26 August 2017

Relic Hunting Post #159: How Relic Hunters Save & Preserve History & Educate the Public

Relic hunters sometimes get a bad rap. Unfairly so for the most part. Of course, you have your bad apples just like any vocation or avocation, but the vast majority of us relic hunt and collect because of our passionate interest in history. Steve Kaighen is one such man. His extensive knowledge of the United States Dragoons (1833-1861) has been acquired through relic recovery and self-education. His knowledge of the subject is quite impressive. And he does it all because of his passion and interest - not because he gets paid to do it. I recommend you view the video below in which Steve shares some of his collection and knowledge with the Nebraska Artifact Show.

24 August 2017

H.L. Hunley Mystery Solved?

Researchers from Duke University have come up with a fascinating theory on the death of the Hunley Crew:
  • The HL Hunley submarine fought for the confederacy and was sunk in 1864
  • It was raised from the bottom of the ocean in 2000 with its eight members of crew still aboard
  • Experts studying the submarine believe a condition called 'blast lung' was responsible for their deaths
  • The force of the torpedo's explosion would have travelled through soft tissue in their bodies
  • They calculate the chance of fatal lung trauma to be at least 85 per cent
More here.

In 2004, there was a memorial service for the Hunley's Virginia crew member, Frank Collins, at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. Three of my daughters had the privilege of singing at the service. And just in case you've never seen it, I'd highly recommend this:

16 August 2017

A New Direction & Some Personal Notes

This has been a long time coming. Some personal updates that relate to this blog and my writing career . . .

This past year has been full of challenges for my family and me. These challenges, along with a number of other things, have led me to the conclusion that I need to refocus in regards to my writing and research.

3 years ago, my wife was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. This is a life threatening, debilitating disease that, in most cases, is terminal. Even so, she has managed very well and even continued to work until this past February. However, her health has deteriorated and I've debated for some time about the energy and time it takes to post and maintain a blog like this one. Other things need to take priority in my life with just one of them being the health and care of my wife. Yesterday, she began taking a very strong  medication which may or may not stop the progression of the disease. A lung transplant is a real possibility if the disease continues to worsen. In addition, I have 2 daughters with some serious health concerns. Again, I need to refocus. Spending the last week away on vacation with my wife and some of my children and grandchildren, along with the evil and tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville, has prompted me to reflect and take inventory. I found myself wanting in some areas and I intend to correct that.

In addition to this situation this blog, rather than complimenting my primary writing efforts, has actually become a distraction and a hindrance. I've attempted to refocus on other occasions, but have failed. So, going forward, I'm going to step back for a while and put more effort into writing for other publications and websites and try to make some headway on my next book. This blog will go to the back burner for at least the near future.

I've archived all previous posts and will slowly work my way through the ones I want to bring back and move over to a new website and blog. This will take some time. I will post a notice here once that new website is up and running.

The rancor and contention that has taken over much of historical discussion and debate has become very taxing. It sucks the creative energy from me as a writer and I'm as much to blame as anyone for allowing that to happen to me, so I'll throw no stones.

The new site and blog will have a totally different feel and look and a different focus, with a primary focus on Virginia  history as well as relic hunting and historical preservation. 

Stay tuned.