Welcome to the fall season. Temps in the 60s here mostly for the past few days (along with some pesky showers in the last day or two with more forecast through much of the coming week.) Still, within the next two or three weeks the foliage will change beginning with just a hint of yellow at the tips and finishing, possibly by the end of the month, with the landscape looking like it came from an artist’s palette. The air will turn crisp and have a nice little bite to it, too. It’s my favorite time of year: the weather is neat, the baseball playoffs are on-going and the college football season is in full swing. In Nebraska that translates to red being the clear color of choice on a football Saturday. Actually, for many reasons, late spring is a usually a great time of year also. Except this year we didn’t have any. Seemed like we went from an interminably long winter directly into summer. Hopefully, that will not be the permanent pattern.
As promised, this month begins the process of releasing the newsletter early in each month. If conditions allow, we will continue with that pattern on future updates. But, (this is a recurring theme in my life) now that we’ve hurried up to release this month’s version, there is less than usual to report. It’s like throwing a perfect game through four and a half innings and then having the game rained out. Still, there are a few things to comment on that may pique your interest.
On the 14th of September, Reuben Rieke (my co-author on the latest book Fire in the North: The Minnesota Uprising and the Sioux War in Dakota Territory) and I did a book signing at the Barnes & Noble store at the South Point shopping center here in Lincoln. Nice accommodations at the book store and great support from the Barnes & Noble staff. Pretty good turn out, too. We sold some books – hopefully made some money for the store – and met some very interesting people. Some of the crowd bought books; others just wanted to talk history or chat. Either option was fine, and most enjoyable.
Speaking of book signings, I would be delighted to show you the bright lights of Lewellen, Nebraska, (population 224 on the 2010 census) later this month. You are all invited to a signing there on October 19. Lewellen has a marvelous venue with the fascinating name of “Most Unlikely Place.” Most Unlikely Place is a combination gift shop, book store, café, and coffee shop that draws clientele from miles around and visitors from all over. It was featured in a wonderful magazine article that I recently ran across. I emailed the owners complimenting them on the business and the article and in return I received a gracious invitation to come up there and do a book signing. The publishers of Battlefields of Nebraska are supporting a campaign to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original release of the book. They are hoping to reacquaint the book to the populace, remind those interested in the state’s history of its availability, and introduce it to a new generation of readers. The owners of the Most Unlikely Place had received information on the celebration and that prompted their kind invitation.
Lewellen is north and a bit west of Ogallala on the North Platte River. Ironically, it is only a couple of miles from the scene of one of the major battles that took place on Nebraska soil. On September 3, 1855, a combined force of 600 infantry, cavalry, and artillery led by General William S. Harney defeated a force of Brule and Oglala Sioux. Called the “Battle of the Blue Water,” it was the federal government’s first major campaign against the Plains tribes. Up to that time, Harney’s force was the largest ever to move into Indian Territory. The expedition was mounted in response to an incident called the “Grattan Massacre,” in which Sioux tribesmen killed an entire company of U.S. soldiers near Fort Laramie. Harney’s victory was so decisive that for almost a decade the Sioux halted raids along the Oregon Trail. Anyway, I am suspecting that whoever shows up for the signing may want to talk about that battle. Indeed, some of their ranches may be on portions of the battlefield.
Consequences Magazine will work through the fall to complete the layout of the print edition of the magazine which will be published early next year. The “Sarajevo” article is slated to appear in it. When the magazine accepted the article, the editor asked that it be expanded a bit to include more on the timing of events and additional specifics on some of the actions. I supplied that information to them – hopefully to their satisfaction since I have heard nothing more from them. I don’t yet know the release date of the magazine. I will let you know when that information is available.
No later information either on the submission to The Best Poets of 2019 publication. I decided at the last minute to respond to their invitation to submit a poem – hopefully, it got there before the deadline passed.
Speaking of poetry, an Air Force friend, Eldon Estep, sent the cartoon clip below. As I told him, the message is, unfortunately, all too true…