It’s been a busy, if not particularly interesting or exciting week.
Aside from running a few errands, I spent most all of Saturday and Sunday working on my niece’s wedding pictures and wedding album. The wedding was last September, so I don’t think I am rushing things any. I took more than a thousand photos, which I narrowed down to around 450 I cropped and touched-up all 450 and posted them on Snapfish.com. Then I created an album through Snapfish.com with about 200 of them. It was fun, but very time consuming.
Earlier this week, I got a call from the boss (who was out of town) that I needed to make a quick overnight trip to Atlanta to sit in for him in a legislative committee hearing. The trip was uneventful and I wasn’t called on to answer any questions, which is a good thing. The best part was an audio book I picked up at the library and listened to for the drive — “A Voyage Long and Strange” by Tony Horowitz. (Fortunately, the title did not also describe my drive.) I love most history anyway, so this was a no-brainer for me. Horowitz examines the “lost century” most Americans never learn much about in school, from Columbus’s discovery in 1492 to the founding of Jamestown in 1607. He tells of the various Spanish explorers who visited America long before the English showed up. He tells the tales of Columbus’s ill-fated later voyages, Coronado’s expedition through the American Southwest, DeSoto’s “burnt earth” march through the Southeast, and more.
For the second non-fiction read in a row, I encountered someone I know, or knew, or at least met once. Michael Gannon was the Catholic chaplain at the University of Florida when I was a student there. I was not a very good practicing Catholic at the time, but then-Father Gannon was a very prominent character on campus. I remember being very impressed by Gannon celebrating a very well attended outdoor Mass in the spring of my senior year. To this day, I cannot hear the Youngbloods’ song,”Get Together” (“Come on people, now, smile on your brother…) without thinking of the Mass on the Grass.
Since then, Gannon retired from the priesthood and settled down as a historian and history professor at UF. His books on the World War II U-boat war, “Operation Drumbeat” and “Black May” are both outstanding. In this book he is profiled as “The Grinch Who Stole Thanksgiving.” In the 1980s, he was quoted in a newspaper article describing a Thanksgiving-style meal between the Spaniards at St Augustine and the local Native Americans that preceded the Pilgrim’s feast by something like 50 years.
In any case, if you have any interest in some well written American history that is missing from most texts, this book is worth the effort.