Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Video Timeline for Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict of 1862


video

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Granddaughter Charlotte charms us again

Granddaughter Charlotte Opal, age 4, without being asked, picked up, arranged, and put away all these toys she played with for two hours while visiting at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Awesome job, Charlotte!

Serial: "Hawkins County" Chapter 2 - Nostalgic 1970s Americana

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenage boy on the run from the law. The premise of his story line: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement for probation violation? Now in chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson, a nerdy college student whose life becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine. This is the second story line, with Jack Johnson being the antagonist to the protagonist Pat O'Connor. 

"Actually, I owe my name to Peter Davidson, my father, whose sense of humor was very strange. I can empathize with anyone cursed with an odd name." Doctor Harley cued the concert band to play the first few lines of Johnny Cash's A Boy Named Sue, and as the melody ended, he extended his right hand, palm up, and right leg toward the audience. "ta-da-boom," he said. The snare drummer ta-da-boomed back after Doctor Harley said ta-da-boom, so Doctor Harley ta-da-boomed to him. The drummer ta-da-boomed once more and this time, Doctor Harley ta-da-boomed to the conductor. 

Jack grinned. The good doctor knew how to work a crowd as well as Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. 

Doctor Harley grinned also and took a bow. Fort an instant, he wished he had remained a teacher because the response he got from a live audience was so enjoyable to him. 

Adam nelson was really wiggling now, so much so that Jack leaned over to him and whispered, "What's with you, anyway?" (to be continued)

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Serial: "Hawkins County" Chapter 2 - Nostalgic 1970s Americana

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenage boy on the run from the law. The premise of his story line: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement for probation violation? Now in chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson, a nerdy college student whose life becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine. This is the second story line, with Jack Johnson being the antagonist to the protagonist Pat O'Connor. 

The crowd laughed, politely. Bernice Putsky coughed again.

"I wish I was the Harley Davidson you've al heard about. I really do. Although I'm scared to death to ride one of them, and the sound of them hurts my ears, if I owned the company, I'd be retired and living in the Bahamas, sipping a Cuba Libra right now, rather than standing here, giving a speech."

The crowd laughed, politely.

"Ah yes," he nodded, "the benefits of private enterprise."

The crowd laughed again, politely. Bernice Putsky up in the bleachers coughed again, so loudly this time that jack heard the phlegm crackling in her throat. If I had me a gun, bet I could knock you right off the bleachers from here, you old cow. Bang, right between the eyes! Jack smirked, imagining Bernice Putsky tipped over with her legs sticking straight up in the air like a duck in a shooting gallery. That'll stop your hacking, by golly. (to be continued)

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Serial: Chapter 2 "Hawkins County" - A Nostalgic Novel of 1970's Americana

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenage boy on the run from the law. The premise of his story line: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement for probation violation? Now in chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson, a nerdy college student whose life becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine. This is the second story line, with Jack Johnson being the antagonist to the protagonist Pat O'Connor. 

Sitting next to Jack on this grand occasion was a pudgy student with acne scars who drank several cans of malt liquor, not the 12 ounce size, the big 16 ouncers, just before the graduation ceremony began. Jack noticed from the introduction card he was holding that his name was Adam Nelson, an Industrial Arts graduate, and that he had sawed off his right index finger down to the first joint. The guy fidgeted a lot and continued to do so even after he sat down to listen to the speaker. 

Jack slouched a bit in his chair as Professor Harland Davidson stepped to the podium to begin his concluding remarks before awarding the degrees. Professor Davidson was one of those teachers who came up through the ranks from an assistant professor back in the fifties to the administrative and non-teaching status he enjoyed today. Even with his stylish goatee and sideburns, he had an Ichabod Crane look about him. 

"Good afternoon honored students and faculty, parents, family, and friends," Professor Davidson began. "Please be seated. My name is Doctor Harley Davidson, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and it is my honor to address you all. BS, MS, and PhD degrees will be awarded today. I'm sure that you understand the degree system. For instance, everyone knows what BS is. Well, MS is more of the same, and PhD is piled higher and deeper."

The student body smiled at Professor Davidson. He had their attention now and knew from experience that an icebreaker was appropriate even at such an occasion as this. He had to keep his presentation moving though, for the graduation ceremony schedule timed him out to just a few minutes including the inevitable pauses for laughter he knew he would receive because he was such a funny guy. Doctor Harley clasped his arms behind his back and strayed from the podium. "You're probably wondering about my name." (to be continued)

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Serial: "Hawkins County" Chapter 2 - A Nostalgic story of 1970s Americana

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenage boy on the run from the law. The premise of his story line: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement for probation violation? Now in chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson, a nerdy college student whose life becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine. This is the second story line, with Jack Johnson being the antagonist to the protagonist Pat O'Connor. 
"Well, anyway, he's getting his degree in Law Enforcement today," Bernice added. "All my other nephews are locked up behind bars for one thing or another, so it will be nice to have at least one Putsky on the right side of the law." Police Chief Percy Putzky - Bernice took the liberty of promoting Percy in her mind's eye and smiled. She thought the title had a nice sounding ring to it.

Jack stared at the stage again. Then it happened. Rather than one of those obvious ones that reverberated off the metal folding chairs and quickly identified the manufacturer of the methane, this was one of those nasty, one-cheek-sneaks. It smelled like butter3ed popcorn at first, but unfortunately, the odor grew much worse until the final bouquet resembled the kind a person produced after drinking too much cheap beer. Jack felt it curling his nose hairs and was dead certain that it was eating his mucous membranes away.

He knew right off that the guilty party sat in his immediate vicinity, so he peered both up and down his row by moving his eyes rather than turning his head. The way he did it, so crafty, so cool, unless they were looking at him, nobody would ever guess what he was doing. If that was where the acrid essence came from, however, no one was letting on. All jack knew was that the culprit was neither Catholic nor a native Minnesotan, for if either, overwhelming guilt would have kicked in and prompted a public confession. Probably one of those Iowa grads doing what they do best. Mercifully, the fart dissipated a few moments later.  (to be continued)

"Hawkins County" is an intriguing story of a southern Minnesota rural community's reaction to the cultural changes of the 1960s and 1970s. The folksy humor brings to mind the kind of story that Mark Twain would have written in modern times." - Dr. Richard Strachan, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, and Director Emeritus of the Emuseum, Department of Anthropology, Minnesota State University at Mankato.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Serial: "Hawkins County" Chapter 2 - A Nostalgic story of 1970s Americana

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenage boy on the run from the law. The premise of his story line: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement for probation violation? Now in chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson, a nerdy college student whose life becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine. This is the second story line, with Jack Johnson being the antagonist to the protagonist Pat O'Connor. 

Geez Louise, I need a job and bad! Since he was always too busy goofing off during his college days to think about careers and jobs, he had no idea where to start looking for work and for a minute, it became his demon. However, a minute later he convinced himself not to worry about all that mundane stuff right now. Something would come along. it had to.

During the lull, jack scanned the bleachers to occupy himself. He spied a fat lady, resplendent in her matching polyester knit blouse and slacks, the best Taiwan had to offer, sitting high up and off to his right. She hacked as though she had smoker's cough or maybe the flu, generously sharing her airborne bacteria with everybody seated around her. Her name was Bernice Putsky, an aunt of Percy Putsky, one of the graduates, and the very last place she wanted to be was sitting in a hot, cramped fieldhouse.

"That's my nephew down there," Bernice said, nudging the woman sitting next to her, whom she knew as well as Jack Johnson, now staring at them both.

"That's nice," the woman replied, studying the mole on Bernice's face for a moment before following her finger  out into the vast sea of graduates. "Is he the one looking at us?"

"No, I don't know who that idiot is," Bernice replied. "Percy is three rows behind him, the one picking his nose...oops, he's done now."

"Darn, afraid I missed him," the woman replied. (to be continued)

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Serial: "Hawkins County" Chapter 2 - Nostalgia of 1970s Americana (continued)

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenage boy on the run from the law. The premise of his story line: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement for probation violation? Now in chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson, a nerdy college student whose live becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine. This is the second story line, with Jack Johnson being the antagonist to the protagonist Pat O'Connor. 

A few others were full of something too, something other than hope. One of them was Jack Westerville Johnson, the Westerville part coming from his mother's side of the family. He described himself as 23, blond, horny, hung, blue eyes, 5'11" and 145 pounds with blood pressure of 110 over 70 in a self-image essay he completed for a psychology class. 

The girls who knew him described him as funny, pixie-faced with a button nose and a few well=placed freckles, charming, sexy, and very cute. His mom would agree with that assessment, for everything about Jack spelled mischief and made people smile when they saw him approach. She could not accept Jack's self-assessment though. She had no idea what his blood pressure was. 

Jack was about to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. He chose this major because it was an easy degree for him to earn rather than out of a dedication to the principles taught by the discipline. Jack charmed and partied his way through all four years of college, even managing to dodge the military draft because of his flat feet, but along the line he made the mistake of acquiring 192 credits. Today, with graduation upon him, he realized that unless he wanted to keep leaching off his folks, it was time to start earning a living. (to be continued.)

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Serial: "Hawkins County" Chapter 2 - Nostalgia of the 1970s.

"Hawkins County" has a dual story line until well into the second act. You have already met Pat O'Connor, the delinquent teenaged boy on the run from the law with the premise: Can Pat O'Connor continue to elude capture by law enforcement indefinitely? In chapter 2, you will meet Jack Johnson a nerdy college student whose live becomes enmeshed with Pat O'Connor's in way the two can not yet imagine.

Majestic strains of Pomp and Circumstance drifted forth from the fieldhouse at Mankato State University with such vigor that motorists o the street outside could hear it. Inside, the spring quarter graduating class was anxious to receive their degrees. The ceremony started 45 minutes ago and it was getting doggone hot in there. On the stage sat the clergyman who gave the invocation, the keynote speaker, Senetor Hubert Humphrey, a politician serving his first term who just cooncluded his address, and the deans of the various schools. The families and friends sat in the bleachers on either sidewhere they could see not only the graduates on the main floor below them, but also, the commencement exercises on stage. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees were to be awarded this fine spring day.

There were 203 graduates, all decked out in blue caps and gowns, receiving degrees from the various schools at the university. Most of them were young and full of hope. They were the ones who knew they could make a positive difference in the world, a real contribution, if only somebody would hire them and give them the chance. (to be continued)

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Matt Ulmen Blood on the Prairie, Sioux Uprising, Dakota Conflict, Civil War

This is my great-great Uncle Mathias Ulmen and his wife Elizabeth. They lived in Mankato Minnesota in 1862 during the Dakota Conflict, or Great Sioux Uprising as it was called. Uncle Matt built and operated the Union House Hotel, a picture of which was posted a few days ago. The hotel was located within sight of the gallows on which were executed 38 Sioux warriors on December 26, 1862. This was the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The execution was carried out by the Union Army by order of President Lincoln. It was carried out in retaliation for the massacre of 1000 white settlers during the Dakota Conflict in Minnesota. This was the largest massacre of civilian non-combatants in an Indian war in U.S. history. 2012 was the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict. Read the story in the format of your choice at Amazon at the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Prairie-Sesquicentennial-ebook/dp/B007O2AMX2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370383149&sr=8-1&keywords=blood+on+the+prairie

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mathias Ulmen's Union House Hotel, North Front Street Mankato MN Circa 1860-1880s

Here is the hotel my great-great uncle, Mathias Ulmen, built in Mankato, Minnesota. He operated it for several years. It was standing at the time of the Dakota Conflict of 1862 within sight of the mass hanging of 38 Sioux warriors on December 26, 1862, which was the largest mass execution in U.S. history.
Uncle Mathias, whose grave site you saw last week, saw it all.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Video of Dakota Conflict, Sioux Uprising, 1862 Civil War


http://youtu.be/RczfXa5ZqQg

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