Trail Talk Blog

What I Was Taught

It is embarrassing to open a sentence with,  “I was taught”.   I like to think of myself as a free-thinker even in my developmental years,   but a headline in today’s news triggered the phrase,   and I just can’t shake it. With the commemorations last fall of the 100th Anniversary of… read more >

The Power of the Press

Have you ever wondered just how the man most widely perceived as our best US President,  managed to triumph in a field of four candidates?   Such odds would be considered suicidal today. Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election because the Lincoln-Douglas debates were closely followed by reporters,   who transcribed them… read more >

BIG

Most of us can relate to Tom Hanks’ adolescent wish to be Big in the delightful movie comedy of that name  (1988).   One of my first memories was of yearning to be tall enough to see over store counters.   There were times when I felt that I would never… read more >

Jas. Townsend & Sons

Just on principle,  I pretty much like ALL living history experiences.   When done well,   21st century participants can feel part of history  –  usually meeting and interacting with ordinary people going about their everyday lives.   These are often real craftsmen demonstrating skills that are no longer required,   and have taken… read more >

The Cutest Rodent

Here I am,  writing about beavers again.   That’s what happens when some of your best tours explore trails used by practioners of the North American fur trade and the impact it had on American history. I have a tour director who has been crazed to buy her own pelt for… read more >

To Buy or to Borrow – That is the Question

Where do you find the books you read?   No, wait.   Before we get to that,  I want to know if you make a distinction between the books you want to own,  and the ones you merely want to read. As a bibliophile I have a problem with this last.   As… read more >

September Song

This isn’t a story about “days dwindling down” that we all know from the familiar “September Song” by the twentieth century composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Maxwell Anderson.   But it seems apt,  nevertheless. Let me start with the fact that I had a tough week.   It was just one… read more >

Censorship is Obscene

There is a sign on a shelf of my living room library bluntly stating that “Censorship is Obscene”.   I’m guessing this may require a bit of explanation. My mother,  a pioneer in developing and implementing remedial reading programs,  took every book-banning PTA or edict-issuing school board as a personal challenge.  … read more >

My Favorite Things

From all accounts it appears that everybody today has a bucket list,  and travel is almost certainly on it.   We even tout a few of our adventures as bucket list-worthy, often including states that – sadly – wind up as numbers 48, 49 or 50 of states visited. But the… read more >

Mortality

I’ve been contemplating mortality lately – a natural thing, I suppose, as one progresses along the human timeline.   But I have been experiencing rapidly increasing reminders lately, and it’s starting to feel a little uncomfortable. Just this week, for example, I attended the 100th birthday of a dear friend and… read more >

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