Monday, February 18, 2013

The Real George Washington

Vintage postcard with a look at how we view our first president: on a horse!

George Washington is a sort of bronze figure in our nation's memory: a bit of an unsmiling stiff. The kind of figure we see as a sculpture sitting on a horse in a park. It is difficult to illuminate his personality.

One way to get a view of the real man is to read some of his diaries, the transcriptions of which are now available on the web site of the Library of Congress. Washington kept diaries all his life.

Friday, February 15, 2013

US SEALS: Like "Ninjas with Lions"

The March 2013 issue of Esquire Magazine.

I've found more evidence of something I've said here before: the best journalism right now is going on at magazines. This month's Esquire provides a terrific exemplar.

"The Man Who Killed Osama Bin Laden," by Phil Bronstein (of whom more later) is, at its best, a sort of stream-of-consciousness interview with the still-unidentified Navy SEAL of the title. Bronstein tries to make the article "about" something else (of which more later) but the words of this young man are so incredible, the article needs no artificial "pegs" to hang it on. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

And Now Back to Our Regular Programming ...

An apricot contains just sixteen calories. If you can find them fresh off a tree, they make a wonderful snack.

I have had to take a short break--my first in four years of blogging--from the daily and weekly business of writing for Robin Chapman News, in order to finish my fourth book--my first fully researched, indexed and annotated book of regional history. The manuscript for California Apricots: The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley goes to the publisher next week. After that, I will be able to begin posting again.