Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lynn asked and today's weekly flyer answers

Running South with Joy as Always, the Great Tom from Los Osos

65 Years Ago Today

65 Years Ago Today
What does not Exist Any More
65 years ago today, a month after I finished the 11th grade, someone who is not alive any more drove me to a town that does not exist any more (Howe, Oklahoma) to a gigantic depot that does not exist any more on a railroad that does not exist any more (the Rock Island) for me to take a train to carry me part way (to stay overnight with someone who was killed in 1958) so I could take another train to a station that does not exist any more to take a job that does not exist any more, my first dead-end job, that of railroad telegrapher.

Advice from Cousin Alexander Copeland on How to Make Farming Pay

Mr. A. Copeland, a successful farmer near Spartanburg, S. C. was asked how can farming be made to pay, and he answered:
"By working six days in the week, drinking no whiskey, chewing no tobacco, and making all the domestic manures possible. But you must not spend too much time in making these home-made manures. Use commercial fertilizers to finish out. All lands should have some help. The reason that farming does not pay is that farmers do not work six days in the week, and much they do is lost for want of judgement."

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We get migratory fowl and other drifters

Miles is the most accomplished gymnast to pause a few days on the beach. What he can do on his head or on one leg is hardly to be believed. His audience can only shake white heads and wonder. Just before he let me take this picture he had been crawling on his elbows in circles and in circles and in circles. He says his mother and father were good to him.

The Rock gleaming from a mile north--8:45 a.m.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Rock--walkers spaced along for 2 miles at 4 or 5 times the space egrets give each other

From the end of 41, at low tide

10th article on the American Revolution out Online Today--and ORNERY PEOPLE

Who would have thought it? And quoted in a couple of printed and bound books on the Revolution! What a happy outgrowth of work on ORNERY PEOPLE!
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 history books, travel books, wills, Revolutionary pension applications, affidavits with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, newspapers, 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.

End of a new piece in the online JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

"Avenging Francis Bradley, the Mecklenburg Marksman: A Family Story"

Hunter relied on tradition, he said in 1877—which meant family traditions. Cyrus Hunter learned at least some of details from his brother-in-law, my double cousin Will Johnston (Jane Ewart Johnston’s sisters Mary Ewart Knox and Rachel Ewart Bell both being GGGG grandmothers of mine). Will was also the nephew of my aunt and uncle Elizabeth Ewart Price and Jonathan Price. Appropriately, an octogenarian two-time GGGGG grandson of Robert Ewart now tells the story of the fourth murderer in the Journal of the American Revolution. After all, my Uncle Jonathan would naturally have been among the few “faithful friends” who rode off to Burke County with Isaac Price to seize the fourth murderer of Capt. Frank Bradley and to bury him face downward, to claw his way to Hell.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

What a major mail order clothing company is now doing when you get online help

Elmer has worked at [fake name: Tweed & Boardshorts] for 22 years. He enjoys camping, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, hunting and fly fishing.

And there is a photo. And you are asked whether or not Elmer gave you satisfaction. In this case he sort of did not, really, but how can you evaluate such a great outdoor guy like Elmer?

Sometimes anonymity has something to be said for it.

9:30 this morning--cool puffs from Ocean

Monday, June 19, 2017

103 over the hill but very few here in 65 or 70 degrees, slight cool breeze from water

Involuntary encounters with Crazy Francis and Airbnb Boyd & Wife

On the way to the beach to beat the throngs yesterday a man standing with a bicycle ahead, thrusting it at a car and screaming. No one was coming at me, so I moved over, but he pushed the bike out into the middle of the street, screaming at me, now, and blocked me, thrusting but not quite hitting my car. I got passed him and when I got across Hwy One I called 911.  Oh, said the policeman who met me in the parking lot at the beach, that's just Crazy Frank who was off his meds. He likes to scare people on all the Tree Streets . . . .
They can't do anything about him, post Ronald Reagan, until he hurts a car or causes a head on collision or hits a person or shoots someone. OK.
I have a plan of attack if he pushes out from in front of an SUV and blocks me. LAY ON THE HORN TO COVER HIS SCREAMING. Will it work?

Then after dinner, still full daylight, I heard people climbing the stairs to the 3rd level where no one goes who is not expected. I took the elevator up and saw a nice unthreatening couple, 70ish, with little suitcases and a printout with our address at the top. They were here to stay, for 3 days it turned out. They were nice enough and I was caught off guard enough to let Boyd a step or two into the foyer because I am an SC Boyd and always welcome Southern cousins and because we had neighbors named Boyd who were Depression Okies too (but come to think they are dead and the people who scooped up the house they built are dead too). So I perhaps should not have opened the door. They were prepared to visit, and happy with the vista of the Pacific. A lot for $738. One night? I asked. 3, they said. I thought some Malicious Prankster had scammed them, promising them a stay here and taking their money, for they said they had paid. It turned out that they were to be welcomed catty-corner across the street, in sight. Boyd was miserably disappointed and wanted to stay with us. I was feeling mean after Crazy Frank,and lied to him--"You think this floor is nice? The bedrooms on the top floor are magnificent." "It's the best house in Morro Bay," he said. I did not tell him about the dome that was turning into a pyramid and that was due to be clad in copper in the hope of stopping some of the leaks. I just agreed with him that he had every right to be disappointed, but at least he could look up at the place they thought they were staying in.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Surf kiting

Gale force winds today; Luke's ancle is fastened to the skyhook

Preparing to put up a copper dome

2 more pictures of Intrepid Kitesurfer

I had the beach to myself; a brave man had the sea and sky to himself

The way Cousin David Knox Celebrated the News of King's Mountain

Robert Henry’s account of the aftermath of King’s Mountain, his encounter with my cousin David Knox, a lifelong bachelor known as something of a bully, but one of my Ornery People if anyone is. His brother Matthew is the one who misled Tarleton about the best place to cross the Catawba. 

Before my wounds were well I went to Charlotte, after Cornwallis had left, and met David Knox, an acquaintance. David Knox was either a brother or near relative of James Knox, grandfather of President Polk. He gave me the following information: That on Monday-next after Fe[r]guson’s defeat, he being a p[r]isoner in the streets of Charlotte, an office[r] came to the officer of the guard and the following conversation took place:

               First officer—“Have you heard the news?”

               Second officer—“No. What news?”

               First officer:--“Col. Ferguson is killed and his whole army defeated and taken prisoners.”

               Second officer—“How can that be, and where did the men come from to do that?”

               First officer—“2,000 desperadoes, calling themselves blue hens’ chickens from most everywhere, started on horseback in pursuit of Ferguson, leaving as many on foot to follow, overtook  surrounded, killed and took prisoners him and all of his army at a place called Kings Mountain. We may lookout for snakes.”

               Second officer—“God help us!”

               Whereupon David Knox jumped on a pile of wood in the street, slapped his thighs; crowed like a cock and exclaimed, “Day is at hand!” Hence he was called Peter’s Cock. It was generally reported about Charlotte and elsewhere that this exag[g]erated report came from the Neutrals [defined earlier as Tories], and Col. Campbell’s force, horse and foot, amounted to 4,000, which carried a strong air of plausibility with it and which induced Cornwallis to retreat from Charlotte that night.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

People say they have had a "BOUT" of or with sciatica

I don't think there's a real contest. Sciatica wins!
But so far since it started it's been recurrent with a space of two or three years. At my age, that's encouraging. Get enough two or three years intervals and that's taken care of.
Today I talked to 66 year old Bruce, who was running up from the beach through the very deep sand. He absolutely agreed when I told him I had gone to the beach every day rather than lying down hoping the pain would stop.
The first bout was from weeks of 12 or 14 days at the computer on an index rarely standing up. Turns out a lot of people were sitting too long at a time. I know what caused this one--sitting 7 weeks on the swivel stool proofreading, which meant leaning forward and clutching white cards in each hand. At least I had great lighting. I did get up frequently and move around, but the position was awkward. The good thing is that I won't have to devote 7 weeks to anything like that again. Now I really can spend time learning what was wrong with hanging Tories.
I don't understand how sciatica goes away. I guess it's just getting the nerve unpinched. Stay that way please, three or four years. I acknowledge your power, and continue the little floor exercises. I have been very faithful the least years, every other day, even this last 2 weeks. Goodbye, please.

Morro Rock, Shortly before Noon. Peaceful.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Whales lingering out in the bay, 5-6 pm

Unfortunately with the setting sun glittering on a big slice of the water.

Morro Rock at 1:30 pm

Well, could not escape a headline--Comey was afraid someone would lie to him

We have a demolition crew on the roof. For 2 weeks I have been suffering for the 7 weeks I spent on the stool proofreading MOBY-DICK--a bout of sciatica again, not the crawling on the floor variety but the lurching from wall to back of chair kind, to the point that I who never take pills took an aspirin a couple of nights ago and took 3 last night (1 and then 2). I have been doing the 2 miles on the beach every day and doing the floor exercises prescribed for sciatica every other day and going through the Brokenwood Mysteries on disc and 2 delayed Midsomer Murders at night. But what will save me are the Revolutionary pension applications transcribed by Will Graves and my Cousin Leon (C. Leon Harris). I am going through now the 199 applications that mention hanging a Tory or Tories in North Carolina. Happily for me, I see pension applications from different Sparks cousins and a fine Prewitt cousin who came over the Virginia border to help round up particularly murderous Tories. It was NOT considered nice to murder a polite Whig in his bed at home. There were rules, sort of, but you understand why so many Patriots who slept in the woods near their houses when they were on leave, the hope being that the women and children would not be seriously molested without a family man in the house. This was a bleak time, and I am going to burrow down deep into it. I have forgotten that headline already. Jim Webb in BORN FIGHTING mentions several times the power of family stories he heard on porches. We were too poor and isolated for that, but I am creating my own family stories through the Internet. I wasted years on Richard Nixon and don't have years to waste now.

Birthday--Martha Costner

In a few years, no one except my niece Carol will remember. Martha Izora Costner, named for her grandmother Martha Izora Henderson Bell, was born in Guymon, Oklahoma Territory, on 9 June 1906, the year before statehood. Very few hours go by that I don't think of her. Glimpses, now.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017





The skeleton crew of surviving students of Hayford is finishing [HAS FINISHED] 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 [AND PROOFREAD IT FOR 7 WEEKS IN MARCH, APRIL, AND MAY]. 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 [IT CAME OUT IN 2017], maybe before I turn 81, in the webzine JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. Yesterday [10 NOVEMBER] I submitted another piece to the JAR on the Tory troops as sexual predators [THIS ALSO CAME OUT, IN 2017]. I have other pieces in mind [I HAVE PUBLISHED ANOTHER NOT MENTIONED HERE ON JOSEPH GRAHAM AS HISTORIAN AND HAVE ANOTHER SUBMITTED ON AVENGING FRANCIS BRADLEY] 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. [I HAVE THIS WEEK STARTED WORKING ON HANGING TORIES.] 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. [BUT IN 2017 I HAVE FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO "ORNERY PEOPLE"--TO GIVE HALF PAGE OR PAGE GLIMPSES OF 500 OR 600 FAMILY MEMBERS FROM THE 1600S ON TO THE PRESENT. I HAVE OVER 1000 GLIMPSES IN A FILE NOW, MOST OF THEM NOT SHORTENED, BUT THERE, IN MORE OR LESS CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, TO BE ARRANGED MORE PRECISELY. NOW ON WITH WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HANGING TORIES. I CAN LIVE IN DENIAL AS LONG AS RACHEL MADDOW CAN LIVE WITHOUT MY WATCHING HER.]

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Riders in the Foam

Morro Rock at 2 pm

"There are always 2 sides to every issue." Sure!

This morning I had to respond to a "2 sides" comment in JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION:
               An even-handed judicious see-all-sides-of-every-issue sort of fellow, I have been reading Holger Hoock's SCARS OF INDEPENDENCE. Now, it's relevant to deduce that "educated at Freiburg and Cambridge" with a doctorate from Oxford means that, well, that Hoock is German-born and England-educated. One can expect a certain amount of sympathy with the British in his book. And one does find remarkable passages, such as on 319 his declaring: "Among the most notorious rebels was Colonel Benjamin 'Bull Dog' Cleveland, who terrorized Loyalists in the Yadkin country." I have been following Cleveland for many months because some of my cousins rode with him and I never heard him called "Bull Dog." I have a strong desire to celebrate Cleveland in a little article I have been calling “What Was Wrong with Hanging Tories?” Bull Dog?           I just checked Google and find that of all people Patrick Ferguson, the “if you choose to be pissed on forever by a set of mongrels” man, was known as “Bull Dog.”
              Then you turn the page to 320 and find this: “Loyalists gave as brutally as they got.” Well, given the sequence of brutality a true not-quite-rabid Whig might mutter something like, “Loyalists continued their unspeakable brutality.” What I am getting at is an apparent instinctive bias which in fact Hoock overcomes as best he can.      
               Whether or not you will agree about the instinctive bias, I point to pages 308-313, the “Beasts of Prey” section. Hoock makes it clear that the Patriots who cried “Tarleton’s quarter” knew exactly what slaughter they were avenging. The fact that Tarleton was celebrated once he got home says more about the British need to justify themselves than it says about their knowledge of what kind of brutality Tarleton engaged in—even assuming they knew more about it than they likely did. I have not tried to find what reports were published in England.
               The paragraph on 320 beginning “such sadistic American-on-American cruelty” (equating what happened to Thomas Brown with what William Cunningham did) is devoted to “Pyle’s Massacre” conducted by those amazingly successful tricksters led by Henry Lee. I have been waiting years to say “I have a dog in this hunt.” I have a dog in this hunt because my Uncle John, Dr. John Pyle Jr., lost an eye and part of a hand in this event and had cousins (one was David Cockerham) on the other side. In all even-handedness I judge that Pyle’s Hacking Party went far to deter Tories from rising up to welcome Cornwallis’s triumphal march through North Carolina.
               I am not saying Hoock’s bias runs all through but I am saying that if even he understands the horror of Tarleton’s slaughter of wounded rebels, then this is not the time for our pulling the opposing fighting boys apart by their collars and saying Shame on both of you! Go play nicely! I am going to let myself try being judgmental for once, about Tarleton, just as Hoock is. And think about writing “What Was Wrong with Hanging Tories?”

Friday, June 2, 2017

1799 John Hackley's Memo to his will:

Memo, March 1799.
My Uncle and Aunt Barrow to keep the negroes they now have and then that they be set free.

The Warrens--ancestral channel crossings and Virginia sins

One of the more interesting lines on my father’s side is the one that starts in this continent with John Warren. The Warren DNA chart has has more than 30 oldest known ancestors of living Warrens, going back to the 1600s. The line mixes with a Hackley line early on, so I get to be a cousin of Stonewall Jackson, but it goes directly from Warren to Moore to Coker to Glenn to Rogers to Parker. It includes uncle Lott (Lancelot) and his half brother Joseph Payne, so that Joe’s male descendants are really Warrens, and grandpa was rightly fined for adultery. The really funny oldest known ancestor line on the chart comes from a fellow living now in France: “Rodulf II de Warenne born around 1017 in France,” in time for him or a son to have made the crossing with William. When I think of Rodulf and Joe Coker in northern Arkansas I am glad I am working only with people on this continent.

P. S. Would you believe you can Google Rodulf II and find it alleged that he fought at Hastings?

P. P. S. Well, I fooled around a few more minutes and it looks as if there were a lot of dead ends for masculine succession. I am a little dubious about the living Frenchman's claim to go right back to Rodulf II. However, just ask the living Payne men how the Warren DNA can go right down!