Pass the green tea, dark chocolates, and muscadine grapes…

Photo credit: Joe Nickell’s Snake Oil Collection.

Try Bad Moon Rising or just stick with the Tulsa playlist…

An old sign in Trumpistan…

“Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine (as quoted in Peter’s Quotations, 1977)

Leonard Cohen’s Estate was “surprised and dismayed” that “Hallelujah” was played at the Republican National Convention in August and suggested that they might have considered approval of “You Want It Darker” instead. And now John Fogerty has joined the long list of musicians who oppose the president’s use of their music.


And why are their monuments still standing on public property?

Hank Willis Thomas’s sculpture, “Rise Up,” at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.


“It concerns the years past and the shadows they cast…”

Citizens of Tournai bury plague victims, by Pierart dou Tielt (fl. 1340–1360) — Public Domain.

“I believe that a thought has just gotten caught, In a place where words can’t surround it. It concerns the years past and the shadows they cast, And my path as I walk around it.” — John Prine, “The Third of July” (2003)

I couldn’t watch much of the dystopian spectacle at Mount Rushmore yesterday, but I did tune in briefly before the Dear White Leader paid homage to our Great White Fathers, whose likenesses (I’m sure you already know) were carved into the Lakota Sioux’s “Six Grandfathers” by a Klansman — on stolen Native American land.


Personal and historical reflections on this past week

“First White House of the Confederacy” in Montgomery, across the street from the Alabama State Capitol (2018).

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ.” —Ephesians 6:5

In three U.S. states, his birthday is celebrated as a public holiday. A statue in his honor stands in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, and his Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated in 1998. Almost 20 public schools and a handful of places are named after him. George Washington? Thomas Jefferson? Abraham Lincoln? Nope, it’s Jefferson Finis Davis — the first and only “President” of the so-called “Confederate States of America.”


Annotated by a third cousin twice removed, with timeline.

Wake Forest Law Class of 1903, with Walter Ney Keener seated on the far right, first row — Public Domain.

“What’s natural is the microbe. All the rest — health, integrity, purity (if you like) — is a product of the human will, of a vigilance that must never falter. The good man, the man who infects hardly anyone, is the man who has the fewest lapses of attention.” — Albert Camus (1947)

In 1918 Walter Ney (“Frank”) Keener from Lincolnton, North Carolina ended his “whirlwind nine-year tour of the state’s dailies” and returned to Durham to become the editor of the Morning Herald. Matriculated in law at Wake Forest College (Class of 1903), Frank represented Lincoln County in the…


Thanks to my father’s brother by another mother…

Emergency hospital for soldiers from Kansas — a possible geographic origin of the “Spanish flu” (Public Domain).

“Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you.” — Ernest Hemingway (1932)

In 1915 my dad’s older brother by another mother, George, was born and my great grandfather (also named George, or “GW” — short for George Washington) purchased a Ford Model T for under $500 (he sold his livery stable the following year). By the time my dad was born five years later, my great grandparents were managing a household that included the young five year old George as well as my then-young (18 and…


With an important purpose and timely message for us all…

Santa Claus, by Thomas Nast (1881) — Public Domain.

“In theory, there is no difference between practice and theory. In practice, there is.” — Jan van de Snepscheut (1986), “overheard at a computer science conference.”

When the “jolly old elf ” made his first appearance (1862) in a Union Army camp during the American Civil War, the modern image of Santa Claus was born.


Remembering Josephine and Norma May Bonniwell

Piedmont Wagon Company building in Hickory, North Carolina. Photo by Wilhelm Kühner (2019).

Architecture should have little to do with problem solving — rather it should create desirable conditions and opportunities hitherto thought impossible.” ― Cedric Price

While Louise Blanchard Bethune may be the first American woman to work as a professional architect, starting in 1881, Josephine and Norma May Bonniwell (1877–1961) may very well be the youngest women to do so. Daughters of George Bonniwell from Brooklyn, Josephine and Norma were “carefully trained” by their father and Norma even began working independently as early as March 19, 1892, when the Manufacturers’ Record reported that she had “prepared plans for the erection of…

Wilhelm Kühner

Pruning the “tangled thicket” of Kühner (Keener) Genealogie in Amerika and reflecting on its relevance to current events.

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