Saturday, January 24, 2015


I went to another lecture this morning, this one at the Sharlot Hall Museum.  It was on the Spanish-American War in Cuba with a bit of a side trip to the Phillipine-American war.  

According to lore, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst created the war with his yellow journalism of the day.  He sent artist Frederick Remington to Cuba to supply him with pictures of the war.  Remington supposedly wired Hearst that all was quiet and there was no war.  Hearst allegedly wired back "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."  But today's speaker, historian John Stewart, said there is no evidence that anyone ever said that.  My thought was "why ruin a good story with facts!"

Stewart also said the part of the Maine that was sunk in Havana Harbor was later refloated and examination revealed that the explosion that sank her came from inside the ship, not from a Spanish or Cuban mine.  As one of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut, might say "so it goes."

On the way home I stopped at a bridge that crosses Lynx Creek in the StoneRidge subdivision where I live.  There are always many cars and trucks parked along there.

When I first moved here I stopped one day and was told that the drivers of those vehicles were panning for gold down in the creek. Today I chatted with another fellow who confirmed that story.

He said it's mostly flakes and dust that the panners collect but once in awhile someone collects a tiny nugget about the size of a fingernail on your smallest finger.  But that could be worth 800 to a thousand dollars so it's worth searching for one.

Whether one makes his fortune or not it's nice to get outside on a warm sunny day and commune with nature.

Just to give you a feel for it, here's a short video with the sound of the burbling creek to sooth your soul.


  1. Interesting info and a nice story on the panning.

  2. Didn't TR call it "that splendid little war? My big worry about panning for gold if that I might find enough to get hooked on gold fever.

  3. I don't know why, but I live that show "Gold Rush." I think I would like to try that, probably have a better chance to find gold than I do trying to catch a trout. Like you say, most of the fun is just hanging around a stream.

  4. The first part would be for my half...
    For the panning part it would be for me, I tried and tried: no nugget but a lot of fun speaking to others and to myself :-)

  5. Interesting stuff about the Sp/Am War. I've never panned for gold, but I did look for diamonds in a plowed field in Arkansas once. Struck out. So it goes. :)