A Strange and Blighted Land

Gettysburg: The Aftermath of a Battle In aftermaths of life even the best ideas on paper can leave a trail of human misery or a path to new life. Many times aftermaths are a mixture of both. In A STRANGE AND BLIGHTED LAND Gettysburg: The Aftermath of a Battle we travel more on the first…

Shakers Lie

The Shakers were a religious sect who believed that favoritism in love was a bad thing. They believed that passion for a partner drained the proper passion one should have for God. Sorry, but I think they were nuts. Back at the beginning of the nineteenth century they were considered by most people to be…

Insatiable Lust

Who knew I’d learn far more than I wanted to about bestiality at the dentist today? While the dentist lectured one of my kids on her inadequate brushing, I flipped through an old copy of New York Magazine and came upon the WHAT IT’S LIKE TO DATE A HORSE story. As the prig I am…

Taken Prisoner

A Confederate officer stood alone at a crossroad goading his horse to move on in the aftermath of the Union retreat at BULL RUN. Sensing danger he glanced over his shoulder. A Yankee raced over the field tramping the freshly cut hay. As the Yankee drew closer he struggled to pull something from behind his…

No Trophies for Effort!

What if a shadowy stranger in New York offered you $200,000 (about what $10,000 was worth in the 1890’s) to walk across America in weird clothes and with only what you could carry. Would you go? Now imagine it’s before an electric grid and fast food. The newly built railroad tracks will be your only…

Books I’ve Known and Loved

EVIL: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty by Roy F. Baumeister, Ph. D. Do you want to get inside the mind of a serial killer or an executioner? You need go no further than your own mind. Well, you have to go a little further, but not much. Turns out people who do evil things are…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

When Harriet Hanson Robinson explained to her busy (and presumably happy) single friend that she felt sorry for her  because she wasn’t married and could not  be a complete woman there was no hint of bitchiness. Harriet was a contented creature of her time. In my early feminist days I would have found this hard…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

WARNING: This is not about gay marriage. It’s not about gender politics or more aptly put: gender war. This about history. Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18 For much of recorded history most people looked…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

“The patriotism of the people who worked in the powder mills during the war was only exceeded by the front line soldiers.” On the day of the final explosion  Helen remembered her mother at the sink. The tree-lined village with its substantial homes and churches lit by new stained glass sat chilled by a March…

Books I’ve Known And Loved

Of two minds. It’s how we live without crumbling into tears of frustration, terror and despair. We play mental games, don’t we? When I say “we” I mean slave owners and slave traders (past and present), black and white, vegetarians and trophy hunters. Abraham Lincoln was just like the rest of us until he was…