A Day Out

written July 1, 2011     Fresh air is also my route for some quick tranquility, while my cat is hit or miss…  No, it is really nice that he greets at the door every night.  My biggest unwinder though is cycling, which is amazing for burning off energy and getting focused.  For example, I have a…

Incidentals

written June 4, 2016   Cornelius Cochran, besides having a rocking name, was known by my mother’s side of the family as the brightest known fruit on their limb, the polished family relation you set out for guests.  Cornelius, you see, was a 19 year-old farm boy on his family’s homestead near Blandford, Massachusetts on…

Election 2012 Part II: Four More Years

written November 7, 2012   Shenandoah Elementary, a few blocks north from Magnolia Avenue in St. Louis, was in full swing by five in the evening to vote, when May and I (she choosing to make it a party with hip hop in my car while waiting).  A good turnout in the dizzily night, all…

He’s Still Remembered Reverently By Used Car Dealers

written April 25, 2012     Was Abraham Lincoln “great”? This question was posed to us by Dr. Hansen in January. We could have said yes: he of the five dollars, toys logs, and marbled thrones.  But that would have left a lot of time to fill.  What Dr. Hansen was trying to suggest was…

The Pain You’re Feeling In Your Side Is Democracy (I Think)

written June 1, 2016 Something fantastical and absurd occurred yesterday on the campaign trail. After checking the history books it can confirmed it had never happened before. It made people in Toledo queasy, and others in Albuquerque absolutely anxious. The fact the many Americans cheered this same moment caused those in Toledo to feel all…

Thomas Jefferson, New Virginian

written March 2009 The history of Virginia, from the first Tidewater settlements to the advent of the Civil War, is built upon the struggle for land and the substantial labor required to make the Commonwealth agriculturally productive. The question was inescapable, and throughout this era was tied to what it meant to be a Virginian….

That Reminds Me of a Story: Lincoln’s Metaphors and His Audience

written February 2012 Amid the backwoods of Indiana and Illinois Abraham Lincoln received a formal education that was meager, to be kind. With less than a single year in a schoolhouse, Lincoln himself was years later critical of pioneer curriculum.[1] Apart from these “blab schools” Lincoln relied on his own hunger for reading the few…

Yellow Journalism on the Prairie: Illinois Ablaze Amid the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in a Political Fire Flamed by the Ink of Partisan Newsprint

written June 2009 The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 are generally perceived and beheld as a series of seven oratory contests between two Illinois men of renown, the prize being a United States Senate seat. The historical record of the events, however, in the form divisive newspaper reports and editorials, theoretically expanded the field to that…

Lincoln In Edwardsville: The Moral Idea is Boldly Suggested

written February 2012 Edwardsville had a history of “pseudo-slavery,” embracing Illinois’ Black Laws, and an antagonism towards abolitionists long before Abraham Lincoln spoke in the town in September of 1858.[1]  Gov. Edward Coles’ attempt to free slaves and end Black Codes in 1822 also included a ban on the future “emigration of free negroes to…

The Old New Soapbox

  TV news of all stripes regularly, breathlessly  over-aim reality; it is par for the cable-course.  So when an election of legitimately historic trajectory appears over the horizon, the bright lights and slickly produced segments’ bag of adjectives can be found wanting from past overuse. The single word, “unique,” will serve.  It is not normal…