Saturday, May 27, 2017

ORNERY PEOPLE--beginning to take shape

Before stopping to proofread MOBY-DICK still yet again another time once more I had been moving items out of the big ORNERY PEOPLE file into a smaller file called GLIMPSES. I want to put hundreds of Glimpses from the 1600s to the present in chronological order as close as that's possible--each one just half a page or a page, from documents. As of tonight I have cleaned up half the Glimpses by starting each item with a year. There will be many duplicates, but I think I have many more items to pick up from the big ORNERY PEOPLE file. Tonight, before weeding out duplicates, I have 993 Glimpses items. Some will have to be taken out of a newspaper page still rather than being in a short excerpt of a document, but the information is all there. At a guess, in a few weeks I will have 1500 or 2000 Glimpses of direct ancestors or aunts and uncles and cousins. Then it will be a matter of ordering, selecting, re-selecting, presenting.

I don't think anyone has done this. That is, I don't think any ordinary American has ever started from two tiny anecdotes and compiled such a pile of documents from phases of American history.  My idea has always been that I am a representative Depression Okie and that anyone from eastern Oklahoma whose folks had been there by the 1840s or had been in Arkansas by the late 1810s could do something quite comparable, paralleling my story. Neighbors were Heflins, for example. They had their movie star in the family, too, and a great Melville scholar!, and a U.S. Senator, and in all likelihood had been around from the 1600s too.

I don't know the best way of proceeding, what sort of choices now would make publication easier. This is where I need the brilliant teenager with fast publishing experience. But it's taking shape.

Cool wind at 11 a.m. kept stationary folks wrapped up

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

And now they are all dead except one.

Morro Rock from even with the Cloisters Boardwalk

Cousin Jennifer called This Morning

Her mother died Saturday. In the months before Pearl Harbor we played together at Luther Parker's newer place (not new), on the highway south of Heavener, with another cousin who has been dead for years now, although younger than us. Several years ago she was already the only one who could identify people in 1930s photographs. "Oh, that's Hess!" Of course, it was Hester. So now there is absolutely no one else alive who remembers those months in 1941. I don't want to put her name here. At least there are many who will remember her for a very long time.

Home made bread vs Store bought bread

The smaller person in the house is ecstatic to have real bread in the house after 2 months of deprivation. The rolls were not pretty, but delicious. I made them big enough to slice and put into the toaster.

Glimpses--sample screen--have 100s of items where I have to start with year

Another brief period

Sample screen from the Big Chronology

Picking up the Big Project Dropped to Push Forward Another Big Project

How many times have I done this? 20?
It's more bewildering now than it was in the 1960s. Or 1970s. Or 1980s. or 1990s. Or the new century, dropping things for the PIERRE book with Brian Higgins, for one.
I have hundreds of short pieces on ancestors and other kin in GLIMPSES, but did I put the dozen pieces on the murderer Keith Blalock in there, especially the ones written by cousins? Well, let's look, and ease back in.
There will be proofing still, in weeks or months, but maybe I won't ever have to something I am deeply involved in so I can work on (and maybe not even finish right then) something else.
Retirement would be working on one thing at a time until it is finished.

If cats are so much more stupid than dogs

how do they learn to wake you up at 5:30 instead of 6 every morning?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rolls, baker out of practice but product edible

Should have swabbed the rolls with vinegar before baking--but I was working in the beach experience. Darker: electric oven on convection; lighter, gas oven with baking stone on lower rack.

Scoff-laws from the Cloisters & Facts and Rumors

Fact: The Development called The Cloisters is built on what had been a swamp.
Common Rumor: The Development coast 34 million in bribes over a 30-year period.
Unofficial Count: The Development went 98.6 Republican last November.

Morro Rock from where 41 ends

Morro Rock from a mile north

Free, for now

I declare myself a free man, for now. I have two bowls of dough rising in the refrigerator and have just submitted an article on avenging the murder of the Mecklenburg Marksman to JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. I have not made bread in two months or so, before the BOX descended from NYC. Have I forgotten how? Someone smaller than me is ecstatic, since she has been subsisting on store-bought bread all this time. We will see. Will they like my article? Will the rolls turn out? Will they rise while I am at the beach? Oh, the complexities of age! And relationships: for it was Uncle Jonathan Price's brother who led the party over the hills and hanged the murderer and buried him face down so he could claw his way to hell, and Jonathan would surely have been included in the posse.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Charlotte Celebrates MecDec Day!

This is the day that Charlotte again celebrates its 1775 Declaration of Independence. Several years ago I spent several days researching this topic as background for my article on the Tryon County "Association" of later in 1775, a document which Uncle Jacob Costner and various other uncles (including Dellingers) risked their lives by signing. I also have Jim Webb's great BORN FIGHTING much on my mind. Nobody explains better the way the North colonized the south after the Civil War than Webb, and reading Webb you understand how Northern historians made Charlotte doubt and finally reject its own history. Well, Scott Syfert has been heroic in opening up the whole MecDec issue, and his book has coincided with the availability of more newspaper databases which are showing early 1800 allusions to the Declaration. What people don't realize is that when you have no state newspapers at all for many years after the Revolution the sort of normal evidence you would expect is simply not there. But if you work with the people of Charlotte in the Revolution, as I have continued to do, you understand the historical factuality of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Scott Syfert, have fun today. Charlotte needs to celebrate joyously.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

From 3/4th of a mile north

From a mile north

How to Hasten the Death of the San Luis Obispo TRIBUNE Even Faster

We stayed with the TRIBUNE as it got skinnier year by year and as we went through a year with delivery at 9 when there was delivery and made our routine call to the automated number where the chipper voice assured us that record was kept of complaints so if we had ever had a problem before (only every day) the chipper voice would straighten the carrier out.

We had a perfect carrier of a skinnier paper the last few months then no paper Sunday. I wanted the paper this Sunday because the obits are there, usually, and because an Amgen race was coming. No paper even after chipper assurance.

Monday was UPS for box back to Norton.

Tuesday was freedom, the first day of the rest of my life, but also Amgen day. No paper. Got through to a purported human being who said tough but we will add 2 days to your subscription.

"We will add 2 days to your subscription" is perhaps the very best way of making sure no one who hears that message will renew a subscription. We do not want two more days in the indefinite future. We wanted to know when traffic would be tied up by the Amgen race, that day.

Monday, May 15, 2017

March 24 to May 15--Norton Proofs of MOBY-DICK

Sent them off this morning after copying the text just for security.
May never have to work this hard again.
I mean it this time.
I said it at Jackson Hole in June 1985 . . . and then there was the LOG and the biography and . . . .

How to treat a dead seal

Saturday, May 13, 2017

100s of footprints and shoe prints but no one in sight at 9 am

Miracle Miles for Kids

... race course runs along the water's edge from Morro Rock to the Cayucos Pier. ... celebrate our 14th annual Miracle Miles for Kids Walk/Run on May 13, 2017.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dead as it is going to be

Seal, buzzard, and 400 tourists


I have a little Melville work to do still, but this is getting closer.

Current project: Ornery People: Who the Depression Okies Were. I have been doing research for this book for more than a decade but now have decided on a form for the documents and am far along with it. Taking myself as representative Oklahoman from what had recently been Indian Territory (much of the eastern part of the state), one who through migration and impoverishment had lost almost all family and historical memory, I have compiled in chronological order, starting in the 1600s, vivid, detailed glimpses of my American ancestors whom I had thought, prior to 2002, would have left almost no written record. As it turns out, not one of my white ancestors came to the United States (they only came to colonies) and neither of my parents was born in a state  (both were born in territories). As of May 2017 I have more than 600 half-page or page-long glimpses of people at revealing moments of their lives and of American history, usually with some of their own words found in a great array of sources such as wills, Revolutionary pension applications, affidavits with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and WPA interviews. This will be a unique genealogical book because I bring to it all I have learned about historical research in a scholarly career spanning more than half a century. The idea behind it is that anyone whose family had been in eastern Oklahoma since the mid-19th century can now, starting with the Internet, retrieve lost family memories in the context of successive episodes of American history.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Morro Rock, Deserted at Noon


   JAR this morning (11 May 2017) posted my "THE 'BATTLE AT MCINTIRE'S FARM': JOSEPH GRAHAM AS HISTORIAN OF THE REVOLUTION." Below is a 1934 photograph of the farmhouse in the story--(Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library)