Monthly Archives: July 2019

Dog Days 7/20/19

(But this year has not had as many days over a hundred as usual.)

In May I was very sad to hear of the passing of Tony Horowitz, and have not made a blog post about it until now. Twenty years ago when he was on tour for Confederates In The Attic and me for Enemy Women we read together at the Granville Island Lit. Festival (Vancouver B.C.), had a great time, liked him very much. He was very funny. I loved Confederates In The Attic, it was just splendid, so was Blue Latitudes.







Just really sad to hear of his passing at the young-ish age of 60.  Have not yet read his latest book but just finished Olmstead; got it as an e-book.

Sometimes people seem puzzled about ‘the south’ — a very diverse area and people — but they should read Albion’s Seed. Northeastern people and hills southerners came from very different places in the British Isles.  Southern hills people were almost entirely from the Scottish/English border. It was a very hard place. Northeasterners came from mainly Norfolk and the southeastern part of England — a settled land with secure property rights, rich farmland, and they were not regularly burnt out of their homes by various armies. The English, in, say, 1700, regarded the Lowland Scots as sort of beasts, which they probably were, having been drafted into clan fights, repeatedly losing their cattle and homes, etc. (living in a war zone).  Many northeasterners in the early colonial times who journeyed to the south (that would be North Carolina, Georgia, mainly) found the Scots borderer-descended people to be the next best thing to animals. They carried the old prejudice from the British Isles with them from the old country.

But — regarding the scots borderers — I would think after several centuries of living in the aforementioned war zone that people would cease to value nice homes, tidy landscapes, possessions in general, and concentrate their values on family and music.

However, people are not in general interested in the cultural differences of the founding groups. We are at present in an age of shrieking hatred and emotional meltdowns, which many people find quite fun. A fun thing. I just take out my hearing aids.

Looking for old photos of trains, engines; found this one which was quite helpful in describing Simon, Doroteo and Damon’s journey from Galveston to Houston, hitching a ride in a boxcar. So this was about 1863 but I think it works for a locomotive ca. 1867.





This gives a good view of the smokestacks, the coal car, and especially the boxcar. It’s a photo of the Atlanta roundhouse when the city was burnt down.