Santa Ana Winds

If you’re a reader of Helytimes you’ve probably come across these quotes about the dry, spooky winds that originate in the desert and blow into Los Angeles.

The definition of these winds in common use gets kind of loose.  Any wind that’s blowing not the cooling, perfume air of the Pacifc, but the dry, harsh air off the desert, can get counted as a Santa Ana wind.

One of the oldest references to the Santa Ana winds appears to be in a January, 1943 issue of California Folklore Quarterly.  Luckily we have that issue handy, and present it here for any interested California scholars.

Maybe next week we’ll look into The Vanishing Hitchhiker


Daily (?)

If you had a Catholic or any sort of Christian upbringing, you’ll know this one:

Our Father who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us,

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

The most famous prayer in the world?  Maybe.  But what about “daily” there?  While reading a list of hapex legomenon,

a word that occurs only once within a context, either in the written record of an entire language, in the works of an author, or in a single text.

I learned that “daily” in this case is an ancient Greek hapex legomenon.

Epiousios, translated into English as ″daily″ in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3, occurs nowhere else in all of the known ancient Greek literature, and is thus a hapax legomenon in the strongest sense.

So, this word, that’s only used once, epiousios, what exactly did it mean?  Wikipedia:

The difficulty in understanding epiousios goes at least as far back as AD 382… At that time, St. Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus I to renew and consolidate the various collections of biblical texts in the Vetus Latina (“Old Latin”) then in use by the Church. Jerome accomplished this by going back to the original Greek of the New Testament and translating it into Latin; his translation came to be known as the Vulgate. In the identical contexts of Matthew and Luke—that is, reporting the Lord’s Prayer—Jerome translated epiousios in two different ways: by morphological analysis as ‘supersubstantial’ (supersubstantialem) in Matthew 6:11, but retaining ‘daily’ (quotidianum) in Luke 11:3.

The modern Catholic Catechism holds that there are several ways of understanding epiousios, including the traditional ‘daily’, but most literally as ‘supersubstantial’ or ‘superessential’, based on its morphological components. Alternative theories are that—aside from the etymology of ousia, meaning ‘substance’—it may be derived from either of the verbs einai (εἶναι), meaning “to be”, or ienai (ἰέναι), meaning both “to come” and “to go”.

Other ideas:

Kenneth E. Bailey, a professor of theology and linguistics, proposed “give us today the bread that doesn’t run out” as the correct translation. The Syriac versions of the Bible were some of the first translations of the Gospels from the Greek into another language. Syriac is also close to Jesus’ own Aramaic, and the translators close in time and language to Jesus should thus have had considerable insight into his original meanings. In Syriac epiousios is translated as anemo, meaning lasting or perpetual.

Wrote to my friend BVZ who’s a pastor out in Oklahoma, he sent me some Biblical commentaries that suggest a connection with words that meant “ration.”

Today’s? Every day’s? Tomorrow’s? A day’s worth of? Earned? Special? Sacred? Eternal? Magic? Holy? Sustaining? Nutritious?

What did epiousios mean?

Maybe the prayer should go:

give us this day, our wonder bread.


Will the future be primitive?

Down in Manhattan Beach on a small mission, I stopped into Brothers Burritos, recommended as a Beach Cities lunch spot by Travis of El Segundo / Hood River.  “You get two mini burritos.”  Sold.

At Brothers, the Pacific just a few streets down, they have a rack of old issues of surfing mags, including Surfer’s Journal.  This magazine has gripped me before, it’s really impressive, almost as much a journal of travel and philosophy as it is of waves.

In this issue was a piece by Jamie Brisick where he walks a stretch of Hawaii’s North Shore, “from Velzyland to Log Cabins,” a stretch he’s visited and lived in, on and off, for something like thirty-five years.  He remembers legends, has encounters, studies the changes to the beach, shares memories.

This struck me:

Blacksmiths.  Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia began as a blacksmith.  How about Primitive Technologies guy?

Primitive technology is a hobby where you make things in the wild completely from scratch using no modern tools or materials. This is the strict rule. If you want a fire- use fire sticks, an axe- pick up a stone and shape it, a hut- build one from trees, mud, rocks etc. The challenge is seeing how far you can go without modern technology. If this hobby interests you then this blog might be what you are looking for.

Also It should be noted that I don’t live in the wild but just practice this as a hobby. I live in a modern house and eat modern food. I just like to see how people in ancient times built and made things. It is a good hobby that keeps you fit and doesn’t cost anything apart from time and effort.

from his website.

Out in the Mojave there are pockets of people into permaculture, imagining perhaps that the future may be primitive.

I’m not sure how primitive the future will be.  Some skills and trades are ancient and seem to endure.  The future may not be as futuristic as we once, collectively, seemed to dream.  Maybe the primitive sense is just an adjustment of expectation.  Does technology have to move forward all the time?  The primitive future.  Could there be a world where the past seems futuristic?  The language of backwards and forwards almost suggests a direction History moves.  But History also tells of times when life became more primitive, even for centuries.  How dark were the Dark Ages is a good debate, too big for this space.  Leave that out and there are still times where civilizations dissolve or collapse or just kinda retreat or fade out.

No matter how primitive the future gets, there’s something soothing about practicing ancient arts and crafts and trades.  Simple, without being primitive — could that be a future to hope for?

Very satisfying burritos.  I’ve since been to the Brothers in Hermosa Beach, which I also liked but just not quite as much.

The Manhattan Beach Public Library has got to be, real estate wise, one of the best public libraries in the nation.  You can sit in a nice chair and stare at the ocean.

 


many things on the internet

remind me of this one:

from:


this scene from Newsradio

(for when YouTube removes the link, it is a scene where Matthew and Joe bet on whether the next song on the radio will be good or not.  The song that comes up is “Wichita Lineman.”)

Some things I like about the scene: the idea that depending on the circumstances you could believe this was a good or bad song.  Matthew trying to sell it.  Also Matthew’s honesty.

This may have been the first time I heard this song?


Scrapbasket

Some scrap items found on my phone:

1)

I had to stop following Caroline Calloway on Instagram which is too bad, there’s a genius to sentences like this.

2) A view in Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh is beautiful.

3) Rocks

4) I believe the source here is an interview with Years & Years singer Olly Alexander in Issue 11 of The Happy Reader, but can’t confirm, no longer have the issue.  The phrase “Who is the hot boy?  Who is the boy that will always bring the looks?” does not appear exactly in a Google search.

5) Seen in Hollywood:

6) Cat on a tray:

7) Portrait of the blogger as a boy:

 


Is it a crime if no one stops you?

The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all,

is a quote I’ve heard and seen attributed to Tacitus.  I couldn’t find it in The Histories, just did a search.  Maybe I missed it somehow, it might be in there.  I did find a postcard from my sister.

You gotta be careful, a lot of these “classic quotes” were conjured up somewhere and never really checked, or in context they mean the opposite.

Set down to write here after becoming agitated and worked up watching Senator Ron Johnson two weeks ago on “Meet The Press.”  Witness the sputtering nonsense.

 

 


Joshua Tree National Park has exploded in popularity: why?

This chart was an attempt to test my thesis, that Instagram played a role in the dramatic rise in visits to Joshua Tree National Park.

I also incorporated a challenge to my thesis, offered by a colleague who suggested the answer might have something to do with the popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.  Drivers to that festival from Los Angeles would have to pass signs for Joshua Tree NP and experience the intoxicating desert landscape.

What about the AirBNB factor?:

Was stunned to be reminded about how recently Instagram (2010) and AirBNB (2007) were founded.  These companies changed the world very, very fast.  We still haven’t had time to contemplate what these changes mean, both to communities and to human brains.

How does a fragile patch of desert ecosystem handle two million extra human visitors a year?  You might think they’d increase the park’s budget.  It appears the opposite is happening?

(Any time I look into a fact like this, so much appreciation for our nation’s journalists, looking into the files, tracking it all down.)

There’s rarely a single cause for things, but I feel confident in saying Instagram, or maybe more broadly, the instant sharing of powerful photographs on phones, played a role in the dramatic rise in popularity of Joshua Tree national park.

What might be other factors?  Commercial photography and car commercial stuff may have boomed out in Joshua Tree and joshua tree-populated areas.  I don’t know how you’d measure that data, but I feel it.

Credit to the wonderful movie Ingrid Goes West here, a movie about Joshua Tree and Instagram and California fantasy in general, which makes the same connection between the desert landscape and Instagram.

My studies suggest no burst in popularity connected to the U2 album “The Joshua Tree.”

Source data on visitors.

 

 

 


Statues of Beverly Hills

walked through the restored park area – “Beverly Gardens Park” – along Santa Monica Boulevard as it enters Beverly Hills.

This statue is called The Hunter and Hounds, by A. Jacourmat.  The plaque tells me “This shell-torn statue stood guard above a subterranean chamber in which Signal Corps. 3rd Division American Army maintained headquarters communications during bombardment of Chateau Thierry Second Battle of the Marne.”  Wow.

More info at publicartinla.com

Pond.

a true “lucky duck.”  Here’s another look at this guy:


The occupation of Arkansas

source: photographer unknown

Traveling through Arkansas last spring, I tried to wrap my head around the Civil War as it played out there.

Like, what happened here?  At some point did a Union army march through here?

In Arkansas in 1860, there were 435,450 total residents counted in the census.

Of these, 111,115 or about 20% were slaves.

There were 11,481 slaveowners in Arkansas.

And 144 free colored people.

Much of Arkansas at that time was wilderness.  The big plantations were down in the Delta, the low bottom country in the south and east of that state, along the alluvial Mississippi floodlands, seen here on Raven’s excellent topographical map.

Here on the 1861 Coast Survey map of slave population, we can see where Arkansas slaves were:

Everyone needs a getaway once in a while. A getaway from the job, the house, the day-to-day routine and yes, even those that mean the most to us – our families.

reads the copy on this guide to touring the still-standing plantation houses of Arkansas.  Presumably a getaway was not an option in 1860 for the 111,115 slaves.

In May, 1861, Arkansas seceded from the United States.  At the secession convention, Isaac Murphy was one of the few no votes:

The convention voted to take Arkansas out of the Union, but Murphy and four other delegates opposed this step. The convention chair called on the five to switch their votes. All four of the other “nay” delegates changed their votes, but Murphy refused. Initially his position was popular in Huntsville, but as the war went on, Confederate sentiment increased.

About a year later, in spring, 1862, Union General Samuel Curtis marched in from Missouri, leading volunteer regiments from Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana (mostly).  At the battle of Pea Ridge he drove back the Confederate forces sent to stop him.

Curtis kept on marching his army across Arkansas, following more or less the course of the White River.

As Curtis marched along, he picked up thousands of freed slaves.

Curtis was stifled in his effort to capture Little Rock by lack of supplies (his guys were pretty much living off the land) and by the forces raised by Confederate general Thomas Hindman.

Gregory J. W. Urwin summarizes:

Hindman’s General Orders Number 17 instructed “all citizens from this district” to organize themselves into ten-man companies under elected captains and start killing Yankees.  An estimated 5,000 men responded to this summons by August 1862.  They may not have been a decisive factor in Samuel Curtis’ failure to take Little Rock, but they aroused the ire of Union forces by picking off sentries and couriers, ambushing small patrols and foraging parties, and firing on gunboats and transports.  Federal commanders announced that they would hold civilian responsible for any guerrilla activity occurring in their vicinity.   When warnings failed to restrain the irregulars, details of Union soldiers and sailors began burning small hamlets or individual houses and barns.  This retributive strategy caused many Arkansans to abandon their homes in the delta and north of the Arkansas River, but it did not suppress guerrilla depredations.

Curtis and his army (and irregular army of freed slaves) crossed the state, and reached Helena, on the Mississippi river.  From there he could be resupplied by river since by now the Confederate river navy had been pretty much destroyed.  Memphis had fallen, giving a clear path along the Mississippi north of Vicksburg.

As for Hindman, he got a fort named after him, at Arkansas Post, where the Arkansas River forks off and heads towards Little Rock.  This was in important spot, and some Confederates from Texas held it until the Union Navy came up there in January, 1863, and blew it away.

Hindman was replaced by Theophilus Holmes

Jefferson Davis begged Holmes to bring his troops out to help relieve the tightening siege at Vicksburg, across the river in Mississippi.  But Holmes had his own problems.  Says Wikipedia (lifting from Walter Hilderman’s biography):

For the most part, the Confederate forces in this remote area were little more than a disorganized mob of militia scattered across all corners of the state. There were few weapons available and even fewer modern ones. The soldiers for the most part had no shoes, no uniforms, no munitions, no training, organization, or discipline, a situation worsened by the fact that many communities in Arkansas had no government above the village level. People did not pay taxes or have any written laws and strongly resisted any attempt to impose an outside government or military discipline on them. Soldiers in the Arkansas militia did not understand the organization of a proper army or obeying orders from above. Even worse, many of them were in poor physical condition and unable to handle the rigors of a lengthy military campaign. Holmes for his part believed that he could muster an army of about 15,000 men in Arkansas, but there would be almost no competent officers to lead it anyway. Further compounding his difficulties were multiple Union armies converging on the state from all sides. In this situation, Holmes wrote to Richmond that if by some miracle, he could organize the Arkansas militia into an army and get them across the Mississippi River, they would simply desert as soon as they got to the east bank.

On July 4, 1863, Vicksburg fell.  On that day, a bit late, Holmes attacked the Union forces at Helena, Arkansas

present day Helena via Google

but they were blasted away both by Union troops in the city and massive gunboats in the river.  A disastrous, pointless defeat, too late to do any good even if it hadn’t failed.

With the fall of Vicksburg (and the last ditch failure at Helena) the Union had control of the entire Mississippi River.  Gen. Fredrick Steele was sent out across the river and into Arkansas:

colorized Steele photo lifted from Colorized Past

Steele and his army of Wisconsins, Illinoisians, and German immigrants arrived in Little Rock by September, 1863.  The Confederate state capitol had been moved to Washington, Arkansas.

When spring began in 1864, Steele marched his army toward Washington, AR. (Here is an excellent map of how this went down).  Steele had something like 7,000 soldiers.  Steele was supposed to eventually meet up, in Shreveport, Louisiana, with General Nathaniel Banks and his 30,000 guys from the Department of the Gulf.

Traveling cross country in this hot and hostile part of the world was not easy.  By the time Steele got to Camden, Arkansas, his guys didn’t have anything to eat, and word reached him that Banks’ army had been stopped anyway.

Steele had with him the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, and he sent them out to collect some food.  At Poison Spring, they were surrounded by the Confederate Second Indian Brigade or Choctaw Brigade.

I’ll let Confederate Colonel Tandy Walker tell the story:

I feared here that the train and its contents would prove a temptation too strong for these hungry, half-clothed Choctaws, but had no trouble in pressing them forward, for there was that in front and to the left more inviting to them than food or clothing—the blood of their despised enemy.

They set on the 1st Kansas Colored.

In all, the 1st Kansas lost nearly half of its numbers.

After this defeat, running out of food, with the planned meetup unlikely to come off, Steele decided to retreat back to Little Rock.  When he got as far as Jenkins Ferry, in the pouring rain, he realized the Confederates were about to catch up to him.  So he had his guys dig in.  Steele’s troops killed some unknown number of the attacking Confederates.

source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD

What a mess that must’ve been.  After the turnaround of the Camden expedition, the Union army stayed near their bases in the cities.  Confederate marauders rode all over the place.  Colonel Marcus LaRue Harrison led the Unionist 1st Arkansas Cavalry:

Harrison established a network of fortified “farm colonies,” populating them with the families of men who swore to serve in home guard companies.  Anyone living within ten miles of a colony had to join it or was assumed to be a bushwhacker.

I agree with Naval Institute, interviewing Shelby Foote.

Naval History: It has always been frustrating that the Western rivers get hardly any play in Civil War History.

Foote: Well, the whole Western theater gets hardly any play.  I sometimes think that the people in this country who know less about the Civil War than any other one group of people are Virginians.  They may know a little more than South Dakotans, but that’s about all.

They think that the war was fought in Virginia, while various widespread skirmishes were going on out West.  The opposite is closer to the truth

Looking for more info about Jenkins Ferry I found this picture on the Grants County Museum page, seems like the situation in that area has improved.

Most of the Confederate regiments raised in Arkansas served in the western theater.  An exception was the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment was sent to Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

When General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, only 144 men of the Third Arkansas remained out of the 1,353 mustered into it from the start of the war

Here is their battle flag.

After the failure of the Camden expedition, the Confederates had about 100 encampments in south Arkansas.  Where do I get that number?  From this incredible book:

This book is a digitized version of the maps Confederate engineer Richard M. Venable made in 1864.  Venable and his guys were only able to reconnoiter the southern 29% of the state.  I’m not sure whether that was because the northern portion was in Union hands and they couldn’t go there, or if that was just the resources they had, at a time when the Confederates in Arkansas were operating in the south, and might have to make moves further south or west.

The maps in this book are incredibly detailed, you can see, for example, which homesteads in Lafayette County had female heads of household, and which were the houses of widows.

Here’s a thorough review of the book.  I was really impressed by it, it’s rare to find historic maps at this level of detail and readability, as the review notes, this was “obviously a labor of love.”  How much need you have in your home for a detailed atlas of 1864 Arkansas is for you to determine, but for me it did make the past come alive.  If you’re doing any traveling in the state of Arkansas and you’ve read this far in HelyTimes, consider investing in a copy.  (hell I’ll loan you mine.)

When did the Civil War really end in Arkansas?  In a special election in 1863, Isaac Murphy was elected governor:

remember me?

He presided until 1868.  By 1874 there was close to an armed conflict over who would run Arkansas, and that was pretty much the end of Reconstruction in the state.

The following 35 governors of Arkansas, ruling for a total of 90 years, were all Democrats, until Republican Winthrop Rockefeller became governor in 1966 defeating James D. Johnson.

Maybe the Civil War ended in Arkansas when federal troops integrated Central High School in Little Rock in 1956-7.

Or maybe it ended with the election of Arkansas governor Bill Clinton.

 


When The World’s On Fire

enjoying Ken Burns Country Music (I guess, I wish it had a table of contents or something).  This is the Carter Family song that’s been on my mind as I read the news!