30 January 2022

old people

this image was made in may 1953, on the ocassion of the 96th birthday of my g-grandpa josiah meredith hart (1857–1957), one of a series of such celebrations held in the front yard of my grandma hart's house on w. fayetteville road, which was on the site of the log house where he was born, all now lost to the fifth runway at hartsfield-jackson intl airport — he's in the center here, with his half-brother warren at his right, and his grandson pink cherry [seriously] hart at his left — the old man remembered a corps of the union army rolling through their farm in 1864, when he was seven years old, the same age i was when he died — i've always felt myself fortunate to have known (ever how slightly) someone of his generation — at lower right in this image is four-year-old me — i've always liked history i guess, even when i didn't always know what i was looking at


02 January 2022

holidays and 2021 book learning

the covids have set us back in a number of ways, all of it made way worse by trump's politicization of the whole mess early on — i've had my vaccinations and booster, unlike the 40-fkn-%  who haven't gotten anything, which itself tells us nothing new about the mouth-breathers who are always all around us at any time and anywhere (read defoe's a journal of the plague year-1665) — i haven't been on a areoplane or even gone anywhere out of state since august 2019 and only one soccer match and virtually no eating out during that time — but we started up our 106 supper club again, i've met a couple of friends for lunch at manuels, and i see robt a few times a week — to be honest, i've enjoyed the enforced solitude 

but i'm glad i have the beagle, who wants nothing more than to be right where i am, which can get annoying sometime since i typically don't like clingy things — also too i know this juggler who is always wanting to show me his wares, as it were, and that is good, too, except that he also triggers those clingy issues, along with a number of others i didn't even know i have --- i continue to work on all of that

throughout i have not felt particularly productive, so i've been thrown into that briar patch of reading, with the dog curled up beside me, if not trying to get in my lap — the list below is in more or less the reverse order in which i read them — clearly i am a fairly indiscriminate reader, as long as it's history — i tried to pick a "best of" but could not, so the * system will have to suffice — i'm glad my eyes still work

in addition to the items listed below (which do not include all of those which i have started but not been called upon to complete), i re-read three volumes of ackroyd's history of england, and started a fourth, reading more or less continuously, unlike the brief fits and starts when i read them to begin with, which makes for a better experience — also too the john quincy adams bio, which was one of the best of the year, mentioned that he was in the habit of reading the bible through each year — so i started to re-read the bible (i read it once in my early years) and actually got through genesis and a little bit of exodus, but got tired of the incest, violence, genocide, and what not and had to quit — maybe i'll take up proverbs

Dan Jones, The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors (2014)

Ian Mortimer, Henry V: The Warrior King of 1415 (2017)

Helen Carr, The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster (2021)

Ian Mortimer, Henry IV: The Righteous King (2014)

Katheryn Warner, Richard II: A True King’s Fall (2017)

*Ian Mortimer, Edward III: The Perfect King (2018)

Marc Morris, King John, Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta (2016)

*Kathryn Warner, Edward II: The Unconventional King (2017)

Catherine Arnold, Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History (2018)

**Heather Cox Richardson, Wounded Knee: Party Politics and the Road to an American Massacre (2010)

Michael Lewis, The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds (2016)

**John T. Ellisor, The Second Creek War: Interethnic Conflict and Collusion on a Collapsing Frontier (2010)

***Heather Cox Richardson, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (2020)

*Steven Palmer and Iván Molina, eds. The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics (2004)

***Emily Carr, Klee Wyck (1941)

Roland Ennos, The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization (2020)

Peter Ackroyd, The History of England, Vol. VI: Innovation (2021)

Edward J Watts, The Final Pagan Generation: Rome’s Unexpected Path to Christianity (2020)

***William  J. Cooper, The Lost Founding Father: John Quincy Adams and the Transformation of American Politics (2017)

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Peril (2021)

*Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (2017)

Tom Nichols, Our Own Worst Enemy:  The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy (2021)

Michael Lewis, Panic!: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity (2009)

**Michael Lewis, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story (2021)

***Nancy Marie Brown, Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them (2015)

*Benny Morris, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001 (2001)

Erin Stewart Mauldin, Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South (2018)

***Eric Foner, The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution (2019)

***Martin Padgett, A Night at the Sweet Gum Head: Drag, Drugs, Disco, and Atlanta’s Gay Revolution (2021)

James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, Antiquities of Athens: Measured and Delineated by James Stuart, FRS and FSA, and Nicholas Revett, Painters and Architects (2007)

David Cannadine, Westminster Abbey: A Church in History (2019)

Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

John Goff, Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity (2009)

*William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West (1991)

***Mark Peterson, The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865 (2019)

***Neil Price, Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings (2020)

Peter Frankopan, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World (2015)

***Virginia Postrel, The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World (2020)

**William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983)

Graham Bush, Old London, Photographed by Henry Dixon and Alfred and John Bool for the Society for Photographing Relics of Old London

Wick Griswold, A History of the Connecticut River (2012)

William Wood, New Englands Prospect: A True, Lively, and Experimental Description of That Part of America, Commonly Called New England (1635)

William Henry Carpenter, The History of Connecticut: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time (2018 reprint)