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17. Downriver By Steamer

Edited and Annotated by Charles M. Robinson III University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 17

Downriver By Steamer

July 23d. We embarked on the steamer Silver City, a new boat, which had just completed its maiden trip. Before casting loose, the officers of the post, those of our Battalion, Mr. Moore and Mr. Mears, Frank

Gruard and Baptist[e] Pourier and our Indian guides, came aboard to shake hands and say good bye: then the gangway planks were run aboard, the hawsers undone and, with the customary amount of backing and filling, bell-ringing and puffing of smoke and steam, we swung into the narrow channel.

While running down the river, noticed its general dimensions and characteristics. At the post, it is perhaps, one hundred yards wide and has a depth in the main line of its current, of at least six feet.

The force of the water is very great, not less than six miles an hour which for so narrow and crooked a stream, one too having such a number of small islands to divide its waters, makes navigation very tedious and difficult.

Several times, the steamer butted against the points of land running out into the channel and each time our Captain swung the boat around and let her drift down with the current, until a good, wide reach was found where she could be turned.

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20. Restorations

Bob Hammel Indiana University Press ePub

20

Restorations

Bill likes the bricks, the mortar, the big things. I like the research, the history, the interior. Together …

—Gayle Cook

Colonel William Jones House

“In 1972, when we first published our Guide to Southern Indiana, my father’s cousin’s wife called to tell me we had left out a very historic building in Spencer County, the Jones House,” Gayle Cook recalls. “Her family, the Bullocks, had lived in the house; she, in fact, had inherited a share of it. She wondered if we would want to buy it and restore it.

“Then came Bill’s bypass surgery in 1974. He didn’t know how active he was going to be. He didn’t know yet that he was going to be walking—running—four and a half miles a day. He thought he might have to go into a semiretirement, and this would be a project, plus a place to go to get away.” (Yes, says builder Charlie Pritchett, making the house into a weekend getaway home was the original idea. “But it turned out Bill was allergic to that place. Too many hoot owls. He didn’t stay down there very much.”)

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Medium 9781576753019

8 Jesus, Seen Differently

Perkins, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The memory of that dalang stuck with me. So did the words of the beautiful English major. That night in Bandung catapulted me to a new level of thinking and feeling. While I had not exactly ignored the implications of what we were doing in Indonesia, my reactions had been ruled by emotions, and I usually had been able to calm my feelings by calling on reason, on the example of history, and on the biological imperative. I had justified our involvement as part of the human condition, convincing myself that Einar, Charlie, and the rest of us were simply acting as men always have: taking care of ourselves and our families.

My discussion with those young Indonesians, however, forced me to see another aspect of the issue. Through their eyes, I realized that a selfish approach to foreign policy does not serve or protect future generations anywhere. It is myopic, like the annual reports of the corporations and the election strategies of the politicians who formulate that foreign policy.

As it turned out, the data I needed for my economic forecasts required frequent visits to Jakarta. I took advantage of my time alone there to ponder these matters and to write about them in a journal. I wandered the streets of that city, handed money to beggars, and attempted to engage lepers, prostitutes, and street urchins in conversation.

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Medium 9781936227068

11. His-and-Hers Gas Masks

Davis, Belva Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

• • •

I went to war in 1967, 1968, and 1969. I didn’t go overseas, and I didn’t engage in combat. Instead I went to Oakland and Berkeley, reporting on the bitter, often brutal clashes between authorities who held power and the counterculture that challenged them—whether over the Vietnam War, the draft, ethnic studies, or a 270-by-450-foot plot of University of California land dubbed “People’s Park.”

Often my days would begin at 4:00 a.m., my alarm clock blaring like a trumpet hailing Judgment Day. I would dress quickly, slipping into comfortable shoes, because I was certain to be on my feet all day, come rain or shine. Bill—working first as a freelance photographer for news outlets including the Associated Press and then as a cameraman for KTVU— would drive. Together we would make our way from the flatlands of El Cerrito to the scheduled scene of the day’s showdown. Anything could happen, and often did. Whatever fear we felt was alloyed with thrill: The Bay Area seemed like ground zero in a generational battle for the soul of the country.

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Medium 9781576754825

17: The Year Without a Summer: Nuclear Winter

Lown, Bernard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
—ROBERT FROST

A GOOD PART OF MY LIFE has been stalked by the threatening phantom of nuclear war. By the time I helped found IPPNW, I thought I had fathomed all the horrors in store for humankind, but “shock and awe” was about to overtake the lurid scenarios stored in my overwrought brain. In the winter of 1983, the terror was afforded a new dimension.

Astonishingly, it was forty years into the atomic age before scientists first discovered the unforeseen atmospheric consequences designated as “nuclear winter.” Mercifully, there is no laboratory for nuclear war; a dearth of experimental data limits understanding about the consequences of nuclear detonations, derived largely from imperfect computer simulations and modeling.1

In 1982, the German scientist Paul Crutzen and the American John Birks noted that nuclear war could have profound atmospheric effects that would result in major climatic changes. Nuclear explosions, particularly ground bursts, lift enormous quantities of fine soil into the atmosphere—more than a hundred thousand tons of dust for every megaton detonated at ground level.2 With explosions of one megaton or greater, these particles would be likely to travel into the higher layers of the stratosphere, spreading over the 255greater part of the Northern Hemisphere, where they would remain for extended periods.

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