Random Thoughts

A Musing 

...Clearing some thoughts in my mind 

Russ Priestley

Christopher Columbus made four voyages westward to get to the East Indies. He never realized he had discovered America, Some of us are slow learners.

Marco Polo was a wanderer, but was he also a philanderer?  Could his lifestyle survive a marriage?

It was Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian, after whom America was named. We could have been named Columbia or Vespucci, or maybe Italy West.

It was the old supply/demand axiom that urged world exploration, in order to fill the need for spices, perfumes, silks. So which sex spawned exploring the world?

Hernando de Soto discovered the Mississippi River, but not while driving a DeSoto on a Sunday afternoon. It was 1539.  And La Salle explored the Mississippi River to its mouth years later. He was not driving either. (A little inside joke for old timers).

The first permanent settlement in the U.S. was St. Augustine in 1565 ... a sort of retirement community. I'll bet you thought retiring to Florida was a recent innovation.

Spain promoted colonization in the U.S. They enslaved natives as well as Negro slaves from Africa ... so don't blame us.

The French claimed the Mississippi Valley and Louisiana, but migration was slow. Perhaps they were party animals even then, in the 17th century.

To the English in the 1600's, the lure of finding gold and silver was exciting. So what else is new?

Cuba was settled in 1508, but has become unsettled in recent years.

The English made an unsuccessful attempt to colonize in Maine in 1607. Those Maine people were a stubborn bunch even then.

Maine was considered a part of Massachusetts in 1691. So that's why people from other states (especially Massachusetts), when asking for directions, are given looks of suspicion and advised, "You just can't get theyah from heah."

People of Georgia won't admit this but the charter to settle Georgia was for the purpose of providing a refuge for debtors. Nowadays we have bankruptcy courts in all 50 states.

In the South, agriculture was once the sole industry. Now it's soul food and soul religion.

Back on the golf course, when one gets into position and prepares to hit the ball, one addresses the ball. If Abe Lincoln was in such a position, would he begin with "Four score and seven years ago...?

September 3,1999

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