Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Journey of 1999Rq36

"Hey, I'm Just Wondering"

Beyond the Moon is the Awesome Power of the Universe

A Reminder of One of Many catastrophe Events

According to what I have learned via new releases sometime between 2100 and 2200 an asteroid will pass very close to Earth or impact it. If I am correct I believe we have a one in one thousand chance of it making contact with our planet. If it is to be diverted it must be attempted on or before 2080. The chance that it will hit Earth is remote I understand. But of course all who may read this are in no danger, and a couple of generations or so beyond. The size of the asteroid if allowed to impact the earth would be devastating to say the least.
I have as others have viewed such scenarios in movies and just about every time the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower along with other well known landmarks are brought done. I realize such occurrences are dramatic but why pick on them. Usually a hero or heroine saves the day and while most of human kind is destroyed a few select beautiful people start over.
I imagine as time grows closer to this expected event there will be much prophecies take root and many will resign them-selves to the ultimate end of time as we know it. But with an ever increasing arsenal of technologies and ever increasing intellect of humans there will be a calculated attempt at diverting the Asteroid. This true life scenario will play out with no scripted ending. However I am confident that man will find a way to avert this potential threat to our tiny blue planet.
It is of course a sure thing I won’t be here to see or experience this anticipated event, but perhaps one of my descendants of my mindset and sense of great adventure will be watching the sky to witness this natural phenomenon for better or worse. Adios

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Posse Man

Posse Man

The word posse may conjure up men on horses riding hard across a hot dusty plain trying to catch up with, oh I don't know, maybe Jesse James. Sweat stained Stetson shield their eyes from the glaring sun as they race toward a phantom they may necver catch. That was not the case yesterday evening as I set out to join the posse. We assembled at Louisberg to assist in traffic control for the Old Settlers Reunion. Grant you the sun was hot and seemed at times to set on your shoulder. Patience was number one priorty for the people we encountered for at times for whatever reason some are not a hundred percent cooperative. The handicap needed special attention of which we gladly provided, and over all just about everyone were nice people. After about four hours in the scorching sun and three bottles of water a dark ominous cloud appeared on the horizon and it wasn't long and the sun was hidden and soon the wind came and then rain and our job was over. Oh how it it rained and for all practical purpose ended the Old Settlers reunion. The reunion had a good run though, three days. A fish sandwhich, bag of potato chips and a great cup of black coffee rejuvenated me and then I headed home along a rain swept trail. Adios

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Gateway to the West, Fifteen Mile Prairie

One of Many Reenactors
Text Color

History in the Making on Fifteen Mile Prairie

A Line is Drawn

A Play, The Last Gunfight, Featuring Marshal Hiccup and OutLaw Black Jack Ace

A Relic of Prairie Days

A Time to Remember
Prairie Days
By Ronnie Powell
The first official rendezvous came together in 1825, near Green River, Wyoming, northwest of South Pass. Trappers, traders and Indians converged on the sight and it undoubtedly became an especially boisterous affair. The core purpose of the event was to sell beaver hides and restock provisions and to let off some steam.
An annual Prairie Days hosted by the Dallas County Historical Society began in August of 1982 at the Historical Park in Buffalo, Missouri, situated on Fifteen Mile Prairie, a gateway to the west. The intentions were to recreate particular elements of our historical background and add a little color and flavor. The festival lasted ten years. The first couple of years the event was little more than a craft show, developing into a popular historical event, or rendezvous. Much like the early years of this country, Prairie Days became an assembly point where people from all walks of life gathered not to rest and buy provisions before heading westward into the wilderness, but to share in the historic past of America.
The Dallas County Arts and Crafts Unlimited and Ozark Ridge Runners were instrumental in creating many of the aspects of the event. Artists, craftsmen, re-enactors of the black powder era and historians of these organizations labored together to transform the park into a memorable occasion.
The cast of characters were many talented and dedicated people from all walks of life, color and creed, a melting pot of Americans proud of their heritage. The Will Rogers Indian group represented Native Americans providing traditional attire, song, dance and authentic lodges. The dance of friendship opened to the participation of the public each evening and was enjoyed by many people.
Traders and other contributors took part in eleven frontier camp sites set up around the perimeter of the replica settlement. The visiting traders came from as far away as Arkansas, Joplin, Collins and Stockton Missouri. One man from Kansas, a former stunt double for the Virginian television series was among them. They provided replica articles of clothing, tomahawks and many other trade items.
Other attractions included an Eighth Missouri Cavalry Camp, (originating in Dallas County during the Civil War) along with a display listing the names of those who served in the unit and of course Civil War reenactments. A Butterfield stage and other horse drawn vehicles provided rides for the public. A quilt show featured the art of quilt making in the Eberhart Cabin. Fiddle and banjo players recreated the music of the distant past along with local balladeers. Cloggers and Scottish bagpipers added energy to the festival.
In 1985, the Arts and Crafts Unlimited constructed a frontier town along and in front of the permanent buildings and named it Buffalo Head. The Rusty Bucket Saloon, city jail, a theater, Wells Fargo and other mock-ups of establishments once found in frontier settlements graced the historic park. The added feature brought about a new enthusiasm to the celebration and an atmosphere of reality not experienced before allowing the public within the realm of the activity. Colorful saloon girls sang and wandered the main street. Desperados were among those that came to provide more excitement to the festivities. Two melodramas were played out twice each day at the theater. Banjo and fiddle music and the soulful sounds of folk and gospel songs filled the air.
Apple butter was made on the grounds along with other food representing the times. Front street crowded most of the day and evening offered the public many viewpoints of an earlier period. Mountain men, trappers, Indians, outlaws, saloon girls, actors, preachers and lawman mingled with the public on the dusty Front Street of Buffalo Head.
At times during the black powder shooting contest, smoke drifted over the town, while ponies carrying children dolefully followed a beaten path. Money in the haystack sent children scrambling into a pile of hay to try and find several dollars in coins planted there. Square dancing was also present at the event, along with a talent show and tobacco spitting contest. Many people came early on Sunday morning to worship at a brush arbor where a minister stood waiting dressed in black.
During the last three years of Prairie Days, people came from as far away as California and England. It was not uncommon on Saturday for the attendance to reach several hundreds. Buffalo Head was truly a frontier town diverse in many ways swelling with people eager to witness the conflict between the lawless and town lawmen. They hurried to the theater for choice seats to watch The Life and Times of Marshal Edward Hiccup and The Last Osage. Many took part in the Indian friendship dance, square dancing or sat and enjoyed the singing of Judy Gross and others.
The annual prairie gathering offered numerous aspects of the past and left a deep appreciation for the freedom we have in this unique nation. Several of the principals established by our forefathers were there at Prairie Days shining in the sun. History was made on Fifteen Mile Prairie during the ten years of the event especially on one hot dusty Saturday evening in 1987 during the American flag lowering ceremony conducted by the Lebanon Boy Scouts, Pack 190. They, after taps, presented the folded flag to Floyd Reed, an African American, Ed Webb an Indian and I, a white man, dressed in Union Blue. We stood shoulder to shoulder as Floyd Reed’s Father; a Minister provided a short oratory as we proudly awaited the Stars and Stripes to be presented to us. Such a blending of man had never occurred before on Fifteen Mile Prairie.
Among the prominent visitors that came by during Prairie Days were, former Governor Kit Bond, KY3’s Fred Schweitzer portraying Wild Bill Hickok, Roger Herman, founder of Frontier City near Marshfield and producer of the movie, Arkansas Yankees, and last but not least a postcard from Festus of Gun Smoke Series sending regrets for not attending Prairie Days due to health reasons and a congratulatory telegram from President Ronald Reagan.
The dust has settled on the prairie park for the imaginary town has long since been dismantled and Buffalo Head no longer exists. Twinkles John - buck skinner, Two Lanterns - renegade, Banjo Boats- outlaw, Ike - desperado, Ernestine Didwall - a tale or two of Marshal Hiccup, Gentleman George - deputy, Butcher Redoak - town marshal and Chief Lone Eagle - the last Osage are but few of the characters that were there.
Perhaps Prairie Days of course is history like many events have become; nevertheless, it is worthy as a time to remember. Adios

Monday, July 19, 2010

As Time Goes By

Christmas, She Was A Queen, No Doubt

Smokey and Me In 1972

My Father And Baldy Many Years Ago

A Few Of The Little People I Have Carved Over The Years
Thank you for sharing some of my yesterdays. Adios

Saturday, July 17, 2010

As Time Goes By

A Friend and I (Me On Right) Many, Many Years Ago In Odessa, Texas. We Had Jack Rabbit For Supper.
] This Old Outhouse Was One Of Many. It Stood Across The road Next To A Store. The Others Were Hauled Away On Halloween Night, So The Owner Built This one Around A Tree And There It remained Until It Succumbed To Time.

My Sixty Four Year old Tractor Is Ill And Had To Be Taken To A Repair Shop

A Snowy Day Last Winter much Different than Today

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To Heidi's Friends and Family, one year

Heidi One Year Ago Today

One Year Later

Beautiful Heidi

Haunted by Her Past Less and Less

Safe At Last To dream

A Celebration of Life For Miss Heidi Jade

Today marks one year since Heidi came to us, snatched from certain death only hours away. She had known nothing but abuse in her young life and expected nothing less from me. She cringed in fear at my touch, coward at my voice and was in extremely ill health and I feared the worst for her. But when we got her home with us, through the yard gate one year ago today, she began the first day of her life and although she may not have realized it at the time, a wonderful healing process slowly began. I built her a cabin, large enough for her and me and for a time she was fearful of it and would not go into it out of the rain, but gentle coaxing finally brought her to it and only this sunner has she used it without being told to do so. Just within the last few months has she begun trusting me completely and is a devoted and loving friend. (She is not a pet.) We still share penut butter sandwhiches, go for walks and often now she plays in the yard with me. I am deeply humbled by her trust and devotion. All is well with Heidi. Adios

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The River Niangua

Have a great day and enjoy the trip. Adios

Standing on the south bank of Bare Foot Pass

An old grave site of early settlers across the river from McKee Ridge

Looking downstream from Moonvalley bridge

Niangua below Moonvalley Bridge

The river flowing past Cat Hollow where once a huge Indian vilage lined its bank

A Sunday Morning Along The Wild and Beautiful Free Flowing River Niangua

Friday, July 2, 2010

Foot Prints Into The Dawn Of History

On One of My Last Expeditions and a Story Yet to be Told

A Painting of Mine Depicting Prehistory Life Along the Niangua

Me, Not far from Cave in Story, After Camping on the North Face of A Bluff

A Cave Much Similar to One in Story

A sculpture of mine, the face of Prehistory

Foot Prints Into The Dawn Of Prehistory

The journey to distant horizons was undoubtedly intended as a point of origin but little did I realize just how an elusive trace it would be. My footprints can be found along the way and beyond several millenniums into the deep shroud of prehistory. The trace plainly speaking did not follow a straight line, for after all I was and am Earth bound. I discovered early into the journey I would not reach the horizon I so wanted to find. There is an inherent part of me that fueled an insatiable curiosity and greatly influenced my desire to explore the unknown. I also discovered the unknown would always be just out of reach and no absolute conclusive discovery would ever be made.
My foot prints can be found along with tantalizing fragments of early mankind that dated back long, long before the birth of Christ. Retracing the roads, trails and mere paths that meandered unhurriedly into the dawn of man has brought me closer to kindred spirits of old. I share the same DNA as some of them possessed, therefore enabling me to fashion from stone or wood desired images and the same talent that allows me to paint on canvas my interruptions of what I see and feel. Upon their land I stood, where beneath my feet lay their stories and much of it is lost or misplaced. My life story is not lost or misplaced as yet.
The life-way of early man has and is constantly being analyzed, tangled in a web of controversy of conflicting opinions. I have no doubt that I traced man back to at least eighteen thousand years or more, but even so I was no where near the infancy of humans. The physical aspects I encountered and closely noted along the way stirred my imagination; therefore all that I have learned or possess of the journey is subject to dispute. This is of little concern to me, for I have no desire to add the bedlam of wonderful assumptions that will never cease. My journey to distant horizons represents a personal endeavor, a splendid and frequently dangerous adventure into Prehistory and has provided me with a deeper sense of immortality.
The wraths of the gods have and still remain a major aspect of mankind. Many of the gods emerged from the collective mindset of early man, influenced by the wind, fire, sun, rain and every conceivable superstition within the early humans. Sacrifice became an important ritual in the belief that one could obtain favor or spiritual afterlife if something of great importance was offered to the gods. Blood the essence of life eventually became the mainstay sacrifice for scores of centuries, resulting in many poor souls put to death. Incredibly within a short period of time something changed and a part of humanity found solace not in the sun, moon and stars but in man’s inner being or eternal soul. This dramatic change resulted in the establishment of fundamental values, however blood sacrifice prevailed but with animals. The written word was established and thus the Old Testament appeared on the scene changing forever the hierarchy of controlled religion. Jesus Christ the Son of God brought forth Christianity to put an end to blood sacrifice by giving of his earthly body and blood to die for man’s sins on a cross.
As far as I know man is the only creature on Earth that buries his dead with ceremony. Carefully placed in the ground, or laid on a funeral pyre where ultimately the body is reduced to ashes, therefore releasing the spirit or soul. The elaborate tombs of the kings of old, attest to the belief that these individuals were thought to be immortal.
There were many burial grounds of the Prehistory people in the Americas at the arrival of the Europeans, sadly many of the grave sites were plundered or simply plowed under for planting crops. Many of the burials contained artifact to be used by the deceased on the journey to the afterlife. Precious metal, stones and finely woven garments and pottery were respectively and lovingly place with the deceased. Weapons for the male were very important and the very best placed in the grave. In some cultures it was not unusual where at least one female was killed and her body placed in the grave. There was I am inclined to believe exceptions made in the ritual of placing the deceased in the ground. I know of two burials where both deceased were females and the bodies had been mutilated. In one grave the feet and hands had been removed and an attempt, (poorly executed) partially cremated. The other site also contained a female, pregnant at the time of burial had met her death by a savage blow to the head and both of her feet had been removed. The cremation was also incomplete. These two burial sites were approximately thirty miles apart, one located on the Niangua River the other on the Osage Fork River. I can only assume these two women were punished dreadfully for some reason. I doubt if the two events were directly related. After noting type of pottery shards in and around the burials it is my opinion both individuals died about ten thousand years ago.
In the summer of 1970 while following a creek, (tributary of the Niangua) I located a north south bluff. This bluff is approximately one mile up river from the Niangua Bridge. The bluff is well above the floodplain of the river and faces east. The bluff in comparison to others along the river is not impressive. It appeared to me at least to be very old and in a state of marked deterioration. Huge chunks of its face had broken off and slid or rolled down a steep slope. Much of the top portion of the bluff was no more. The primary disruption of the bluff had not been recent, but occurred several years before. Erosion however, was taking its toll on the ancient pinnacle. In one very large piece I noted a sizable deposit of crystal clear quartz and it was evident to me at least that some of it had been chipped or cut out.
The slope I was to traverse was covered in thick brush and briar, so much so I was forced to remove my pack and hold it in front of me to continue on. It was a struggle to climb the slope and I times the brush was higher than my head and I could not see the bluff. After about thirty minutes I took a break and smoked my pipe. I decided I was about half way up when I stood to begin the climb again.
Red wasps are noted for their huge nest, especially in remote areas. Most nests are relatively close to the ground and if avoided, the wasps are not a threat. I finally came to a small clearing and could see the bluff clearly on up the hill. Anxious to begin exploration of the formation I stepped out of the brush, but in doing so came directly in contact with a very large wasp nest. The nest was teeming with deadly sentries and they immediately swarmed around me, stinging me. I could not run, for the brush was too thick and fell to my knees and pulled from the backpack an old blanket I always carried. The wasps were hitting me unmercifully. They sounded like hail hitting the blanket. Under the blanket I began pulling dead leaves into a pile. I was afraid I would be stung to death and had decided to set afire the leaves in hope of driving them back.
Several minutes past until I had a large pile of leaves under me and I struck a match and drop it onto the leaves. Smoke billowed up, but I stayed under the blanket until I could no longer breathe and with back pack in hand I darted out into the clearing. The more aggressive wasps followed and I took a few additional hits on my neck and arms, but within a few seconds the wasps dispersed around the smoke. I clawed my way up the remaining distance to the bluff and collapsed. I don’t remember how many wounds I had, but too many nevertheless. Water from my canteen cooled my feverish skin and I sat for a time resting quite shaken and wounded by the event. My left hand swelled grotesquely and I could feel other stings on my neck and back and arms. There was little I could do but leave and return another day.
Upon my return to the bluff a few days later I wisely averted the nest and in the cool of morning began a careful exploration. Near the north end of the bluff I discovered what looked like a tunnel large enough for me to enter and I did so but with caution, for in the past I had been confronted by skunks, coyotes and on two separate occasions by a female bobcat and in another cave opening a wounded buzzard. Snakes were also a danger, especially Copperheads.
I discovered quickly the opening was not the beginning of a tunnel, but a direct access into a spacious cave. I settled back on my heels and slowly played the beam of my flashlight the length, breadth and height of the cavern. Intrigued by what I saw, a cavern of at least thirty feet in length and breadth, with a ceiling height of about twenty feet. I slowly scanned the area and found erosion had damaged the floor on each side of the cavern for about three feet out from the walls. Gravel and mud covered these areas. The center of the cavern appeared to be bone dry. Near the front where I sat, I saw with dismay two pot holes from previous digs and on closer scrutiny found them to be very old. Upon standing up I look back and discovered the original opening had been quite large, but now was choked with fragments of the bluff that had collapsed many years before.
I took from the backpack a small garden spade and knelt down at the highest point in the center of the cave and began pushing aside the soft dry dirt. It didn’t take long until I had a hole around me about eight inches deep. It was during this time I raked across the fragment of a large shell tempered earthen vessel. Moments later I found the rest of it. I carefully laid the pieces aside and widened the hole and near the east end discovered hearth stones and bone fragments belonging to turkey and deer. Wood ash and charred wood was evident around the stones. Two small Dalton type points were also found. (I had yet to use a screening box and later chose not to do so.)
After a short break, smoking my briar and enjoying a cup of coffee I moved to the west end of the dig and began pulling the dirt up and over the rim of the dig. Pot shard, animal bones and small scrapes of leather was abundant for about the last twelve inches down. Three hours had past when I discovered human rib bones lying east to west. A story was about to unfold, a secret beyond recorded history.
I remove an oversized paint brush from the pack and began brushing aside the
powder dry soil, revealing with each stoke more of the skeletal remains. I lost track of time as I worked, completely absorbed in the discovery at hand.

By mid afternoon the skeleton lay before me, remarkably well preserved, containing small clumps of hair and some mummified facial features, but not enough to determine sex. I had disturbed some very small bones in or near the center of the skeleton and upon closer examination discovered them to be the remains of a child. A portion of the skull about the size of a chicken egg was noted.
The discovery of the smaller bones literally set me back and I turned my complete attention to the adult remains. With a magnifying I started at the top of the head and found a hole and with this in mind slowly covered every inch of the skeleton. It did not take long and the story was near completion considering the time it had lain there. Both feet had been removed and each leg bone fractured. Evidence of charring was also evident on the lower torso. The only artifact found in the burial was a braided rawhide bracelet still clinging to the left wrist bone.
During the next hour I began replacing all the artifacts as I had found them and carefully filled in the hole and then it was time to leave. Outside I took the time to roll stones into the opening as best I could to preserve this haunting place, where once life and death occurred. Adios.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Song of a Man and His Dog

Young Indian Creek Smokey

The Song of a Man and His Dog
The man stood alone on an Ozark hill, listening to the faint bawl of a lone running black and tan hound. The autumn night was bright, the air was still. Far below tall sycamores shadowed Indian creek. The man continued to wait, his head bowed and he smiled and looked down into the gloom of the deep hollow below. The bawl of the hound was that of his own Indian Creek Smokey and he was on the scent of a Wiley raccoon.
“Come on Smokey,” the man sang softly, “bring that coon up the hollow and put him in a Sycamore tree.”
The man turned then and headed toward the southern ridge, ignoring the briars and clutching Ivey vines, for he knew soon the hound would tree. The man reached Indian Creek, jumped across and headed up the ghostly ridge. He ducked below a willow branch and stopped to listen.
“Hey Smokey sing to me,” the man called out and smiled.
The deep resounding bawl of Smokey sent the man hurrying on into the pale moonlight. His anxious eyes searched the wooded slope caught up in the melody of the running hound. After several minutes the man stood resting against a twisted oak tree and waited. The song of the hound grew louder and then he burst from the brush in close pursuit of a large raccoon. The raccoon leaped from afar onto the trunk of a mighty Sycamore and disappeared into the high canopy. Smokey caught up in the moment sat down and sang a treeing song and then began a chewing and fussing around the old tree. The man praised the hound and shined a light up the tall, tall tree. And there he saw a big boar coon peeking out of a hole about as safe as he could be.
The man squinted into the sky and noted the first flush of dawn. “Come on Smokey it’s time to go,” sang out the man. “We’ve had our play. That was a good hunt boy and that old coon will be a waiting for us another time.”