A Time to Remember . . .

I loved Mary’s pictures yesterday and her blog about Memorial Day yesterday.   I wanted to add a few thoughts.
I can’t tell you how many people this weekend said, ‘Happy Memorial Day.’
And I wondered each time why.  “Happy” doesn’t seem to fit what the day is meant to be.

I,  like everyone else, plan to take advantage of the three day ‘holiday.’ I’m having my family over for barbecue. But as I watched –as I do every year — the PBS Memorial Day Concert (and shed tears as I also do every year), I also worry we are losing the meaning of the day when someone says, “Have a Happy Memorial day.”

I remember as a child and even as a young adult buying the artificial red poppies on or about Memorial Day from VFW members to benefit veterans and their families.   I miss those poppies worn so proudly by almost everyone.  I miss the parades of proud veterans and military bands.

And so, as always, I ran to the internet to pick up a little history. Mary gave you some. I’ll add a little bit.

As you known, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginning with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.

Ironically, it might well have evolved from organized groups of women in the south who decorated the graves of their Civil War dead. A hymn, published in 1867,”Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping,” is dedicated “to the Ladies of the South who are decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead.”

Whether or not that inspired women in other towns and states is not known but, according to one history, “it is most likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead.”

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and it was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. What was important about the observance was that it was not about division. It was about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all the northern states. The south refused to recognize the day until after World War I when the holiday was changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem.

“We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.”

It was Moina Michael who conceived of the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. The practice spread to other countries. In the United States, the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. I know some of you mentioned them in comments in Mary’s blog. I haven’t seen those poppies in many a year.

I’ve watched as  the traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution in 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time , for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

So today, Memorial Day, I plan to watch the President place a wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and later I’ll pause with my family at 3 p.m. to thank those who have paid such a large price to protect our country.

I just wish I could buy those poppies again.

Filly New Release Update – June 2011

Listed below are the upcoming releases from our talented writers here at the junction.  To purchase any of these fine books, just click on the book covers.  And to learn more about the authors, click on thier names.

 

A Vision Of Lucy
By Margaret Brownley
 

Trouble may follow Lucy wherever she goes, but with the help of God and the rugged, reclusive David Wolf, she’ll never face adversity alone.

Lucy Fairbanks dreams of working as a photographer at the Rocky Creek newspaper. If she can earn money making photographs, then maybe her father will see that what she does is worthy, more than just a distraction. And her deepest hope is that he’ll see her as an artist, the way he thought of her deceased mother, whose paintings still hung on their walls.

But trouble follows Lucy on every photo shoot: a mess of petticoats and ribbons, an accidental shooting, even a fire.

When Lucy meets David Wolf—a quiet, rustic man who lives on the outskirts of town—she thinks she can catch the attention of the town with his photograph. She doesn’t count on her feelings stirring whenever she’s near him.

Two things happen next that forever change the course of Lucy’s life: David says the words Lucy has longed to hear since her mother died: that she is a compassionate, creative young woman that God made in His image. And in return Lucy helps David change his perspective on an event that wounded him long ago.

God’s arms are around this unlikely couple as they leave behind long-held assumptions and discover the true freedom of forgiveness.

 

Marrying the Preacher’s Daughter
By Cheryl St. John

Cheryl had a lot of requests to tell more stories about the Hart family, so Marrying The Preacher’s Daughter is a spin-off from The Preacher’s Wife. Elisabeth Hart is the daughter of the hero in that book. She’s an uptight young woman who carries a lot of responsibility and a crushing amount of guilt. Cheryl created a hero and a situation that throws Elisabeth’s ordinary calm life off balance and shakes her world.

Gabe Taggart is just the fella to do that. He’s unyielding, intimidating, determined—and always on the lookout for danger. He’s on a mission to make a home for his young sister, and Elisabeth is a nuisance he can’t ignore. 

 

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. For those who have, in the words of Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburgh address, given the last full measure of devotion to their country.

Memorial Day was first officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868. It was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

Iraq War

Today, Petticoats and Pistols pays tribute to the men and women who have fought and died for freedom.

In Flanders Field

John McCrae, 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.  

 

Judge Roy Bean–The Only Law West of the Pecos

.
“Hang ’em first, try ’em later”  

Photo by DesertUSA.com

 

“Doffing his saloon apron,  the grizzled barkeep dons a dirty alpaca coat,  sits himself down behind the bar, draws a pistol and bangs for silence using the butt as a gavel.   “Order, by Gobs!   This honorable court is now in session, and if any galoot wants a snort before we start, let him step up to the bar and name his pizen.” The good judge had never seen the inside of a law school.  His only law book was the 1879 Revised Statutes of Texas.  But the self-styled “Law West of the Pecos” knew how to hold court. There, in his Jersey Lilly saloon in the minuscule West Texas town of Langtry, Roy Bean doled out drinks and his own brand of justice for more than 20 years.” -Smithsonian Magazine June 1998

“…Judge Bean ruled with a high handed, but appropriate brand of homespun law, outrageous humor, and six-shooter justice.”
http://www.texasoutside.com/westtexasparks/judgerbframes.htm, Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, Langtry, TX

The above statements and excerpts give you an idea why “Hanging Judge” Roy Bean is such an enduring character in the history of the old west. Born Phantly Bean, in Mason County, Kentucky, in 1825, Roy Bean has pretty much done it all. He ran a blockade during the Civil War hauling cotton from San Antonio to British ships off the coast. He helped run a shop in Chihuahua, Mexico with his older brother, Sam, until he caused too much trouble. Next he went to live with his oldest brother, Joshua, who was mayor of San Diego. Roy was jailed for dueling, broke out, and followed his brother to San Gabriel. He inherited Joshua’s saloon but moved on again in 1857 or 1858 to escape being hanged. Next he went to Mesilla, New Mexico, where Sam made him a partner in a saloon there. Things went well until the Civil War reached them. A military life wasn’t for Roy – he moved to San Antonio, where he became famous for “circumventing creditors, business rivals, and the law.”

In 1882, Bean left his wife of sixteen years, and their four children, to move with the railroad grading camps to Vinegaroon, a tent city near the Pecos River. According to the Texas State Historical Association’s The Handbook of Texas Online:  “Crime was rife at the end of the track; it was often said, “West of the Pecos there is no law; west of El Paso, there is no God.” To cope with the lawless element the Texas Rangersqv were called in, and they needed a resident justice of the peace in order to eliminate the 400-mile round trip to deliver prisoners to the county seat at Fort Stockton. The commissioners of Pecos County officially appointed Roy Bean justice on August 2, 1882. He retained the post, with interruptions in 1886 and 1896, when he was voted out, until he retired voluntarily in 1902.”
http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbe08

Bean didn’t stay in Vinegaroon. When the railroad moved west, Bean packed up his courtroom and saloon and moved 70 miles to Strawbridge, and a new tent city.

According to legend, Bean named the town after the British actress Emilie Charlotte (Lillie) Langtry, with whom Bean had fallen in love after seeing her picture. Bean even named his saloon The Jersey Lilly, in Miss Langtry’s honor. The truth: railroad records indicate that the town was named for George Langtry, a railroad construction foreman. [I found the photo to the left on tworobins.com]

But Bean was definitely the “law” in the town. Though he’d had no formal schooling in law, and only owned one law book, the 1879 edition of the “Revised Statutes of Texas”, he appointed himself Justice of the Peace and held court at his bar and passed down judgments until 1902. Although only district courts in Texas were legally allowed to grant divorces, Bean did it anyway–as long as the person had $10. He charged $5 for a wedding and sent the happily married couples on their way intoning “and may God have mercy on your souls.” None of the fines he collected were sent to the state.

 
Again from The Handbook of Texas Online:  “Bean died in his saloon on March 16, 1903, of lung and heart ailments and was buried in the Del Rio cemetery. His shrewdness, audacity, unscrupulousness, and humor, aided by his knack for self-dramatization, made him an enduring part of American folklore.”
 
Today, a recreation of The Jersey Lilly Saloon and Courtroom adjoins a Visitor’s Center in Langtry, Texas.

 

http://www.traveltex.com/things-to-do/attractions/judge-roy-bean-visitor-center 
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1339
http://www.legendsofamerica.com/picturepages/PP-Saloon-18-JudgeRoyBeanSaloon.html
http://www.desertusa.com/mag98/aug/papr/du_roybean.html
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Everett Lloyd, Law West of the Pecos (San Antonio: University Press, 1931; rev. ed., San Antonio: Naylor, 1967). C. L. Sonnichsen, Roy Bean, Law West of the Pecos (New York: Macmillan, 1943; rpt., Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1986). http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbe08

 

What I Learned from American Idol

Season Ten of American Idol ended last night, and Scotty McCreery was crowned the winner.  I had a good time this season.  I also learned a few things as a writer. Here’s my list . . .

Dude! You are IN IT TO WIN IT!   Can’t you just hear Randy saying those words for, say, the hundredth time?  It turned into shorthand for, “You took a chance and it paid off” or “You dug deep and found something extra.  Authors are “in it to win it” too.  The best stories come from taking chances, digging deep and then writing with as much drama as we can dig up.  It’s a great phrase, but Randy did say it a lot, which leads to  . . .

Repetition isn’t good.  Did anyone else get a tad bit tired of Stephen saying, “Man, that was beautiful.”  If Randy said “in it to win it” a hundred times, Stephen said “beautiful” two hundred times. You could see it coming, too.  He’d get a dreamy look, and then we’d hear the “beautiful” word.  It was kind of strange in a way, because he could also . . .

Be original. I’ve never been an Aerosmith fan, but I can see why the band did well.  Stephen Tyler is full of surprises. I enjoyed most of them, but I could have done without the four-letter words that led to a regular visit from that little Idol logo blocking out stuff that I’d prefer not to see or hear during a family-oriented show. Speaking of family viewing, I could have done without some of the . . .

Secondary characters aka guest performances shouldn’t overwhelm the story.  Two words: Lady Gaga.  I’m feeling very old fashioned right now, but some of the dancing and costumes reminded me why I like historical romance.  And that reminds me why I’m a fan of Scotty McCreery. Scotty has  . . .

Heroic qualities that rock!  I like country music and I adore Scotty’s deep voice, but he won me over during Hollywood week when  he decided to “man up” about the mess with the kid named Jacee Badeaux, the young boy who got rudely booted out of the group Scotty was in.  Scotty is only seventeen, but he’s got character. It shows in how he tells a story when he sings. At the same time, I think all of the contestants could have used a few more . . .

 Critiques that make us shine. I missed Simon and I didn’t.  I missed his honesty but not the meanness. The new judges were fun and entertaining, but I have to wonder if the contestants might have improved more with a more meaningful direction.  For instance, take a look at how  . . .

The underdog factor pays off.  I didn’t like Haley’s voice very much, and her music didn’t appeal to me. So why did I vote for her (along with Scotty and some for Lauren) the night of the Final Three?  This girl hung in there.  She took criticism on the chin and kept taking chances.  That Led Zeppelin  song was awesome and bold!  I wasn’t a Haley fan, but I was still rooting for her to do well. Would she make it or wouldn’t she?  And that leads us to  . . .

 Hooks! I got hooked on Idol at the very end of Season Two.  I was flipping channels when I landed on the sing-off between Rueben Stoddard and Clay Aiken.  Until then, I hadn’t seen the show and had no interest.  It took all of five minutes for me to become a dedicated fan.  The next night I turned into to see who won . . . It was Rueben by a narrow margin. Since then, I’ve been a dedicated viewer.  It all comes down to one thing: I want to know what happens next, that’s how writer’s creative compelling stories.

So that’s my take on American Idol, Season 10.  Did you watch?  Who was your favorite?  What were your Idol moments?

JASON’S ANGEL–A HISTORICAL COLLECTION

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to share with you all what a great month May has been for me! I have had two short stories released this month with Victory Tales Press.  Today I wanted to tell you about the one that appears in A HISTORICAL COLLECTION, an anthology that I’m in along with Karen Michelle Nutt (The Devil’s Wolf), Kate Kindle (A Tale From the Red Chest), and Miriam Newman (Deirdre). These stories all take place in different historical settings and time periods. My story, Jason’s Angel, is set in the final days of the War Between the States. 

Writing Jason’s Angel wasn’t easy.  My conundrum was the fact that for me, the Civil War was such a tragic time in our history that I wasn’t sure if I could see that my characters reached their “Happily Ever After” ending that I wanted them to have.  The only way I could see to do that in this case was to make Sabrina Patrick’s compassion so great that she saw beyond all boundaries of gray or blue, and didn’t think of the hero, Jason McCain, as the enemy, but first as a wounded man who needed her help.  

 Since Jason and another fellow Union soldier had been captured and are being held in the hospital where Sabrina volunteers, she knows that they will both die of their wounds if she doesn’t do something more than let nature run its course in those deplorable conditions. There is nothing she can do but bring them home, away from the inhumane treatment they are receiving from their guard and even from some of the hospital staff.  No one is more surprised than her Aunt Emmaline, who is none to happy with Sabrina’s decision. 

The only thing that could make matters worse is to find out that not only is Jason wearing Yankee Blue, he’s a southern boy, born and bred in Georgia—only a few miles from where Sabrina’s home is situated. What could make him fight for the Union? As Sabrina finds out more about Jason’s devastating past, she begins to understand. Because he is half Cherokee, his family has been shunned, and unimaginable tragedy has followed.  Can his restless soul find peace in Sabrina’s sweet love for him? 

I will leave you with a blurb and excerpt from JASON’S ANGEL. To order A HISTORICAL COLLECTION, go to the Victory Tales Press store here:

http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php

 or to my Amazon author page here:

    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002JV8GUE 

 If you would like to read about the other exciting stories in this anthology, or any of the other anthologies that Victory Tales Press offers, here’s the link

http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php

 I WILL BE GIVING AWAY PDF COPIES OF A HISTORICAL COLLECTION TO TWO COMMENTERS TODAY! Please leave a comment when you stop by to read the blog along with your e-mail address and you will be automatically entered for the drawing.

Jason ‘s Angel by Cheryl Pierson

Two wounded Union soldiers will die without proper treatment. Sabrina Patrick realizes they won’t get it at the Confederate army hospital where she helps nurse wounded men. She does the unthinkable and takes them to her home.

Jason McCain’s pain is eased by the feel of clean sheets, a soft bed, and a touch that surely must belong to an angel. But what reason could an angel have for bringing him and his brother here?

 FROM JASON’S ANGEL: 

Sabrina nodded. “Is there something else, Aunt Emma?”  

“You’ve been acting mighty peculiar, Sabrina.  Did something happen between you and Jason?”  The kindness and assurance of understanding, no matter what, in her aunt’s tone undid what little resolve Sabrina had left.  She had been on pins and needles since Jason had kissed her.  And she’d thought of nothing else.  But she’d been careful to avoid being in a similar position again since that day, and when she’d brought up his meals there had been only polite conversation between them.   

 Once, she’d thought she’d caught a glint of a deviling reminder in his eyes, but he’d looked past her after a moment and she couldn’t be sure. She couldn’t even tell Desi.  Desi would have gotten the greatest bit of fun from that knowledge—and she was unpredictable. 

For all Sabrina knew, had she confided in Desi, her younger sister might have decided to take matters into her own hands and tell Jason that Sabrina liked it. Which she had.  Or that Sabrina wished with all her heart he would kiss her again.  Which she did. She might even tell him of that indescribable rush of wind and heat and wonder that moved over her entire body when their lips had met—a feeling that she was still trying to figure out how to put into words herself.   

But Desiree would certainly have no trouble telling Jason what Sabrina had felt like—she was never at a loss for words.  And that’s why Sabrina could never tell her—not until she grew up a little.  

 How wonderful it would be to unburden herself to Aunt Emmaline. And how utterly shameful.  

“He…he kissed me,” she blurted. The familiar heat burned her cheeks.  

But Aunt Emmaline only smiled, and Sabrina watched her face transform into a reminder of the beauty she must have been as a young woman. 

“Is…that all?”  

Sabrina took a deep breath.  This was harder than she had imagined it might be.  “No.  I—Aunt Emma, I kissed him back.” 

Aunt Emma didn’t answer for a moment.  Finally, she took Sabrina’s hand in hers until Sabrina met her eyes.  “Sabrina, when I was young—younger than you, though not quite as featherheaded as Desi—there was a young man in my life.  He kissed me one time—and I kissed him back.  I’ve often wished through the years, that I’d allowed myself a second kiss.  Things…might have worked out very differently if I had.” 

“Aunt Emma—are you saying—”  

The older woman squeezed Sabrina’s hand gently.  “I’m saying follow your heart.  He’s a lonely soul, your Jason.  He’s searching for a place in the world.  And this world is changing, dear.  He may never find it without your help.  I’ve often wondered why you brought home two Yankees.  I’ve done a little digging of my own, as well.  These boys are Georgia born and bred.  Mrs. Davenport knows of their family, the McCains from over near Allen’s Ridge.”  

Sabrina was quiet, wondering how much of the family history her aunt had uncovered. 

“I…learned quite a bit, Sabrina,” she said gently.  

 Apparently, though, she wasn’t going to share any details. 

 “Mrs. Davenport is a fount of information.  Those men have been through hell, and not just the last years while the war has been raging.” 

Sabrina nodded, her throat tight. What must Jason believe, after what he had told her?  That she was keeping her distance because he’d opened his heart to her?  Or, because he was, as he said, “a half breed”?  

She had to go to him.       

 

We Have a Winner!

Actually we have two — once again!  My sincere thanks to all who came and left comments today.  Some very stirring and heartwrenching comments.  You made me think.  🙂

And now to the winners!  They are Mary J. and Anita Mae Draper.  CONGRATULATIONS!  Mary and Anita, I would very much like it if you would email me privately, so I can discover what books you have and what books I have on stock that you might like.  karenkay.author@earthlink.net

Again, my sincere thanks to all who came here today!

The Life & Times of Robert Yellowtail, Crow

Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening (depending on when you’re joining us today)!  Before we begin, I need to let you know that I’ve been up all night working on a project, so I won’t be on the blog until later in the day.  To make up for this, I will be giving away a book to some lucky blogger.  So come on in and leave a comment.

Today I thought we’d journey into the past, but the more recent past.  Usually I blog about the early or mid 1800’s, but today I hope you’ll come along with me as I tell you the story of an incredible man, Robert Yellowtail, a Crow Indian hero.

The picture to the left is not of Robert, but of a handsome youth taken about this same time in history.  He is definitely Crow — easily identified by the style of his hair and accessories.  Robert may have looked similar in his youth.  Robert Yellowtail was born on August 4, 1889, but was boarded at a government school, away from any his parents and any influence from his tribe at an early age.  He was only four years old.  The 1890’s were an extremely difficult time for the American Indian in general.  Not only was it forbidden by “do-gooders” and government agents for the American Indian to practice their traditional way of life, but Indian land was being looked upon as desirable by powerful corporations who had influence over the government and Indian agents.  Land was needed.  Land was important.  And here were the Indians with “lots” of land, or so it was said.

It was also a tough life at government schools.  No youngster was allowed to speak his own language, or to practice any skill that might be similar to that of the old ways.  The idea was to “kill” the Indian and “give birth” to a “red-white-man.”  Yellowtail was both intelligent and stubborn and gave his teachers much trouble (so would I have done, I like to think).  So much was this the case that Robert was sent to the Sherman Institute in Riverside, California.  California was more tolerant in those days, and here he did very well and graduated in 1907.  He studied law at the Extension Law School in Los Angeles, where he would go on to earn a law degree via correspondence courses.  His main interest was to use the law to help his people.  He also learned to play the clarinet. 🙂

In 1910, senator Thomas Walsh introduced a bill to open up the Crow reservation to homesteaders. Crow Chief Plenty Coups (one of the most famous chiefs of the Crow) knew he needed someone with knowledge of the law, someone with knowledge of the white man’s ways, and someone stubborn and intelligent enough to fight for the Crow.  He called upon Yellowtail, and Yellowtail rose to the occasion.

It was a seven year struggle, a battle that was fought in courts and in Congress, with Walsh attacking the Crow and Yellowtail in particular ferociously.  However, finally, the Crow won this battle much because Yellowtail was an experienced orator and he went on to speak for hours at the Senate — much like a filabuster.  He simply refused to give up.  At last he won, and the reservation lands were kept under the control of the Crow.  Yellowtail was only twenty-eight years old.

In the following years, Yellowtail’s accomplishments grew even more incredible:

  • In 1919, Yellowtail was needed again in Washington D.C. to help write and fight for (if need be) the 1920 “Crow Act.”  Here he shined.  Using his experience in law for the good of his people, he went on to ensure that Crow Lands would never be able to be taken away from the Crow again.

It’s also important to note that because of Yellowtail’s work, the American Indians were at last “given”  the right to vote in 1924.

In 1934, Yellowtail went on to become the Superintendent of the Crow Indian Reservation.  This might not sound like the accomplishment that it was because he was the first Indian superintendent of his own tribe.  Working under the duty to improve his people’s lot in life, the culture of the Crow flourished under his leadership.

Yellowtail was also a prosperous rancher.  And sometime in the mid-30’s he managed to get the ranchers (whites in the area) to return 40,000 acres of land.  Under his leadership buffalo were brought back to the reservation, as well as some breds of horses and cattle.

This photo to the left, by the way, is one of my most favorite photos of the Crow.  It has served me well as images of handsome Indian warriors.

The only controversy that shadowed Robert Yellowtail’s life was what happened at Bighorn River.  Commissioners and unelected officials wanted to damn up the Bighorn River.  Yellowtail was completely against it.  In fact fighting that damn consumed him.  The Bighorn Canyon (which the damn would cause to be flooded) was considered sacred. The tribal council sided with Yellowtail, but as we know, those with unscrupulous morals often take underhanded roles to accomplish what they want.

Unity of the Crow began to crumble under the onslaught of rumor campaigns.  Yellowtail, himself, was said to be willing to sell out the tribe.  It was all a lie, but even to this day, this haunts his image.  In the end, Yellowtail was forced to negotiate or lose everything.  He rose to the challenge and demanded the government pay the Crow tribe $1 million a year for 50 years.  And when those 50 years were finished, the Crow would get their land back.

More rumor campaigns ensued.  In the end, Yellowtail lost and the government got everything and paid an equivalent of only $600 per tribal member.  Yellowtail was downtrodden, and the funny thing about it is that the damn is named after him.

But there was another battle ahead, which came much later, in the 1970’s. This time it was over mineral right (coal) and this time, despite rumor campaigns and attempts to blacken his name, he won.

Yellowtail lived to a ripe old age of 98, but he lives on in the legacy that he left.  Because of him, the reservation retained most of their land, they were able to govern themselves and they hadn’t sold away their mineral rights (and by the way, the offer was a pitance).  It was a different sort of war that he fought, he was a different sort of warrior, but he will never be forgotten so long as the Crow people live.

Don’t forget.  Seneca Surrender is still on sale.  Pick up your copy today.  And please come on in and leave a comment.  I won’t be able to answer right away, but I will be picking a winner at the end of the day.

Also, off to the left here, is a book that I wrote about the Crow, LONE ARROW’S PRIDE.

Now, here’s my question for you today:  In an age where criminality becomes more and more the “norm” for a society, do you think a hero, similar to Robert Yellowtail, with honest concern for his people, has a chance to exist?

All I can say is I certainly hope so.  Come on in, leave a comment.

A Penny For Your Thoughts

June 23rd is National Penny Day (some calendars have it listed as National Lucky Penny Day).   In honor of the occasion I looked up a few interesting facts about that ubiquitous copper coin to share with you:
                        

  • Pennies are normally considered lucky.  Remember the old jingle “See a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck”?  And many a bride has placed a penny in her shoe for good luck.  (I certainly did).
  • The Continental Congress authorized the first US penny in 1787.  It was designed by Benjamin Franklin and was made of pure copper.
  • In 1909, on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the very first Lincoln penny was issued.  It was the first regular issue US coin to honor an actual person.
  • There are more pennies produced in the US than any other coin.
  • In 2009 there were approximately 150 BILLION pennies in circulation.
  • A 2006 national poll revealed that 74% or males and 84% of females stop and pick a penny up off the ground when they spot one.
  • As of May 2010, it cost the US mint more to create a penny (about 1.67 cents) than its face value. 

All that being said, I’ll admit to being surprised that the lowly penny rated having a special day set aside for it since that poor copper coin hasn’t gotten much respect lately.  In fact, over the past several years there have been ongoing debates about whether or not we should do away with the penny all together. 

Those opposed to doing away with the penny argue that it will cause prices to go up as merchants round everything up, that many charities depend on penny drives to bring in funding, and that Americans on the whole are traditionalists who have a sentimental attachment to pennies.

Those on the other side of the debate argue that pennies are all but worthless on their own (you can no longer buy anything for just a penny), processing pennies wastes time (there are statistics that show the average individual spends about two and a half hours a year handling pennies or waiting on folks who handle them), producing pennies wastes government time (if we did away with pennies the Mint would only have half the work to do).

As for me, though I’m normally one of those sentimental traditionalists, it wouldn’t really bother me unduly to see them permanently retired.  I don’t carry any around with me if I can help it.  Any that do end up in my wallet get transferred to a large jar I keep by my front door (see picture).  On the other hand, if I spot one on the ground, I can’t resist picking it up for good luck  🙂 .

                                   

So what about you?  Are you for or against our government continuing to mint pennies?  And do you have a penny jar of your own?

Paty Jager – Spirit Of The Lake

Thank you for having me here today.  I enjoy my visits here at Petticoats and Pistols.

My May release is the second book of the spirit trilogy, Spirit of the Lake. It’s set among the Nez Perce Indians as the Whiteman is encroaching on their beloved Wallowa Valley. The hero Wewukiye (Way-woo-key-ya), the spirit of the lake, saves a Nez Perce maiden, Dove, from drowning. She’s pregnant from rape by a Whiteman.

The course of the story takes place over the nine months of her carrying the child. Wewukiye has determined that the birth of the child will prove her story and the Whiteman’s deceit to the Nez Perce leaders who believe the man is their friend. 

While researching what the seasons would be called in the Nez Perce Language I came across this sampling of how they call their seasons:

Wilupup = January Time of cold weather, blizzards.

Alat’amal = February Freezing weather, difficult to maintain fires

Latit’al = March Season of first bloom of plants. New life begins.

Q’oyxt’sal = April Season of high rivers from melting snow.

Q’eq’iit’al = May Season of first root, Q’eqiit harvest.

Hiilal Tustimasat’al = June Season of moving to higher elevation to harvest roots. Season of bluebark return.

 Taya’al = July Season of Tayam (hot) days of summer.

Wawam’mayq’al = August Season of Chinook Salmon return. Salmon reach the upper tributary streams to spawn

Piq’unmayq’al = September Nat’soxiwal Season of fish return to rivers for cold weather.

Hoplal = October Season of cold weather. Tamarack turn yellow.

Sexliwal = November The buck deer ‘running’.Large animals mate. Season of leaves/plants discolor.

Haoq’oy = December Season of doe carrying fetus. No hunting of female game.

Spirit of the Lake starts in the Season of fish return to rivers for cold weather and ends Season of first root.

Other words I used were:

El-weht – Spring

Ta-yum – Summer

Sekh-nihm – Fall

Anihm – Winter

One thing I discovered because the different bands of the Nez Perce tribes were separated and had different neighboring tribes there may be more than one Nez Perce word for the same English word.  And depending on where the Nez Perce word was translated, more than one English spelling.

Here is the blurb and excerpt for Spirit of the Lake:

Two generations after his brother became mortal, Wewukiye(Way-woo-key-ya), the lake spirit, prevents a Nimiipuu maiden from drowning and becomes caught up in her sorrow and her heart. Her tribe ignores Dove’s shameful accusations—a White man took her body, leaving her pregnant, and he plans to take their land.Wewukiye vows to care for her until she gives birth, to help her prove the White man is deceitful and restore her place in her tribe.

As they travel on their quest for justice, Dove reveals spiritual abilities yet unknown in her people, ensnaring Wewukiye’s respect and awe. But can love between a mortal and a spirit grow without consequences?

EXCERPT:

Wewukiye tugged her hand, drawing her closer. His warm breath puffed against her ear.

“You need only think of me and you will have strength.”

His soft silky voice floated through her body like a hot drink.

Dove swallowed the lump in her throat and asked, “When will I see you again?” The thought of sleeping on the hard ground next to the fire in Crazy One’s dwelling didn’t sound near as inviting as using his lap to rest her head.

The days and nights grew colder; to be wrapped in his arms would warm her through and through.

“You will find me at the meadow every day when the sun is directly overhead.” He brushed his lips against her ear.

She closed her eyes, relishing the silky feel of his lips and the heat of his touch.

“Think of me,” whispered through her head.

Dove opened her eyes. She stood alone. Her palm still warm from their clasped hands, her ear ringing with his whisper. 

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This post is part of my blog tour. Leave a comment on as many of my guest blogs as you can and the person who travels with me the most will receive an autographed copy of Spirit of the Lake, a sweatshirt, and cowboy chocolate. To find all the places I’m visiting go to my blog: www.patyjager.blogspot.com  The contest runs from May 18th – May 29th covering thirteen blogs. I’ll notify the winner on May 30th. In the event of a tie I will draw a name.

To read more about the spirit trilogy or my other books, visit my website: www.patyjager.net

Thank you for having me here today!

Paty

Resources: http://www.native-languages.org/nez.htm
Photos: http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Pictures/American-Indians-00.html