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Ennis and Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Posted by graywacke on July 10, 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 2408; A Landing A Day blog post number 842.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (45o 25.314’N, 111o 34.478’W) puts me in southwest Montana:

Here’s my local landing map:

As you can see, this landing is very close to a previous landing (just three landings ago):

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Jordan Creek, which flows into Ennis Lake.  Ennis Lake is a dammed-up portion of the Madison River (4th hit).

Zooming back:

You can see that the Madison joins the Jefferson and the Gallatin (at Three Rivers MT) to form the Missouri (429th hit).  The MM (935th hit) graciously accepts the Missouri’s contribution.

I’m truly out in the boonies, and therefore have no Google Earth (GE) Street View shot of my landing.  But here’s an oblique GE shot to put my landing appropriately in the local landscape:

Of course, I do have a GE Street View shot of the Madison:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

The town of Gallatin Gateway caught my eye, just due to its name.  Wiki has essentially nothing to say about Gallatin Gateway, but with a little (very little) research, I learned that there are towns with the name of Gallatin in MO, TN, NY and TX (besides MT) and there are counties with the name of Gallatin in IL, KY and MT. 

Montana is big on Gallatin, as besides a town and a county, it also is home to a Gallatin Airport (in Bozeman), the Gallatin River, the Gallatin Range, Gallatin Peak (see local landing map), the Gallatin Petrified Forest and the Gallatin National Forest.

Four US ships have been named Gallatin, along with two colleges and one high school (and school district).

As far as I can see, every Gallatin-named entity was named after one Albert Gallatin.

Who was Albert Gallatin?  And why is he so big in Montana?  About the Montana connection:  Lewis and Clark were fans of Albert Gallatin, and named the Gallatin River (which as shown above, joins with the Madison and Jefferson to form the Missouri). 

I found a write-up in Discovering Lewis & Clark (lewis-clark.og) about Monsieur Gallatin:

Albert Gallatin (1761-1849) was born in Geneva, Switzerland, into a cultured aristocratic family led by physicians, statesmen and soldiers, one of whom commanded a battalion at the battle of Yorktown. He emigrated to the United States in 1780, at the age of 19, and under the terms of the Articles of Confederation of 1781, gained legal citizenship after nine years of residency, meanwhile teaching French at Harvard University.

[Like I said, Monsieur Gallatin.]

In the tradition of his august family background, Albert was drawn to public life, soon transcending politics to become one of the most influential statesmen in American history.

[Then why have I never heard of him?]

Consistent with his station and the spirit of his time, he was a savant—a diplomat, financier, peacemaker, scientist, geographer, lover of nature, and above all a visionary with unswerving faith in the ultimate wisdom of a people wielding the instruments of democracy.

[Ex-cuuuuuse me!]

Throughout his sixty-year-long career he worked sedulously in behalf of free public education, universal suffrage, and the abolition of slavery.

[Very cool dude!]

Despite powerful and sometimes vicious opposition from the Federalists, Gallatin was a key figure in the implementation of Jefferson’s unprecedented design for a new and growing republic. As Jefferson’s Secretary of the Treasury, he engineered the financial details of the Louisiana Purchase (without increasing taxes), then resolved the constitutional issues that complicated the transaction.

[Wow.  He figured out how to buy some real estate without raising taxes!]

He even helped plan the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In March of 1803, for instance, he asked Nicholas King to prepare a new map of western North America incorporating the main features of nine of the most recent maps by other explorers.

At the age of seventy he wrote a monumental treatise describing the characteristics, territories, and languages of all known Native American tribes, including those of Mexico and Central America.

[He appears to be one of those rare leaders who appreciated what was being destroyed before his very eyes . . . ]

For all that, soon after his death in 1848 his name faded from popular history, and he became “America’s forgotten statesman.”

Although I don’t have anything to say about the town of Ennis (pop 838), it is the largest town around, and I thought I’d make it titular with some photos.  Here’s a shot of downtown:

From Maverick Brokers, here’s a shot of the Madison near Ennis:

And yet another, from Wedding Spot.com:

And Ennis Lake, from New View travel blog:

I’ll close with this Wiki shot of the Madison in Ennis:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Lake Charles, Louisiana

Posted by graywacke on July 3, 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 2407; A Landing A Day blog post number 841.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (30o 18.985’N, 93o 1.146’W) puts me in southwest Louisiana:

Here’s my local landing map:

And a closer look at my titular Lake Charles (both the lake and the city):

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Bayou Arceneaux:

A quick note about bayous.  Some are quite small, and are deemed (by yours truly) as creek-equivalent, while others are quite large and are deemed river-equivalent.  The Bayou Anceneaux (which I deemed a creek) makes its way to the Bayou Serpent (which I deemed a river).  This was my first hit for the Bayou Serpent!

As you can see, the Bayou Serpent slithers its way to the Calcasieu River (4th hit).

I zoomed back to show how the Calcasieu eventually discharges to the Gulf:

I have a decent Google Earth (GE) Street View look at my landing:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I sent the OD just a few hundreds yards north to get a look at the Bayou Arceneaux:

And here ‘tis:

See what I mean about it being creek-equivalent?

So.  I took a quick (and admittedly half-hearted) look at the little towns near my landing.  But I immediately knew, that absent an amazing hook with one of these towns, that I would feature Lake Charles.  Why, you might ask . . .

Well, there’s a man from Lake Charles (who, along with his wife and others) who I know personally.  Here’s the story:

Back in the early 2000s, Jody and I had a string of years where we went to the New Orleans Jazz Fest.  For those of you who have no clue, the Jazz Fest is a huge event, attracting many 10s of thousands of people to the N.O. fairgrounds.  Typically, the festival happens the last weekend in April (three days) and the first weekend in May (four days). 

The Jazz Fest features all sorts of music, performed simultaneously on ten (+/-) stages.  There’s jazz, gospel, rock n’ roll, Cajun and Zydeco music.  Light on folk; zero on classical.

We have a number of dear friends in New Orleans – Susan & Kelly, (parents); Rachael & Joel (kids, now adults).  Susan and Jody go way back to hippie days in San Francisco in the early 70s.  So, back in the late 90s – early 00s – we’d stay with Susan (who, at the time, lived within easy walking distance from the Jazz Fest). 

So, one year, we brought my son Jordan (age 13-14) to experience Jazz Fest.  Jordan and I were wandering around, looking for a stage to hang out and listen to music.  We walked near the Fais Do-Do* stage, which features Cajun and Zydeco music. 

* “Fais Do Do” means Cajun dance party.

Even from a distance, we heard some bad-ass bass guitar, warming up.  Slap bass, really funky.  I said to Jordan:  “we gotta check this out.”

So, the band getting ready to play was “Sean Ardoin and Zydekool.”  I had no clue who they were, or what they would do, but I knew they had a great bass player.

Well.  Sean came out, and he immediately had the crowd in the palm of his hand.  He was bigger than life, had a great voice, was full of energy (and, he had a great bass player).  His music was funky rock ‘n roll, anchored by Sean on the accordion.  I loved it, loved it, loved it.

When I hooked up with Jody and our friends at the end of the day, I said “Sean Ardoin and Zydekool” was far and away my favorite act.

More about his [former] bass player – Trip Wamsley – in a bit.  Here’s a picture of Sean at the Jazz Fest.  That’s his nephew Trey Ardoin (who we also got to know) with him.

The next year, Susan had some other house guests who also wanted to go to Jazz Fest.  They were limited to just one of the two weekends.  So, we took the other weekend.  With some trepidation, I went on line to check out the various acts for the two weekends. 

And, yes!  Sean Ardoin and Zydekool was playing the weekend that we’d be there.

Of course, we (Jody and other family members in addition to Jordan) went to see Sean at the Fais Do Do stage.  He was opposite Bonnie Raitt – ouch – but we had no doubt who’d we see.

He was great once again.  After the show, Jody suggested that we hang around and try to meet Sean.  Jody (ever the connector) led the way, and we connected.

Sean (more or less):  “I’ll be playing at Tipatina’s (in New Orleans) in just a few weeks.”

Jody chimed in (more or less): “that’s Greg’s birthday.  Greg –  wanna come back to New Orleans?  We’ll call it your birthday present.”

So, back we came, and our connection with Sean was further cemented when after the show, Sean mentioned he’d be at a music festival in Rhode Island that summer – the Rhythm and Roots festival in Charlestown.  Surely, we’d be able to come up at hang out a while.

So, up we went (from our home in NJ).  Suddenly, Jody was the unofficial band photographer, and we found ourselves hawking Zydekool t-shirts.  Our discussions went to the next time we’d see them, and Jody mentioned that she was thinking about a celebratory dance party, marking the 10th anniversary of her company, Hill Environmental Group.

Yes, the band was going to be up in the Northeast in October, and yes, they’d be delighted to play at our party.  The party, held at a historic unfurnished barn up near Princeton, was a smashing success.

And then Sean said something like, “in a couple months, we’re going to Rio de Janeiro to play at a music festival (the Jambalaya Jazz Fest) that features local bands from Rio, and bands from Louisiana.  Y’all want to join us?”

You’ll never guess what happened . . .

A quick Rio story – we were met at the airport by one of the organizers of the festival who was driving the band (and we, the “band parents”) to our hotel (on Copa Cabana beach).  We asked him how he was publicizing the festival, and he pulled out the front page of the entertainment section of El Globo, one of the local newspapers.  And there was a great photo of Sean at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, taken by none other than Jody!  We got instant street cred!

Obviously, we became friends with Sean and his wife Vanessa.  In the coming years, the band stayed at our house for all of their Northeast trips; we spent Mardi Gras in Lake Charles with Sean & Vanessa (including Zydekool playing at the Port Arthur TX Mardi Gras celebration).  That visit included the famous Ardoin family Mardi Gras dance party, where they invite 1,500 of their closest friends.  Sean & Vanessa have visited us in NJ (sans Zydekool).

We (mainly Jody and her brother Skip) put together beach party in the Bahamas (on the out island of Eleuthera) to raise money for school computers, with Sean as the headliner.

Sean calls Jody “Big Sis,” and Jody (of course) calls Sean “Lil Bro.”

So before jumping into some Sean videos, how about his erstwhile bass player Trip Wamsley (who was with Sean for several years back in the day).

Here’s a Trip Wamsley interview, with some interspersed bass solo.  He’s selling GK amplifiers, but he talks about himself and his music.  Note he’s playing a fretless bass . . .  

 

Here’s a piece Sean did for WXPN (Philadelphia!), where he talks about the roots of Zydeco music:

 

Here’s one of my favorites that I heard back in the day at Jazz Fest – “Mama.”  The song starts out a little slow (for a minute or so, but then he picks it up).  Pay attention to the accordion:

 

Here’s “Around the World.”  Talk about street cred!  You must pay close attention to the words at about the 1:47 mark!!!!

 

Wow.  You gotta listen to Sean doing Adelle’s “Hello.”

 

OK.  One more.  This is great:   a cover of Pharrell’s “Happy,” with great scenes of Lake Charles:

 

I’ll close with this GE shot by pmjparty, of a lake just south of Lake Charles:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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Rockport, Gregory and Lamar Texas

Posted by graywacke on June 22, 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 2406; A Landing A Day blog post number 840.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (28o 1.824’N, 97o 8.295’W) puts me in south Texas, right along the Gulf:

My local landing map:

I’m going to jump right to Google Earth (GE) for my “watershed” analysis.  Here’s a local shot, showing that I landed in Port Bay:

From Port Bay, the water makes its way to Copano Bay, and then to Aransas Bay:

Most likely, water from my landing makes it out to the Gulf via Aransas Pass, the inlet located near Port Aransas:

So of course, I checked out GE Street View (looking for a view across the water at my landing); here’s the closest the Orange Dude could get with a water view:

Here’s what he sees:

With better lighting, you’d be able to get a much clearer view of the bay, I’m sure.

I found a much closer spot for a Street View look, but I couldn’t see the water from here:

But while there, I noticed the sign for the Bay Creek Club:

When I checked out the club, I was appalled to see that the place was in ruins:

My first thought was:  “Hurricane damage?”

The date on the aerial photography was August 29, 2017.  I thought about Hurricane Harvey, and found this on Wiki:

After becoming a hurricane on August 24, Harvey continued to quickly strengthen over the next day, ultimately reaching peak intensity as a Category 4 hurricane. Around 10:00 pm on August 25, the hurricane made landfall at peak intensity on San Jose Island, just east of Rockport, with winds of 130 mph and an atmospheric pressure of 937 mbar. Harvey became the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005.

Oh my!  That’s it!  The photo was taken just four days after the hurricane made landfall “just east of Rockport.”

Here’s a NWS Hurricane Harvey storm track:

We all remember how Harvey hung around just offshore for day after day after day, causing incredible flooding.

Here’s a satellite photo taken just before landfall:

Key Allegro is a fancy schmancy neighborhood just east of Rockport:

Key Allegro took quite a hit.  Here are a couple of GE shots showing a very small sample of the damage here:

I’ll head west to my namesake town of Gregory.  I found this, from TexasEscapes.com:

Gregory high school is where country music legend Don Williams (1939 – 2017) went to school. Williams was raised in nearby Portland and sings about his childhood there in the song Good ol’ Boys Like Me.”  The smell of cape jasmine through the window screen. I can still hear the soft southern winds in the live oak trees.”

As my regulars probably know, I’m not a big country music fan, but Don is more folk-country, and he has a great voice.  Here he is, singing “Good ol’ Boys Like Me.”

 

Notice the line about “the soft southern winds in the live oak trees.”  Well, speaking of live oak trees, let’s head over to Lamar, home of “The Big Tree,” a very large, very old live oak:

From Wiki:

The Texas Forest Service estimates the Big Tree (a live oak tree) to be over 1,000 years old, while other recent estimates place it nearer to 2,000 years old. Also known as Bishop Oak and Lamar Oak, the Big Tree is a charter member (#16) of the Live Oak Society.  The “Big Tree” is possibly the oldest live oak in the world. It possesses a circumference of over 35 feet and is more than 45 feet tall, while the crown’s spread is 90 feet.

I took a screen shot video of a sweeping panoramic view of the tree, posted on GE G. Donald Bane.  Click HERE to get a great view of the tree.

Here’s some more about the tree from Chron.com, an article by Andrew Dansby:

“I’ve been aware of that tree all my life,” said John Porter Jackson, whose great-great grandparents arrived in Rockport from Virginia by train in 1888. “I remember as a kid in preschool going up there. Obviously, the tree predates all of us, so for those of us who grew up around here, it’s a part of who we are.”

By “up there,” he meant Lamar. “The Lamar Peninsula,” he said, “is a different world.”

Jackson paused. “Some people here call them Lamartians.” The corners of his mouth crooked into a tentative smile. Jackson suggested two worlds on each side of the Lyndon B. Johnson Causeway, which links the Lamar Peninsula to Fulton and Rockport. “That’s a nine-minute run,” he said. “That may not seem like much to you in Houston, but here, a Lamartian would think about it before making that trip to the Walmart.”

I’ll close with this GE shot by Josh Keng, taken from Goose Island State Park, near the Big Tree:

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2018 A Landing A Day

 

 

 

 

 

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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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