July 30, 2013

Father Blanchet’s Catholic Ladder

The Bible is a tough book to sum up in front of an audience—especially if the listeners don’t share the speaker’s language. So you have to give Father Francis Norbert Blanchet his due. Newly arrived on the Northwest frontier in the late 1830s, faced with the task of conveying the Word to American Indian people, the French Canadian missionary devised an ingenious teaching tool he dubbed “the ladder of history.”  His prototype was a heavy stick carved with notches and symbols marking the most dramatic moments in the Judeo-Christian chronology. Later he transferred the concept to paper, drawing his ladder in India ink. The result was a portable timeline designed to help Native people grasp the Catholic view of the world. (more…)

July 17, 2013

Radical Wobblies and Porcelain Plates

Of all the radical American labor unions of the early 20th century, the loudest and most militant was the organization that called itself Industrial Workers of the World, whose membership was more familiarly known as the Wobblies.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, the Wobblies were mainly loggers and lumber mill workers—most of them single and transient, a lot of them immigrants. Encounters between the IWW and conservative local authorities were strident and sometimes violent. To the middle-class population of many small logging and lumber towns, the Wobblies were nothing but trouble. Bolsheviks and anarchists, in the view of the timber companies. Unpatriotic firebrands who sought to undermine industry and the American way of life. (more…)

July 8, 2013

No Cooler Now Than Before


I’m up to my eyebrows this week correcting galleys for The Indian Shirt Story, which goes “live” as an e-book on August 16th.  No time, alas, for original thoughts on history. But for those of you who love a good old-fashioned, small-town summer festival, here’s last year’s look at Capital Lakefair–still as uncool as ever.

Profoundly Uncool for 55 Years






Like this article? You might enjoy my novel, The Indian Shirt Story, coming as an e-book from Musa Publishing in the summer of 2013. “Like” HEATHER LOCKMAN AUTHOR on Facebook to stay up to date.