Over Easy: The Agrarian Myth

By: Wednesday January 21, 2015 5:00 am

The agrarian myth was never based on fact, obviously, or it would not be a myth. For the Native Americans from whom the land was stolen by any method it took, including wholesale slaughter, forced migration and starvation, the Agrarian myth was a farce, or worse. For the thousands who labored in sweathouse factories or died building roads and rail lines and bridges and canals, the myth was a farce. For the folks and animals packed into the filth of Chicago’s slaughterhouse industry and robbed by corrupt officials, the myth was a farce.


Saturday History: Some of the Drastic Changes During Our Young Lives, 1932 – WWII

By: Saturday January 3, 2015 12:00 pm

This country had begun in war, the one called the Revolutionary War—which was really a colonial uprising. Small wars came on the scene from time to time until the Civil War when the citizens of the United States enjoyed the luxury of killing one another. Had the two oceans not acted as a barrier, surely other nations would have come in and taken advantage of a weakened, sickened country whose citizens murdered each other. The results still haunt us today. “Damn Yankee” remains one word to some in the South, and racism did not end when Lee surrendered to Grant.

Saturday History: Seasonal Farming Tasks in the Great Depression

By: Saturday December 27, 2014 12:00 pm

Of all farming activities we performed during the Great Depression of the 1930s, two were notable because they involved the whole community: thrashing of the wheat, and butchering the animals. Summer thrashing of the wheat was the most exciting time of the year because it was a social time rolled into sustenance activity.

Saturday History: “Remember the Sabbath…”

By: Saturday December 20, 2014 12:00 pm

Our family had no trouble with the avoiding killing and stealing and worshiping idols and getting divorces. Those things were not happening in German evangelical settings. Keeping the Sabbath seems simple enough, but what consists of keeping it holy and avoiding all work?

The Fall Pie Supper Custom

By: Saturday October 4, 2014 6:20 pm

Depending on how the argument works out on any given day, the pie might require three or four eggs, and they might be separated or not, but you have to grab the eggs out from underneath the chickens. When eggs are this fresh- grabbed from under a hen- they are hard to separate- so you may have to wait a day or two, to separate the white from the yolk.

Late Night: Letty Owings, Age 89, Recalls More New Orleans History

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 8:00 pm

No chapter on New Orleans would be complete without something about the Mardi Gras experience. We knew about the big parade, but beyond that we knew nothing of the festival. The secrets and functions of the city that revolves around a carnival remain obscure to outsiders. Mardi Gras is not just a celebration, it is a way of life meshed with social structure and status. Anyone who is anyone belongs to a krewe, an organization built on social status, occupation and ancestry. All year long each krewe prepares for the season which ushers in the balls and the parades.

Late Night: Medicine in a Rural Farming Community in 1920s Missouri

By: Saturday November 10, 2012 8:00 pm

Medicine in the 1920s was extremely crude, and death was always so close. In our fatalistic view, life and death were a lot closer than they are now. Infection from an injury like the one my mother suffered could kill as easily as not. The cure for everything at the time was gasoline. On the heels of war and a pandemic flu so severe that we still study it today, we were in a position at that time of being extremely poor combined with a lack of medicine. People never thought of death as a strangeness.

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