Trail Talk Blog

Archive for 2015

Founding Fathers

History teachers and trivia buffs are fond of posing trick questions to their respective audiences. So here goes: I was leafing through a magazine article about the many restored Virginia homes of our founding fathers recently and when I got to James Monroe, our fifth president, I learned that not… read more >

American Heritage

My grandfather was an original subscriber to American Heritage Magazine, the classy hardbound history magazine written and edited by some of America’s most distinguished historians and scholars of the fifties and sixties. Civil War historian Bruce Catton, was the founding editor, and remained at his post for many years. David… read more >

The Tradition of Pow Wow

October is Pow Wow month in the Black Hills, when one of the largest pow wows in North America is held annually. For various reasons – including recent health challenges – it has been a number of years since I attended this or any other pow wow. I had forgotten… read more >

Sherman Alexie

When I fall in love with an author – which I do with some regularity – it is passionately, deeply, obsessively. I set out immediately to devour every literary morsel he or she has ever written. Typically I cannot contain my enthusiasm and extol the author’s virtues to everybody I… read more >

Publicity

As pretty much of a round peg in a square hole, I’ve been very fortunate to draw attention in the travel trade press over the years. Partly because of our unique focus on learning excursions, I’ve been interviewed countless times and had numerous opportunities to speak at travel and history… read more >

Colonization

Italy did not colonize North America, notwithstanding Christopher Columbus (an Italian who was actually working for Spain when he stumbled upon the western hemisphere), yet Italian Americans made their mark on this continent. Can you imagine popular culture without Frank Sinatra or Joe DiMaggio? PBS produced an entire documentary recently… read more >

The Empty Quarter

I’ve written about this subject before (Wide Open Spaces, Jan 2013) but it is never far from my mind because I not only live in what has been derisively called the Empty Quarter, I have introduced hundreds of travelers to it’s amazing vastness, and I might add, it is a… read more >

Where Legends Live

I like to think that I am an eclectic reader, with interests in baseball (especially the Negro Leagues), World War II, biographies (of virtually anybody), Colonial America, British Royalty (and I’m not talking about Kate and William; I’m talking about the likes of Ethelred the Unready, and that callow fellow,… read more >

It’s All About the Water

The first time I traveled the Lewis & Clark Trail was in 1997. I was participating in a FAM (that’s travelspeak for “familiarization tour”) with thirty or so other tour operators that the 14 trail states were hoping to interest in conducting tours of the trail during the upcoming Bicentennial… read more >

Westerners

I am a Westerner in more ways than one. I live in the West and am devoted to its history. But I also belong to an organization called Westerners, International, a foundation to stimulate interest and research in frontier history, according to its website. This is a club like no… read more >

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