Trail Talk Blog

The Learning Experience

We have certainly come a long way from the days when American schools began to introduce media – ever so cautiously – into the curriculum to stimulate interest and enhance the learning experience.   As a Boomer, I was constantly subjected to experimental instructional programs sparked by the launch of Sputnik,… read more >

Year-end Miracle

Here in the Black Hills we had a little extra excitement in the days leading up to the year-end festivities. You could even call it a miracle,  which I’m proud to say, is typical of our part of the woods. On December 20, the Black Hills Humane Society was asked… read more >

The Education of Shebby Lee

I consider my own education to be woefully incomplete and with the days dwindling down – as the song goes – is taking on a sense of urgency. Therefore, I rarely re-read books (see paragraph one) but for some reason last winter I picked up a two-volume book I had… read more >

Brown Water*

It’s probably a safe bet that no one pursues historical research to win prizes. Unless you are Stephan Ambrose or Bernard DeVoto, recognition for your work is such a remote possibility that it isn’t even a factor. Even the most highly regarded historians spend a lifetime seeking publishers for their… read more >

Democracy

When I was in junior high, my history teacher planted a trick question in a pop quiz that made a lasting impression on me. He asked us to name the oldest democracy in the world. Sadly, not one of us had a clue, and undoubtedly that was the point. He… read more >

Melting Pot

Many years ago there was a pretty good sitcom on network TV called “Welcome Back, Kotter”. The scripts were funny, the acting was good – it made a star out of John Travolta – but my favorite thing about that show was the name of one of the characters: Juan… read more >

Two Worlds Colliding

I was recently on the receiving end of a flattering and wholly unexpected accolade recognizing many decades of volunteer work promoting and preserving the history of South Dakota. This is what I do for fun, and despite the fact that my tour business grew out of my love of history,… read more >

The Thinker

No this isn’t going to be a blog about Rodin’s iconic sculpture. Francophobes can relax. You know how speaker introductions and biographies tend to define their subjects as inventor, politician, musician, business tycoon, etc? Well, I just heard a noted historical figure described as a “thinker”, and it stopped me… read more >

The Business of Fun

What is your job title? Are you a sales manager, vice-president, chief cook and bottle washer? Most businesses assign titles without much thought, relying mostly on old standbys. Some actually think a fancy designation is an acceptable substitute for a raise! I am fortunate to work in a business that… read more >

Seeing the Elephant

“Seeing the elephant”, I’m told, is a purely American phrase which gained popularity in the early 19th century. Coincidentally, the first circuses reached these shores from Europe in the 1830’s and they invariably included exotic animals that no American had ever seen. They were HUGE – almost overwhelming – and… read more >

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Happy Trails!