Air Force to the Rescue

A “Lost in the Woods” story with a happy ending, thanks to the U.S. Air Force. No photo credit or byline on the dramatic picture and story in the Mojave News, although both deserved one. What’s really impressive is the amount of government resources from county sheriff, NPS and Air Force put at the disposal of some young woman with an injured ankle. I’m amazed at the tech advances of recent years and the accompanying cultural changes. Back when I was in my 20s, if one of us had injured an ankle while hiking with three buddies it would never have occurred to us to call for government assistance and wait for rescue. The casualty would have been expected to cowboy up and make it back to the trailhead with the help of his friends.

R.I.P. P.J.

As the Boomers stumble off into the sunset we see more and more familiar names in the obits that bring a pang of regret. P.J. O’Rourke was one of the greats of 20th Century journalism, and his voice will be sorely missed. Looking over my bookshelf I see that I have only Give War a Chance remaining. The rest I passed on to friends and relatives in the hope that O’Rourke’s wicked wit would entice them into reassessing their own views on the state of the world. He was the late century match for H.L.Mencken.

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New Map

My Nana story in the December issue of Wild West is illustrated with a great map by Joan Pennington. I have posted another one of Joan’s maps here on Tracking Nana. I originally commissioned this map to accompany a new, hardcover edition of my book, but I’m not at all sure I’ll ever get around to doing the work necessary to revise, annotate and index a new edition.

December Wild West on Newsstands

My Nana’s Raid story is in the December issue of Wild West magazine now in the mail and on newsstands. It’s always hard for me to look at something I’ve written on a printed page and I suspect this may be the last time I see my byline in a real magazine. But having said that, I’m pretty pleased with the result. Plus, Wild West came up with some great photographs to illustrate, as well as an interesting piece by Lynda Sanchez on Rattlesnake Power in Apache culture.

Fiddler’s Green

Just noted one of the links I’ve been using is gone. Here’s a new link to the “Cavalrymen’s Poem,” better known as “Fiddler’s Green.” Originally an Irish fisherman’s shanty, the verses were adapted by some anonymous barracks poet sometime before the turn of the (19th-20th) Century. Published in the U.S. Army’s Cavalry Journal in 1923, the rhymes became associated with the 1st Cavalry Division.