Thursday, August 5, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Tomah Joseph - Legendary American

"It has been said that art is the signature of a civilization. Like all signatures, it is unique and personal and binding. When a civilization vanishes, it is art that leaves an indelible imprint to tell the story of a people's existence and their eventual demise. Such is the story of Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy Indian artist who lived in eastern Maine during the mid- to late 19th and early 20th centuries. Like so many other stories of Native Americans, his is one in which cultural survival and economic necessity are inextricably and tragically linked." - Yankee Magazine, May/June 2007. This quote is about an extraordinary man named Tomah Joseph, a Passamaquoddy man who during his seventy-seven years on Earth touched the lives of countless people, including a future President of the United States. Tomah Joseph was true to his Native Heritage throughout his life, keeping Passamaquoddy traditions forever alive through his amazing artwork and intricate craftsmanship on all things Native as well as the passing of Passamaquoddy oral history for untold generations after him to cherish for eternity. I urge you read the information at the links above to get a glimmer of the life and legacy that is Tomah Joseph, legendary American.

Texas Tidbits : Natural Bridge Caverns

How in the name of all that is holy during all my travels in Texas, did I not once take time to stop off and visit Natural Bridge Caverns? I plead the ignorance of youth. And "hurry up and get to Austin". But mostly the ignorance of youth. If only I had known. But, then again, if a frog had wings every time he jumped, he wouldn't whomp his ass. But, I digress. Even the underground world of Texas is stunningly beautiful. What's a bit surprising is that the caverns weren't discovered , quite unexpectedly, until 1960 by four St. Mary's U students out for their weekly spelunking trip. Reckon they were a little surprised at what they found? The temperature in the caverns is a mild 70 degrees year round and portions of this subterranean wonder are over 200 feet below ground. Recent archeological digs indicate that early Texans used the caves as a place to call home and that perhaps miles more of this underground Eden await exploration. Make a little time to read the information provided in the links above, if you can. It's some real good readin' and there are some outstanding photos as well. I can hardly wait to find out what the spelunkers of the future will discover about this place named Natural Bridge Caverns.

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