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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Pawnee People by Carl N. Tyson

This book, The Pawnee People, covers the history of the four different groups that make up the Pawnee Tribe starting with the earliest times and taking you right u to the modern day. It is one of the Indian Tribal Series published here in Phoenix with a 1976 Copyright. This volume is autographed by the Tribal Chief Thomas Chapman, Jr., "Big Eagle."

I procured the book in order to see what the Pawnee said about the early 1800's, about 1835-47, to be exact and learn about their history during that time period. I have read the reports of the Indian Agents during this time because my great-great-grandfather, James Case, and his two sons lived with the Pawnee and Oto as the Indian Agency's farmer on the Loup River and further north with the Otoes during that time-frame.

The Pawnees (Pani) were already a fairly peaceful, agricultural people, settled in Nebraska and Kansas (three branches in Kansas and one in Nebraska (the Skidi). But as time passed the Government and the four branches agreed to move the tribe to the reservation on the Loup. This reservation wasn't set aside until 1857; however, it was called a reservation by the Indian Agent earlier while my great-grandfather was the Agency farmer. According to The Pawnee People, a tract of land 15 miles wide and thirty miles long was designated the Reservation in 1857.

According to the reports I read on microfilm, the period 1835-47 was fairly peaceful with a couple of attacks by the Pawnee on other tribes and one large upset on the reservation where the Pawnee "revolted" against the Government's ruling over the Pawnees and the Indians ruined their crops and danced around the farmer's house with torches and a lot of yelling and screaming. No one was killed in this uprising, but it had the effect of ending the cooperation of the Indian Agency for a while.

The Pawnee People indicates about the same, except that the Pawnee at first didn't like the Loup setting because of raids by the Dakota Sioux, but they came around and finally settled there. But they would not give up their hunts in the summer and making raids on other tribes. They had a hard time settling down to an agricultural life. And the new Indian Agent was no help, rather, he was not liked by the Indians and got into a struggle with the Chief and he and his son were killed. In 1846, the Pawnee had gone on their summer hunt and the Oto burned their village. In June, the Dakota raided the mission (John Dunbar, the Presbyterian missionary) and drove off all the horses. (Note: I think this is the incident the Agent was talking about above.) And the bad times continued until the Mormons came along and gave the Indians supplies in 1847. And my great-grandfather joined up with Brigham Young and came on to Utah with him.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

And Then There Are Horses

One of the favorite sports for a discerning few is watching horses swim. Not unusual in itself, but when they swim across a channel, they become a tourist attraction. The Aug/Sep edition of Country magazine published an article by Pat and Chuck Blackley with pictures covering the annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague, Virginia, on the last Wednesday in July. There are a couple of theories about how the horses ended up on Assateague Island, but they have been there since the 1700's or earlier according to the article. In 1925 they started the channel swim which before that they were hauled over in boats. I had heard about this when I was on a ship out of Norfolk, Virginia, but never thought about making a sojourn to watch horses swim. They didn't have the Kiptopeake Bridge then either which takes you right to the tail end of the peninsula and you can drive right up to the eastern shore of Maryland. Chincoteague is just below the Maryland border.

Anyway, the purpose of the swim is to auction off the foals and others to keep the herd to about 150, a manageable amount for the island. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company manages the herd and auctions off the horses to make money to keep it going. The swim lasts about thirty minutes and is accomplished between the changing of the tides when there is no current, the article says. A couple days later the remaining horses are herded back into the water for the return to Assateague.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Upcoming Arizona Events

It's turning Fall-ish again and time to get out and celebrate Life:

Sep 11-14: Mohave County Fair in Kingman, the Andy Burnett town.

Sep 13-Jan 20: 2015 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, at the Grand Canyon, of course.

Sep 20-21: My-Oh-My Apple Pie Weekend and Country Craft Fair in Willcox. The best apple pies            you'll ever taste!

Oct 2-5 63rd Annual Rex Allen Days also in Willcox. Rodeo, parade., and concerts.

Oct 10-12: Tucson Meet Yourself in Tucson. Artisans, home cookers, dancers, and musicians from   
           Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico.       .

Oct 18-19: Arizona Taco Festival in Scottsdale. Fill up on creative tacos from various restaurants.

Oct 31: Route 66 Cruizers Halloween Bash in Kingman. Trick or treat in historic downtown                            Kingman.

(Reference and thanks to AAA Magazine, Highroads.)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

John Wesley Powell

The header sketch is my rendition of John Wesley Powell, the explorer of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. Born March 24, 1834, died September 23, 1902.

He was the one-armed cliff-climber who clambered up and down the cliffs along the Green and Colorado Rivers while making the first exploration of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon in 1869.

 In 1861 he enlisted in the Union Army at age 27 and fought in several battles, losing his arm in the battle of Shiloh, and later he was in the battles of Champion Hill, Big Black River Bridge, and the siege of Vicksburg. He was elected to Sergeant-Major of the regiment after joining the 20th Illinois and was soon promoted to lieutenant and earned his way up the ladder to brevet lieutenant-colonel, but was always called "Major".

In May, 1869, he left Green River, Wyoming, and traveled to the conjunction of the Colorado and on down through the Grand Canyon. One man quit the expedition early and three more later on in the trip. These three were killed by the Indians in a case of mistaken identity it is believed. Of the travels through the Utah portion, he said: ..."wonderful features-- carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name? We decided to call it Glen Canyon."

After this, he was appointed second director of the U. S. Geographical survey and he was also the director of the Bureau of Ethnology of the Smithsonian until his death.

Reference: Wikipedia and Wikipedia Commons. An interesting man and an interesting write-up.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Part II of Californy

So we climbed aboard the ferry at 6 PM and headed back to Long Beach and the Queen Mary, arriving there a little after seven. The tour members were now on their own until 11 AM Sunday. We took a break in the room and proceeded to the Chowder House on the Promenade Deck where we ate another sumptuous meal although the Wife was disappointed in her shrimp scampi. She said it should have been called shrimp scamper due to lack of shrimp. My dinner was fine.

We slept late Sunday Morn, getting up about 6:30 and headed for the free buffet breakfast again. (Included in the tour fee.) Some of the group took the self-guided tour of the ship, but we looked into a couple of shops and bought inexpensive souvenirs for the family and killed time until it was time to board the bus again. Instead of heading home we were transported to the inland waterways of Naples which actually make up a channel to the ocean and are small channels around the small islands. Included in out tour was a gondola ride through these waterways with expensive houses and boats lining the banks. The gondolas were rowed by two young men each and one on our gondola was from Italy. He serenaded us and related some of the transactions of the housing market as he rowed along. They were in the millions of dollars per house, even the small ones ran around three million simoleons. This little side trip took about two hours with the loading and unloading and we headed for an In-n-Out Burger place in the area and ate lunch or took lunch with us on the bus. The gondolas were fun and everyone seemed to enjoy the ride.

Heading out of town and home, we ran into the first pinch on the road. I-10 was shut down due to a fatal accident near Quartzite and the traffic was backed up to just west of Blythe, miles, in other words. The highway was re-opened about 6:30 or 7 and we were delayed about three hours, inching along the freeway. The bus made a stop at Chiriaco Summit before we ran into this mess, thank the Lord. We finally made it into Buckeye where the second pinch arose. All this traffic had to squeeze into one lane due to construction in the area and we arrived at the stop in Buckeye about 10 or 10:30 PM. Oh, yes, we didn't get to stop at the Naked Man Bookstore in Quartzite.

Other than that, a fine time was had by all, and we reached home about midnight, which was way beyond our bedtime.

Now that we're rested, we're ready for another tour.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Out of Town Further West

The Wife and I took a bus tour over the weekend to Californy, Long Beach to be exact, for two nights on the Queen Mary. The trip there was uneventful and if it wasn't for the tour guide, boring. David, the guide, kept us entertained with questions and historical facts about the desert and mountains along I-10. I would guess the average age of the old people on the bus was somewhere in the 70's, and they were a pretty lively old bunch.

Prior to checking into the Queen Mary, there was a stop to visit the Long Beach Aquarium and stretch our laigs, and ankles, and hips. We got rid of some of the kinks and wandered around looking at the sea life - amazing, it was. We went on to the Queen and found our rooms, which weren't bad for a ship, lotsa wood and old equipment all over and you still had your choice of water, salt or fresh, in the shower. The salt water was shut off, of course, which was a good thing in my mind. I hadn't found anything therapeutic in the salt water showers on the Navy ships and couldn't believe they used to advertise salt water as being healthy and great for the skin and body. We hit the sack after partaking of a sumptuous meal in the Promenade Cafe. I didn't know that a hamburger could cost $15, but there it was and the other menu items equally as pricey. The guide had already told us that the Sir Winston was fairly exclusive, requiring dressing up, which was out of the question with the clothes we brought. We also received a brochure about the ship with a diagram of the layout in case you should get dis-oriented, and there would be free time to explore the ship on Sunday morning.

Saturday came too soon, and the party headed for Catalina Island for the day on the Catalina Express, which made the 26 miles in about an hour and arrived there about 9 AM. Tour-wise the only things scheduled were a trip on a glass-bottom boat at 11and a bus tour of the city of Avalon and part of the island at 2 PM. I enjoyed both, never seen so many damned fish up close or so much damned kelp, either. The two-man crew was very helpful and caring, helping us old-timers on and off. The Captain was almost an old friend. He said his father had a tattoo like mine and served on the aircraft carrier ESSEX during the Korean War, so we were practically family, except I was never on a carrier, let alone the ESSEX. Anyway, as sea stories go, he was pretty good at it.

The bus tour, after a nice, slow lunch of a garden salad with chicken for me and shrimp salad for the better half, was even more interesting. Hell, I never had an inkling there had been cowboys on Catalina and there wasn't, as far as I had been told. But, by golly, there was the Zane Grey Hotel on the hillside. The Great Western Writer, Zane Grey, had been there to film The Vanishing American and had brought along fourteen buffaloes to use in the film. And the story goes after the filming was over, only seven were shipped back to the mainland. They couldn't find the others and pretty soon they had to do something to get rid of some of them. It seems that Catalina was just fine for over-producing buffaloes. Some of you already knew this, didn't ya? So, Mr.Grey liked it so much  that he built this big house on the hillside which was later turned into a hotel. But the folks who stayed there had to be careful since there wasn't any room numbers (and still that way). The rooms are named after his book titles.

Out of town on the bus was a few tight curves and narrow roads and the Catalina Island Fox, which we heard plenty about since it was near extinction before the Conservationists took it under control and began producing more. Two Harbors on the other side of the isle is where all the action takes place, the Yacht Club being there. You have to be a member to get in there, though. Back to town, we went by Marilyn Monroe's house where she grew up, a small place stuck in between larger houses.

As far as books and bookstores, we didn't see anything but the library.

(TO BE CONTINUED, MAYBE.)

HAPPY LABOR DAY TO EVERYONE AND ENJOY THE LONG WEEKEND. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hybrid Author

Your attention is respectfully directed to the Terry Burns Post at From the Heart blog in the column on the right. Terry defines and discusses the "Hybrid" author. I gather from it that authors who go the traditional route and self-publishing, and write articles for various magazines and papers, would fit the description. I recommend you read the article and decide for yourself. Who knows? Maybe you are one!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Note About the Memoirs of John R. Young, Mormon Pioneer

I found the journal of John R. Young to be interesting in that he as a young boy writes about the Mormons being blasted out of their hometown of Nauvoo, Illinois, by the people who thought the Mormons were evil and demonic for building a beautiful little town out of nothing near the Mississippi River. And some of the people also believed the Mormons were devils and had horns on their heads. They killed their leader, Joseph Smith, in cold blood as he rested in a jail where the people of Illinois had put him for daring to start a new religion that didn't agree exactly with the way the people thought it should.

Anyway, Mr. Young relates the trials and tribulations from his perspective as the Mormons travel West in 1846-47. After finally reaching the area of the Great Salt Lake, they begin to build houses and another town, and Brigham Young, John R.'s uncle, sends his adherents on missions to other places in Utah to help settle the Territory and bring more people into the fold. John R. Young, at the tender age of sixteen, is called upon to go on a mission to the Sandwich Islands.  Under the guidance of the mission President, he and others are sent to the various islands to preach and proselytize. He doesn't know a single word of the Kanaka language, but within two weeks of landing on Maui, he has practically mastered it just from conversing with the natives. He describes in detail the times he spent preaching and talking to the people in Hawaii and the troubles he had from certain individuals. He returns to Utah, happy in his soul that he did everything within his power to enlarge the church.

He goes on to tell abut his marriages and his mission to England and Wales, the people he met there and the money he earned working to send a number of converts to Utah and his return. His problems with polygamy later on are described in detail, the narrow escapes, and his sojourn in Mexico. He had a total of four wives, one marriage only lasting about a year due to the death of that wife in childbirth. He loved deeply all of them and their kids and the wives loved each other, too. They lived for a while in Orderville, a town that was set up by Brigham Young as an experiment in Communism in the 1870's, where everyone was treated as equals in wages and everything else in the social order. After Brigham died, the town returned to the "normal" way of life.

Jacob Hamblin, the Missionary to the Indians, was sent to end the practice of the Utes of choosing a bride for a tribal member. They no longer fight over who is going to get the girl like they had become accustomed. Mr. Young was witness to one of these fights where an Indian selected a young girl to be his bride, but another Indian also wanted her - ergo the fight. One of them was bigger and stronger than the other, so more men were selected by the Chief to fight on one or the other's side, with about twenty on each side when the fight began. Some of the Indians fell into a creek along with the girl who was seen only by her long, black hair on the surface of the water and she was pulled out by a white man. This resulted in a fight between the first Indian who wanted the girl and the white man with the white man winning and dragging the girl to the other Indian. And they all started fighting again with the girl between the two main participants. Her brother saw that she was in terrible pain and suffering, so he jumped up and stabbed her in the chest and killed her. The brother took a stance and said that if anyone wanted to kill him, to go ahead, he wasn't afraid of dying. This ended that fight and the girl was given a funeral.

Mr. Young wrote fine tributes to three of his wives and was very poetic, writing poems as the urge hit him throughout his life, several of which are in his journal.  The end of his Memoirs, Chapters 36 and 37, consist of poems reflecting on his life, Brigham Young, and Utah, among other subjects.

Being reared as a Mormon, I found the Memoirs of John R. Young, to be interesting and educational, especially on the early years in the history of the Mormons.This book is available for free at Project Gutenberg.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mister St. John by Loren D. Estleman

A crusty old man is hired by Pinkerton to round up the Buckner gang, who have been robbing banks and trains instead of doing honest work. This crusty old man, Irons St. John, was a famous lawman in the Oklahoma Indian Territory who for years had been rounding up the bad hombres and putting them before Judge Parker to receive justice. Mister St. John quit being a Peace Officer and ran for Congress and got trounced by his opponent. Enter the Pinkerton Agent Rawlings, who offered him the job of going after the Buckner gang for $20,000 and expenses.

St. John decides to take on the job and sets out hiring a couple of crusty old men, not necessarily friends, George American Horse, who was a Crow Indian, and Bill Edwards, a sharpshooter who was beginning to lose his eyesight and wore glasses now. These two men wee working in a Wild West Show when St. John contacted them. And then their was the Preacher that St. John thought he needed because of his pistol work, Midian Pierce, called Testament, who read the Bible most of the time and molested young girls when he thought he could get away with it. He was a blood-thirsty killer. St. John hired the Menendez brothers to go along on the ride. They were neither brothers or named Menendez, but cross-border thieves and killers.

A crusty and dirty bunch of lawmen, it was, that went looking for the Buckners, Merle, the cousin of Race, the other Buckner and outlaw, thievin' train and bank robber. And long with them was the crusty Killer and Thief, Jim Shirley, who fought in the war with Cuba and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that lost both his hands. He buys an Indian woman, Woman Walking, who helps him recover from his loss of hands, and they devise a way for Shirley to shoot a gun with straps and a trigger device. He becomes well versed in the use of his pistol and becomes a permanent member of the gang along with the Indian.

The hunt is on and goes to Colorado to Wyoming and further down the road. St. John's men almost catch 'em, but they manage to get away again. And that's the way it goes down to the very last page with shoot-outs and long horseback rides in the snow and cold until it finally comes to an end, sort of.  There is a back story on almost everyone that's just as exciting and thrilling as the story going on with people getting killed and shot up and all.

A hard and hearty novel by Loren D. Estleman that keeps you going to the end to find out what's what and who wins out. This was Mr Estleman's seventh western of the many he has written. This edition was published by Fawcett Gold Medal in January 1985.       

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Tad More on the Great Salt Lake

During Fremont's explorations of of 1843, he had the opportunity to see the Great Salt Lake with his very own eyeballs and said a little about it.

"We were upon the waters of the famous lake which forms a salient point among the remarkable geographical features of the country, and around which the vague and superstitious accounts of the trappers had thrown a delightful obscurity . . hitherto  this lake had been seen only by trappers, who were wandering through the country in search of new beaver-streams, caring very little for geography; its islands had never been visited; and none had been found who had entirely made the circuit of the shores; and no instrumental observations or geographical survey of any description had ever been made anywhere in the neighboring region. It was generally supposed that it had no visible outlet; but among the trappers, including those in my own camp were many who believed that somewhere on its surface was a terrible whirlpool through which its waters found their way to the ocean by some subterranean communication . . . And my own mind had become tolerably well filled with their indefinite pictures, and insensibly colored with their romantic descriptions which in the pleasure of excitement, I was well disposed to believe, and half-expected to realize."

And Fremont even gets a little romantic by comparing his first view of the lake with Balboa discovering the Great Western Ocean. And he goes on about landing on an island and making camp, saying in his journal: "We felt pleasure in remembering that we were the first, who in the traditionary annals of the country, had visited the islands, and broken, with the cheerful sound of the human voices, the long solitude of the place."

Of course, they never found the whirlpool, but they did discover the solitude of the place on the island away from all the noise of  the Indians and other men of the party who remained in the main camp on shore.

They would really be amazed if they could see it a hundred and sixty years years later with all the mining operations on the south shore and the noise of the beachfront entertainment sites like Saltair and Blackrock and not far away the city of Salt Lake with its bustling trains and traffic sounds. 

Ref: The Founding of Utah by Levi Edgar Young and Memoirs of My Life by John Charles Fremont.