The Edwin Grover Biography
When I started on the Grover project, I had no idea what would be involved in collecting documents and records or how many interviews I would have to conduct to get at the essence of Edwin Osgood Grover and his family. So, once I accumulated a fair amount of details on Edwin, Mertie, Eulalie, Nan, Frances, Hester and Graham, it became obvious that much of it did not fit into a documentary. There is so much you can say with film, but the rest needs to go into a book. Books are more flexible in terms of content, and they tolerate footnotes and appendices, forewords and epilogues. Movies don't: they require a compelling uninterrupted story. I was lucky that Joy Wallace Dickinson, a seasoned Sentinel journalist and author of the Central Florida Flashback in the Sunday Sentinel, agreed to be my editor and help with the intricacies of making a book. The book will cover the expected content of a biography, but also cover the unfortunate times of John Andrew Rice at Rollins, the founding of Mead Botanical Garden, and some history of Hannibal Square and our African American neighbors who contributed so much to Winter Park over the years. Barbara Buchanan Parsons
contributed a section on the Grover daughters, Frances and Hester after Edwin died and her recollections of Eulalie as a never tiring reader of children's books to her young neighbors. Also, Mary Seymour's account of the Animated Magazine will be reprinted in the appendix. Grover's defense of the "Professor of Books," published in the Boston Evening Transcript can also be found in the appendix.
The Grover biography is now complete, and the manuscript has been sent to the printers.
The "Business of Making Good" Documentary
Starting in early 2014, I have been interviewing Rollins faculty, residents of Winter Park and a few fortunate people who knew Edwin Grover and his family personally. I've rummaged through the Grover collection at the Olin Library archives and got help from libraries and historical societies in New England, Illinois, North Carolina. I haven't been able to travel to Maine and see Bethel and Boothbay Harbor for myself, but hope to be able to do that sometime in the near future. A small group held a screening of the first cut of the movie in November 2015, and we identified the necessary additions and re-writing that needs to occur. Of all the passages of Grover's life, his youth is close to a final cut, and so is the founding
of Mead Botanical Garden. The major portions that need to be re-worked, are Hannibal Square, the Animated Magazine, and Grover's influence on the literary life of Rollins and Winter Park. With Grover's life-long dedication to the best business which is the business of making good, that is our preliminary title. I hope to have a final cut and a soundtrack ready to be sweetened in about a year. Anybody who knew Grover or who has family mementos relating to the Grover family is strongly encouraged to contact us and let us know if you are willing to contribute to this important project.
Last month, the DVD was comnpleted. It is now available at the Winter Park History Museum at 200 W New England Avenue, and at the Rollins Miller Bookstore at 200 W Fairbanks Avenue.
Ed Gfeller 2016
Images, unless otherwise indicated, are Courtesy Olin Library Archives
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