A Landing a Day

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Lund, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on May 23, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2402; A Landing A Day blog post number 836.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (38o 46.808’N, 114o 57.666’W) puts me in east central Nevada:

My local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the White River (2nd hit), which appears to dead end:

However, with research and perseverance, I discovered the truth:

The White does in fact dry up completely, but maintains a topographical presence as the Pahranagat Wash; 2nd hit; (not identified on Street Atlas maps; thus my hand-drawn approximation) and which, I am sure, actually flows after heavy rains.  Pahranagat Wash has topographic continuity with the Meadow Valley Wash; 7th hit; (which is identified on Street Atlas).

Meadow Valley Wash has topographic continuity with the Muddy River (8th hit); which, somewhere beneath Lake Mead, joins up with the Virgin River (14th hit); which (also beneath Lake Mead), joins up with the Colorado River (183rd hit).

Get all of that?  You may wonder (as I do myself):  why do I spend so much time and effort to absolutely nail down my watersheds?  My only answer is:  that’s what I do . . .

Considering how far out in the boonies I am, I have excellent Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage:

And here’s what the OD sees:

While I was hanging out in GE, I snapped this oblique shot of my landing:

And zoomed back to get this broader perspective, looking across the White River Valley:

It’s time for true confessions:  I featured Lund in a 2011 post.  Not surprising, considering how isolated the town is.  Anyway, from that post:

Here’s info on Lund, from Wiki:

Lund was named for Anthon Lund, a prominent historical figure from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, more commonly known as Mormons).  Lund was settled in 1898 on land that the US government had given the LDS as recompense for land that had been confiscated under the Edmunds-Tucker Act.  The population of Lund as of 2005 is 156.

So, I need to check out the Edmunds-Tucker act.  From Wiki:

The Edmunds–Tucker Act of 1887 was passed in response to the dispute between the US Congress and the LDS Church regarding polygamy.

The act punished the LDS Church on the grounds that they fostered polygamy. The act prohibited the practice of polygamy and punished it with a fine of from $500 to $800 and imprisonment of up to five years.   The act was enforced by the U.S. marshal and a host of deputies.

The act:

  • Directed the confiscation by the federal government of all church properties valued over a limit of $50,000.
  • Required an anti-polygamy oath for prospective voters, jurors and public officials.
  • Annulled territorial laws allowing illegitimate children to inherit.
  • Required civil marriage licenses (to aid in the prosecution of polygamy).
  • Abrogated the common law spousal privilege for polygamists, thus requiring wives to testify against their husbands
  • Removed local control in school textbook choice.

Pretty amazing history!  I guess polygamy didn’t quite fall under constitutional religious freedom . . .

As is typical, I found out a little more this time around.  From GreatBasinHeritage.com:

Part of the confiscated properties were large herds of Nevada cattle, which were turned over to three non-Mormon Nevada ranchers.  In 1893, the Edmund Tucker Act was declared unconstitutional and a resolution to restore the confiscated church property was introduced. No action was taken on this until 1896, by which time the cattle herds were severely reduced from poor management, bad investments, and severe winters. The three ranches were obliged to turn over everything they owned as replacement of the cattle they had lost, giving the Mormons the remaining cattle, horses, equipment, and a large piece of land (including Lund) to begin colonizing.

Here’ a Wiki shot of Joseph Smith Leavitt and family, early settlers in Lund.  (Gee.  I wonder who he was named after.) 

I see mom & dad and 7 or 8 kids – it looks to me like the woman on the left might not be one of the kids . . .

As per usual with the lousy pictures now available on GE, I didn’t have much to pick from.  So, here’s a picture by DeCall Thomas of Certified Welding Services Corp, showing what I presume is one of their welds on a electric transmission tower out in the White Valley:

And now, back to my original Lund post:

I’ll close with a picture from Lund, looking south.  As a central New Jerseyan, I must admit that I would love to see mountains in the distance . . .

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

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Luverne and Kanaranzi, Minnesota

Posted by graywacke on May 15, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2401; A Landing A Day blog post number 835.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (43o 41.032’N, 96o 2.307’W) puts me in far SW Minnesota:

My local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Elk Creek; on to the Rock River (3rd hit).

Zooming back:

The Rock discharges to the Big Sioux River (7th hit).  Note that the Big Sioux has the honor of acting as the boundary between South Dakota and Iowa before it discharges to the Missouri (427th hit).  Of course, that drop of water that falls on my landing eventually ends up in the Mighty Mississippi (933rd hit).

Google Earth Street View coverage could be better, but I’ll take it:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I had him go a couple of miles west to get a look at Elk Creek:

Here’s the downstream view:

I suspect that a local farmer dug out the bottom of the creek to create a pond . . .

Let’s start with a quick trip to Kanaranzi.  According to Wiki, the town was named after Kanaranzi Creek.  “Kanaranzi Creek” was wiki-clickable, so I did, and here’s what Wiki has to say:

The name Kanaranzi comes from the Dakota word for “where the Kansas were killed”.

Who are “the Kansas?”  As you might expect, the Kansas are an Indian tribe.  From Wiki:

The Kaw Nation (or Kanza, or Kansa) are a Native American tribe in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas. The tribe have also been known as the “People of the South wind” and “People of water.” Their tribal language is Kansa.

Of course, “Kansas” was named after the tribe . . .

I don’t know what happened along the shores of the creek.  A nasty defeat at the hands of a hostile tribe?  Or, a nasty defeat at the hands of U.S. soldiers . . .

Let’s move to Luverne.  First, Wiki lets us know that Luverne was named for Luverne Hawes, the daughter of an early settler.  And then, we learn that Luverne was one of four towns profiled as part of Ken Burns’ PBS 2007 documentary “The War” (about WW II).

I strongly recommend that you click HERE to see a video from the documentary about Luverne and the surrounding Rock County.

Click HERE to check out the PBS article about the town.

Back to Wiki.  A “Notable Person” is Quentin Aanenson, a WW II ace pilot.  He (of course) was Wiki-clickable:

Aanenson demonstrated exceptional courage and ability as a fighter pilot, amassing tens of kills and beating all odds to survive the early months of his tour of duty.

He documented his experiences for his family, which was later turned into a documentary video, A Fighter Pilot’s Story, which Aanenson wrote, produced and narrated. The film was first televised in late 1993, then broadcast on over 300 public television stations in June 1994.

The three-hour documentary, tells of an enthusiastic and cheery boy very rapidly aged by too much death. It also tells of a remarkably wide range of combat duties and details many harrowing individual missions.

The documentary tells of a remarkable coincidence, in which Aanenson’s P-47 was called down to assist some American troops under attack by a tank. He surveyed the scene, then reported to the troops that the tank was too close to them for him to fire upon it without risking injury to the Americans. However, since the soldiers were sure to be killed if the tank wasn’t stopped, Aanenson decided to attack, and he managed to destroy the tank cleanly.

About two years after the war, Aanenson met a new neighbor who started to recount the story. About halfway through, Aanenson finished the memorable event for him.

He was also featured in the documentary The War by Ken Burns, recounting his experiences during World War II as a fighter pilot. At the conclusion of Episode Five of the series, Aanenson narrated a poignant and ominous letter he had written to his future wife but had never sent.

The letter reads:

Dear Jackie,

For the past two hours, I’ve been sitting here alone in my tent, trying to figure out just what I should do and what I should say in this letter in response to your letters and some questions you have asked. I have purposely not told you much about my world over here, because I thought it might upset you. Perhaps that has been a mistake, so let me correct that right now. I still doubt if you will be able to comprehend it. I don’t think anyone can who has not been through it.

I live in a world of death. I have watched my friends die in a variety of violent ways…

Sometimes it’s just an engine failure on takeoff resulting in a violent explosion. There’s not enough left to bury. Other times, it’s the deadly flak that tears into a plane. If the pilot is lucky, the flak kills him. But usually he isn’t, and he burns to death as his plane spins in. Fire is the worst. In early September one of my good friends crashed on the edge of our field. As he was pulled from the burning plane, the skin came off his arms. His face was almost burned away. He was still conscious and trying to talk. You can’t imagine the horror.

So far, I have done my duty in this war. I have never aborted a mission or failed to dive on a target no matter how intense the flak. I have lived for my dreams for the future. But like everything else around me, my dreams are dying, too. In spite of everything, I may live through this war and return to Baton Rouge (where he and his future wife were students at LSU). But I am not the same person you said goodbye to on May 3. No one can go through this and not change. We are all casualties. In the meantime, we just go on. Some way, somehow, this will all have an ending. Whatever it is, I am ready for it.

    Quentin

According to the PBS website, Quentin and Jackie married after the war and had three children and eight grandchildren.  He died from the effects of cancer at his home in Bethesda, Maryland in 2008.

Disappointed as usual with the meager offerings of the new GE photos, I’ll go instead to WoodsnLakes.com, for a 50s shot of Main Street in Adrian. 

See the station wagon on the right?  With a little research, I figured out it was a 1959 Ford.  Geez.  Back in 1959 (when I was 9), the fall of the year was bad and it was good.  Why was it bad?  Because we had to go back to school.  Why was it good?  Because all of the new car models came out. 

It was so exciting – my friends and I kept track of all of the new models we saw.  I suspect that even into the late 1960s, I would have recognized that car as a ’59 Ford.  Now?  I knew it was a Ford, but I guessed a few years earlier . . .

What happened in the late 1960s that would make me forget what the various model years of the various cars looked like?  Don’t ask . . .

I’ll close with this wonderful TV commercial for the 1959 Ford station wagon:

 

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Archer, Florida

Posted by graywacke on May 9, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2400; A Landing A Day blog post number 834.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (33o 31.878’N, 90o 8.000’W) puts me in the NW Florida peninsula:

Here’s my local landing map, showing that Archer is the only game in town, er, I mean, the only town in the game:

Here’s my streams-only map:

It’s not obvious that my drainage heads east.  But I used the Google Earth (GE) elevation tool, and was able to determine that drainage (much of it in limestone caverns/cracks/crevices below the surface) makes its way east and ends up in the watershed of Orange Creek; on to the Oklawaha River (3rd hit); on to the St. John’s River (6th hit).

I have very good Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage of my landing:

And here ‘tis:

As mentioned above, my drainage ends up way east of my landing in the Oklawaha River.  Here’s a GE shot showing where I put the Orange Dude to get a look at the river:

Here’s the upstream view:

And the downstream:

Now I’d like to take a quick step back and review some recent posts.  First, there’s Greenwood MS where I featured Delta Blues pioneer Robert Johnson.  Before Greenwood was North Platte ND, where I featured singer/songwriter Josh Rouse.  Skipping over Eureka NV, we come to Jamestown ND, where I featured singer Peggy Lee.  Before Jamestown was Okemah OK, where I featured Woody Guthrie. 

I don’t want my regular readers to think that this blog has turned into a music history treatise.  But, you’ll never guess what’s going to happen here in Archer Florida. 

There’s one and only one hook in Archer:  it was the final home of one Bo Diddley.  From Wiki:

Ellas McDaniel (born Ellas Otha Bates, 1928 – 2008), known as Bo Diddley, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll. He influenced many artists, including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Clash.  He began his seminal work in the early 1950s.

The origin of the stage name Bo Diddley is unclear.  Although, as an expression, “bo diddley” likely evolved as follows:  A diddley bow is a homemade single-string instrument played mainly by farm workers in the South. It probably has influences from the West African coast.  In the American slang term bo diddly, bo is an intensifier and diddly is a truncation of diddly squat, which means “absolutely nothing”.

[Hey!  I used the phrase “diddly squat” as a kid.]

[Bo himself] claimed that his peers gave him the name, which he suspected was an insult.  He once said that the name first belonged to a singer his adoptive mother knew.  He also stated that it was his nickname as a Golden Gloves boxer.

Whatever . . .

Bo is best known for three songs:  “Bo Diddley,” the related “Hey, Bo Diddley” and “Who Do You Love?”

While I was vaguely familiar with Bo Diddley, and only slightly familiar with his work, I now recognize that he made his mark on rock ‘n roll.

Here’s an early (1956) version of “Bo Diddley:”

 

Bo Diddley bought his baby a diamond ring
If that diamond ring don’t shine
He gonna take it to a private eye
If that private eye can’t see
He better not take the ring from me

Bo Diddley bought a nanny goat
To make his pretty baby a Sunday coat
Bo Diddley bought a bear-a-cat
To make his pretty baby a Sunday hat

Mojo come to my house, a black cat bone
And take my baby away from home
Ugly ole Mojo where’s he been
Up to your house and gone again

Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley, have you heard?
My pretty baby said she was a bird.

Here’s “Who do you Love?”

 

I walk 47 miles of barbed wire,
I use a cobra-snake for a necktie,
I got a brand new house on the roadside,
Made from rattlesnake hide,
I got a brand new chimney made on top,
Made out of a human skull,
Now come on take a walk with me, arlene,
And tell me, who do you love?

Who do you love? (x4)

Tombstone hand and a graveyard mine,
Just 22 and I don’t mind dying.

Who do you love? (x4)

I rode a lion to town, use a rattlesnake whip,
Take it easy arlene, don’t give me no lip,

Who do you love? (x4)

Night was dark, but the sky was blue,
Down the alley, the ice-wagon flew,
Heard a bump, and somebody screamed,
You should have heard just what I seen.

Who do you love? (x4)

Arlene took me by my hand,
And she said ooowee bo, you know I understand.

Who do you love? (x4)

Remember Bo Jackson?  In the 80s, Bo was an all star in both football and baseball.  He made a series of “Bo Knows” commercials for Nike.  Here’s one, featuring our man:

 

I’ll close with this shot of “Watermelon Pond,” by Stephen Workman.  Although it’s a little far away (about 10 miles west of my landing).  Thanks to the slim pickens since GE dropped Panoramio, it’ll have to do:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Greenwood, Mississippi

Posted by graywacke on May 4, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2399; A Landing A Day blog post number 833.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (33o 31.878’N, 90o 8.000’W) puts me in central-NW Mississippi:

Here’s my local landing map, showing that Greenwood is the only game in town, er, I mean, the only town in the game:

Here’s my streams-only map:

There are several small, unnamed streams near my landing.  Try as I might (using the Google Earth elevation tool), I couldn’t really trace my drainage path at all.  Bottom line:  I landed in the Yazoo River watershed (14th hit).  Although not shown, the Yazoo flows to the MM (932nd hit).

I sent the Google Earth Orange Dude wandering the roads around my landing until he could find an unobstructed view:

And here’s what he sees:

And then I put him on a bridge over the Yazoo in Greenwood.  He took a look downstream:

So.  What about Greenwood?  Wiki let me know that Greenwood has its place in the history of the Civil Rights movement:

In June 1966, James Meredith, the first African American to attend the University of Mississippi, announced that he was going to walk from Memphis, Tennessee, to Jackson, a distance of more than 200 miles, to protest racism.  The route would take him through Greenwood.

Meredith was shot and hospitalized for injuries two days into his walk (by a sniper named Aubrey James Norvell). The photograph of Meredith after being shot won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in 1967.

A novice photographer for AP, Jim Thornell was on the scene and took two rolls of pictures. Minutes passed before an ambulance reached Meredith, who lay in the road alone, shouting “Isn’t anyone going to help me?”  The photo (and the event itself) was a flash point in the American civil rights movement. It united and galvanized the scattered civil rights movement.

A number of high-profile civil rights leaders of major organizations, including Stokely Carmichael of SNCC, Martin Luther King of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Floyd McKissick and Roger Wilkins of the NAACP, vowed to continue the march. They encouraged others to join them.

When the group reached Greenwood on June 17, Carmichael was arrested but released after a few hours. Later, in Greenwood’s Broad Street Park, Carmichael gave a speech, which became well known as the “Black Power” speech, stating:

“This is the twenty-seventh time I have been arrested—and I ain’t going to jail no more! The only way we gonna stop them white men from whuppin’ us is to take over. We been sayin’ “freedom” for six years and we ain’t got nothin’. What we gonna start saying now is Black Power!”

The speech marked a turning point in the civil rights movement; many younger members took up Carmichael’s slogan, and used it to support using violence to defend their freedom.  It seemed to catalyze the fragmentation of the civil rights movement in the mid 1960s,

The marchers persisted, growing in number as they neared the capital, and totaled more than 15,000 when they entered Jackson.

Also from Wiki:

Radio station WGRM on Howard Street was the location of B.B. King’s first live broadcast in 1940.  In memory of this event, the Mississippi Blues Trail has placed its third historic marker in this town at the site of the former radio station.

Another Mississippi Blues trail marker is placed near the grave of the blues singer Robert Johnson.

As some of you may remember, I featured B.B. King in my Placitas NM post.  He gave a concert at a music festival there in 1970:

 

But how about Robert Johnson?  Wow.  I’ll say.  How about Robert Johnson!  From Wiki:

Robert Leroy Johnson (1911 – 1938) was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.

Johnson’s shadowy and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime.

After the reissue of his recordings in 1961, his work reached a wider audience. Johnson is now recognized as a master of the blues, particularly of the Mississippi Delta blues style. He is credited by many rock musicians as an important influence; the blues and rock musician Eric Clapton has called Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived.”

Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first induction ceremony, in 1986, as an early influence on rock and roll.  In 2003, Johnson was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Like I said before:  Wow.

I’ll start out with Johnson’s “Kind Hearted Woman.”  Pay close attention to his guitar playing.  It may seem ordinary, but remember:  this is the first time that anyone, anywhere played blues like this:

 

I got a kind hearted woman
Do anything in this world for me
I got a kind hearted woman
Do anything in this world for me
But these evil-hearted women
Man, they will not let me be
I love my baby
My baby don’t love me
I love my baby, oooh
My baby don’t love me
But I really love that woman
Can’t stand to leave her be

A-ain’t but the one thing
Makes Mister Johnson drink
I’s worried ’bout how you treat me, baby
I begin to think
Oh babe, my life don’t feel the same
You breaks my heart
When you call Mister So-and-So’s name

She’s a kindhearted woman
She studies evil all the time
She’s a kindhearted woman
She studies evil all the time
You well’s to kill me
As to have it on your mind

 

Here’s Eric Clapton’s version:

 

 

Moving on to Johnson’s Cross Road Blues (familiar to any Eric Clapton fan):

 

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the Lord above
“Have mercy now, save poor Bob if you please”

Yeoo, standin’ at the crossroad, tried to flag a ride
Ooo eeee, I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me, babe, everybody pass me by

Standin’ at the crossroad, baby, risin’ sun goin’ down
Standin’ at the crossroad, baby, eee, eee, risin’ sun goin’ down
I believe to my soul, now, poor Bob is sinkin’ down

You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run, tell my friend Willie Brown
That I got the crossroad blues this mornin’
Lord, babe, I am sinkin’ down

And I went to the crossroad, mama, I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad, baby, I looked east and west
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman
Oh well, babe, in my distress.

Of course, now I’ll have to have Clapton’s version:

 

Here’s Robert Johnson’s “Sweet Home Chicago.”

 

Oh
Baby, don’t you want to go
Oh
Baby, don’t you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Oh
Baby, don’t you want to go
Oh
Baby, don’t you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now one and one is two
Two and two is four
I’m heavy loaded baby
I’m booked, I gotta go
Cryin’, baby
Honey, don’t you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now two and two is four
Four and two is six
You gon’ keep on monkeyin’ ’round here friend-boy,
You gon’ get your
Business all in a trick
But I’m cryin’, baby
Honey, don’t you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Now six and two is eight
Eight and two is ten
Friend-boy, she trick you one time
She sure gon’ do it again
But I’m cryin’, baby
Honey, don’t you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

I’m goin’ to California
From there to Des Moines, Iowa
Somebody will tell me that you
Need my help someday, cryin’
Hey, hey
Baby, don’t you want to go
Back to the land of California
To my sweet home Chicago

Of course, Clapton did this song, but I’ll present a star-studded version at a glitzy Kennedy Center tribute to Buddy Guy.  (Note that they’ve changed the confusing reference to California in Robert’s original.)

 

Here’s a GE photo (by Robert Vogt) of the “Tallahatchie Flats,” located just outside Greenwood.  The flats are actual plantation “tenant houses” that were moved from local plantations and are now for rent (to tourists):

At their website, I checked out “Tush Hog’s House.”  Here’s a picture:

And the write-up:

There’s a certain mystery about this 3-room house.  Tush-Hog was the name of the man in whose house Robert Johnson died.  That house is no longer where it used to be and since this house came from nearby and no one knows for sure who lived in this house in the old days, we thought we’d call it Tush-Hog’s.

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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North Platte, Sutherland and Paxton, Nebraska

Posted by graywacke on April 26, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2398; A Landing A Day blog post number 832.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (40o 58.350’N, 100o52.812’W) puts me in southwest Nebraska:

Here’s my local landing map:

All of the towns you see are teeny, with the exception of North Platte (pop 25,000).

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Sutherland Outlet Canal:

As you can see, the canal comes from (and discharges to) the South Platte River (21st hit); on to the Platte River (70th hit).  Although not shown, most readers are aware that the Platte makes its way to the Missouri (426th hit); on to the MM (931st).

I don’t have a worthwhile Google Earth (GE) Street View of my landing, but here’s a look at the Sutherland Canal:

Here’s a closer look at the Orange Dude’s perch:

And here’s what he sees, looking upstream:

And downstream (fishermen and all):

I think I’ll jump right to the major town near my landing – North Platte.  While pretty much hookless, I noted that Wiki listed one Henry Hill in its “Notable People” list, as “New York City mobster, worked as a cook in North Platte.”

So the fact that Henry and I share a last name probably influenced my decision to feature him. But he has an interesting story.

It seem appropriate to start off with this mug shot (from Wiki):

He doesn’t look too happy, eh?

He was born in 1943, and Wiki notes that he was “associated” with the Lucchese crime family, beginning in 1955.  Do the math.  The kid was only 12.

Wiki:

In 1980, Hill became an FBI informant, and his testimony helped secure 50 convictions, including those of mob capo (captain) Paul Vario and James Burke on multiple charges.

Hill’s life story was documented in the true crime book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi.  Wiseguy was subsequently adapted by Martin Scorsese into the critically acclaimed film Goodfellas, in which Hill was portrayed by Ray Liotta.

Henry became involved with local mobsters in his boyhood Brooklyn neighborhood, and one thing led to another . . .

I found this story of a heist particularly intereting.  From Wiki:

On April 7, 1967 Hill and Tommy DeSimone executed the Air France robbery.  Robert “Frenchy” McMahon became aware of several bags containing $60,000 each, stored in the Air France cargo terminal at JFK Airprt. McMahon proposed the robbery was initially proposed to Hill in January 1967.

The targeted money was stored in a strong-room inside the Air France cargo hold, permanently protected by a security guard. Hill determined that an armed robbery would involve unnecessary risk and would be unlikely to succeed; instead, Hill devised a plan to steal the keys to the strong room from a security guard who carried them at all times.

Hill conducted surveillance on the security guard during his leisure time and found the guard had a weakness for women. Hill and McMahon succeeded in getting the guard drunk before driving him to the Jade East Motel where he was introduced to a prostitute. While the guard was distracted, Hill retrieved the guard’s set of keys from his discarded trousers and had copies made before returning the original keys, thus leaving the guard and his employers unaware of any breach in security.

Hill entered the cargo terminal with Tommy DeSimone on April 7, 1967 following a tip-off from McMahon about a shipment of between $400,000 and $700,000 being made to the strong-room. Using the duplicate key, Hill and DeSimone stole $420,000 (equivalent to over $3.1 million in 2018) in cash from the strong-room, loading the money into a large suitcase.

They entered and exited the cargo terminal unchallenged and unnoticed while the security guard was on a meal break. No shots were fired and the money was not reported missing until four days after the heist.

Hill shared the take from the heist with senior Mafia members.

Enough about my Great Uncle Henry. Moving along to Sutherlane, I saw that Wiki identified M. Miriam Herrera as an author and poet.

From her website:

Miriam’s enigmatic ancestry compels her writing. As evidenced by her family’s uniquely hybrid practices and traditions, it is likely they descend from crypto-Jews or “conversos” from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. These “conversos” or converts to Catholicism, fled the Spanish Inquisition and came to live in the New World. Descendants of these conversos intermarried with the Native Americans and old Christians that populated the American Southwest. Miriam explores her crypto-Jewish, Chicana, and Native American identity in her poetry.

One of the poems on her website is “Kaddish for Columbus:  Prayer for 500 Years.”  What’s a kaddish, one might ask.  From Wiki:

The Kaddish is a hymn of praises to God found in Jewish prayer services.  The term is often used to refer specifically to “The Mourner’s Kaddish,” said as part of the mourning rituals in Judaism in all prayer services, as well as at funerals.

I found the poem to be moving (but a little long given my readers’ short attention spans).  Although not at all kosher, I shortened the kaddish a little.  In the unlikely event that Ms. Herrera reads this post, my sincerest apologies . . .

Kaddish for Columbus:  Prayer for 500 Years

Author’s note:  Legend says Columbus was a Crypto-Jew escaping Spain’s Inquisition, along with a boatload of illegal Marranos, in hopes of settling in the New World.

I believe in my animal twin:
Together we bellow and embrace
in arms of darkened hills
winding above the Rio Grande,
along the Sangres and Santa Fe, up
to the Pajarito plateau.

I believe in the rattlers’ sect
Tribes who shed skin for sake of
divinity, and accept as fate
to be steered by a blackbird’s tail.

I meditate on the Boundless,
on the Inspiration
that looks upon sundown’s ruddy expanse
and bestows commandments:

“Roll in river
mud, inhale sage brush,
build your houses round,
clay red as the upper thigh
of a sun-burned woman—
Live! Live!”

(I trust in these words.)

I believe my Grandfather’s spirit,
looselegged in khakis,
still carries a rifle and hunting knife
north and south
along this same river valley.
I believe in the hemisphere
where there are no borders, no
papers required to prove his footsteps
on this land
for over five hundred years.

(I consecrate to his memory the number 500.)

I believe my grandfather
creates new Sabbaths,
when he looks in the river
at his rough, holy image. I believe
he’ll awaken my own
sleeping image with his
odd beauty:

Skin, all at once the color
of mountain snow, of river mud
and adobe.  Hair like cornsilk
or tail feathers of
a red-tailed hawk, and a soul,
shiny and tempered
as loot from Obsidian Ridge.

I glorify the shadow of spirits at dusk,
their aweful power
as they close in
flat-out run on hoofs
thumping
toward a wandering soul,
swept against a cliff
by force of animal will.

I swear, this tiny soul remembers
its first summer, holds
a breath under the breaking sky,
reveres blazes of pink, purple, gold
and covers its eyes
when a juniper bush
appears to catch fire.

At dusk, the earth’s veins
give up their color
to the Sangre
de Cristo mountains. The hills
put on purple veils and bow
to the sky.

Time to move over to Paxton.  The Notable People list has one name:  Josh Rouse, singer-songwriter. 

As is my wont, I slipped over to You Tube and checked him out.  Here’s “Come Back,” recorded live at the Stages on Sixth in Austin.  I really like this song!  The band is so tight – this sounds like a studio recording.

 

I’ve been a-waiting for the longest time
I want you to come back
Maybe if the sun would shine
It’d bring my happy back
In the dark
So tired of waking up and it’s dark
So tired of being stuck on my own here
Norway is cold dear
And here comes june
The sun is gonna shine in june
The doctor says I’ll feel better soon
Fills my vitamin D pills
He hands me the big bill

Cause I’ve been waiting for the longest time
I want you to come back
Maybe if the sun would shine
You’d bring my happy back
I’m gonna stay on this mountain high
Til you come running back
Don’t leave me hangin’ out on that line
I want you to come back
I want you to come back

I miss my serotonin
And my days are goin nowhere fast
And the language is so foreign
And I can never understand
Understand

Come back (x 11)

Yeah cause I’ve been a-waiting for the longest time
I want you to come back
Maybe if the sun would shine
You’d bring my happy back
I’m gonna stay on this mountain high
Til you come running back
Don’t leave me hanging out on that line
I want you to come back
I want you to come back
I want you to come back
I want you to come back
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Waiting for the longest time
Maybe, if the sun would shine . . .

Here’s “New Young,” which, not coincidently (and as attested in the final verse), reminds me of Neil Young:

 

Preparation for life in a small town
Now there’s a few things I know
Getting ready to downshift with my family
Say goodbye to rock and roll

Show me all the traps I’ve taken
I’ve been drawing maps and making
Plans, to move out to the country

Northern California’s nice
Driven through there many times, playing shows
Thought about my ways and me
My father telling New Orleans, where you’ll go

Show me all the traps I’ve taken
I’ve been drawing maps and making
Plans, to move out to the country

Thinking about the paths I’ve taken
Shoot me straight, and I’ll get turned around
Let’s move out to the country
To the country

Dreamed about Neil Young last night
Rolled out of bed and rubbed my eyes
I’ll never be that good, you know
I’ll never be that good, you know

 

So.  I went to Josh’s website, saw that he’s performing at the World Café in Philadelphia on May 13th, and bought tickets . . .

I’ll close with GE photo by Tim Goldsberry, taken a few miles southeast of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Eureka, Nevada (third time around)

Posted by graywacke on April 15, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2397; A Landing A Day blog post number 831.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (39o 45.422’N, 115o40.753’W) puts me in central east Nevada:

My local landing map shows that I landed in the boonies:

I won’t both with a streams-only map, because there are no streams anywhere close by.  Instead, here’s Google Earth (GE) shot of my “watershed”:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Newark Valley, which contains no streams and goes nowhere.  The lowest areas are yellowish.

Here’s an oblique GE shot, looking north (and yes, you can see my yellow landing pin if you look closely):

 

See the largest mountain peak in the range to the west of my landing?  That’s Diamond Peak, and here’s a Wiki shot from the top of the mountain, looking up Newark Valley:

I get another look at my landing using Google Earth (GE) Street View:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I had the OD look southwest.  That’s Diamond Peak in the distance:

It’s time to jump right to the town of Eureka.  This is the third time this blog has featured Eureka (two early landings back in 2009). From my April 2009 post:

Eureka is (guess what?) a mining town that had boom years back in the late 1800s, with a population that made it to 10,000. Times change, markets change, and the ore runs out.  So, a few pictures will have to do . . .

Here’s one of nearby Diamond Peak:

And a Diamond Valley sunset:

The unavoidable Main Street shot:

And this, of an early 1900s Eureka resident:

Route 50 through Nevada is touted as “America’s Loneliest Highway.” Here are a couple of pictures to support that position:

I’ll close with this overview of Eureka:

And then, from my August 2009 post:

So, I apologize, but this is going to be an uninspiring post. I’m just going to present a few pictures of Eureka that I didn’t post last time. Here goes, starting with a picture of the somewhat-famous Eureka Opera House:

And this, of the Jackson Hotel:

And just because I like this picture so much the last time, here’s the lady from Eureka in the early 1900s:

I’ll close with this old truck shot from outside Eureka:

This time around, I’ll present this historical marker:

Here’s the text:

Eureka!  A miner is said to have exclaimed in September 1864 when the discovery of rich ore was made here – and thus the town was named.  Eureka soon developed the first important lead-silver deposits in the nation and during the furious boom of the 80’s had 16 smelters, over 100 saloons.  A population of 10,000 and a railroad – the colorful Eureka and Palisade – that connected with the main line 90 miles north of here.

Ore production began to fall off in 1883 and by 1891 the smelters closed, their site marked by the huge slag piles at both ends of Main Street.

Just to round things out, here’s the ubiquitous lady on the horse:

I’ll close with this 1950 shot of Main Street, from RainesMarket.com (their self-guided tour):

It sure makes me feel old, realizing that the above photo and I were created in the same year . . .

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

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Jamestown, North Dakota

Posted by graywacke on April 7, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2396; A Landing A Day blog post number 830.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (47o 0.757’N, 99o22.267’W) puts me in central southeast North Dakota:

My local landing map shows my usual VP* of small towns; in this case anchored by the sizable Jamestown (pop 15,000):

*veritable plethora

My streams-only map doesn’t show much in the way of streams:

What it does show are a lot of so-called “prairie potholes.”  (Type “Grenville” into the search box to see my Grenville ND post, where I provide an excellent explanation of this unique landscape).

As one might suspect in this case, drainage from my landing pretty much just flows into the nearest pothole, and goes nowhere from there.  I used Google Earth (GE) to verify:

Note that my landing elevation is 1886 (feet above sea level), and that runoff from my landing flows directly west into the pothole, at elevation 1870.  Further note that elevations all around the pothole are much higher.  Ergo:  water goes in, but doesn’t go out.

My regular readers could write the next sentence (or something very much like it) for me:  “Of course, I checked out each of the little towns on my local landing map, and (as you can tell by the post title), they are all:”

This entire post will be based on Wiki’s list of “Notable People” from Jamestown.  I’ll start with Willis Downs – Philippine-American war Medal of Honor Recipient.

First, a little about the Philippine-American war, from Wiki:

The Philippine–American War was an armed conflict between the First Philippine Republic and the United States that lasted from February 4, 1899, to July 2, 1902.

The Filipinos saw the conflict as a continuation of the Filipino struggle for independence that began in 1896 with the Philippine Revolution; the U.S. government regarded it as an insurrection.  The conflict arose when the First Philippine Republic objected to the terms of the Treaty of Paris under which the United States took possession of the Philippines from Spain, ending the Spanish–American War.

Fighting erupted between forces of the United States and those of the Philippine Republic on February 4, 1899, in what became known as the Second Battle of Manila. On June 2, 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States.  The war officially ended on July 2, 1902, with a victory for the United States.

The war and occupation by the U.S. changed the cultural landscape of the islands, as people dealt with an estimated 200,000 to 1,500,000 total Filipino civilians dead, disestablishment of the Catholic Church in the Philippines as a state religion, and the introduction of the English language in the islands as the primary language of government, education, business, industry, and among families and educated individuals.

Estimates of the Filipino forces vary between 80,000 and 100,000, with tens of thousands of auxiliaries. Most of the forces were armed only with bolo knives, bows and arrows, spears and other primitive weapons which were vastly inferior to those of the American forces.

This war apparently was far from America’s finest moment.  Continuing from Wiki:

Throughout the war, American soldiers and other witnesses sent letters home which described some of the atrocities committed by American forces. For example, In November 1901, the Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger wrote: “The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog…”

Wow.  Well, anyway, here’s the citation for Jamestown’s own Willis Downs:

“With 11 other scouts, without waiting for the supporting battalion to aid them or to get into a position to do so, charged over a distance of about 150 yards and completely routed about 300 of the enemy who were in line and in a position that could only be carried by a frontal attack.”

I would never second-guess or criticize Mr. Downs.  But considering the historical context . . .

And there’s another Medal of Honor Recipient from Jamestown (this one for the Vietnam war) – Michael Fitzmaurice. 

Here’s his citation (from Wiki):

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice, 3d Platoon, Troop D, distinguished himself at Khe Sanh.

Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and 3 fellow soldiers were occupying a bunker when a company of North Vietnamese sappers infiltrated the area. At the onset of the attack Sp4c. Fitzmaurice observed 3 explosive charges which had been thrown into the bunker by the enemy. Realizing the imminent danger to his comrades, and with complete disregard for his personal safety, he hurled 2 of the charges out of the bunker. He then threw his flak vest and himself over the remaining charge.

By this courageous act he absorbed the blast and shielded his fellow-soldiers. Although suffering from serious multiple wounds and partial loss of sight, he charged out of the bunker, and engaged the enemy until his rifle was damaged by the blast of an enemy hand grenade.

While in search of another weapon, Sp4c. Fitzmaurice encountered and overcame an enemy sapper in hand-to-hand combat. Having obtained another weapon, he returned to his original fighting position and inflicted additional casualties on the attacking enemy.

Although seriously wounded, Sp4c. Fitzmaurice refused to be medically evacuated, preferring to remain at his post. Sp4c. Fitzmaurice’s extraordinary heroism in action at the risk of his life contributed significantly to the successful defense of the position and resulted in saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers.

These acts of heroism go above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect great credit on Sp4c. Fitzmaurice and the U.S. Army.

I’ll also mention briefly the following (more-or-less from Wiki):

Richard Hieb – Space Shuttle astronaut – Technical specialist on three Shuttle missions.

He logged He over 750 hours in space, including over 17 hours of EVA (space walk), traveling over 13 million miles.

Louis L’Amour – Writer of cowboy novels – He wrote 100 novels, over 250 short stories, and (as of 2010) sold more than 320 million copies of his work.

By the 1970s his writings were translated into over 10 languages. Every one of his works is still in print.

Rhonda Rousey – MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter – Even I heard of her, back in 2015, apparently.

She won 12 consecutive MMA fights, six in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), before suffering her first loss, to Holly Holm in November 2015. She won 11 of those fights in the first round.

In May 2015, two magazines ranked Rousey as the most “dominant” active athlete.  In September 2015, voters in an online ESPN poll selected Rousey as the Best Female Athlete Ever.  Later that month, she claimed to be the UFC’s highest paid fighter, male or female.  In 2015, she was the third most searched person on Google.

I’ll finish up with Miss Peggy Lee.  From Wiki:

Norma Deloris Egstrom (1920 – 2002) known professionally as Peggy Lee, was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman’s big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. During her career, she wrote music for films, acted, and recorded conceptual record albums that combined poetry and music.

I remember well two songs by Peggy Lee.  First, this, “Fever:”

 

Never know how much I love you
Never know how much I care
When you put your arms around me
I get a fever that’s so hard to bear

You give me fever
When you kiss me
Fever when you hold me tight
Fever! in the morning
Fever all through the night

Sun lights up the daytime
Moon lights up the night
I light up when you call my name
And you know I’m gonna treat you right

You give me fever
When you kiss me
Fever when you hold me tight
Fever! in the morning
Fever all through the night

Everybody’s got the fever
That is something you all know
Fever isn’t such a new thing
Fever started long ago

Romeo loved Juliet
Juliet, she felt the same
When he put his arms around her
He said, “Julie, baby, you’re my flame

“Thou giveth fever
“When we kisseth
“Fever with thy flaming youth
“Fever! I’m afire
“Fever, yea, I burn, forsooth.”

Cap’n Smith and Pocahontas
Had a very mad affair
When her daddy tried to kill him
She said, “Daddy, oh, don’t you dare!

“He gives me fever
“With his kisses
“Fever when he holds me tight
“Fever! I’m his missus
“Daddy, won’t you treat him right?”

Now you’ve listened to my story
Here’s the point that I have made
Chicks were born to give you fever
Be it Fahrenheit or Centigrade

They give you fever
When you kiss them
Fever if you live and learn
Fever! till you sizzle
What a lovely way to burn
What a lovely way to burn
What a lovely way to burn
What a lovely way to burn

 

The second of her songs that I knew is “Is That All There Is?”  I’ll start with this quip about the meaning of the song, posted on PeggyLee.com:

 

I remember when I was a little girl
Our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face
As he gathered me up in his arms and
Raced through the burning building out to the pavement
And I stood there shivering in my pajamas and
Watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over, I said to myself
“Is that all there is to a fire”

Is that all there is
Is that all there is
If that’s all there is, my friends
Then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

And when I was twelve years old
My daddy took me to a circus
“The Greatest Show on Earth”
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
And as I sat there watching
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what
But when it was all over, I said to myself
“Is that all there is to a circus”

Is that all there is
Is that all there is
If that’s all there is, my friends
Then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

And then I fell in love
With the most wonderful boy in the world
We’d take long walks down by the river
Or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
And then one day, he went away
And I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
And when I didn’t, I said to myself
“Is that all there is to love”

Is that all there is
Is that all there is
If that’s all there is, my friends
Then let’s keep

I know what you must be saying to yourselves
“If that’s the way she feels about it
Why doesn’t she just end it all”
Oh, no, not me
I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment
Cause I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you
That when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my last breath
I’ll be saying to myself

Is that all there is
Is that all there is
If that’s all there is, my friends
Then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is

This is a poster child for songs known as “haunting.”

I’ll close with three GE pics.  First this, by Akhil Bhaskaran Nair, of the world’s largest bison statue (in Jamestown):

And this, by Eric Pearson, of the world’s largest sandhill crane statue (in Steele, just off my local landing map to the southwest).

Here’s Main Street in Pettibone – the town closest to my landing – by Debra Clark:

I’ll close with this sunset shot on Jamestown Reservoir, by Justin Heubrock:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Okemah (revisited) and Clearview, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on April 1, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2395; A Landing A Day blog post number 829.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (35o 24.897’N, 96o 9.579’W) puts me in central east Oklahoma:

A quick word about my use of the term “central east,” above.  “East Central” means the eastern part of the state and central from a north-south perspective.  “Central east” means in the central part of the state, but towards the east.

Here’s my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Bad Creek; on to the North Canadian (19th hit); on to the Canadian (50th hit).

Not shown (but known by most readers) — the Canadian discharges to the Arkansas (132nd hit); on to the MM (930th hit).

Google Earth (GE) had no Street View shots of my landing worth anything, but I was able to get a look at the Bad, just south of Pharoah:

And here’s a not-so-bad shot of the Bad:

You can tell by the title of this post that I’ve been in Okemah before (my October 10, 2009 post), so I already knew that Okemah is the birthplace of Woody Guthrie.  Just because I’m lazy, I’ll borrow some from that post:

From WoodyGuthrie.com:

Woodrow Wilson Guthrie was born on July 14, 1912, in Okemah, Oklahoma. His father – a cowboy, land speculator, and local politician – taught Woody Western songs, Indian songs, and Scottish folk tunes. His Kansas-born mother, also musically inclined, had an equally profound effect on Woody.

Woody’s birthplace:

In 1931, when Okemah’s oil boomtown period went bust, Woody left for Texas. In the panhandle town of Pampa, he fell in love with Mary Jennings, the younger sister of a friend and musician named Matt Jennings. Woody and Mary were married in 1933, and together had three children, Gwen, Sue and Bill.

If the Great Depression made it hard for Woody to support his family, the onslaught of the Great Dust Storm period, which hit the Great Plains in 1935, made it impossible. Drought and dust forced thousands of desperate farmers and unemployed workers from Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, and Georgia to head west in search of work. Woody, like hundreds of “dustbowl refugees,” hit Route 66, also looking for a way to support his family, who remained back in Pampa.

Moneyless and hungry, Woody hitchhiked, rode freight trains, and even walked his way to California, taking whatever small jobs he could. In exchange for bed and board, Woody painted signs and played guitar and sang in saloons along the way, developing a love for traveling the open road—a lifelong habit he would often repeat.

If I’ve made you curious about all things Woody, there’s much more at the WoodyGuthrie.com website, which you can look up on your own.

As mentioned above, Woody moved to Pampa, Texas.  Guess where else I’ve landed?  Here are some excerpts from my July 24, 2015 post:

I found a NY Times article, (Aug 12, 2012 by Lawrence Downes) entitled “As Woody Turns 100, We Protest Too Little.”  Here’s the opening few paragraphs (after the iconic picture from the article):

In October the Kennedy Center will throw a centennial party for Woody Guthrie, a star-studded concert with tickets topping out at $175. It will be America’s ultimate tribute to a beloved troubadour. “Through his unique music, words and style,” the Kennedy Center says, “Guthrie was able to bring attention and understanding to the critical issues of his day.”

Poor Woody. The life and music of America’s great hobo prophet, its Dust Bowl balladeer, boiled down to this: He brought attention to the critical issues of his day.

Maybe that’s what happens to dissidents who are dead long enough. They are reborn for folk tales and children’s books and PBS pledge drives.

They become safe enough for the Postal Service. “For a man who fought all his life against being respectable, this comes as a stunning defeat,” Arlo Guthrie said in 1998, when his father was put on a 32-cent stamp.

Will Kaufman’s book “Woody Guthrie, American Radical” tried to set the record straight last year. The sentimental softening and warping of Woody’s reputation began early, even as he was dying, in the 1960s.

But under the saintly folk hero has always been an angry vigilante — a fascist-hating, Communist-sympathizing rabble-rouser who liked to eviscerate his targets, sometimes with violent imagery. He was a man of many contradictions, but he was always against the rich and on the side of the oppressed.

So for today’s post, I thought I’d feature his far-and-away most famous song, “This Land is Your Land.”  I’ll start with this, from Wiki:

On the typescript submitted for copyright of “This Land Is Your Land,” Guthrie wrote:

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”

Here’s a 1944 version of Woody singing (of course) “This Land is My Land (lyrics below):

 

This land is your land, and this land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I’ve roamed and rambled and I follered my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
All around me a voice was a-sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.
A sign was painted, said “Private Property.”
But on the back side, it didn’t say nuthin,’
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun come shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Although not in the above version, here are some other verses that Woody periodically included:

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

From Wiki:

“This Land Is Your Land” is one of the United States’ most famous folk songs. Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie in 1940.  He used an existing melody, a Carter Family tune called “When the World’s on Fire.”

The song was written in critical response to Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” as Guthrie was becoming tired of hearing Kate Smith sing her rendition on the radio in the late 1930s.  Initially titled “God Blessed America for Me,” he renamed it “This Land Is Your Land.”

I didn’t realize that Woody didn’t write the music!  So, here’s the Carter family song (lyrics below):

 

Oh, my loving mother, when the world’s on fire
Don’t you want God’s bosom to be your pillow
Tide me over in the Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages cleft for me

I’m going to heaven when the world’s on fire
And I want God’s bosom to be my pillow
Tide me over in the Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages cleft for me

Oh, my loving brother, when the world’s on fire
Don’t you want God’s bosom to be your pillow
Tide me over in the Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages cleft for me

Oh, my loving sinner, when the world’s on fire
Don’t you want God’s bosom to be your pillow
Tide me over in the Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages cleft for me

Don’t you want to go to heaven when the world’s on fire
Don’t you want God’s bosom to be your pillow
Tide me over in the Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages cleft for me

The line, “Rock of Ages cleft for me” rings familiar, but I had to go to Google to find out why.  It’s a hymn, which I now realize I occasionally sang in my father’s church when I was growing up. 

Here’s a rendition of the hymn by Tennessee Ernie Ford.  At least pay attention to the intro, where he explains the hymn’s history:

 

Here’s a Wiki picture of the original Rock of Ages, where Rev. Toplady found shelter in a “cleft” in the rock:

When I think about Tennessee Ernie Ford, I think about his most famous song, “Sixteen Tons.”  It struck me that this song (written in the 1940s)  was a song that Woody Guthrie might have sung.  A little bit of internet research showed that Woody did in fact sing it but I couldn’t find any audio.

Tennessee Ernie didn’t write the song; Merle Travis did, so I’ll present Merle’s version (lyrics below):

 

Some people say a man is made outta’ mud
A poor man’s made outta’ muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that’s a-weak and a back that’s strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number 9 coal
And the straw boss said “Well, a-bless my soul”

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain
Fightin’ and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol’ mama lion
Cain’t no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

If you see me comin’, better step aside
A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died
One fist of iron, the other of steel
If the right one don’t a-get you, then the left one will

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

Moving right along.  You may have forgotten by now, but the town of Clearview is titular.  Here’s a short You Tube video about the town that tells all you need to know.

 

I’ll close with this GE pic by Gary Smallwood of downtown Pharoah:

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Argonia, Kansas (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on March 26, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2394; A Landing A Day blog post number 828.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (37o 13.871’N, 97o 54.045’W) puts me in south central Kansas:

And my local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Sand Ck; on to the Chikasia River (3rd hit):

Zooming back:

The Chikasia flows to the Salt Fork of the Arkansas (13th hit); on to the Arkansas 131st hit).  Although not shown, we all know (don’t we, class?) that the Arkansas discharges to the MM (929th hit).

I was able to put the Orange Dude quite close to my landing.  The GoogleMobile was wandering around dirt roads!

And here’s what he sees:

The Orange Dude ambled north a couple of hundred yards to look at the unnamed tributary that carries my runoff:

And here’s the very culvert that carries my runoff safely under the dirt road:

Sand Creek is close by:

And here’s a look see:

Lovely spot!

Moving right along . . . as you likely suspected based on the “Revisited” in the post’s title, I’ve been to Argonia before.  In April of 2009, I landed east of (and featured) Argonia.  I’ll borrow a little from that post (in italics) and then add some updates:

So, as you can see in the above picture, America’s first woman mayor was in Argonia.

[Here comes a quote that I didn’t reference back in 2009.  I don’t think it was Wiki; it was probably a local web site – but I couldn’t find it this time around]:

Susanna M Salter

Susanna Madora “Dora” Salter (1860-1961), U.S. politician. On April 4, 1887, at the tender age of 27, she was elected as mayor of Argonia, Kansas, becoming the first woman elected as mayor in the United States.  Not only that, she was the first woman elected to any significant political office in the United States.  Following her term as mayor, she moved to Oklahoma in 1893 after acquiring land on the Cherokee Strip, and later moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where she died at the age of 101.

Wow. Very cool landing spot, enabling me to honor the first U.S. woman elected to any political position. And, she lived to be 101, which was an incredible rarity back in the day. 

Anyway, here’s another interesting fact:  There’s only one Argonia in the entire world.  How about that! 

So, here’s a picture of “Dora” Salter:

And this is her house in Argonia:

Back to now. So, I found a little more about Ms. Salter.  From Wiki (and pay attention!):

Salter was elected mayor of Argonia on April 4, 1887.  Her election was a surprise because her name had been placed on a slate of candidates as a prank by a group of men against women in politics hoping to secure a loss that would humiliate women and discourage them from running.

[Wow.  Great stuff . . .]

Because candidates did not have to be made public before election day, Salter herself did not know she was on the ballot before the polls opened.

When, on election day itself, she agreed to accept office if elected, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union abandoned its own preferred candidate and voted for Salter en masse.

Additionally, the local Republican Party Chairman [Republicans were the liberals back then] sent a delegation to her home and confirmed that she would serve and the Republicans agreed to vote for her, helping to secure her election by a two-thirds majority.

[Way to go, Dora!]

One of the first city council meetings over which the newly elected Mrs. Salter presided was attended by a correspondent of the New York Sun. He wrote his story, describing the mayor’s dress and hat, and pointing out that she presided with great decorum. He noted that several times she checked irrelevant discussion, demonstrating that she was a good parliamentarian.

Other publicity extended to newspapers as faraway as Sweden and South Africa.  As compensation for her year’s service, she was paid one dollar. After only a year in office, she declined to seek reelection.

There you have it.

And, from the town website:

Argonia, incorporated in 1885, was named for the Argonauts of Greek legend, a band of heroes with whom Jason set out to fetch the Golden Fleece in the ship Argo.

My knowledge of Greek mythology is nil, so I looked up Jason and the Argonauts, the good ship Argo, and the Golden Fleece.

Yikes.  Wiki goes on and on and on, and I must admit, my eyes just blurred over.  So, I’ll keep this very short.  From Wiki:

The Argonauts were a band of heroes in Greek mythology, who in the years before the Trojan War, around 1300 BC, were led by Jason in his quest to find the Golden Fleece. Their name comes from their ship, Argo, named after its builder, Argus. “Argonauts” literally means “Argo sailors”.

The Golden Fleece is the fleece of the gold-haired winged ram and is a symbol of authority and kingship. It figures in the tale of the hero Jason and his crew of Argonauts, who set out on a quest for the fleece by order of King Pelias, in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly.

Through the help of Medea, they acquire the Golden Fleece. The story is of great antiquity and was current in the time of Homer (eighth century BC).

See what I mean?

Here are a couple of images of artists’ concept of the Golden Fleece:

 

So, I’ll close with this shot of the Chikaksia River, east of my landing by Ken Clay:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Dell City, Texas

Posted by graywacke on March 21, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2393; A Landing A Day blog post number 827.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (31o 56.967’N, 105o 34.247’W) puts me in far west Texas:

My local landing map shows my titular town and its proximity to El Paso:

StreetAtlas showed me nothing about drainage, so I had to go to Google Earth (GE).  I could following the drainage pathways east towards Dell City, and then to a dry lake bed just east of Dell City:

I thought to myself, “Self, maybe there’s a USGS topographic map that identifies my landing watershed.  Let me check.”

So, self went to mytopo.com, et voila!  I found my landing location based on my proximity to “Double Mills Tank:”

How did I know about Double Mills Tank?  Well, here’s a GE shot that shows my landing’s proximity to that very feature!

And a close-up of the tank, which, as you can see, is a small man-made pond):

Anyway, here’s a zoomed out topo map showing that the drainage near the tank ends up in Washburn Draw:

Shifting our gaze to the east:

Washburn Draw peters out in the flats around Dell City.  As a geologist, I’ll speculate about this observation as follows:  When any water makes its way out of the hills, it enters the flats, which are highly-permeable (coarse) sediments that have washed down from the hills through the eons.  So, the runoff water hits the flats, and sinks in.  The drainage channels disappear.

Using the GE elevation tool, I found a slight dip in the north-south road through Dell City where, I figured, on very rare occasions, water from my landing would flow.  So, I put the Orange Dude there:

He doesn’t see much, but here ‘tis (looking east):

The lowest elevation anywhere around is “Linda Lake,” shown on the above topo map.  As you might suspect, it’s pretty much always a salt flat; no water.  But photographer William L. Giles snapped this photo (posted on Flickr) after a major rain:

And Bill had this to say about the photo:

The Guadalupe Mountain Salt Flats are a remnant of an ancient, shallow lake that once occupied this area during the Pleistocene Epoch, approximately 1.8 million years ago. Salt collected here as streams drained mineral-laden water into this basin.

The basin, called a fault graben, formed about 26 million years ago as faulting lifted the Guadalupe Mountains and depressed the adjacent block of the Earth’s crust. At the end of the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago, the lake dried up as the climate became more arid.

Mineral content in the ground imparts a beautiful turquoise tint to the rain water that collects in the basin.

Here’s a shot of the mountains across the more-usual salt flats (a Flickr shot by Alan Cressler):

By the way, I’ll have more about the Guadalupe mountains in a bit.  But now its time for Dell City.  I found a great write-up in TexasEscapes.com, which is based on an interview with Gene Lutrick, president of the Dell City Chamber of Commerce:

In 1947, men came looking for oil and discovered a large reservoir of good quality underground water. Developers from Austin and Midland immediately got busy promoting the town.

When we asked who Mr. Dell might have been, Mr. Lutrick asked if we were familiar with the nursery song “The Farmer in the Dell”. There was no Mr. Dell – it’s Dell as in “a small, secluded, usually forested valley.” Just forget the part about the forest.

Eager to put the water to use, the developers planted 200 acres of cotton. This was great news for the local rabbits who ate all but 14 acres of it; farmers started planting alfalfa to keep the rabbits occupied. Today, onions, tomatoes, sweet grapes and chili peppers are grown.

Reports on wildlife include abundant deer and antelope. We asked Mr. Lutrick about buffalo (roaming or otherwise) and he said that there were none in Dell City. He did say that he has, on occasion, heard a discouraging word. We didn’t ask what it was.

I suspect that most of my readers were tuned into the “Home, Home on the Range” references in the above paragraph.  But just in case, here’s a You Tube video of the song, performed of (by all people) Neil Young.  I love Neil, but this is pretty bad . . .

The classic versions of the song are by Roy Rodgers and another by Gene Autry.  And yes, they’re better than Neil’s version.

So, about the Guadalupe Mountains.  During a Lafayette College geology field trip (spring 1972), we visited these mountains, specifically the prominent peak known as El Capitan:

Here’s a Wiki shot of the peak:

And this, from the top:

And this, taken in 1889:

Anyway, to this day, I am able to remember that El Capitan is a “Permian Reef Complex.”   “Permian” is its age – about 300 million years old.  And yes, it’s an ancient reef that was formed (of course) below sea level.  As you might suspect, there’s a complex geologic history (that I won’t go into) about how a reef that starts out below sea level ends up being a mountain in West Texas . . .

A sidebar:  I remember that we all climbed a hill just off the main road near El Capitan.  Being college kids and all, I remember laughing about how the hill looked like a woman’s breast.  Well, thanks to Google Earth and Street View, I was able to revisit the spot.

First, this overview:

Then, this low-angle shot:

And finally, this Street View shot from a side road:

See what I mean?

I have another distinct memory – that I found a very cool, very funky rock on the side of that very hill.  I kept it, and have it to this day.  I just went down into the basement where I have a plastic bin of collected rocks, and there it was.  So, I brought it upstairs and snapped a couple of pictures on my dining room table:

The Mike’s Hard Lemonade bottle cap is for scale . . .

Here’s an angled shot, with the bottle cap doing double duty as a prop to keep the rock upright:

Is this a cool rock or what?!?  I have no idea how this rock formed – and as I recall, neither did my geology professors!

I’ll close with this GE picture of “salt basin dunes” (near Linda Lake) by Jean-Claude Linossi, with the Guadalupe Mountains in the background:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

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