I’ll admit it. I went looking for this one. The American Bison evolved with their massive heads and necks so they could plow their way through the prodigious snows of the American Great Plains. You probably know these animals colloquially as “buffalo,” but that is a misnomer. Buffalo are a very different animal.
In 1800, an estimated 50,000,000 bison roamed the Great Plains, but they were hunted for meat, for their skins, to undermine the Native American cultures that traditionally depended on the animals, and often for sport. Within a few decades the population was reduced to less than a thousand animals. Yep, that’s how we roll.
They are magnificent animals–more impressive, I think, than the great predators (Griz, Wolves) that hog the wild west spotlight–and certainly more charismatic.
Anybody miss me while I was out of town and away from the Interwebs? Well, I missed you–or “yinz guys” as we like to way in western PA.
I had several ideas I thought I could write about today, but a second look at this morning’s “random” photo inspired me to do a little digging to see who this woman is and what she’s about. Fortunately, this was an easy one to run down.
As I’ve said before, most of the photos represented in this series have come by way of Tumblr and Pinterest, and are either unattributed, or have been reposted so many times that it’s difficult to figure out the original source.
This Sunday’s photo has a lot of clues, and while it shows up all over the net, I had no problem figuring out that the woman in the photo is Georgie White Clark, a fairly famous and historically significant river guide who made her mark floating the Colorado River through Arizona’s Grand Canyon (among other places) –which she first descended in the mid 1940’s. It deserves notices that while most people run the Colorado is rubber rafts, Ms White and a friend did a 60-mile stretch by…swimming it, wearing lifejackets.
Just so we’re clear on what we’re talking about, here’s a glimpse of one of the rapids:
Not only was she the first woman to swim the canyon, she was the first to row a boat through the canyon, and the first woman to run an outfitter service to guide others through the canyon as well. Her story is easily found spread across the web, and deserves a look.
And what a good story it is–“controversial” in life–though, for the record, after an admittedly cursory bit of research I’ve found little explanation for her “controversial” resputation beyond the observation that she wasn’t a modern-style feminist and that she liked to pack tin cans for her float expeditions and I suspect, had she been a man that word would not been been applied to her, her legend grew in death. Numerous, but nebulous, clues suggested that her auto-biography was filled with manufactured information, and that she may have been someone entirely different, possibly even a murderer, in the part of her life before she began running the river: Bessie Hyde, who infamously disappeared, along with her husband, on a honeymoon float down the river in 1928 that would have made Bessie the first woman to run the canyon. Was Georgie actually Bessie, returned 20 years later to finish what she’d started? It’s an exciting story that reads like a movie, and can be read in detail here:
Remember the company that poisoned the drinking water of hundreds of thousands of West Virginians? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t–at the time, the media was a lot more focused on Justin Beiber’s throwing eggs at his neighbors’ house than at a clusterfuck some have called the worst man-made natural disaster in the past hundred years. But it did happen:
The news came out today that Freedom Industries has moved the remaining material to a facility about ten minutes from my house–not in the watershed that provides my drinking water, thank the gods, but I wouldn’t be happy if my community pulled it’s water from the Crooked Creek-Kiskiminetas-Allegheny River watershed. Better be safe and put a few gallons up on the shelf, folks.
Freedom–that operates locally as Rosebud Mining (a proudly non-Union mine)–brought that crap here after regulators nixed some of their other facilities for being just as dangerous as the run-down, outdated set-up that spilled into the river upstream from Charleston, WV. Now that stuff is upriver from a million Westsylvanians.
And of course we can trust them to take care of things, right? To not be sneaky slimeballs who, if an accident should happen, will stand up and do their duty to take responsibility. Ah, yeh–sure. Whatever.
First, Ron Jeremy ride’s Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball
Next, James Franco & Seth Rogen skewer the ridiculous Kanye West
Every time I hear this clown, Kanye, I remember when rap was something impossibly cool and vaguely alien to an rural Appalachian white guy like me. Compared to Eric B. & Rakim, for example, Big Daddy Kane, Digital Underground…and I’m sure a few dozen more that someone who actually listened to this stuff knows. Those guys could rhyme some poetry! All this Kanye guy needs is a pair of oversized shoes, a squirting flower, and a bright red nose that honks when squeezed. And don’t even get me started on Ms. Achy Breaky–at least she’s clearly walking a path laid out by a savvy image consultant–too bad it’s not a secret path…
I love to tell stories with words and images, often with a darkly magical twist. While speculative fiction & dissecting pop culture are my primary passions, I also work with clients & brands by assisting with content creation, editing, marketing & design.