Hit the woods on a bluebird day after a big wind-and-rain storm — a woods ramble and one of the best Frontier Partisan Biathlon sessions I’ve ever turned in. Exhilarating… except… it was in the 50s in the middle of January. We’ve had maybe a total of three inches of snow at our elevation. I heard the sounds of Corb Lund…
Only old chiefs older than Jesus can save us now
If we’re lucky
Speaking of the woods…
This dropped just a few days ago. Well worth a half-hour of your time. I particularly liked the exploration of Fort Ligonier and the explanation of the pivotal two-day Battle of Bushy Run.
I know what I’ll be tuning in on my next multi-hour road run:
The Great Stack o’ Books is towering like a great Doug fir. I’m indulging myself in reading multiple books at the same time, on top of research for the next Frontier Partisans Podcast. Wrolson is right ab0ut the MacAuslan stories: A delight. And our own Mr. Bell has patched a gaping hole in the FP library with the classic Goodbye to a River, which is considered mandatory reading in the natural history of the American West. The river in question is the Brazos. Which brings us to Townes Van Zandt’s poignantly world-weary take on the old Brazos River Song:
The Company finally made it down from the HBC factory in Canada. Holy beaver plews, pards — it’s a good un. Stephen Bown’s Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World — 1600-1900 was a worthy endeavor, but this history of the Hudson’s Bay Company is on a different order — much greater depth and verve. My immediate podcast-related mission is trap out its every reference to the Highland Scots presence in the Canadian Fur Trade. And there’s a LOT of trappin’ to do. There’s a great plenty of “Macs” in this story. But beyond plundering it for bits on the Scots in the Fur Trade, The Company will be read for pleasure and have a permanent place on the FP library shelf.
Another borderland noir is coming down the trail.
When a vigilante border patrol turns fatal, a man flees on horseback to Mexico, seeking forgiveness from the victim’s father.
If you were looking for a “lesbian frontier romance,” your scout has located one for you.
Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby are lovers on the American frontier in Mona Fastvold’s ravishing period romance The World To Come, which finally comes to U.S. audiences after an acclaimed bow at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Set during the 19th-century somewhere along the east coast of the United States, The World to Come follows the acting foursome as they battle the elements and isolation. Waterston, who also provides a literary voiceover in the form of epistolary diary entries, plays Abigail, grieving from a recent loss while eking out a pastoral life with her husband, Dyer (Casey Affleck). She’s thrown for an emotional tailspin when she meets Tallie (Kirby), with whom she sparks an instant attraction, leading to a stolen romance that’s complicated by Tallie’s possessive husband…
Don’t know about this “east coast frontier” thing. It appears that the short story it’s based on is set in New York in the 19th Century. Not the “frontier” anymore, but I guess you could argue for “frontier conditions.” Co-scripted by Ron Hansen. Hansen wrote The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
Without “Jesse James,” “The World to Come” literally wouldn’t exist. Andrew Dominik adapted the Western from a historical novel of the same name, sparking an artistic kinship between Affleck and author Ron Hansen — whose writing partner Jim Shepard got the idea for a novella about a forbidden affair when he found a note scribbled in the margins of an old farmer’s journal: “My best friend has moved away, I don’t think I will ever see her again.” When Hansen and Shepard offered Fastvold the script version, Affleck came with it, as did the implosive fatalism he brought to the role of Robert Ford, and the bitter survivalist mindset of living at nature’s mercy.
Apparently, sea shanties are all the rage at the moment.
It’s folly to examine why some things go viral on the internet, and by doing so one risks discounting the beauty of the simplest answer: They just do. Nothing makes sense. Roll with it.
Or at least, that’s the easiest thing to tell yourself when The Wellerman, a 19th Century whaling song, has been knocking around in your head for a week straight.
The jaunty tune about sugar and tea and rum is the center of a very cool, well-executed trend on TikTok started by Scottish musician Nathan Evans. His version of the song, which was previously brought into modern popularity by the group The Longest Johns, has garnered almost 5 million views on the video-sharing app TikTok.
“I think it’s because everyone is feeling alone and stuck at home during this pandemic and it gives everyone a sense of unity and friendship,” Evans, the 26-year-old singer from Airdrie, Scotland, told CNN.
“And shanties are great because they bring loads of people together and anyone can join in. You don’t even need to be able to sing to join in on a sea shanty!”