A Landing a Day

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Williamston, Michigan

Posted by graywacke on August 8, 2010

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (then every-other-day blog and now a two-or-three-times a week blog), I have my computer select 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 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 and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  The curse continues, but this time with an eastern OSer . . . MI; 45/36; 1/10 (1/15); 15; 156.5 – highest Score since last July 2009 (holding with July).   It seems like 150 is now months away . . .

All I need is a single USer, and I’ll finally be able to more-substantially vary my opening paragraph.  Anyway, here’s my landing map, showing Lansing, East Lansing (home of Michigan State University), and Williamston (featured in the post title due to it’s proximity):

Here’s a broader view:

Here’s my GE shot, showing a rural/suburban landscape:

Here’s a StreetView shot, looking south towards my landing, which is just beyond the trees in the distance:

As noted in my first paragraph, 14 of the last 15 landings have been OSers. I wondered what the odds were of getting 14 of 15 to be OSers. I asked an old buddy of mine, PhD chemist Dr. Mike Miller of Rowan University.  Mike & I worked together back in our Mobil Oil days, and Mike is a “go to” kind of guy for any math or science-related question.  Quickly, he put together a spreadsheet, where I can vary the odds of an individual occurrence (like if there’s a 55% chance of an OSer, for example).  I can also figure out the odds of, for example, getting 4 USers out of 21 tries (or any combination of numbers I please).

It’s pretty much a 50/50 proposition, so that’s what I used; and thanks to Mike, I know that the odds of getting 14 of 15 landings as OSers is one in 2,185.  Boy, am I bucking the odds with this run of bad luck!!!!

Moving right along . . .

I landed in the Squaw Creek watershed.  This was my 8th watershed with the word “squaw” in it, so squaw makes it to my list of Common Stream Names.  As it turns out, all eight are “Squaw Creeks.”  So, the Squaw Creek flows to a new river, the Red Cedar River.  This is my second Red Cedar R (the other is in Wisconsin).  The Red Cedar flows to the Grand (8th hit); on to Lake Michigan (31st hit); on to the St. Lawrence (88th hit).

Here’s a picture of Williamston Falls on the Red Cedar River:

I’ve struggled somewhat in coming up with an interesting angle about the area where I landed.  Nothing against Williamston, but I couldn’t find a “hook.”  And as for East Lansing, well, I’ve got serious Ohio roots, and have trouble reveling in the home of Michigan State University.  (Not as much trouble as I’d have with Ann Arbor and MU, mind you, but we Ohio State fans have certain limits).

As for Lansing.  Although I generally have problems with large cities (in terms of what I write about), I thought I’d check on it’s name origin.  Similarly to Morenci AZ (which was named for a town “back east,” Morenci MI), Lansing MI is also named for a town back east, Lansing NY.  And, it turns out Lansing NY was named after one John Lansing.  From Wiki:

John Ten Eyck Lansing, Jr. (January 30, 1754 Albany, New Yorkvanished [emphasis added] December 12, 1829 New York City), was an American lawyer and politician. He was the uncle of Gerrit Y. Lansing.

Wait a second!  “Vanished??!!??”  First a little background about Mr. Lansing, also from Wiki:

From 1776 until 1777 during the Revolutionary War Lansing served as a military secretary to General Philip Schuyler. Afterwards he was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1780 to 1784, in 1785-86, and 1788–89, being its speaker during the latter two terms. In 1786, he was appointed Mayor of Albany. He represented New York at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. At this convention he greatly opposed any law that would unify the United States under one single government.

A real “states’ rights” kind of guy!  Continuing from Wiki:

When the convention decided to propose a new plan which included uniting the independent states, he and Robert Yates walked out leaving a letter for their reasons. Lansing and Yates never signed the constitution. On 15 February 1798 he was appointed Chief Justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

OK, so he was somewhat controversial.  So what about his disappearance?  From Wiki:

On the evening of December 12, 1829, he left his Manhattan hotel to mail a letter at a New York City dock and was never seen again. Lansing was 75 years old and was presumed drowned or perhaps murdered. A cenotaph was erected at Albany Rural Cemetery. His widow died in 1834.

His fate was a major mystery in New York State at the time, although through the years, it has become rather forgotten. One major clue to Lansing’s disappearance appeared since his death. In 1882 the memoirs of Thurlow Weed, former Republican political leader in New York State, were published. Weed wrote that Lansing had been murdered by several prominent political and social figures who found he was in the way of their projects.

Weed was told this by an unnamed individual, who showed him papers to prove it, but begged Weed not to publish these until all the individuals had died. Weed said they were all dead by 1870, but he found that their families were all highly respected, and upon advice of two friends he decided not to reveal the truth because it would hurt innocent people. And that was the last anyone ever heard of a possible resolution to the mystery. It is unknown if Weed actually received the truth, or what that truth might be.

The town of Lansing NY was named in 1817, so John was alive and well to appreciate the honor.  I wonder if anyone had second thoughts about the name after his mysterious disappearance?

Moving right along:  famous people from Lansing include Burt Reynolds & Malcolm X.  Those are two people that wouldn’t be linked except by the fluke of the same home town . . .

OK, OK, so I’ll provide a couple of expected pictures.  Here’s the Michigan State Capital Building:

And here’s a shot of an MSU football game.  Hopefully they were getting stomped by Ohio State.  Actually, based on the uniforms, that could be OSU threatening to score . . .

Moving on to Williamston, here’s a back-in-the-day shot (1919):

I’ll close with this sunset shot near Williamston:

That’ll do it. . .



© 2010 A Landing A Day


2 Responses to “Williamston, Michigan”

  1. Spagets said

    So I was wondering if those back in the day pics are from your personal family album….kidding! They are actually interesting to see how things looked back then. I especially like the ones of people from earlier times. Keep the good work. Oh gees was that a complement, I must have been out in the sun too long.

  2. Spagets said

    correction—keep up the good work and to think I always prove read before I hit summit.

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