Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chincoteague and Assateague Photos Today

Aerial photo taken of Assateague Island today by Patrick J Hendrickson - that tan colored thread to the right is the main road to Chincoteague -  Yikes!
Sunset on Chincoteague Island this evening - photo by Aleda Frishman

Back to ... Normal? (I Never Am...)

Happy Halloween! It's already the end of October and the Breeders Cup races start Friday! I've been so tied up with seeing what Sandy was doing to the East Coast, that I haven't even looked at the race schedule for Friday and Saturday - let alone see who is actually running. I'll have to do a quick study tonight and tomorrow, so I can list my picks in the blog again. Sometimes I really hit it big with my bets, and sometimes I really stink.... But that's horse racing, with so many elements and variables that change second by second.... Friday, six of the races will be run: the Juvenile Sprint, the Marathon (at 1 and 3/4 miles), the Juvenile Fillies Turf, the Juvenile Fillies, the Filly and Mare Turf, and the Ladies Classic. I still think that it's sexist to run almost all of the female races on Friday, with the male races on Saturday. Of course, the girls are considered the fairer sex, and carry 3 pounds less than the boys when they supposedly race on equal terms. The first two races that will run on Friday are open to either sex; the rest are female only. On Saturday, of the nine races to be run, one is for females only, two are for 2-year-old boys, and the other six races can have either gender entered. I'll let you know my picks for Friday's races tomorrow, and my picks for Saturday's races on Friday - plus I'll report how my choices ran...
   As I live in a wide open college town, my kits are under curfew until noon on November 1. Their curfew started at 5 p.m. yesterday. I really am not that worried about them - both kits do not like strangers. But, one never knows. Lovey, being a brown tabby, is OK, I think; but Nedi, being all black with light green eyes, might be a victim, if he's trapped. So they are inside, and I have special treats and toys to make up for them being "under house arrest."
   A lot of folks are dressed in costumes today - one of the female cashiers is dressed as Superman; and I've had the Mad Hatter pass me, along with several pirates, ghosts, zombies, and witches. I've walked Rosie and Remy, and have come back home to collapse for the rest of the day. Remy has a new walking harness - it's made by Blue Dog, and is called a "Help Em Up" harness. it goes on in two parts and clips together over his lower back. There are grips at the shoulders and the hips, so up can pull up and help support the dog's weight if it's having difficulty walking or standing. It's nicely padded, and has all sorts of adjustable belts. If you see it lying on the floor, it looks like a tremendous monster. I can put both pieces on Remy and have him ready to walk in less than 2 minutes. I like this harness!
   Chincoteague and Assateague are getting back to normal - and I want to thank Kenny Evans for letting me know that the ponies were OK as soon as he heard the news about it. My hat is off to you, Kenny! Many thanks for thinking of me, and those who read this blog!

Pumpkins by Ray Villafane - Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ponies OK - All Noses Counted

Officials on Assateague Island are now reporting that all of the Chincoteague ponies - those owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, and living on the southern portion of Assateague - are fine and that every pony has been seen.  I will assume that the ponies on the Maryland end of the island did as well as the southern herds.  I always worry about the wild creatures during any type of storm - hurricane, bad nor'easter, blizzards, extreme heat for extended periods.  Thank goodness the ponies were born with a large quantity of good sense!
  Water is still covering most of the roads on Chincoteague and Assateague.  Most damage has been caused by trees going down - the ground being so saturated with water that entire root system gave way, and/or large limbs and pine beetle killed trees falling.  True Teaguers are used to these events, and accept them as a part of the natural cycle.  Any old-timer, or youngsters that have grown up on the island, knows what to do when they hear a big storm is coming - weight, secure, tie down, and make sure your boats are moored to something high that won't float away.....

More Chincoteague Sandy Photos

The Pony Committee of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company is out checking up on the ponies on Assateague.  As soon as results are known, they will be posted on
Here are a few more photos of Chincoteague from today:
Maybe a new storm door is needed?
A driveway...
Somebody is missing an oil tank for their heating system
Water, water everywhere....
South Main Street, looking south, on Monday afternoon

Chincoteague Photos: Tuesday after Sandy

Aftermath of Sandy; Tuesday morning on Chincoteague
Maddox Boulevard Tuesday morning
Looking towards the mainland across Chincoteague Channel, Main Street
Barry is working his fanny off, helping folks - here he is with a National Guardsman, doing his official Red Cross duties

Chincoteague Update - Tuesday Morning

Chincoteague and Assateague are still there, even if a little battered. This is the latest from Chincoteague's Office of Emergency Management:
The effects of Hurricane Sandy have caused numerous trees to lean or completely fall. These trees are blocking some roads. Power lines are also across many roads. Please do not get near any downed power lines.
Crews are conducting damage assessments at this time as well as clearing trees from public roads and repairing power lines.
The Town is asking that residents remain off the road until further notice so that we can more quickly open roads and make them safe. Also, please conserve water while we are making repairs.
We also ask, that anyone with damage to their homes, contact 757-336-6519 to report the damage so that we can submit accurate data to FEMA. Also, report any trees blocking roads. The Town will notify you when it is safe to drive on local roads by Reverse 911, and facebook.
Please be patient as this has been an extreme event. Your cooperation is sincerely appreciated.
Aleda and Barry have survived the night. Waters are receding. Roads are covered with wrack and poles and loose boards, all of which seem to have nails in them. Emergency folks are having a devil of a time getting around due to flat tires from the storm debris. My cousin's mobile home at the southern end of the island survived - most of the deck is still attached to the home, and the flood waters did not get high enough to enter their dwelling. Barry, as a member of the Red Cross team, is out helping folks across the island. There is a great deal of damage in low-lying areas. Aleda and Barry were surprised to find that their boat and trailer had been moved all the way across the parking lot by the water action; but they saw no apparent damage. The island is without power.
  The following are two photos from Chincoteague that were taken yesterday afternoon:
Maddox Boulevard, Chincoteague
I think this is on Ridge Road, but it might be on Willow...

Monday, October 29, 2012

1938 Hurricane Aftermath...

This is an after (top) and before photo of a house at Misquamicut Beach, Rhode Island in 1938
Downtown Hartford, Connecticut after the 1938 hurricane
Long Island after the 1938 hurricane
The NYC Battery Promenade at the beginning of the 1938 storm
Providence, Rhode Island after the storm...

Chincoteague Update; the SS Bounty

Most of Chincoteague Island is now without power. Water is still rising. They have sustained winds of 40 to 45 mph; and are expecting gusts up to 80 mph. Captain Barry Frishman, my cousin's husband, has been out twice in today's storm. First he went down to the southern tip of the island and checked on their rented mobile home. This morning, the water was at the second step, and below the floor level. He says that the water has risen enough that he's preety sure the floors are now awash. This afternoon, (even though under a curfew) Barry went out to try and help some of the guys with their boats... He returned saying that several have been lost; the worst problem is that the piers and moorings have all vanished underwater.
Cousin-in-law Cap'n Barry Frishman having a snack by candle light this evening on Chincoteague
The bridge and causeway are definitely closed
And I can't believe that a captain and a crew of 15 were out in Hurricane Sandy in the big sailing ship, the S S Bounty! It's a replica of the original Bounty, and it is seaworthy. But this is a hurricane!! The US Coast Guard was able to remove 14 crew members at one swoop. A 15th crew member was pulled from the water two hours later, but is being called "non-responsive", having arrived at a hospital. The captain is still missing. The ship has been declared lost.

Hurricane Sandy Photos

Sugarbaker's and Dockside Properties on Main Street, Chincoteague Island, this morning
Swamped car at AJ's on Maddox Boulevard, Chincoteague Island, Sunday afternoon
The pier at Ocean City, Maryland has lost at least 100 feet of it's length so far

Chincoteague Island Under Curfew

The causeway to Chincotegue Island was closed by VDOT at 7:15 (EDT) this morning.  All people who are on the island must now stay on the island until VDOT re-opens the causeway and bridges.  The Town of Chincoteague has released the following news update at 12 noon (EDT):
News & Announcements

  Cousin Aleda and her husband are staying at a friend's condo, on the third or fourth floor, right on the Chincoteague Channel.  Her photos and short video clips of the flooding are awe-inspiring.  When I receive any further information regarding either Chincoteague, Assateague, or the ponies, I will blog again (having checked my facts first).  People have not been allowed on Assateague since noon on Sunday.
   Barry, Aleda's husband, walked down to the southern end of the island this morning to check on the mobile home they are renting.  At 10 a.m. (EDT) the floors were still dry.  A couple of Teaguers picked him up and brought him most of the way back to the condo, so he wasn't out slogging in his hip-boots and oilskins the whole way.
   My blessings to everyone on the East Coast.....

Chincoteague Causeway Closed

This is from today's The Virginian Pilot newspaper:
By Steve Szkotak
The Associated Press
Chincoteague's only link to the mainland has been closed as Hurricane Sandy's rains, winds and a tidal surge have left much of the 7-by-3-mile island flooded.
The 5-mile causeway between the island famed for its annual pony swim and Virginia's Eastern Shore was closed at 7:15 a.m. Monday. Residents who did not voluntary leave the island are being told to remain in their homes.
The island's emergency coordinator, Bryan Rush, said the National Guard has deployed vehicles on the island to assist residents in distress.
More than a foot of water had collected at the Main Street opening of the causeway before its closing, making it virtually impassable for most vehicles before its closing. Many streets are flooded. The island has no shelter.
 Also, NBC News is reporting that the concrete/cement part of the pier and Boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland is underwater, and that the National Guard has been deployed.

WRONG Info on Marcus Lattimore

I have never been so glad to say or write that I passed on incorrect, inaccurate, and just plain old wrong information.  I repeated a report about Marcus Lattimore that (a) did not come from the University of South Carolina, (b) did not come from the Gamecock Athletic Department, and (c) was not fact-checked.  I apologize to everyone who read the misinformation.
   Marcus Lattimore suffered a dislocated knee, along with some ligament damage in the game against the Volunteers on Saturday.  His knee was put back into the correct position before he was taken to the hospital.  His knee injury will be evaluated throughout the week, and I'll let you know what the Gamecocks spokesman has to say from now on....

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane - Super Storm Sandy from Satellite

Marcus Lattimore, # 21, Gamecock

Marcus Lattimore, injured in yesterday's game against Tennessee.
Tomorrow is his 21st birthday...

Sandy Storm Scenes

Sea foam (blown spume) on the pier at Nag's Head, North Carolina
Ocean City, Maryland this morning
Easton, Maryland flooding at noon (EDT) Sunday

Eastern Shore Islands and Sandy; Marcus Lattimore

After yesterday, I think that I'll have to look at football the same way I look at horse racing: I love and, and, I hate it. Seeing horses break down and be "put down" is always a traumatic experience for me, yet I do know and understand what the odds are in thoroughbred , or any other type of breed, racing. The first game I watched yesterday put a damper on the exhilarating feelings I usually get watching a really good football game. I was watching the South Carolina Gamecocks (and the ol' ball coach) play the Tennessee Volunteers at home. I have two favorite players on the Gamecocks - usually they would both be defensive players, but I have always liked Marcus Lattimore, their running back, and then no one can touch Jadeveon Clowney on defense. I've really admired the way Marcus Lattimore came back from a severe ACL (left knee) injury last season and has been working his way back to 100%; he's great in rushing and in catching passes, not to mention touchdowns. When I saw him get hit with 4 minutes and 21 seconds left in the first half, I knew something was wrong. First, he coughed up the ball without even trying to recover it. Second, and most ominous, was the way he curled up over his right knee - which was laying at a peculiar angle. ESPN replayed the hit in slow motion, and I ran to the bathroom and up-chucked. Marcus's leg was NOT in any normal position that I've ever seen. They spent almost 12 minutes getting him stabilized on the field, placing a knee immobilizer on, and then an inflatable cast over that... Marcus was in tears, as was his family in the stands. The Gamecocks held on to win - but, but Marcus Lattimore was taken by ambulance to the hospital. This morning, the report is that besides a broken femur, all of the ligaments in his right knee are gone (the PCL, LCL, MCL, and the ACL). He might be able to rehabilitate that leg, but it's doubtful he'll be able to live up to his potential before both of these happened.
   Then the Gators were stuffed by the Georgia Bulldogs. The Gators couldn't even score a touchdown - all their points were from field goals. That was sad. - And, the poor Colorado Buffaloes! They met the Oregon Ducks yesterday, and it was predicted that the Ducks would win by 47 points. At halftime, the score was 56 to 0. I didn't watch, but since the final score was 70 to 14, I'm guessing that Oregon allowed all of their team members to play during the second half...
Football today: I am rooting for the Redskins, Jets and the Broncos. Speaking of the Broncos, it was announced yesterday that Peyton Manning had purchased a 21-store franchise of Pappa John's Pizza... I can't say I'm surprised.
   And, finally, super storm Sandy. Chincoteague Island has declared a state of emergency; Assateague Island will be closed to visitors as of noon today (or 15 minutes ago, on the East coast). The island has announced a voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas on Chincoteague; Arcadia High School is the designated emergency shelter. Several low areas are already under water, and more flooding is expected during the next 36 hours, including the fall of 8 to 12 inches of rain. If I were at Pop-pop's house, I'd have the rugs rolled up and on the second floor, along with all of the movable furniture. Gates on Assateague are open to allow the ponies to head for high ground... 
Here is a part of the National Weather Service bulletin for the Eastern Shore:
 " ** IMPACTS...Water levels are expected to rise to 2 to 3 feet above normal by the Sunday morning and evening high tide cycle...and reach 4 feet by the Monday morning high tide cycle. Tidal flooding will continue through the Monday evening tide cycle. Moderate flooding is expected a few hours either side of high tide Sunday morning and evening...and severe flooding is expected within a few hours either side of high tide Monday morning.
** TIDES...At Ocean City inlet...High tide Sunday evening is at 750 PM with a forecast water level of 5.8 Feet. High tide Monday morning is at 819 AM with a forecast water level of 6.9 Feet. High tide Monday evening is at 825 PM with a forecast water level of 5.9 Feet."
  For everyone on the East Coast, my best wishes and prayers.
  For Marcus Lattimore, my love, tears, sympathy, best wishes and prayers.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Western States

Clouds over the pinnacles of Bryce Canyon
Mustangs at a Nevada waterhole
Night falls over Albuquerque, New Mexico

Colorado Wildfires and Snow

The cold temperatures and snow has helped with both of the wildfires that are still smouldering - the fire at Fern Lake in the Rocky Mountain National Park has received a lot of snow, but at 1.6 square miles, is still smouldering near large rocks and overhangs, and under thickly forested areas. The Fern Lake fire is only 17% contained. The same goes for the Wetmore fire, which is 65% contained, and covers 3 square miles. Fourteen homes were destroyed in the Wetmore fire, and almost all folks who were evacuated are being allowed to return. There is also a third wildfire, burning near Cortez.
   It's 23 degrees outside, and the sun has just gone behind a cloud, even though we are supposed to be sunny. Aiko and Yoshi had fun in the snow this morning; and Nedi went out bounding around in the snow in the back yard when I got home. Lovey checked out the snow and came right back inside. I am worried about the "Frankenstorm" over by the east coast. What a combination of nasty things! I'm wondering if the storm will affect Chincoteague and Assateague like the Ash Wednesday Storm in 1962... I hope not.
   It seems that Austin Sigg, the person accused of the murder of Jessica Ridgeway, will be tried as an adult. Also, the judge who was at the original hearing has already placed a gag order, so until the trial actually happens, more information will probably be sparse.
     Go Gators! Go Gamecocks! Go Tigers! Go Buffs!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Water Around the World

The icicled Cleveland lighthouse
Loch Stack, Sutherland, Scotland
Round Bay, Corfu, Greece

Seven point Seven Inches of Snow

Twenty-seven degrees outside, and I'm sitting at my desk with the patio door open about 8 inches... The door is ten feet away from me, and I'm wearing wool socks, jeans and a T-shirt. I must admit that my toes are getting chilly, while my face, chin, neck, and glasses frames are collecting a large quantity of Lovey fur. Nedi has gotten a lot of love this morning, and Lovey is now perched on my left shoulder. I'm extremely happy that she loves me and wants to be touching me, but it does make blogging a bit difficult. Other than a few flurries between now and noon, the snow is over (at least it is, according to the weather folks). Boulder got 7.7 inches over the last two nights; not nearly as much last night as the night before. And tomorrow the sun is supposed to shine, with gradual warming through Wednesday, when the high for Hallowe'en is going to be 72....
   I picked Kathy up and drove her into work this morning, and I'll take her back home this evening. Mike has the Snow car because Mona is at the vet's being spayed, having her teeth cleaned, and getting her nails done. He took her in this morning, and will bring her home this evening. I shoveled the walkways and the deck for Aiko and Yoshi yesterday, and did so again this morning - Aiko likes the snow, but Yoshi doesn't. Rosie was happy during her walk yesterday, but Remy's feet kept slipping, which isn't good with his back problems. I'll take them out about one this afternoon - it should be a little warmer, and, hopefully, I can find places where Remy can get good traction. The Snows' back yard is under about 8 inches, so I won't be taking the Rs there today.
   I have been asked to take care of several houses over the Thanksgiving holiday - normally, I would be staying at Brandi's, but I haven't heard from her folks lately. I'll be picking up mail at one house, and turning lights on and off; I'll be feeding and medicating and loving cats twice a day at a second place; and I'll be feeding cats and dogs in the morning at a third place.... At the moment, it looks like I'll be sleeping in my own bed that week. Not so for Christmas and New Year's - and I'm currently booked solidly through March, spotty in April, and then Alexy is going to England for 5 weeks starting in early May - and the kits and I will be at her house during that time....
   I thoroughly enjoyed Person of Interest last night, and am, once again, looking forward to the next episode. None of the "new" shows has grabbed me, but I do watch Vegas after NCIS on Tuesday. I like Michael Chiklis and Randy Quaid, and I don't know why I was surprised to see that they are both the co-executive producers of the show... I'm just glad they are on. So, besides Jeopardy! and the news, I'm only watching three other programs - if you don't count football. I DO enjoy my football, and several new friends have found out just how much I love my football, and have decided not to be present on game days... Which is, actually, fine with me. I like to yell and say what's on my mind without restrictions...
   For tomorrow: Go Gators! Beat those Dawgs!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Critters Around the World

A jaguar swims for it's dinner catch
A fox in Kazakhstan
A squirrel in Minsk, Belarus


The young man accused of abducting and the murder of Jessica Ridgeway is just that - a young man. He is currently in the Jefferson County Courthouse, being charged for these crimes and another attempted kidnapping, in the Juvenile Court system. His defender has called him, "this child," in front of the judge. The young man is 17 years old; he is a student at a Community College; he is, surely, of an age and an intelligence to be tried as an adult. - I honestly don't know exactly how the law works here; in Florida I was on a Grand Jury that had to decide whether to try a 13-year-old as a juvenile or as an adult. Since this young man gave himself up into police custody, will there be a Grand Jury hearing? Or, since he did surrender, does he automatically go to the Juvenile system? While I was still feeling befuddled by the fact that a 17-year-old was arrested for Jessica's murder, I then read that two teens were charged in the death of the 12-year-old New Jersey girl whose body was found in a recycling bin. I know that I am repeating the question that each generation before has asked, but... "What is going on with the youth of today? Are they so inured in computer, TV and movie violence that they have no real sense of living things, or of guilt?"
   Five inches of snow fell overnight here in Boulder. Hopefully, that amount, or more, fell onto the Fern Lake fire up in RMNP. There was a little rain, but no snow in the area of the Wetmore fire, which is still raging out of control to the west of Pueblo. Aiko and Yoshi had to potty so badly that they didn't want to wait for me to get a snow shovel out this morning - they went plowing out into snow that was up to their chins to relieve themselves. I grabbed a snow shovel and was able to clear off the deck, the front walk, and several square feet of grass for the boys for later - even though we're expecting another four inches this afternoon and evening. Nedi has been out, bounding and leaping in the snow. Lovey walked out, looked at the snow, and sauntered back to the litter box.
   I'm going slightly crazy without the web at Aiko and Yoshi's house. I'd like to be able to look things up as they occur to me, and to take my time to reply to letters, but that's not going to happen until Saturday night or Sunday. So, if I owe you a reply to a letter or note, you will get one, just not quite right away....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Western Critters

A Big Horn Ram in the Never Summer mountains
Mountain lion near dusk
An elk near Estes Park

Two Colorado Wildfires & An Arrest

Well, the Fern Lake wildfire in Rocky Mountain National Park doubled in size yesterday, thanks to gusty winds. And down to our south, the winds caused a power line to blow over, onto another, which created sparks - and another wildfire in Wetmore.The Fern Lake fire is not a threat to any residences; the Wetmore fire has already consumed at least 12 buildings, and almost 400 families have been evacuated from their homes. The Wetmore fire was first reported at 1:30 yesterday afternoon, and had burned over 1800 acres at 7 this morning. I've missed the noon updates on both fires, so all I can say is that the Fern Lake fire is 30% contained, but the Wetmore fire is still entirely "wild", and with today being windy, also, a lot of destruction is possible. - But, then, too, the wind is running before a cold front, which will bring us rain tonight and snow tomorrow. Hopefully it will be enough of both to help contain these fires.
   Lovey and Nedi know the weather is changing, and prefer to be next to me at the moment. Unfortunately, I have to go back to Aiko and Yoshi in a few minutes, and won't be able to nap with the kits, or give them as much love as they want. Nedi is curled up on the afghan my friend Kathryn made for me, while Lovey is crouched against my chest, while I type and try to check my spelling, since I can't see the keyboard - there's this fuzzy, warm, grey and black kitty in the way. I've walked the little boys twice today, and took Rosie and Remy out for their hour. I spent an hour with my therapist, and was floored when she informed me that my psychiatrist of 9 years, Dr. Shapiro, had retired last month. "But, I have an appointment to see him on December 4th," I said. Nancy said a few dirty words because I hadn't been contacted, told, or switched to another psychiatrist. I'm pretty much upset, too. I don't like change... especially in my care-giving doctors. I've had Jed since I moved here - and I feel a hollow pit in my tummy, since I was told that he's gone.
   A 17-year-old male has been arrested for the abduction and murder of Jessica Ridgeway. His mother phoned the police, and the young man turned himself in. Hopefully, knowing that the man accused of doing this is in custody will help her parents and family. I'm still stunned. - A teenager? - Austin Reed Sigg will be charges with two counts of murder in the first degree and a second-degree kidnapping charge, among others. He will make his first court appearance Thursday at 10 a.m. in Jefferson County. According to police documents, Sigg is a student at Arapahoe Community College. On March 23, 2012, he won second place in the Crime Scene Investigation division of the Health Occupation Students of America State Leadership Conference competition. - May you rest in peace, Jessica.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moody Skies


Just Stuff

I received about 10 catalogs in the mail yesterday - clothes, shoes, boots, foundation garments, puzzles, books, and seeds and plants. I have enough stuff to dream over for awhile... I've walked the little guys and Rosie and Remy today - Oklahoma! is on the Western Channel, and I've been singing along. The kits are out sitting in the sun, and after I've blogged, I need to pack up all my fixin's to make meatballs and marinara sauce. We're supposed to have a high temperature around 75 today, and 60 tomorrow, with snow starting tomorrow night and continuing through Thursday. This morning the weather folks said that Boulder will get between 3 and 9 inches of snow, so I'll need to pack my snow boots, too.
  It was glorious out this morning - the breeze was blowing golden leaves off the trees, and they formed into rivers of gold that poured, tumbling, down the roadways. I was wearing a pair of jeans, with a T-shirt and a sweatshirt, and was very comfortable. It was chilly at 7:30, but very nice by 9 a.m., and it's very nice in the sun in the back yard, at the moment. Last week, the neighborhood where I spend most of my time house-sitting and dog-walking, had several visits by one or a couple of black bears. They (or it) left multiple piles of scat, broke some bird feeders, and bent several wrought iron stands and hangers. Hopefully, with the on-coming cold and snow, the bears will den up, and we won't have to worry about them for a little while.
  Two ski slopes are already open here in Colorado - Arapahoe Basin opened 10 days ago, and Loveland ski area opened this morning. ... The authorities are still seeking the abductor and killer of Jessica Ridgeway. Police this morning said that there is a definite connection between Jessica's taker and a man who tried to grab, or abduct, a female jogger last May in a Denver park. Police are not saying what the connection is between the two.
  Even though I have already voted, I watched the debate last night between Obama and Romney. Romney and Ryan will appear at Red Rocks this evening, and Obama will appear at a public park in Denver tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Russell Means: 1939 - 2012

I was going to wax lyrical on how good it was to be with and play with Rosie and Remy, and Mona and Boo, outside this morning.  How crisp the morning air smelled and felt; the sound of leaves crunching; the happiness of four dogs chasing two toys, always in constant motion.  When I returned home, I glanced at the up-dated news, and my heart fell into my toes.  Russell Means, Native American activist, member of the American Indian Movement, and actor, is dead.  The Oglala Sioux spokesman said that Means had died early this morning at his ranch in Porcupine, South Dakota after battling inoperable esophageal cancer. Born in Wanblee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in November 1939, Means grew up in the San Francisco area before becoming an early leader of AIM. He was baptized Oyate Wacinyapin, which means "works for the people" in the Lakota (Oglala)  language.  He often was embroiled in controversy, partly because of AIM's alleged involvement in the 1975 slaying of Annie Mae Aquash.  But Means also was known for his role of Chingachcook in the movie "The Last of the Mohicans" and had run unsuccessfully for the Libertarian nomination for president in 1988.  The American Indian Movement was founded in the late 1960s to protest the U.S. government's treatment of Native Americans and demand the government honor its treaties with Indian tribes. Russell Means was the first national president of AIM, elected in 1968.  Means told the Associated Press in 2011 that, before AIM, there had been no advocate on a national or international scale for American Indians, and that Native Americans were ashamed of their heritage.  We have lost a great American.  May he travel the Red Road with honor.
Russell Means potrait by Andy Warhol in 1976
Russell Means in South Dakota