A Few Excerpts from my Magazine Clip File
They stand on the site of an ancient inland sea, scanning the horizon with the same unblinking posture as the stone heads of Easter Island. Within their shadows, cattle graze on high desert scrub, clomping about amidst late July wildflowers. Here and there big-eared jackrabbits stand stone-still, as highly attuned to nature’s whispers as the 230-ton radio telescopes towering over them. This is the home of the Very Large Array.
Located in a region where Loretta Lynn trounces Madonna on the local airwaves, it seems too backwater, too cowboy to host one of Earth’s most sophisticated astronomical radio observatories. And yet the very remoteness evokes the sensation of having time-warped to a futuristic robotic city. The disparity is akin to being served raspberry frappe topped with chicken gravy.
I have to admit it. I like the flavors.
Collecting Astro Stuff – Astronomy Magazine
On the shelf between Mr. Spock and my Mars Rover sits a piece of astronomical history–a replica of the Hale Telescope’s 200-inch mirror. Issued by the Corning Glass Works as a 1939 World’s Fair souvenir, the 3-1/2-inch memento is part of my growing collection of astronomy and space memorabilia. A collection, I must admit, that was born more from my love than toys than any thought of amassing an investment portfolio. The serious collector never cracks the plastic on his purchases. My Mars Rover runs rampant.
A year ago I was a babe in the woods, a novice collector who could have walked past Edwin Hubble’s pipe without a backward glance. I knew I liked space-related antiques, but didn’t realize they’re collected as ardently as Elvis fans snatch up souvenir plates. All that changed the day I walked into a Carlsbad, California antique shop, saw a fire engine red Tom Corbett Space Cadet lunch box and asked “how much?” “Three hundred,” the owner replied. Gulp.
Thar She Blows! – History Magazine
George Dodge was born with salt-water in his veins. Growing up in Salem, Massachusetts, he wandered the wharves, captivated by seamen’s tales of faraway lands. In 1831, he left home and headed for Nantucket, center of the New England whaling trade. On his arrival, he signed onto the whaler Baltic. He would not see home again for nearly four years.
On the first night at sea, the Baltic’s greenhorn hands could only wonder at what foolishness possessed them to sign on for a long voyage. Wretchedly seasick, they writhed in their cramped bunks, praying for home.
As the next days and weeks passed, the seasickness disappeared but the reality of life on board a whaler hit home. The mate used a cat-o-nine tails on their backs, and every day was spent in the constant practice of lowering and raising the boats, and learning to handle the long oars. Soon, they settled into the tedium of the long voyage, or what old salts called the “sailor’s horror” .
Out of this World – eBay Magazine – before it went defunct (:
Whether you think little green men with big bug eyes and bulbous bald heads are cuddly or creepy, aliens and flying saucers are no longer the unidentified flying objects in the collecting world.
During a violent thunderstorm, ‘something’ crashed on Rancher William ‘Mac’ Brazel’s property. Brazel reported the wreckage to the Roswell sheriff, who is turn called the Roswell Army Air Field. The Air Field, home of the only nuclear strike force in the U.S., was a hotbed of classified projects and Cold War paranoia. It took only hours for the veil of silence to drop over the crash site.
Since then, Roswell and the UFO story, complete with alien autopsies and government cover-ups, have become cultural icons and hot collectibles—thanks in part to the unexpected popularity of WB’s Roswell. Who knew TV’s sexy aliens and their glow-in-the-dark hickeys would heat up the auction circuit as well as the small screen?
Private Thoughts, Public Airing – Writer’s Digest
A year ago I discovered the Web-based weight-loss journal of a 35-year-old Swedish woman named Val. Posted online, for the whole world to see, were her daily struggles with maintaining a healthy diet while her husband and kids scarfed down Whoppers and fries. I applauded Val’s bravery at letting the world in on such a private battle and felt inspired by her willingness to share her progress.
Journals, by name, were always so private it seemed almost sacrilegious for the world to read your most intimate battles . . . however, Val’s journal got me thinking . . . and Jake the cat got me doing.
You see, Jake is a 12-pound, 7-month-old Ragdoll cat who runs my house. His bad boy antics and striking good looks sent me running for my digital camera and a WordPress blog to chronicle his free spirit and rapid growth. Beginning with his arrival at eight weeks of age, The Jake Journal depicts his various poses and postures, and is accompanied by my journal notes about bringing in a new kitten just months after the death of my 19-year-old cat, Noel.
Creating an Historic Journal of the 21st Century – Personal Journaling Magazine
It started over a café latte and my sister’s lament. “Why is it”, asked Vicki, “that our family never saves anything? Why don’t we have Civil War letters or a colonial journal?”
Her question wasn’t a new one. We frequently carp about how little we have of our family’s past—and how much more we’d like to know. Every time we see some guy on Antique Roadshow hold up great-great-grandpa’s letters from Gettysburg, we shake our heads and wonder how he got so lucky.
That afternoon, as we slurped Starbuck’s best, we talked about the past, then wondered what future generations would say about us. Would they sit around a Moon-based coffee bar and gripe that we hadn’t handed down a letter from Vietnam or a year 2000 voter’s pamphlet?
Home On The Range – Family Tree Magazine
Although the term “Manifest Destiny” wasn’t coined until the mid-19th century, the philosophy itself was embraced decades earlier. In its simplest form, Manifest Destiny justified, by divine right, the expansion of the nation from sea to shining sea. In practical terms, it enabled Americans–including perhaps your ancestors–to settle where they pleased, from Mexico’s California to the Black Hills of the Lakota.
In 1803, Thomas Jefferson ensured white settlement of the continent by brokering the savviest real estate deal in history. With $15 million, he added 828,000 square miles of land to the national coffers, acquiring territory from the Mississippi River to the Rockies and the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
At the conclusion of a two year exploration of the new territory by Lewis and Clark, Americans headed west. At first, fur trappers and mountain men drifted across the plains into the Rockies. Then, by the 1840s, thousands of pioneers trekked along the Platte River on their way to Oregon and California. However, it took the Homestead Act of 1862 to transform the Wild West to today’s Farm and Beef Belts.