Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Upcoming October events

In case anybody is interested (not that I expect them to be), I'm going to be on internet radio next Monday night, October 4. Ron Miller is going to interview me on his program
The Chosen, which covers a variety of unusual topics such as UFOs, the paranormal, conspiracy theories, and so on. (Cannibalism is sufficiently outré to merit inclusion, I'd think.) Ron got the idea after last spring's "no-Donner-Party-cannibalism" brou-ha-ha, did some research, and contacted me. The interview is to cover cannibalism, the Donner Party, and the archaeology flap, and will take place Monday night, 8:00 Eastern, 7:00 Central, etc., online at Talktainment Radio. There's a toll-free number you can call during the broadcast to comment or ask questions, and if you don't make the live event, it'll be archived on the website so you can listen at your convenience.

I've been meaning to write about this for ages and now it's pretty late: October 9-10 is the 18th Annual Donner Party Hike in Truckee, California. On Saturday there are six guided hikes exploring different areas of Donner Summit, and on Sunday there'll be a guided visit to Alder Creek. There's a $45 fee for each hike and a $15 fee for the Alder Creek tour. For more information, visit the Sierra Nevada Geotourism or Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce websites.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's been a while...

Things have been a mite slow on the Donner Party front lately. I continue to research -- has just added the 1852 California State Census to their online databases, so I've been tracking down Donner Party survivors and rescuers, or trying to -- some of them are pretty darn elusive. Some are right where you expect them, while others show up in surprising places. Baptiste, for instance, was living in Sonoma in 1852, or maybe he just happened to be there the day the census-taker came by. George Donner was over in Solano County -- he was there in the 1860 census, too. I found Philippine Keseberg and her two girls in Sacramento, but Louis isn't listed with them. Same with Flavilla Eddy -- she and the kids were in Santa Clara County, but where was Will? And Patrick Dunn, an obscure member of the Second Relief, was down in Santa Barbara County making a living as a monte dealer.

You may also have seen the Donner Party around the web lately -- the political metaphor has been making the rounds again, this time equating the Tea Party and/or Republicans with the Donner Party. This is a vile slander. I don't care about the political parties, they can fend for themselves, but I detest the image of the Donner Party as bunch of maniacs ripping at each other in a frenzied struggle to survive. Didn't happen, folks!