HOW THE WEST WAS WON…

Frankly, I didn’t know it had been lost, but I’m happy to report that the lovely states of South Dakota and Wyoming have decided to remain in the Union.  (After my recent visit, I wasn’t so sure.  Too many bad buffalo jokes!)  Nevertheless, I am now back in Austin and enjoying my recollections of my great Yellowstone adventure.  Our Western Book Tour/National Monument Trip was a huge success, and we met a large number of wonderful folks from across the country.  (And gained some great new blog followers!)  As I’ve frequently said, you meet the nicest people while traveling.

Our particular guided tour was called “Legends of the American West,” and was sponsored by Tauck Tours.  When I first read the name of our tour, I assumed it was referring to me, but they were actually referring to some of the national monuments we visited.  (Oh well)  We began our western trek in Rapid City, South Dakota… and then went to Mt. Rushmore.  Those names scared me a little,  being the type of fellow who likes to take it slow and easy.  (Fortunately nobody in South Dakota moved rapidly and nobody rushed more either.)

The slowest gent in the state is the poor guy that’s been carving the Crazy Horse sculpture for the last two thousand years.  (Or so it seems)  The poor chief is barely recognizable, but the sculptors are determined to finish the monument some time this century.  The project began under a chisler named Korczak Ziolkowski (real name) but has since been taken over by his son, “Korczak the Magnificent,” who is a “chip off the old block.”

Like everything else in America, the project, though well-intentioned, has produced some heated controversy.  Apparently, Crazy Horse was never photographed and deliberately buried where his grave would never be found…  consequently nobody knows what the old boy actually looked like!  (Thus, carving his image becomes pure speculation, and subject to cultural interpretation.  See where this is going?)  Some folks have, dare I say, “reservations,” about the entire project, but that’s life.

Incidentally, I posted a short video of our group being surrounded by a herd of bison a while back.  (Have you herd of bison?)  All right, no more buffalo jokes.  In any case, there were two other bison “charges” in the last few weeks, and you can watch them by Googling “Bison Attacks in Yellowstone Park.”  Luckily, nobody has been injured or killed.  (But one of the poor tourists sustained some major damage to his rental car.)  The poor tourist should have rented a Mustang, then he could have out-run the buffalo!  (All right, now I’m really through with those buffalo jokes!)

As I mentioned in a previous post, Mount Rushmore contains the stone images of four American presidents…  Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln.  The main sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, chose these gents based upon their importance to American history and the great outdoors.  If you study the photographs at the bottom of this post, you will notice that there is actually room for two more images….. so, let’s have some fun…. send me an email and let me know which two American presidents you would add to the mountain.  (Let’s assume that we are required by law to add two more images.  Who would you choose?)  I shall publish the results of this stimulating poll on a future blog…. so vote early and vote often, as they say in Chicago!

So what on earth is new besides the American West?  Well, for those of you who have been following my brilliant literary career, you might have seen the most recent review of my last “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, CAPONE ISLAND.  If you haven’t read this review, don’t fret.  I shall attach the complete review at the end of this blog.  Please memorize the salient points of this glowing synopsis, and share with a few hundred of your closest friends.  (My accountant, Jesse James Lipschitz, will be very happy if we increase book sales.)

By the way, CAPONE ISLAND has recently been nominated for several prominent book awards, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!  If I win any loot, I will give you a cut.  (No money, just a cut)

Well, time to leave, as today happens to be my daughter’s birthday (Miss Rebecca) and we are having a pool party in her honor.  It’s sort of a surprise party.  (We don’t have a pool)  But seriously folks, there is much to do, and I am running far behind schedule.  (I really need to stop sampling the tequila punch!)  I do hope that you all have a safe and superb week, and we shall meet again in the near future.

Until then, love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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