Voyager 2 Probe Moves Beyond the Heliosphere

Monday, December 10, 2018 0
Voyager 2 Probe Moves Beyond the Heliosphere
Eleven billion miles from Earth, NASA's long-lived Voyager 2 probe, still beaming back data 41 years after its launch in 1977, has finally moved into interstellar space, scientists revealed Monday, joining its sister ship Voyager 1 in the vast, uncharted realm between the stars.

Voyager 2 was launched in August 1977, 16 days before Voyager 1.

Voyager 2 probe moves into interstellar space

Eleven billion miles from Earth, NASA's long-lived Voyager 2 probe, still beaming back data 41 years after its launch in 1977, has finally moved into interstellar space, scientists revealed Monday, joining its sister ship Voyager 1 in the vast, uncharted realm between the stars.

Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park Breaks Historical Eruption Record

Monday, December 10, 2018 0
Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park Breaks Historical Eruption Record
The Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park broke decades-old records when it erupted for the 30th time in 2018 Saturday.

Since then, the geyser had been following a semi-regular pattern of erupting about every five to seven days.

The historical intervals of eruptions range from 4 days to 50 years.

Steamboat Geyser breaks historical yearly eruption record

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (KIFI/KIDK) - The Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park broke decades-old records when it erupted for the 30th time in 2018 Saturday. Yellowstone National Park reports Saturday's eruption surpasses the all-time record for the number of documented eruptions in a calendar year which was 29 in 1964.

Where the Southern Cross the Dog at Moorhead

Tuesday, December 04, 2018 0
Where the Southern Cross the Dog at Moorhead

Moorhead, Mississippi 38761
Gully's Alley Inn

Those railroad tracks mark the location of probably the most important spot in bluesdom--Where the Southern Crosses the Dawg.

When W.C. Handy heard the "first" blues song in the Tutwiler train station, the unknown singer was singing about that spot in Moorhead.

The Southern Line runs east to west and is now the C & G Line. When I visited that historic spot late one afternoon in 1995, a C & G freight train roared by me on its way from Greenville to Columbus, Mississippi. I am perhaps the only person who witnessed that 100th anniversary event, at least the only person aware of its significance.

Southern Crosses the Dawg 1995The Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Line, affectionately know as the "Yellow Dawg" or simply the "Dawg," ran north to south. Alas, railroad officials with no love of history or cool names moved that line fifteen miles eastward to Greenwood, Mississippi, and renamed it the Illinois Central. To me it is almost sacrilegious--the Yellow Dawg Line with a Yankee name.

Here's a photo, taken in 1995, of the exact spot Where the Southern Crosses the Dawg. The camera is facing north and looking up the remaining maybe 600 feet of northbound Yellow Dawg tracks. There's a Baptist church smack dab in the middle of the tracks. You can barely see it in the photo.

Yes, I think that's kind of strange. Why a church? Why not a garage? Do you reckon that old religion/devil music dichotomy/controversy is at work?

Southern Crosses the Dawg 1998

Here's the same photo but taken three years later, in 1998. That's Moorhead's new water tank in the middle of the Yellow Dawg.

Give Moorhead another three years and something new will sit between the water tank and the crossing. Give Moorhead six years and goodbye crossing.

Southern Crosses the Dawg Sign
There's a gazebo a few feet from the crossing, and it's a cool place to sit on a hot summer afternoon while you enjoy a breeze and think about history. I like to close my eyes and mentally transport myself back in time, back to when hundreds of people gathered around this spot. I can see them, in my mind, hear the babble of their voices. I hear a lonesome whistle far down the tracks. I hear them yell, Train's a-comin'!
Southbound Yellow Dawg tracks

When I took this photo, I was standing in the middle of the crossing and looking down the southbound Yellow Dawg tracks. They end about 100 feet from the crossing, just beyond that large shadow. Look closely at the object in the edge of the clearing to the left of the tracks. It's a dog. But it's more than just a dog. It's a yellow dog. To my astonishment, no more than 5 seconds after I took this picture, that yellow dog crossed the Yellow Dawg!

I thought that was a little eerie. Still do.

Well, y'all, hang on to your hats because Junior's about to climb on his soap box again.
Johnny Russell Moorhead Sign

Take a look at this picture of a huge sign at the front door of Moorhead, Mississippi.

I never heard of Johnny Russell. Have you?

If you're traveling Highway 82 across the great state of Mississippi, you can't help but see this sign when you reach Highway 3 and the turn-off to Moorhead. Notice the neatly trimmed hedge. Notice the spotlights.

At the back door of Moorhead there's another sign located where Highway 3 meets the city limits. To read that small and faded sign, you have to get out of your car and walk up to it. It informs the local farmers--with good eyes and legs-- that Moorhead is the fabled location of Where the Southern Crosses the Dawg.

I'm not a tourism expert, but I believe most country music tourists travel to Branson, Missouri, and Nashville, Tennessee, and not across the Delta. I do know for a fact that, every year, several hundred thousand blues fans attend various blues festivals near Moorhead. I can't estimate how many of those thousands of blues fan/tourists travel Highway 82, but I can guarantee you this: If that huge sign at Moorhead's front door read LOCATION OF WHERE THE SOUTHERN CROSSES THE DAWG, lots more tourists would visit Moorhead.

The problem is what I call "white column mentality." In other words, city fathers and travel and tourism agencies with a "our columns are bigger and whiter than yours" mentality. They seem to think there isn't a soul in the world with an interest in the other Delta culture, the black one.

I'm reminded of an incident on the Louisiana side of the Delta. An old and rich white man told me this about an old and poor black man: "Who'd want to listen to that old n____r twang his guitar?"

My answer was: "Junior Doughty and about a million other folks."

Folks, if we don't do something to combat that white column mentality, we will wake up some morning and Where the Southern Crosses the Dog will be nailed to the wall of a House of Blues.


Sacred Lands of the Wintu Tribe

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 0
Sacred Lands of the Wintu Tribe
The Wintu Tribe has had an ongoing experience of their lands in Northern California being encroached upon for exploitation and misuse/abuse since the 1800s. One such example, over the past few decades, is one of those who are only driven by making a profit off of what's sacred. That is the annual Mount Shasta "Shamanism" retreat that's been being held for 38 years in the region. Its 38th year being on July 17th - July 21st, 2019.

As said in the post, about the retreat at https://www.facebook.com/winnememwintu/posts/10156572020635519
Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk Statement

There's an informative website at dives more into the history of the Wintun, their lands, the experiences once ranchers and gold miners arrived, and how disrespect of the lands and/or their traditions has been commonplace ever since. Visit the website at http://mclane65.tripod.com/native/wintun.html

An excerpt from the page's intro:

The so-called Cottonwood Indians had existed for hundreds of years in this area prior to the coming of the Europeans. At the time of the arrival of the whites, the indigenous peoples had fairly definite areas of habitation, with the Yana (Nosa-Nozi) occupying the area east of the Sacramento River, and three general Wintun peoples occupying the area west of the river and into the foothills. Frémont named what we now know as Battle Creek "Nozi Creek" after these Yana people. Less observant whites frequently lumped them all together with the unfriendly epithet "Diggers."

The page infers that Wintu society (as societies should be) were living in rhythm with nature instead of trying to push against it. The complete opposite of the new arrivals seeking gold and other resources to devastate. Or, in the case of the previously mentioned shamanism retreat for white, leftist new-agers to exploit the land and traditions for one's own ego-fulfillment and/or for profit.

Another excerpt from the page, a quote which was documented by a man at a gathering between miners (believed to be during the early years of the California "gold rush") and the Wintu.:

"The white man takes the Indian`s hunting ground and his women and drives the Indian away. When the bad Indian steals from the white man, the white man kills all the Indians. The Indians can`t fight the white man. He don`t want to fight. He don`t want the gold. He wants the fish. He wants the game. He wants his hunting ground and his women and children. When the white man comes he takes all."

In time, these encroachments led to a wider scarcity of food amongst the Wintu and other nearby tribes. Which led to starvation. They were also chased from their villages and their resources, died from diseases for which they had no immunity, were killed in massacres and poisonings. These attacks were only ramped up when volunteer military forces, funded by the gold profits no doubt, became far more aggressive in their actions. It was the yellow journalistic standards of Northern Californian newspapers of the day that stirred up these stories as an unjust means to support such crimes against the Wintu and other tribes in Northern California.

One of these same newspapers, the Shasta Courier, went on to practically wash themselves clean of inspiring atrocities. With a tone of false, empty lament, they stated in a September 17th, 1864 article:

"Many of the domesticated Indians who had for years been living in peace on the ranches on the opposite side of the river, molesting nobody, have been exterminated and at our present writing no one can tell where the bloody business will end ... The Indians about Shasta and in other locations in the county, alarmed by the exterminations, are fleeing to the mountains for safety."

To read the rest of the article and learn about the Wintu Tribe and its history visit http://mclane65.tripod.com/native/wintun.html. Also, visit their main page at http://mclane65.tripod.com/

Minnie Quay - Tragedy in 1876 Forester, Michigan

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 0
Minnie Quay - Tragedy in 1876 Forester, Michigan
Minnie Quay was much more than a legend, a ghost story, or a tall tale that many internet posts water down her life and death down to. She was a real person who lived in Michigan in the latter part of the 1800s. Most sources say that she was born in May of 1861 in New York State. She was the oldest child of James and Mary Ann Quay and was raised up in Michigan. Her parents were well known in the town of Forester since they owned a tavern named Quay. Minnie's name is also listed as Mary Jane Quay on Find A Grave.

Back then, Forester was a port town with four warehouses along their shore of Lake Huron to supply the arriving ships. The main industry of the town, fitting the town's name, was providing raw wood materials and lumber. The industry there provided a lot of stable work for loggers in the town.

The story goes that Minnie had fallen in love with a sailor who worked on one of the ships that frequented the port at Forester. The details are scant and the name of the sailor, who Minnie wanted to marry, has long been lost to history. Minnie's relationship with the sailor was frowned upon by the busybodies in Forester. One busybody took it upon themselves to tell Minnie's mother about Minnie's beginning relationship with the sailor. Her mother, along with her father, both disapproved of the relationship and kept them apart. It is said that her mother even once yelled at Minnie, where many in the town could hear, that she'd rather see her dead than in a relationship with the sailor. Out of this, they forbid Minnie to ever see the sailor again.

In the spring of 1876, news had reached Forester that a ship had sunk in a storm. Back then shipwrecks across the Great Lakes were very common. The ship that sunk, in either Lake Huron or Lake Michigan, was one of the ones that frequented Forester. Minnie found out and knew that the sailor that she had fallen in love was gone. She fell into a depression over the loss. She had never been able, due to being not allowed by her parents, to say her goodbyes to the sailor when he'd last been at port.

Days later after the news reached Forester, on April 27th, 1876, her parents left the home and she was left to watch her little brother James. While her parents were gone she walk towards the shore of Lake Huron that was about (my estimation) a quarter mile from her home. As she walked, she passed by some of the businesses and homes in Forester. Most residents didn't even notice her. While a few waved to her as she quietly, in the loss-fashion of determination, walked down the road and past the Tanner House. Dressed in a white dress, she made her way to the town's dock and jumped into the cold waters of Lake Huron, taking her own life by drowning. One newspaper article from back then says that her little brother was on the beach and saw her jump in.

Just like that, a young life was extinguished. A tragedy brought on by the careless gossip of a small community, disapproval, and how a young person was made to feel unwelcome in their town and perhaps even her own home. Her grief, her broken heart, had all overwhelmed her. Her young heart had her feeling that taking her life, by drowning herself in the waters which took her love, was preferable to a broken existence in the torturous land that she felt was her hometown of Forester.

Now, many of the only remnants of her are recollections of the story of the 'Ghost of Minnie Quay' preferred by the ghost hunters and whatever tourism industry that exists in modern-day Forester Township. Her family's tavern still stands (though some sources say the tavern was never owned by her family). As do many other buildings from back then. The pier though has long since decayed and what's left of it are worn pylons. As has Smith's dock where Minnie jumped into Lake Huron from.

The remnants of the pier at Forester (source)
There are stories of her ghost wandering the shores of Lake Huron where the docks of Forester had been near or that her spirit tries to coax young girls, those around her age, to jump into the water as she had done. The latter story, of course, being typical of those told by individuals for the 'creepy factor' and turning every lost spirit into a demon wishing harm. Whether or not her spirit roams the beaches on some nights is up to the individual to believe or not believe. But such an innocent, as in life, would never bring harm to innocent people as a spirit.

For others, her true resting place is in the family plot at Forester Township Cemetery, marked by a singular headstone with her name and those of her family, her brother, father, and mother who passed after her.

The Quay Family Plot (pink granite headstone) at Forester Cemetery (source)
Sources and More Information:

You can find different details about the tragedy in the articles and some of the comment sections at these links.

Other family information: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Qua-6
Newspaper article (typed out): https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/w/h/i/James-White-WA/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0128.html
Ballad of Minnie Quay: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnie_Quay#Ballad_of_Minnie_Quay

Unfortunately, no known pictures of Minnie Quay exist.

This videos shows footage of Forester and also of Minnie's grave

Minnie Quay

The Ballad of Minnie Quay Performed by Blood Harmony in Forester, Michigan
(though not the original ballad from the Wikipedia link above) Lyrics were written by author Denise Dutcher who also wrote the book, Dead Reckoning A Great Lakes' Love Story