Paul, George F(ranklin) 1954-
PAUL, George F(ranklin) 1954-
PERSONAL: Born February 19, 1954, in Oxford, MS; son of John E. (a university professor) and Joan (a homemaker; maiden name, Shell) Paul; married Barbara Weller, June 26, 1976; children: Jessica E., Timothy W. Ethnicity: "White." Education: State University of New York—College at Geneseo, B.S., 1976; State University of New York—College at Fredonia, M.S., 1977. Religion: Episcopalian. Hobbies and other interests: Researching and collecting antique phonographs, American history, military history, living history, song-writing and recording, films.
ADDRESSES: Home—126 South Main St., Mount Morris, NY 14510. Office—State of New York, Finger Lakes DDSO, 3 Park St., Geneseo, NY 14454. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: State of New York, J. W. Adam DDSO, Perrysburg, NY, speech and language pathologist, 1977-90; State of New York, Craig DDSO, Geneseo, NY, speech and language coordinator, 1990-94; State of New York, Finger Lakes DDSO, Geneseo, NY, speech and language coordinator, 1994—.
MEMBER: Association for Recorded Sound Collections, Canadian Antique Phonograph Society, California Antique Phonograph Society, Michigan Antique Phonograph Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Awards for best research in the field of phonographs, Association for Recorded Sound Collections, 1998, for The Talking Machine Compendium, 1877-1929, 2000, for Antique Phonograph Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gimmicks, and 2001, for Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction.
(With Timothy C. Fabbrio) The Talking Machine Compendium, 1877-1929, Schiffer (Atglen, PA), 1997.
(With Timothy C. Fabbrio) Antique Phonograph Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gimmicks, Schiffer (Atglen, PA), 1999.
(With Timothy C. Fabbrio) Discovering Antique Phonographs, Schiffer (Atglen, PA), 2000.
(With Timothy C. Fabbrio) Phonographs with Flair: A Century of Style in Sound Reproduction, Schiffer (Atglen, PA), 2001.
(With Timothy C. Fabbrio) Antique Phonograph Advertising, Schiffer (Atglen, PA), 2002.
(With Timothy C. Fabbrio) Antique Phonograph Accessories and Contraptions, Schiffer (Atglen, PA), 2003.
Contributor of about fifty articles to magazines, including Antique Phonograph Monthly, New Amberola Graphic, ARSC Journal, and In the Groove.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on the early history of phonographs.
SIDELIGHTS: George F. Paul once told CA: "Writing is something as natural for me as speaking, and the ultimate aim of either effort is simply to communicate. As a speech and language pathologist, my career is focused on helping others to communicate, yet I'm troubled by our society's low standards for this uniquely human endeavor. The void is pervasive and is exacerbated by the sometimes inexplicable meanderings of mainstream journalism and network news organizations. It's no wonder that proponents of divergent views fail to achieve mutual understanding, when they rely on these self-appointed 'interpreters,' who display such poor communication skills. When the interpretation of history is subjected to a similar, slip-shod approach, I feel compelled to become involved.
"On the other hand, a far more compelling motivation to write is the overpowering romance and excitement of discovery inherent in historical research. It's only natural for people to share their passions with others of like mind. This involves, once more, that pesky process of communication. Yet how rewarding it is to feel an author's enthusiasm through the written word, and doubly so when a reader expresses sympathy with one's own work.
"Over the years, I have admired historical writers such as Stephen W. Sears, Bruce Catton, and Phillip B. Kunhardt, Jr. Classic authors such as Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle remain my favorites for fiction, as much for the firsthand historical images they evoke as for their mastery of the language. When all is said and done, however, it is the tangible scrap of history before me—a century-old recording, a rusty bayonet, or a creased photograph—that focuses me. It seems to whisper, 'Learn about me; tell my story …'
"Writing is a time-consuming process for me. I draft, draft, and re-draft. Occasionally, when I'm particularly moved by an emotion, as in the closing paragraph of The Talking Machine Compendium, 1877-1929, the words just flow. Usually my writing contains far more polishing than brilliance, I'm afraid.
"Outside of my profession, my only published writings deal with early talking machines and recorded history. I have collected and studied these artifacts since I was thirteen. It took fifteen more years before I was ready to begin writing about them. So much of what I had 'learned' in those early years was subsequently proven erroneous that I was loath to commit myself until I had finished an apprenticeship of sorts. Fortunately, by that time I had learned the value of primary resource materials.
"Meanwhile, my quite hopeless romanticism had infused me with such a deep-rooted fascination of early phonographs and recordings that maintaining my energy during research and writing has not been a problem. I'm aware that relatively few (including my family) share this particular obsession. Yet it occurs to me lately that our choice of constructive obsessions isn't as important as the fact that we nurture one and all."