A Landing a Day

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Clay County, West Virginia

Posted by graywacke on September 26, 2017

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 2367; A Landing A Day blog post number 800.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (38o29.964’N, 81o 6.992’W) puts me in Central West Virginia:

As you can tell by the title of this post, My local landing map must show the entire extent of Clay County:

I know you’re waiting with bated breath to know the watershed that surrounds my landing spot.

  Well, here’s the map:

You can see that I landed in the watershed of the Hansford Fork, on to Laurel Creek; on to the Elk River (only my 2nd hit ever).

Zooming back, we can see that the Elk makes its way to the Kanawha (15th hit); on to the Ohio (145th hit).

As is getting routine, I didn’t bother showing the ultimate destination of a drop of water that falls on my landing – i.e., the MM (920th hit).

So.  Every landing, I enter the lat & long into Google Earth, and watch as the yellow pushpin zooms on in to my landing location.  I then re-create that moment for the purposes of this blog.  Click HERE to check it out.

Even though I’m out in the boonies, Street View coverage isn’t far from my landing.  However, I’m in the woods, so I put the Orange Dude at a driveway so we’d have something to look at:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I also found Street View coverage of the Hansford Fork:

And here ‘tis:

While I’m at it, here’s a Street View look at the Elk River in the town of Clay:

And yes!  Note that the sky isn’t splotchy?  I performed the following Google search:  Google Earth Street View splotchy.  Lo and behold, I found a website with instructions I could actually follow that allowed me to clean up Street View shots . . .

I’ll put the Clay County map up again:

(BTW, there is town called Ovapa that is covered by my landing flag.)

Believe it or not, there is only one town in the county that is really a town (i.e., incorporated).  A good guess would be Clay, since, after all, we’re in Clay County.  And Clay it is (along the Elk River):

From Wiki:

Clay (pop 491) is the county seat of Clay County. It is the only incorporated town in Clay County.  The town and county are both named for U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Henry Clay (1777–1852).

The town was incorporated in 1895.  Before 1880, Clay was inaccessible to traffic from horse-drawn vehicles.  A horse trail along the Elk River and the river itself provided the only access to the town.

Here are a couple of GE Panoramio shots of Clay.  First this, of downtown, by David Stephenson:

Sticking with Mr. Stephenson, here’s a shot of the County courthouse in Clay:

So.  I’ve heard of namesake Henry Clay, as likely many of readers have.  But I know little about him (which probably is also true of most of my readers). 

From History.com:

Leader of the Whig party and five times an unsuccessful presidential candidate, Henry Clay (1777-1852) played a central role on the stage of national politics for over forty years. He was secretary of state under John Quincy Adams, Speaker of the House of Representatives longer than anyone else in the nineteenth century, and the most influential member of the Senate during its golden age.

Clay’s personal magnetism made him one of America’s best-loved politicians; his elaborate scheming made him one of the most cordially hated. Through it all he displayed remarkable consistency of purpose: he was a nationalist, devoted to the economic development and political integration of the United States.

Although a slaveholder, Clay disapproved of slavery as a system; he advocated gradual emancipation and the resettlement of the freed people in Africa. He defended, unsuccessfully, the right of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes of Indians to their lands.

He warned that annexation of Texas would provoke war with Mexico and exacerbate tensions between North and South, and he opposed the war when it came. He consistently fostered good relations with Latin America.

The centerpiece of Clay’s statecraft was an integrated economic program called ‘the American System’ that supported federal subsidies for transportation projects and other ‘internal improvements’. Public lands in the West were to be sold rather than given away to homesteaders so the proceeds could be used for education and other public infrastructure projects. The program was intended to promote economic development and diversification, reduce dependence on imports, and tie together the different sections of the country.

The American System became the chief plank in the platform of Clay’s Whig party, which was formed in opposition to the Democratic party of Andrew Jackson, creating the two-party system. Clay never became president, and his Whig party disappeared shortly after his death. But its successor, the Republican Party, put many features of the American System into operation. In the long run, his economic and political vision of America was largely fulfilled.

So back to Clay County.  The population of the county is something over 9,300, and the population density is about 25 people per square mile.  Contrast this with my home State of New Jersey, with a population density of 1,200 people per square mile.  Wow.  NJ is almost 40 times more dense than Clay County . . . er . . . I mean more densely populated.

The county is in the Appalachian Plateau region of West Virginia.  Actually, it is more properly called a “dissected plateau,” because while maybe the plateau was more-or-less flat millions of years ago, erosion over the eons has created a landscape with steep-sloped valleys, and very little flat uplands. 

The low population density is due primarily to the preponderance of steep slopes and the scarcity of land suitable for cultivation.

I’ll pay a very quick visit to two other Clay County towns.  First, how about the name of the town covered by my lat/long flag, Ovapa.  OK, OK you doubters.  Here’s a map showing the town:

 Wiki let me know that it’s a portmanteau of Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Very cool!

The second little town is Lizemores.  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

The community derives its name from the local Sizemore clan.  A recording error by postal officials accounts for the error in spelling, which was never corrected.

AYKM???  Imagine that you’re a Sizemore back in the day.  You succeed in a significant effort to have your little town named after your family.  You strut around town, filled with pride and a warm glow.   The Post Office is opened, and with a huge smile on your face, you walk in the front door to check out your namesake facility.

And then, with a flash of consternation, you see “Lizemores,” not “Sizemore.”  Not just the “L,” but what’s up with the “s” at the end?  Do you just say “Aw shucks?”  Do you just walk out with a shrug?

Hell no!  You should be outraged, and you shouldn’t quit until the proud Sizemore name is appropriately honored.

But for unfathomable reasons, you just shrug . . .

Before moving on, let me share this GE Pano shot from the town of Clay:

The photo is entitled “The Old Sizemore Store.”  I’m glad it’s not entitled “The Old Lizemores Store.”  But the big story on Action News is the name of the photographer.  It’s R. Tom Sizemore!  Obviously (at least highly likely), one of the now-infamous Sizemore clan!   I’ll try to get in touch with Tom – I’ll let you know if I get any news . . .

Let me move along to the Wiki entry for Clay County:

In the motion picture The Silence of the Lambs, the victim was found in the Elk River in Clay County.

I haven’t seen the movie and don’t intend to.  I know, I know, it’s an excellent movie, but I tend to avoid violent movies.  So, my only comment is “no comment.”  Back to Wiki:

Clay County is also the birthplace of the Golden Delicious Apple.

“Golden Delicious” was Wiki clickable . . .

This cultivar [any plant enhanced by selective breeding] is a chance seedling possibly a hybrid of Grimes Golden and Golden Reinette.  The original tree was found on the Mullins’ family farm in Clay County, WV and was locally known as Mullin’s Yellow Seedling.

Anderson Mullins sold the tree and propagation rights to Stark Brothers Nurseries for $5000 [$121,000 in today’s dollars], which first marketed it as a companion of their Red Delicious in 1914.

Geez.  Mr. Mullins should have been able to retire on his wonderful tree.  Tough to do on a measly $120,000.  Here’s a GE Pano shot by DotGuy of the Mullins homestead in Clay County:

Staying with GE Pano shots, I’ll close this post with a couple of Elk River shots by David W. Hill (close, but not quite my brother, who’s David L. Hill).  First, this reflective shot:

And then this shot of a great looking swimming hole:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day



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Tuskegee, Alabama (Revisited)

Posted by graywacke on September 21, 2017

A Landing A Day blog post number 800.

Dan –  As you no doubt remember well, I landed near Tuskegee Alabama several landings ago.  I featured Booker T. Washington (founder of the Tuskegee Institute) and the Tuskegee Airmen (much revered and honored World War II black pilots).

Well, I stumbled on a few additional Tuskegee topics to discuss. 

As you know, I went to Lafayette College.  I won’t say exactly when, but it was not long after they played their 100th football game against Lehigh; they’ll be playing their 153rd game this year in this, the far-and-away most-played college football rivalry.

So anyway, I was checking on Lafayette’s football team this year (they’re pretty bad – 0-3, having been outscored 36-128), when I happened on a Wiki article discussing the history of Lafayette football.  I’d never looked at this, so I did a little skimming.

Now you may well be wondering why I’m talking about Lafayette football in a Tuskegee, Alabama post.  Well, bear with me. 

It turns out Lafayette was actually a national power back in the day (way, way before my time).  From Wiki:

National college football power (1919–1948)

Between 1921 and 1948, Lafayette was considered one of the premiere college football programs in the nation. The team earned two national championships, had four undefeated seasons, featured several All-Americans, played in major games, and was involved in several national bowl games. During nearly every season of the era, the team was led by a coach that would later be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

That sets the stage. Back to Wiki:

“The Greatest Game They Never Played”—the 1949 Sun Bowl incident

Following a 7–2 record (that included a 23–13 win against Lehigh before 21,000 fans at Fisher Field), Lafayette received an invitation to play UTEP (then the Texas College of Mines) in the 1949 Sun Bowl.

Lafayette accepted the bid contingent upon being able to bring David Showell, an African-American halfback and former Tuskegee Airman.

[The Tuskegee angle!]

Texas law at the time prohibited African-Americans from playing on the same field as Caucasian players in a state supported stadium. Showell’s team members refused to accept the bid unless Showell could accompany the team to El-Paso.

The Chairman of the Sun Bowl, C.D. Belding, rejected the provision and Lafayette declined the bid. The Lafayette Athletic Department did not issue a reason for the rejection, prompting a protest of 1,500 students and a bonfire.

The students marched on the President’s house, demanding an explanation. President Ralph Cooper Hutchison explained the situation and along with student leaders, phoned the Sun Bowl Committee chairman to reconsider.

Upon a prompt rejection by Belding, the student protest marched into downtown Easton PA and received an audience at the local radio station. The station and the students sent a telegram to President Truman condemning racial intolerance and segregation with a terse, “Denied Sun Bowl bid with Negro on team. Is that Democracy?”

The protest and received national media attention in the New York Times and AP wires. The situation was nationally significant in that it drew attention to segregation and discrimination against African-American players in bowl games and college football in general.

Oh my!  What a story!  And I never heard a whisper about this.  By the way, Ralph Cooper Hutchison was Lafayette’s President until 1966, only two years before my freshman year (and the 104th Lafayette-Lehigh game).  Ooops – I said that I wasn’t going to say exactly when I went to Lafayette.  Oh, well. . .

Post-script:  Showell graduated from Lafayette with a business degree, and was a student at the University of Wisconsin Law School when he was killed in an automobile accident at age 31.

There’s more on the Tuskegee front. I was listening to NPR a few days ago, and they had a food program (the Sporkful Food podcast) that featured a pancake recipe found on the back of an envelope, hand-written by Rosa Parks – the woman who, in 1955 Montgomery, refused to give up her seat to a white person when the white section of the bus was full and who became an internationally-known civil rights icon.

The recipe interestingly includes peanut butter, even though the recipe was entitled “Featherlite Pancakes.”

 As I was listening, I heard that Rosa Parks was born and raised in Tuskegee.  This was mentioned because of Tuskegee’s connection with Booker T. Washington, whose work on peanuts while at Tuskegee was instrumental in bringing peanuts into the mainstream of American cooking, but especially for Southern Blacks.

According to the podcast, the pancakes are excellent!  Note:  it is likely that “milk” was actually “buttermilk.”

I was shocked that I had missed the Rosa Parks connection in my Tuskegee post.  When I got home, I fired up my computer and went to the Tuskegee Alabama Wiki entry.  And there, under “Notable People,” was, of course, Rosa Parks. 

Here’s a Wiki shot of Rosa in 1955, with Martin Luther King in the background:

I always (OK, almost always) check out the Wiki Notable People list for any titular towns, but inexplicably, didn’t in this case. 

In addition to Rosa Parks was another familiar name:  Lionel Richie.

I’ll admit that I was never a big Commodores fan (he was their front man in the 1970s), or a big fan of his mostly-80s solo career.  But I love “All Night Long.”  Until now, I had never seen the 1983 MTV video.

This is so 80s, but the song is so upbeat and celebratory (and musically and culturally historic) as to be worth your time.  Note that you’ll be joining the 32,000,000 other viewers of this video . . .


That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Sasakwa, Oklahoma

Posted by graywacke on September 16, 2017

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 2366; A Landing A Day blog post number 798.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (34o59.649’N, 96o 25.851’W) puts me in Cen-SW Oklahoma:

My local landing map shows (not surprisingly) only my titular Sasakwa:

You can see that I landed very close to Little River (only my 2nd hit).  But check out the streams-only map below:

The Little discharges to the Canadian (48th hit); on to the Arkansas (128th hit).  Although not evident, all river-lovers know that the Arkansas discharges to the Mighty Mississip (919th hit).

Moving right along to the Google Earth (GE) random yellow pushpin landing:  click HERE to watch it unfold before your very eyes:

As you might expect, there are many more small towns in the general vicinity of my landing:

I started with Sasakwa and obviously found a hook.  But of course, I dutifully checked out all of the towns on the above map.  Holdenville is actually fairly substantial (pop 5800); but all of the rest measure their populations in the hundreds or tens of people (and are totally hookless). 

Bottom line:  Holdenville has a couple of native sons of some interest:  Clu Gulager, an actor I remembered well from his role as Emmett Ryker on the 1960s TV western The Virginian; and T. Boone Pickens, who knows how to make money.  But neither of these folks elevated Holdenville all the way to titular status.

So:  Sasakwa (pop 150) it is.  From Wiki:

A post office was established in 1880, and took the name from that given his trading post by Gov John E Brown, from the Seminole word meaning “wild goose”.

And no, I’m not featuring Gov. Brown or wild geese.  Back to Wiki:

In 1917, hundreds of men gathered on a farm near Sasakwa to protest the draft in World War I, an event called the Green Corn Rebellion.

Well, now.  It turns out that Green Corn Rebellion was clickable, and click I did.  As you’ll see the Rebellion was associated with far left politics, not uncommon in the late 19th and early 20th century in the United States.  I’ve run across this theme in numerous posts.

The following might seem a little dry for ALAD, but please bear with me; it’s well worth the read.  I did my usual editing for clarity and brevity. 

From Wiki:


On April 6, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson (newly elected with campaign slogan:  “He kept us out of war”), asked congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Congress readily obliged the President’s request, voting to declare war on Germany by a margin of 373-50 in the House and 82-6 in the Senate.

On May 18, 1917, a draft bill became law that called for all eligible young men nationwide to register for the draft on a single day — June 5, 1917.

While isolated hotspots of anti-conscription activity sprang up in some urban centers, the registration process was generally an orderly affair, with the vast majority of young American men accepting their fate with what has been characterized as “a calm resignation.”

Opponents of American participation in the war continued their efforts to change the country’s course, holding meetings and distributing pamphlets.  Among the leading opponents to the war was the Socialist Party of America, which at its April 1917 National Convention had declared its “unalterable opposition” to the war and urged the workers of the world to “refuse support to the governments in their wars.”

The Situation in Oklahoma

A strong radical tendency sprang up in Oklahoma, in which the impoverished tenant farmers of the southeastern part of the state seized upon the fervor of the early Socialist Party in an attempt to improve their lives.  In the 1916 election, despite Woodrow Wilson’s siphoning off a portion of the anti-war vote for the Democratic ticket, the Socialist Party garnered more than a quarter of the votes cast in the 1916 election in Seminole County [right next to where I landed].

Nor was the Socialist Party the only active organizers in the area — in 1916 a radical tenant farmers’ organization called the “Working Class Union (WCU)” claimed a membership of as much as 20,000 in Eastern Oklahoma alone.

Some 76% of Oklahoma farmers under age 24 rented their land, while 45% of those between the ages of 25 and 33 found themselves tenants.  Tenant farmers were both white and African-American.

Many of these young “dirt farmers” found their economic prospects hopeless, squeezed between a ruthless credit system practiced by stores and substantial crop liens inflicted by landlords.

Disaffection was rife and proposals for radical solutions found ready ears.  The draft would have depleted much needed farm labor, and many farms would have been foreclosed leaving women and children destitute. There was no oil boom yet and little alternative work, and no welfare system.

Town dwellers were verbally attacked by radical public speakers as “robbers, thieves, and grafters.”  They were thoroughly convinced that the Socialists and the secret WCU were part of a single radical conspiracy to launch a long-desired revolution.

In early August 1917 (arguably launching the rebellion), large numbers of African-American, European-American, and Native American men gathered at the farm of Joe and John Spears in Sasakwa (at Roasting Ear Ridge) to plan a march upon Washington, DC to end the war.

The Rebellion

At nearly the same time (August 2, 1917), a Seminole County sheriff and his deputy were ambushed (although there were no deaths or injuries) near the Little River.  Radical raiding parties followed this action, cutting telephone lines and burning railroad bridges.

The uprising seems to have been spurred by the agitation of the WCU, which was reported in one newspaper as having called its supporters to arms with a manifesto which declared:

    “Now is the time to rebel against this war with Germany, boys. Boys, get together and don’t go. Rich man’s war. Poor man’s fight. The war is over with Germany if you don’t go and J.P. Morgan & Co. is lost. Their great speculation is the only cause of the war.”

Quick note on why J.P. Morgan & Company was singled out:  By the early 20th century, they were the largest private banking enterprise in the world, and financed much of the rapid industrialization in the US.  As such, the Company was a symbol of rampant capitalism & materialism. From Wiki (specific to World War I):  “Beginning in 1914, J.P. Morgan loaned about $1.5 billion (approximately $21 billion in today’s dollars) to Britain and France to fight against the Germans.  The company also invested in the suppliers of war equipment to Britain and France, thus profiting from the financing and purchasing activities of the two European governments.”

Now I’ll move over to excerpt from GreenCorn.org, a website commemorating the centennial of the Green Corn Rebellion:

100 years ago, in early August 1917, between 800-1000 people (including impoverished African-American, European-American and Native Americans), gathered at the farm of Joe and John Spears in Sasakawa, Oklahoma, to plan a march upon Washington to stop the draft and end US involvement in what would later be called World War I.

They would eat roasted “green corn” and on the way (so it was later said), eventually joining up with countless thousands of likeminded comrades who would together march on Washington, DC where they would repeal the draft act, and end the war.

But this march didn’t happen, as one or more informers contacted authorities.

The truth of the details of what happened after this point is shrouded in mystery and conflicting eye-witness statements, but what can be said with some degree of accuracy is that local and state authorities, as well as hundreds of members of informal armed militias, some coming from as far away as Oklahoma City, converged and crushed the rebellion.

Three marchers were killed, and 450 were arrested. Of those arrested, 266 were released without charges being filed. Of the remaining 184 participants who were charged, 150 were either convicted or pleaded guilty, receiving jail and prison terms ranging from 60 days to 10 years.

The aftermath of the rebellion was a radical change in Oklahoma politics, which included a severe crackdown on the Socialist Party of Oklahoma (which had been marginally involved in the Green Corn Rebellion) and the Industrial Workers of the World (which wasn’t involved at all). There was also a crackdown on all forms of dissent against the draft and World War I, and a large scale orientation of Oklahoma politics towards the right — a major change in a state which had once had the strongest and most active Socialist Party in the USA.

It’s hard to imagine what it was like to be a tenant farmer near my landing, or a townsperson in Sadakwa in early 1917.  Well, maybe it’s not so hard to imagine, considering the crazy politics in 2017.

Ahem.  Moving right along. 

Here’s a Wiki picture of the Little River, taken near where the initial rebellion meeting occurred (and quite close to my landing):

Here’s a GE Pano shot by LightBenders, taken near Calvin, about 7 miles SE of my landing:

I’ll close with another by LightBenders, this of the erstwhile Sasakwa Town Hall:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Martin, South Dakota

Posted by graywacke on September 11, 2017

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 2365; A Landing A Day blog post number 797.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (43o13.362’N, 101o 31.837’W) puts me in S-Cen South Dakota:

My local map shows that I landed among the towns Vetal, Patricia, Tuthill and titular Martin:

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek; on to the White River (11th hit); on to the Missouri (423rd hit):

Of course, the Missouri says hello to the MM (918th hit).

As customary, my Google Earth (GE) pin-drop can be checked out by clicking HERE.

I have pretty good Street View coverage:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

By the way, the terrible photo quality has been present ever since Google Earth upgraded itself to Google Earth Pro on my computer – that’s right, unbeknownst to me (not at my direction) – one day Google Earth “upgraded” to Pro.  And then, strangely, the Street View quality went down the tubes.  I’ll be working on a fix . . .

We can get a look at Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek about 25 miles NW of my landing:

And here ‘tis:

See the white terrain on the map above the Street View shot?  That’s the southern portions of the famous South Dakota badlands.  I put the Orange Dude next to some of that white terrain not far from the creek, and here’s what he sees:

Before moving on, just a quick word about Bear-in-the-Lodge Creek.  Not surprisingly, Wiki says that the name came from an incident at an Indian village along the creek when (and you’ll never guess this) – a bear wandered into the lodge.

So, it’s time for Martin.  Just so you know, Vetal, Patricia and Tuthill hardly exist, and are totally hookless.  That leaves Martin (pop about 1,000), the county seat of Bennett County.  As you’ll see, Martin is perilously close to being hookless as well.

The Wiki entry is truly uninspired:

Martin was laid out in 1911.  The city was named for Eben Martin, a U.S. Representative from South Dakota.

[And now it gets real interesting.]

One of the highways that runs through the town is U.S. Route 18, in an east-west direction. SD Route 73 runs north into the town and makes a T-intersection with U.S. 18.  State Highway 73 turns into Hisle Road after the T-intersection.

That’s it.  And where, one wonders, is my hook.  Fasten your seat belts!

I came across this nothing little news story about Martin (June 2016):

MARTIN, SD (KOTA-TV, Rapid City) News release from the Martin Police Department:

The Martin Police Department has activated the EOC “Emergency Operations Center”, as a direct result of an on-going criminal investigation with in the City of Martin. The incident Commander is Martin Police Chief Thomas Jeans.

This incident is named Operation Full Moon. The EOC provides Incident Command Structure and Management of the full incident. The EOC also manages resources and personnel.

“Tension between two separate groups has resulted in at least five aggravated assaults, creating a safety issue for the residents in the city limits of Martin”, stated Martin Police Chief Thomas Jeans.

Jeans has requested assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies to help protect citizens and try to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution.

Normally, I would ignore such a story – thinking that this might involve gang violence, something I would never blog about.  But digging a little deeper, I found another June 2016 story on KELOLAND (media out of Sioux City):

Feuding Families Cause Curfew In Martin, SD

Oh my!  A family feud!  Now there’s something I can blog about!  Check out the map (with the hand cuffs) that KELOLAND included:

Here’s the article:

An argument between two families in Martin, South Dakota led to law enforcement enforcing a curfew early Wednesday morning.

Authorities say the two families and some of their friends got into a fight, leading to twelve arrests. Police are still looking for one more suspects.

Martin’s police chief says several people were taken to the hospital and released.

[Sounds like black eyes and bloody lips . . .]

He says there was a string of assaults involving several dozen people using baseball bats, boards, and metal objects. Once the curfew was put in place, the tension in town did settle down.

[Oh my!  Baseball bats!  Two by fours!  Hunks of metal!  The Hatfields and McCoys really don’t like each other!]

The city of Martin only has four full time officers, so supporting law enforcement from the county to federal levels were called in to help.

[They brought in the Feds!]

So – it’s not really funny, but I was desperate for a hook.  Martin is a tiny town, and one can only imagine how the gossip flowed at the local café.

Hmmm.  Local café.  Where’s that?  Well, of all places, it turns out that the local café is the Martin Livestock Auction Company.  Now wait a minute – a livestock auction company is also the local café?  Here’s a screen shot of the upper half of the home page.  There, under the cattle picture, is a plug for the restaurant:

And a little better look at the restaurant part of the website:

At first, I was wondering about the “small portions” blurb.  But then I realized that small portions are “available” – and I can only assume that large portions are standard.  Come get your mini corn dogs & fried green beans!

But the real business of the establishment is auctioning cattle.  Here’s a screen shot showing just a little of the upcoming action:

I actually spent a little time trying to decipher the abbreviations, but gave up.

It’s time to close out this nearly hookless post with a couple of GE Panoramio shots.  Since the badlands got mentioned, I’ll post this cool badlands shot, from about 30 miles north of my landing (by ThePhotoRun.com):

The closest Pano shot was this of a truly magnificent beast, taken about 10 miles west (by Luckfully):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Craigmont and Winchester, Idaho

Posted by graywacke on September 6, 2017

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 2364; A Landing A Day blog post number 796.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (46o10.117’N, 116o 31.623’W) puts me in the SW portion of the Idaho panhandle:

My local map shows my two titular towns:

My watershed analysis shows that I landed in the watershed of that long-time favorite “stream perennial” (aka unnamed tributary), on to Lawyers Ck; on to the Clearwater River (8th hit):

Zooming back, one (and that includes you) can see that the Clearwater joins the Snake (82nd hit) right at the point where the Snake ceases to do double duty as the Idaho-Washington state boundary:

Double duty?  You may wonder what the Snake’s other duty is other than serving as a state boundary.  Well, wonder no more:  it’s the river’s duty to carry away a huge watershed’s worth of water.  As an added bonus for beauty-loving humans, a breath-taking canyon is a by-product. 

And JFTHOI, here’s a gratuitous GE pano shot by Lyssa K of the Snake Canyon, just upstream of where the Clearwater joins:

Oops.  Before I forget it, the Snake (of course) discharges to the Mighty Columbia (172nd hit).

Like it or not, I’m going to the well as I always do at this thirsty part of each post.  Upon my direction, Google Earth (GE) dutifully drops a yellow push pin from outer space.  In this instance, the yellow push pin ends up in the Idaho panhandle boonies.  Click HERE.

Staying with GE, here’s an oblique shot looking upstream from the confluence of “Stream Perennial” and Lawyers Creek:

I’m not going to bother with a GE Street View shot of either my landing (way too far away), or of Lawyers Creek (it’s too deep to see).  But I will show you a few pictures of famous wooden railroad bridge trusses over Lawyers Creek near my landing. 

I lifted a couple of bridge shots from a previous post (February 2010, before I routinely gave photo credits).  Here’s a train crossing a bridge over Lawyers Creek:

And instead of a Street View shot, here’s a train track view shot of Lawyers Creek:

And a Pano shot by amc1980:

And another, by Dagecko (of two bridges):

So, it’s time to take a look at my two titular towns, starting with Craigmont.  From Wiki:

The city is named for Colonel William Craig (1809–69), a mountain man who had a Nez Perce wife and lived near the current Craigmont location.

The Nez Perce Reservation was opened to white settlement in 1895 and a town named “Chicago,” a mile west of the current Craigmont, was founded in 1898.

In response to not getting their mail from the post office [what post office? – certainly not the Chicago post office], it was renamed “Ilo” four years later, after Ilo Leggett, daughter of town founder and merchant W.O. Leggett.

[Now wait.  Changing the name from Chicago to Ilo somehow improved mail delivery?  BTW, the Ariel font that Wiki uses does not distinguish a capital “I” from a small “l” – making the word peculiar at best.]

A fire burnt the town in 1904 and shortly thereafter the Camas Prairie Railroad bypassed the town and started a settlement, platted by financier John P. Vollmer, named “Vollmer.”

[OK – so Ilo burns down, and now someone sees an opportunity to start a new town nearby.]

Ilo responded and moved its community, adjacent to Vollmer (Vollmer on the NE side of the tracks; Ilo on the SW side).

After a decade-long feud and the consolidation of the school districts, the communities merged in 1920 to become Craigmont.

I suspect that the name “Craigmont” emerged as a reluctant compromise after a very contentious two-town meeting . . .

The map of Craigmont actually embodies the above history.  The red line I added follows the railroad track that divided Vollmer from Ilo:

Note that Vollmer (founded first), has a 2nd Street, along with a 3rd and 4th Street.  Then, looking over to Ilo, note that it has a 2nd Avenue, along with a 3rd and 4th Avenue.  Tit for tat.

And then there’s the north-south road that more-or-less divides the two towns.  Its name?  Division Avenue.

A quick aside.  See “Shortcut Road?”  I’m guessing that the road currently labeled as 95B was the original main road in town.  And then sometime later, Shortcut Road was built to more easily bypass the town.  And then sometime even later, the new Route 95 was built . . .

Moving to Winchester.  From Wiki:

The city was named in 1900 during a meeting to establish a school district. While considering the possibilities, an individual looked at the stack of Winchester rifles left at the door by the attendees and suggested the name, which was approved.

In the television series Death Valley Days, the episode “The Thirty-Caliber Town” dramatized how Winchester rifles gave the town its name.

Here’s a piece from the Craigmont Chamber of Commerce website about the TV show:

Winchester’s Story was on the “Death Valley Days” on TV.   As the story goes: Chief Joseph’s band of Indians were being chased by the US Calvary.  They had just cross the Salmon River, (which as the crow flies is about 12 miles from Winchester).  The locals were frightened and ran to the little out post with no name.

They gathered at the hardware store, as word was out that the store had just received a case of New Winchester repeating rifles. The owner opened the case and gave everyone, a rifle.  Chief Joseph heard of the guns at Winchester, and so did not come toward the settlers, but went on down the river.  So the town got a name!

The website went on to fess up that the real story was one I mentioned previously . . .

Here’s another example of a Winchester coming in handy:

It’s time for a couple of closing GE Pano shots.  I’ll start with this, of Lawyers Ck, by Judith Klinghoffer:

And this, a second shot by Dagecko:

I’ll close with this dark sky over a brilliant landscape, by IdahoStoneHunter:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Tuskegee, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on August 30, 2017

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 2363; A Landing A Day blog post number 795.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (32o25.651’N, 85o 32.549’W) puts me in Cen-SE Alabama:

How about that?  Two Alabamas in a row.  This was my 63rd double (not many, considering that this was my 2363rd landing), although only the second for Alabama.

Anyway, here’s my local landing map:

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Chewacla Creek; on to the Uphapee Creek (as opposed to the Downsad); on to the Tallapoosa R (as opposed to the Shortapoosa – 6th hit); on to the Alabama R (14th hit):

Zooming back, you can see that the Alabama joins up with the Tombigbee (not labeled) to become the Mobile (23rd hit):

It’s time to call on good ol’ Google Earth (GE), and hop on board the yellow push pin.  Click HERE to do so.

And yes, the road just to the south of my landing has GE Street View coverage:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I moved him just a little east to find Chewacla Creek:

And here ‘tis:

So.  When I saw that I landed near Tuskegee, I immediately thought about Tuskegee University and the Tuskegee Airman.  I knew that Tuskegee was a historic black university and that the Tuskegee Airman were a decorated group of WW II black pilots.  But that’s it. 

From Wiki:

In 1881, the young Booker T. Washington was hired to develop the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers on the grounds of a former plantation. It was founded to train teachers for the segregated school system. Eventually it expanded in scope and became known as Tuskegee Institute.  It became known for stressing a practical education with work experience by students, to prepare them for the work available in the small towns and rural areas to which most would return.

Washington led the school for decades, building a wide national network of white industrialist donors. At the same time, Washington secretly provided funding to the NAACP for its legal defense of some highly visible civil rights cases, including supporting challenges to southern states’ discriminatory constitutions and practices that disenfranchised African Americans.

Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. They were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

[Jim Crow?  I certainly have heard of it – including in the news recently –  but I’ll provide a little more background in a bit.]

Booker T. Washington mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century, which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, develop strategy, network, push, reward friends, and distribute funds, while punishing those who opposed his plans for uplifting blacks. His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who then still lived in the South.

After 1909, Washington was criticized by the leaders of the new NAACP, especially W. E. B. Du Bois, who demanded a stronger tone of protest in order to advance the civil rights agenda. Washington replied that confrontation would lead to disaster for the outnumbered blacks in society, and that cooperation with supportive whites was the only way to overcome pervasive racism in the long run.

One of the most famous teachers at Tuskegee was George Washington Carver, whose name is synonymous with innovative research into Southern farming methods and the development of hundreds of commercial products derived from regional crops, including peanuts and sweet potatoes.

During World War II, Tuskegee and Tuskegee Institute were also home to the famed Tuskegee Airmen. This was the first squadron of African-American pilots trained in the U.S. Military.

All black military pilots who trained in the United States trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, and were educated at the Tuskegee Institute.

The U.S. Army Air Corps had established the Psychological Research Unit 1 for aviation cadet training, which included the identification, selection, education, and training of pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Psychologists employed in these research studies and training programs used some of the first standardized tests to quantify IQ, dexterity and leadership qualities to select and train the best-suited personnel for the roles of bombardier, navigator, and pilot.

The Air Corps determined that the existing programs would be used for all units, including all-black units. At Tuskegee, this effort continued with the selection and training of the Tuskegee Airmen.

The budding flight program at Tuskegee received a publicity boost when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt inspected it in March 1941, and flew with African-American chief civilian instructor C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson. Anderson, who had been flying since 1929, and was responsible for training thousands of rookie pilots, took his prestigious passenger on a half-hour flight in a Piper J-3 Cub.  After landing, she cheerfully announced, “Well, you can fly all right.”

I’ll include a couple of videos.  Here’s a WW II-era film narrated by Ronald Reagon, entitled “Wings for this Man.”


And here’s a much more modern short film, narrated by Morgan Freeman, entitled “Red Tails:”


Before I leave Tuskegee, I’m sure there’s a reader or two who wonders where the name “Tuskegee” came from.  Wiki:

The name “Tuskegee” comes from Spanish “Tasquiqui”, which came from the Muskogee word “Taskeke”, a name of a Creek settlement and meaning “warriors.”

Since “Tasquiqui” is simply a Spanish phonetic version of “Taskeke,” it seems like an unnecessary detour.  But “warriors” is a great name for the airmen . . .

So, I mentioned “Jim Crow,” a while back, admitting that I wasn’t exactly sure where the phrase comes from and what it means.  It just so happens that Jim Crow has been in the news, with talking heads saying things like “80% of the Confederate statues were put in place during the Jim Crow era.”

Here’s what Wiki has to say about the Jim Crow era (when Booker T. Washington was the leading black spokesman):

Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. Enacted by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures in the late 19th century after the Reconstruction period, these laws continued to be enforced until 1965. They mandated racial segregation in all public facilities (including schools) in the states of the former Confederate States of America, starting in 1896 with a “separate but equal” status for African Americans in railroad cars.

Facilities for African Americans were consistently inferior and underfunded compared to those which were then available to European Americans; sometimes they did not exist at all. This body of law institutionalized a number of economic, educational, and social disadvantages. “Jim Crow” was a pejorative expression meaning “Negro”.

The phrase “Jim Crow Law” can be found as early as 1892 in the title of a New York Times article about Louisiana requiring segregated railroad cars.  The origin of the phrase “Jim Crow” has often been attributed to a song-and-dance entitled “Jump Jim Crow”, performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface.  It was first performed in 1832 and was used to satirize Andrew Jackson’s populist policies.

As a result of Rice’s fame, “Jim Crow” by 1838 had become a pejorative expression meaning “Negro”. When southern legislatures passed laws of racial segregation directed against blacks at the end of the 19th century, these statutes became known as Jim Crow laws.

Here’s a Jim Crow poster featuring Thomas D. Rice (from Wiki):

I’ll close with a GE Panoramio shot by Izzies98 of Chewacla Creek about 9 miles NE of my landing (in Chewacla State Park):

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Georgiana, Alabama

Posted by graywacke on August 23, 2017

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 2361; A Landing A Day blog post number 793.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (31o33.989’N, 86o 49.685’W) puts me in S Cen Alabama:

Here’s my local landing map:

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Persimmon Creek; on to the Sepulga River (1st hit ever!):

Zooming back, you can see that the Sepulga discharges to the Conecuh (3rd hit).  Mysteriously, the Conecuh more-or-less turns into the Escambia (also 3rd hit):

Zooming back a little more, the Escambia discharges to Escambia Bay, on to the G of M.

It’s time for my every-landing-no-matter-what trip on a GE yellow pushpin, which more-or-less free falls to south-central Alabama. [How many of you out there in the ALAD nation have ever written a single sentence that contains a five-word-hyphenated phrase along with a three-word-hyphenated phrase along with a two-word-hyphenated phrase?]

Anyway, click HERE to check it out.

I have nearby Street View coverage, but I landed in the woods:

I had the Orange Dude find a driveway, so he wasn’t just looking straight at the woods:

I had him head south several miles to get a look at the Sepulga.  Here’s what he sees:

Of course, you’ve noted that I have only one titular town.  And now, you’ll learn the two reasons why.  First, all of the other towns are hookless, and second, Georgiana was the at-least-for-a-while hometown of Hank Williams. 

As all regular readers know, I’m a music-lover, but my music knowledge is not very broad-based (or all that detailed in the areas like classic rock ‘n roll, that I know fairly well.)

I knew that Hank Williams was a legendary pioneer in the world of country music.  But that’s just about all I knew.  So, I’m starting from scratch.  First a Wiki pic:

The above picture shows Hank at age 28, in 1951 (he was born in 1923).  He died only two years later (of course, more about that later).

From Wiki:

Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams released 35 singles (five released posthumously) that reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one (three posthumously).

Born in Mount Olive, Alabama, Williams’family moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams’ later musical style. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music.

I think I’ll sprinkle some Hank songs here and there in this post.  I’ll start with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”  (Lyrics below):

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill,
He sounds too blue to fly.
The midnight train is whining low,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

I’ve never seen a night so long
When time goes crawling by.
The moon just went behind the clouds
To hide its face and cry.

Did you ever see a robin weep,
When leaves begin to die
That means he’s lost the will to live,
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky.
And as I wonder where you are
I’m so lonesome I could cry.

Back to Wiki:

He was the third child, born on September 17, 1923.  Since Elonzo Williams was a Mason, and his wife was a member of Order of the Eastern Star the child was named after Hiram I of Tyre (one of the three founders of the Masons, according to Masonic legend), but his name was misspelled as “Hiriam” on his birth certificate.

As a child, he was nicknamed “Harm” by his family.  He was born with spina bifida occulta, a birth defect, centered on the spinal column, which gave him lifelong pain – a factor in his later abuse of alcohol and drugs.

He continued to show up for his radio show intoxicated, so in August 1942 radio station WSFA fired him for “habitual drunkenness.” During one of his concerts Williams met backstage his idol, Grand Ole Opry star Roy Acuff, who later warned him of the dangers of alcohol, saying, “You’ve got a million-dollar talent, son, but a ten-cent brain.”

Lonesome whistle

I was riding Number Nine,
Heading south from Caroline.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
Got in trouble, had to roam,
Left my gal an’ left my home.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
Just a kid, acting smart,
I went and broke my darling’s heart,
I guess I was too young to know.
They took me off the Georgia Main,
Locked me to a ball and chain.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

All alone I bear the shame,
I’m a number, not a name.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.
All I do is set an’ cry
When the evening train goes by.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

I’ll be locked here in this cell
Till my body’s just a shell
An’ my hair turns whiter than snow.
I’ll never see that gal of mine.
Lord, I’m in Georgia doing time.
I heard that lonesome whistle blow.

Back to Wiki:

Williams signed with MGM Records in 1947 and released “Move It on Over”, which became a massive country hit.

Hank’s career reached a peak in August–September 1951 with a tour of the U.S. with actor Bob Hope and other luminaries.  In November 1951 Hank suffered a fall during a hunting trip with his fiddler Jerry Rivers in Tennessee. The fall reactivated his old back pains. He started to consume painkillers, including morphine, and alcohol to ease the pain.  In May he was admitted to North Louisiana Sanitarium for the treatment of his alcoholism.  In December he had a spinal fusion at the Vanderbilt University Hospital.

Move It On Over

Came in last night at half past ten
That baby of mine wouldn’t let me in
So move it on over (move it on over)
Move it on over (move it on over)
Move over little dog cause the big dog’s moving in

She changed the lock on my front door
My door key don’t work no more
So get it on over (move it on over)
Scoot it on over (move it on over)
Move over skinny dog cause the fat dog’s moving in

The dog house here is mighty small
But it’s better than no house at all
So ease it on over (move it on over)
Drag it on over (move it on over)
Move over old dog cause a new dog’s moving in

She told me not to play around
But I done let the deal go down
So pack it on over (move it on over)
Tote it on over (move it on over)
Move over nice dog cause a mad dog’s moving in

She warned me once, she warned me twice
But I don’t take no one’s advice
So scratch it on over (move it on over)
Shake it on over (move it on over)
Move over short dog cause tall dog’s moving in

She’ll crawl back to me on her knees
I’ll be busy scratching fleas
So slide it on over (move it on over)
Sneak it on over (move it on over)
Move over good dog cause a mad dog’s moving in

Remember pup, before you whine
That side’s yours and this side’s mine
So shove it on over (move it on over)
Sweep it on over (move it on over)
Move over cold dog cause a hot dog’s moving in.

Back to Wiki:

By the end of 1952, Williams had started to suffer heart problems.  He met Horace “Toby” Marshall in Oklahoma City, who said that he was a doctor. Marshall had been previously convicted for forgery and spent time at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Among other fake titles he said that he was a Doctor of Science, a degree he purchased for $25 from the “Chicago School of Applied Science.”  Under the name of Dr. C. W. Lemon he prescribed Williams with amphetamines, Seconal, chloral hydrate, and morphine.

Williams was scheduled to perform at the Municipal Auditorium in Charleston, West Virginia on Wednesday December 31, 1952. That day, because of an ice storm in the Nashville area, Williams could not fly, so he hired a college student, Charles Carr, to drive him from Montgomery to the concert.  Carr called the Charleston auditorium from Knoxville to say that Williams would not arrive on time owing to the ice storm and was told to drive Williams to Canton, Ohio, for the New Year’s Day concert there.

They arrived at the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville, where Carr requested a doctor for Williams, as he was feeling the combination of the chloral hydrate and alcohol he had drunk on the way from Montgomery. Dr. P.H. Cardwell injected Williams with two shots of vitamin B12 that also contained a quarter-grain of morphine.

Carr and Williams checked out of the hotel; the porters had to carry Williams to the car, as he was coughing so violently.  At around midnight on Thursday January 1, 1953, when they crossed the Tennessee state line and arrived in Bristol, Virginia, Carr stopped at a small all-night restaurant and asked Williams if he wanted to eat. Williams said he did not, and those are believed to be his last words.

Carr later drove on until he stopped for fuel at a gas station in Oak Hill, West Virginia, where he realized that Williams was dead. The filling station’s owner called the chief of the local police.

In Williams’ Cadillac the police found some empty beer cans and unfinished handwritten lyrics.

Lost highway

I’m a rollin’ stone all alone and lost
For a life of sin I have paid the cost
When I pass by all the people say
Just another guy on the lost highway

Just a deck of cards and a jug of wine
And a woman’s lies makes a life like mine
O the day we met, I went astray
I started rolling down that lost highway

I was just a lad, nearly twenty two
Neither good nor bad, just a kid like you
And now I’m lost, too late to pray
Lord I paid the cost, on the lost highway

Now boy’s don’t start to ramblin’ round
On this road of sin are you sorrow bound
Take my advice or you’ll curse the day
You started rollin’ down that lost highway,

I’ll close out this show with a lovely old barn shot, just a couple of miles from my landing, by Walter Russell:


That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day


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Liberty Mills and North Manchester, Indiana

Posted by graywacke on August 14, 2017

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 2361; A Landing A Day blog post number 793.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (41o47.879’N, 85o 48.626’W) puts me in N Cen Indiana:

Here’s my local landing map:

My local streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Swank Creek; on to the Eel River (1st hit ever!):

Zooming way back, you can get the whole picture:

The Eel discharges to the Wabash (27th hit);  on to the Ohio (144th hit); on to the MM (917th hit).

Let’s move right along to Google Earth (GE), hop on a yellow pushpin, and head on in to today’s random landing location.  Click HERE to do so.

I have halfway decent GE Street View coverage:

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

BTW, this Breaking News just in:  yesterday, I saw my first Googlemobile!  It was in Pennington NJ on Broemel Place, and I was driving in the opposite direction.  I’ll be checking Broemel Place Street View coverage to see if my 2012 black Camry made the big time . . .

I didn’t have to go too far downstream (south) to get a look at my watershed stream – Swank Creek:

It ain’t much, but here ‘tis:

I spent an inordinate amount of time investigating the towns you can see on my local landing map, plus about a dozen others that would be visible on a slightly expanded local map.  And guess what?  This entire area is pretty much:

I’ll do what I can with pretty slim material, starting with Liberty Mills (pop 136).  For such a small town, Wiki has a substantial and quirky history write-up.  Here are some excerpts:

The land that is now Liberty Mills was purchased by New York state resident John Comstock, who moved to the area in 1836.  He first built a saw mill, and later a grist mill, a distillery, store, carding mill, and flouring mill.

[Quoted from an 1884 history of Wabash County by Thomas Helm:]

John Comstock in his day was easily the biggest and most influential business man and farmer in Northern Wabash county. He was a member of the State Legislature and a probate judge and was progressive in many ways and as stubborn as an ox in others.

When the canal was built through Lagro [13 miles south of Liberty Mills] he maintained a warehouse there and was able to attract business men to Liberty Mills faster than to North Manchester. In fact, it was not uncommon in telling the history of an early North Manchester business man to mention that he first located in Liberty Mills.

However, he could not stand competition, and because of his buying power, could undersell those who dared compete with him. Many of the early business men then moved to North Manchester.”

[Back to straight-ahead Wiki:]

His distillery, built in 1839, would send wagon loads of whiskey to areas as far as Mishawaka and Warsaw, Indiana. It brought distress to his sons, who for religious convictions left the business.  Comstock himself had a change of heart and declared “I will let that distillery rot!” even after offers to purchase it.

Due to Comstock’s monopolizing business practices, most local business men left to establish themselves in neighboring North Manchester. In time North Manchester flourished [current population something over 6,000] while Liberty Mills remained unchanged in size [current population something over 100].

My guess is that plenty of nasty things were said behind Mr. Comstock’s back, especially if one were at the local tavern after he pulled one of his more egregious deals . . .

A Liberty Mills “Notable Person” is Cliff Kindy, “organic farmer and member of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).”  CPT was clickable, so I did, and I found the group interesting.  From Wiki:

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is an international organization set up to support teams of peace workers in conflict areas around the world. These teams believe that they can lower the levels of violence through nonviolent direct action, human rights documentation, and nonviolence training. CPT sums their work up as “…committed to reducing violence by getting in the way.

[Interesting mission statement.]

CPT has a full-time corps of over 30 activists who currently work in international trouble spots including Colombia, Iraq and the West Bank. These teams are supported by over 150 reservists who spend two weeks to two months a year on a location.

Although it is a Christian-based organization, CPT does not engage in any type of missionary activity.  Corp members are Christians, but there is no faith requirement for members of CPT’s short-term delegations.

Moving right along to North Manchester.  Under “Notable People,” Wiki mentioned “Daniel Garber, impressionist artist.”  Garber was clickable, so I did, and I was immediately intrigued:

Daniel Garber (1880 – 1958) was an American Impressionist landscape painter and member of the art colony at New Hope, Pennsylvania. He is best known today for his large impressionist scenes of the New Hope area, in which he often depicted the Delaware River.

Garber was born in North Manchester, Indiana.  He studied art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. In the tradition of many American artists, Garber and his wife traveled to Europe to complete his art education. Returning to America in 1907, he settled at Cuttalossa, a small settlement on the Delaware River six miles up the Delaware River from New Hope.

Why am I intrigued?  Well, I live just 8 miles east of New Hope, and I love the history, culture and beauty of the Delaware River near me.  I also enjoy impressionistic landscapes, and quickly realized how much I enjoyed Garber’s art. 

Before we look at some art, I’ll journey up to Cuttalossa, which doesn’t appear on any maps, although I was able to figure out that it’s where Cuttalossa Road intersects River Road, and where Cuttalossa Creek flows into the Delaware Canal:

Here’s a GE Street View shot of the intersection of Cuttalossa Road and River Road:

And a little further south:

Here’s a look at the creek just upstream from River Road:

It certainly looks like some old mill structures, eh?

And now we’re looking north past the creek, with the Delaware Canal (albeit dry) on the right:

The Delaware Canal was completed in 1832 . . .

As mentioned above, Cuttalossa Creek actually flows into the canal.  Evidently, the Cuttalossa is small enough that even flood flows couldn’t overwhelm the canal.  For larger streams, the canal crosses over the stream on a bridge!

Time for some Garber art. First this, “In the Sringtime” (painted in the year of his death, 1958):

Here’s a 1940 painting of Mechanic Street in New Hope:

A lovely 1918 painting entitled “Mending:”

“School Days in New Hope” (1938, looking across the river to Lambertville NJ):

By the way, the bridge is still there, the church & steeple are still there, but the old buildings on the right aren’t.  And, the New Hope side of the river is totally built up . . .

Here’s “October Frenchtown” (1939).  Frenchtown is a NJ river town 15 miles upriver from New Hope.

And here’s “Early Spring – New Hope” (undated):

And finally, “Carversville in Springtime” (1935):

I would love to have an original Garber on my living room wall.  Trouble is, the Garber originals I saw for sale were typically at auction, with expected prices around $500,000.  Oh, well . . .

Let me head back to Indiana and close out this post with a couple of GE Panoramio shots by DW Buller, taken two miles south of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Glacier National Park, Montana

Posted by graywacke on August 9, 2017

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 2360; A Landing A Day blog post number 792.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (48o 7.002’N, 113o 11.849’W) puts me in NW Montana:

Here’s my local landing map:

OK, there are some local towns, but I thought that this landing was close enough to Glacier National Park to forgo the towns and feature the park.  [Random musing:  one might think that the opposite of “forgo” should be “forstop”, or is it, as Jody just suggested –  “fivego?”]

And no, Glacier National Park has not been featured previously on ALAD.

Here’s my most local streams-only map:

As you can see, I landed in the watershed of Lodgepole Ck; on to Morrison Ck; on to the Middle Fork of the Flathead River (1st hit ever!).  Zooming back:

The Middle Fork joins up to the plain ol’ Flathead (13th hit), which makes its way to the Clark Fork (23rd hit).  OK, I’ll zoom back one more time:

And the Clark Fork is almost the only game in town for the Pend Oreille (with 23 of its 25 hits); on to the Mighty Columbia (171st hit).

It’s time to free fall in to the mountains of NW Montana.  Click HERE to hitch your wagon to the Google Earth (GE) yellow pushpin and settle in to our latest random location.

Here’s an oblique GE shot looking north towards Glacier:

And one looking east up the valley of Lodgepole Creek:

I had to head way north to Route 2 near Essex (see local landing map) to get a GE Street View look at my drainage pathway.  Here’s the lovely view of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River one can see there:

So, I was a little overwhelmed by the immensity (and the immense beauty) of Glacier National Park.  I figured I could feature the retreat of glaciers in the park (which I do) along with some choice GE Panoramio shots (which I do).  But what else? 

Well, I happened to be checking out the NYTimes webpage and I found an 8/3/17 article by Steph Yin entitled “Mountain Goats on Your Trail?  They Like You and Your Urine.”  And then, to my amazement and delight, I found that the article features mountain goats in Glacier National Park!

Here are some excerpts:

A few years ago, employees at Glacier National Park in Montana noticed that mountain goats were hanging out — even sleeping — far away from cliffs, and spending much of their time near humans. Researchers who investigated this atypical behavior determined that where there were people, there were fewer predators. Also where there were people, there was pee.

Combined, these phenomena afford mountain goats two prized essentials: safety and salt. “You can’t beat that. It’s like vacation for goats,” said Wesley Sarmento, who led the study, published in the journal Biological Conservation last month, as a master’s student at the University of Montana.

Mountain goats love salt. They are known to travel more than 15 miles to lick natural salt deposits, which provide essential nutrients. But human urine is packed with minerals from our salty diets, and mountain goats will forgo [there’s that word again!] those journeys if there is a lot of urine around. As a result, many a hiker has strayed off-trail to tinkle and found mountain goats lurking, eager to lick a rock or eat a plant drenched in fresh, life-sustaining urine.

They not only seek out urine, but also place where tourists place their sweaty hands (caption below):

Mountain goats licking salt off a fence at Glacier National Park in Montana. Goats in the park tend to follow the paths of humans because of the leftover salt from urine and because where humans are, predators aren’t. Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press

And here’s a picture of hikers surrounded by mountain goats (caption below):

Hikers surrounded by mountain goats on the Hidden Lake Nature Trail in Glacier National Park. Credit Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

I found a May 10, 2017 CNN write-up about the decline of glaciers in the park, by Steve Almasy and Mayra Cuevas, entitled “The big melt: Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers.”

Some excerpts:

The 37 glaciers remaining at Glacier National Park are vanishing.

In the past half century, some of the ice formations in Montana have lost 85% of their size, and the average shrinkage is 39%, a study released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University says.

One day, they will be gone, the study’s lead scientist said Wednesday.

“The trend right now is that they are inexorably going into their final demise. There is no chance they will go into rebirth,” Dan Fagre said. “In several decades they will be mostly gone. They will certainly be gone before the end of the century.”

And humans are responsible, he said.

“There are variations in the climate but it is humans that have made all those variations warmer,” he said. “The glaciers have been here for 7,000 years and will be gone in decades. This is not part of the natural cycle.”

I’ve never been to Glacier National Park, but I have visited Athabasca Glacier in Jaspar National Park, Alberta Canada.  This was back in 1985, but I distinctly remember seeing roadside markers showing where the toe of the glacier was at various times in the past. 

Here’s a picture of one of the markers (GE Pano by Idle Moor).

And yes, anthropogenic climate change started up about a hundred years ago, when greenhouse gas emissions really started ramping up.  Here’s a graph:

OK.  Let’s look at some GE Panoramio shots of Glacier National Park.  I’ll start out with this, by YSato

Also by YSato:

Tom Lussier Photography:

Also Tom Lussier Photography:

T. Jacobs:

Steven Irwin:

By Владимир Ш:

By Bruce MacIver:

I’ll close with a much more local Pano shot; this by Andy Turner, taken 5 miles west of my landing:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day

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Tupelo, Mississippi

Posted by graywacke on July 31, 2017

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 2359; A Landing A Day blog post number 791.

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (34o 3.658’N, 88o 51.144’W) puts me in NE Alabama:

My not-so-local map shows that I landed near the usual VP* of small towns, but also near Tupelo:

*veritable plethora

As you can guess by my singular post title, the VP of small towns are VH*

*veritably hookless

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of the Tallabinnela Ck; on to the Town Ck; on to the Tombigbee River (8th hit):

Note the peculiar straight river segments.  More about that in a bit. 

Zooming back, you can see that the Tombigbee almost makes it to the Gulf, but gets cut off by the Mobile River (22nd hit):

Let’s move on to the ceremonial placement of the random lat/long yellow pushpin. Click HERE to make it so.

Notice the road near my landing?  Looks like a likely Street View vantage point.  And by jove, it is:

Here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

I moved him a few miles east to get a look at the Tallabinnela Creek:

And here ‘tis:

Ere I forget, let me return to the peculiar straight waterway stretches apparent on my closer-in landing map that I mentioned earlier.  It turns out I’ve discussed this waterway in my January 2010 “Smithville Mississippi” post:

In 1984, at a cost of nearly $2 billion, the federal government completed the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (the “Tenn-Tom”).  It provides a navigatable link between the Tombigbee River (and the Gulf of Mexico) and the Tennessee River (and the downstream Ohio and Mississippi Rivers). 

From the Tenn-Tom website, here’s a map showing the waterway, and how it connects the two watersheds:


And this, about the “Divide Cut,” where they had to simply cut a channel through the uplands separating the Tombigbee & Tennessee watersheds.  From the same website:

Ten years of work, at a cost of nearly $500 million, were needed to excavate a canal through the divide that separates the watersheds of the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers. The deepest cut is 175 feet and the average depth of excavation along the entire 29-mile reach is 50 feet.

While the breadth of the cut at the top of the natural terrain is nearly one-half mile wide, the canal itself is 280 feet wide and 12 feet deep. The 150-million cubic yards of earth removed (nearly one and one-half times that excavated in building the Suez Canal) were carefully deposited and landscaped in the valleys along the canal.

Here’s a picture of the Divide Cut:

Back to now, and I’ll move right along for a quick visit to some Indian Mounds nearby.  The 1000-year old Owl creek mounds are 4 miles west of my landing.  From the CampingGalore blog, here’s a picture of the larger mound:

The 2000-year old Bynum mounds are 12 miles south.  Here’s a GE Panoramio shot by HareBall:

One can only guess what the Native American culture and civilization was like, here near my landing.  Just thinking about America before white men reminds me of my Keene and Alberene, VA post (October 2016), where I said the following:

Some number of years ago, I read a book entitled “1491:  New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” by Charles C. Mann.

He supports the position that there were many 10s of millions of Native Americans in North & South America prior to Columbus (maybe even more than 100 million).  He also supports the notion that the culture was much more advanced than is commonly thought.

He believes that 90% – 95% of the Indian population died of white man diseases (primarily small pox) and that for the most part, they died without even seeing any white people!  The diseases spread so quickly and were so devastating that by the time white explorers reached interior regions, most Indians were long dead; the civilizations long collapsed.

I’ll show you my local landing map again.  Note the Natchez Trace Parkway:

Now check out my local landing map for my April 2013 Port Gibson MS post:

There it is again!  This landing was in the opposite (southwestern) corner of Mississippi.

Here’s a Natchez Trace map (from TheRoadJunkies.com).  You can see Port Gibson, the site of my earlier landing:

And from Wiki:

The Natchez Trace is a historical path that extends roughly 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, linking the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers. It was created and used for centuries by Native Americans, and was later used by early European and American explorers, traders and emigrants in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Today, the trail is commemorated by the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the approximate path of the Trace.  Parts of the original trail are still accessible.

I couldn’t find any of the original Trace near today’s landing, but note that the Bynum Mounds were very close (if not right on) the original Trace.

Finally. It’s time to visit my terrific titular town, Tupelo.  Class!  Class!  I want everyone who knows the famous native son of Tupelo to raise their hand!  Really?  And I thought everyone knew that Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo. . .

Just in case you forget what he looked like, here’s a screen shot of Google Images:

But I must say that even though I did know he was born in Tupelo, I’ve never been there, and I’ve never even seen a picture of the house where he was born.  Well, here ‘tis (GE Pano shot by Matt Klos):

This is part of a very touristy hunk a hunk a real estate in Tupelo that includes (in addition to the house) an Elvis Presley museum (only $17/adult admission).  Wanna check it out?  Click HERE to visit ElvisPresleyBirthPlace.com.

It’s time for me admit that I’m not much of an Elvis fan.  I’m a total rock ‘n roll fan, and somewhat of a student of rock ‘n roll history, so I appreciate Elvis’ huge contribution.  But I was born in 1950, and Elvis burst on the scene when I was still a kid in the ‘50s.  And I was one of those kids who held on to his kid-dome for as long as possible.  When I was 12 (1962), I remember actually thinking that I’d like to stay a kid as long as possible, fending off that pesky adolescence.  So rock ‘n roll?  That was for my sister Tacey (4 years older).

Let me show you the Wiki list of “Notable People” from Tupelo:


There are a couple of music guys in whom I have no interest (no fault of theirs; just my bias, and I’m in charge); along with a bunch of athletes, none of whom I’ve even heard of (not their fault).  And then Elvis. 

But there was another name I was looking for, but wasn’t there:  Paul Thorn!  Here’s what Wiki has to say about Paul:

Paul Wayne Thorn (born July 13, 1964) is an Southern rock, country, Americana, and Blues singer-songwriter whose style is a mix of blues, Country, and rock music.  Thorn was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin but raised in Tupelo, Mississippi after a family move when he was an infant.

Before his professional music career began he was a professional boxer. Boxing career highlights include winning the Mid-South Middleweight Championship in Memphis, Tennessee and a nationally-televised bout with former world champion Roberto Durán.

Paul became a professional musician in the late 1990s, and put out a series of albums.  Back to Wiki:

In 2014, Thorn released the album “Too Blessed to Be Stressed,” which he described as a collection of “positive anthem songs.”

“I wrote these songs hoping they might put people in a positive mindset and encourage them to count their own blessings, like I count mine,” Thorn observes. “There’s no higher goal I could set for myself than to help other people find some happiness and gratitude in their lives.”

So Jody and I have seen him four times:  Sellersville PA, Wilmington DE, Annapolis MD and Ardmore PA.  He’s a great storyteller; is absolutely genuine and positive, and he plays great rock ‘n roll.  He’ll be back in Sellersville (about 45 minutes from my home in NJ) in November.  We’ll be there!

Oh, geez.  What videos should I feature?  He’s got so many great songs.  Here’s an older song (2010), before he got off on being positive:


And here’s one of my favorites “You Might Be Wrong:”


Here’s a very cool video of Paul discussing his latest album:


So.  Not much in the way of scenic GE Pano shots.  Davis Lake is about 5 miles west of my landing.  Here’s a shot by GypsyRR:

That’ll do it . . .




© 2017 A Landing A Day

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