An Alien Land; or, Happy Birthday, Arizona!

Arizona was birthed by treaty and the Territory of New Mexico on February 23, 1863 (how did they have time to work this out in the middle of a disastrous Civil War?). Pretty, shiny things brought prospectors and settlers, drove out Native American tribes (again), and opened the state to a future of retirement communities, faux frontier towns, . . . → Read More: An Alien Land; or, Happy Birthday, Arizona!

There Will Be Blood, Biscuits, and Big Hats

A recent trip to Tennessee revealed many truths.

Carter House (1000 Bullets)

Truth 1: There was a lot of blood spilled in Tennessee in the Civil War, and it spilled copiously on soil that now holds playgrounds and parking lots, historical markers and suburban lawns. Stories of battles (in this case, the famous Battle of Nashville) seem to . . . → Read More: There Will Be Blood, Biscuits, and Big Hats

Limited; or, The Wild West Made Mild

The usual happened on my way to the old Fort Hall and the Bannock County Historical Museum. “Usual” being that I had a certain goal in mind–look at strange-ass western stuff–and instead realized how much stranger the world is than we know. All this whilst looking at a replica fort and tipi, and faux Western town. . . . → Read More: Limited; or, The Wild West Made Mild

Beauty, Eye, Beholder

“…the beauty of things that can’t be known for sure.”

Mining Equipment (Throat Obstruction Demo), Mining Museum, Silverton Colorado © 2008 es

These words absolutely do not address the queasiness I feel when I wonder about the motivations of a certain plumber-cum-Republican mascot. Instead they describe the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a larger-than-life cabinet of wonders beside an . . . → Read More: Beauty, Eye, Beholder

Dances with Fools; or, the Worst of Election ’08

It’s county historical museums like the ones in Oakley, Idaho; Florence, Arizona; Pecos, Texas; and Silverton, Colorado, that should be a part of the stimulus package!

Mining Museum, Silverton, CO ©2008 es

They are fusty and musty and cluttered and jumbled, but filled to the brim with the kind of  real life that Joe the . . . → Read More: Dances with Fools; or, the Worst of Election ’08

Bad Day at Black Rock, Chicago Style

In politics there is plenty cowboy derring do-do. On days–sometimes weeks–of arid blog-writing time (good for wrangling the novel and etcetera), I take heart when good friends send me snippets of the kind of stuff you can’t write, unless you’re Howard Breslin and and Don MacGuire, putting together a taut script for the psychological western Bad Day . . . → Read More: Bad Day at Black Rock, Chicago Style