Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nostalgia (part 7) - Calendar Girl

Julie London - Calendar Girl LP


It used to be considered a malady. Painful homecoming. But also a yearning for the past that can bring joy. It can be a foreshadow of revolution. Or merely be an anchor to the familiarity of the past.
[ reference: Oxford dictionary; ]

But most of us may have felt the emotion as we grow older and look back. Especially around the Holidays.

Why do we experience nostalgia? 

The philosophy video below offers some thoughts:

And New Years Eve most often evokes feelings of Nostalgia.

Reviewing the previous year. As well as looking forward to the coming year. Exploring the future with a few familiar faces. Or familiar music. Like the Golden Oldies.

For example, ....

Looking back from 1960 to the coming months of 2017.

Let this Neil Sedaka hit from 1960 be the launching pad for Calendar Girl with classical figures for every month of the year:

January .... February .... March ... April ... May .... June ... Jul y ... August ... September ... October ... November ... December

The calendar flips through each month to the New Year. To start over again.


Time marches on. The old, the Oldies, greets the new ...

The New Year 
- 2017 - 
and every day of the year!


Photo: from - Julie London - Calendar Girl LP

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cats (part 2) - Christmas and Cats


Cats love trees. 

But when cats discover Christmas trees and all that goes with it? Often, chaos and laughs ensure....

Until you shake the kitty crunchies.

But it's not all about the treats.

Now onto the deeper meaning of Christmas...from a cat's perspective. With all the seriousness of  a Charles Dickens Christmas Carol.

Again, this cool tuxedo cat, Henri, stars in this existential short film,

The Worst Noel.

But not all our furry friends are down on the holiday. And it's not just about the treats.

So from the cats around the internet...

We Wish You A Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year! 


Previous post in the series:

Cats (part 1) - Halloween and Cats (2016)


photo: Cat-XmasTree/

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Patriots (part 4) - Pearl Harbor - 75 years ago

USS Arizona/
75 years ago...

Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

So began President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's speech to a joint session of congress, asking for a declaration of war, the day of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
[reference: Pearl Harbor Speech: Day of Infamy ]

And below is a scene from the the movie, aptly titled, Pearl Harbor (2001) :

So began the United States involvement in World War Two on the fronts: the Atlantic and the Pacific.
[reference: World War Two ]

FDR's speech expresses America's will to triumph grounded in faith of God's help as well as faith in the military and we, the people.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

The scene below shows the determination of FDR following Pearl Harbor and his push for a plan to strike back at the heart of Japan:

That plan came to fruition in April of 1942 as the Doolittle Raid. It was led by Jimmy Doolittle, which became known as Thirty Seconds over Tokyo.  The attack was a psychological blow for the Japanese.
[reference: Jimmy H. Doolittle ]

And three years later came total victory over Japan, known as V.J. Day. And the moment was captured in this iconic picture:

Kissing the War Good-bye/

But 75 years ago, FDR and the  men and women who served, home and abroad, were determined to win and prevailed during those dark days.

They all were patriots.


Previous posts in series:

Patriots (part 1) - Taps (2016)

Patriots (part 2) - D-Day Courage  (2016)

Patriots (part 3) - Signers of the Declaration (2016)


photos: USS Arizona/
             Kissing the War Good-bye/

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pop Culture (part 3) - It's Gonna Be All Right

John Lennon/

Angry men! 

That could sum up the White Working Class during the 2016 election cycle.

And the Harvard Business Review has an excellent article about this constituency that felt disenfranchised for years:

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class (November 10, 2016)

And in the spirit of the age, some have felt drawn to this popular song from the musical, Les Miserables (2012).

A song of angry men

Based on the Victor Hugo novel, the setting for the musical is during troubling times in France.


The novel spanned the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the rise and fall of Napoleon, the Bourbon Restoration, to the July Monarchy. [ reference: France in the Long Nineteenth Century ]

And during the July Monarchy, the workers revolted against their abysmal conditions.  The scene in the video clip above reflects this protest.

Then in...


This theme was picked up by some Trump supporters. Especially, after half of his supporters were described as a basket of deplorables:  Les Deplorables (September 16, 2016)

America has known turbulent times.  Just look back to the last century ...

The 1960s 

The unpopular Vietnam War sparked many protests and riots. The decade witnessed the assassination of many leaders: President John F Kennedy (1963), civil rights leader the Reverend Martin Luther King (1968), presidential candidate Senator Robert F Kennedy (1968). [ reference: America's Best Timeline (1960 - 1969 ) ]

Angry men...angry peoples... Even a call for....


And the Beatles, one of the icons of the era, had their take on the angry men of the time. It was even called  Revolution (1968) .

They put out this song answering the question about the Vietnam War. All the protests. All the riots. And their response in the lyrics is a surprising call for reason.

Let's take a closer look at them.

The entire lyrics can be found here: Beatles - Revolution Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here's my comments on some of the meanings of the words.

* Point 1

You say you want a revolution
You tell me that it's evolution
We all want to change the world

 Revolution and evolution can be a good thing.
(Something we've heard a lot about in the past few election cycles.)
Hope and Change
Good intentions, right? 
Change the world for the better

* Counter Point 1

But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out

Violent protests, riots, vandalism, looting?
Allegedly sparked by grievances, real or imagined.
Especially when a group doesn't get their way ...
Like an election?

Count me out!

* Point 2

You say you got a real solution
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
We're doing what we can

Of course, we want solutions to our vexing problems.
Social, economic, judicial, educational, name it.

What's the plan? 
How do we fix it?
Of course it will take effort, time, and money.
We'll do what we can.

* Counter Point 2

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Hate is not the answer.
So often those who protest against hate 
seem to be the most hateful, don't you think?

It's calling out all the poverty pimps, fakers, charlatans
shaking us down for money 
Those who came to do good 
and did very well (for themselves) indeed.

* Point 3

You say you'll change the constitution
We all want to change your head

Yes, there's been a call to change the rules.
For example, abolishing the Electoral College, 
requiring an amendment to our Constitution.

And changing minds in the body politic.

* Counter Point 3

You tell me it's the institution
You better free you mind instead

Some claim our institutions are broken
Infected with white privilege.
The opposition is labeled as
 racist, homo-phobic, sexist...

yada, yada, yada

Those preaching tolerance
lecture those who disagree

Consider freeing your mind instead.

Like being truly open minded yourself.

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

Chairman Mao was China's dictator in the 1960s.
He brought about the Cultural Revolution 
as well as the deaths millions of his own people.
[ reference: Mao Tse-Tung ]

Oppression, suppression, death...
No, not this.

* Conclusion

Don't you know it's gonna be
All right...

In spite of all the turmoil, heated rhetoric, protests...
There's an optimism in these lyrics.

Even a faith expressed in a Higher Power.

After this election and the comings years...

It's Gonna Be All Right.


It's Gonna Be All Right!



photo: John Lennon/

Saturday, October 29, 2016

ELM (part 6) - The Boys Going West


World War One

That Great War was 100 years ago.

I had a grandfather who fought in that war. And the last veteran of that war, Florence Green,  passed away in 2012. As I write this blog, we will pass the 98th anniversary of the end of the war on November 11, 1918.  [reference: World War I History ]

But Great Britain and its Commonwealth was one of the allies hardest hit during World War One. Over 900,000+ killed in action. More than twice as many as the 450,000+ lost in World War Two.

And this short film gives a summary of this loss:

The grief of such great losses gave rise to an increased interest in  Spiritism after the Great War. A desire for family to contact their lost loved ones. And many mediums took advantage of this grief. Prophets for profit.

Yet many intelligent people, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes creator, were convinced that they could contact their departed loved ones, who had moved on to another plane of existence. Much like the modern wonder of the wireless radio could transmit messages across great distances in the real world.

At this time (1920s), Scientific American concluded Spiritism warranted a serious, scientific investigation. And one of its judges included the Great Harry Houdini. As a stage magician, Houdini knew the tricks of the flimflam artists and could reproduce the psychic phenomena that manifested in seances. (Fodder for another blog.)

There is a book written about this: The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World by David Jaher.

In the beginning of the book, The Witch of Lime Street, a phrase jumped out at me. One used by Sir Oliver Lodge. He disliked the barbarous word death. He preferred to see death as an emigration.

The boys going west

That rang a bell.

I recalled English writer and professor J.R.R Tolkien had fought in World War One. And witnessed much of the horror as well as the loss of many of his friends. And that experience made its way into his trilogy:

Lord of the Rings

[reference: Battle of the Somme: the 'animal horror' that inspired JRR Tolkien ]

And at the end of the tale, many of the characters, the Elves, Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, sailed into the West, to the Undying Lands. [reference: Undying Lands ]

And during  The Return of the King (2003) the song, Into the West , was performed during the closing credits.

Into the West ...

The Undying Lands. Life after death. Hope after the devastation of war. Whether the epic battles in fantasies, such as Lord of the Rings. Or the World Wars of reality.

The Boys Going West ...

And war leaves a mark and makes its way into literature. Such as this sixth post in...

 English, Literature, and Musings.



Picture from: Verdun/

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cats (part 1) - Halloween and Cats

Butte and a Pumpkin/
Black cats and pumpkins.

Common images for decorations. It seems the two, Halloween and cats, were made for each other.

As a kid, I had enjoyed Halloween. Dressing up. Going to parties. Back in more innocent days when my friends and I roamed the neighborhood. Free candy at every door. It doesn't get much better than this.

Then I got older.

I heard too many stories of cruel things done to cats, especially on Halloween. But I can't really say anything bad happened in our neighborhood. But I locked up kitty anyway. Just to be on the safe side.

But what's a cat's perspective on this human holiday?

We may have some idea. This cool tuxedo cat, Henri, shares his dim view of Halloween.

One wise cat, that Henri. As well as an internet star of short, existential films.

And if you are watching this, it's on the internet. And the secret is out.

The internet is made of cats! 

That what it says in this video. And if it's on the internet, it must be true, right? ;)

And so begins a new thread.


It could prove to be a most interesting and amusing one. For there's no shortage of cat videos. Or cats.


Other articles:

How Cats Evolved to Win the internet - New York Times (2016)

Cat Video Gallery: Henri Le Chat Noir 


photo: Butte and a Pumpkin/

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Civics (part 1) - The Electoral College

wikipedia/electoral college

Lately, there's been a lot talk about college. 

The electoral college, that is. And for good reason. As they cast the votes that really count when electing the President of the United States.

Nothing new about this. It's been in the US Constitution from the get-go.  Article II, Section I, Clause 3 to be exact. [reference: Electoral College ]

And below is an elementary lesson on civics on how our government works:

Why the electoral college?

After one of the first  Brexits, 240 years ago in 1776, the American colonies had their suspicions of rulers holding absolute power over them. Such as monarchs like King George III.

And rightly so.  As historian and moralist, Lord Acton, is credited to offer his opinion:

Power corrupts;
absolute power 
corrupts absolutely.
[reference: The Phrase Finder]

So the Constitution was designed with checks and balances for our leaders. And that included a check for the chief executive. That is evident as the founders did not trust a popular vote to elect the president.

For 230 years, there has been many debates on this system as it has its flaws as seen below:

What's the solution? 

A popular vote seems to remedy the downside of the electoral college. But the system does have an upside in protecting the interests of the country as a whole.

Consider a popular vote for president.

The candidates would concentrate only on the big cities.  New York City. Los Angeles. Denver. Seattle. Atlanta. Houston, Chicago. ... Those populations will largely will determine the elections.

Screw fly-over country. And the needs and concerns of the more rural areas will be overlooked for the denizens of big cities. And those differences can be poles apart.

Consider the electoral college.

As it is, fly-over country has more weight than the more populated states.  Such as pointed out in Adam Ruins Everything, an electoral vote per capita in Wyoming is worth three times more than an electoral vote in California.

Having lived in California, I understand the feeling that my vote didn't count much. At least for president. We were totally written off as in the tank for the Democrats. And seen a waste of time and money to court our votes. Except candidates saw California as their cash cow and stopped by regularly to milk the billionaire donors for their swing states.

Currently, I reside in Wyoming. More muscle for my vote, right? But we're mostly written off as in the tank for the Republicans. And we are ignored anyway. Only 3 electoral votes at stake. Who cares about us?

Time for a change?

That would require amending the Constitution. It's been done before.  Some 27 times (the first 10 being the Bill of Rights).  But the process is not easy to do. [reference: The Constitutional Amendment Process]

But that's the way it is. Under this Constitution. And it's worked remarkably well since 1787.

So begins another thread.


And this election cycle, vote your conscious. For there is more at stake than the electors we elect at the Electoral College.


Similar posts on this topic:

ZAMM (part 7) - Yes or No - Gotcha! (2012)

PC Watch (part 2) - The South Park Offense (2013)

Timeless Truths (part 6) - Magna Carta - 800 years and still going strong (2015)


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Faith (part 1) - Star Trek and Christianity

star trek/

Star Trek.

 The original series, premiered September 9, 1966, 50 years ago.
[reference: Star Trek,]

So ....

Happy 50th 

Many celebrations were/are planned this year to mark this anniversary of such an iconic SciFi series. Not to mention its many spin offs. And movies.  As well as how it's left its mark on culture and our vision of the future.

Yet through this SciFi series, we find

Faith - in unexpected places

So on that note, begins another thread.

Fifty years ago, American culture had reflected some traditional Judeo-Christian values. And one of Star Trek's 1968 episodes, season 2, episode 25, so boldly echoed that, entitled...

Bread and Circuses

Historically, the term Bread and Circuses was coined to refer to a mob control tactic used in the 1st century Roman Empire. To keep the poor working class from rioting, Emperor Augustus instituted a program of state bribery, which kept the plebeians fed and entertained - mostly for free. [reference: The Roman Empire - in the First Century: Plebeians]

In this episode, the crew of the Enterprise investigates the disappearance of a merchant ship on a planet, which is the 20th century version of the Roman Empire. There, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy find the missing ship's Captain Merik as a government pawn.

In the scene below, Spock and McCoy are forced to fight in Roman-like game - which is a small reminder of the original gladiator games and how brutal life was back then, especially for slaves:

But there are rebels, who love peace, and resist the tyranny. They are sun worshipers, who worshiped a different deity than their overlords.

After making their escape, the team discovers the identity of the sun worshipers as Son worshipers. As in they worship not the sun up in the sky, but the Son of God.

And the late Chuck Colson makes a great commentary in his Two-Minute Warning about this classic Star Trek episode and its lesson on history and our society:

Truly this SciFi testifies to the power of Christianity, which 1st Century Romans made this complaint concerning the ministry of St. Paul:

These that have turned the world upside down
are come hither also ...
Act 17:6 (KJV)

 Whether in the belly of the beast of the Roman Empire or a SciFi series set in outer space, Faith can be found in unexpected places.


For another Judeo-Christian reference in the Original series, check out...
   Live Long and Prosper: The Jewish Story Behind Spock, Leonard Nimoy's Star Trek Character 


Related post:

Proverbs (part 2) - Live Long and Prosper  (2013)


photo: star trek/

Sunday, August 28, 2016

poetry (part 3) - Success

North Ridge/


We want it. Especially its fruits. But it costs us. And it's not guaranteed.

Recently, we had a international exhibition of that. The Olympics  in Rio earlier this month.

Hard work. Not giving up. Going for the gold.

As ABC sports used to hype:  The thrill of victory. And the agony of defeat. The human drama of athletic competition. [reference: ABC Wide World of Sports Intro 1981 ]

Also striving for success applies to other challenges in life. And Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011) is still an inspiration in following your dreams and doing what you love. In spite of rejection, setbacks, failures:

Forty years ago, as a youngster, I wrote a poem about this theme when I was just starting out in life.


Don't be afraid to fail
Or your dreams you'll cease to strive
Heed not the mockings of those
Who really are not alive 

Look not to the side for direction
To the lamb-skinned wolves nearby
Who say that they do speak the truth
But devour with a lie 

Look above for your direction
To the star in the sky
And don't be afraid to fail
And be not afraid to try!

© S. K. Smith, winter of 1976

40 years later?

Still trying. Still striving. And still working on being not so afraid.


Previous Posts in this series: 

Poetry (part 1) - Snow (2016) 

Poetry (part 2) - The Fool's Prayer (2016)  


Monday, August 8, 2016

Science 101 (part 5) - August Meteor Showers

2010 Perseids/wikipedia

Space can be a dangerous place. Especially when you are by things going really, really fast. Like debris. Even those those of us on earth.

One of the effects of such a collision is meteors. And below is a "crash course" on that space junk crashing into our atmosphere:

This coming August 13-14, 2016 will be a peak of the Perseid Meteor Showers.  And they can be quite awesome if you live in the neck of the woods with a dark sky.

If you are one to look at the night sky, there's plenty of advise out there, such as:

Perseid Meteor Shower 2016: When, Where & How to See It

As the late great Jack Horkheimer (the original Star Hustler and advocate for naked eye astronomy) would say:

Keep looking up!


Previous posts in this series:

Science 101 (part 1) - Vernal Equinox  (2013)

Science 101 (part 2) - The Sound of Music? (2013)

Science 101 (part 3) - From Galileo to Apollo (2013)

Science 101 (part 4) - Cosmos Continued ... (2014) 


Photo:  2010 Perseids/wikipedia

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nostalgia (part 6) - Dear Eleanor

Eleanor Roosevelt/

The 1960s were tumultuous.

Cold War. Vietnam. Counter culture. Hippies. US vs USSR Space race. Iron Curtain. Civil Rights. Assassinations. Not to mention: Drugs. Sex. Rock N Roll.

But the early 1960s were almost an extension of the perceived calmer, more innocent 1950s. Leave it to Beaver. Happy Days. Kennedy and Camelot.

And the year 1962 is the setting for Dear Eleanor (2016). The recently released movie, on DVD and internet, captures the spirit of those times.

It begins in California as the Ellie Potter's mother leaves the house that day to give an introduction to former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Only Ellie's mother is killed in a car accident along the way. The same day Marilyn Monroe died.

While Ellie's dad shrugs off his parental responsibilities and sinks into depression,  Ellie takes on the roll as Little Mom as the oldest girl. But Ellie's best friend Max the Wax has ideas. And convinces Ellie to ditch school for a road trip cross country. From California to New York.  To deliver her mom's speech to Eleanor Roosevelt in person.

During this "Thelma and Louise" type road trip, the Cuban Missile Crisis grips the nation, the girls unwittingly find company with an escaped convict from Alcatraz, and they pick up Max's Aunt Daisy, a dancer in Las Vegas. That is, Las Vegas, New Mexico. Not Nevada. Meanwhile, Ellie's father and the boy next door discover the girls' plans and are on their tail to bring them back home.

The extended movie trailer below sums it up pretty well.

It's a shame the movie didn't get a wider release. Based on what I've seen in the theaters these days, this would make it in the top ten percent or higher. And much of the songs, pop culture, news of the times, are interwoven in the story. At bit of nostalgia. Like Forrest Gump (1994). Only far more realistic of a story.

It was an uplifting movie with a good message. During difficult days, the heroines dream big and they go for it. Though it didn't turn out as they had hoped, they all were enriched by the journey.

And this movie has a special meaning for me. One of its writers  is Amy Garcia. Before I retired, I had the privilege of working with Amy's father. And I learned from him that his daughter had worked very hard over the  years, overcame many obstacles and setbacks, to see this project through.

To all creatives out there, this is encouraging. Take the risk! Go for it!

And never give up!


Previous Posts in the series:
 Nostalgia (part 1) - A Father's Thanksgiving Prayer  (2014)

Nostalgia (part 2) - Christmas Past in War and Peace (2014)

Nostalgia (part 3) - Something Old, Something New  (2014)

Nostalgia (part 4) - VJ Day Kiss - 70 years ago (2015)

Nostalgia (part 5) - Big Band and World War II  (2015)


Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt/

Friday, July 15, 2016

CC2 (part 1) - Counting Coup

cover art by Davis Creative

Counting Coup?  

What the heck is that?

As you see from the cover above, it is a Native American Indian kind of thing. Here is a definition, according to the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains: Counting Coup

And below is an excellent explanation in this Montana History Minute as the prerequisite of a Chief and ranking within a tribe:

And that gives an insight to the theme of Book 2 of The Commander and Chief series called ...

Counting Coup

Here is a teaser as to what it's all about.
Art by Davis Creative

Dr. Nova Orlovic, known as "the Chief" - she's half-Cheyenne - is on the warpath again. After her team uncovered the inconvenient truth as to how her second husband had died, President Lincoln Todd circles his wagons in major damage control. And it's payback, big time, for the Chief when she's indicted for the murder of her first husband eleven years ago.

Then a tyrant, eager to rebuild his weapons of mass destruction, gives Nova an offer she can't refuse. In exchange for her expertise in nuclear physics, he tempts her with new revelations about both her husbands' deaths, perhaps clearing her name. But by "counting coup" with her enemies on both sides of the ocean, will the Chief lose the Commander, her latest love, as well as unwittingly unleash the dogs of war? 


The coup stick, Star of David, British and American flags in the image above have meaning in this latest story.

If this has piqued your interest, please feel free to read the book.

Counting Coup, now available:

* Paperback:  CreateSpace

* eBook:   Kindle

And please check out the First Book of the series,

His Tribe of One, now available:

Paperback:  CreateSpace

eBook:   Kindle

Latest news at:

Your readership is much appreciated. 

S. K. Smith


For other posts in His Tribe of One, Book One of the series:

CC (part 1) - The Commander and the Chief: His Tribe of One (2014)

CC (part 2) - Universe in a Glass of Wine  (2014)

CC (part 3) - Happy Bill of Rights Day  (2014)

CC (part 4) - Stories and the Brain (2015)

CC (part 5) - Audie Murphy  (2014)

CC (part 6) - Pavle Orlovic (2015)

CC (part 7) - Buzz Aldrin  (2015) 

 CC (part 8) - Little America (2016)    

CC (part 9) - Buffalo Bill's Wild West (2016)

CC (part 10) - Little Big Man (2016) 


Photos: art work by Davis Creative

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Patriots (part 3) - Signers of the Declaration

Declaration Independence/

Soon we are approaching the 240th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, attributed on July 4, 1776.

Much is written about these times. does a great job, such as this: Declaration of Independence

But here is a summary of what happened to the signers, most of them wealthy men, who lost it all for the greater gift, liberty.

Today, many politicians will give away our freedoms for their position of power.

But in 1776, these men and their families risked it all, with nothing material to gain for themselves, as they penned these words in the last sentence:

And for the support of this Declaration, 
with a firm reliance
on the protection of divine Providence, 
we mutually pledge to each other 
our Lives,
our Fortunes
and our sacred Honor.

reference: Declaration of Independence transcript

These 56 signers were patriots.


Previous posts in series:

Patriots (part 1) - Taps (2016)

Patriots (part 2) - D-Day Courage  (2016)


Photo from: Declaration Independence/

Monday, June 13, 2016

CC (part 10) - Little Big Man

Little Big Man/

Little Big Man, also known as Charging Bear, really existed.

He was a fearless Oglala Lakota warrior, who fought under, then rivaled Crazy Horse. When Crazy Horse was murdered, Little Big Man was a suspect.  But one of the notable battles Little Big Man fought was the Battle of Little Big Horn in the Montana Territory. 

* for more info: Little Big Man at


 June 25, 1876 marked the Battle of the Little Big Horn, also know as Custer's Last Stand. And we've coming up on its 140th anniversary. 

Many stories and movies (fact, fiction, legends, lies) were made about this battle as well as General Custer and many of the key players.

One of my favorites is this oldie from the 1970s...

Little Big Man - the movie

The Little Big Man  movie (1970), starred Dustin Hoffman and Chief Dan George. It's not a story about Charging Bear. But it's the story of a 121 year old Jack Crabb, in hospice, telling his recollections of the Old West to a reporter. His tale included being adopted by the Cheyenne, adventures in the Wild West, culminating in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. (reference: synopsis with spoilers)

And I make some references to the movie as well as the battle in The Commander and the Chief series, such as a quoted line from the scene below:

At time 1:40 in the clip, the frustrated preacher's wife offers to give Jack Crabb, who was rescued from Indians, a bath.  Asking him to take off his clothes, she assures him:

But I shall avert my eyes at the necessary moment.

At time 3:35, she reassures him when the bath is done:

I shall avert my eyes, of course.

And here's how I work that all in....


From Book 1, His Tribe of One in The Commander and the Chief series. 

In this scene, the Commander wakes up in guest room of the Chief, as she's assembling her team:

Reggie rolled his good eye to Colonel Jack Sheffield. “Where am I, Jacko?”

“A very posh suite in the Gladstone Hotel.” The Colonel put a hand on Reggie’s shoulder. “At least you woke up in a high class place this time.”

cover by Davis Creative, Becki Davis
“How’d I end up here?”

“We collected you off the street and had one bugger of time getting you up here. Wise got a baggage cart, and we took you up the lift.”

Wise pressed a plastic bag of ice to the left side of Reggie’s face. “You know, Commander, this reminds me when I was in Her Majesty’s service, and one of the lads fell in love with one of the local women, and he got into quite a row with one of her male relatives who took offense…”

Reggie peeked under his blanket. “Where are my clothes?”

“If you pardon me, you were rather soaked to the bone, old boy, so we took the liberty of stripping your wet garments while you were…indisposed.”

“So you left me bloody naked?”

“Your clothes are being laundered.” Wise picked up a plush white robe from the end of the couch. “Meanwhile, the hotel has provided this.” Then Wise signaled the women to look away.

I shall avert my eyes,” Nova said in a put-on southern accent as she gave a sidelong smile to Wise.

Avert your eyes?” Reggie wrinkled his nose.

“It’s a joke between us. My client, she’s part Cheyenne.” Lord Wise grinned at Commander Barrett. “The line comes from the old American movie, Little Big Man.

“The one that ends with General Custer meeting his Waterloo, Reg,” Jack explained.

From His Tribe of One, Part 1, Chapter 9: Wake Up Call


Back to the movie...

And later, Jack Crabb becomes a scout for General Custer during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. And Jack issued this report to the General:

Custer's response?

Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner. 
You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, 
but the subtle truth is you really don't want me to go down there!

And General Custer goes down there and goes down in history, but not in the blaze of glory he had hoped for.

And so Custer met his Waterloo. Only he did not survive. Napoleon did.


Back to the book....

Later in His Tribe of One, Lord Wise, the Chief's confident, finds out she's been betrayed by their guide. And Kaya Stillwater, the Chief's loyal friend of the family quietly knits as Wise interrogates Omar:

Wise pushed Omar inside a tent where Kaya sat on a campstool, knitting. She no longer had her burka on, but was dressed in khakis. And as her needles clicked, she was stealing glances at their guide. Omar whined, “Why you take me to woman’s tent—it’s unclean.”

“That’s the least of your worries, old boy.” Wise pointed Omar’s face toward Kaya. “Surely you remember my client’s companion? She’s been suspicious of you since the day we hired you back in Adam.”

“She’s a woman.”

“Not just any woman. She’s Cheyenne, one of the Native American Indians. Ever hear of General Custer?”

“Don’t know no American generals.”

“Then let me tell you. This general lived 150 years ago. Fought in the American Civil War. And he was a big hero back then, until he came across the Cheyenne, her people. The ancestors of this woman killed all the American soldiers that had attacked them at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.”

Kaya gave Omar an icy stare, then coolly resumed knitting.

Wise held Omar’s face in Kaya’s direction and continued, “And when her people slaughtered all the soldiers, they left the mutilation of their bodies to the women, women such as this woman you see in front of you.”

“What do you mean?” Omar was sweating.

“See those knitting needles?” Wise eyed Kaya. “She can do things with those that would make the most hardened man break down and weep like a whipped puppy.”

Kaya gave Omar another icy stare as her needles clinked together.

Wise continued, “Oh, yes. I was with MI6, so I know how to interrogate. And Kaya, she knows how to loosen a man’s tongue. So Omar, I ask you this: Do you want it said that a woman broke you and made you squeal like a pig? Or do you wish to talk to me and keep your manhood intact?”

“Wh-what do you want?” Omar quavered.

Wise flashed a grin. “Information.”

And Omar talked as Kaya knitted.

From His Tribe of One, Part 8, Chapter 2, Little Big Horn, Revisited.


If this has piqued your intererst, please feel free to read the book.

His Tribe of One, now available:

* Paperback:  CreateSpace

* eBook:   Kindle

Your readership is much appreciated. 

Sequel is coming soon and I'll keep you posted.

S. K. Smith



and                Davis Creative, Becki Davis