Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thanks for the memories


Tennessee Williams wrote, “Life is all memory, except for one present moment that goes by so quick you hardly catch it going.”
With Memorial Day right around the corner, it is appropriate we pay tribute. According to usmemorialday.org, “Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.”
But memories can divide as much as they bring together.
“The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I. ... It is now celebrated in almost every state on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act, P.L. 90-363, in 1971 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays.)”
• • •
As long as we are mining memory, I must remember to thank Ed Hunter for sending me a copy of “A Concise History of Mine Hoisting, by Paul Mogensen and Ed Hunter. “With your interest in history of the area, etc..., I thought you might get a kick out of this done for the Western Museum of Mining and Industry,” said Ed’s note.
At the museum, a hoist from W.S. Stratton’s Independence Mine is available for viewing at 1025 North Gate Road, north of Colorado Springs. “The hoist has been set up as it would be for a mining operation including the flat cables and reels,” according to the book.
“The cages are similar to the cages that were in use at the Independence mine. Along with the hoist and headframe are other examples of various elements of hoisting plants. The steel headframe originally stood over the Elkton shaft just north of Victor and was the second steel headframe erected in the district.”
• • •
Finally, for another memory jogger related to area history, I received this note from documentary film-maker Rod J. Thompson, who now lives in San Clemente, Calif.
“I lived in Alaska from 1968 to 1980. I met and became friends with Lowell Thomas, Jr. I had a film company in Anchorage and worked with him on several films. Just today a film came on the history channel and watching with my 24 yr. old son, I began telling him how I had filmed with Lowell Jr. on a long trek from Anchorage to Attu, doing a film about Bob Reeve, owner then of "Reeve Aleutian Airways" and how Lowell and I had talked a lot on the trip about the war that took place there, etc...”
Anyway, thank you all.
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