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Month: July 2017

History? What is it good for?

The summer semester draws to a close and thank god for that. It’s been a long and grueling semester for my students. Since we have half the time to cover a 16-week’s semester’s worth of material, I ask a lot of them. I don’t dumb down or dilute the intellectual…

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Where’s Marlin Perkins?

The back alley reminds me of Marlin Perkins. From 1963 to 1985, Perkins hosted Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with his trusty and faithful sidekick Jim Fowler. While Perkins remained in the studio, Jim often wrangled the wildlife, or so it seemed. Perkins was not a professional in the sense…

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Bears and moose and bison, oh, my!

Yellowstone. For those who have witnessed its wonder, just the word charges the senses and sends one into the halls of memory. The natural wonders are each worthy of study longer than an average visit. Indeed, many people visit the park for just a day or two. The great expanse…

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When dad blew us up with black powder

All around us the neighborhood burned. Firecrackers, smoke bombs, fountains, and mortars. A couple of those really loud things—I don’t know what they are but I wished I had some—blew up and we felt the blast in our chests. They set car alarms honking and squealing. A normal Fourth of…

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