Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky

CategoryCulture

2020 Census

I wrote a little piece called “American Identity” back in 2008, looking to the 2010 Census. Now here it is, almost the 2020 Census. If I hadn’t written it then, I’d want to write it now. Not changing a thing.

Lost Alphabet Letters

In the modern Western world we use the Roman alphabet with 26 letters. Usually. The Swedes actually have 29 letters. What’s surprising to some folks is that we might have had more letters ourselves. Who thinks about what might have been? Except when you see an extract from an olde manuscript and spot a letter or two you’ve seen before but don’t know to pronounce. Here’s a...

CE and BCE

I use CE and BCE rather than AD and BC. Surprisingly, that causes some people pain. They seem to have the idea it’s somehow an assault on Christianity. I don’t have time to argue. I roll my eyes and move on. I first encountered CE and BCE as an undergraduate in the 1970s. I didn’t need anyone to unpack it for me. It made intuitive sense. We know the AD/BC calendar is wrong about...

Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Yesterday I wrote about living in Mantua, Utah. I mentioned joining Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Brigham City. That memory sent me off to do some research. I was curious about the church’s history, and also about dates. I found a little potted history (see below). Founded in 1959. We were there early in its history, then, but not among the first. Originally part of the Augustana Synod, the...

Mantua, Utah

When I was little, we lived in Mantua, Utah. We moved down from Logan when Mom married my step-father Carroll Place in 1961, and lived there until we moved to Las Vegas in January 1965. I don’t think my parents sold the house there until 1969 or 1970; sometime after we moved to Grand Junction, anyway.  We were talking about Mantua a few weeks ago. Mom mentioned that we lived there...

Remembering Russell Means

Russell Means died 7 years ago today. I thought he was one of the truly great men of our time. Not everyone agreed. His obituary in the New York Times said, “He styled himself a throwback to ancestors who resisted the westward expansion of the American frontier. With theatrical protests that brought national attention to poverty and discrimination suffered by his people, he became arguably...

Faerie Lore Among the Scots-Irish

More from Barry McCain on faeries. I look forward his posts, and I like the way he introduces the idea of faeries and faerie lore: After talking about the immigration of Ulster Scots to America in the 18th century, he says, “Some of the Faeries from Ireland followed these people to the Colonies. From the early 1700s into the early 1900s belief in Faeries endured. It was in the Southern...

Romanticizing Cowboys

In the 1880s, “America was no more impressed by a cowboy than by a railroad employee or a shopkeeper,” according to Lynn Jacobs. That will come as a surprise to almost everyone I know, because cowboys are the embodiment of our regional heritage and culture. But that all comes from Teddy Roosevelt’s deep-seated insecurity about his own masculinity.  “Before Roosevelt...

Ancient Swan Shamanism

From Andrew Collins at Ancient Origins. “The idea that the human soul might take the form of a swan to journey from this world to the next could be one of the oldest fundamental beliefs of human kind, or so suggests a new discovery from the 420,000-year-old cave site of Qesem near Tel Aviv in Israel. “In 2006 [Andrew Collins] wrote a book titled The Cygnus Mystery . It...

Colorado’s Mesa Verde

From Kevin Simpson at The Colorado Sun: When Swedish researcher Gustaf Nordenskiöld arrived at Mesa Verde in 1890 and surveyed the ancient cliff dwellings, he seemed to have the best of intentions.  But his subsequent efforts to meticulously — and urgently — unearth and catalog the human remains and artifacts of the tribes who once inhabited the area unfolded in a period of rampant...

Yellacat Ranch Under a Western Sky
Justin Swanstrom

Justin Swanstrom

Made in America. Retired attorney. Bookseller at Shining Lotus. No Nazis in Valhalla. He/him.

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