Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Morning

"This land is your land..."

       So. I should have said more, yesterday, about the great poet, troubadour, Woody Guthrie, whose centenary was yesterday. And by the way, there's a splendid documentary about him, well worth checking out. But I was preoccupied with finishing the revision of my novel, for which I have hopes. I always have hopes. Then late into the night I was working on my history of Missouri, my home state. Trying to explain the ghastly First World War, I came across the fact that Nat'l Guard troops from Missouri & Kansas were formed into the 35th Infantry Division. Ironic, considering how fiercely Missourians & Kansans fought one another in the bad old Civil War Days.
       And I wanted to note that on the morning of 11 August, there's going to be a dedication ceremony in my neighborhood, for a trio of historical panels that the Nat'l Park Service is going to install in McCoy Park, here in Independence. Why am I telling you? Because three of my paintings will be printed on them. They illustrate Hiram Young's yoke & wagon manufactory. Hiram Y., a freed African American, was a big deal around here, back in this trail town's wagon train glory days. Another
shows the mule drawn train that used to haul would-be emigrants the three miles or so from the Missouri River landing up to the Independence Square, where they'd wagon up for their big adventures on the long trail to Oregon or California. Not a trip I'd want to take. The other painting is a mini-mural panorama of old Independence, the Queen City of the Trails. Lots of sky above for text. It's looking like the city's going to buy the three paintings so does this make me happy? You bet. The Q.C. of the Ts is my hometown. It's good to know that my work will be cared for, will be sort of a legacy.
       And, just for you to know, the long-gone painter Rembrandt van Rijn was born on this day in history, in 1606.  He shares this birthday w/'a few other summer babies, of course, most notably Clement Clarke Moore & explorer Edward Shackleton.  And, she wrote gloomily, today's the anniversary of Tad Lincoln's deathday, in 1871. Poor tragic kid. Just 18 years old when he got his ticket punched. Having lost his big brother, his dad, and suffered through his last years w/ his tragic, nutty mom.  Sheesh.

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