Sunday, September 26, 2010

So, yesterday morning, Saturday morning, the 25th of September [Wm. Faulkner's 113th birthday as well as the anniversary of the day in 1764 that Fletcher Christian was born, completely unaware that one day Clark Gable then Marlon Brando then Mel Gibson would portray him in the movies] , I was a few blocks from this here desk, down at the Nat'l Frontier Trails Museum. Should you ever be in Independence, Missouri, do be going to 318 West Pacific and see for yourself all manner of information & exhibits concerning the old trails to Santa Fe, Oregon, & California; the peltry trade, scouts, trappers, mountain men & women and assorted other tough dudes & dudettes who set off to settle the West, never mind/Heaven help/pity the people who were already living there. . Going West: Nothing I would have done, had I lived back then. A horrid camping trip it would have seemed to me.
Where was I? Yes: I was talking to a gathering of pleasant advocates of frontier history and hearty breakfasts about the making of books, particularly my books about the old Pathfinder, Daniel Boone and poor Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, the 1st (along w/ Eliza Hart Spalding, a heroic frontier teacher/missionary), U.S. female citizen to go all the way to the Pacific NW on what would become the Oregon Trail, in 1836. Alas, poor Narcissa and her doctor-husband Marcus had no training whatsoever - I'd say that they had no business whatsoever, [but that's just me, unable to imagine caring so deeply], going way out to the magnificent boondocks forever to Christianize the locals, all ending up in the most hellacious & deadly-miserable unintended consequences in late autumn 1847
Tremendous fun it was, enjoying warm eggs, bacon, & biscuits then talking with and to nice people about long-gone folks a million times more heroic than I. And now it's Sunday, the 26th of September, 190 years today since 85-year-old Daniel Boone passed away. A privilege it was to write about him, to imagine him, to draw what he might have looked like. R. I. P., D. B.

No comments:

Post a Comment