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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Secret Agent, or The Voice from the Shadows…

                                    Your thoughts I have at my command!
                                    Yet, you do not know where I stand…
                                    I can track you through the air.
                                    I can follow you anywhere!
                                    Soldier, spy, pilot and cop…
                                    my work for good does not stop.
                                    Crooks I pursue, to bring justice to them…
                                    then I vanish and I do it again!
                                    I have eagle eyes and I see into your heart!
                                    But I am not noticed for my arcane art…
                                    Ciphers and crimes to me involve
                                    being a twilight witness in all I solve.
                                    I am a friend to those in need,
                                    knowing fruit of the bitterest breed!
                                    Trouble is afoot, when my ring glows…
                                    and evil is vanquished…The Shadow knows!
                                    ---Michael Mauro DeBonis, 03-03-21.

***The Shadow is a registered trademark of Conde Nast Publications Inc., copyright 2021, all rights reserved.
About the Poet:  Michael Mauro DeBonis is a poet and a historian from Long Island, New York.  A graduate of Suffolk County Community College (A. A. Liberal Studies) and SUNY at Stony Brook (B. A. English Literature) Michael’s work first appeared in the Brookhaven Times newspapers.  Michael latest work may be found in The New York History Review (poetry and prose) and The New York History Blog (prose only)Mr. DeBonis is dedicated to studying and to learning the history of the great State of New York.




Saturday, November 27, 2021

From The Shadow into Light: The Visionary Life and Times of Walter Brown Gibson

by Michael Mauro DeBonis
Copyright ©2021 All rights reserved by the author.

Walter B. Gibson, circa 1965. 
Photo courtesy of William V. Rauscher

Walter Brown Gibson was an American literary dynamo, and he was a man of unquestionable artistic creativity, vision, and immense versatility. And so it was Gibson who forged the modern world's first great superhero, called The Shadow.

Master stage magician, top-notch true crime reporter, and word-puzzle expert and mystery writer, par excellence, only give a vague description of who the perennially brilliant Gibson was. Gibson's origins, achievements, and life deserve special attention to properly note his incredibly complex story. Gibson was, after all, a very cagy and competent illusionist. And so we must be careful, as students of history, to sharply look with eagle eyes beneath the veneer of a man (whose persistent modesty) always obscured the giant of who he actually was. Let us remove for your eyes the crafty clouds shielding the genius of Walter Brown Gibson. Let all who inhabit our twenty-first century know Gibson, as man and artist…let our show begin!

The curtains first opened for Walter Brown Gibson on the stage of life on September 12, 1897, at 2 PM (Shimeld, 11). Gibson's mother, May Whidden Gibson, gave birth to her son Walter at the family's somewhat lavish two-story Tudor style house, located at 707 West Philellena Street, in Germantown, Pennsylvania (Shimeld, 11-12). May Whidden Gibson's paternal family lineage and history could "…be traced as far back as the flight of the Pilgrims to America on the Mayflower…" (Shimeld, 8). Gibson's father, Alfred C. Gibson, had served as a young soldier and clerk in the Union Army during the American Civil War (Shimeld, 9-10). Walter Brown Gibson's grandfather, Joseph Gibson, also served honorably in the Union Army's 71st Pennsylvania Infantry Division during The War Between the States (Shimeld, 10). It is a point of the ongoing historical debate about Walter B. Gibson's father's genealogical origins. They (the Gibsons) appear to have been migrants from Great Britain to North America, sometime before the Nineteenth Century, and they were ardent followers of the Episcopal Christian Church. When Gibson's ancestors exactly left the British Isles for America is still unknown, but it is presently a matter of much historical probing, as mentioned earlier in this paragraph.