Race, the Census, and Genealogy

By Eilene Lyon Race in the Census From the very first U. S. Census in 1790, the enumeration was focused primarily on whites, and secondarily on everyone else. A person was listed as Free White, Other Free Person, or Slave. Based on the constitution, non-taxed Indians were specifically excluded.1 It wasn’t until the 1850 Census,... Continue Reading →

Colored People

By Eilene Lyon At the grocery store checkout yesterday I saw a blue person. I don’t mean someone who was depressed, choking on a piece of gristle, a zombie, or (heaven forbid) a corpse. It would be rather disconcerting to find a zombie or corpse in the grocery checkout line – probably not good for... Continue Reading →

Earth Day and Pogo

By Eilene Lyon Today we celebrate Earth Day, an international event that takes place in nearly 200 countries around the globe, involving roughly a billion participants. Throughout the 1960s, environmental legislation was going nowhere, as Americans roiled about our participation in the Vietnam War. Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, an environmental champion, decided to create a... Continue Reading →

Gold Medal Waters*

via Daily Prompt: Toxic By Eilene Lyon August 2015: I was working the MAPS bird-banding station at the Oxbow Park and Preserve along the Animas River, just north of Durango. Some of our volunteers happen to be active-duty, uniformed Parks and Wildlife officers, so we heard early on that something was amiss high in the... Continue Reading →

Upside-Down and Sideways

By Eilene Lyon When you learn to draw, using a photo to sketch from, art teachers will suggest you turn the picture upside-down. That way, you focus on the shapes, rather than letting your mind tell you what you’re looking at (mountain, tree, bird, etc.). It’s a way of changing your perspective. Turning the familiar... Continue Reading →

Emptying the Bucket (List)

By Eilene Lyon My brother and I, along with our spouses, were visiting Mom in Oregon last week. Because she has rapidly progressing dementia, she lives in memory care at the retirement community she moved into 12 years ago. She’s doing pretty well physically, for now. I took her to see her regular physician so... Continue Reading →

Supersize…My Bed

By Eilene Lyon I’m not a large person (5’ 4”, medium build), but my husband is 6’ 2” and prefers an extra-long bed to feel comfortable. Hence our California king-size bed, the largest standard sized bed on the market at 72 x 84 inches (183 x 213 cm). I confess that I like having lots... Continue Reading →

Out-of-Mind, Out of Sight

By Eilene Lyon Often the most frustrating people on my family tree to find records for are the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or physically disabled people. This is true whether they were living in private homes or institutions. Most difficult to find are death records and burials. I’ve discovered that mental illness does tend to... Continue Reading →

Lessons From A Riot

By Eilene Lyon Every year for four days in March, I attend the local film festival. Though I love the feature films, I try to see as many shorts and documentaries as possible. After watching a series of international narrative shorts this morning, which were excellent, I went to see the documentary, “12th and Clairmount.”... Continue Reading →

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