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Catskills, constellations, and women’s history

This weekend we gathered in the Catskill at a house Steve and Sarah are renting as a writing retreat to celebrate Steve’s & David’s birthday. So serene! Amazingly quiet. Pristine snow. Clear dark night sky perfect for identifying constellations– Sophie knew to look for the Big and Little Dipper; Orion; Pegasus; “the queen,” Casseopia; and the Milky Way.

With March and National Women’s History Month arriving on Saturday, I am preparing PowerPoint presentations & speeches for five engagements (listed on my web site). As always, one of my themes is women’s history is everywhere & sure enough there it was in a remote memorial park to John Burroughs, the great naturalist who was raised in Roxbury, the closest town to where we were staying. Steve drove us there to see the photographs on the 3-sided display. The close-up is a photograph of a mule trip down Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon in 1909. On the mules, from bottom to top are: Dr. Clara Barrus, Harriet Ashley, John Burroughs, Olga Brant, John Muir. Do I know who the women are? Not yet because I’ve been immersed in Stirring Up The World & teaching, but ASAP I’ll find out & post the information. Of course, if any of you know–please post an entry.

Continuing with this theme, on Monday I walked from 7th Ave to 5th Avenue along 34th street & Macy’s Department Store and noted that a series of windows displays featured posters, art work, & information about Josephine Baker (1906-1975) US born, naturalized-French singer, dancer. movie star, social activist.

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