Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Donald Trump

I actually watched Trump speak live streaming, beginning to end, more than an hour, extemporaneously last night, during a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Have to say, I only agreed with or was favorably impressed by, oh, maybe 90 percent of what he had to say. Of course, five percent at most gets reported, and that stuff is mostly material that was said tongue in cheek. Also picked up one of Trump's old books at the Goodwill and read it cover to cover. The man is consistent. I don't know where this is going to end up, but it sure is fun to watch and he has changed the debate, forever, to the better. When people get their underwear up in a bunch when Trump speaks up, they end up engaging in blunt and substantive debate (real debate, not merely sound bites) on how to seriously address the problem or issue he highlights, which otherwise does not happen in the name of caution and political correctness. The man is real. The longer this lasts the better.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday Pictures

Saturday Pictures
December 26. 2015
(click to enlarge)

It snowed, oh maybe five times this last week including Christmas day. But here the day after the sun came out and it was a beautiful day for a walk. Walk we did. Here are some of the snow covered sights in the hood.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

As you all are roasting back East just think of us here, opening presents,

Enjoying a white Christmas,

And skiing in powder.

A very Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

On The Road to Bathgate Act 4i: Aunt Charlotte Nancy Foster Von Alman on Fire

Charlotte Foster and Arnold Leroy Von Alman,
Glendive, Montana, wedding photo, March 29, 1930.
We have relied on Charlotte Nancy Foster Von Alman's writing and storytelling many times. But up to now we have not written a post featuring aunt Charlotte. We rectify that here with additional passages from her family history and vignettes on her long and well-lived life.

Charlotte Nancy Foster Von Alman was born in Bathgate, North Dakota (population 43, 2010 census), November 22, 1906, the tenth of eleven children of I. J. and Laura Elizabeth Armstrong Foster. Charlotte was immediately preceded in birth by her brother Jimmy who was born on September 16, 1905. My father, George W. Foster, the eleventh and final surviving child, came into this world almost three years after Charlotte on August 27, 1909. 

After growing up in Bathgate Charlotte left to attend college, earn her teaching certificate and become a teacher in country schools in North Dakota and Montana. She married Arnold Leroy "Roy" Von Alman in Glendive, Montana on March 29, 1930. The newlyweds returned east to Littlefork, Minnesota shortly thereafter, where their offspring, Bob, Marge and Lyn, were born and raised. Marge lives in Littlefork to this day. Charlotte died at Littlefork on May 2, 1988. 

Foster family of Bathgate, North Dakota, 1910 Federal Census.

Charlotte Nancy Foster, December, 1906
Note the treadle (foot powered) sewing machine in the background of Charlotte's baby picture. As was typical in the day the machine was located near a window to permit entry of natural light to illuminate the sewing surface.

Charlotte bequeathed us fascinating snippets of family lore in the form of an 18-page, typewritten history on the Isaac Jarvis (1862-1934) and Laura Elizabeth Armstrong Foster (1870-1934) family. The history is jam packed with stories about Bathgate, her parents and ten siblings, and the life and times when the children grew up in Bathgate between 1890 and 1930. We sliced and diced, and then spliced the typewritten history into various Foster family ancestry posts, including on her sister Bina, her father Ike and mother Laura, her brothers Adams and Lyn, and her uncle George Sanderson Foster

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Three Favorite Songs

So good that my kids don't care when I sing along.

1. American Pie, Don Mclean. 

They say it's the anthem of a generation. So be it, then the generation is mine. Don McLean once said American Pie means "I never have to work again, if I don't want to." Of course, there is more than that. Other McLean classics not to be overlooked include Crying, Castles in the Air and Vincent (Starry Starry Night). The man knew how to draw from the world around him and paint with words -- a seemingly simple yet mostly impossibly complex task.

2. Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd.

This has always been a favorite but the song has taken on special meaning for me as a parent (currently of high school, middle school and elementary school students). I play it for inspiration whenever I am preparing to wrangle with a member of the school board, read the riot act to a school administrator or disabuse a teacher of the notion that there is anything sufficiently common and standard about the many diverse children under their tutelage to justify adherence to a common core regimen. 

This version is performed by Pinky and the Floyd, a fabulous tribute band here in Bozeman. I mean, there are what, thirty-five or forty thousand people in town, and that much talent? They are backed up by the Bozeman High School choir which performs this particular song with gusto you can only get with a decade or more of frustrating experience in the public school system. I think our eldest daughter's piano teacher is somewhere on the stage. If you look carefully, you can see the back of my head (with the open program to the right of our oldest two girls and exchange student) at seven seconds into Pinky and the Floyd's promotional video. Our kids' guitar teacher says he won't go see Pinky and the Floyd because he knows they are so good he would want to join the group and might never try to leave Bozeman again.

3. Tuesday Afternoon, Moody Blues.

It's from  the album Days of Future Passed. Best known from the album is Knights in White Satin, but I did not need to get there. I fell in love earlier in the day.

Let's finish with some more Pinky and the Floyd.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday Pictures

Saturday Pictures
December 5, 2015
(click to enlarge)

We woke up this morning to a fresh coat of pure white snow and bright sunny skies. I got the old heart pumping and the blood flowing clearing the driveway and sidewalks, then I took advantage of the conditions to shoot scenes around the homestead. We finished our picture taking early afternoon.with a Christmas card photo (see the end).