When Baldassare (bahl-dah-sAHR-ee) Forestiere was 22 years old, he left his native Sicily for good, he had little more than dreams to help him along. But this dream, this grand vision in his mind, was enough to motivate him, to give him hope and direction. Baldassare wanted to own a citrus farm. He dreamt of sunny orchards, stretching as far as he could see in the hot sun.

He arrived in America in 1901, and obtained his first job was in Boston. It wasn’t where he wanted to stay: he was employed to help build the great city’s first subway tunnels.  His dream must have felt further away than ever in the cold, subterranean tunnels beneath the bustling city. But Baldassare was a man of great faith, so he worked and worked, living sparingly and saving everything he could for his own citrus farm.

Boston, circa 1900

It took five years, but he finally saved enough for a start. He headed to California, to a place called Fresno. According to the ads and word of mouth, the land was cheap and fertile, and the warm climate was perfect for growing fruit.

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Greetings everyone! Thanks for those of you who played along!

Congratulations to winners Erin M. and Hadley! I’ll be reaching out to you both to send your books to you.

I thought you all might like to know a little more about the handwriting, along with the correct answers so added a little but of analysis by each name.

It’s an advantage that I know very little of the personal lives of all of these people and don’t have preformed opinions of them. At the same time I must add a big disclaimer that I’m not a professional graphologist so this is just my take on each person.

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The names of the people who match all six people to the correct handwriting will be placed into a drawing, and two people will win a signed paperback copy of The Poisoned Glass.

This contest will be open until next Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 6 p.m. (PST), when a follow-up post will appear with the answers.

  • Vincent Van Gogh, painter (most famous work is Starry Night)
  • George Orwell, writer (wrote Animal Farm and 1984)
  • Walt Whitman, poet and humanist
  • Pablo Picasso, painter, father of Cubism
  • Nikola Tesla, inventor (AC current)
  • Josephine Baker, singer, dancer

Good luck!