Friday, June 15, 2018

Colorado #6


In 1857 Green Russell and Sam Bates found a small placer deposit of gold near the mouth of the Little Dry Creek in Colorado that yielded about 622 grams of gold.  This was the first significant gold discovery in the Rocky Mountain region.  News of this discovery soon spread and precipitated the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.  The gold soon ran out but miners then discovered far more valuable seams of hard rock gold, silver and other minerals in the nearby mountains.
Like California Colorado increased its population because of the discovery of gold.  
The United States could be characterized as a nation in pursuit of something.  The first settlers came for religious freedom and the great migration west happened because of a lust for gold,,,, and also sunny skies.  We are seekers of a better life, not satisfied with where we are or particularly interested in following old rules of conduct.  This is our strength and our weakness.



Here is a scene from Charlie Chaplin's GOLD RUSH.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

COLORADO #5

It is surprising to me who has grown up with the familiar map of the US with its neat borders that there was so many changes in states and their borders in the early years of the Union.  Colorado didn't really become Colorado until February 28, 1861 when James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the the free Territory of Colorado.  Before that Spain owned portions of the territory, it was part of Mexico and the territory was divided in several different ways.

It is sometimes asserted that it was named Colorado because it was believed the Colorado River originated there and the river was named by the Native Americans because of the red-brown silt that the river carried from the mountains.  However according to Friends of Red Rock Canyon the state was named for Colorado City as the Colorado River has only recently been called the Colorado River.  Colorado City was named because the Spanish word for red is colorado and the Rocks in Colorado are red.  So take your pick river or rocks, red is associated with the terrain of Colorado.




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

COLORADO #4


Colorado is now experiencing a number of wild fires.  Wild fires are caused by several factors.  

Apparently in Colorado more people are making their home in the mountains, in vulnerable areas.  On top of that, Colorado forests have a lot of standing dead and fallen trees.  These are a perfect fuel source for a wildfire and a firefighter's worst nightmare.  The majority of fires are started by either campfires gone awry or lightning. 






Tuesday, June 12, 2018

COLORADO #3


The first indigenous people of Colorado were Paleo-Indian culture they date back to 10,000 BC.  They lived in caves or were Nomadic Hunters.

Around 7000 BC they began to build basic shelters and made stone weapons and stone tools.

Around 2500 BC called the Gulf Formational Period ceramics and pottery came into being.

1000 AD farming and permanent houses arrived

1500 Colorado is the homeland of the Ute Indian tribe which still exists there today.  There were also Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Shoshone and Pueblo tribes at one time.


Ute art from Telluride










Monday, June 11, 2018

colorado #2


Colorado has the highest elevation of any state, with more than 1,000 rocky Mountain peaks over 10,000 fit high and 54 towering above 14,000 ft.  Pikes Peak, the most famous of these mountains, was discovered by U.S. Army lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike in 1806.


Breathtaking scenery and world-class skiing make Colorado a prime tourist destination. The main tourist attractions in the state include Rocky Mountain National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Mesa Verde National Park, the Great Sand Dunes and Dinosaur National Monuments, Colorado National Monument, and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument.
Breathtaking scenery and world-class king make Colorado a prime tourist destination.  Here are the most popular tourist attractions.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Curecanti National Recreation AreaMesa Verde National Park ParkThe Great Sand Dunes and Dinosaur National MonumentsColorado National Monumentand the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument

Here is another video with some great pictures of Colorado and another Colorado song.





Sunday, June 10, 2018

california painting

We have moved on to Colorado but California's painting was just finished.  I am a bit behind but plan to catch up this month.  This is 22nd Avenue in San Fransisco.  It was not easy to decide what to paint, as California is such a very large state and there is so much to see, but I decided I wanted something that would be typical of what might draw people there from the East as so much of California's history up until today has been based on the desire to make one's life in sunny California.  Here are some houses that said, "Welcome", to me with a little whimsy.  You can review all the paintings of the states so far on this link to my website.



CALIFORNIA
Nancy Herman
12" x 24"
oil on canvas

$500.00 with $250.00 to the ACLU





Friday, June 8, 2018

COLORADO

It's June so time to get going into our next state which is Colorado.  My first problem is always where exactly is Colorado.  So, it is slightly left of center bordered by Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Kansas.  That's a lot of states to be bordered by.  It is defined solely by lines of longitude and latitude.

And here is ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH by John Denver with lots of great pictures to get us started on our trip to this great state.

























Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hollywood #3

At first I thought I would list my favorite ten films as certainly the art of the film is THE ART coming out of California.  Movies have more influence than any art form, with the possible exception of music.  Anyhow when I began to think about all the films I have seen and looked at best 100 films chosen by others I realized it was going to be impossible to choose ten.   So I am going to include links to my favorite actors and actresses and have you look over them and remember.  These are the 5 movies that I would see again any time, however.  Interesting 2 of them I saw before I was 10.  None of the first four appeared on any lists that I found.  What are your favorites?

Wizard of Oz
Snow White
Brazil What a wonderful harbinger of things to come this one is.
Little Murderers  If you did not see this movie, here is one of the best scenes.
Godfather 1 and 2

Jack Nicholson

Merle Streep

Humphrey Bogart

Lauren Bacall

Robert Dinero

Kathryn Hepburn

Marlon Brando

Ingrid Bergman

Charlie Chaplin

In case I missed your favorite here is a link to the top ten actresses of all time and the top ten actors of all time.

And finally one more link that pretty much sums it up.





Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hollywood


 Probably the most well known city in California is Hollywood which has become synonymous with the film industry.

"According to the diary of H. J. Whitley, also known as the "Father of Hollywood," on his honeymoon in 1886 he stood at the top of the hill looking out over the valley. Along came a Chinese man in a wagon carrying wood. The man got out of the wagon and bowed. The Chinese man was asked what he was doing and replied, "I holly-wood," meaning 'hauling wood.' H. J. Whitley had an epiphany and decided to name his new town Hollywood. "Holly" would represent England and "wood" would represent his Scottish heritage. Whitley had already started over 100 towns across the western United States." Wikipedia 


Whitley bought lots of land, put in electricity and built the Hollywood Hotel to attract investors in the new town 
so he seems to deserve the appellation "Father of Hollywood".




Although the Lumiere Brothers are credited with the birth of modern cinema Hollywood is the oldest film industry 
in the world and the first recorded instance of photographs capturing and reproducing motion was a series of photographs of a running horse by Edward Muybridge, which he took in Palo Alto, California using a set of still cameras placed in a row. Muybridge's accomplishment led inventors everywhere to attempt to make similar devices. In the United States, Thomas Edison was among the first to produce such a device,the kinetoscope.  

The film industry actually began in Fort Lee New Jersey where some of the major studios started up.  
Edison had a studio in West Orange, New Jersey and there were also studios in Manhattan. Other major centers of film production also included Chicago, Texas, California, and Cuba.

D.W. Griffith filmed the first movie ever shot in Hollywood, In Old California, a Biograph melodrama about California in the 19th century, when it belonged to Mexico.  After hearing about Griffith's experience in Hollywood many studios followed to avoid the heavy fees Edison imposed for the movie making process. Not sure how that worked actually as they were still making movies.

In Los Angeles, the studios and Hollywood grew. Before World War I, movies were made in several US cities, but filmmakers tended to gravitate towards southern Californiaas the industry developed. They were attracted by the warm climate and reliable sunlight, which made it possible to film movies outdoors year-round and by the varied scenery that was available. There are several starting points for cinema (particularly American cinema), but it was Griffith's controversial 1915 epic Birth of a Nation that pioneered the worldwide filming vocabulary that still dominates celluloid to this day...Wikipedia



FRIST MUSIC FILM

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Silicon Valley

California is associated with three major United States industries Agriculture, Film Making and Technology.

Silicon Valley in the Santa Clara Valley is the global center for high technology, venture capital, innovation and social media.

"The "Silicon Valley" has come to have two definitions: a geographic one, referring to Santa Clara County, and a metonymical one, referring to all high-tech businesses in the Bay Area. The term is now generally used as a synecdoche for the American high-technology economic sector." Wikipedia

This info is notable for the two very similar words "metonymical and synecdoche" which have slightly different meanings. Check out the links if you are interested.

The whole section in Wikipedia about the Silicon Valley is very interesting and I can't decide which parts are the most important so I suggest once again you check out the whole article. A lot of people got together informally at first just to try and make computers more available to the average person and next thing you know they had started a revolution in communication.

SILICON VALLEY









Sunday, May 20, 2018

California #7

I think getting into the 20th Century it is most important to look with care on how California deals with its water, as it is key to its success in many ways but also in the long run is creating problems.  Since California usually leads the way for the us we should be aware of what works and what doesn't.

At the beginning of the century even more people poured into the state due to the completion of the
Lincoln Highway and Route 66.  Most of the people settled in the warmer Southern parts of California but most of the water was in the North.  Both the Federal Government and the State were involved in building projects that diverted water from the North to the South.  There was always a struggle between the interests of agriculture, industry and water for the growing population.

HERE is an article in a recent New Yorker that describes the situation as it has evolved to the present day.


And here are the Mamas and the Papas dreaming on.... CALIFORNIA DREAMING 
















Wednesday, May 16, 2018

CALIFORNIA #6

I'm afraid the story of California's handling of it's Native American population was just as bad if not worse than the other states I have covered so far.
The first thinning of the population had to do with Eurasian diseases which the indigenous population had no immunity to.  That really was not anyone's fault.  However, many native inhabitants were forcibly removed from their lands by incoming American settlers.  And under the law ACT FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND PROTECTION OF THE INDIANS passed in 1853 any white person who saw an Indian who did not appear to be gainfully employed, could charge them as vagrants, take them in front of a Justice of the Peace who would have them SEIZED AND SOLD AT PUBLIC AUCTION.  The person who bought them would then have their labor for four months without compensation. 
God Bless America.  

Things are pretty bad now but so far at least we don't have laws like that.


The Salinan People



On a lighter side here is the Simpson'g version of California Here We Come.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

California #5

During the Civil War California sent gold to the Union forces but due to a large population of Southerners was not able to muster official soldiers, although slavery did not exist there.  There were a large number of Californians who did fight on the side of the Union an unofficial capacity however such as the "California 100 Company".

Until 1869 when the First Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, Utah's was complete.  It was a very long and dangerous journey to California. After that hundreds of thousands of United States citizens were able to easily migrate westwards into the state.



HERE are the crew from I LOVE LUCY on their way West singing all the way.



Friday, May 11, 2018

CALIFORNIA #4



What is now California was explored by various Europeans during the 16th and 17th centuries eventually being claimed by the Spanish Empire.  The area then became part of Mexico in 1821 following the war for independence but was ceded to the United Staes in 1848 after the Mexican-American War.  

Amazing how many wars seem to be necessary to keep human beings from doing more constructive activity!

In 1848 people began to swarm in to California to seek their fortune after gold was discovered.

HERE is a short trailer for Charlie Chaplin's THE GOLD RUSH.

Here is a full length version of THE GOLD RUSH if you have the time.

And HERE is a simple youtube cartoon that paints the picture in broad strokes.

And so begins the long saga of the country's pilgrimage of people to California to find gold in whatever form they imagine it.









Wednesday, May 9, 2018



Evidence of human occupation of California dates from at least 19,000 years ago.  Because of the temperate climate and easy access to food sources, approximately one third of all Native Americans in what is now the United States were living in the area of California.

"The indigenous people practiced various forms of sophisticated forest gardening in the forests, grasslands, mixed woodlands, and wetlands to ensure availability of food and medicine plants. They controlled fire on a regional scale to create a low-intensity fire ecology; this prevented larger, catastrophic fires and sustained a low-density "wild" agriculture in loose rotation. By burning underbrush and grass, the natives revitalized patches of land and provided fresh shoots to attract food animals. A form of fire-stick farming was used to clear areas of old growth to encourage new in a repeated cycle; a permaculture."...Wikipedia

Sounds like they knew what they were doing better than we do!


California Mission Basket
c.1900

HERE  is a delightful children's video that explains the life of the California Indian tribes.





Tuesday, May 8, 2018

California #3



Everything California does is important because it is so large and has so many areas with dense population.

"California's $2.75 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state.[13] If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world,[14]and the 36th most populous as of 2017.[15] The Greater Los Angeles Areaand the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.2 trillion and $821 billion respectively as of 2016), after the New York City metropolitan area.[16] The San Francisco Bay Area's combined statistical area had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2016 (~$94,000),[17] and is home to four of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization[18] and four of the world's ten richest people.".... Wikipedia       

We can only hope that THIS policy of solar panels on new construction spreads to all the states.

Here are two versions of IT NEVER RAINS IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA.  Albert Hammond's is the 
best musically but it is interesting to see Sonny and Cher together after all these years.

Sonny and Cher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ewDTQ2qVrY

Albert Hammon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmq4WIjQxp0








Monday, May 7, 2018

California #2

This is one state that everyone can locate as it takes up most of the West Coast.

It is interesting to see what percentage of the population of California in 2007 spoke languages other than English.  It is about the same today but here is a complete analysis.  This is certainly a trend that will be spreading throughout the country in the years to come.

I will probably be including a song each time I post about California because there is such a rich selection to choose from.  Here is the state song with delightful postcards from 1914.





www.nancyherman.com

Sunday, May 6, 2018

CALIFORNIA #1

So many Americans have headed off to California to seek gold, a Hollywood career or simply the sunshine and the open life style that I think it best to start off with Al Jolson's often sung hit 'California Here I Come' as we head for the state that initiates a lot of what eventually becomes the way we do things in the rest of the country.  Pictures from Northern California.

CALIFORNIA HERE I COME





Monday, April 23, 2018

ARKANSAS #5

After the Civil War, Arkansas like many of the other southern states went through a period of turmoil both economic, because of lack of free labor, and political as there were mixed opinions about who should be allowed to vote.  The Brooks - Baxter War which was a struggle over voting rights and leadership of the state resulted in considerable weakening of the Republican party and the Democrats held the political edge for the next 90 years.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

ARKANSAS #4

Arkansas was one of the few Southern states that was divided in its opinions about slavery.  In the Southeast where cotton could be grown there was enthusiasm for slavery as it was felt it was the only economically feasible way to grow crops but in the Northwest, where subsistent farming was the norm, slavery was not used and therefore not supported.  So initially Arkansas joined the Union.  It was only after Lincoln sent troops to quell the rebellion at Fort Sumter that Arkansas joined the Confederate States.


FORT SUMTER

Thursday, April 12, 2018

ARKANSAS #3



Evolution from the Territory of Arkansaw to State of Arkansas, 1819–1836








"Napoleon Bonaparte sold French Louisiana to the United States in 1803, including all of Arkansas, in a transaction known today as the Louisiana Purchase. French soldiers remained as a garrison at Arkansas Post. Following the purchase, the balanced give-and-take relationship between settlers and Native Americans began to change all along the frontier, including in Arkansas.[54] Following a controversy over allowing slavery in the territory, the Territory of Arkansas was organized on July 4, 1819.[c] Gradual emancipation in Arkansas was struck down by one vote, the Speaker of the House Henry Clay, allowing Arkansas to organize as a slave territory.[55]".....Wikipedia

There was a town called Napoleon in Arkansas near the confluence of the Arkansas and Mississippi river.  However due to poor planning on somebody's part in 1863 a channel was cut through the soft land that inadvertently directed the river waters toward the town.  It was finally submerged in 1874 when the banks of the Mississippi River burst through and destroyed the last of the once-thriving port.  I imagine we will be seeing a lot more of that sort of thing in the near future.





Monday, April 9, 2018

The first European explorer to reach Arkansas was Hernando de Soto in 1540. He crossed the Mississippi and marched across Central Arkansas and the Ozark Mountains.  After finding nothing he considered of value and encountering native resistance the entire time, he and his men returned to the Mississippi River where de Soto fell ill.  From his deathbed he ordered his men to massacre all of the men of the nearby village of Anilco, who he feared had been plotting with a powerful polity down the Mississippi River, Quigualtam.  His men obeyed and did not stop with the men, but were said to have massacred women and children as well.  He died the following day.  His body was weighted down by sand and he was consigned to a watery grave in the Mississippi under cover of darkness.  For some reason he had 700 hogs at the time of his death, even though his men were starving because all they had to eat was maize stolen from Native Americans.

And so it seems once again we find that in order to remembered in the history books you don't have to be wise, kind, a good leader who cares for his men, or particularly clever, just march around claiming territory from people who have inferior armaments.



THE BURIAL OF DESOTO
William A. Crafts




 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ARKANSAS



It's April.  Time to travel to the next state which is Arkansas.  Located in the South, bordering Missouri, Oklahoma, a bit of Texas, Louisiana, Missisppi, and the tip of Tennessee.




The original inhabitants of Arkansas were the Caddo, Osage, and Quapaw Indians.

Here are some paintings of the Osage done by the painter George Catlin.  



George Catlin, painted by William Fisk


Catlin was a fine painter who had a brief career as an attorney before he began his life's work recording Native Americans.  He was inspired initially by his mother who told him stories of her capture by an Indian tribe as a girl, and later by the artifacts brought back by Lewis and Clark.  He visited several tribes and did portraits over a period of many years.






I know George Catlin from his appearance in several Larry McMurtry books.  He was a character in the Berrybender Narratives.  He is also spoken of in the historical novel The Children of First Man, by James Alexander Thomre.  In the 1970 film A Man Called Horse his work is cited as one of the sources for its depiction of Lakota Sioux culture.  His works also figure repeatedly in the 2010 novel Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich.  There he is the subject of the unfinished doctoral dissertation of character Irene America.

During his lifetime he was unable to sell his work to the US Government but now it resides in the Smithsonian among other places including the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.