I like to think of Vin as a kind of ancient bard telling the story of Ulysses around a campfire. He was a master scene-builder, and could seduce a listener into the story of a young pitcher, just called up from the minors, making his debut. He would make that story something like your own, epic and inspiring and familiar, so that you felt something like kinship with the struggling kid out there on the rubber.
On June 17, 1859, an otherworldly blast of hot wind blew into Santa Barbara, California, from the northwest. Within minutes the temperature rose to 133°. Cattle fell over, birds dropped from the sky, and old men toppled over in their adobe doorways, dead right there. Or so the legend goes. It’s an interesting story, this sudden simoom, even if the pointillist schools of modern thought have sought to debunk its veracity, dot by dot.
There is a family of mountain bluebirds that nest in a birdhouse in our yard every year. They come in spring, take up residence just long enough to raise other mountain bluebirds to flight, and then they are gone. They leave about the same time the blue-green swallows arrive, with their manic and dazzling flights. This year the bluebirds came when I was having my morning tea and devouring great scoops of Robert Penn Warren–who wrote so brilliantly about cypress swamps and southern pride as a damaging curse, and of course about those nearly Jurassic birds that stretch their necks and scull the swampy southern air for lift.
When the poet John Berryman leapt off a bridge in Minneapolis he was sober. He’d been largely drunk up until that morning but he was scarred forever by his own father’s suicide and probably every tall building looked something like a hell-hole.
We showed up early because we expected a crowd. We were right. There had been a bird nest over the front door to the Montana Club but in the opening hubbub, not nearly as violent as a Black Friday crush at Walmart, it crashed to the ground and was promptly stomped. An old man in front me said, “Well, at least you know what they are feeding you in here.” He meant it as a joke and I did laugh. But there had been eggs in the nest and the yolks were a smear on the concrete.
There’s a good case to be made that America would not exist as the nation we know without Benjamin Franklin. In 1778, France concluded a formal alliance with the newly declared United States of America — and it was Franklin who almost single-handedly engineered that geopolitical coup. The alliance provided America with critical arms and financing and, eventually, […]
They are apparently incensed that Joe Rogan has bucked the system, hunts his own meat, has eaten Ivermectin and beaten Covid, has a wildly popular podcast, and discussed all of these things out loud. And also because he smoked weed with Elon Musk on the air. Or something. It’s hard to know, except that the battle against irrelevance is on-going, and as a figure in The Madness of King George once pointed out: Character is required to endure the rigors of indolence.
I’m not romantic about coyotes, at least not in the way that absolves them of their predatory nature, and so becomes blind to that nature and ends up doing them a disservice. I see a lot of people do that wolves, and the more they try to sell the warm and fuzzy routine the less credibility they have.
The hounds are baying for blood. Beware. The leashes that hold them back are frayed, and, once loosed they will rend and tear any caught in their path. * The framers of the Constitution were not idealists and utopians; quite the opposite — they were skeptics of the perfectibility of man. Knowing that a lust for domination […]
Mark me! Today marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Charles Edward Stuart. Known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, he kicked off the last Jacobite Rebellion in 1745, in the attempt to see the exiled Stuart Dynasty Restored to the throne of Great Britain. The ’45 ended in disaster for the Scottish Clans that backed his […]
Last week, while most of Big America was flailing about in a toxic stew of mind-numbing polemics, Murphy Ranch buckaroo Tyler Mecham was following wolf tracks up Dairy Creek. Tyler is 19 years old, 6’3, with Modoc blood in his veins, and as solid a hand as one might hope to find in this rare hidey-hole of genuine Americana.
I’m going to make this quick and perfectly clear — if you find it your calling to come on this site and begin policing it for language you find insensitive, or callous, and feel even further compelled by some messaging of the cosmos to highlight how you “feel” about the use of language here — then you have stumbled on the wrong fire.