Monday, June 15, 2015

Lee R. Christensen and Bob Scanlon Join Re-Enactment of "Custer's Last Stand".

Lee R. Christensen's  Photos and Stories From Mt. Pleasant


In June 1986 I motored to Billings ,Montana where I met Bob Scanlon who had flown in to save energy for the ride . We rented a trailer that opens  into a   tent and headed for the Little Big Horn Battle field    I think in '86 it was still called the Custer battlefield. We  were spectators at the military burial of the remains of a Custer trooper who had been discovered on the battlefield summer of '85 following a brush and grass fire that exposed  parts of the battlefield.  

   Following the services we joined a group  that included   re-enactors and  motored  the roughly 15 miles to the "crow's nest"   where we spent the night in our rented trailer  and near the re-enactors in their tents.   The crow's nest if a high point (not too high) on the divide between the Rosebud river and the Little Big Horn and the point historians say Custer first had a chance to survey the Indian camp.   He stopped there long enough to take a deep breath and his men time to check the cinches on their horse and continued what turned out to be about 24 hours in the saddle.   Scanlon and I spent a restless night wondering if we   could live thru 6 hours in the saddle.
 Next morning we got up to the "rise and shine" bugle call of the reenactors, ate breakfast ?, were given  our rented horses, Seabicuit was not one of them and  as a group headed towards the battle field.. We had been joined by other mounted riders on their own horses and with the re-enactors may have   been one hundred riders and horses.  
 We departed our camp ground about 9am, not far off Custer's time.  The re-enactors had a semblance of military order  the rest of us none and some were having trouble staying on their horse.  Custer was in hurry and as I remember covered the distance in about 4 hours.  Our re-enactors were shooting a documentary and stopped frequently to re shoot.  The ride took us about eight hours and gave us a taste of what  Custer's troopers were experiencing after 24 hours in the saddle. 
 As had been my practice on trips for some years I was carrying my camera and plenty of film.  Shot a folder full of reasonably good photos and when U tube came along ,with the help of my daughter Tracy, we made a  U tube presentation.  You can certainly use it and any of the other photos I took on the ride.  Both Custer and I need the espouser - he  to lighten his blemished reputation, me,  to enhance mine.   Some photos to follow.    lee 

More on Custer:  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Curse of Orson Hyde

KATHY:   An item for your “Hyde” file.   My mother ‘s Parke family was with Hyde in Nevada.  They too gave up their acreage to return to Utah without being compensated.  While doing family research in the Carson City area I talked with Nevada’s Land Commissioner and he said they had no reason to complain “they had not paid anything for the land ”.    Had they stayed the State would have asked them to pay for it.  Lee

The Curse of Orson Hyde

When the Mormon faithful returned to Zion in 1858 at the call of Brigham Young, many were required to abandon the fruits of their labors in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada. One such was Orson Hyde, the magistrate sent west to arrange the affairs of Carson County. He had constructed a sawmill in Washoe Valley between the present sites of Reno and Carson City and had sold the mill before returning to Utah. But he had managed to get only "one span of small oxen, and an old wagon," as part payment on the $10,000 sale price. The rest was never forthcoming, despite Hyde's best efforts to collect.

After five years Hyde had despaired of ever collecting, and planted his suit "in the Chancery of Heaven" by reading, in the Utah legislature of which he was a member, an open letter to the people of Carson and Washoe valleys. The letter read in part:

"The Lord has signified to me, his unworthy servant, that as we have been under circumstances that compelled us to submit to your terms, that He will place you under circumstances that will compel you to submit to ours, or do worse.

"That mill and those land claims were worth $10,000 when we left them; the use of that property, or its increased value since, is $10,000 more, making our present demand $20,000.

"Now if the above sum be sent to me in Great Salt Lake City, in cash, you shall have a clean receipt therefor, in the shape of honorable quitclaim deeds to all the property that Orson Hyde, William Price, and Richard Bentley owned in Washoe Valley. The mill, I understand, is now in the hands of R. D. Sides, and has been for a long time. But if you shall think best to repudiate our demand or any part of it, all right. We shall not take it up again in this world in any shape of any of you; but the said R.D. Sides and Jacob Rose shall be living and dying advertisements of God's displeasure, in their persons, in their families, and in their substances; and this demand or ours, remaining uncancelled, shall be to the people of Carson and Washoe valleys as was the ark of God among the Philistines. (See 1st Sam. fifth chapter) You shall be visited of the Lord of Hosts with thunder and with earthquake and with floods, with pestilence and with famine until your names are not known amongst men, for you have rejected the authority of God, trampled upon his laws and his ordinances, and given yourselves up to serve the god of this world; to rioting in debauchery, in abominations drunkenness and corruption . . . .

"I have no sordid desire for gold, and have manifested by my long silence and manifest indifference; and should not say anything now had not the visions of the Almighty stirred up my mind . . . .

"I care not what our mill and land claims are, or were considered worth - whether five hundred thousand dollars or five cents - twenty thousand dollars is our demand; and you can pay it to us, as I have said, and find mercy, if you will thenceforth do right, or despise the demand and perish. . . .'

Orson Hyde

From The Complete Nevada Traveler by David W. Toll

 I’m off to Yakima for Spring Break  and out of touch.      Seventy years ago it would have been Santa Cruz “where the girls are”.   Amazing how much wisdom you can pick up in seventy years>?   lee

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Story Of Jeri

Lee R. Christensen's  Photos and Stories From Mt. Pleasant

KATHY:  I’m currently having some sight problems and I’m scheduled for eye surgery early July.  In the meantime I’m taking eye drops morning, noon and night to get the eye ball in shape.   I tell friends that  won’t know better that I trailed too many sheep too many miles .  But as you and I know I’m just old.  Which is to say it may be some time before I finish my unit history roster .   So I’m sending you a story not exactly Mt Pleasant history but one I like for your consideration.  Page 314 from “Buddie” but attached here with a photo of Jeri.  She is on the right as we look at the photo.  With her the SSA Regional Commissioner , seated,, and Mark Thome and Doris Delcelo.   

KATHY: And I should have added  "And Jeri has never sued" >!  lee

Lee R. Christensen
July 28, 1998

The story I didn’t tell at Jeri Burgess’s retirement party May 30, 1998.

After a high octane introduction during which my retirement title was mentioned—Deputy Assistant Regional Commissioner for Field Operations-I rise and respond.

If I may paraphrase my old friend, Winston Churchill — “Never in the course of human endeavor has so much title covered so little responsibility”-then my Jeri story.

The speakers here this evening have all been talking about Jeri—but I want to talk about Ms. Burgess.

The Seattle Regional Office was an ongoing, but young bureaucratic organization when I reported for duty, October 1970. Because I was at work my first Monday before the Bremerton ferry docked, I was able to spend time comparing baseball careers with the Regional Commissioner. When his gatekeeper arrived, he said, “Let me introduce you to Ms. Burgess. She’ll introduce you around and show you your office.” I met Ms. Burgess. She showed me around. She introduced me to my secretary—a young lady from Bremerton. She showed me my office.

I noticed my secretary was wearing a small addendum to her name tag that read “Selected by Jeri.” Under my office room number was the same information “Selected by Jeri.” All the major pieces of furniture in my office carried a similar tag, “Selected by Jeri.”

Three or four days later as I was coming out of the Regional Commissioner’s office where we had been discussing the crisis of the moment—where to eat lunch—Ms. Burgess stopped me. “Mr. Christensen,” she said, “you look very handsome in your California casual suit, but this is Washington, Puget Sound, Seattle, and we have our own very distinctive style. Why don’t you drop by Nordstroms, an old shoe store that’s expanding into men’s wear and see if there is something you like. Ask for Mr. Jackson.”

So, in a day or two I dropped by Nordstroms and asked for Mr. Jackson. Turned out he was Senator Jackson’s brother. I introduced myself, and told him Ms. Burgess had sent me. “Oh yes,” he said, “you’ll find your suit right over there on the rack. I went over to the rack. There was just the one suit tagged. “Hold for Mr. Christensen—modeled by Dennis —Selected by Jeri.”

And, Jeri, I am still wearing your suit. Have a long and happy retirement. You’ve earned it.

L. R. Christensen