mad in pursuit journal


On the way to clearing my work table

I swore that yesterday afternoon I would practice drawing, get back to some of my cartoon characters. But first I needed to move the mystery cabinet materials off my work table and on to the small white table ("the White Table"), which has been given the role of staging area for all items queued up for sale or improved storage.

But New Rule: no blind moving of piles without some semblance of organizing and labeling. That rule worked pretty well till I started getting hung up on intriguing bits.

Envelope of ancient carbon copies folded into 6ths. Turned out to be a series of letters written by an American private in France during September through November, 1918. World War I. Machine Gun Battalion. I smoothed them out and put them in archival page protectors. They were not so much about the horrors of war, but the life of a soldier billeted in small villages well behind the lines, as well as their entertainment once Armistice was declared. He must have been the company clerk, since he sat at a window with his typewriter all day.

A dozen 5 x 7 glass negatives) in the original Eastman Kodak Standard Dry Plate box, labeled "Wabaniki Play and Council." Held up to the light, they reveal crowds of people outdoors, many in full Native American regalia. Googling got me to the Wabanaki Tribe:

The Wabanaki (Eastern) Confederacy was a coalition of five Algonquian tribes of the eastern seaboard, banded together in response to Iroquois aggression. These tribes--the Abenaki, the Penobscot, the Maliseet, the Passamaquoddy, and the Mi'kmaq--each retained their own political leadership, but collaborated on broader issues such as diplomacy, war, and trade. The confederation officially disbanded in 1862, but the five tribes remain close allies, and the Wabanaki Confederacy lives on in the form of a political alliance between these historically friendly nations. There is some confusion associated with the term "Wabanaki." It literally means "people of the dawn" or "dawnland people," meaning easterners, and at times all five tribes of the Wabanaki Confederacy have referred to themselves this way. Also, the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet of New Brunswick collectively refer to themselves as Wabanaki, and some information about these two tribes has this name on it.

I tried scanning a couple, thinking I'd reverse them in Photoshop to get a better look. but (memo to self) this doesn't work. I remembered -- finally -- that negatives must be backlit. I have to lay them on my lightbox and take snapshots. Later...

Photos of... cross-dressing Nevada gold-miners? I might have made quick work of these sets of snapshots from about 1905 till I noticed a gun-totin' "cowboy" on a mule... wearing ladies' shoes. Then there were several snapshots of two women dressed as men and a man in drag wearing a wig and hat, all having great fun posing for the camera. Then the search was on to find out who these party animals were... Then it was 10:30 PM.

Guess I'll do my drawing today.


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