OHWOOD-L ArchivesArchiver > OHWOOD > 2010-06 > 1275879216
From: Bill <>
Subject: [OHWOOD] Black Swamp Heritage, "In The Beginning ....", 6 June 2010,Vol 9 #24
Date: Sun, 06 Jun 2010 22:54:14 -0500
Black Swamp Heritage Articles
© Bill Oliver
6 June 2010
Vol 9 Issue: #24
Good Evening from the Black Swamp of NWoHIo,
"In The Beginning .... "
I don't know when the "Beginning" was. It is a concept most difficult to
grab on to. One might have to discover what the "Beginning" was [or is]
first. In the Beginning of this Century humans had a great fear that
their computers were going to go "haywire" and all our data was going to
go off into the ether somewhere never to be seen again.
In the Beginning of the 20th Century, we could mention all the wars
going on, such as the Boer War and the Philippine Uprising, but it is
probably more interesting to settle on the publishing of the study of
quantum theory on Friday 14, 1900 by Max Planck.
At the start of 1800, well, in March anyway, on Friday the 14th,
Cardinal Barnaba Chiaramonti was elected Pope Pius VII. Again we could
mention the wars taking place but it is far more interesting to note
that on Friday , the 21st of March, with the church leadership driven
out of Rome during an armed conflict, Pius VII was crowned Pope in
Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché.
Now in 1700, time gets all topsy-turvy . The year 1700 was an
exceptional common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar,
but a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. The Gregorian
calendar was 10 days ahead of the Julian calendar until February 28
[O.S. February 18, 1700] 1700, then 11 days ahead since March 1 [O.S.
February 19, 1700] 1700. With the Gregorian Calendar starting in 1582,
and 1600 being evenly divisible by 400, and thus being a leap year under
the Gregorian system despite being a century year, this was the first
skipped leap year under the Gregorian Calendar. Is all that clear to ya'
In the early 1700s, some of my ancestors were planning to leave Ireland
for the New World. Some of Barb's ancestors were already here in New
If we were to go back any further, we might be dealing more with myths
than with historic stories. But, then, myths are stories. Myths conjure
up visions of gods and superhuman beings, animals, plants and the first
peoples on this planet. Myths are stories which give guidance and
Myths are told as truth and accounts of actual facts even though those
facts might be a whole lot different than the truths we think of as our
"real" experiences. Myths of history are only similar to those
narratives that though similar are known as fairy tales. It is true that
fairy tales tell us of extraordinary beings and happenings.
The week following our Memorial Day is another Memorial Day, burned into
the experiences of those who lived through the Second World War – June
sixth, 1944 – D-Day.
At Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, stand the jagged cliffs that the elite U.S.
Rangers scaled. The Germans believed they were unassailable. They found
this to be not a frontier inviolable.
This assault, climbing the 120 foot wall of limestone four miles west of
Omaha Beach was to eliminate six German howitzers. These guns were
capable of firing from concrete bunkers down on the landing beaches at
both Utah and Omaha Beaches. Of the more than two hundred Rangers who
assaulted the bonkers less than half were combat able two days later.
The observation bunker there was the "eyes" of the German operation.
The cliffs over the past sixty-six years have been eroded by
thirty-three feet. Today there is an effort to reinforce the cliffs
before erosion drops those bunkers onto the beach below.
The saving of these bunkers serves as part of the public memory of a
horrible cost of war. There were others who should share the spotlight
that day. Easy Company of the 506th Paratroopers. These were the "Band
of Brothers" made so famous by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
Easy Company parachuted behind enemy lines to eventually destroy a
three-gun battery of German artillery, which had been wreaking havoc on
I remember the "Mighty Mo" [battleship] running aground in Norfolk,
Virginia in the early 1950s. This reminded me that the U. S. Navy had
its share of risk takers. There were the skippers of four destroyers
who, witnessing the plight of the 29th Infantry's "Bedford Boys" on
Omaha Beach and the Rangers at Pointe-du-Hoc, conned their tin cans into
waters so shallow the keels nearly scraped as they fired, point blank,
covering the troopers.
There are thousands of other stories, too numerous to get on these
pages, but as Memorial Day salutes all our "fallen", June 6th is
reserved for the Invasion of Normandy.
e-la-Di-e-das-Di ha-WI NV-WA-do-hi-ya NV-WA-to-hi-ya-da.
(May you walk in peace and harmony)
"Myths are universal and timeless stories that reflect and shape our
lives ..." Alexander McCall Smith, Dream Angus
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