Archive for August, 2005

Overlooking Boone

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Today I drove up to Howard Knob Park, located on Howard Knob overlooking Boone, where I snapped the photos seen above.

Mushroom Mania

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

My Head is in the Clouds!

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

The mile high bridge (note the fog).

My head, and my entire body, was quite literally in the clouds this morning, as I visited Grandfather Mountain, one of Western North Carolina’s hottest attractions. At an elevation of over 5,280, Grandfather Mountain is over a mile above sea level, and makes for a great get away for outdoorsy souls such as myself. Though the clouds obscured the view a bit, they nevertheless added to the beauty.

An Old Barn

Thursday, August 25th, 2005
An abandoned barn, near Banner Elk, NC.

Just Sippin’ Nectar

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

Bumble Bee Bonanza

Thursday, August 25th, 2005

A Mountain River

Friday, August 19th, 2005

View from the bridge on Waterville Road, just off I-40 exit 451, on the Tennessee side of the TN/NC line.

Boone’s Trail

Friday, August 19th, 2005

Blue Ridge Parkway, Watauga County, NC.

Who Is the Kissing Soldier?

Friday, August 5th, 2005

The image to the right is one of the most famous images from the World War II era, a jubilant soldier celebrating Japan’s surrender by kissing an attractive nurse. It is also something of a mystery; for years no one knew the indentities of the soldier and nurse.

Now the mystery may finally be solved. The nurse, as reported by Life Magazine in 1980 and confirmed by the photographer, is Edith Shain. The identity of the soldier was a little more evasive; when Life asked him to step forward, nine men did, all claiming to be the famous soldier.

One of them was George Mendonsa, a Rhode Island fisherman, who now appears the most likely candidate thanks modern technology.

As a side note, a girl in one of my classes at UT was a neighbor of Mendonsa, and knew him as the man in the photo. It would be interesting to hear her take on this, but sadly I haven’t seen her since the last day of that class, over two years ago.

(via Michael Silence)

Forrest Reconsidered

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2005

Anyone who knows anything about history is aware of how easy it is to let preconceived notions taint studies. Picking and choosing which facts and quotes one wishes to use and one wishes to omit allows historians to “prove” just about anything they wish. As a result, you get history books like A People’s History of the United States, which is probably factually accurate for the most part, but which gives a very distorted view of American History.

One area of particular distortion and simplification is the Civil War, which has been reduced to a simple good-versus-evil struggle over the issue of slavery. And yes, slavery was a major issue in the struggle. But it was one issue of many, something few people today are even aware. I doubt that very many Americans could tell you that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were opposed to slavery (assuming they even knew who Lee and Jackson were). I also doubt that many Americans today have any clue what the “Tariff of Abominations” was. And what about Lincoln’s own racism, or his various civil rights violations? Testaments all to the poor job our schools are doing in teaching history.

With the Civil War reduced to a simple struggle over slavery, it isn’t surprising that politicians (who should know better) want to rename parks with Old South names. One of the parks is named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, which generates a response from Alpha Patriot which is one of the best writings I have ever read on a topic such as this. I strongly urge you to click on the link and read it. I can almost guarantee you will come away more enlightened.