Showing posts from November, 2016

The Enigma of Henry David Thoreau

The Enigma of Henry David Thoreau July 12, 1817, May 6, 1862, aged 44

Henry David Thoreau was an American writer who is regarded as an advocate for simple living. His most notable work is Walden; or, Life in the Woods, published in 1854. He lived in Concord, Massachusetts.
Walden genuinely is a great book, often on required reading lists in both high schools and universities. I’ve read and re-read the book, and have found it interesting to separate the writer from what was written. I’ve also traveled to historic Concord, and have visited Walden Pond deliberately because I enjoy the book and his writing very much. And - my goodness the man is quotable!
His nobility is in his words rather than of his personal path through the world. His own words, which follow in this work, are always italicized and bold as in the text below. They can, and do, inspire:
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he …

Veterans Day

It's the 11th day of the 11th month, Veterans Day in the US and Armistice Day in many other countries. 
In (what seems like) another lifetime I ran combatant and logistic operations in Afghanistan.  On March 26th of 2005 four soldiers in my section were killed when their vehicle struck a buried mine and exploded. 
The soldiers killed in action included the youngest of our section, Kyle Snyder, who was barely 21 - in fact, he turned 21 in Kabul. The other young soldier, Brett Hershey was also 21. 
The two senior soldiers were Master Sergeant Mike Hiester who was 33, and Major Todd Fiscus who was 36. Both of them were fathers. 
It broke my heart, and I still mourn all of them, deeply. 
There is a cost to live in a dangerous world which isn't always obvious to us in our daily routines, and now, 11 years later, I reflect that I used to think about my friends all of the time. I don't remember them now but occasionally.  
There is a touching memorial on Kyle Snyder's page on the F…

Edwin Worth, Springport, and The Star-shaped Museum

Edwin Worth, Springport, and The Star-shaped Museum
Springport was settled in the mid-19th century and the town formally platted in 1868 when the railroad arrived. Its current population is about 150. There are numerous artesian wells throughout the bottomland of the Little Buck Creek Valley - hence the name “Springport.” In addition to the railroad, Springport was serviced by the old Interurban line, and the unusually large passenger depot /  600-volt substation is still standing in town, just west of Little Buck Creek.
In the mid-1800’s, “Professor” Edwin Worth began collecting assorted Native American artifacts from mounds in Michigan - and eventually odd artifacts from around the world -  and in 1846 he  assembled them all in a New York museum in a kind of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” style show. All of this changed when he finally found his long-lost orphaned sister - and only living relative - Anna, in 1907.
Anna lived in Springport, Indiana, and he came to live with her and deci…