Category Archives: American History

Decoding the family tree

Chris knew nothing about his ancestry beyond his grandparents, so I have been researching it. It’s pretty interesting. His ancestors have been living on the American continent country since Jamestown, and it looks like he has bloodlines converging from several different royal families. I realize this is important to some people, though the United States of America is philosophically founded on notions of equality. And I, too, believe in equal rights, regardless of one’s bloodline or background.

James Newman 1846-1923
James Newman 1846-1923
Alf is King Alfred. Fork is Sweyn Forkbeard. I’m still working it all out. Further up the line, Chris’ is the first son 10 generations back to Somerset, England. He is also the 27th grandson of William the Conqueror.

The golden spike is connected to Chris’ 2nd grandfather, James, who was born in Indiana 1846 and died in Stanislaus California 1923. Stanislaus is in “gold country,” not far from Palo Alto, Leland Stanford’s home.

The photo I have of James Newman shows a dignified and even prosperous-looking man. In contrast, Chris remembers his parents and grandparents struggling financially. During the depression, the Newmans picked fruit in a Cowlitz Washington community called “Rainbow” for pennies a day. Chris’ paternal grandfather, Ogden, came to Rainbow from Henry Indiana, while Chris’ grandmother, Eunice Wonser, was born in Pawnee, Kansas.


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The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and some modern structures they may have inspired.

Statue of Liberty

I crawl like an ant in mourning
Over the weedy acres of your brow
To mend the immense skull-plates and clear
The bald, white tumuli of your eyes.
– Sylvia Plath “Colossus” 1959

From what I have seen, for at least the past 500 years songs, films, plays, novels, poems, oil paintings, and monuments reflect the Sun. In all likelihood, it is the continuation of a much older tradition.

As the Western Roman Empire fell (313-376 AD), and Europe entered the so-called “Dark Ages,” literacy became a distinguishing mark of the elite. For those who didn’t obtain a formal education, weights and measures may have provided another type of literacy; a language that apprentice stonemasons would have learned and understood whether or not they could read written words. You don’t need to be able to read to learn and understand a symbolic or mathematical language, especially if you have a deck of cards which can serve as a symbolic key.
Marseille Tarot 17th century deck
Continue reading The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and some modern structures they may have inspired.

Cheeseburger Pepsi Pepsi Pepsi Chips

Three is the magic number.

If you’re Dorothy, you click your heels together three times and say “There is no place like home.” If you want to summon Beetlejuice, you have to say his name three times. And if you’re Captain Crook, you have to say “Cheeseburger” three times, and then you will get a photo taken, and a cheeseburger for a reward.

After Captain Crook gets his picture taken, he gets a cheeseburger, exits, and his place is taken by The Mayor. A Mayor who is also a cheeseburger.

Frito Lay logoMeanwhile, at the Olympia Restaurant, the only thing they serve is cheeseburgers, chips, and Pepsi. Maybe this is because PepsiCo, Inc. owns Lay’s Chips. Continue reading Cheeseburger Pepsi Pepsi Pepsi Chips

Eisenhower dollar - Sagawea

MDCCLIII: Twin Liberty Bells – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Portland, Oregon

Liberty-Bell-inscription-300-widthPhiladelphia’s one ton Liberty Bell was cast in London in 1753 and used for many years to signal announcements or alert the town to danger. The Liberty Bell is believed to be among the bells that rung on July 8, 1776, as the American Declaration of Independence was read for the first time.

In weights and measures, the bell is exactly 2,080 pounds (10 – Wheel of Fortune), with a 44.5 (13 – Death) pound clapper. It is 12 feet in circumference (12 – Hanged Man). It is 75% copper (12 – Hanged Man) and 25% tin (25 translates to 7 – The Chariot), and is famous for its “crack.”
Continue reading MDCCLIII: Twin Liberty Bells – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Portland, Oregon

Sacagawea coin

Decoding the Cherry Tree

Here’s the first song I ever learned to play on guitar. From the Mel Bay songbook. I was eight. It’s good to finally understand what it means.

McCartney - 1970I finally discerned that there is a puzzle I’m supposed to solve. Trés Treasure Island. Thanks to the guy who wore a tie with a map on it. I have corners at Olympia, L.A. and D.C. I have the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and its shadow, the “I Fell” Tower. I have a railroad, and a golden spike. I have a ruckus raiser and a bowl ravaged of drunken cherries in Malibu, California. 1974. That was 40 years ago.
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