "The coat room attendant to our right could see it all." "She had a $5.50-per-hour box seat at the finish line." "She witnessed the Smith girl break the plane of the top step before me. She was watching as the girl's head turned slightly and tilted. She saw me trailing behind hoping for some sort of interaction. I am sure Ms. Mary saw what I could not."

    p. 10. "Was I star-struck?" A reference to Starstruck farms in Monkton, MD?

    p. 10. "T" (Townsand Banks; "Towns and Banks"? "Town Sandbanks?") seems to be cast in the role of a jockey. Earlier we find he drinks perhaps a bit too much. A search for "alcoholic jockeys" revealed that Red Pollard, Seabiscuit's jockey, was alcoholic.

    p. 14. Chestnut is a common descriptor for a certain color/variety of horse, as in "chestnut mare."
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by Genetic Blend Sun Dec 24, 2006 10:52 pm

    forest blight,

    You seem to have done a great deal of research on this chapter. I was suprised to find that I could actually add something to what you have already posted. I think the the DIANE in this story may be alluding to DIANE CRUMP. Diane Crump was the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby. It was in 1970. She rode a horse named "Fathom". She finished 15th. I looked to see who finished behind her, since the narrator seems to be behind her in the story, and it was a male jocky named H. Campas who rode Rancho Lejos.

    I couldn't seem to find any more connections. But I am wondering who Ms Mary is and also who Les might be. I am guessing that they are of some importance because the author could have left them both out of the story and it would have changed nothing. I ain't done diggin' yet!

    I am really starting to take to heart that quote by Samuel Clemens, "If there wasn't anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying to find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to find out and finding out; and I don't know but more so."
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by Trohn Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:46 pm

    There was another horse that finished 17th because he did not finish after clipping
    heals with the horse in front of him - near the start.

    Fathom was in post postion ten (post postion often inidcates theirrace number)

    Nothing else remarkable about the race.

    No payouts indicating 5.50

    Diane Crump did make her racing debut as the first woman to ride
    at Hialeigh Park... in febraury 1969.

    Here is a link...

    http://www.brainyhistory.com/events/196 ... 36304.html
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by shecrab Sun Dec 31, 2006 11:01 am

    I think I know who Les and Ms. Mary are:

    Les Paul and Mary Ford.

    There are an awful lot of rock and roll references in these stories--and this is one of them. The Les Paul series of electric guitars is world-renowned--and you can see what contributions Les Paul made to the genre here:

    Iridium Jazz Club New York City's best music venue featuring Jazz and Rock

    Also...a chestnut tree in full bloom is better known here in the States as a "horse chestnut." It has large white fragrant clusters of upright blooms in white or pink. When in full bloom they look a bit like erect, erm....male members. And I need not explain the other meaning of "cherry" do I?
    It seems a fairly obvious reference to a sexual experience to me. Male--chestnut blooms, Female--cherry (and heart).

    ck
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by Genetic Blend Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:39 pm

    Since we seem to be getting so many rock and roll references, can anyone think of a group that has the initials DRG? For instance, CCR is Creedence Clearwater Revival, and ELP is Emerson Lake and Palmer. I have tried with no success.
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by shecrab Mon Jan 01, 2007 2:42 pm

    No but this story obviously has sex, DRGs and rock'n'roll...


    ....
    ck
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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    by forest_blight Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:25 am

    A suggestive tidbit from Wikipedia:

    "In 1987, ice cream manufacturers Ben & Jerry's came out with Cherry Garcia, which is named after the guitarist and consists of "cherry ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes." It quickly became the most popular Ben & Jerry's flavor. For a month after Garcia's death, the ice cream was made with black cherries as a way of mourning."
    "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those
    who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn, and relearn."
    -- Alvin Toffler

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