one day at a time…
Friday, 30 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: How To Find Father In A Blizzard
CREDIT: © Joshua F. Madison/JoshMadison.com
WHERE: Central Park, New York, NY, USA. WHAT: cross country skiing.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with a larger image.

Madison Senior © Joshua F. MadisonThe man in the picture is Josh Madison's father. During a blizzard in December 2000 the pair had problems locating one the other while Madison senior was cross country skiing. That all this all took place in Central Park, New York, NY, USA, was the ironic twist that delighted us when we read the story.

Josh has another gallery showing the birds in Central Park, when the weather was more clement. Lovers of Celtic culture & tradition may enjoy the New York St. Patrick's day parade pictures. Do they really serve green beer in NYC on that day?

We had originally visited Josh… er… er… well we have forgotten now, but we found lots to enjoy, and finished our visit with a tour of the tall ships picture gallery.

Thursday, 29 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Don't Smile, Just Shine & Roar!
CREDIT: © Jerry Shelton/DigitalPhotoWorks.com
WHERE: Richmond, Virginia, USA. WHAT: special vehicle photographs service.
MAP: Richmond. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up larger images.
Willys © Jerry SheltonJR Drag © Jerry SheltonBike 5 © Jerry Shelton37 Chevy © Jerry SheltonRed Rod © Jerry Shelton
Jerry Shelton at DigitalPhotoWorks.com in Richmond, Virginia, specializes in taking pictures of special vehicles. If you attend events in central Virginia you may even see the company's mobile unit, because action shots of racing vehicles, both automotive and motocross, is one of the services offered. Jerry promises some show images very soon, so we will call back to see if there is something for another feature.

Wednesday, 28 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: April Is The Cruellest Month
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com
WHERE: Hurricane, Utah. WHAT: personal loss in the Springtime.
MAP: Hurricane, Utah, USA. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3] pop-up larger images.
Going… © Ian Scott ParkerGoing… © Ian Scott ParkerGone! © Ian Scott Parker
APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
The opening to T.S. Eliot's poem 'The Wasteland' has always seemed perverse: surely, is April not a wonderful month, filled with blossom, Spring flowers, and new life as the earth warms again after winter? The description holds true for the Northern Hemisphere, at least. This year, on Monday of the last full week of the month, we lost our dear companion Oreo; and on Sunday the tree surgeon arrived to fell the poplars at the side of the house. To lose both dog and trees in the same week does indeed make April seem the cruelest month, though it worries us that there is still plenty of scope for worse in the eight months of the year that remain.

Perhaps the bleakness of Winter makes life's vicissitudes harder to bear, and with warm weather and blue skies things will not seem so bad. Oreo's ashes came home on Friday, and will be sprinkled in her favorite sleeping spot, just beside the new flower bed. The neighbor across the street was glad of the logs, which he will split and dry for burning in his wood stove next Winter. The next door neighbor will rest easy on windy nights, knowing there are no branches to come crashing down on his car.

Life goes on: perhaps Eliot's closing line is more hopeful.
Shantih shantih shantih

Tuesday, April 27 2004

Pix Of The Day: The Harley Is Only The Vehicle
CREDIT: © Peter Turner/PeterTurnley.com
WHERE: cultural USA (& elsewhere). WHAT: various Harley motorcycle rallies.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up source pages with larger images.
H-D slideshow No.18 © Peter TurnleyH-D slideshow No.01 © Peter TurnleyH-D slideshow No.17 © Peter TurnleyH-D slideshow No.04 © Peter TurnleyH-D slideshow No.14 © Peter Turnley
Somewhere on the web you will probably be able to find a learned treatise about Harley-Davidson riding as an expression of tribal cohesion, reactionary cultural diversity, and social anthropology. You might even formulate your own hypothesis to explain the phenomenon, then run it past the next group of Harley riders that you chance upon, though that is more likely to lead you into a study of linguistics.

We decided to skip all that, and just let you enjoy some rich iconography on view at various Harley-Davidson rallies around the USA during the company's 2003 centennial year. The photographer was Peter Turnley, whose PeterTurnley.com web site offers an insight into a large body of work spanning 30 years and 85 countries.

Peter's web site is one of those that is so rich, even though thankfully well organized, that we are uncertain where best to point you for your first visit. From a visual standpoint the portfolios and the fine art prints are good places to start; and for a more literate approach Peter's journal or biography are good alternatives. The writing gives an interesting insight into the creation of images that have become part of a very different iconography, one created from world news events.

Monday, 26 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Western Experience Interpreters
CREDIT: © TreasureNet.com/Western & Eastern Treasures
WHERE: the Old West. WHAT: newspapermen, reporters, & artists.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5][6] pop-up source pages.
Canon de Chelle [Ariz. Terr.] © TreasureNet.comPress Party on the 100th Meridien © TreasureNet.comDaily Reporter, Boxelder Co., Utah Terr. © TreasureNet.comMcKay, San Francisco Bulletin reporter 1 © TreasureNet.comMcKay, San Francisco Bulletin reporter 2 © TreasureNet.com © TreasureNet.comJohn K. Hillers, Aquarius Plateau, Utah Terr. © TreasureNet.com
During the second half of the 19th century, what was then known as the New West (confusingly, now known as the Old West), was opening up to mainly white European settlement. There was an eager audience back in the Old East and in Europe for reportage on this new frontier. In some ways this must have been similar to the audience for the NASA space program of the second half of the 20th century, though the technologies of the 19th century were much simpler.

Newspapers were the cutting edge medium of those days, and there is a whole story to be told about the writers and artists who went west to record events. Some pioneering photographers went too, though the requirement to haul heavy equipment, darkroom tents, glass plates and chemicals, must have made it more a test of strength, endurance, and perseverance than an artistic endeavour.

Western & Eastern Treasures is a magazine for owners of those machines that detect buried treasure, the self styled Metal Detectorists. They also offer a vintage picture archive: buried treasure comes in many forms. We selected six photographs that feature Old West newspaper persons, reporters, or artists, gathered together under the title 'Interpreters of the Western Experience'. Click on the thumbnails to load the host pages with details about the pictures, where you will also find links to load hi-res versions of the images (large monitor recommended).

Sunday, 25 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Record Dispute Over Sundial Size
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: Perranporth, Cornwall, England. WHAT: giant cliff top sundial.
MAP: Perranporth. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Perranporth Millennium Sundial © Charles WinpennyAs part of the millennium celebrations, the town of Perranporth on the north coast of the English county of Cornwall built this giant sundial. Perranzabuloe parish is home to the sundial, and it is said that St. Piran, one of several patron saints of Cornwall, landed here after a miraculous journey from Ireland. Eileen Carter's annotated photo gallery provides a detailed record the excavations (now been reburied for protection) of the saint's oratory.

More details about the construction and history of the Perranporth sundial are available from ChyCor.co.uk web site ('chy' is the Cornish language word for 'house'), and more pictures and information Graham Cullingford at GeeCee.co.uk

Mention of size inevitably leads to the question of which is the world's largest of whatever class of entity is under discussion. The world's largest sundial is claimed to be the one at Pajala in Sweden, though when we checked the GWR [Guinness World Records] web site only the smallest sundial was listed. GWR may be silent on the subject of the largest sundial because of counter claims by a long list of places, notably Jaipur, India, Lloydminister, Alberta, Canada, Carefree, Arizona, USA, and even Florida Disney World making a claim for a remarkable construction.

More than one site claims to have received Guiness authentication, but the saddest tale is the fate that befell the North Little Rock, Arkansas, claimant. For further sundial research there are specialist web sites in both the USA, and the UK

Saturday, 24 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Learn To See By Having To Look
CREDIT: © Brian P. Lawler/CreativePro.com
WHERE: California Polytechnic State Uni. WHAT: Graphic Communication course.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page article (then scroll down for larger image).

Natural Type © Brian P. LawlerBrian P. Lawler teaches typography as part of the Graphic Communication course at CalPoly [the California Polytechnic State University]. The poster project, 'Stalking the Wily Ampersand', was done by the students as part of their course work.

You may read the full project story on the CreativePro.com web site. The Natural Type poster, shown left, was a palpable result of the project, but we suspect that learning to see by having to look was probably a far more valuable achievement. We intend to do the project ourselves, and if we can think of a creative variation on the theme, then results will appear here at some future date.

For a limited period only, the Natural Type poster prints created by Brian Lawler's CalPoly students are available for $10 plus $3.50 shipping: check the sidebar in the CreativePro.com feature web page for more details on how to order.

One of the downsides to industrial designers dumbing down camera operations is that picture taking has become trivialized. Projects like these can redress the balance: we will look out for others.

Friday, 23 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Trash Collecting Elephant Day
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/CAMwrangler.com
WHERE: Hurricane, Utah, USA. WHAT: local excitement of trash collecting day.
MAP: Hurricane, Utah, USA. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Trash Collecting Elephant © Ian Scott ParkerWe featured a desert sewer cleaning camel earlier this month. One reader wrote in to say how amused she was by the fake excitement of such a humdrum event, used as a literary conceit to entertain our web site visitors. Lady, that was no conceit, that was the most exciting day we had around here in months! Earlier today, as is normally the case on a Thursday morning, the giant trash collecting elephant made its way around our neighborhood.

One mighty sweep of its mechanical trunk to empty the wheelie dumpster, a trumpet blast from the diaphragm of its air brakes, then it roared off to the next stop. As the process was repeated, in the opposite direction up the other side of the street, the reason for the replacement elephant in the last couple of visits could be clearly seen: the front driving side fender had been bashed, and then repaired.

Mildred, it's a jungle out there, I tell you… or a desert, at least.

Smell Skid-Doo Any Other Way
CREDIT: © Kurt Schwehr/Schwehr.org
WHERE: Devon Island, Canada. WHAT: sewage outfall Ski-Doo warning.
MAP: Devon Island. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Ski-Doo Warning © Kurt SchwehrAnother reader, one alert to every tiny mouse of a mistake it seems, spotted that in yesterday's feature 'Ski-Doo' was misspelled. Ski-Doo is a registered trade name, so it is supposed to have one of those spotty ® symbols to soothe the corporate paranoia about identity theft. We checked the web for the correct spelling, and discovered the Ski-Doo company, founded in Valcourt, Quebec, Canada in 1942 by Joseph-Armand Bombardier (1907-1964) called 'Father of Snowmobiling: the J. Armand Bombardier Museum has more.

During our web search we came across Kurt Schwehr's web site. Kurt, it seems, has done work connected with the 'Mars Rover' project, and in 1998 was in Devon Island, Nunavut Territory, Canada, between Baffin and Ellesmere Islands, for the Terrain Modeling of an Arctic Impact Crater part of the NASA Haughton-Mars Project. Devon Island, presumably not counting visiting researchers, is the largest uninhabited island in the world. We had misspelled 'Ski-Doo' as 'Skid-doo', but looking at that picture in Kurt's gallery, well, we're not so sure that we were too far adrift!

Thursday, 22 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Range & Pump Wars Are Long Gone
CREDIT: © Steven F. Schluter/CCSinclair.com
WHERE: Cook City, MT, USA. WHAT: local events & info at the Sinclair gas station.
MAP: Cook City. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.

Cook City Exxon 1 by Susan © Steven SchluterIt seems that both range wars and pump wars are a thing of the past, at least in Cooke City, Montana. The local Sinclair gas station runs a web site, CCSinclair.com, where you can catch up on local events and the weather. When we checked it looked to be foggy, with swirls of snow in the wind: the daily picture & weather page featured pictures by Susan from the local Exxon gas station. They appear to be real friendly folks in Cooke City, with a true sense of community and getting along with the neighbors.

Cook City Exxon 2 by Susan © Steven SchluterThe Exxon station is for sale (asking $1.5 million, "financial information shared with qualified serious purchasers"), apply through MontanaLegacy.com. A mountain lodge, "in the heart of it all", will set you back $474,900. All this is probably just the thing for snow sports enthusiasts, who will doubtless appreciate the finer points of the various Ski-Doo pictures on the site. Walking out to enjoy the late evening sunshine of a pleasant spring day in the southern Utah desert… well, we decided we are happy just where we are!

Wednesday, 21 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Magic Memories From My Mindscape
CREDIT: © Charles Winpenny/CornwallCAM.co.uk
WHERE: the English county of Somerset, England. WHAT:
MAP: Minehead, and Stogumber. Thumbnail clicks pop-up larger images.
Butlin's Minehead © Charles WinpennyStogumber Station © Charles Winpenny
Ian Scott-Parker writes: CornwallCAM.co.uk webmaster Charles Winpenny is taking a short break in the nearby county of Somerset. The panorama of the seaside town of Minehead brought on another attack of anecdotage, a recurrent ailment that is beginning to weaken my already tenuous grip on both reality and the present.

More years ago than I care to remember (that is to say well after WWII but before the Sixties), following the success of our first holiday, our second family holiday was a long trip south in our first car, a Standard Vanguard Phase III. Delayed by a problem with the linkage bolts in the column gear shift, we arrived in Minehead late at night, found a piece of open ground, and set up camp.

Early the following morning we were rudely awoken by the sound of heavy earth moving equipment, which had arrived on site that very day to begin construction of the latest Billy Butlin's holiday camp, seen on the right hand side of the panorama!

The train in the Stogumber Station picture somehow looks incomplete without an appropriately expressive Thomas the Tank Engine face: for this you will have your own memories, or know only the modern multiple media cross marketed version.

Tuesday, 20 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Modern Chicago High Rise Skyline
CREDIT: © ChicagoPictures.com
WHERE: Chicago, Illinois, USA. WHAT: skyline of the modern city.
MAP: Chicago. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4]pop-up source pages with larger images.
Chicago 1 © ChicagoPictures.comChicago 2 © ChicagoPictures.comChicago 3 © ChicagoPictures.comChicago 4 © ChicagoPictures.com
We have an upcoming feature connected to Chicago, Illinois, USA. In the era we will be discussing, the town would have looked completely different from its modern appearance: in fact it would have been semi wilderness. So we decided to feature the modern city skyline, before we stepped back in time for the feature.

Oreo: May 1990 - 19 April 2004


A noble dog, and faithful companion, who will be sorely missed.

Monday, 19 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Wet Wet Wet, But Not That Band
CREDIT: © Ann Bowker/Mad About Mountains
WHERE: Cumbria, England. WHAT: hills and valleys of the Lake District.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3] pop-up larger images.
Carrock Fell © Ann BowkerCaldew Valley © Ann BowkerSeathwaite Fell © Ann Bowker
Ian Scott-Parker writes: In the space of just two days Ann Bowker has managed to push the majority of my emotional buttons for childhood memories and expatriate longings. The first mountain I ever climbed was Carrock Fell, seen in the first picture but from other aspects much more elegant than the pudding lump it appears from this viewpoint, accompanied by my father after much pestering and reminders that promises are made to be kept. The first night I ever spent camping, with my sister in an ex-US Army bivvy tent on the first proper holiday our family ever took, was spent in the small meadow from which the picture was taken.

The lush pasture in the second picture is the valley of the River Caldew. Embowered by the clump of trees in the distance lies a house on which I centered fantasies of becoming rich and famous, then buying the house for my mother to spend the Autumn of her years tending her gardens. The ridge in the center of the picture is Coomb Height, leading up to the summit of Knott, which is a massive fell around whose edges I have spent many wandering days. On the slopes of Coomb I picked bleaberries into a tin billycan, which were baked into a delicious pie. To my knowledge, none of the world's famous restaurants have even heard of such exotic fruit.

When I next climbed a mountain it was with a group from my father's work place, up Seathwaite Fell seen in the third picture, by way of Styhead Pass and Styhead Tarn. On that occasion we found the rain gauge that supplies the data to support Seathwaite village's claim to be the wettest inhabited place in Great Britain.

Average annual rainfall in Seathwaite is 130 inches, though this pales beside the global record of over 1,000 inches in a single year experienced in Meghalaya, at least before the 2001 'drought' of just 363 inches. The desert where I now live receives about the same rainfall in a year as Seathwaite's British 'single day in a particular month' records of 7.17" on 22 April 1970 and 6.78" on 08 May 1884.

It has come to my attention that just before reaching one's dotage there is a brief period of anecdotage. If this is where I am now, it is comforting that my old bones may end up bleaching in the sunshine, rather than moldering in the dank atmosphere of my homeland. Even if it is to be so, a prolonged visit would be welcome.

Sunday, 18 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: A Big Hand For The Last Man Home
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/PishTush.com
WHERE: Hurricane, Utah, USA. WHAT: local bicycling races.
MAP: Hurricane, Utah, USA. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Hurricane Races © Ian Scott ParkerWe attended a local wedding on Saturday evening. Without benefit of chemical assistance, or louche behavior, the folks round here certainly know how to party! Dusk was falling as we made our way home, and there was a bicycle race in progress. We read the local newspaper every day, watch the local TV news program, and generally try to stay in touch, but this is the second local bicycling event we have missed. At some point one begins to wonder if it is solely one's own responsibility to be informed, or if the responsibility for failure to communicate lies elsewhere. Harumph!

Under the circumstances, the pictures were on the poor side of barely usable: try Graham Watson if you want to see how it should be done. It was, though, a pleasant surprise. We caught most of the last race. We chatted to one of the eliminated racers, who had travelled the 265 miles south from Salt Lake City. There was a bunch sprint for the line, fairly won by a big built sprinter. Most of the race a rider had been hanging on fifty seconds behind the peleton, never quite falling far enough behind to be eliminated. Fittingly he was given the biggest ovation for his perseverance.

Saturday, 17 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Mountains With Personalities
CREDIT: © Andy Bannister/LakeDistrictDesktops.com
WHERE: Wasdale, English Lake District. WHAT: mountain of character & personality.
MAP: Yewbarrow. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Yewbarrow © Andy BannisterLakeDistrictDesktops.com webmaster Andy Bannister has the good fortune to be spending a week in the Lake District, which means in turn visitors to the web site have the good fortune to receive double the usual number of updates. We chose this shapely mountain, Yewbarrow, which rises up from the Wasdale valley, with the lake of Wastwater just visible on the right of the picture. If you are one of those people prone to investing human characteristics in inanimate objects, we suggest a fine Irish tenor on a soaring arpeggio. Begorra!

Friday, 16 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Fishing In Alaska With The Bears
CREDIT: © Anton Littau/Littau.net   MAP: Katmai, National Park.
WHERE: Brooks Falls, Katmai NP & Preserve, Alaska, USA. WHAT: fishing bear.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.

Brown Bear Catching Fish at Brooks Falls, Alaska © Anton LittauAnton Littau serves up a daily picture, and we delved into his archives for this picture of a brown bear catching a fish at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska. The web site features the work of a number of photographers, and the daily pictures are gathered together into monthly galleries, twenty five to date. Our regular niggle: some gallery navigation method that reduces repeated mouse clicking and back button shuffling is needed.

Another photographer with a Katmai collection is QT Luong on his TerraGalleria.com web site, where he gives away a few trade secrets about taking pictures of the bears! More visitor information is available from the official National Park web site, and John William Uhler's unofficial web site has other useful information, including a map.

Thursday, 15 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Free Ale Often Affects Judgement
CREDIT: © Roger Stacey/Ottawa Rambling Club
WHERE: northern England/southern Scotland. WHAT: Pennine Way long distance trail.
MAPS: Edale, Great Shunner Fell, and Kirk Yetholm.
Thumbnail click pops-up larger image from the source web site.

Thwaite from Kisden Hill © Roger Stacey/Ottawa Rambling ClubThe Pennine Way was Britain's first long distance footpath. It runs from Edale, in Derbyshire, to Kirk Yetholm just over the border in Scotland. Among those who have completed the 268 miles to claim the glass of ale offered by guidebook author Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991) as an enticement to counter flagging resolve, opinions vary widely.

We consulted Canadian walker Roger Stacey from the Ottawa Rambling Club, whose opinions were, contrary to what the club name might lead one to expect, concise and clearly expressed in straightforward Anglo-Saxon! Roger's picture shows Thwaite from Kisden Hill, with Great Shunner Fell on the left. You will see that the landscape is dotted by distinctive stone built barns, an unusual feature of this area of northern England, which is known as 'The Dales'.

The official web site of the Pennine Way offers help, including [1] trailmaps, [2] highlights, and [3] slideshows. Potential walkers may want other opinions before deciding to go or not. Steve Watson & Bob Mack passed this way and the conclusion to Steve's trip report makes for sobering reading (pun absolutely intended).

Wednesday, 14 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Accessorize For The Judges' Eyes
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/CAMwrangler.com
WHERE: Hurricane, Utah, USA. WHAT: annual Easter car show.
MAP: Hurricane, Utah, USA. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4]pop-up larger images.
[1] Hurricane Easter Car Show © Ian Scott Parker[2] Hurricane Easter Car Show © Ian Scott Parker[3] Hurricane Easter Car Show © Ian Scott Parker[4] Hurricane Easter Car Show © Ian Scott Parker
We have already featured our favorites from the Hurricane Easter Car Show 2004, but these four zany entries caught our eye for this feature to announce the opening of our full 2004 gallery. You may also enjoy a visit to the 2003, and 2002 galleries, which are still on line. Full show details and official pictures, which usually appear later in the year, may be found on the Rotary Club of Hurricane Valley, Utah web site.

Tuesday, 13 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Irish-African, All-American Hero
CREDITS: © Melvin Sylvester/Long Island University, B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library; © California Historical Society/CaliforniaHistory.net; and © Dean Rudy for the Mountain Men and the Fur Trade Virtual Research Center Project.
WHERE: emergent United States in the Old West. WHAT: the life of Jim Beckwourth.
MAP: Marysville, CA. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3] pop-up larger images/source pages.

James Pierson Beckwourth © African Americans & The Old West, Long Island University, B. Davis Schwartz Memorial LibraryOur quest, for non whites who contributed to the emerging United States of America, began on Professor Melvin Sylvester's 'African Americans and the Old West' on line exhibition in the Long Island University, B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library web site. If you visit, as part of a non white history you may read about James Pierson Beckwourth (1798-1866), and see this fine portrait.

A comprehensive source of information about Beckwourth is Mark Bradley's Beckwourth.org web site for 'Beckwourth Frontier Days', a living history festival that takes place in Marysville, California, every year in October.

A few issues past, we referred to a tale about Beckwourth's pioneer pass storming, which allegedly never received the contractually agreed payment. You may read the tale (remembering that at least half of the history is myth), among much other Western lore, on Bubba's TOWWR [The Old West Web Ride] web site. Whatever the ancillary details, it seems certain that in 1850 Beckwourth discovered a new route from Reno, Nevada, to Sacramento, California, avoiding the perilous Donner Pass.

Beckwourth's route through the Beckwourth Pass was heavily trafficked for only five years, but was important for the emigrant wagon trains heading west. Virtually active visitors may accompany modern trail stormers as they follow the old routes, whilst the more sedentary reader may check with Don Wiggins for the latest historical research: there is controversy among historians about the routes from the Truckee Meadows in the present Reno-Sparks area of Nevada, which is where the westward trails diverged. When published, Wiggins' work will contribute to the on going debate.

Beckwourth In Hunting Clothes © California Historical SocietyJames Pierson Beckwourth was a mulatto, son of an Irish father and his black slave. His life story is half myth, some of it of his own invention ghost written for him by TD Bonner in 'The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth', and half recognized historical truth; both are succinctly summarized in an article by Jeffrey D. Nicholson on the UHTG [Utah History To Go] web site.

In a Gold Rush feature, the California Historical Society's web site 'California History On Line' has a picture of Beckwourth in 'hunting clothes' from the 'autobiography' by TD Bonner. An account in Beckwourth's own words is also claimed in 'The Great Salt Lake Trail' by Colonel Henry Inman (Late Assistant Quartermaster, United States Army) and Colonel William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody (Late Chief of Scouts), which may be read in full as an on line text from the Globusz Publishing web site.

Beckwourth © Mountain Men and the Fur TradeOur third picture of Beckwourth comes from a section named 'A Majority of Scoundrels' in the 'Images of Fur Trade History' gallery on the MM&FT [Mountain Men and the Fur Trade Virtual Research Center Project] web site. Beckwourth's adult life in the Old West began when he signed on with Wm. Ashley's fur trapping expedition, possibly offering his blacksmithing trade as an incentive.

Other interesting sources of non white history and Beckwourth specific information are: [1] 'Beyond the Pale: African-Americans in the Fur Trade West' by William W. Gwaltney, Superintendent, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, National Park Service; [2] City of Portola, James Beckwourth Museum, which preserves a log cabin believed to have been built by Beckwourth; [3] James P. Beckwourth Mountain Club, which lists books and articles, and has a historical re-enactment section; and for philatelists a Beckwourth [4] stamp, and a [5] first day cover.

Monday, 12 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Easter 2004 Hurricane Car Show
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/CAMwrangler.com
WHERE: Hurricane, Utah, USA. WHAT: annual Easter car show.
MAP: Hurricane, Utah, USA. Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4] pop-up larger images.
Monster&nbspTruck © Ian Scott ParkerYellowstone Tourer © Ian Scott ParkerBeetle & Beetlehaus © Ian Scott ParkerCherries & Ice Cream © Ian Scott Parker
Easter Saturday is the Hurricane Car Show day, and this year was the 19th edition. Entry numbers were up on last year, with many new faces (we wanted to say 'fascias' as a pun, but our American translator has advised that this word for a motor car dashboard is uniquely British English, along with wing for fender, boot for trunk, and bonnet for hood) among many regular entries. We will do another selection of entries on Wednesday, which will be linked to a full gallery of pictures taken at the show.

Sunday, 11 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: The Desert Sewer Cleaning Camel
CREDIT: © Ian Scott-Parker/CAMwrangler.com
WHERE: Hurricane, Utah, USA. WHAT: sewer cleaning operations.
MAP: Hurricane, Utah, USA. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Desert Sewer Cleaning Camel © Ian Scott ParkerWe live in a quiet neighborhood, on a very quiet street. A few weeks ago our local fire department despatched an appliance that came past the end of our street with lights ablaze and sirens wailing, but it turned out to be a false alarm. The usual highlight of the week is Thursday, when our town's waste management department sends a truck with a hydraulic arm that lifts and dumps out the household trash wheelie bins. It is an empty week if we sleep late and miss the show.

Last Wednesday, quite unexpectedly while we were anticipating the excitement expected on the following day, the waste water management department sent a sewer cleaning truck called a Camel. It has to be said that all the other kids in our sub division maintained an aloof detachment towards this treat. Most of them are at least half a century younger than we are, and this must explain their jaded ennui: old enough to have been bombarded with sensory stimulation from TV violence, and too young to be allowed the freedom to roam the web, they are clearly at an in between stage when saying, "So… is that it?", counts as a poised and street wise response.

Not us! Clad only in house schlepping garb, our slippered feet shuffled eagerly out into the world to inspect this activity at closer quarters. The operators were quick and efficient, soon finishing their task with the practised familiarity of a slick routine. No spillages, crashes, or other untoward occurrences happened. Briefly we wondered if the boom might short out the overhead electricity cables, but these guys had been there, done that, and lived to tell the tale. Even so, it was a day to remember!

The following day we waited for the trash collector, fearful that the weekly highlight might now seem tame; dull even. No truck appeared until late afternoon. There must have been a mechanical problem with the usual truck, because the one that did arrive was a different model with a different method of lifting the wheelie bins. We hope next week passes without incident, and the neighborhood returns to a familiar routine. All this excitement is proving a little too much for us in our dotage.

Saturday, 10 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: A Titled Carnivore's Perspective
CREDIT: © Ann Bowker/Mad About Mountains
WHERE: Keswick, English Lake District. WHAT: a pair of Spring lambs.
MAPS: Keswick, and Abbotsford. Thumbnail click pops-up larger image.

Keswick Lambs © Ann BowkerIn celebration of the Spring in full swing in these latitudes, albeit thousands of miles east of here and notwithstanding the dark * mutterings of Lady Scott, we decided to feature this picture of lambs in the English Lake District, taken from Ann Bowker's web site. The UK CAM sites [available from the pulldown menu in the page sidebar] are recording all the expected delights of this season of new life.

From snowdrops, through primroses (our own favorites) and crocus, to daffodils and cherry blossom, the CAMs bring visual pleasure; later in the year the intoxicating perfumes of the flowers or blossoms of honeysuckle, elder, and hawthorn will require deprived desert dwelling expatriates to exercise their imaginations.

After a short divertissement over Easter, on Tuesday we will return to the subject of the non white contribution to the development of the Old West. The first subject will be a remarkable man who was never paid his contractual dues for a pioneering task, and had to wait 145 years to be formally acknowledged by the town that defaulted.

* One spring, while strolling through their Abbotsford estate, Sir Walter and Lady Scott passed a field replete with gamboling lambs. "No wonder," Scott remarked, "that poets from the earliest times have made lambs the symbols of peace and innocence."

"Delightful creatures indeed," Lady Scott replied, "especially with mint sauce."

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Scottish novelist.
[Source: D. George, 'Book of Anecdotes']

Friday, 09 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Invisible In Colors Except White
CREDIT: © The Weekly South Dakotan/SD4History.com
WHERE: the emerging American West. WHAT: the contribution of non whites.
MAPS: Dakota Territory, SD state, and Deadwood. Thumbnail click pops-up source.

Deadwood 'Chinatown' Volunteer Fire Dept. © The Weekly South DakotanRegular readers may recall the recent starting point in the town of Deadwood Gulch; then famous resident black cowboy Nat 'Deadwood Dick' Love was followed by two even more famous whites, Joseph Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok and Martha 'Calamity Jane' Canary. Today's thumbnail features the Deadwood 'Chinatown' volunteer fire department. There were about a hundred Chinese people in early Deadwood, most working at hard, menial, low paid jobs.

The romanticized stories of the Old West do not treat whites and non whites on an even handed basis, though this is hardly a historical exception. The documentary record does contain some details about individuals who bucked the trend to under acknowledge, and we will be featuring those who made it through to online history.

Our starting point will be Professor Melvin Sylvester's 'African Americans and the Old West' web site. The online presentation is based on a Long Island University exhibition at the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library, which was then repurposed by webmaster Robert Delaney. Originally scheduled for 'Black History Month, February 2001', this overview of American history from an African American perspective provides a fascinatingly different dimension to the usual assessment of events.

Thursday, 08 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Wild Bill Hickok & Calamity Jane
CREDIT: © AdamsMuseumAndHouse.org
WHERE: Deadwood, SD. WHAT: the life and times of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane.
MAPS: South Dakota and Deadwood. Thumbnail clicks [1][2] pop-up source pages.

Joseph Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok © Adams Museum & HouseMartha 'Calamity Jane' Canary © Adams Museum & HouseThe two most famous people associated with Deadwood, South Dakota, are 'Wild Bill' Hickock and 'Calamity Jane'. Formally Joseph Butler Hickok (1837-1876) and Martha Canary [sometimes 'Cannary'] (1856-1903), you may read their stories at those links, which we chose because they deflate some of the myths surrounding the pair. Places like Deadwood quite reasonably see connections from the colorful past as economic opportunities, but planting sound history makes a more secure investment than growing wild myths.

Wild Bill arrived in Deadwood on Colorado Charlie Utter's wagon train around 12 July, and was murdered on 02 August. Calamity had joined the wagon train at Laramie, and there is other evidence that the two met and were friendly, but there is no evidence for the romanticized myth of eternal love & devotion. The two are buried close one to the other in Mount Moriah cemetery, from where we earlier showed a modern view of Deadwood. Ned Buntline dime novels were an early promoter of such Western myths, including a dime novel fictional character called 'Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road', possibly a lucky alignment with Nat Love. The myth mill has been grinding ever since, obscuring the much more interesting truth about their life and times.

Other sources of information are: Calamity's own tale, under her married name of Burk [sometimes 'Burke']; a picture of both graves from Donna's 'Vagabond Van' tour, November 2002 page; the WSD [Weekly South Dakotan] for a concise history, especially 'A Time of Strife', and Custer, Gordon, and the picture page for Wild Bill, Calamity, and a redoubtable cigar chomping Brit named 'Poker Alice'.

Today's thumbnails were chosen from the gallery in the photostore on the Adams Museum and House web site. There are several pictures of both Wild Bill Hickock or Calamity Jane widely available on the web, but we thought this resource was especially useful because the images are varied, and 8"x10" prints may be purchased at low prices. We chose Wild looking Bill looking a little less poker faced than is usual, and Calamity in her normal clothes rather than the cross dressing publicity shots that were probably startling in her own day.

Wednesday, 07 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Who Was The Real Deadwood Dick?
CREDIT: © University of North Carolina/Documenting the American South
WHERE: Deadwood, Dakota Territory. WHAT: the life & times of Deadwood Dick.
MAPS: South Dakota and Deadwood. Thumbnail click pops-up source page.

Nat Love & Family © University of North CarolinaJust as Deadwood Gulch became a vague entry in many people's internal gazetteer, so Deadwood Dick is listed in many internal address books. A tiny, unscientific survey suggested that people recognize the soubriquet, though the best identification we managed to get was that he was a character invented by a Western writer. Several men claimed to be the real Deadwood Dick, but Nat Love (1854-1921) probably has the best claim based on his memoirs. The invention by a Western writer may not be too far wide of the mark in some of the more heroic details, but the broader sweep of the narrative seems solid enough. Better yet, there are photographs!

In his book 'Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as "Deadwood Dick," by Himself; a True History of Slavery Days, Life on the Great Cattle Ranges and on the Plains of the "Wild and Woolly" West, Based on Facts, and Personal Experiences of the Author' published in Los Angeles, California, 1907, there are seven more photographs: [1] Roping Contest at Deadwood, SD, holding a lariat; [2] In My Fighting Clothes, much the same as the last one, but holding a rifle; [3] My First Experience as a Pullman Porter; [4] This is Where I Shine. Now I am Out for the Money; [5] Close of My Railroad Career; [6] With Wm. Blood, My Old Cowboy Friend, and Other Friends at the Close of My Railroad Career; and [7] With the General Securities Company. A late 19th century career in pictures.

The photographs, and the line drawings that also bring the tale alive, are listed on an illustrations index page, with printing details, and extensive hypertext reference links from the contents page for the electronic edition of the text.

The history of the West has been written from a white Anglo perspective. There are other stories to be told: the highest estimate for the non-white contribution to cowboy history, given by Dr. Richard W. Slatta, estimates Anglos at 63%, African-Americans at 25%, and Mexicans or Mexican-Americans at 12%. Immigrant Chinese people were also significant contributors to the development of the West, and all these groups have probably been under represented in the historical accounts. After looking at some of Deadwood's 'mainstream' characters, we will then seek out some of 'marginalised' non Anglos who do appear in the documentary record of the emerging West.

Tuesday, 06 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Deadwood Gulch Past And Present
CREDIT [L to R]: © AmericasLibrary.gov © CalamityRose.com
WHERE: Deadwood, South Dakota, USA. WHAT: the city then & now.
MAP: South Dakota and Deadwood. Thumbnail clicks [1][2] pop-up larger images.

Deadwood 1900 © AmericasLibrary.govDeadwood Now © Calamity Rose Bed & BreakfastDeadwood Gulch is one of those names that once heard passes into the personal gazetteer of places never to be forgotten, even if one's knowledge of its exact location is vague at best. Like the Last Chance Saloon, the Yellow Brick Road, and the Golden Spike, the line between myth and reality becomes blurred.

Historically in the Dakota Territory, but now in the state of South Dakota, the entire City of Deadwood makes up a single entry on the NHS [National Historic Register]. As an introduction, before we visit some of the legendary sites and people that make this place so interesting, we decided to show Deadwood old and new. Ed Gerken has a page of Black Hills mining historical pictures, with many more available on a CD. Nick Barlow has a gallery of photographs of modern Deadwood, taken when he passed this way researching a forthcoming book, which will use some of the emails he sent home. Other than now, no reference will be made to the HBO TV program.

Monday, 05 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Biggest Tall Ship In The World
CREDIT: © Philippe Gambet/STS Sedov Tour
WHERE: Penzance, and Liverpool, England; Brest, France; Murmansk, Russia.
WHAT: world's biggest tall ship. MAPS: Penzance, Liverpool, Brest, Murmansk.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up larger images from source web site.
STS Sedov Full Sail © Philippe GambetSTS Sedov Rigging 1 © Philippe GambetSTS Sedov Wheel © Philippe GambetSTS Sedov Rigging 2 © Philippe GambetSTS Sedov In Port © Philippe Gambet
Last Friday Charles Winpenny at CornwallCAM.co.uk was showing pictures of the STS Sedov - 'Sedov' is СЕДОВ in Cyrillic alphabet capitals, from Georij Sedov the Russian polar explorer after whom the ship was named, but we were unable to discover the meaning of 'STS', although 'Sail Training Ship' and 'Segel Trainingsschiff' seem likely candidates. Anchored off Penzance on a visit from her home port of Murmansk, Russia, the ship makes an imposing sight even in the distance. The German-built four-masted barque was handed over to the Russians as war reparation after WWII, and is the largest sailing ship in the world.

Once again we struck a language barrier, but fortunately the official web site has English and German versions. We thought the official site had too few pictures for our present needs, although it was strong on background history and statistics.

For a phototour of the vessel we selected Philippe Gambet's site, with pictures taken when the Sedov visited Brest, France: although the captions are in French, this hardly matters because the images are mostly self explanatory, especially for those who first visited the official site. Philippe has fifty pictures in nine galleries, which made his site the most photographically comprehensive site we were able to find.

In 1992, when the Sedov visited Liverpool, England, webmaster Les St Clair captured three pictures [1][2][3], a dramatic bow shot and two pictures with the ship decked out in festive night time illumination.

Sunday, 04 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Casting Pearls Before Swine
CREDIT: © Dave Newton/Daves-Lakeland-Mountains.co.uk
WHERE: English Lake District. WHAT: good dogs, fine summits.
MAP: English Lake District. Thumbnail clicks [1][2]pop-up larger images.

Megan on Carrock © David NewtonHolly on Steel Fell © David NewtonAfter several months of struggling with relocation problems, Dave Newton is back with a double [1][2] update! Dave muses upon the vagaries of entering photographic competitions, and the seemingly impossible task of pleasing the self-important, self-appointed judges.

OK we 'fess up: 'self-important' and 'self-appointed' were our words, not Dave's: we regret the inaccuracy; sometimes we are not self-appointed. Our own view is that anyone incapable of empathizing with the pleasure of being with one's dog on a Lakeland summit is clearly lacking in any aesthetic gravitas or, through a missed experience of one of life's essential formative experiences, possesses a seriously impoverished critical faculty. On reflection they deserve pity not condemnation.

The King James Bible offers the following advice when it says in Matthew 7:6 'Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.' Personally, because we think advice that is not accompanied by convincing supporting explanation is suspect, we ignore the bit about dogs. The bit about swine is good advice, despite its regrettably implicit anti-porcine prejudice: we have known a number of pigs whose company was infinitely preferable to some people we have met.

Saturday, 03 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Quiet Desperation In Life & Song
CREDIT: © Peter Grant/The Peter Green Web Site
WHERE: United Kingdom. WHAT: the Blues and Peter Green.
Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.

Peter Green © Peter GrantAlert readers of yesterday's feature may have spotted that the Fleetwood Mac poster in the middle of the thumbnail strip showed a band member unfamiliar to many, unless they were around in the latter half of the 1960s, or are sufficiently enthusiastic fans of the group to have done some research. 'Fleetwood Mac', the archetypal West Coast soft rock band was formed in England in 1967 from members of 'John Mayall's Bluesbreakers', and was at first called 'Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac'. In this composite name 'Fleetwood' was drummer Mick Fleetwood, and 'Mac' was guitarist John McVie. The gifted blues guitarist on the poster is Peter Green.

Peter Allen Greenbaum was born in Bethnal Green, London, England in 1946, shortening his name to Peter Green when he became a professional musician. He was brought in by John Mayall to replace Eric Clapton who had gone on an extended vacation to Greece. Clapton returned briefly, and when he finally left permanently he was again replaced by Green in the ever changing Bluesbreakers line-up.

The notion of a British Blues movement may seem odd, for as Peter Grant remarks the Thames Basin and the Mississippi Delta are not twinned with one another. Grant's article is worth reading to make sense of how the musical influences of Delta Blues contributed to the development of popular music in the 1960s and beyond. Green's own contribution is probably best summed up by an often quoted BB King remark to the effect that Green was the only guitarist who ever made him sweat.

A brief aside on research using the Internet: that last remark from BB King has been peddled in various forms, most commonly referring to sweating, though sometimes tingling is offered as an alternative. There is a story about Peter Green, a rifle (probably an air powered rifle as sometimes mentioned, rather than a more deadly firearm), and an unwanted publisher's royalty check. In some versions Green opened fire on a delivery messenger; in other versions he threatened the publisher but without actually having the gun in his hands at the time; yet another variant, flying in the face of other band member's reports that Green wanted to give away all his money, has him threatening the publisher for unpaid royalties.

Earlier Blues legends arose from a paucity of information, such as the tales surrounding Robert Johnson: it seems that with the growth of the Internet, legends have and will arise from an excess of information. On this web site we try to avoid retreading the more chattering anecdotes, but in the absence of authoritative sources (a casualty of the democratization of publication), we do repeat the general tenor of common legends, as perceived if not actual truths.

The generally perceived truth is that Peter Green became a heavy user of hallucinogenic drugs, and the effect on his psychological health was devastating. Jan Freedland & John Fitzgerald at FMlegacy.com cover the details in a sympathetic biography. Sporadically Green would surface after leaving Fleetwood Mac, to make a fleeting personal appearance or issue a recording.

In the late 1990s there seemed to be a chance of recovery and a return that at least hinted at the genius identified in earlier years. Forming 'Peter Green's Splinter Group' [PG-SG] with the support of an old friend Nigel Watson, the signs seemed good. Amongst various other works, two albums of covers of all of Robert Johnson's known work were issued, [1] 'The Robert Johnson Songbook', and [2] 'Hot Foot Powder'.

Critical reception from the informed was affectionate and respectful rather than enthusiastic. When Eric Clapton released 'Me & Mr Johnson' last month we expected parallels to be drawn, but that seems not to have happened.

Recently, we have listened to all three albums extensively. Those who are informed on such matters have written that PG-SG lack fire, or a sense of agony even, compared with old time Bluesmen. The band is further charged with lacking polish, though all these criticisms are leavened with the affection and respect to which we alluded earlier. While not specifically arguing against what we have read, our own findings, at the expense of sounding a little artful and far fetched, are that the PG-SG tracks are like a cross between belly dancing and Henry David Thoreau's 'Walden': the genius arrives in a brief flash, observed only by those who are immersed and attentive, and the Blues spirit is indeed neither fiery nor agonized, but characterized rather by world weary quiet desperation. On that basis we rate Green ahead of Clapton on this occasion. Singing the words clearly is always a plus point!

A Splinter Group tour ended in December 2003. Reports say Peter Green's affairs were being managed by the PGO and COP [Public Guardianship Office & Court of Protection]. Immediately after the tour ended the other band members say they received letters from the COP advising them of Greens intentions to quit the band, dashing plans for the planned 2004 tour. Green's present whereabouts and condition seem to be only known to the PGO. Perhaps another legend in the making for the end of the next century. We wish Peter Green peace in his own time.

There is an official PG-SG [Peter Green Splinter Group] web site that may be speaking volumes with its silence. We keep a watching brief.

Friday, 02 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: A Poster Boy For The Poster Boys
CREDIT: © Bob Masse/BMasse.com
WHERE: Vancouver, BC, Canada. WHAT: psychedelic poster artist Bob Masse.
Thumbnail clicks [1][2][3][4][5] pop-up source pages with larger image.
Grateful Dead © Bob MasseYardbirds © Bob MasseFleetwood Mac © Bob MasseSteve Miller Band © Bob MasseCream © Bob Masse
When what you do makes it onto the 'Antiques Roadshow' program, then it's time to retire or get a web site. Recent editions of the program have featured rare posters fetching many thousands of dollars. Fortunately Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, psychedelic poster artist Bob Masse decided to get a web site, where for modest sums you may buy posters that have been attracting interest from serious collectors of poster art. The lawyer insisted we point out that this is not investment advice.

Paul Gouldhawke's 'Picnic' web site, an online interview magazine, did an interview with Masse in which he talked about his work along with some recollections of the sixties. For the thumbnail strip we chose five examples that we liked, and Bob's web site has an extensive selection. Bob is not peddling moribund memorabilia, however; when we logged onto his home page, we found it featured the commemorative poster for the 04 April 2004 Juno Awards, to be held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The artists featured in the thumbnail strip (L to R) are: Grateful Dead, Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac, Steve Miller Band, and Cream. Ah, the memories…

Thursday, 01 April 2004

Pix Of The Day: Chichen Itza Before & After
CREDIT: © Joe Maller/JoeMaller.com
WHERE: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. WHAT: ancient Mayan astronomical calendar.
MAP: Yucatan. Thumbnail click pops-up source page with larger image.

El Castillo, Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico © Joe MallerThe surviving remains at Chichen Itza are a startling glimpse into the once great Mayan culture. Joe Maller visited Mexico in April 2000, visiting and photographing three sites, each now with a separate gallery: [1] Cancun; [2] Tulum; and [3] Chichen Itza. Today's thumbnail shows the steps on the front of El Castillo at Chichen Itza, the structure serving originally as an astronomical calendar. Visit Joe's galleries for more views of the remains.

In this part of the world archaeologists had to dig the ruins out of the jungle that had overtaken them since they were abandoned by the original inhabitants: a Nova web site shows the original conditions, at this and other sites, before excavation.

Anyone who is involved with digital image manipulation may enjoy investigating parts of Joe's web site other than the photo galleries. Joe co-presented editions of the well known CD based Lynda.com 'Advanced Photoshop' training courses, and offers various tips and tricks in other computer disciplines. Odd to think that while we are processing Joe's picture for today's thumbnail we may be using skills we learned from following his training material when we used the CD ourselves!

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)