Mercer Cemetery

The Mercer Cemetery in Trenton, NJ, was created in the 1840s. There were few new internments after the 1930s. Unlike the Riverview Cemetery, which is still active, no one has been buried in Mercer since 1973. In the 1990s, the city spruced up the cemetery, but it became neglected, landscaping and maintenance was deferred, and conditions within the cemetery deteriorated. Fortunately, Trenton is now looking to rehabilitate the Mercer cemetery, beginning with a recent volunteer cleanup effort.

Source: TCM
Source: TCM
Source: TCM
Source: TCM
Source: TCM

One-Take Woody: Behind the Scenes Photos of Classic Movies

Director W.S. Van Dyke had a reputation for getting things right the first time. Two movies he directed in the 1920s were shot on location in Tahiti. For Trader Horn (1931), he spent seven months filming in East Africa. His best known movies, however, are The Thin Man (he also directed three of the sequels), Tarzan the Ape Man (filmed in Hollywood, it used stock footage from Trader Horn), and several Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy films. ClassicMovieHub.com has several behind-the-scenes photos of Van Dyke at work.

Filming Trader Horn. Source: Horning into Africa, by W.S. Van Dyke, 1931/erbzine.com

W.S. Van Dyke with Myrna Loy & William Powell on the set of After the Thin Man  (1936). Source: classicmoviehub.com.
W.S. Van Dyke with Jeanette MacDonald and a lamb. Source: classicmoviehub.com

The Bullpen Cart is Back!

1970s San Diego Padres cart. Source: uni-watch.com

Last year, three teams brought back a mostly forgotten and unjustly maligned baseball icon, the bullpen cart. The cart’s purpose was to transport the relief pitcher from the bullpen to the mound, avoiding the exertion of jogging that distance. A true bullpen cart has a bottom shaped like a baseball, and a top that is a giant baseball cap. Bat-shaped columns bridging the two are optional.

New York Mets’ vintage bullpen cart. Source: Sothebys.

Predecessors of the bullpen cart date back to the 1950s, and include a Harley-Davidson scooter (Milwaukee, of course) and a hearse (Casey Stengel was allegedly involved in that one). Then there was that time the Dodgers’ catcher drove the pitcher to the mound, let him out, and then ran into him. This article at Cut 4 details everything that is known about cart history, but was unable to solve the mystery of who first introduced the round, cap-topped cart. Could it be the New York Mets? Their cart may have been introduced in 1967, and its penultimate appearance was in 1986 when an enthusiastic Mets employee jacked it and took it for a joyride around the field when his team clinched the Division title enroute to their World Series victory. The cart resurfaced recently when it sold at an auction for $112,000 dollars.

The carts cruised through the seventies, but fell out of favor and finally disappeared sometime in the 1980s. But in 2018, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers re-introduced the carts. Unfortunately, most relievers refused the ride. Washington Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle was the first visiting pitcher to use the Arizona cart, and he reportedly was instrumental in the Nationals debuting their own cart later in the season.

Sean Doolittle exiting the Nationals’ bullpen cart. Source: nbcsports.
Insert your own joke about Detroit not knowing what people want in a car. Source: Detroit Tigers.

This winter, the Nats held tryouts for the job of bullpen cart driver, and over 400 applied. Tryouts were supervised by hard-luck ex-president/racer Teddy Roosevelt, who, in a cruel twist, was beaten in the opening day footrace by rival ex-president Tom Jefferson, who rode the bullpen cart to an unjust victory.

Could the Mets bring back their own bullpen cart? Signs suggest yes, and at least one of their relievers isn’t afraid to ride in style.

Source: northjersey.com

Free Books from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

Several archaeology books from the backlist at the Cotsen Institute at UCLA are available for free download:

An Archaeologist’s Guide to Chert and Flint – Luedtke 1992

The South American Camelids: An Expanded and Corrected Edition – Bonavio 2009

Maya Zooarchaeology: New Directions in Method and Theory – Emery 2004

A Conservation Manual for the Field Archaeologist – Sease 1994

About 20 more titles on Greek, Mesoamerican, and California archaeology are available from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press.