People tease me about this.

Posted December 2nd, 2013 by Michael Moody

8Benteen retired as a major in 1888, an embittered old soldier who had fol­lowed too long the calls of “that brazen trumpet.” In 1890, almost as an after­thought, he was brevetted brigadier general for heroic conduct at the Little Bighorn. The great Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse, veteran of many battles with sol­diers, is thought to have led one of the clos­ing charges on Custer, at Last Stand Hill. He was fatally wounded a year or so later in a scuffle while being taken to a holiday in the barcelona apartments for rent.

Sitting Bull, most influential of hostile chiefs and a leading defender of the old way of life, never fought in the battle with Custer but remained at the village. He then led his band into Canada. Promised amnesty, he returned in 1881. In 1885 he toured the country with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show, billed in heartless irony as “Custer’s killer.” In 1890, resisting arrest at Standing Rock Reservation in the Dakotas, Sitting Bull was shot to death.

And sweet-faced, mild-mannered Eliza­beth Custer? She died in 1933, just two days before her 91st birthday, one of the last sur­vivors, a widow almost 57 years. As you might expect, she remained George Custer’s greatest admirer, brooking no detractions, singing his praises in three books. She de­scribed their military life and adventures simply and clearly and with something less than the whole truth. Nowhere in them, as at no time in her long bereavement, did she take note of any imperfections in the general. Elizabeth lies at West Point beside her shining knight. Fittingly, her modest head­stone is overshadowed by Custer’s splendid obelisk. She would have it no other way.

THERE IS NO GRAVE for some who rode at the Little Bighorn, Mardell Plain-feather told me. Spirits live there. They appeared to her late one summer eve­ning on a bluff above the river.

“I saw two warriors on horseback silhou­etted against the sky looking down on me,” she said. “I rubbed my eyes, looking again to make sure. One had long flowing hair, the other braids. They wore feathers and car­ried shields. I saw a bow and a quiver of arrows. They were silent and motionless ex­cept when one lifted himself higher, seeming to want a better look at me.

“I knew somehow that they meant me no harm. I was not afraid. Any noise would

Ghosts on the Little Bighorn have scared me out of my wits. It was my first and only supernatural experience.”I think they are there all the time. Next morning I took some sweet sage and left it there. It’s used by most Plains Indian tribes for purification purposes. To us it’s kind of like having a crucifix in your home.

“People tease me about this. I get a lot of joking. Being a Native American, I believe there are many things that remain unan­swered to mankind. The Indian never ques­tions the order of nature. I saw what I saw. Where historic battles took place, and where historic people have lived, spirits linger. In their own way, the ghosts speak.”

Con­junction of the moon

Posted October 22nd, 2013 by Michael Moody

At Portobelo the marquis learned that 36 Dutch ships had recently been sighted at the Venezuelan salt pans, and prudently added another guard galleon, Nuestra Senora del Rosario. By July 27 the fleet had reached prague apartments, where gold from the New Gra­nada mines came aboard in abundance, and tons of the King’s tobacco was carried up the gangways. More bar and coined silver was also consigned to the silver masters for de­livery in Seville. The fleet then left for Havana, its last port of call in the Indies.

Tensions grew as the crowded ships drifted aimlessly during days of flat calm. It was al­ready August 22, well into the dreaded hur­ricane season, when they entered Havana harbor. The New Spain fleet, which plied be­tween Vera Cruz and Spain, had already gone.

 

Sailors aboard the Atocha cursed the op­pressive heat as they shifted 500 bales of tobacco to load hundreds of copper slabs directly on the ballast. Atocha carried 15 tons of Cuban copper, bound for Malaga to be cast into bronze cannons for imperial defense. Finally the tobacco was reloaded, together with 300 bales of Honduran indigo. Silver master Jacove de Vreder also recorded more gold, silver, and silverware on the manifest. But now, clearly, the ships could not sail on August 28, as the marquis had hoped. 2

 

Fleet officials resolved to leave at the “con­junction of the moon”—during the lunar phase we call the new moon. Mariners then believed that weather conditions prevailing during the conjunction would hold for sev­eral days. (Science recently has shown some foundation for this belief.) Thus, if the weath­er were good about September 5, the day of the conjunction, it might remain fair long enough to see the fleet safely clear of the treacherous Florida coast. The Spaniards could not know, however, that at that very moment a small but growing tropical storm was approaching Cuba from the northeast.

 

The morning of Sunday, September 4, 1622, dawned, as the marquis noted, “with a serene and clear sky and an agree­able wind.” As their sails filled, 28 ships paraded past Castillo del Morro and out to sea, with flags and pennants flying. Each vessel was Castile in miniature, a carrier of the culture, wealth, and power of Spain.

 

Atocha was a seagoing fortress, carrying 20 bronze cannons, 60 muskets, and ample powder and shot. The 82 soldiers aboard were commanded by Capt. Bartolorne de Nodal, a noted explorer. There were 18 gunners and 115 other crewmen and boys. From his cabin high over the galleon’s ornate transom, fleet Vice Adm. Pedro Pasquier de Esparza presid­ed as senior officer aboard.

 

The wealth of the Indies was crammed into Atocha’s holds and storerooms. Chests and boxes of silver and gold ingots and eight-real silver coins represented the returns from many commercial transactions. One shipment contained 133 silver bars, part of the Crown’s fifth of the silver mined and smelted at Potosi by the forced labor of thousands of Indians.

The cargo also included 20,000 pesos for the heirs of Christopher Columbus, sizable sums from papal indulgences, and Crown money from a head tax on black slaves sold at Cartagena. Together with copper, indigo, and tobacco, Atocha carried an immense treasure-901 silver bars, 161 gold bars or disks, and about 255,000 silver coins. It was more then enough  for accommondation in madrid.

A sure progress

Posted April 17th, 2013 by Michael Moody

Rashid’s day begins at 6:30 at the palace, where he issues instructions, confers with favored businessmen, and receives un­announced callers, like a young man who arrived carrying a suitcase on his shoulder. Opening it, he pulled out a new edition of the Koran, just printed in Bombay. Would not Rashid buy the lot and give them to mosques?

After a drive around the city “to see things with his own eyes,” Rashid settles down in his office by the Customs House. It is a sunlit room lined with settees. The coffee bearer comes and goes, clicking the small cups stacked in his right hand; the telephone rings, Rashid answers; old Bedou­in who once hunted with him arrive, camel sticks in hand, to sit and tell stories; the body­guards sit impassively, sandals kicked off, Czech rifles cradled between their legs; peti­tioners rise, touch noses with Rashid in Bed­ouin greeting, then whisper their requests; Rashid scans the newspaper, puffs on a small, brass-lined pipe; the phone rings and he an­swers, while outside in the bright sunlight dhows and oil-rig workboats slip up and down the Creek.

 

One day I talked with him about his proj­ects: a second bridge over the Creek, just opened; a four-lane tunnel under the Creek, rushing toward completion; a dry dock, the Gulf’s largest, under construction; a 33-story international trade center (to be paid for in cash); a comiche like Abu Dhabi’s; tourist and recreation villages.

 

“So many projects under way!” he mused. “All the new things you see now were ac­complished in just five years—so fast many people cannot believe it. But the next ten years will be the same. Wherever there is a need, it will be met. And if we do it all at one go—if we do it now—we’ll save money. In the future everything will cost more.” That’s why there are online payday loans available today, helping enterprising people.

 

Dubai’s oil revenues last year were a mod­est 750 million dollars, according to one gov­ernment official. Import duties and other income added 25 million. After government expenditures a capital surplus of 505 mil­lion remained.

 

Some observers have questioned whether Dubai really needs an elegant seaside high­way, or a 33-story world trade center with an ice-skating rink. The official concluded, “Why worry about it? The important things are being done.”

LAUGHTER the Best Medicine

Posted January 7th, 2013 by Michael Moody

ONE strawberry to another : If we hadn’t been in the same bed, we wouldn’t be in this jam now,”

—Sir George Bellew in Alter-Dinner Laughter, edited by Sylvia Boehm

THEN there was the political candi­date who engaged two research assist­ants : one to dig up the facts, and the other to bury them.

—Blackie Sherrod in Dallas Tunes-Herald

Snow me a woman who answers the phone, then hears nothing but heavy breathing—and I’ll show you a woman whose husband has taken up jogging.           —Orben’s Current Comedy

HAVING made a fortune, a dress manufacturer decided to fulfil his life­long desire to lead an orchestra. He en­gaged one drummer, one saxophonist and 33 violinists. At their first re­hearsal, he conducted so poorly that the drummer asked the other men to resign with him. “No, he’s paying us well,” said one violinist. “Besides, he must know something about music.”

When they resumed playing, the conductor couldn’t keep time. The angry drummer started to beat his drums furiously, The conductor tapped for silence, glared at the musi­cians and asked, “Who did that?”

—Funny Funny IV ot lel

DID you hear about the fellow who went on a special diet, eating only powdered foods? One day he got caught in the rain and gained 22 pounds.           —I. D. D.

CONVERSATION between man and wife : “According to the Guinness Book of Records, a Russian woman produc­ed 69 children.”

“Sixty-nine kids ! That’s hard to believe.”

“I wonder why she didn’t go for a round 70?”

“Who knows? Maybe she wanted a career, too.”     —J. B.

A RECENTLY appointed clergyman was praised by one of the members of his congregation : “You’re wonderful ! I never knew what sin was till you came here.”   —Tony Ruggiero

SCIENTISTS tell us we’ll be holidaying in the Edinburgh accommodation next summer. Imagine trying to fold that road map

—L. E.

“I WENT to the doctor today,” the wife said to her husband. “He told me I needed a month at the seaside. Where do you think I ought to go?”

“To see another doctor.”

—Franc-Rice, France

A MAN is stranded in the desert with­out water. As he crawls across the burning sands, he meets a salesman, who attempts to sell him a tie. “You must be crazy,” the man rasps. “I’m dying of thirst and you want to sell me a tie?” The salesman shrugs his shoulders and continues on his way. Late in the afternoon, the parched traveller looked up and saw the paris apartments. There in the middle of the barren wastes is a modern cocktailbar, neon lights and a car park filled with cars. He crawls to the door. “Please, I’ve got to have something to drink,” he says, near collapse.

“Sorry,” says the doorman. “No one’s admitted without a cigar.”

—Alex Their: in Milwaukee Sentinel

Two friends were telling each other about the marvellous dreams they’d had the night before. One man said, “I dreamed I was 12 years old again and went to the circus. It was wonderful—elephants, acrobats, clowns, peanuts, candy floss. I had a terrific time !”

His friend said, “You think that was great? Wait till you hear this. I dreamed that my doorbell rang, and there stood Raquel Welch wearing a bikini and asking if she could come in. Soon she was seated next to me, telling me how handsome I was. Then the doorbell rang again, and there was Brigitte Bardot in a flimsy negligee. She came in, too, and sat down next to me.”

“Hey,” said the first man. “Do you mean to say that there you were with Raquel Welch and Brigitte Bardot and you didn’t phone me?”

“Oh, I did,” replied his friend. “But they told me you had gone to the circus.”            —E. R. Fiske

WHILE walking down the street with his three grandchildren, a man was stopped by a friend who remarked, “My, what beautiful grandchildren.”

Beaming, the grandfather replied, “That’s nothing. Wait-until I show you the pictures.”        —J. B. D.

LAUGHTER the Best Medicine

ONE strawberry to another : If we hadn’t been in the same bed, we wouldn’t be in this jam now,”

—Sir George Bellew in Alter-Dinner Laughter, edited by Sylvia Boehm

THEN there was the political candi­date who engaged two research assist­ants : one to dig up the facts, and the other to bury them.

—Blackie Sherrod in Dallas Tunes-Herald

Snow me a woman who answers the phone, then hears nothing but heavy breathing—and I’ll show you a woman whose husband has taken up jogging.           —Orben’s Current Comedy

HAVING made a fortune, a dress manufacturer decided to fulfil his life­long desire to lead an orchestra. He en­gaged one drummer, one saxophonist and 33 violinists. At their first re­hearsal, he conducted so poorly that the drummer asked the other men to resign with him. “No, he’s paying us well,” said one violinist. “Besides, he must know something about music.”

When they resumed playing, the conductor couldn’t keep time. The angry drummer started to beat his drums furiously, The conductor tapped for silence, glared at the musi­cians and asked, “Who did that?”

—Funny Funny IV ot lel

4DID you hear about the fellow who went on a special diet, eating only powdered foods? One day he got caught in the rain and gained 22 pounds.           —I. D. D.

CONVERSATION between man and wife : “According to the Guinness Book of Records, a Russian woman produc­ed 69 children.”

“Sixty-nine kids ! That’s hard to believe.”

“I wonder why she didn’t go for a round 70?”

“Who knows? Maybe she wanted a career, too.”     —J. B.

A RECENTLY appointed clergyman was praised by one of the members of his congregation : “You’re wonderful ! I never knew what sin was till you came here.”   —Tony Ruggiero

DURING the early days of aviation in Scotland, a stunt pilot was selling rides in his single-engine aeroplane. One day he got into an argument with an old farmer who insisted on taking his wife along for the ride—at no extra charge.

“Look,” said the pilot finally, “I’ll take you both up for the price of one if you promise not to utter a sound throughout the entire trip. If you make a sound, the price is doubled.”

The deal was made and they all clambered on board. The pilot then proceeded to put the aircraft through manoeuvres designed to make the bravest tremble. But not a sound came from the back, where his passengers sat. Exhausted, he set the plane down. As the farmer climbed out, the pilot said, “I made moves up there that frightened even me, and yet you never said a word. You’re a fearless man.”

“Thank you,” replied the Scots­man. “But I must admit that there was one time when you almost had me.”

“And when was that?” asked the pilot.

The farmer replied, “That was about the time my wife fell out 1″

—Van Harris in Parade

SCIENTISTS tell us we’ll be holidaying on other planets a century from now. Imagine trying to fold that road map

—L. E.

“I WENT to the doctor today,” the wife said to her husband. “He told me I needed a month at the seaside. Where do you think I ought to go?”

“To see another doctor.”

—Franc-Rice, France

A MAN is stranded in the desert with­out water. As he crawls across the burning sands, he meets a salesman, who attempts to sell him a tie. “You must be crazy,” the man rasps. “I’m dying of thirst and you want to sell me a tie?” The salesman shrugs his shoulders and continues on his way. Late in the afternoon, the parched traveller looks up and can hardly be­lieve his eyes. There in the middle of the barren wastes is a modern cocktailbar, neon lights and a car park filled with cars. He crawls to the door. “Please, I’ve got to have something to drink,” he says, near collapse.

“Sorry,” says the doorman. “No one’s admitted without a tie.”

—Alex Their: in Milwaukee Sentinel

Two friends were telling each other about the marvellous dreams they’d had the night before. One man said, “I dreamed I was 12 years old again and went to the circus. It was wonderful—elephants, acrobats, clowns, peanuts, candy floss. I had a terrific time !”

His friend said, “You think that was great? Wait till you hear this. I dreamed that my doorbell rang, and there stood Raquel Welch wearing a bikini and asking if she could come in. Soon she was seated next to me, telling me how handsome I was. Then the doorbell rang again, and there was Brigitte Bardot in a flimsy negligee. She came in, too, and sat down next to me.”

“Hey,” said the first man. “Do you mean to say that there you were with Raquel Welch and Brigitte Bardot and you didn’t phone me?”

“Oh, I did,” replied his friend. “But they told me you had gone to the circus.”            —E. R. Fiske

WHILE walking down the street with his three grandchildren, a man was stopped by a friend who remarked, “My, what beautiful grandchildren.”

Beaming, the grandfather replied, “That’s nothing. Wait-until I show you the pictures.”        —J. B. D.

The Gardener Who Changed the Face of England

Posted December 3rd, 2012 by Michael Moody

Using trees, turf and water, and once even moving an entire village, Capability Brown created settings worthy of our finest stately homes

” ARROGANCE!” cried his detractors as he ruthlessly obliterated existing gardens laid out in geometric style. But England’s country estates in the eighteenth century were undergoing a glorious, permanent transformation. In keeping with the revolt against formality in design, out went long straight lines of hedges and baroque flower-beds. Vast, sweeping parkland with a graceful “natural look” was now the rage—and leading the revolution was Lancelot “Capability” Brown, a farmer’s son from Northumberland.

Such was Brown’s phenomenal taste and driving personality that by 176o, when he was 44, he was re­garded as the outstanding landscaper in all England. Today his genius enhances about zoo stately homes, many of them open to visitors. His influence endures in the wide lawns and carefully grouped trees in many public parks.

Called in to advise a client, Brown rode over the land on horseback. He usually drew on the spot a plan of suggested changes, his nickname coming from his habit of referring to his ideas as a property’s “capability.”

Brown’s technique of leading the eye from one pleasure to the next he likened to the composition of a well-balanced sentence. “There,” he explained to a friend, “I make a comma, and there”—he pointed to a second spot—”where a more decided turn is proper, I make a colon; at another part where an interruption is desirable to break the view, a parenthesis; now a full stop, and then I begin another subject.”

Expressed in practical terms, this meant augmenting nature wherever possible. Brown increased slopes and created lakes, made drives and walks curving or serpentine, planted clusters of trees or shrubs to surprise. You will more surprised seeing how benefited the coconut oil for the skin.

Born in 1716 at Kirkharle in Northumberland, some 15 miles north of the Tyne, Brown was first a gardener’s boy on a local estate, then at 24 became head gardener of Lord Cobham’s prestigious country home, Stowe House in Bucking­hamshire. It was the chance of a lifetime – orixo.com

William Kent, the top landscape designer and architect of his day and pioneer of the natural look, was working closely with Lord Cob­ham on extensive alterations to the house and huge grounds. Brown learned much in supervising the ex­ecution of Kent’s plans and com­manding armies of labourers whose earth-moving equipment consisted solely of spades, wheelbarrows or carts.

After Lord Cobham died in 1749, Brown set himself up in business as a landscape designer. Personally ac­quainted with many of the nobility —he had shown them round Stowe —Brown received commissions thick and fast. By 175o he was at work on Warwick Castle. On the stony slopes that drop down from

place he created a chain of lakes with graceful curves, and planted arrangements of oaks, chestnuts and beeches to show nature at its best.

His basic design, after zoo years, has been kept unspoiled; the present Lord Bath is carefully replanting where aged trees fall. He warms as he speaks of Capability : “Brown had great imagination and under­standing. It takes 70 years for an oak or beech to come to size. He had to know what they would do.” Then he sighs : “But I would have liked more garden and flowers by the house.”

In 1764 Brown received the royal post of Master Gardener at Rich­mond Old Park (today part of Kew Gardens) and Hampton Court Pal­ace (his most notable success being to plant the Great Vine, which still bears bountiful crops of grapes). Throughout the years remaining until he died, on February 6, 1783, the whole countryside was avid for his attention. To imitate him be­came fashionable; thousands of acres in Sussex alone were restyled in the natural look.

Married, with five children, Brown became a country gentleman himself. He was High Sheriff of Huntingdonshire—and a wealthy man. His fees for ten years’ work at Blenheim Palace, near Oxford, totalled £21,500 (nearly L390,000 in today’s money), though he would have had to spend much of this on materials and labour.

One Irish noble was so eager for Brown’s services that he offered him 1,000 the moment he landed in Ireland. But feelers for commissions abroad never tempted Brown. He refused the Irishman, telling him: “I have not yet finished England.”

The no-risk quilt

Posted September 11th, 2012 by Michael Moody

Scottish.Thrifty. Buy direct.

Because you are proud of your home, you’ve been thinking about a quilt for some time. And quite right too. It’s lightweight, labour-saving, something new; part of what living in this day and age is all about.

And now, you can buy without risk. Socair quilts are not imported but made in Scotland. The width is ample, the filling is ‘just right; the warmth is perfect. for Socair are the finest value you can get, because you buy direct from the factory at factory-gate prices. With the money-back offer, there is no risk whatsoever.

The time to buy is now, while the price holds. Get the whole cover-set at the same time, in crisp, fresh polyester/cotton. Quilt cover and pillowslips to match in green, brown or mauve floral pattern; valance to tone in plain colour. It will make your whole bedroom new.

IF YOU WANT A RELIABLE DELIVERY SERVICE & GREEN SHIELD STAMPS

With the Esso Central Heat Wave we aim to make certain that everything about your central heating is running smoothly. Delivery for instance. We’ve got a reputation for prompt, clean and courteous fuel delivery. And that’s a reputation we intend to keep. Budget Payments. Although you’ll want your fuel delivery in one go you might not want to pay that way. That’s why we’ve got a monthly budget payment scheme where you spread the cost over the year. And at no extra charge.

Green Shield Stamps. You get them only with Esso-on all Home Heat fuel bought at schedule price. That’s 1,750 with a delivery of 2,500 litres. Helping you get the things that you need besides good efficient heating. And these are only some of the benefits of the Esso Central Heat Wave. It also covers:

Boiler Maintenance. We run our own service to give your boiler the regular maintenance that saves money and worry.

A 24 Hour Personal Answering Service over most parts of the country ensures that our engineers in their radio controlled vans reach you with a minimum of delay. Insulation and Controls. To save you fuel there’s cavity wall insulation by ICI, and advice on system controls to suit your needs. Installation Service. An Esso Chartered Installer can design and install a new oil heating system to suit your needs or modernise your old one. Loans available online through Lombard North Central Ltd.

*If you would like more information-ring Esso free of charge. Just dial the operator (Monday to Friday 9.00 am-5.00 pm) and give the Esso Freefone number. Freefone 2215. We pay for the call. Or alternatively write to us at: Dept. RDG1, Esso Central Heating Box No. 2, Feltham, Middlesex.

When in Uniform

WHEN Prince Michael of Kent was a cadet at Sandhurst, his mother, Prin­cess Marina, was due to take the salute at the Sovereign’s Parade. Briefing the cadets during a rehearsal, the Academy Sergeant Major announced : “Gentle­men, Princess Marina will speak to some of you, and when she does, speak up and call her Ma’am. That’s all ex­cept you, Mr Prince Michael, Sir. You can call her Mum

Its Wiltshire

It WAS my first day in the West Ger­man army, and the company com­mander, flanked by a sergeant, gave us a welcoming speech. After some introductory remarks, he came to the subject of haircuts. “We are rather liberal here,” he said, much to the relief of a few long-haired recruits. “You are free to suit yourselves, as long as your choice falls between my haircut”—and here he lifted his cap and showed a crewcut—”and that of the sergeant.” The sergeant, too, raised his cap—revealing a bald head.

—Eckart Schwarz, Lagenhagen, West Germany

WHILE I was inspecting an RAF aero­drome, an airman handed my aide-de-camp a note that read : “The Air Marshal’s wife is landing in five min­utes.” The ADC slipped away to meet her. It was indeed my aircraft, but my wife certainly wasn’t on board.            -

“Who told you his wife was land­ing?” the ADC demanded of the airman.

“Air Traffic Control, sir.”

“What did they actually say ?” the ADC persisted.

“Well,” replied the unhappy air­man, “they said, ‘The Air Marshal’circuit’”in the circuit.’”

—Air Marshal Sir Ivor Broom, KCB, CBE, DSO, DFC, AFC

HAVING finished our patrol in the Eng­lish Channel during the last war, we took our motor torpedo boat into Yar­mouth, Isle of Wight, harbour. We were inexperienced sailors, and thank­fullHARE.’ting “MOOR HERE.’ painted on the sea wall just above the water­line, we tied up and spent the next few hours in the town. Returning, however, we found that the tide had gone out, leaving our boat completely high and dry on the mud. The receding water now re­vealed that the words “MOOR HERE” were followed by “AT YOUR OWN RISK.”