Trail Talk Blog

How the Buffalo Were Saved

Have you ever wondered how the buffalo were saved?   Like most such tales, it is actually more than one story, which I’ll get to shortly. Much better known is how they were nearly exterminated, and – alas – far more depressing.   As I have cited in more than one Trail… read more >

Tidewater

Two hundred years after the first Pilgrims, Dutch East Indian employees and English Cavaliers arrived on these shores (and began the long, agonizing process of wresting it from its original owners)  90% of the non-Indian population still lived within 50 miles of tidewater.   Despite America’s well-known penchant for looking westward,… read more >

Story Telling

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, Toni Morrison, has admitted in interviews that she writes the story she would like to read herself.   Unfortunately, doing what we want and doing it well is a gift that only a talented few possess. I do identify with her sentiment, however.   After all,… read more >

Blue Beads and Other Paraphernalia

I need to get back on the trail again.   I need to pack up Fred, and my blue beads, and maps and hand-forged gills, and possibles bag, and 15-star flag, and head out on the trail with another enthusiastic band of explorers to discover what we can about this seminal… read more >

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 >

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