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Soapy Smith

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Histarch Subject: New Book by Cathy Spude

The University of Oklahoma Press has just published my new book, “That Fiend in Hell”: Soapy Smith in Legend. Soapy Smith’s story is well-known to people who like popular culture, and those who are familiar with Alaskan history. As an anthropologist, I show how his legend grew out of the myth of the American West to make him a character the likes of Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and Wyatt Earp. That Fiend in Hell is an expose of how historic events are interpreted even at the time of their occurance within the social mileau of a culture’s understanding of their own value system. See  for more information, or go to
Catherine H. Spude, PhD

Congratulations! What a lot of work that must have been. I thought I heard of Soapy Smith perhaps in the stories of Colorado, of which “Myers Avenue: A Quick History of Cripple Creek’s Red Light District” by c) 1967 by Leland Feitz Library of Congress Catalog Card No 68-405 is one he might have been part of before leaving for Skagway, Alaska.

I enjoyed that summer 1980 out West through the ash of Mt. St. Helens on a Greyhound, a jet and then a small plane from Juneau to Skagway to work on Alaska’s first RR station and the Captain Moore Cabin. The airport there is better as seen in the recent Microsoft “Flight” a virtual Skagway geography along with the rest of Alaska and Hawaii.

I found this on Amazon and sent it to my Kindle, a scanned article from “Cassier’s Magazine” titled “Across the Chilkoot Pass by wire cable” from the Dyea tide and river side, found on microform in the Provincial Archives of British Columbia circa 1981 c) Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions. The funicular, “powered by rope or cable” was planned to go from Sheep Camp to Crater Lake, in contract, then “since” extended to a point known as Canyon Camp connecting with a surface road “running through the Dyea Canyon, and along the Dyea river, to the head of the tidewater thus making an uninterrupted transportation between Dyea and Crater Lake” “Later on” its author states “the cable system will, undoubtedly, be extended to Lake Linderman, the head of lake navigation”. (William Hewitt b. 1853

It has many diagrams and pictures of its construction and how it developed. It shows a similar funicular system was used in New York state on “a wire rope tramway used by the Solvay Process Company at Syracuse, N.Y shows both wooden and iron supports”. I had the opportunity to ponder the Solvay location before they took the plant down. Interestingly the Solvay process of soda ash is named after a French sociologist! It’s reported a large amount of dynamite used in WWI was made there in the Split Rock quarries, and if the chemical fire, which ran out of water to control it, had jumped the creek, it would have leveled Syracuse with the disputed force of a small “atomic bomb” if the dynamite stored in small wooden barrels had caught fire. Albert Einstein disputed that in a letter, a researcher of the Solvay Plant had. The line had been “used for carrying lime rock from the Split Rock quarries to the soda ash works, at Geddes.” There are some problems with the scan however in getting some of the distances and numbers.


Nicole Kidman’s ‘Paperboy’ Scene: Director Lee Daniels Explains Why She Urinates On Zac Efron

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She had already, been on camera in "Eyes Wide Shut", micturating, as she and Dr. Harford are getting ready for the Christmas party. The paintings on the wall are Mrs. Kubrick’s. In "A.I." the little boy robot walks in while his owner, she’s on the toilet, and seemed like "the last straw" for the little Pinocchio. Huffington Post

Actually, its because of a jellyfish!

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/31/2012 at 3:08 pm

Hello ruby in the dust…

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Date:    Sat, 12 May 2012 09:39:10 -0700
From:    George Myers <georgejmyersjr@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Sub floor deposits – dust & taphonomy

I recall a Williamsburg, VA film that started with the occupants of a tavern in the 18th century, one drops a coin, which I think rolls toward the hearth and drops in a crack through the floor into the sub floor dirt and transitions to a modern excavation and revealing the coin with a trowel, which was a wonderful opening for the topic. Well yes but then the onion bottle of rum and cherries was also just as interesting excavated elsewhere.

I was at a sub floor excavation of the William Floyd Manor for the kitchen I think, which was required to make it safe before it was to be opened to the public. In the dirt swales between the wooden beams, a number of pins were recovered. Local legend has the British Army’s horses quartered in the manor house. William Floyd a prominent politician and the Long Island signer of the Declaration of Independence, and later General in the American Revolutionary Army in Upstate, NY, where he’s also interred, shouldn’t be confused with Long Island’s North Shore William LLoyd, a Tory who negotiated a hostage transfer. I found in the last resident’s garden a "William Lloyd" bottle seal, an unlikely "error". Dana Linck of the then Denver Service Center, US National Parks Service did the archeology, and he or they might have something on the sub floor deposits beneath the unlikely "horse-bearing" beams. – histarch comment

Written by georgejmyersjr

05/14/2012 at 7:17 am

Dear brother and sister:

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I haven’t actually joined but have had to use it and other sources for work I’ve done with Nancy particularly in the parts of three blocks in the "Bowery" named after Peter Stuyvesant’s Farm or in Dutch "bouwerie". I was just watching the horror film "The Descendant" (AKA:Bleeders) filmed on Grand Manan Island, it’s first and last known as "Hemoglobin" in the title and end credits, starring Rutger Hauer. I rented it from Amazon online then watch it through FIOS through the less than $100 Roku box when I want. Anyway I had been talking to Mom and called her up to say that whatever you might want to argue over "The Holland Society" in New York City has the family name "Myers" listed as part of the early settlers in New Amsterdam. The Holland Ave. I live on has nothing to do with that, named after a person, between two other persons "Hunt" and "Rhinelander".

I just jumped back over to, to see what I might have left there and they teased me with this document enclosed belonging to Lawrence George Urquhart, Mom’s dad from Grand Manan. It apparently has him signing up for WWI in Montreal, Quebec, which by the way most of the film was made there also, post-production and the staff, some Grand Mananers of course helped with the film, as noted in the credits as well as the "Production dog Shakespeare". I sometimes worried he may have been the youngest in it, apparently not though still somewhere between 15 and 19, the Canadian authorities have already cited the youngest at 16 and just over 16. However perhaps you can help me make out the date at the bottom?

If I have the time and "doe ray me" I might look further into what is on, which is still expanding, though my colleagues and I usually need more location info, i.e., address info and lots, than they have but seem to be slowly providing by acquiring it. Nothing like trying to figure out everyone that ever lived on a corner in the Bowery and if they were someone famous or so related. "City Directories" some years are like phone books (remember them?) listed by alphabetical names some years (every 10 years in NYC) by addresses. The "wrecking ball" is supposed to be illegal in NYC.


Written by georgejmyersjr

04/11/2012 at 2:55 pm

Memory Motel

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Dear Rolling Stones fans,
We’re gearing up to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary with a lot of exciting plans, and we’d appreciate your help with some of them.

Don’t have an image but an article was written in a compendium of essays, one by Leslie Fielder about “Altamont” back in 1974 or so in a Wesleyan University Press book. I had the pleasure of presenting it, but not having seen the film, in a “Seminar in the Arts” by Esther Schwartz at the newly opening Amherst Campus part of the Buffalo University in NY, just before you chaps went on tour and showed up.

Leslie Fielder was in the class, the point of the class to have a different artist from the Buffalo, NY area appear every week and discuss with the class their careers in the Arts. In “Residential Education” the class would assemble in a lounge, at the time, in a new residence hall built by I.M. Pei the Chinese-American architect, whose later new wing addition to the US National Gallery I had the pleasure to visit while excavating at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD, for the National Parks, where the “rockets red glare” and parachute flares illuminated the fort. A 10″ shell is reported to never have exploded outside the “bombproof” the officers latrine was attached to, “a two-seater” brick kidney, in a nice right triangle.

I missed the Buffalo concerts. I think it helped bring the place around a bit. I did enjoy the one concert in Madison Square Garden which I believe opened by Stevie Wonder, and looking at your gig records, Jimi Hendrix was visiting back stage. Check out the BBC recordings of Wonder on drums(?) and Hendrix on guitar(?) if you haven’t, I once heard on a jazz station up around Harriman, NY.

A “Between the Buttons” fan.

Written by georgejmyersjr

03/28/2012 at 12:48 pm

Can Alec Baldwin Crash a Plane With a Cell Phone?

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Ah mathematic­s, which says there is a possibilit­y I push a book off a desk it could fall upward, though the probabilit­y is very small. I thought Mr. Baldwin was still at the American Airlines gate with the other passengers and thought they weren’t going anywhere he could get a few words in. The IPO came a few days later (initial public offering) for the word game. I was told a small notebook computer, the HX-20 by Epson was told to be turned off in a flight to Belem, Brazil years ago in the 1980s by a coworker preventing interferen­ce. They also had to sign that they weren’t part of some some secret prospectio­n, working for the archaeolog­ist Anna Roosevelt, PhD, on Marajo Island, the largest fresh water island in the world, in the mouth of the Amazon. Someone reading this know if they were still at the gate? Their company faces many lay-offs which may have contribute­d to the situation? Huffington Post

Written by georgejmyersjr

02/09/2012 at 3:20 am

Alec Baldwin’s Here’s the Thing…

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George Myers from The Bronx, NY

I enjoyed this podcast from these two SNL alumni (plug here for Steve Martin on Jimmy Fallon NBC tonight, who’ll be on that show more?). Glitch on cable TV yesterday had listed the synopsis of the original "Fun with Dick and Jane" (George Segal and Jane Fonda) instead of what ran, the remake with Alec Baldwin ("Jack has got your back") and Jim Carey and Tea Leoni. As the credits ran thanking Enron, Worldcom, Tyco and others sort of a 10th anniversary which I later thought of to agree with you "60 minutes" seemed to be remorseful of the lack of courage of the SEC and Justice Dept. $17 million in energy had to be found for US Fort Hamilton, ironically Alexander Hamilton, a Federalist was the first Secretary of the Treasury. Pres. G.W. Bush fired the head of the US Army, who was also on the board of Enron. Chris Rock not always reminds me of "Rocky" the African American kid in the family on the 1st floor, us on the 2nd in the Patterson Houses South Bronx projects we left for the ‘burbs. That you Rocky?

Dec. 05 2011 12:14 PM Chris Rock interview.

Written by georgejmyersjr

12/05/2011 at 10:53 pm

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