For several years this space has been used as a static site for displaying past work. Life Small as a Sparrow has served as my all-purpose blog. Now the blog feature of Fire Above the Land is being reactivated with a limited focus – to display recent art that I find interesting, using photos and links available on the net.
Yesterday at work I mentioned that my dad’s birthday was November 11th. One of my coworkers observed that Dad was born on Veterans Day.
Sort of, I told him, but I noted that Veterans Day hadn’t been created yet. It was Armistice Day back then.
But later I thought about it and realized that the Armistice actually went into effect on my dad’s birthday. When Dad was born the First World War had only been on for a year.
So I found a few pictures of Dad from about the time the Armistice was proclaimed.
Dad and I look something alike, except that Dad looks like he could be a little rascal.
Most of us cook ham or lasagna or lamb for Easter dinner. But what meat do the poor folks back home cook for the day after Easter?
My great-great-grandfather James Barton was much given to writing verse. Here is the only piece I have, from a copy of a newspaper clipping my mother kept.(Composed by J. Barton, Co. I, 25th Indiana.) Come, all ye true-born Union men That love your country dear; Just listen for a little while – A story you shall hear. ‘Tis about a Hoosier regiment I shall compose my ditty, Who fought so well at Davis’ Mills, In the state of Mississippi. The Twenty-fifth Indiana boys – You’ve heard of us before – Four times we’ve seen the Elephant And often heard it roar; We are the boys that did the work And kept the Rebels back; We wouldn’t let them cross the creek, Nor yet the railroad track. It was in last December, Upon the twentieth day, The Rebels they took Holly Springs And drove our men away; As soon as we did get the news That Holly Springs was gone, We set to work and built a fort, Knowing to us they’d come. It was upon the twenty-first, About the hour of one, The Rebels came five thousand strong, And tried to make us run. They thought to find us napping, But it was a great mistake; For when they came within our reach They found us wide awake. Two hundred twenty strong were we, And that was few, you know, Against five thousand mounted men, and they a daring foe. Three times they tried to charge on us, Although it was not sweet, Each time they tried they were repulsed, So then they did retreat. For four long hours we fought them, We fought most manfully, ‘Gainst fifteen times our number in men we could not see. Then they finally concluded For them there was no show, So they turned their backs upon us And away from us did go. Five slightly wounded was our loss But that was scarcely any For four hours’ fighting with the Rebs, In which they had so many. Three hundred men the Rebels lost, As near as I can tell, For they left many killed and wounded On the field just where they fell. We are not always sleeping Though we sometimes shut our eyes. The Rebels they need never think To take us by surprise; For we keep too good a look-out For them and all their train; So if they are not satisfied Just let them come again! So now, kind friends, I will conclude And end my little ditty About our fight at Davis’ Mills In the state of Mississippi. I think I’ve told you nearly all About our glorious fight, So, kind friends, for the present I will bid you all good-night.
On the left are Michael and Christina (Smeltzer) Smetzer’s five daughters. When a Smetzer marries a Smeltzer I guess you could expect the children would all have the same weird and rather disturbing hair. Together the sisters are a formidable formation. Didn’t the Roman legion use a series of these toothed formations against the ancient Brits? The other photo is more comforting. One Smetzer sister can actually smile.