Saturday, January 25, 2020

Raise up the Banner

Iwo Jima Flag Raisers 8'' x 10'' Signed Photo -- Signed by John Bradley, Ira Hayes & Rene Gagnon -- From John Bradley's Estate
From John Bradley's Estate

Isaiah 13:2

Raise a banner on a bare hilltop, shout to them; beckon to them to enter the gates of the nobles.

Raise a signal flag on a bare hilltop. Call up an army against Babylon. Wave your hand to encourage them as they march into the palaces of the high and mighty.

The Book of Isaiah was always one of the books in the Bible that I would frequently start, get in a few chapters, and then close it up. Isaiah was daunting, my understanding that part of the Jewish history was too scant. So much happened throughout those centuries.

Surprisingly, reading the Book of Isaiah on a Kindle somehow changed my perspective entirely. Maybe it was the way the screen isolated section by section that gave me thinking time.

Prophet Isaiah, I need to learn more about him.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

If only, what if

Sutter's Mill

This time of day was just about the only part of life that James Marshall enjoyed: Seeing the West reflected into the East, changing the sky into a sky of molten gold.

James chuckled bitterly…molten gold… His own gold, now long gone, was only brass in his mind.  His mind was filled with what-ifs about the past, when he found gold flakes which had ruined his life, ruined his life but good.

Where Marshall found gold flakes
If only John Sutter had been just a smidgen parsimonious.  Sutter spent money he did not have, borrowed money he could not repay, and lost his own fortune. Damn fool. Marshall spit tobacco onto what had once been a mecca for gold diggers.

Marshall clenched his misshapen hands when he thought about Sutter.  All the work Marshall had done, breaking bones in his hands, and for nothing.  No blessings showered on me then.  Or now.

With all that could have been, Marshall could not gain any traction in keeping his sawmill running. His workers had dropped their tools and picked up pans, running to the American River.  Penniless again.

He pleaded with the California State Legislature and they awarded him with a two-year pension.  What he really desired was some investigative search into the theft of his future.

 Re-creation of James Marshall's homesteader cabin at the end of his life--
While on a field trip of middle-schoolers, I saw this.  Pretty sparse.

So here he sat, gazing at the dusky sky disappear, before he arose and went into his homestead shack.  If only, if only…

Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848

The underlined words are from March 2015  Wednesday Words, donated by fellow blogger Delores, and has since been continued by other bloggers. These awesome writers, Elephant's ChildMark KoopmanRiver can provide these interesting words.

When I was teaching middle school, we took 5th-8th students to Sacramento for two overnights. Visiting this site was part of our trip; I do not know if the students understood the impact of this part of history or not.

California Historical Landmark #143: James Marshall Gold Discovery Monument
monument plaque
California Historical Landmark #143: James Marshall Gold Discovery Monument
Marshall pointing toward the Mill

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Best There's Ever Been

Depending on what day it is, some musicians make my head sing.  

Lately, I have been in the music of my past, ones from childhood like "Purple People Eater" and then "Blowin' in the Wind".  Pretty random and no devotion to any one artist, I have hummed and sung along with them all.

Today, the one that has glued itself into my mind and memories is Charlie Daniels and "Devil went down to Georgia".

Why? I don't know.  I am guessing because I enjoy the talent he shows in a different media than is standard. No matter how old I get, this song makes me smile. 

Who else is hidden in my mind? I am thinking that it is Johnny Cash  and "One Piece at a Time". That will be for another day, another post.