Look Again To The Wind Revisited


The Sisters Folk Festival gets underway on September 4. I’m a board member, which means I’m gonna be BUSY for the next week or so. That means limited posting on Frontier Partisans. In the spirit of the event, I give you a follow-up on my recent music post: The remake of Johnny Cash’s “Bitter Tears” is out. My favorite track — to no one’s … [Read more...]

Frontier Partisan Cinema — Winter in the Blood


“Your wife is gone. She took your rifle.” Well, that’s a bit of bad news to set a man on an odyssey. And that’s what happens in the novel “Winter in the Blood,” by James Welch, the novel that kicked off the so-called Native American Renaissance. Now the novel by the late-great Blackfoot poet and novelist has been made into a film that looks … [Read more...]

Frontier Partisan Cinema — Mad Max: Fury Road

Max is back.

Seeing “The Road Warrior” at the Chinese Theater in darkest Hollywood when I was in high school was a mind-bending experience. Jacked up on a steady diet of pulp Westerns by John Benteen, I was well-primed for George Miller’s particular brand of post-apocalyptic mayhem. Max Rockatansky was, to me, a classic lone wolf gunslinging frontiersman on an … [Read more...]

A World-Defining Conflict

Still fit and able at 64, the hunter Frederick Courteney Selous fought in World War I with the Legion of Frontiersmen. He was killed in battle by a German sniper.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of Germany’s declaration of war on France, precipitating First World War, the greatest and most terrible conflict the world had yet seen. For a month, since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, Europe had been sliding down a slippery slope into war. Now it was on in earnest. The Guns … [Read more...]

‘Look Again to the Wind’


When I was about eight years old, my dad — knowing my passion for all things "frontier" — brought home a borrowed copy of Johnny Cash’s record “Bitter Tears,” a collection of ballads from the point of view of the American Indian. The album was recorded in 1964, and at that time it was a bold move for Cash, representative of his renowned sense of … [Read more...]

Thomas Berger — RIP

Thomas Berger, author of "Little Big Man," has died at 89. If you haven't read the novel, you oughta. Far superior to the movie, which hasn't aged well. Too steeped in "The Sixties." The novel, on the other hand, is just a big juicy slice of Americana, with the voice of 111-year-old Jack Crabb as one of its primary pleasures. I think you could … [Read more...]

Iroquois Medal at World Lacrosse Championship — Whining Ensues


An Iroquois national team kicked some ass in the World Lacrosse Championship, doing better than the nation has ever done before — and eliciting hand-wringing and whining about their use of (completely legal) heavy traditional sticks. From The Daily Beast: The Iroquois, the only indigenous people recognized as a separate nation in international … [Read more...]

A ’57 Chevy and Pancho Villa’s Head

Pancho Villa Skull — art by Gabriel Frias (http://www.artwanted.com/imageview.cfm?id=1066347)

OK, so I’m working on the Frontier Partisans book, right? My reading time is dominated by research (that’s not as work-like as I made that sound). Then some rough diamond turns up right where I’m working my claim and I can’t resist… Stumbled across “Head Games” by Craig McDonald (2007) and the pages just keep turning themselves. What a hoot. … [Read more...]

Bror Blixen — Part II — ‘I Still Had My Rifle’

The Real Most Interesting Man in the World.

Blix had sunk his entire personal wealth into the coffee farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills, and the farm was failing. Primary financial backing came from Tanne’s family in Denmark — and they were out of patience. Tanne and Blix were, by this time, 1920, leading separate lives. Tanne had returned to Europe in 1915 to seek a cure for syphilis. … [Read more...]

Bror Blixen —Part I — Out to Africa

Bror and Karen Blixen hunted for practical reasons — and for love and adventure.

Most folks know Bror von Blixen-Finecke only as the wayward husband of the great writer Isak Dinesen, author of the classic “Out of Africa.” And he is probably best known through his portrayal in the Academy Award-winning movie of the same title. As portrayed by Klaus Maria Brandauer, Blixen was an irresponsible cad —  even a slightly sinister … [Read more...]