March 16, 2009

If You're Reading This... I need to tell my parents, "I FIGURED OUT WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BLOG FEED!" Because I know they're reading this. Aren't parents great that way? Even at nearly a half century, I still know my parents are interested in everything I do. My kids are the same way. They still like me to come listen to them play the guitar, or look at their artwork, or read what they write. It reminds me of when they were small. "Watch this!" they would say. And I'd drop everything...and go watch. That's how I know my parents are reading this. And that's why I need to tell them that I figured out why my blog feed hasn't been working! Thanks to the great folks at Typepad (really this blog platform is awesome) and a new blog I discovered called Blogging Basics 101, (my new favorite) I now know what's wrong with my blog! Apparently the problem happened when I moved my blog from Blogger to Typepad - probably a user error on my part... Anyway - Mom and Dad, here's what you need to do. If you're subscribing in a reader, YOU NEED TO RESUBSCRIBE. Go over to the sidebar, click on subscribe in a reader, and follow the instructions. If you have a link to my blog in your sidebar, DELETE IT, and ADD THE LINK AGAIN. Now your feeds from my blog will work like they are supposed to! I was thinking...what if somebody else besides my parents is reading this? I guess it is possible. So if you are reading this (and I hope you are!) and you want to come back again (and I hope you will!) YOU NEED TO FIX YOUR FEED! Just Resubscribe to Uphill Both Ways in your reader, or if you'd like, subscribe by email! And don't forget to fix the link in your sidebar - just delete it and add it again. Now you're good to go! Speaking of parents.... A couple of weeks ago we went to a basketball game to watch our high school girls WIN THE STATE 5A CHAMPIONSHIP! GO CAVEMEN! GO KAYCEE! We found ourselves sitting on the wrong side of the gym. We were the only Cavemen fans in the section. A little uncomfortable at first, until our team took a nice lead. Anyway, one of the refs was a girl, which I always like, and I found myself watching her. Then I met the people sitting next to me. They were the girl ref's parents. They came to the game TO WATCH THE REF! They were taking pictures of her and cheering her on - even when she made bad calls. Really, I never thought that the ref's parents might be in the gym somewhere watching. But I should have known, because that's what parents do. And that's another reason I know my parents are reading this.
Soldier Boy & the Living Uncle Sam Roy Perkins was inducted into the armed service on August 21, 1918. He received his boot training at Camp Fremont in California, then was sent to New York where they remained in camp about one month before they shipped out for active duty and headed for France. They were on the ocean only a day or two when, on November 11, a wireless message reached their ship informing them that an armistice had been signed - the Great War was over! As it says in Roy's life story, "they turned back, a shipload of disappointed kids." They landed at Camp Lee, Virginia, where they remained until spring. While at Camp Lee, Roy was one of the soldiers who gathered for a photo called The Living Uncle Sam. There are 19,000 soldiers forming this image of Uncle Sam - Roy is standing in the white collar. His original picture hung in their home throughout his life - he and Lillian were very proud of it, and it has always been one of our family treasures. I got curious about this photo - wouldn't something like this be well-known? So I did what any researcher with my skill and training (none) would do...I Googled it! And this is what I found... Arthur Mole was an English born photographer and commercial artist who became famous for his series of "living photographs" made during World War I. For these photographs, Mole and his partner, John Thomas, used tens of thousands of soldiers, reservists, and nurses - and arranged them in various patriotic symbols. From the ground, the soldiers' formations looked meaningless. But from the 80 foot high viewing tower where Mole stood, you could see his intricately arranged artistic shapes and portraits. The blog Dark Roasted Blend has a great article called "People as Pixels in Monumental Art" that tells about these photographs In that article, Avi Abrams tells how Mole would stand on his viewing tower and shout into a megaphone or use a long pole with a white flag to arrange the tens of thousands of soldiers into position. He had to figure out the exact number of soldiers needed for each pattern, and every project took many weeks of meticulous preparation. Mole and Thomas visited many military camps throughout the country, creating these wonderful works of art. They donated all their income from this project to the families of the returning soldiers and to the government's efforts to rebuild their lives. The most well-known of Mole's photographs was the Living Portrait of Woodrow Wilson. For this photo, he used 21,000 troops at Camp Sherman in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1918. Do you have an ancestor who was part of this project? Maybe one of these photos is among your family treasures! You can read more about this project here. And you can see more images at the Library of Congress gallery, not copyrighted. Courtesy of Dark Roasted Blend, Chicago Historical Society, and Library of Congress.

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