What’s happening?

Nothing much is happening here and I like that.  I drove us back from the dog groomer this morning, and almost had a nervous fit.  I think my commuter’s nerves of steel have atrophied.  I really don’t like driving, unless it is the trip to my daughter’s home in the rural part of Virginia. We will make that trip in a few weeks when the girls are home on spring break. Two of them work for universities and one is in school at UVA. 

Rita my third oldest granddaughter (age 20), lives with daughter Connie and SIL Bill and works for a local veterinarian.  Weekends, she works at a tea shop in the nearest town.  Her boss left her in charge of the tea shop the other weekend.  She is also taking American history courses at a nearby college. She may or may not be at home the weekend we visit.

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cropped-julie-and-pop.jpgThese days, I do little but read and walk my dog Johnny.  David is using a cane, so he walks with Clare (five pounds weight). We walk the dogs separately as they are mismatched, Johnny twice her weight and far too aggressive when he walks beside her. Besides, Johnny and I like to whip around the 4 blocks alone.  The photo above shows David with his daughter Julie and Clare at Christmas. Julie had just scolded her Dad for kissing Clare, and he was laughing at her. (He kisses Clare more than he kisses me.)

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Via a book review by Cynthia Ozick (Quarrel and Quandary: Essays) I recently discovered W. G. Sebald, and purchased The Emigrants. After reading his first essay, I plan to read more of his works. I am probably discovering him after everyone else, but don’t forget, I have been reading nothing but history for the past seven to eight years. 

Because I constantly have tears rolling down my face, David tells me I should stop reading books about WWII and the Holocaust, but I remind him that he reads books about the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, and that was just as bad, if not worse. His latest book is Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy by Douglas Smith, about the White Russians who either fled as refugees or were eradicated by the Bolsheviks (ethnic cleansing of a whole class of white people and largely ignored in this day of political correctness).

English: This image is a screenshot from a pub...

English: This image is a screenshot from a public domain trailer for the 1956 film, The Searchers. Trailers for movies released before 1964 are in the Public Domain because they were never separately copyrighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My new copy of The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by former Washington Post reporter Glenn Frankel arrived this morning.  And yes, it’s about John Ford’s classic western starring John Wayne (top 10 best films, according to the AFI). I saw it on the big screen when I was a teenager.

English: Chief Quanah Parker of the Kwahadi Co...

English: Chief Quanah Parker of the Kwahadi Comanche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What you might not know is that the film is based on a true story of a little girl, taken captive by Comanche raiders, and surnamed Parker whose son (half Indian, half White) was Quanah Parker. 

Now all you American history buffs should know who he was. As it happens the little girl lived in the part of East Texas where I was born and is well-known to Texicans.  

I am reading both books simultaneously and read more of my Lincoln book yesterday as well as the essay by Ozick.  I rotate books, and often have several going at the same time.  Actually, I might not be able to read one book straight through after over 30 years of graduate school where you always had to read three books at a time. Besides, I am a high-strung person according to my Mom and David. I wonder if that’s what they call ADD today?         

15 thoughts on “What’s happening?

  1. I just heard an interview on PBS about Frankel’s book. I have never actually seen the movie, “The Searchers” and look forward to it. We certainly have a colorful history here in America !

  2. I think I read something about the life of Quanah Parker’s mother in a magazine or newspaper or something. She was apparently reunited with her white family, but was so accustomed to living with her Comanche villagers that she wanted to return to them. Apparently, it was a really sad, tragic thing.

    • Yes Kay, it was awful for Anna Parker. She had become part of the Comanche band that captured her and had three children. She was allowed to take her daughter with her back to her white family, but never saw her two sons again. Her son Quannah worked to bring peace to both whites and Indians.

  3. One thing about reading history is you appreciate that despite all our current international arguments, 21st century brutality is nothing compared to what it used to be. Some 620,000 Americans died in the Civil War, even more than the 405,000 Americans who died in WWII. The total worldwide death toll for WWII was something like 70 million people, which is absolutely mind-boggling.

  4. In my family we say” I’m normal ” at which the rest say” yeah ,Abby Normal”!!! We all picked on each other which made us prepared for the rest of the world .

      • Absolutely. They asked and gave no quarters. To them, dying was part of the deal and the more you suffered the better they liked it. They also had the widest ranging territory of any tribe. All of Oklahoma and parts of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. When they got the horse from the Spanish they quickly became the best horsemen in the world. They could shoot 4-5 arrows a minute at a full gallop.

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