Of millionaires and Martians (aka Currently reading…)

Rockefeller and Heinlein

Surprised ya, didn’t I, throwing some nonfiction in there??

I think the last nonfiction I read was Caro’s biographical series on Lyndon Johnson. That was three years ago. It’s high time I had more history in me.

Thoroughly enjoying Ron Chernow’s Titan and living out John D. Rockefeller’s life from my porch.

Sixty pages in and points of interest…

♠ 7-year-old Rockefeller bought candy in bulk, divided it up and resold it to his siblings at a profit.

♠ His father was a mountebank with a paramour and a second life who also had a soft spot for music and bailed a violin virtuoso out of jail in exchange for his violin. He wore loud suits and would come roaring back into town with gold from God knows where to pay off debts incurred by his long-suffering actual wife (who also for a time put up with two illegitimate children of his by the housekeeper).

♠ By 13, John D. was loaning money to a farmer at 7 percent interest and had decided that rather than be a slave to money he’d prefer money to be slave to him.

♠ Shortly after saving his church from foreclosure by fundraising $2000 (about $56,000 today) at age 17, Rockefeller had decided it was best to save when you could instead of when you had to.

♠ Two years later, at age 19 and after biding his time at the failing Hewitt and Tuttle, he saw the economy was turning from bear to bull and became founding partner in a start-up commission house.

I’ve also started Heinlein’s classic Stranger in a Strange Land, a favorite sci fi of my friend’s and one I’ve been meaning to read for a few years now. Valentine Michael Smith, human raised by Martians and freshly retrieved to planet Earth, is endearing and sounds like Dobby the house elf at times (if you can grok that, my water brother). And Jubal Harshaw is hilarious; he’d have found a bro in Hugh Heffner.

What are you reading?

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