Tag Archives: HISTORY

Mound City Group – National Historical Park

Back in the 1970s, I took my junior high school class to Mound City Group in Chillicothe. Even though I drive past the main site several times a year I haven’t stopped until just a few days ago. I had thrown my back out so I didn’t venture beyond the visitor center area but I got enough pictures and a short video to give one some idea of what is to be found there.

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A Few Words About Protected Words!

On Friday, July 19, 2019, Donald J. Trump said:

“You can’t speak about our country the way those four congressmen – they said, ‘garbage.’ They say things about Israel that’s so bad I’m not even going to repeat them right now.

“They can’t get away with that act.

Essentially Trump is claiming that Americans don’t have the right to say things that he disagrees with or doesn’t like. That somehow the First Amendment of free speech doesn’t apply to those who talk of things that challenge his hegemony of power.

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Columbine to Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton

I find this an interesting graphical illustration of mass shootings in America since Columbine in 1999. I’m not sure what defines a mass shooting but one definition I read says it is any that involved the death of four or more people.

There are several things illustrated by this graphic, the most blatant being the frequency of shootings and the death count. These truths demand some explanation, why are we increasingly in

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The Sin of Greenville

I was watching the Nicole Wallace program this afternoon and much of the discussion centered around Trump’s racist attack on the four Democratic women of color who have become known as, The Squad.

Part of it dealt with those in attendance at last night’s Greenville, NC rally where the assembled crowd shouted in obviously staged unison, “send her back!” This was aimed at the most vulnerable of the targeted Democratic Congresswomen, Ilhan Omar.

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America’s Great Pig War

Most Americans know a little about the times America went to war with Great Britain. There was the War of Independence in 1776 and the War of 1812 in 1812. But how many know anything about the Pig War between America and the mother country?

Over the centuries America has had its problems resolving border disputes between itself and Britain and/or Canada. After all, the border is 5,525 miles long and not, as it seems, a straight line. In the Pacific Northwest, the boundary weaves its way through a large chain of islands and it has not always been sure just which island went with which nation.

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A Little Clarification About the Census & the Constitution

There’s lots of argument these days about what American residents will be asked on the upcoming 2020 census. Trump and the GOP want to ask every person what their citizenship is and the Democrats say no. The question ended up in the SCOTUS and they ruled 5-4 that the question of citizenship could not be asked.

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Clyde Beatty – Bainbridge’s King of the Big Top!

NOTE: I originally published this collection of memories on February 12, 2004. It mostly consists of input from people who knew or knew of Clyde Beatty. 

NOTE X 2: I mentioned on Facebook that I’d recently observed a Clyde Beatty Exhibit or Museum in a Bainbridge storefront. A friend sent me this link to the exhibit and its hours of operation. Click HERE.

Bainbridge’s Clyde Beatty

My wife is a black and white game show addict. During the night, when she can’t sleep, she often watches old reruns of What’s My Line, I’ve Got A Secret, etc. When she sees something that I may be interested in, she will frequently record it for me. Last night she was watching a rerun of What’s My Line and the featured “Mr. X” turned out to be Bainbridge’s own Clyde Beatty. If you’re too young to remember Clyde, he was a renowned animal trainer who appeared in several movies and with the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus for many years. I did a little Internet snooping and came up with the following information:

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Trying to Understand The US Constitution

I doubt most Americans have read the Constitution and of those who have, they are unaware of what lay beyond the brief and mostly skeletal document. This article from NPR was written to try to provide some of the thinking that went into the document and maybe clear up some of the misconceptions that surround it. In my view, this, or something like it should be required reading for citizenship.


What is the president actually allowed to do under the U.S. Constitution?

It’s a question that’s come up from time to time at NPR, and when it does, we’ve turned to experts such as Kim Wehle, now a law professor and CBS News legal commentator. Now, she’s written a book about it. It’s called How to Read the Constitution — and Why.

Wehle says that all the debates around the constitutionality of various Trump administration policies inspired her to write the book. She says she originally had a contract to write a book for an academic audience but found herself writing for laypeople.

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A Story About Carpet Knives & A Little Jim Crow

When I was a kid and visiting my aunt and uncle in Columbia, SC during the summers many of the Lincoln Street guys carried folding carpet knives. They had lubricated the hinge and over many openings and closings, limbered it up. The trick was to grab the back of the blade’s edge and with a sharp wrist flip, open the knife for whatever action was intended. I thought it was cool and wanted one of those knives for myself. So, one day I journeyed to uptown Columbia and purchased a carpet knife from a long gone Army Navy store.

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A Kindred Spirit

I received this from a friend this morning and it touched my heart. The letter’s author and I share many of the same experiences, both growing up convinced our America was perfect, both seeing some of the real world aboard a US Navy ship, and both coming to learn that America wasn’t the utopia we’d believed it to be. We also share the

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A Little Taste of Sam Hopkins

Most music lovers have probably never heard of Sam Hopkins. But call him Lightnin Hopkins and maybe the light bulb switches on. Hopkins was from Texas and before his death in 1982 he became one of the best known of all the early blues pioneers.  He was also one of the most prolific and frequently recorded.

People always reference Robert Johnson’s style of guitar playing as being the best but best is something hard to define. I personally don’t know any blues picker better than Hopkins.

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The Skill & Art of Flintknapping

The first time I heard of flintknapping was in a college course I took on Western American History. Flintknapping, by the way, is the art and craft of making arrowheads and other stone tools.

If you aren’t aware, the hobby of searching for and collecting Native American artifacts is huge and can be practiced in about any area of the United States. It’s a complex topic that involves periods of time, type of materials used, manufacturing techniques, styles, and the trading of information and materials among the many native tribes.

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The Muffuletto From the North

Sometime in the early 1990s my wife, my son, and I were in the French Quarter of New Orleans and finding ourselves hungry we tripped into the closest restaurant to us; a very old place called the Old Absinthe House. As first-time visitors to NOLA, we didn’t have a clue that we had stumbled into one of the oldest and most famous bars in America. The Absinthe was where Andrew Jackson met the pirate Jean Lafitte to ask help in repelling the British invasion of the lower Mississippi and New Orleans. Lafitte agreed and history was made.

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Horse Manure Stories Involving Krupp, the Kaiser, & My Amish Neighbor

One of my Amish neighbors just opened a harness shop and I was offered a tour. Afterward, I thought he’d be interested in knowing the history of E.L. McClain and his invention of a hinged collar and the manufacturer of collars and horse pads. He said he’d heard that Greenfield’s high school had been built by a millionaire but wasn’t aware of the source of the wealth. We both learned a little something and he sincerely enjoyed the story about McClain’s collars.

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A Few Words About BBQ and Other Things

Ohio never had much of a barbecue heritage and growing up there I had no knowledge of what real barbecue was. I also had no knowledge of the great variety and the forever argument over who has the best. Barbecue to us buckeyes was what you got at a drive-in restaurant and it usually came out of a can, sauce and all.

My first experience with real Carolina ‘cue was at Wilber’s Barbecue in Goldsboro, NC. We spent a week at Atlantic Beach and when we’d talk to people on the beach they’d ask us if we had stopped at Wilber’s for the barbecue. At the end of the week, on the way back to Ohio, we stopped and had a large family style meal of pulled pork, vinegar slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, sweet tea, and banana pudding. For years we went to Atlantic Beach every year and never passed Wilber’s without stopping for a plate. It was my first and to this day, remains my favorite. Matter of fact, there’s a bottle of Wilber’s Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce in our fridge at this moment.

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