This week (well, actually last week) I read An American Plague, The True and Terrifying Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, by Jim Murphy....and yes, I know that's cheating (sorta) since it's non-fiction. But let me tell you something, you jaundiced readers, this stuff READS like a fantastic, disgusting, terrifying EPIC novel. Geared (and categorized) as "J" for "Juvenile", I was HIGHLY entertained and could not put it down. I must admit I knew very little about the Yellow Fever Epidemic in Philly way back when, only knowing a bit about the strain that hit New Orleans almost a hundred years later (and knowing little only because I am a HUGE Bette Davis fan, especially Jezebel which involves just that subject)...
Let me give you a bit of a history lesson. Not on the Yellow Fever Plague of 1793 in Philadelphia; but on the Plague of Chrissy Johnson's Obsessions With Plagues Thru History (being of the special variety of the BLACK plagues of Europe during the Middle Ages...)
Does anyone know/love C.O.S.I. as much as I do? C.O.S.I. is the Columbus Science and Industry Museum in Columbus, OHIO. I was involved in a lock-in during Girl Scouts, and my friend Alison and I, wanting to be apart from the rest of the group, stumbled on the "Time Tunnel" around midnight while the other 600 Girl Scouts had a dance (why would we want to dance with other girls? Dances were for one thing and one thing only. To cry about what boy wouldn't dance with us in the bathroom!)...The set up of the Time Tunnel was simple: about 12 diorama/life-size tableaus in wax figures of important events in time. Starting with the dinosaurs, etc. etc. My favorite, I mean my FAVORITE was Black Death: 14th Century...Wax figures dead in the cobblestone street with large, gruesome rats crawling all over them. I was freaked out and immediately in love. I have read and studied plagues ever since.
Here is my review of the book I started to talk about before the tangent started: I was as pleased with An American Plague as I was with that tableau almost 20 years ago. Link's on the left, click on it to read about scary black puke!
-C.O.S.I. website: http://www.cosi.org/
(and I just saw that the exhibit is no longer there! This is just one day after finding out that the Hitchcock Experience is no longer at Universal! My memories are being erased! Just like Back to the Future!)