Trail Talk Blog

Archive for the ‘Twentieth Century’ Category

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 >

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 >

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 >

Martin Luther King, Jr, My Father, and Me

One of my earliest memories of my father was his boast that he had gone to graduate school with Martin Luther King, Jr.   In fact, Rev. King was revered in our house, and his prominence in the media of the 1950’s and sixties as he conducted his freedom crusade throughout… read more >

Public Art

Across this great country of ours communities have embraced the concept of Public Art, or art for all.   In New Mexico they paint murals on water towers.   In my home town of Rapid City, South Dakota, we have “Art Alley” where ever-changing graffiti festoons a previously derelict city alley.   We… 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 >

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 >

The Sixties

Recently I watched a PBS documentary on Daniel Ellsberg and his seemingly suicidal attempt to make the government accountable during the tumultuous sixties. For reference: Daniel Ellsberg leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers – which exposed massive governmental misconduct all the way up to the Presidency – to the New York… read more >

The Yellowstone Myth

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I am a big fan of America’s National Parks. With all its flaws (mostly attributable to under-funding) they collectively constitute our “best idea”, and the rest of the world has endorsed the concept by copying it. I was therefore intrigued… read more >

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