Thursday, December 29, 2016

No beach today; retreat to the dunes.

An old document by one Costner about another Costner--absolutely terrifying to any would-be working Costner like me.


This subject has an ability which I feel you should know about. He has always been an avid reader of books and newspapers. He reads for information and facts and never forgets them. Usually he never discusses them with any one else unless he likes them exceptionally well. He is very well informed on all matters of interest today but few people know it.

Another thing he has studied for years, 30 or more, is geography & History. He knows every city in the U. S. & I believe in the world of over 10,000 population & where it is, why it was founded, what railroads go through it, industries in it, and what highways go through. He has studied the topography of the U. S. until he knows every mountain—river—average rainfall—kinds of crops in each locality—He knows all the leading newspapers in the U.S. & much of their history. There isn’t a hamlet in Okla. that he doesn’t know where it is, population, industry, roads—railroads—mountains—average rainfall, all the former governors & when served. He has completely worn out several large atlases and has written thousands of pages memorizing the above things. To my knowledge they have given him great personal satisfaction but he has never shown any desire to take advantage of this knowledge. I have never known a person who knew so much about a subject & yet used it so little. I have never seen a person his equal in these subjects and believe he has no equal in Okla. Had anyone else possessed this information they would have been called a genius.

I felt this was information you should have.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The End--No More Coffee from Costco

Our Costco is important to me because it provides me all I get of social contact besides greetings on the beach. Every trip I get to ask six or eight people directions because every trip Costco has played the Cache Game, hiding the pecans under the Kirkland jeans and stashing the mixed nuts under the sugarless cough drops. Then we agreed that I would give up socializing, grab 2 or 3 plastic bags from the meat counter, take Starbucks coffee up and check out all by myself, saving the receipt for exiting, and grind the coffee beans in one of the two machines, one of which says FLAVORED and the other of which is disgustingly FLAVORED because of contamination by other buyers. The coffee containers are then bagged and the top safely taped shut. REGULAR GRINDER is out of order half the time. We put suggestions in the BOX: Please increase number of Grinding Machines and please stop stocking HONEYSUCKLE HAZELNUT COFFEE. Nothing worked. I was stuck there grinding from polluted bins and making what friends I could while the other got to exercise by running down cottage cheese hidden under white socks and then left and unloaded solo with the help of strangers and if she remembered waited for me. It was stressful. So, we made a big decision. We are buying coffee at the Cookie Crock in Morro Bay, SLO Roast. Better, anyhow. More expensive, but not stressful. Costco here is 12 acres, interior. 2 Grinders. Both flavored, one OUT OF ORDER. Enough. My social life will improve.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Living in the Late 18th Century--Taking "News" off the Toolbar

I don't know how long I can living in complete denial but I'll keep trying. For all I know Rachel Maddow has retired since the last time I saw her, at 8 pm November 8.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Was it Captain William Copeland who Was Overactive around 1820?

Well, there is poor Obidiah Merritt having a son whom he names Allen, and living in Pendleton, how near?, was Wm Copeland, and little Allen was a Copeland. I don't say it is suspicious but I do say to any living meritorious Merritts that you could do a lot worse than being a Copeland, cousins.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Maybe the only sane octogenarian in Morro Bay--the ONLY one on the beach in the rain

Not a solitary soul in sight for 2 miles in a pretty hard rain driving from the SE. It makes you wonder about the people who don't know enough to go play in the rain.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Vocabulary building by talking to geezers on the beach

Every day a new word.
Yesterday's word (from a 76 year old) was neuropathy.
This is a faster way of increasing my word power than Readers Digest (where does the apos go if anywhere) ever was.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Was General Gates a Coward at Camden? Dead Horses Tell No Lies

In 2014 I gathered comments by the men on Gates’s behavior at Camden but figured my Butler debunking was enough. However, I still have the pension applications in a file and see that many of the surviving men remained contemptuous half a century and more later. Here are a couple of comments by veterans (not checking to Fold3) and a comment by that great equestrian-historian, the late Christopher Hibbert.
Henry Marsh: “He recollects well that General Gates killed three horses in traveling back to Hillsborough, he Gates having left the troops shortly after the commencement of the battle.”
Peter Francisco: “the British charged upon us and in a few moments dispersed the great Gen’l Gates’ army & he himself (the Genl) killed two horses in making his escape to Hillsborough.”
Christopher Hibbert in the 2002 Norton paperback of REDCOATS AND REBELS:
“[Gates] himself escaped and fled nearly two hundred miles on a panting horse.”
The rider may have been sufficiently praised, but not that marvelous horse.

Friday, December 2, 2016

"Inbreeding" as a slur--and comments by Parker and Harris

On the webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION a recent post on a Ten Eyck in the Revolution prompted letters from a woman happy to see a relative celebrated. It was clear that she did not know what I considered the best part, that she was a cousin of Herman Melville's. The author of the article replied using the word "inbreeding" about the Albany Dutch families. I commented, as you see below, but the best part was C. Leon Harris's comment. Some of you know that Leon along with Will Graves is a heroic transcriber of 1832 Pension Applications. I had corresponded with him for a couple of years before he realized that we are Cockerham cousins.

  • Phil, “inbreeding” strikes some of us as a little harsh. Us North Carolina Scots-Irish prefer to say our folks are keeping the bloodlines pure or else that some cousins are on a branch that does not fork.

  • Count me along with cousin Hershel Parker as being among those whose ancestors preferred to play in the shallow end of the gene pool.

  • Am I proud to be called cousin on this webzine? You bet. And as far as we know we are not double or triple cousins.
  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016

    All my life I have wondered but now it is all clear

    Hershel Parker Explained - Everything Explained Today
    Parker's 1984 Flawed Texts and Verbal Icons: Literary Authority in American Fiction was the first book systematically to bring biographical evidence to bear on ...

    Saturday, November 19, 2016

    I was only going to avoid Kellyanne Conway's voice until the 8th

    So after 8 p.m. on the 8th I have watched no news at all.
    How long can I live in denial?
    As long as I am overwhelmed by two last Melville projects, at least.
    The idea of never living at a time when the Democrats control Congress!

    Monday, November 14, 2016

    When you can't read a newspaper or turn on news on television--fantasize a new career

    • Do you ever get too old to start a career playing King Lear? Don't tell me about denial.

    So now there are no restrictions on me till I am 86

    Went down to the DMV with a good thriller by Joseph Finder and showed them my toric interocular implants and took the driver's exam on a touch screen that required several minutes to OK every answer and in due course got my temporary license and was assured that I can drive without any restrictions at all until I am 86.

    It did require my getting out of my comfort zone, the distance between there and the beach (which involves crossing Highway 1).

    It's time to go back to what should have been my career.

    Taking Refuge in Wise County Virginia with Ashley Judd and stalwart Mountain Man Patrick Wilson

    We are serious Documentary types but for some incomprehensible reason we wanted to escape for an hour and a half and watched a Stone Gap movie with Ashley Judd and Patrick Wilson, a man I always knew would be believable as a Virginia coal miner. Never mind.
    Goodness, it starts with a pageant of TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE based on the book which was written by Johnny Fox, a law partner of a Schlemp cousin of mine. I still have a Slimp cousin in county office in Wise. He's black haired! How odd. And they used Dougherty as a local name, where my Dougherty families there go back to Lord Dunmore's War before there was a Schlemp and Dougherty marriage. And then there were Melungeons. Who? said my friend. Oh, I said, stopping the movie, I told you about that stories about the Lost Colony of Roanoke and the  book CHILDREN OF PERDITION by Tim Hashaw which I got because the Goings family were Melungeons, and I used one of them in a David Fanning article and besides one of the Tindall uncles may have married a Melungeon. And they say that the Redbones I knew in Calcasieu Parish in 1953 were Melungeons kin to the Goings. And there is a Slimp connection in Morro Bay because my brutal Schlemp cousin George Scott who slugged Ava Gardner and messed up her jaw permanently (and she liked to say she was a Melungeon) was shipwrecked right here, but not right on the Rock. And of course Cousin Bascom Slimp (or did he use Slemp?) was in Coolidge's cabinet and got to meet my hero, John Buchan.
    So wonderful to be distracted for an hour and a half and totally forget what I would emerge to suppress for as long as it takes. I am going to get a 24 inch television for my office wall and go on an orgy of watching all the Shakespeare I can get on Netflix again. It's been four or five years since I saw the older better CORIOLANUS. That should take some hours when I don't have to be in conscious denial.

    Sunday, November 13, 2016


    First of each month in 2016
    January                            210.0
    February                          206.8
    March                              207.6
    April                                203.8
    May                                 204.8   
    June                                 203
    July                                  200.4
    September                       199.8
    October                           198.2
    November                       196.4
    12 November 2016  
    Harder to do over 80

    Friday, November 11, 2016

    Why go into denial when you can go deep into the past? WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HANGING TORIES?

    The skeleton crew of surviving students of Hayford is finishing the 15th of 15 volumes of THE WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE. So that's about over, and should be out in 1917. I am working on the copy-edited manuscript of the 3rd Norton Critical Edition of MOBY-DICK. So that will be out in 2017. I did a little thing on Melville's reputation for a Cambridge U P book that should be out in 2017. I have a piece on North Carolina Women Who Talked Back to the Tories which should come out this month, maybe before I turn 81, in the webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Yesterday I submitted another piece to the JAR on the Tory troops as sexual predators. I have other pieces in mind including one with a title "What Was Wrong With Hanging Tories?"--because Benjamin Cleveland got in trouble for that, as did others over in Virginia. Do you begin to see how deeply in denial I intend to be for an indefinite period? It feels like home back here in the 1770s. Sometimes searching a given topic (not chosen to give this result) I get 25 hits which include 5 or 6 cousins or uncles. We belong in this country and maybe I understand why 85% of the descendants of these men voted the way they did. But why could you shoot a Tory and not hang his brother? That will take some more research.

    Thursday, November 10, 2016

    The San Salvador in Morro Bay

    Shocked again today by this photograph

    The computer man came yesterday and got my Picasa photographs rescued and the one of Aunt Ida and Aunt Alice by the car happened to be up this morning. Once again, I stared at it and wondered where I was when this was taken and who took the picture. So I am a Costner and Stewart in appearance and that's it.

    Thank you, Bernie Sanders. Not a Democrat, but a Great Spoiler.

    I knew it on April 7 when Sanders (mishearing a news headline) said in Philadelphia that Hillary Clinton had declared that he was unqualified to be President. He made the crowd frenzied with his declarations that SHE was unqualified. Look how Pennsylvania went.
    Look at how he savaged her in Michigan and Wisconsin.
    He made it easy for Trump.

    Saturday, October 22, 2016

    TRUMP ON THE honored dead & taking "increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion "

    But Trump says his own personal Viet Nam was not getting a venereal disease. Dang it on that heel spur! He understands sacrifice, which is why he said he always wanted a Purple Heart.
    And in Gettysburg he says he will sue all the lying women who accuse him of doing to them what he bragged about doing to women in the Access Hollywood bus.
    Paul Ryan, I would offer to sell you a used conscience if I thought you could get one into your chest or head.
    Does Trump have any idea what Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address means to the country? No, he does not.
    This is who the Republican Party chose and who it still defends, almost unanimously.

    Friday, October 21, 2016

    Order someone an HP cartridge? Sure! . . . 55 frustrating minutes later . . . .

    So I give up and check the news and see that Amazon has been hacked.

    A lot of frustration. Calm down. Calm down. It wasn't personal, except that it was.

    Monday, October 17, 2016

    John McCain backs off promise Republicans would block Clinton Supreme Court nominees

    Yeah, but you thought it and you said it. You are too old to think about the good of the country. You brought us Sarah Palin. You brought us the Tea Party. You brought us Donald Trump.

    Sunday, October 9, 2016

    Reported from Kellyanne Conway: "RAPISTS NEVER WITHDRAW WILLINGLY!"

    By heroic mastery of the mute I have survived this long without hearing one word out of Kellyanne Conway's mouth. I hear this morning that Trump may fire her. If she goes back into whatever dark hole she emerged from a few weeks ago, I claim the prize as the only politically alert American who never heard a lie out of her mouth.

    Friday, October 7, 2016

    Merely "inappropriate and offensive"? Kelly Ayotte pours honey over a monster

    Republican New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who earlier this week backtracked after suggesting that Trump is a “role model,” on Friday said the billionaire’s newly exposed comments about women are “totally inappropriate and offensive.”

    BREAKING NEWS! Kelly Ayotte No Longer a Role Model for Anyone


    Kelly Ayotte says Trump's bus-talk shows he is a GREAT role model for NH children over 13

    Has he every grabbed her by the *****? A star like him can do anything, and does. Fess up, Kelly!

    What Paul Ryan says about Trump's saying he can grab a woman by the

    because he is a star.
    Paul Ryan says he has been busy preparing for Halloween and has not seen the video but he doubt that Trump really said he could get away with anything because he was a star. Ryan says he and Trump do not talk dirty.

    Wednesday, October 5, 2016

    What can happen if an e-cigarette blows up while you’re using it

    This is what can happen if an e-cigarette blows up while you’re using it--see article in LA TIMES

    It was an injury unlike any Dr. Elisha Brownson had seen — a young man whose teeth were blown out when his electronic cigarette exploded in his mouth. His injuries were so severe he was admitted to the trauma intensive care unit.
    “I had never heard of an injury mechanism like this before,” said Brownson, a surgeon who specializes in treating people with burns. The patient “left a gruesome impression on me.”
    Unfortunately, his wasn’t an isolated case. More victims of exploding vaping devices followed, until Brownson and her colleagues at the University of Washington Medicine Regional Burn Center in Seattle saw about two such patients each month.

    Monday, October 3, 2016


    Hillary-Hatred Derangement Syndrome

    She alone stands between America and the reign of the most unstable, unfit president in U.S. history.


    Dorothy Rabinowitz in the WALL STREET JOURNAL (18 May 2014) says what the early reviewers of William D. Cohan’s THE PRICE OF SILENCE ought to have said, if they had been honest and conscientious: “A Dishonest Rewrite of the Duke Lacrosse Case /On an author's publicity tour, he's even more explicit in trying to taint the students who were falsely accused.”

    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    Why it is essential that toilet paper roll over the top into the room like a waterfall

    You would not want to put your fingers down to feel around underneath. You can't see the spiders harboring against the wall but you will know they are there when you feel them.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2016

    Trump Honors Shakespeare--Quotes "I Thank My God For My Humility"

    It was wholly unexpected and refreshing to hear Donald Trump quoting Shakespeare EXACTLY then going on to vary it with "I Thank My God For My Temperament."

    Monday, September 26, 2016

    Big Strong Dick Tracy-ish Lester Holt? A Wimp and a Woose

    Trump rolled over him 25 times and stomped on him 18 times.

    Global Warming Comes to the Middle Kingdom--Slept Under the Stars

    Record heat in San Luis Obispo the other day.
    Yesterday record heat in Morro Bay--90 degrees, 92 predicted for today.
    Last night, sleep on the north battlement under the stars. Houses in Morro Bay don't have air conditioning. Who needs it when it is always below 60 at night?

    Sunday, September 25, 2016

    Job Holden in his pension application, 1836--Cape May

    To the Interrogatories required to be propounded he makes the following replies.
    To the first Interrogatory he saith –
    I was born in some one of the northern states – which I do not know – I was brought from the North when a child – all I recollect is I was told the place where I was born was called Cape May, I was born in the year 1752.

    Saturday, September 24, 2016

    Friday, September 23, 2016

    Thursday, September 22, 2016

    This is the time for Obama to get the Charlotte videos and make them public.

    What does he have to lose?

    My Take: The Charlotte Mayor and Police Chief are Fomenting Violence

    This is not a time for stonewalling.
    Release the video evidence at once and take the consequences.

    Greg Brown "The Poet Game"

    How did I get to the end of September 2016 without hearing Greg Brown's "The Poet Game"?

    Hornets' Nest, Cornwallis said, when Charlotte was rebellious: Release the Video

    Why won't the police release the video? It looks from out here as if the only reason to delay and fan outrage and get more people injured or killed is that the video shows that Keith Lamont Scott was carrying a book, not a gun. Just release the undoctored video, please.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    What it takes to avoid hearing a word spoken by Kellyanne Conway

    It takes not watching CNN or MSNBC, to start with. It takes having the speaker off while scanning news on Google, for out of nowhere a speaker can begin.

    What it takes, in actuality, is working everyday on what the lives of Patriot women and children were like during the Revolution.

    Talk about hunkering down.

    Thursday, September 8, 2016

    "In Aleppo once" and the vanity of the abysmally ignorant candidates for the Presidency

    I can't get past this. Thomas Jefferson would have known OTHELLO. FDR would have known OTHELLO. Bill Clinton would have known OTHELLO. W would have heard the word OTHELLO  at Yale though he may not have known which vice president he was. But for Gary Johnson in 2016 not to know either Shakespeare or current world history should make him go home to Roswell, today.

    How can he take himself seriously? Trump can take himself seriously because he beat out 16 for his current job and is a multi multi billionaire. But vacant vacuous "OH! sure" Gary!

    The man who has no Shakespeare running through his mind . . . .

    "In Aleppo once"--and has Gary Johnson never heard of Paul Robeson, either?

    Shouldn't Gary Johnson just give up, now. The epitaph for his ridiculous campaign is "You're kidding." No, he was not kidding. He was just ignorant, and does not know one of the most memorable passages in Shakespeare and does not know one of the hottest of hot spots in the world right now.

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016

    The Holocaust documentaries for floor exercises got too much and then Dexter . . .

    Dexter became too painful. I got to Season 4 Episode 6 and the relentless threats to Dexter's privacy just got too painful. How could I keep watching, even from the floor with skin tones gray as ash? I went to Wikipedia last night and found that if I endured a few more episodes that particular devouring character would leave the show.
    Every good man needs a little privacy to achieve his best work.

    Friday, September 2, 2016

    An unusual Revolutionary account of a "mixed blooded" marriage

    North Carolina Stokes County SS
    Be it known that before me Charles Banner a Justice of the peace in and for the County aforesaid personally appeared Samuel Stewart aged about seventy-six years brother to the above named Jemima Harris [sic] he being a person well known for veracity & truth being duly sworn on this 28th day of May 1842 declares on his oath that it was always reported & believed in the neighborhood and Counties of Surry & Stokes aforesaid that the above named Nathaniel Harris [sic] Served in the capacity of a fifer & drummer in the Revolutionary War as stated by he is this Deponent's Sister in the foregoing Declaration, and further he states that he has just reason to believe that his said sister Jemima was lawfully married to the said Nathaniel Harrison by William Thorton who was a Justice of the peace in Surry County aforesaid which marriage happened shortly after the division of said County when Stokes County was cut off about the year 1790 that he was present at the marriage because his parents & the family were very much opposed to the match and his sister Jemima aforesaid secretly absconded from her parents in Stokes County living near the line of Surry County & went over to Esquire Thornton's who said he had married them together and that they were lawful man and wife, that this deponent's Father David Stewart was very angry at his neighbor Thornton Esquire for marrying Jemima his daughter to Nathaniel Harrison aforesaid as it was alleged that Harrison was mixed blooded, and appeared somewhat dark complexion, the said Nathaniel Harrison died upwards of 20 years ago in Stokes County and that Jemima his sister aforesaid is now his widow and a pauper in the poor house of Stokes & has only one living child named Peggy now a widow Grimes. Sworn to and subscribed the date above mentioned before me
    S/ C. Banner, JP                                              S/ Samuel Stewart, X his mark