Post by Diane Merkel on Dec 31, 2005 21:07:53 GMT -5
Melani, you MUST go to the Battlefield for the weekend of June 25th. You will be among hundreds who share your love of the battle and its participants. The 130th Anniversary should be very special. Make room reservations now and figure out who's going later!
All -- thanks for the kinds words, but you are the stars. I've said it before but it warrants repeating: I am proud to know you. I look forward to another year of learning from you.
FOURTH GRADE? Yikes ... I am well behind you all. Okay, maybe it's because of the time as a kid spent on the Rez. Unlike most of you, I didn't get interested--in fact, couldn't have cared less--in Custer until 1991, perhaps 1992, and the addiction didn't take over until 2003. But this has been a great place to meet others who have the same passion! And yes, Elisabeth is the Keogh keeper of the flame here!
Happy New Year! Leyton McLean
Want it spicy? Make it snappy! Want it spicier? Make it snappy, snappy!
Wouldn't that just be the Keogh-per of the flame? Baddum-Ching!
SOTMS came out in February of 1991, and I was already well-immersed in the subject. And Dances With Wolves came out the previous fall, and I was 12 at that time. I do believe my first encounter with the 1986 Nat'l Geographic had to have been my 6th grade year, based on deduction. Maybe even the 5th grade. So we're talking 16-17 years ago (1988 or 1989). But my mind is playing tricks on me, because in the summer of 1987, my family visited Yellowstone. And I don't remember if it was hindsight or not, but I recall wishing I could have gone a bit further and seen the battlefield. I believe it was hindsight, though. The Nat'l Geographic article was only about 8 months old when we went to Yellowstone, and I believe I first discovered it when it was a little bit longer in the tooth.
But the addiction for me was from the very beginning. I was hooked instantly by that article. It died down a little, mainly because it never dawned on me to finally visit the field or buy the books I longed for as a youth.
It is odd to remember pining for a trip to the "other" libraries so that I could finally get my hands on his books, and yet in 2004, I walked the field for the very first time with Rich Fox.
I'm WAY behind all of you on Custer et al ... Very sobering. But you've just brought back to me what got me started on reading about the American West. Of course, when we first got TV properly over here in the early '50s, we were all addicted to Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Range Rider and the rest; and "cowboys & Indians" was the game of choice for all British kids -- poor old Robin Hood came nowhere. The clincher, though, was a particular series of books that became a total addiction for me when I was 9 or so: the "Pocomoto" series, by Rex Dixon. They were full of frontier lore -- handy tips on things like getting water from cactus, breaking wild horses, stopping a stampede, and so on (all the things a little girl living in the suburbs of South London REALLY needed to know for survival!) -- and had me utterly fascinated. I'd no idea at the time that the writer was an Englishman, and had probably never been west of Bristol ...! Did they ever make it to the US? Or were they one of those uniquely British things, like Biggles? Either way, they were completely convincing. Got me hooked for good and all.
Last Edit: Jan 2, 2006 7:47:40 GMT -5 by elisabeth
I seem to remember that I did try one, but just couldn't get on with it; couldn't believe a word of it. (Maybe the translation was too "foreign", I don't know.) Fenimore Cooper on stilts, that's my recollection.
Did I miss out?
Last Edit: Jan 2, 2006 14:36:47 GMT -5 by elisabeth
I don't know. Never read any of the stuff myself; but Old "Shatterhand"-- I believe he's the protagonist-- has turned a lot of German youngsters into money-spending tourists of the old American West, I'll tell you!
(Incidentally, his name-- for those who have heard of him but might not recognize him by the pronunciation-- is pronounced MY.)
I think a lot of people get hooked as kids because adolescents tend to think death is romantic, when in fact it's messy, nasty, and permanent. I know my perspective on the whole thing has changed a lot since I was 10, when it never occurred to me to wonder why these guys were attacking an Indian village. Probably didn't occur to them to wonder either; I always felt that "Dances With Wolves" was just a little too New Age, even with the hypothesis that the Kevin Costner character was unusual. I was pleased to hear about the Indian memorial at the battlefield, but wondered about the openings for the spirits to come in and out. What on earth would these guys say to each other? "Sorry I tried to slaughter your family." "That's okay, sorry I scalped you."? Maybe that's exactly what they would say, who knows?
Anyway, a good part of my fascination lies in wanting to really know and understand all these people, what they did, and why, and how they felt about it and everything else.
And speaking of playing cowboys and Indians in England, among my other odd activities, I work at the Northern California Renaissance Faire, so we are all over here playing Robin Hood (or at least Robin Dudley)! I was quite charmed recently to see in a catalog of reenactor supplies a picture of a bunch of German guys who do mountain man rendezvous, complete with buckskins and tepee. Everybody wants to be somebody else, I guess.
I was hooked when I read the Nat'l Geographic article, and it terrified me. It was a horror story. The mutilations, the Reno battalion frantically digging trenches with their hands and cups and spoons. The soldiers trying to run away, the mention that maybe 10% of the soldiers were dead instantly, and some of them were down in the grass, waiting to be finished. And the various primitive drawings of the conflict by warriors.
I was actually a bit concerned that I would have a nightmare that night. After reading the article, it was in my head the entire day. It would not go away.
I think El Crab is referring to the December 1986 edition of the National Geographic with the story entitled, "Ghost's On The Little Bighorn." If you can't find a source for this edition, you can usually find one on EBay. I've seen that edition listed many times during the past year on EBay. In fact I just did a search on EBay and found one at: