In Any Civilized Nation Today Would Be a Holiday

Two country music immortals were born on September 8th.

Jimmie Rodgers, considered the “Father of Country Music,” was born in Meridian, Mississippi, on September 8, 1897. He died from TB in 1933. Jimmie Rodgers was the first person inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and among the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

James Charles Rodgers, known professionally as the Singing Brakeman and America’s Blue Yodeler, was the first performer inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was honored as the Father of Country Music, “the man who started it all.” From many diverse elements—the traditional melodies and folk music of his southern upbringing, early jazz, stage show yodeling, the work chants of railroad section crews and, most importantly, African-American blues—Rodgers evolved a lasting musical style which made him immensely popular in his own time and a major influence on generations of country artists.

Blue Yodel No. 9

Patsy Cline, the most popular female country singer in recording history, was born in Winchester, Virginia, on September 8, 1932. She died in a plane crash in 1963. Patsy Cline is an inductee of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Cline is invariably invoked as a standard for female vocalists, and she has inspired scores of singers including k. d. lang, Loretta Lynn, Linda Ronstadt, Trisha Yearwood, and Wynonna Judd. Her brief career produced the #1 jukebox hit of all time, “Crazy” (written by Willie Nelson) and her unique, crying style and vocal impeccability have established her reputation as the quintessential torch singer.

Crazy


Fort Davis National Historic Site (Texas)

. . . was established on this date in 1961.

Set in the rugged beauty of the Davis Mountains of west Texas, Fort Davis is one of America’s best surviving examples of an Indian Wars’ frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail, and to control activities on the southern stem of the Great Comanche War Trail and Mescalero Apache war trails. Fort Davis is important in understanding the presence of African Americans in the West and in the frontier military because the 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, all-black regiments established after the Civil War, were stationed at the post.

National Park Service


Top 10 Reasons People Don’t Use Turn Signals

The top 10 reasons people don’t use turn signals.

10. I prefer to remain aloof and mysterious.

9. I find it easier to just leave one turn signal on all the time.

8. I don’t wear seat belts either.

7. I’m not from around here.

6. It’s my tax dollars that built these roads and I can turn wherever I want whenever I want

5. I would use turn signals, but every time I try the windshield wipers come on instead.

4. Our Christian Founding Fathers didn’t use turn signals.

3. The dog in my lap ate my turn signal lever.

2. The click-click-click sound messes up the thump-thump-thump of my bass woofer.

And the number one reason people don’t use turn signals,

I’m texting and drinking coffee and I don’t have three hands.


Geronimo

The chief himself was in his late fifties and perhaps decided that it was time to retire from the more athletic activities of his career. Nonetheless, when he finally gave up once and for all, on September 4, 1886, it was a negotiated surrender, and not a capture.

Geronimo and Naiche (son of Cochise) surrendered to Gen. Nelson Miles on this date in 1886 at Skeleton Canyon, near the Arizona-New Mexico line just north of the border with Mexico. It was the fourth time Geronimo had surrendered — and the last. With them were 16 men, 14 women and six children. The band was taken to Fort Bowie and by the 8th were on a train to Florida as prisoners of war.

“General Miles is your friend,” said the interpreter. The Indian gave Miles a defoliating look. “I never saw him,” he said. “I have been in need of friends. Why has he not been with me?”

This photograph was taken at a rest stop along the route to San Antonio. Naiche is third from left, Geronimo third from right (with the straw hat) in the front row.

After time in Florida and Alabama, Geronimo and the other Chiricahua Apaches were moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1894. Geronimo, despite remaining a prisoner of war, became a marketable celebrity, paid to appear at expositions and fairs. He died at Fort Sill in 1909, about age 80.

Also pictured are Geronimo at his third surrender in March 1886 (above) and Geronimo on exhibit at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair (below).

Quotations are from Geronimo! by E. M. Halliday, published in American Heritage in June 1966.


Why I Like Living in Albuquerque

Seven years ago, driving along Tramway across Sandia Pueblo, I was reminded of one of the best things about living in Albuquerque. I began to think, NewMexiKen you can live anywhere, why do you stay here?

There are a lot of ways to answer a question like that. One way is to make a list.

These aren’t the only reasons, and they aren’t in any particular order, but these are ten that came to mind.

  1. The weather, except sometimes in March and April. Four seasons, all of them distinct, none of them oppressive, or too long. And September and October — amazing!
  2. The food, red and green — and sopapillas with honey.
  3. The Rio Grande, though we fail to do anything with it. A historic river — third longest in America — how about a river walk with cafes and shops (tastefully and environmentally correct, of course)?
  4. The Plaza. Not as historic as Santa Fe, or even Taos. Still it’s always inviting and often filled with people celebrating a wedding at San Felipe de Neri. In other words, while a tourist attraction, it’s still “our” plaza.
  5. Santa Fe, Taos, Chaco Culture, Pecos, Valles Caldera and more, world-class tourist venues that are day trips for us.
  6. The sky, whether bluer than blue, or lit dramatically by sun or twilight, or with clouds, white or dark. Our sky is always something to behold, most gloriously at sunrise over the mountains and sunset over the volcanoes.
  7. The pueblos nearby with their cultures, feasts and dances.
  8. The Sandia mountains right here, rising a mile right above us (and the tram).
  9. The diversity of people. It’s a community without a majority population.
  10. The Indian land north and south of the city, the National Forest land (and wilderness) east of it. If it weren’t for the permanently undeveloped land that surrounds so much of Albuquerque, I fear it all would look like Phoenix.

And a few more.

  • The Buckhorn, The Owl and Los Ojos, the funkiest saloons with the best green chile cheeseburgers anywhere.
  • The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and the Festival of the Cranes.
  • The Sunport.
  • Living, as I do, at 6,000 feet above sea level.

And one visual aid.


The Next Four Months Have Boring Names

Why is it that four of the months have never been named for anything but a number, while the first eight months of the year are named for someone or something?

January is named for Janus (that two-faced guy); February after februa, a celebration of purification and forgiveness; March for Mars, the god of war. April comes from aperire, Latin for opening, as in the opening of buds in the spring (or possibly from Aphrodite); May is named for Maia, the goddess of plants; June for Juno, the goddess of marriage and well-being.

Then along comes Julius Caesar and he has the gall in 44 B.C.E. to rename Quintilis (for fifth month, as it was then) to Julius (July). Not to be outdone, Augustus renamed Sextilis (for sixth month) to Augustus (August) in 8 B.C.E.

So, why did it stop 2020 years ago? I mean, there are September (seven), October (eight), November (nine) and December (ten) just sitting out there like blank billboards waiting for a clever new name. (And the numbers are no longer even correct!)

Surely, Julius and Augustus can’t be the last two guys in Western culture with enough ego to rename a month after themselves.

Or more fit for our times, commercialize the names of the months; the rights could be purchased like bowl games. It’s not the Orange Bowl anymore, it’s the FedEx Orange Bowl. It’s not November anymore, it’s Toyota November; it’s Bud Light December. Just think, their logo on every calendar.