Saturday, June 25, 2016

Simply a fascination .... nothing more

In 1914, German-born artist Richard Lorenz captured in oil on canvas the scene as he envisioned it had been when sunset neared on June 25, 1876, on the bluffs overlooking the Little Bighorn River in Montana. Mounted Sioux warriors departed from the battlefield where the body George Armstrong Custer and a few hundred troopers from elements of the United States Seventh Calvary lay dead in the aftermath of what became known as "Custer's Last Stand" -- which Lorenz titled his work. The painting is among the Bridgeman Art Library collection.

Welcome to "Custer Day" -- 2016 version

Some years, I mention here in a post that June 25 is the anniversary -- one-hundred fortieth anniversary this year -- since George Armstrong Custer and a few hundred troopers of the United States Seventh Cavalry literally bit the dust on a hot, humid, Sunday afternoon by the Little Bighorn River in Montana.

"Custer's Last Stand" is the usual title given to the event in which mostly Sioux, along with a few Cheyenne and Native Americans from assorted other tribes outnumbered, outweaponed, outflanked and outfought the "boy general" and the men of his command. I have written in some detail some years about this encounter, but this time I simply wish to point out that I dwell on this battle as strongly now as I have since I was a boy. The "Plains Indian Wars" -- which, from my perspective, lasted from the 1850s until Wounded Knee in 1890 -- hold me captive in the sense of absolute fascination. There is no escape from them for me.

I also have written in past posts about my "battlefield tour," during which, in pursuit of a sense of those times, I spent about six months traveling to fort to battlefield to cemetery to any historic site I could discover from Montana to Texas, while swinging widely (and, maybe, wildly) eastward and westward. At those places, I always walked and frequently ate and sometimes even slept on the grounds where the "warriors" of two worlds collided and often died.

I also have written in past posts about an ancestor who fought in the American Civil War, who came back to his homeland to chase the Sioux from Minnesota to North Dakota as a volunteer "ranger" during the 1862 uprising and who, a few years later as a cavalry officer, was killed by Cheyenne in Kansas.

So it goes .... I have written about these things and, no doubt, will again and again and again. Yes, it is a fascination and, I suppose, always will be for me. At least, it is not an obsession .... I am saving that for .... for .... hmmmm ....

Addendum #1: If you are reading this brief note, it means I am not home. I scheduled this post last weekend to run on "Custer Day," and I have been away from home most of the week. I left home uncertain if I would be back by Saturday or not. Not, as the presence of this note confirms, turned out to be the case. Sunday, now, probably. I undoubtedly am late/behind with comments and communications, and will strive to catch up in a day or two -- theoretically.

Addendum #2: If you never have looked to the right side of this page and noticed the segment entitled, "Important stuff .... really," it may (or may not) interest you to look now and even to look further within it. I seldom do anything simply for the sake of doing it, and there is reason for these entries. I have been including them because, as is said, blood is thicker than water, and one of those individuals mentioned in all of these pieces qualifies as direct descent blood. I assume, as I frequently say, you catch my drift.


ANITA said...


Nice painting!

So ,how are you?Drifting along the sea of blogs or staying at home or vacation or..or..or..?

Thanx for the USMC - Motivation

We all look at it over here--
(Me looking for the movie Acopolypse now)

So btw what do you think of the news about England?Out of Eu.I think its great but my young son says No..No No!

We also have Donald Trumph over here..visiting his..golfing fields in England..Paul Macartney is in town also Elton John.Me..dont really care..Staying at work..

ok happy time to you great warriour!


Kaya said...

Interesting piece of history, Fram! And I like the painting. Very nicely done!

It seems the world is going a little bit crazy (I mean England left EU, stock market crashed and other things are happening). I wonder if it's the beginning of the end of EU?

You are still on the Road as I understood. I wish you a safe return home, Fram.

Greetings from Utah.

A Cuban In London said...

The light on the painting is absolutely fantastic. I had no idea who this painter was so thanks for the introduction. And since I am in the middle of considering whether I sit my Higher Level German Test (again! Last done in 1997) or not, I am getting into all things German at the moment.

And, well... Child in Time... nuff said.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita, as I mentioned a week or two ago, I would be (and, subsequently was) gone for business purposes this week. The trip lasted even longer than I anticipated, and I have been home only a few hours.

The Marine Corps motivational regimen was meant only to explain that I having been using it to try to roll myself out of the doldrums I seem to perpetually be drawn into these days. It was to help me remember my roots -- nothing more, nothing less.

Being largely conservative and independent and (I like to think) a self-reliant type of individual, I believe Britain is better out of the European Union than in it. If the EU had stayed as a tool/unit to improve business and trade, all would have been well. But, instead a group of pseudo-royalty in Brussels live in luxury and these "controllers" turn it into a political monstrosity where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In terms of defense and security, for Europe, it is a joke.

All right .... it has been a long week and I am tired, so I will keep this note short. Thank you, Anita, for coming here and for writing a comment for me. You have been absent a long while, and I have missed you.

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Kaya, I was on the road until a few hours ago. Home is the hunter, as one of my favorite writers as well as one of my favorite people, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote long ago.

The departure of Britain from the European Union easily could be the first stage of its demise, which would be fine and beneficial over the long term, from my point of view. Had it remained a unit with its original tenets of a "Common Market," all might have been well. But, the "one-worlders" insisted on making it a socialistic model of the United States in both an economic and a political sense. Such a model is doomed to failure, but the architects could care less because they become rich in the process. Anyway ....

Thank you, Kaya, for stopping by and for writing a comment for me. I will try to catch up with your blog on my Sunday.

Fram Actual said...

I am glad you like the painting and the music, CiL. I am disappointed that you do not appreciate the actual post itself. This era is one of the key elements to westward expansion in the United States and the evolving relationship between the immigrants and the Native Americans, and more than a little significant to me personally.

Never-the-less, thank you, for taking the time to stop by and for writing a comment for me.

By the way, based on your recent posts I am sure you are deeply disappointed with the British vote to depart from the European Union. But, I am certain this is the best route for the Western world over the long term. I think the political pendulum has swung again, as it always does, ad nauseam, but this time in the right direction.

ANITA said...

You amaze me!What a nice comment on my blog! :)))

Well think i wll be hanging on a little bit on the sea of blogs..With so good friends like you!

Big sunshine kiss on the cheeek! :))))


Fram Actual said...

Well, thank you, for the kind words, ma'am. They are greatly appreciated.

To stay or not to stay, that is the question, to paraphrase Hamlet. I am on the brink of really cutting back .... one or two posts a month, maybe ....

Anyway, Anita, I think you and your camera should stay. Thank you, once more, and see you somewhere ....

Smareis said...

Olá Fram!

Olá Fram!
Demorei mais cheguei.
Andei com saudades de te ler. Ando demorado passar aqui, mais prometo que logo estarei mais presente lendo tuas postagens.
Gostei muito da postagem, e espero que já tenha chegado da viagem.
Essa pintura é muito bem feita. E o pintor conseguiu captar muito bem esse momento da batalha. Só achei muito triste os tantos soldados mortos. Essas batalhas sempre tem muito sangue.

Fram, desejo uma excelente semana!
Prendo o momento e vou como sempre desejando voltar.
Um punhado de sorrisos.

Essa é uma musica bem gostosa de ouvir... Adorei!

Smareis said...

Ahahaha Fram!

Li suas postagens anteriores mais não deu pra comentar. Achei bem curiosa sorrindo muito...
Senti...degustei e deixo o silêncio falar...
Até mais Fram.
ótima semana!

Fram Actual said...

Hi there, Smareis.

I always am glad when you return to visit me here and when you publish a new post yourself. And, I understand your absence due to the trouble and the turmoil you and your neighbors have experienced with storms and floods. I have lived through one flood and a few tornados, so I have personal knowledge of the havoc they create and the difficulty of life in the aftermath with shortages of drinking water and no electrical power.

I did return home Saturday evening from my brief excursion, and I have been busy trying to catch up with tasks left unattended and undone during the days I was away. I guess being gone from home is a legitimate excuse for failing to keep up with routine duties.

I am pleased you liked the painting and the music and the words I wrote for this post. I enjoy all aspects of history, and this time period is especially interesting to me because I had ancestors directly involved in it and because many of the events occurred at places in the immediate area of where I grew up.

Not many people realize that southern Minnesota was the scene of possibly the bloodiest war between Native Americans and immigrant settlers. It is estimated that about a thousand civilian settlers were "massacred" by the Sioux in a matter of three or four months before United States Army troops and volunteer, civilian "ranger" units drove them out and into the Dakotas. Well, that is a story in itself.

Anyway, Smareis, thank you, for your visit to me and for your kind words and for the "handful of smiles." I really need them .... as many of them as I can get.

I hope your week is a fine one, too ....

ANITA said...

As you wish captain!See you here or there..

I have started the changes!

Fram Actual said...

Undoubtedly somewhere, Anita .... it is just a matter of time.

I will have another post on Friday. I think it will be the last for a few weeks. I really would like to break the spell I have been under for a while and set a course for somewhere, rather than continue drifting in a circle.

Thank you, for coming by to see me again ....

A Cuban In London said...

Wacky post (your latest, not this one). Loved it. It took me everywhere, like one of Jimi's renowned guitar solos. Have fun wherever you go.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Wacky ??

You mean to say that you never sit around swimming pools, drinking gin and tonics, and talking about ideas for bucket lists, CiL ??

Actually, I am surprised I allowed myself to spend several hours mixing a hot sun, gin and swimming. I am superstitious about drinking gin and swimming. I had a gin-drinking friend who did not make it attempting to swim across a river one night, and I, personally, experienced .... well, let us say, "an episode" .... swimming in a pool after drinking a considerable amount of gin on a very hot, intensely bright, sunny day. Anyway, the conversation on this particular day was very much enjoyable -- and, probably more expansive due to the gin.

Jimi Hendrix had two concerts here during his brief career, one on the Minneapolis side of the river and one on the Saint Paul side. I have a great photograph of Hendrix on stage performing at the Saint Paul show, taken by a newspaper photographer friend of mine.

Thank you, CiL, for stopping by and for writing a comment. I will be in and out around here during July.

ANITA said...

What a great photo of you!Really the american dream I think of seeing, reading and thinking about your latest post

It had not lasted long that sword if my son was there..He used to love all kind of swords..You should have a look in his closet..Thousands of kr..went to buy look alike swords from the Viking period

Jimis text is beautiful.Its one of great songs I remember, very nice

Love that gathering around the pool..Just dreaming of such a thing myself..Little umbrella drink late afternoon by the beach :)))
Here in Norway summer is gone.Rainy days are back again.I am soo fucking tired of it..Happy soon to leave down to Kypruz,my love island

Ok.Stay happy and see you soon!

Fram Actual said...

Well, thank you, for the nice thoughts and the complimentary words, Anita. I have a Viking replica wrist/arm ring, and I should have had that on, rather than a wrist watch, I think, for the photograph. And, one person told me I should have worn something nicer than an old, beat-up t-shirt. Such is life.

Alexander has good taste if he selects Viking replica swords to collect. I think boys of all ages are fascinated by swords and fencing. I still watch intensely anytime a fencing scene appears in a film. I understand how film scenes are shot, but it is easy to see if the participants really are skilled or if everything is merely camera trickery -- as most actions scenes are these days. One of the best-ever motion picture fencing scenes was in the 1952 rendition of "Scaramouche." Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer were not only gifted actors, they were talented and well-practiced swordsmen.

Back on point, before I get too carried away. Tell your young man he probably would enjoy fencing if he ever gets the opportunity to take lessons. They also are great for developing agility, balance and quick reflexes.

As for the music of Jimi Hendrix, by coincidence, I had an email today from a newspaper photographer friend who took a number of shots of Hendrix performing in a concert in Saint Paul once upon a time. I have one of those photos framed in my "gun room/book room." Several people have recorded, "All Along the Watchtower" .... I think the Hendrix version is the best of them all.

This "pool party" was a guys-only-thing, Anita. No umbrella drinks. After a while, it became a "pour some gin in a glass, pour some tonic water in the glass, taste it, pour in more gin .... then, a bit more gin .... then, skip the water." The wife of the owner of the pool was out of town, and these kinds of opportunities are few and far between for most of us who claim to be serious, mature men.

The temperature is cool for this time of year for me, too. Which is fine. I like sunny days with the temperature around twenty-one Celsius.

Happy Independence Day, Anita !! It still is the Fourth of July here for a few more hours. Be seeing you ....

ANITA said...

Well thank you for reply Fram!I think you look sexy on that shoot..probably should not say may get red...some scars too on your arm?got that Nordic skin tan like my son..He is soo white as milk with frecles..(not like me at all)

Happy well done Independence day!

i hope you have recovered from your late party on the pool hahah

I never drink!As older i get that worse i become..dancing on the get it..
ok may be a little bendictine just before sleep while iam reading my old book :))

See you there and here..I have got a terrible summer flu soo..dont know when iam back at your place

See you!


Fram Actual said...

I will always answer you, Anita, unless I am in the process of moving on within another post, and, even then, will try to respond to the old/former comment in that new post. (Did that make sense ??)

This is the first year in, say, the last five in which I have not been pretty deeply tan by this point of summer. This year, I have not been outdoors very much, compared to the past few summers, and the weather has not cooperated, anyway. And, I would look better on the photograph if I worked out a bit more often and if I lost two or three inches around my waist. Too much pastry, too much liquor, too much ice cream .... what can I say?

I probably should not mention it (to use your words), but I will anyway. My first wife was of Norwegian, Swedish and French descent. She was a blue-eyed blonde with very fair skin. My second wife came from a greater variety of European sources, in a sense, and had very, very dark brown hair, brown eyes and brown/olive skin -- sort of a Mediterranean look. When she and our daughter were in Italy and Greece, they looked like they had been born and raised there. The two wives were very opposite in appearance, but both very beautiful. Which leaves me wondering what I should look for in (and if) a third.

Scars, hmmmm .... you must have good eyes and a good computer monitor. I still remember you looking for reflections in windows in my photographs of the "lake house" in 2010 .... ooooffff .... so long ago. Yeh. So, I guess there is a scar or two visible in this photograph. The "best one" is very old and barely noticeable anymore. I have been lucky (I guess), and am relatively unmarked. Broken bones have been more of a problem for me (he says with a laugh).

I sound like I drink a lot, and I am certain some people would think that I do .... but, first, I do not care what other people think (never have), and it has cost me at times .... and, second, who wants to live forever ?? A few drinks put me in a happy, good mood, and make me smile. As for you, "young dancer-on-tables," try a bit of Amaretto before bedtime -- it will make you even sweeter, and, I think, you would like the taste better than Benedictine.

I saw Lisa Fischer sing a couple of nights ago over in Minneapolis -- she, from the Rolling Stones / "Gimme Shelter" fame. I think you would have enjoyed that .... anyway ....

Do me a favor and get over your summer flu .... life is too short to waste time being sick .... ok ?? Take care, Anita, and see you when you return here, if not before .... like at your new post ....

ANITA said...

Hello again...Interesting about your wives...So its therfor you have spent alot of time in Greece?Family relatives?I agree..I think they are very beautiful woman.I know because you got a good taste.Sad it did not last forever..Who your new love will be?I still think of Magaritte?The one in Polen.What happened to her?Do you have some contact?sometimes I miss her.She was so sweat and always in a good mood..She says alot of funny thing..Like when she wanted to see you in a bathing suit..Remember?I still laugh over that one..You should have a trip to Polen again..Somehow I feel something is waiting for you there..

No you dont eat or drink to much..You are as you always have been..Masculine..Besides thin men are always in a bad mood because tthe lack of food and good drinks

I dont have good eyes any more..But my computer is still working so the scars are visible..I got two tatoos..I hate them..Did when I was young..A scorpio on my arm and and the third eye on my butt..Can you imagine what was i thinking..

Amaretto.Ok -i will try that one..I know only about Bendict..

Yes I am better of the flu..Got a couples of nightsshift to go before I leave for Cypruz..

Yes I will try to get the comments on again.But think i have to make a new post before it shows up..I dont know about blogger..Sometimes its a shitty place..In a mood for no comments.You understand.

Ok fram..A long letter today..Hope you are all okey and strong..See you around maybe on your next post


Fram Actual said...

In this case two-plus-two does not equal four, Anita. My former wife No. 2 and our daughter have been in Greece twice, but, if I ever get there, it will be for the first time. The two of them went once on a shipboard tour to Greece, Turkey and the Greek islands. Another time, they were on a trip which included Italy and Greece, among other countries.

Yes, it was Magdalena in Poland. And, yes, she was sweet and nice (most of the time .... I am sort of teasing when I say that). We have not had contact for about two years now. I suspect she fell in love with a Polish man and has settled down to a routine, normal, happy life.

I doubt there would be anyone waiting for me should I return to Poland, although the lady dentist who did some work on me in Warsaw invited me to travel to Florida (of all places) with her for a few weeks and another young lady I encountered there emailed me a few times suggesting a rendezvous. I am sure I am dust in the wind to them now.

I once thought that I was destined to be married three times. Now, I think maybe, maybe not. Perhaps, the time is past for that. I am beginning to become accustomed to being on my own. In some ways, I suppose I am afraid of making a mistake again.

As for Poland, I would like to walk the streets of Warsaw once more for a few weeks, as well as see a few other places there. The "history lover" in me would like to explore Krakow and vicinity a bit, and I feel almost driven to see "Wolf's Lair."

I have gone beyond my "fighting weight," in a manner of speaking, and do want to drop a few pounds and a couple of waistline inches. I simply have not been physically active enough during the past five or six years. That failure is one more area in which I need to rekindle and to regenerate the motivational factors I have lost in recent times.

Tattoos ?? Hmmmm !! Remember, my middle name is "curious."

Yes, you really were "talkative" this time. That is nice. I enjoy reading your notes. I suppose, too, I do know how you feel about the sea of blogs and posts and comments.

So, thank you, Anita, for coming to see me and for writing here to me. I hope all is well and fine for you, and, no doubt, our paths will cross at some point along the road before we reach our destinations.

A Cuban In London said...

So, here's a possibility to really think about: By December this year we could have the first female US president meeting her female counterpart in Britain and sharing a drink with the female leader of the Scottish National Party and the female leader of the Welsh Party in the lounge of one Angela Merkel.

You know what the irony is? That this country has just voted to leave the EU and have installed at Number 10 the equivalent of "Mutti Merkel".

Mind-boggling doesn't even begin to cover it.

So, who was I channelling with my latest post? Swift, Orwell, Atwood, Rushdie, but above Piñera and Heberto Padilla, two of the more influential Cuban writers of the 20th century. I'm trying to make sense of this crazy situation.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

You are much more on top of European politics than am I, CiL, and your Welsh and Scottish references, to me, fall under the category of, "Hmmmm .... say that again, please." Similarly, your new prime minister is a stranger to me. In any event, being a male chauvinist wolf, I would say, "Have at it girls .... see if you can do any better."

I also think Vladimir Putin would be smiling at the thought of such an arrangement -- unless one of these "babes" turned out to be the reincarnation of Lady Macbeth and, in these circumstances, one whose sense of guilt never surfaces. That would be interesting.

It is possible you might recall that when I was sort of advertising for a companion five and six years ago, one of the prerequisites was the skill set and the mental capabilities of "watching my back" in a literal sense when certain situations might arise. This translates into my viewpoint that there are women and there are WOMEN, and, like men, some have extraordinary abilities and are capable of extraordinary accomplishments in any area of endeavor.

I am afraid I am familiar only with three from your list of writers, CiL, and you probably can correctly guess the three are Jonathan Swift, Georgie Porgie Orwell and Salman Rushdie -- and, in the instance of Mr. Rushdie, I have read only the piece which originally got him into trouble -- "The Satanic Verses."

(We each have our own priorities in reading and, for the past decade or so, I have been determined to make myself an expert on the Plains Indian Wars and the immigration movement into the Upper Midwest of the United States. This I do with no goals or reasons other than I simply want to know it and place myself there in the midst of it .... and, reading is the next best to finding a time travel machine. There are literally thousands of novels, history books and first-hand accounts to find and to read. Obscure knowledge simply for the sake of it. Anyway, it is time consuming and this "fascination," actually, is partially responsible for my last divorce.)

So, in answer to your question, Swift and his, "A Modest Proposal," and "An Argument Against Abolishing ....," immediately entered my mind because, from my viewpoint, you simply had to be exaggerating even the worst possible scenarios.

Meanwhile, on my side of the wine-dark sea, I still am hoping either the Republicans or the Democrats can come up with a reasonable, logical alternative to their nominees to become the next president and, by that means, save the day at the last minute.

So, thank you, CiL, for stopping by and for writing a comment. I will be gone a few days myself now, first for a funeral and then wrapped up in one of those "tangled webs we weave," although this one has to do with opinion rather than deceit. Some struggles are unwinnable.

ANITA said...

Hello There!How are you?By reading your answer to Cuban I see you are attending a funeral and then it to those tangled webs we weave..

We are leaving soon.Got a message from the flight company if any thing happens (Cypruz has the borders to both Syria and Turkey)We got a number to call.I am not afraid at all.Shit comes and goes..It dont scares me to NOT travel.But sure ,this time I will not be hiking upon the paths of the author of Bitter Lemons.I am not stupid.

Sends you a message from the beach.

Love & Friendship


Fram Actual said...

Last week was not a good one for me, Anita, but not every day "is a holiday, every day a feast," as we Marines sometimes would sing while running in cadence back during our boot camp days.

The funeral came and went, and I encountered a number of people there who I had not seen for a number of years, which was nice, even though the occasion was a sad one. Beyond that, the tangled web remains tangled, but, hopefully, matters will be resolved before too much longer. I should know better than to be kind-hearted; people often mistake it as weakness and try to take advantage of you.

It always has been true that terrorism can erupt anywhere and anytime, so although it seems to occur more often these days, I think it really does little good to live in fear or to postpone travel. Live as you want to and hope for the best -- but, never-the-less, take care and do not take any unnecessary risks ....

And, be sure to enjoy yourself, Anita.

I will be thinking of you in your bit of paradise, and I will be looking forward to receiving a message from you from the beach.

Thank you, for coming here once again, Anita .... later ....

Something special ....