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Bannack and Virginia City, Montana

Posted by graywacke on June 13, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week 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 relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2405; A Landing A Day blog post number 839.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (44o 59.665’N, 112o 29.321’W) puts me generally in the southwest corner of Montana:

My local landing map:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Blacktail Deer Creek:

As you can see, the Creek makes its way to the Beaverhead River (4th hit); on to the Jefferson River (8th hit).  At the town of Three Rivers (not shown), the Jefferson hooks up with the Madison to form the Missouri (428th hit).

It goes without saying that the Mighty Mississippi is the mother ship (934th hit).

I really landed out in the boonies, and have no Google Earth Street View coverage of my landing.  Here’s an oblique GE shot, showing my location in the Blacktail Deer Valley:

Up near Dillon (past the green blob in the above shot), the Blacktail discharges to the Beaverhead.  Just before it does, I was able to get a Street View look at the creek:

Here ‘tis:

I moved the Orange Dude just a few miles north to get this view of the Beaverhead:

If the Street View shots seem of low quality, it’s because they were taken back in 2009, before many improvements were made by Google for their GoogleCams.  I think the area is overdue for a visit from a GoogleMobile . . .

So, I found the area to be pretty much hookless.  Dillon is the only decent-sized town, but there wasn’t anything of sufficient interest for it to gain titular status.  However, I did find some Old West shoot-em-up gold mining towns, my titular Bannack and Virginia City.

I found a write-up for Bannack that covers a bit of Virginia City history as well, from LegendsOfAmerica.com.  Here are some excerpts (a little long, but well worth the read):

By 1863, the settlement had gained some 3,000 residents and applied to the U.S. Government for the name of Bannock, named for the neighboring Indians. However, Washington goofed it up, spelling the name with an “a” – Bannack, which it retains to this day.

In addition to its reputation for gold, Bannack also quickly gained a reputation for lawlessness. The roads in and out of town were home to dozens of road agents, and killings were frequent. In January, 1863, Henry Plummer arrived in Bannack and just months later was elected sheriff in hopes that he might bring some peace to the lawless settlement. What was not known by the citizens of Bannack, was that Plummer would later be suspected of being the leader of the largest gang of the area road agents.

This group of bandits referred to themselves as the “Innocents” and grew to include more than 100 men. According to Plummer’s accusers, his contacts as sheriff gave him knowledge of when people were transporting their gold, which he would pass on to his gang.

In May, 1863 a group of miners discovered gold in Alder Gulch, about eighty miles to the east of Bannack. When they took their gold to Bannack to buy supplies word soon leaked out and many of the area prospectors headed to Alder Gulch, which would soon become the thriving settlement of Virginia City.

The road between Bannack and Virginia City became a very hazardous journey as the road agents targeted the travelers journeying between the two mining camps. The ambitious Sheriff Plummer allegedly soon extended his operations to Virginia City when he was appointed U.S. Deputy Marshal. Violent holdups became even more commonplace and about a hundred men were murdered during 1863.

By December, 1863, the citizens of Bannack and Virginia City had had enough of the violence. Men from Bannack, Virginia City and nearby Nevada City met secretly and organized the Montana Vigilantes. Masked men began to visit suspected outlaws in the middle of the night issuing warnings and tacking up posters featuring a skull-and-crossbones or the “mystic” numbers “3-7-77, which some have said was the measurement for a grave, 3 feet wide, seven feet long, 77 inches deep. While the exact meaning of these numbers remains elusive, the Montana State Highway patrolmen wear the emblem “3-7-77” on their shoulder patches today.

The vigilantes dispensed rough justice by hanging about twenty-four men. When one such man who was about to be hanged pointed a finger at Sheriff Henry Plummer as the leader of the gang, all hell broke loose.

The residents were divided on whether or not Plummer was part of the murderous gang. But, one night after heavy drinking in a local saloon, the vigilantes decided he was guilty and tracked him down. On January 10, 1864 fifty men gathered up Plummer and his two main deputies. The three were marched to the gallows, where the two deputies were hanged first. According to one legend, Plummer promised to tell the vigilantes where $100,000 of gold was buried, if they would let him live. However, the vigilantes ignored this as they gradually hoisted him up by the neck.

Interestingly though, even after Plummer and several of his henchmen were hanged, the robberies did not cease. In fact, the stage robberies showed more evidence of organized criminal activity, more robbers involved in the holdups, and more intelligence passed to the actual robbers.   Many historians today think that the story of Plummer and his gang was fabricated to cover up the real lawlessness in the Montana Territory – the vigilantes themselves.

The “3-7-77” notation is interesting.  From Wiki:

3-7-77 was the symbol used by the Montana Vigilantes in Bannack and Virginia City, Montana. People who found the numbers ‘3-7-77’ painted on their tent or cabin knew that they had better leave the area or expect to be on the receiving end of vigilantism. The numbers are used on the shoulder patch of the Montana Highway Patrol, who claim they do not know the original meaning of the symbol.

Various theories have been put forth about its meaning, including:

  • The numbers represent the dimensions of a grave, 3 feet by 7 feet by 77 inches.
  • Frederick Allen, in his book A Decent Orderly Lynching, says the number meant the person had to buy a $3 ticket on the next 7:00 a.m. stagecoach to take the 77-mile trip from Helena to Butte.
  • The number set may have something to do with the date March 7, 1877; the numbers were first used in that decade and first appeared in print later in that decade of the 19th century. The first Masonic meeting in Bannack, Montana took place March 7, 1877. Many members of this lodge were also the original Vigilantes.

Here’s some interesting naming history for Virginia City, from Wiki:

On June 16, 1863 under the name of “Verina” the town was formed a mile south of the gold fields. The name was intended to honor Varina Davis, the first and only First Lady of the Confederate States of America (wife of Jefferson Davis). Verina, although in Union territory, was founded by men whose loyalties were thoroughly Confederate. Upon registration of the name, a Connecticut judge, G. G. Bissell, objected to their choice and recorded it as Virginia City.

At least he didn’t name it Connecticut City.

I found a site with numerous lovely pictures of today’s Bannack, a ghosttown that is a tourist attraction.  Here’s a screen shot from the GhostTownGallery webpage:

I recommend you click HERE to peruse the many pictures on the website (by Daniel Ter-Nedden).

Virginia City is also a ghosttown that is now a tourist attraction.  Here’s a shot by Donnie Sexton from YellowstonePark.com:

I’ll close with this Google shot of the Beaverhead near Dillon by Sarah Coombs:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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The Brazos River, Texas

Posted by graywacke on June 4, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-five-or-seven 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 relatively changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2404; A Landing A Day blog post number 838.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (29o 57.515’N, 96o 6.455’W) puts me generally in southeast Texas:

My local landing map shows that I landed “adjacent” to the Brazos River:

Two things to say here.  You’ll notice the absence of towns in my title, and the absence of towns on my landing map.  Secondly, you may be curious as to why the word “adjacent” is in quotes above.  You’ll find out shortly.

The absence of towns isn’t because I landed in a desolate, unpopulated portion of Texas.  I was just zoomed in a little too far.  So here’s a more typical local landing map:

And yes, the towns are pretty much hookless.

I certainly don’t need a local streams-only map, but here’s a regional shot showing what happens to the Brazos River:

Oh yea, before I forget, this was my 33rd hit in the Brazos River watershed.

There was no decent Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage of my landing, but I could put the Orange Dude on a bridge over the Brazos downstream from my landing:

We’ll quickly get to the bottom of the “adjacent” issue (where my landing map showed my landing adjacent to the river) by taking a look at a very local Google Earth (GE) shot of my landing:

What’s going on here?  My StreetAtlas maps and Google Earth always are in precise agreement when it comes to the location of my landing.  Well, guess what?  From a lat/long perspective, they are in precise agreement!

You can probably guess what’s going on here.  The location of the river has shifted to the south!  I landed at the outside edge of a meander, and those outside edges have a way of migrating through time.  And this movement happens not on a geologic time scale, but on a human time scale.

GE has a nifty historic aerial photo tool, which allows us to take a close look at what’s going on. The shot above is dated February 2017.  Let’s go back in time a little, to November 2015:

Hmmm.  A little closer to the bank, eh?  How about April 2012? 

Not much change.  October 2008:

Right on the edge.  But check out April 2006:

No doubt about it!  Here’s September 2003:

And finally, February 1995:

I’d say the basis of my StreetAtlas map was the river’s location back in the early 2000s.  The Brazos marks a county boundary near my landing, and the StreetAtlas map shows the boundary line right in the middle of the river.  I wonder how they handle the migrating river issue?  Does the county boundary shift, or was it defined by a years-ago river course and now follows a meandering path that doesn’t always line up with the river?

So.  Why do rivers meander?  Most references have long, esoteric discussions that I generally find tedious.  Steep valleys underlain by bedrock don’t meander; their courses are generally straighter, and may be controlled by features in the bedrock.

But streams that are in unconsolidated sediments (sand and clay) which typically have a much flatter gradient, are much freer to meander.  I think that the simplest explanation is that “nature abhors a straight line,” and the slightest bend becomes more and more extreme.

Here’s a Wiki figure showing the typical progression of a meander:

The cut-off meander in the final stage is known as an “oxbow lake.”  Here are a couple of oxbow lakes just upstream of my landing:

The outside bend of a meander (where active erosion is occurring) is known as a “cut bank.”  The inside of the bend (where sand deposition typically occurs) is known as a “point bar.”  So, while one bank is being eroded, the opposite bank is building up with new sediment.  Here’s my landing location:

And here’s a shot showing how much longer my meandering river is than a hypothetical straight version:

It’s only a matter of time before a new oxbow lake is created just west of my landing.  What’s your guess?  Fifty years from now?

And the Brazos certainly does flood (when most of the cut bank erosion occurs).  Here’s the front page of an article from the Houston Chronicle:

That’s one ugly cut bank!

While I was working on this post, I received the following text message from my daughter Willow:

“Thanks for the good night.  [She and the grand kids were over for dinner earlier that evening.]  What’s the curvy river/stream west of Harrisburg that flows into the Susquehanna?”

I had no idea why she cared about the “curvy river/stream west of Harrisburg,” but figured that she had been on Google Maps (which doesn’t label streams), and couldn’t find the name of said stream.

Well, she certainly asked the right person.  I went right to StreetAtlas, and found said curvy stream.  I texted back:

“It’s the Conodoguinet Creek.  Wow.  It meanders like crazy!”

Here ‘tis, with all of the urban trappings:

Check out all of the residential neighborhoods sitting right within the meanders.  The stream can’t flood on a regular basis!  And it’s course certainly isn’t shifting like the Brazos.  My guess is that these meanders are “entrenched.”  More about that in a minute.  But here’s a streams-only shot:

And a distance-comparison shot (straight line, about 11 miles; meandering line, about 30 miles):

From Wiki:

Conodoguinet Creek is a 104-mile-long tributary of the Susquehanna River located in the greater Harrisburg metropolitan area.   The name is Native American, and means “A Long Way with Many Bends”.

So what about “entrenched” meanders?  These are meanders that came to be when a stream is meandering lazily along (likely not very high above sea level, like the Brazos), when regional uplifting comes along, and the entire system is raised.  The meanders hang in there, but the stream begins to cut down vertically, even vertically through bedrock.  This results in much higher topography in and around the meanders (allowing development like we see west of Harrisburg).

Here’s a GE shot showing the urbanization of some of the meanders:

FYI, the land between the meanders is typically between 70 and 120 feet higher than the elevation of the adjacent stream.

In the case of the Conodoguinet, the uplift occurred many 10s of millions years ago.  Check out this GE shot:

The Conodoguinet is in the right foreground.  To the left, see how the ridges have been cut by the Susquehanna?  This is all part of the same process.  Eons ago, the ridges weren’t there; the underlying linear sandstone formation had been eroded to near sea level.  The Susquehanna (and the Conodoguinet) were also near sea level.  When the whole area was uplifted, the Susquehanna cut through the underlying formations of sandstone (creating water gaps), and the Conodoguinet cut through the underlying shale formation – leaving the meanders in place.

Any questions?  If so, check out my Nanticoke, Pennsylvania post that covers water gap formation in much more detail (type “Nanticoke” in the search box).

Phew.  All of this Pennsylvania stuff because of Willow’s somewhat random text . . .

Anyway, back to the Brazos. From Wiki:

The Brazos River, named by early Spanish explorers Rio de los Brazos de Dios (translated as “The River of the Arms of God”), is the 11th-longest river in the US at 1,280 miles from its headwater source in New Mexico down to the Gulf of Mexico.

The watershed:

And I have landed twice in the NM portion of the watershed (including my Clovis NM landing which is worth a visit or re-visit).

So how does one pronounce “Brazos?”  East Coast elitist that I am, I simply assumed BRAY-zohs.  Wrong.  I encourage you to click HERE, scroll down until you see the audio file you can click on, and listen to a local who really knows how to pronounce Brazos!

I’ll close with this GE photo from a few miles north of my landing by Houston Suburban Warrior:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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The Adirondack Mountains, New York

Posted by graywacke on May 29, 2018

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-five-or-seven 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 more recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2403; A Landing A Day blog post number 837.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (43o 41.447’N, 73o 49.202’W) puts me in east central New York:

My local landing map shows some towns:

Obviously none of these towns became titular, because they are all:

What is not hookless is the fact that I landed in the Adirondack Mountains:

Obviously, much more about the Adirondacks in a bit.

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of good ol’ Stream Perennial, which discharges to the Schroon River (2nd hit):

Zooming back, we can see that the Schroon makes its way to the not-so-mighty-up-here-in-the-Adirondacks Hudson River:

I’m going to zoom in a little closer on my local landing map:

Notice that it looks like I landed right on a road.  Think that maybe I have Google Earth (GE) Street View coverage on that very road?  You bet!

And let me zoom way in so you can see where I placed the Orange Dude:

And here’s what he sees!

And why, you may ask, is there a short section of guard rail right there?  Because there’s a stream!  I moved the OD a few feet and had him look east.  Here ‘tis:

This little stream makes its way to the Schroon River, so I put the OD on a Schroon River Bridge:

And then, of course, he made his way to a Hudson River bridge:

JFTHOI (BIC)*, I thought I’d head downstream a ways and put the OD on the GW.  (That’s the Orange Dude on the George Washington Bridge.)  But strangely, there appears to be no Street View coverage on the GW Bridge!  But more strangely still, there appears to be River View coverage on the Hudson itself:

*Just for the heck of it (because I can)

And here’s the OD on a boat, looking downstream at the bridge:

And while I’m here at the GW Bridge, remember the “Bridgegate scandal,” when members of then-governor Chris Christie’s administration closed off some access lanes from the town of Fort Lee to the bridge, causing a multi-day, massive traffic jam?  The story is that they did this to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, who refused to endorse Christie.

I couldn’t resist.  Here’s a great Jimmy Fallon / Bruce Springsteen piece about that very scandal:

 

In the day we sweat it out on the streets,
Stuck in traffic on the GWB
They shut down the tollbooths of glory ’cause we didn’t endorse Christie.
Sprung from cages on Highway 9, we got three lanes closed,
So Jersey get your ass in line
Whoa, maybe this Bridgegate was just payback,
It’s a bitchslap to the state democrats,
We gotta get out but we can’t.
We’re stuck in Gov. Chris Christie’s Fort Lee, N.J. traffic jam.

Governor, let me in, I wanna be your friend,
There’ll be no partisan divisions
Let me wrap my legs ’round your mighty rims
And relieve your stressful condition
You’ve got Wall Street masters stuck cheek-to-cheek
With blue collar truckers,
And man, I really gotta take a leak
But I can’t. I’m stuck in Gov. Chris Christie’s Fort Lee, N.J. traffic jam

Highways jammed with pissed off drivers with no place left to go
And the press conference went on and on,
It was longer than one of my own damn shows
Someday, governor, I don’t know when,
This will all end, but till then you’re killing the working man
who’s stuck in the Gov. Chris Christie Fort Lee, N.J. traffic jam

Whoa, oh oh oh
I gotta take a leak
Whoa, oh oh oh
I really gotta take a leak
Whoa, oh oh oh
Down in Jerseyland

We all know that Bruce is great – after all, he is the Boss.  But Fallon?  Truly remarkable!

And JFTHOI (BIC), I had the OD ride the boat downstream to take a look at Downtown Manhattan:

Oh my!  It’s a fireboat!  And they put on a show for the Google Cam!

I had the OD turn & take a look in the other direction to check out Lady Liberty:

Continuing my JFTHOI (BIC) tour, here’s a cool Water View shot of the end of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline from the East River:

And no, we’re not on a fireboat anymore:

Notice how most of the faces are blurred out, but not the lady front and center.  I really hope she’s aware of this shot, and had it printed and framed and has it proudly hanging in her living room.

Geez.  I guess it’s time for me to mosey back up the Hudson, and pay a visit to my titular mountain range.  It’s time for a little geology.   But first, this oblique GE shot of my landing, looking north towards the “high peaks” of the Adirondacks (those peaks above an elevation of 4000 feet):

From HistoryoftheEarthCalender.blogspot.com (by geologist Richard Gibson of Butte, Montana), I’ll start with a geologic map:

The dark green area on the map are the rocks of Adirondacks.  What’s peculiar about them is that they are more than one billion years old; among the oldest rocks on earth.  They are closely related to rocks found quite a bit to the north in Canada, part of the “Canadian Shield.”

Here’s some text from Mr. Gibson’s website:

The Adirondacks of northern New York are a strange little range, almost circular in shape. It’s really a large dome, a circular geological uplift. The oldest rocks, uplifted the most, are in the center, with younger rocks draping the flanks of the dome. And this uplift is really quite young, beginning around 5 or 10 million years ago – just yesterday, geologically speaking – and continuing to the present. So the present mountains have nothing to do with the Appalachians – which today are relatively low, eroded hills, a remnant of the mountain building events of many hundreds of million years ago.  So why are the Adirondacks there?

The circular dome suggests some kind of force pushing up from great depth.  It would have to be something big and incredibly powerful to rise from great depth to produce the huge dome at the Adirondacks. Not a salt dome, and not the small uplift around a rising magmatic intrusion. Those kinds of things make domes that are maybe one to 5 miles across, maybe 10 miles at most. The Adirondack Dome is 160 miles in diameter.

To be honest, we really don’t know why the Adirondack Dome began to rise, and why it continues to rise – by some estimates, one of the fastest-rising mountain ranges on earth, perhaps as fast as 1 or 2 millimeters a year, which is actually incredibly fast. There is controversy over uplift rate estimates, so stay tuned for more research on that.

[JFTHOI (BIC), here’s some math.  Let’s figure out what uplift results from 2 millimeters a year for ten million years.  Let me see, 2 mm is 2 thousandths of a meter, which is 0.002 m; times 10 would be 0.002 m; times 100 would be 0.02 m; times 1000 would be 0.2 m; times 10,000 would be 2 m; times 100,000 would be 20 meters; times 1,000,000 would be 200 m; times 10,000,000 would be 2000 m, or about 6,500 feet.  There you have it!  Pardon the interruption – back to the text:]

The best guess – and it really is a guess – is that there was a hotspot beneath the Adirondacks. Hotspots are regions of relatively low-density mantle, many tens of miles within the earth, that tend to rise buoyantly through denser parts of the mantle. Such a blob, pushing up, could make the broad dome that we see in the Adirondacks.

Hotspots are well known, especially those that get shallow enough that reduced pressure allows the hot rocks to melt. Then you can get volcanoes. There is a hotspot beneath Hawaii, one under Iceland, and one under Yellowstone. There are a few dozen around the world.

How about that!  I’ve been to the Adirondacks many times.  I’m a geologist.  One might think that I was generally aware of the above geologic history.  Nope.  Well, it’s never too late to learn . . .

It’s time for some GE Pictures.  I’ll start with this, by Jonathon Job, of a lake just north of my landing:

Either the dock is sinking or the lake level is way up . . .

And then this lovely sunset (sunrise?) shot by Aubrey Hoague, also of a nearby lake:

And, believe it or not, I’ll close with this shot by Justyn Ripley:

And, believe it or not, I think that Mr. Ripley did a little photo-shopping . . .

 

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 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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