Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Both ends of IH-35

Shhh. Writer at work. Not me – the Mystery Woman is working on her fifth book. She started writing this book nearly fifty years ago as a young bride but shelved it for all those years while she raised three kids. Found the original manuscript in the attic and picked up where she left off. Re-writing. This one is a children’s book and the woman is focused. I’m her muse – but mainly I just stay quiet out on the porch while she is at the keyboard. I like it out here.

The Civil War was not a contest of equals. In 1861, the Union outnumbered the Confederacy in total population by 2.5 to 1, and in free males of military age by 4.4 to 1…in total wealth by 3 to1, in merchant ships by 9 to 1…in corn production by 2 to 1, and in wheat production by 4 to 1. So writes Jim Webb in his book “Born Fighting” about the Scots-Irish influence in the shaping of America.

Get thee to your maps. Go to Lake Superior. Find that nubbin of an island in the water east of Grand Portage, MN. Squint. You’re looking at Isle Royale, the 40-mile long namesake of a national park that includes 400 islands spread over 850 square miles. You’d think the islands would be part of Minnesota but you would be wrong. How about Ontario? Nope again. It’s in Michigan. Because Minnesota wasn’t officially on the map when that decision made. Go there anyway.


Want authentic? While you still have the maps out, find Los Ebanos on the Tex-Mex border in far South Texas. That’s where you can cross the Rio Grande on the only hand-operated ferry on the U.S.-Mexican border. Daily from 8 a.m. til 4 p.m. Hurry, before Homeland Security discovers it, too.


“It is a poker axiom that if a player has his knees under the table and cannot tell who the sucker is, he’s it,” writes Jim Rosenbaum, chief judge of the Minnesota District federal court.

“Life is too short to drink bad beer. You only have one liver. Use it wisely,” says Brock Wagner of the Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Texas.

1 comment:

The South Plainsman said...

Best wishes to the Mystery Woman. You should have learned long ago that when a woman gets involved in a serious project, it is the man's sole duty to stand by with his mouth shut and his checkbook ready. So keep it with you on the porch.

The Webb book is very interesting. As one of Scots/Irish descent, I found I could see an awful lot of my ancestors in it,including two great grandfathers. One of them fought for the North, the other fought for the South.

Another book by Webb, "A Time to Fight" is also recommended.

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