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Friday 1 September 2023

For 'KL': The Boy With The Green Hair

Of the 2937 posts on this blog, one that I am most proud of was published on March 13, 2019, under the heading, “Betsy Beaton, The Boy With Green Hair and the Underwood 6 Typewriter”. There wasn’t a lot in it about typewriters, but it took many, many hours of research to identify the lady in the photo with the Underwood standard – and her achievements. The end result was satisfying to say the least. The post opened, “On the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, I went through an exhaustive exercise of exploring the Internet’s many failings, its virtues and the boundless opportunities it offers.” My old friend Bill MacLane commented, “Congratulations on another fine investigative report on someone new to me. I'm always amazed at how good you are at finding information on relatively unknown (at least to me) people and such detail you are able to post.”

Earlier this year I had cause to comment on Instagram and Facebook, “One of the best things about [blogging] is making contact, through comments, with descendants of people who have featured in past posts … [including] the grand-daughter of Betsy Beaton, who wrote 'The Boy With the Green Hair' … There was almost nothing online about Betsy Beaton until I researched her life story, and now I notice the IMDb, which previously had no details, has updated its entry on Betsy using info from ozTypewriter - without, of course, any acknowledgement. But, then, that goes for images I see almost daily on Instagram. I suppose I should be glad to be of service!”

This was in response to a message on Instagram from Susan Forman, saying, "Hello Robert, I cannot thank you enough for your wonderful piece entitled, 'Betsy Beaton, The Boy With Green Hair and the Underwood 6 Typewriter'. If possible, I would love to have your email address. 'Wendy', Betsy's daughter, is my mother, technically mother-in-law, but we are very close and this article has meant the world to her. She too, would love to contact you." Needless to say, I've heard no more.

But this week I received another comment on the Betsy Beaton post. “KL” wrote, “This is incredible! Your post was exactly what I'd been searching for regarding the life of Betsy Beaton. I was wondering ... do you know where I can get a copy of her short story, ‘The Boy with Green Hair’? I was trying to locate it online with no luck. I see you have an excerpt here. I'd really like to read it all. I just found a copy of ‘Another Man's Shoes’ online and I'm tempted to buy it. I'm curious to read it as well.” The line I liked best was, "Thanks for taking the time to recognize a woman writer who was obviously undervalued at the time (and still is)."

Well, for that “KL”, here it is in full:

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