1. the existence of some fucking idiot named "pitbull" on fox television channel. (he is) a bigger affront to a just & reasonable universe than kim kardashian, ... , it's hard to quantify, but, i know stupid when i see it.
we got to talking about the oregon trail this morning over breakfast, and the various routes it had split into, given that some settlers had wanted to go to the willamette valley and others to various other places in oregon and washington.
dean is 86 years old, and has spent much of his life w/ horses, either logging, or farming or just riding for pleasure. as we discussed the various matters at hand, he related that his mother had come to this country via the oregon trail, and in a wagon. it turns out that his mama was a bit of a slacker however, as she had done a major portion of the trip in utero, taking the easy way, ... , riding in the womb of her mother who was immigrating from the state of pennsylvania. dean's grandmother's sister had previously moved to the sheridan, wyoming vicinity with her husband, and was with their family that dean's grandpa and grandma stayed over the winter of 1899-1900. dean's mother was born there in january of 1900.
there is not much in sheridan, wyoming even today. there would have been even less in 1900, and what there was would have been quite inhospitable to a new birth, and a new born, without the comforts of previously established residence.
dean was born in 1928, and that makes him a pretty spry and alert 86 years old now. he's led an interesting life, as a logger and farmer. he's ridden horseback over much of the northwest, and followed the oregon trail just to explore and learn about the travels of his ancestors, from whom he is little removed, springing himself from a mother who traveled the oregon trail.
he regales us constantly with tales of that life. this morning, he told us how one morning in 1943 his family awoke to the presence of two u.s. army tanks in the front yard of the family residence, in a little army town. his mother was not pleased with the tanks in her front yard, and went out and spoke with the tank crews, asking them to skidaddle, which they did. they simply moved down the road a piece, to someone else's property. dean said that all was well and good for a while, until the family woke one morning to find something along the order of several hundred horses grazing in their yard, and pastures, and on the property of everyone else in the neighborhood of this little town.
it was near the 4th of july. dean had two firecrackers he'd been saving for the 4th. something possessed him to light the firecrackers that morning, and as a result, 200 horses stampeded from the area, through yards and fences, and past a group of cowboys just down the road who'd been buckerooing the horses.
he said that the army came to talk to him. he did not relate exactly what they'd said, his memory passing over the particulars, but, he said, that in general, they were not pleased. his mama was not displeased, however, more to his relief.
a small matter, it would seem, for a woman born the winter of 1900 in sheridan, wyoming on and as she traveled the oregon trail by horse drawn wagon. you can see, in various rural parts of the american west not overrun by modernity, the ruts from the wagon wheels and stock left in the soil by the passage of the pioneers coming west.
ours is a fresh country. and, that goes a long ways towards explaining who and what we are. for some of us, there is little artifice to what we are and what we belief, as there is very little artifact involved in our being, ... , self made, as it were.