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May 10, 2024 31 mins

Holly and Tracy discuss George Heye using his senior thesis to drink beer and how his collection was almost purchased by Ross Perot. They also discuss Maria Orosa and the types of bananas used to make banana ketchup. 

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class, a production
of iHeartRadio, Hello and Happy Friday. I'm Holly Frye and
I'm Tracy V. Wilson. We talked about George High this week,
the mixed bag that is George High. Yeah, he's a

mixed bag, as I said, but I have fun things
to start with. So early on in talking about George High,
we talked about his senior thesis being about organic oils
used as lubricants.

Speaker 2 (00:36):
One of the.

Speaker 1 (00:37):
Things that George and his collaborator Paul did as part
of their tests, and I am doing the air quotes,
was to lightly coat the inside of a growler keg
with oil and fill it. And they realized that when
they did this, they could fill the keg with more

beer because it didn't get as sudsy okay, And they
apparently ran this test a lot okay. So I love
the idea that these these two college seniors had figured
out a way to game the keg system. It sounds
very very much in line with the way you would
think that two college students would operate, but I liked

that they applied science to do it. There is also
a funny question mark right up about his wife Blanche,
as all of the bad press was happening during their divorce.
Blanche really did like smoking, like there's there's obviously smoking

is bad, don't smoke. But like they were they were
noting how much she spent on cigars and and cigarettes
as like this big gotcha thing, and she there's one
article where it's a picture of her and she's talking
about how smoking seems perfectly delightful and sensible. She'd only
started doing it recently, but to her, the reason that

you should smoke is that it's the polite thing to do.
Because you're in someone's home and they offer you, okay,
such a thing, you should always take it. You're just
being polite. And I'm like, uh, that is a At
the time, I'm sure it seemed very interesting and delightful
and exactly in line with social morase. But today it's

like reading that, I was like, that's not polite. One
of the other things that came up that was just
like a weird factoid, yeah, was that after George's death,
like that period between when he passed and when the
Smithsonian acquired the museum was really fraud like they were

there was a lot of fancy footwork going on to
keep the finances to a point where they could keep
it existing at all. I keep the collection together. And
one of the things that they did that almost happened
was that ross Perrot might have been a potential buyer.
What on the one deal point that the collection would

have to move to Texas. Okay, which of course was
in George's will, that they couldn't right, at least a
significant part of it had to stay in New York
because I wanted to serve New Yorkers. Granted, rich white
businessman new Yorkers. But yeah, so that fell apart. I
have absolutely zero surprise with the idea that if Rossboro
was gonna buy it, it had to be to Texas. Yeah,

none whatsoever. But what a weird, strange thing. You and
I had talked about a little bit, like the legislation
about repatriation. So we've talked about NAGRA, the Native American
Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. I might have gotten some
of those letters mixed up. We've talked about a number

of different episodes, most recently on On Earth we talked
about the new final rule on how it's to be
implemented in all of that if I realized that nagra
didn't apply to the Smithsonian, that didn't stick into my head.

Speaker 2 (04:04):
Well, I have more information for you.

Speaker 1 (04:06):
Yeah, it's I know, there's different legislation. That's the legislation
when they bought it, like that that this other legislation
applies to the Smithsonian.

Speaker 2 (04:16):
You go ahead.

Speaker 1 (04:16):
Though my understanding reading about that legislation was that that
was part of what catalyzed NAGPRA. Oh really, and so
it's kind of a matter of, like Smithsonian has this
this setup already, uh huh, we need to legislate to
make sure other museums kind of fall under it. So
I'm not sure if it's a case where the language

of it excluded the Smithsonian just because it seemed like
they were already on top of it, uh huh, or
for some other reason. I haven't read through that legislation
closely in a long time. I can see it potentially
causing confusion or problems. Oh yeah, if newly written legislation
applied to the SMITHSONI that already had specific legislation about

the same subject. I have not been to the museum.
So there's still a Museum of the American Indian in
New York that's still there. I did not know until
this episode why that was, because if you've been to,
like that's where all the Smithsonians are, and that is
where there is a museum of the American Indian that

I've been to a couple of times, and I did not.
I was always like, that's weird that there's also another
one in New York. And that's why we've just talked about. Yes, now,
you know, I will say at this point, and I'm
just going to say, I know there are people who
were at the end of their patients before I was born,

but it for me, having worked on this podcast now
for eleven years almost I'm just like super at the
end of my patients regarding museums and their repatriations, and
I'm just like, give it back. And I have very little, uh.

Speaker 2 (06:04):
Flexibility in that.

Speaker 1 (06:05):
I'm like, if if if a colonized people who were
subjected to an attempt of genocide says that's ours, give
it back, then give it back. And I have no,
like really no arguments of like, oh but our study,

I'm like, I don't give it back. It wasn't yours.
Give it back, right, And also some of the things
that we talk about on on Earth that are like
new research that's being done and it's like unclear whether
there's permission involved of like the indigenous people whose history
this is about. Sometimes, you know, we'll get emails hoop

from folks who are like, well, yeah, the the researchers
have a plan to give this nation everything once they're
done with this research, and I'm like, well, but this nation,
I might want that to stay in the ground, right,
So anyway, that's my frustration with all of this. Yeah,

we might get angry letters from museum curators and anthropologists
and I'm still like, like, we had guests on the
show some years ago from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology
and Ethnology, and this was a great They were very
kind to us, they were generous with their time and
all of that. And then it has seemed like in
the years since we did this, there's just been a

series of horrors and announcements about things in the Peaberty
Museum's collection. Yeah, and I'm like, I'm so tired of this. Yeah,
it's stopped doing it and give it back. Yeah, It's
really interesting. It's one of those things. I this is
an exception to one of my personal life rules. Huh,

because I have a personal rule to never tell anybody
else how to do their job, okay, because it happens
to us all the time. I have everybody where some
random person who doesn't understand the way like somebody's industry works,
who is like, you could just do this, and it's
like no, yeah, I also find this very frustrating.

Speaker 2 (08:12):
So I, like I said, I have a personal rule.

Speaker 1 (08:15):
I don't presume I know more than like you know
any anybody, but like, you know, you see it a
lot in fandoms of various flavors where they think like
my favorite entertainer should just do this, or they should
or this movie should have done this, and I'm just like,
none of you have the right to do this, or
they'll get like the imagined backstory that a person has made,

what do you think is happening? But it doesn't actually
have to do with that person's work reality at all,
one hundred percent. But this is the one place where
I'm like, Nope, yeah, this is a problem you especially
because when you read about many of these it's like, uh,

there's no urgency, yeah, you know what I mean, Like
a repatriation request has been made by a nation or
a people, and then it seems like that gets taken
in and there's an initial statement given about like we're
working on this project, and then it's.

Speaker 2 (09:13):
Like years go by.

Speaker 1 (09:15):
Buck. I'm like, yeah, I understand you have a lot
of things going on, but surely righting or wrong of
this magnitude would get pushed to the top of the list.
So maybe I'm I'm wrong and I'm being completely contradictory
in my own policy, but this is the one space

where I feel like, no, I'm with you.

Speaker 2 (09:38):
Give it back.

Speaker 1 (09:40):
There's stuff, Oh, you stole my thing because you want
to study it. Neat, it's still my thing.

Speaker 2 (09:46):
Give it back.

Speaker 1 (09:47):
I mean, if you simplify it that way, and and
you know, let's say for the sake of argument, it's
some random possession of a person that they love or
has meaning to them and someone just took and they're like, no,
but I'm gonna study it. And it's like, well, yeah,
but you stole it, right, Like this would be an
open and shutcase. Yeah. Well, and some of the like

this is this is why that so much work was
done to like reissue this new the new rule about nagra,
which again does not apply to the Smithsonian with this
whole episode is about Smithsonian. But like one of the
reason was that there were so many loopholes and so
many things that museums could do to be like, oh,
we're evaluating this and like not actually take action. And

some of the things that would come up as reasons
to not repatriate things were actually dealt with in the legislation.
Like sometimes, especially when we're talking about like human remains
from very very long ago, there might be more than
one nation that feels a tie to this these remains, right, Uh,

there was already language.

Speaker 2 (10:54):
About how to deal with that.

Speaker 1 (10:55):
Uh. But sometimes the response would be sort of like, well,
there's two different we don't know what to do. We'll
just keep it. And I'm so I'm very tired of it.
Do you want to shift gears to a history mystery
that's let's do that. It's gossiping, because I feel like
I'm just ranting now, and a rant that's gonna upset people.

This won't upset people. I don't think, Oh, it's like
I said, it's gossip. So this is very interesting because
I ran into this weird stumbling block where I was
I knew George High had been married three times, and
I was trying to find information about his third wife
because Blanche obviously is documented. Thea is pretty well documented

because she was so involved with his work and was
really like a collaborator. His last wife is like this
blip and I'm like, okay, but who was she? Where
was she from?

Speaker 2 (11:48):
What is this?

Speaker 1 (11:49):
And like part of the problem I think is that
there may have been some confusion and maybe a cover.

Speaker 2 (11:59):
Up about their relationship.

Speaker 1 (12:00):
Ship who because in that nineteen fifty eight biography we
read several passages from by Mason, who was a friend
and like new George High personally, he mentions that his
third wife was Jessica Peeble's Standing, Okay, And I'm like, okay,

I'll look for that name.

Speaker 2 (12:24):

Speaker 1 (12:24):
It's possible too that he just got some things conflated
or wrong, because when I started looking for variations of
the name Jessica Peebles, Jessica's Standing, Jesse Standing, et cetera,
I found several news articles that list her as George's sister, okay,

including one that is from the Los Angeles Times when
he is out in LA and it says doctor George G.
Hih and his sister missus Jay standing were among the
Easterner sojourning at the El Mirador Hotel, having a dinner dance,
and I'm like, was he traveling with the woman he

was romantically involved with and just telling people it was
his sister because yuck, for a variety of reasons, like
you know what I mean, Like I think about divorce
ranches where they would be kind of doing a similar thing,
but they would go a little farther removed than a sibling,
So like, there's just something really icky about it. Or

did he have a sister that was I don't know,
It's unclear to me. I never found enough info. Maybe
his sister was married to someone related to this part.
I don't know, okay, but I was like, this woman
is a bit of a mystery and she kind of
vanishes in after the Nevada divorce ranch time. Yeah wow George, Wow.

And he was quite you know, he was he was
on in years at that point. So part of me
wonders if she, who was a good bit younger than him,
maybe married him thinking she would get financial gain out
of it and then found him to be a work
obsessed pain in the neck and was like not worth it.
I don't know what happened. There's not a good marriage anyway.

That's our gossipy history mystery. What was the scoop with
George and Jesse? Why was someone who sounds like her
being introduced as his sister? Damn anyway, anyway, George, high
you complicated thing. The other thing I didn't put in
the outline, but I mentioned it to you off handedly,

is that and because I couldn't corroborate it obviously, was
that he apparently would tell his chauffeur that he wanted
to drive and he was a very reckless driver and
it scared everyone. And sometimes this has been mentioned in
articles where it's like, oh, he's a wacky, flamboyant, rich guy,
collected a lot of cool stuff, and it's like that

could kill people. I don't I'm not into that. I
don't know if I'm just too This is the one
place where I'm I play a very safe but yeah,
drive responsibly and be careful with traffic. Anyway. This week

on the show, we talked about Maria Arosa and Banana Ketchup.
I have a number of stories to tell with for
this episode. The first one is because Banana Ketchup is
the thing that she's just I think most associated with today.
And banana ketchup also a thing that has a place
in the hearts of a lot of people from the Philippines,

or a lot of people who are like Filipino American
or you know, have family who are from there importance
of banana ketchup. I want to see what banana ketchup
was like. And so I had a whole plan where
I was going to get on the train and I
was going to go down to h Mart and buy

some banana ketchup. Turns out our commuter rail was being
replaced by shuttles over the weekend, so I made a
different plan, which was to a different place called Super
eighty eight in Malden, Massachusetts. And in addition to buying
banana ketchup at Super eighty eight, I bought like two
big bags full of other stuff. Yeah, some of which

was stuff that we legitimately needed, and some of it
was just stuff that I like, I know, we like
and we haven't had in a while, or stuff that
just looked good. So the variety of banana ketchup that
I bought was labeled spicy, which I didn't notice when
I got it, and I don't know offhand if there
was also a regular version Dear there on the shelf.

If there had been, I would have bought them both
and compared this spicy. And though I really liked a lot,
I was a little concerned when I saw the ingredients
on it because one of the ingredients was artificial banana flavoring.
And when I was a kid, my dentist the the
thing they would use to topically numb your mouth before

giving you novacane for a procedure, oh, was fake banana flavored,
And I was like, Oh, is this is this gonna?
It did add it did not have fake banana flavor,
and it really didn't have anything that I would describe
as like cavendish banana flavor. We said in the in
the episode that the bananas that Maria Rosa was using

were saba bananas, which are like a denser, a more
flavorful banana. I think, so this to me had a
sweeter flavor than tomato ketchup.

Speaker 2 (17:54):
Okay, that was the first question.

Speaker 1 (17:57):
The banana element, to me was closer to like a
green banana, like an unripe cavendish banana, than like a
bright yellow cavendish banana from an American grocery store, gotcha.
And it also had a tanginess that I really like,
and of course spicy, with a spicy level that I
would say about as spicy as se roches sauce, which

I know these are too totally different, two totally different sauces,
but like that was to a comparable spicy level to me.
And I ate that on some skylet potatoes that Patrick made,
and I ate it on some French fries that I
got with my dinner, and then Patrick used it last
night in a sauce for what he made for dinner.
All of these things were very good. I was very

into it. It is thicker and more gelatinous than tomato ketchup,
the one that we got. Anyway, how would you compare
it to the flavor, because this is a thing I
have never had. Did you compare it to like the
flavor of like a plantain? Maybe some plantain similarities. It's

hard for me to conceptualize because most of the plantains
I have eaten have been fried, right, which is just
a very different mouth feel, right of the thoughts, But yeah,
I thought it was very tasty. Patrick was also very
into it. Patrick actually lived in Manila for a month
when we were first I remember, and he does. He

does not remember having any banana ketchup while he was there.
I think it's possible that, like that there were bottles
of banana ketchup in restaurants and things that he didn't
necessarily notice that that was what he was getting. But anyway,
I was very into the banana ketchup. I did not
try to make any Filipino spaghetti, but everything about the

Filipino spaghetti recipes that I have seen, I'm like, all,
I'm on board with all of this. So at some
point in the future, there may be a little Filipino
spaghetti experiment at my house.

Speaker 2 (20:05):
I love an experiment.

Speaker 1 (20:06):
I love a food experiment. One of the things that
tickled me at the very beginning of this episode, and
it tickles me only because it has come up in
my brain a lot lately, is when you were mentioning
that there's a lot of overlap with other stuff we
have done. Oh yeah, and I feel like we have
reached a point where we have done, you know, more
than ten years of this of just us. It's almost

impossible anymore to find a topic that doesn't interlock with
other stuff we've talked about. I'm sure there are some
out there, but in a way, I kind of love
it because we're putting together. I have often talked with
people talk about like how we put episodes together, Like
when we're doing live shows or whatever, that's a question
we get a lot about how. To me, it's almost like,

you know, shaking up a puzzle box and throwing it
on the table and then you figure out how the
pieces fit together. But I feel like I'm kind of
a meta version of it, and the bigger level of
world history, we're doing this same thing with all of
the episodes we do, where we're seeing all of the
connections in nexus points throughout history, and I just like it.

Speaker 2 (21:06):
That's all.

Speaker 1 (21:07):
Yeah. When I was writing the introduction to the episode,
originally I was naming the prior episodes that this seemed
particularly closely connected to. And then the intro was so
long that I was like, this episode is already trending
toward the longer side. I got to take some of
this out. We don't need to name all of the

past episodes.

Speaker 2 (21:29):
Yeah, it's.

Speaker 1 (21:32):
It grows and grows. So the other little adventure I
had was a telephone adventure. So we mentioned that this
collection of her recipes was published first back in nineteen

seventy with a niece spearheading all of this, and I
had a scan of what I think was the nineteen
ninety eight reprint of that gotcha. I went to try
to find the twenty twenty, the fiftieth anniversary one, so

that is called Appetite for Freedom, the Recipes of Maria
Lyle Rosa, and I did not get a copy of
this book. I was not finding number one note ebook
of it, no like US seller that seemed to have it.
I looked in WorldCat, and when I first looked in WorldCat,

there were three libraries in the United States that had
a copy of this book. In a weird coincidence, when
the weekend passed and I came to work on Monday
for the next step of this story, and I went
back to WorldCat, there were four copies of this in
libraries in the un United States, one of them not

processed enough to be able to check it out yet.
So when I first loked at the three libraries in
the United States that had copies of this book were
the Library of Congress, Yale University, and Moral Memorial Library
in Norwood, Massachusetts. Wildly enough, that library is part of

the minute Man Library Network, which is one of the
library cards I have.

Speaker 2 (23:31):
So I could have.

Speaker 1 (23:32):
Requested a copy of this book and had it delivered
to a branch that's actually close to me. Norwood is
not Norwood is like an hour in the car, two
hours on trains from my house, and it was if
I had requested it, it would not have arrived in time
for me to still do the episode. I would have
had to find something else to talk about and move

this one until later. So I called the library and
I talked to the reference librarian because I was like, hey,
there's at that like four there's four copies of this
book in the United States in libraries, and one of
them is your library. Do you know if there's a

story there, like is there maybe a book plate inside
saying that somebody donated it to the library. And this
very gracious reference library and put me on hold and
went to the shelf and looked at it for me,
and there was not a book plate in it, but
there was a handwritten note saying that it had been
a gift to the library. So I am assuming that

there is someone locally to Norwood, who either has connections
to the family, connections to her an interest in the Philippines.
Is Filipino interested in Philippine some reason, you have donated
this book to the library. I don't know what that interested.
That reason is bless this librarian for humoring my curiosity

to go look at a book on the shelf for me.
Thank you very much for doing that. I'm curious about
what the story is there. And I don't know.

Speaker 2 (25:09):
They may also just be like a foodie totally.

Speaker 1 (25:13):
That's the thing that yeah, or I know from my
days of working in libraries that cookbooks are one of
those things that can often appreciate in value in a
case that other books may not because most of them
get kind of trashed because there's them covered in you know,

drips of broth and flower smears and butter and whatnot.
Some of in my head, it's possible that someone maybe
had had it as part of a collection and then
you know, yeah, there was there are also, like there
are folks who have a particul killer interest in something

who sometimes will leave their local library in their will
money to do something with. And I don't remember which
episode it was, but there was an episode that we
did that involved an artist, and it was not as
uncommon in this book which you know, four copies according
to WorldCat in American libraries, but it was one that
did not have many copies. But there was one in

my actual local branch that I was able to just
go walk down there and pick up. And it had
a book plate in the front that it had been
paid for by somebody who had, you know, been local
to the town where I live, who had specifically left
money in their will to the library to acquire art books.
And I was like, I love this. I love this whole.

The fact that somebody felt move to do that in
their will I really liked. So. Yeah, if people want
more catch up history, there is an episode of the
podcast Sabas that is all about ketchup. I think it's
from about a year ago. I did listen to it
when it first came out. I did not re listen
to it when writing the ketchup part of this. Uh

this episode, Yeah, it made me think about all the
wild flavors or the not flavors, the wild colors of ketchup, yeah,
that have been tried by Hines. Yeah, green ketchup not
made from green tomatoes just green ketchup. Yeah. I also
found reference to Hines actually doing a banana ketchup at

one point, and I did not. I was like, when
exactly was this and where? So yeah, I also love
tomato ketchup. I will just say that, uh ketchup, tomato
ketchup on some really good French fries I'm excited about. No,
not for you.

Speaker 2 (27:51):
I mean, I don't hate it.

Speaker 1 (27:52):
It's not like I'm like that, but I just doesn't
do a lot for me. I'm like, can we mix
this with some manaise? Please?

Speaker 2 (28:01):
Could we? Which?

Speaker 1 (28:02):
I bet banana ketchup mixed with mayonnaise might be interesting.
Banana ketchup sounds more interesting to me because I do
not care for tomatoes. Okay, it does not taste like
tomatoes at all, so right, and really tomatoes and the
one that I got really tomato ketchup doesn't really taste
like tomatoes, but not very much anyway. But yeah, I
am not I'm not a big tomato anything person. So yeah,

I eat them because they're good for me, but I
don't like them and I'm not gonna choose it as
a condiment.

Speaker 2 (28:31):
That's fine.

Speaker 1 (28:32):
Banana ketchup, I will take your little ketchup packets the
next time we are traveling together. Oh, this is this
is dangerous. I'm going to just bring you a suitcase
full and I have a suitcase of leftover ketchup packets
from Holly. Speaking of traveling, Yes, we do have two
things coming up. One is a live show yeah in Indianapolis,

which I should have opened anything about the details of this,
I have them handy great. That is going to be
on July nineteenth, which is a Friday, at the Eugene
and Maryland Glick Indiana History Center. It starts at seven
point thirty. We are also offering a version of the ticket.

You can just get a ticket for the show, or
you can get a ticket where you can do a
meet and greet with us beforehand. You can get more
information about that at Indianahistory dot org slash events.

Speaker 2 (29:31):

Speaker 1 (29:32):
And then the other travel is a little bit farther
down the road and farther away from us, yes, which
is that in November we are going to Iceland. So
excited another group trip for listeners of the show. That
is November two through eighth, twenty twenty four. There is
also an optional add on to that that includes an

attempt to see the Northern lights, which we may see
the northern lights during the regular trip, but this is
sort of like a northern lights chasing event and I
think also a whale watch. Yes, so those are things
that can be added on, so you can find out
about that trip at Defined Destinations dot com. We are

very excited about that, so you'll probably hear it again. Yeah, yeah,
So Happy Friday. Whatever's happening on your weekend. I hope
it's great. If you love banana ketchup, I hope you
have access to it where you live and you know

that you can make delicious things to eat with it.
You can expect a Saturday Classic from US tomorrow and
something brand new on Monday. Stuff you Missed in History
Class is a production of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts from iHeartRadio,

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Holly Frey

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