WAVE Magazine Fall 2018 JU_WaveMag_Fall18_2 - Page 42

Daniel Farrell '18 Rehearsing in Terry Concert Hall. Thus, Watkins calls his research “uncharted territory” and is enthusiastic about its storytelling potential. The research focuses on Hanson’s activities with the College of the Pacific, his home life in Nebraska, his studies at Northwestern University, and his time in Rome. However, none of this research would have occurred if not for Watkins discovering a catalogue of piano music that Hanson reportedly wrote while in California. Watkins wanted to know what Hanson was doing there and what had inspired the impressive collection. Soon, Watkins found himself pouring over newspapers and social columns. FEATURES “These old articles are fascinating. Every time there was a party, someone recorded it—the kind of cake served, the cars guests arrived in, who came with who, who they danced with, what people wore.” Watkins says it has been as much a study of one man as it is a glimpse into an American era. “Somebody should write a book, I said to my wife, and then that somebody turned out to be me." him. California, Nebraska, and New York had Watkins on the road, and not just once. “I have one more trip to make, back to Eastman for an exclusive look at some letters,” Watkins told WAVE magazine in June. The collection of letters, written by Hanson on a daily basis, were mailed from California to Nebraska where his mother lived. “The papers are in very poor condition, but contain the details of Hanson's pre-Eastman life for which I have been searching.” Watkins’ wife, Dr. Marguerite Richardson, Associate Professor of Strings at JU, has since traveled that path of discovery with “Apparently, Hanson's mother stored them in a photo album and the original paper can't be removed without destroying it all. Six years’