I had a heads up email from my eldest son about an incoming package….always something to look forward to. Who doesn’t look forward to a surprise? After spending the past few days in KC (weather!) it was nice to get home again, especially as nice neighbors had helped shovel out the drive. Finding a package awaiting me was a bonus.
I could never have imagined that he could have found a film of one of our favorite books from his and his brother’s childhood…..Paddle to the Sea. The film was released in 1966 and nominated for an Academy Award for live action short. I can’t wait to watch it this weekend! The book was written by Holling C. Holling in 1941 and it is still in print. If you know any young people this, and his other books, are wonderful books to share. Paddle is the story of a small carving of an Indian in his canoe, created by an Indian youth at Lake Nipigon, north of Lake Superior, with a message carved into it: I am Paddle-to-the-Sea from Nipigon Country Canada. He placed the carving on a snowbank before a thaw and let nature and the winds and waters take it where they might. The journey took him hundreds of miles–where he escaped a sawmill, fled a forest fire with wild animals, survived an icy storm that wrecked a steamer on Lake Superior, passed through locks and busy docks loading iron and copper ore, down Niagara Falls, and through the Saint Lawrence to the Atlantic. He was helped along the way occasionally by humans and ultimately earned the right to be called a true Paddle-to-the-Sea. Holling illustrated the book with wonderful color paintings augmented with drawings of all the things seen and experienced–how locks work, the operation of large sawmills, etc. It’s just crammed with interesting tidbits of knowledge. There’s history, technology, maps, industry–a delightful way to learn about a part of our country in an earlier time (like when there still was industry).
Holling’s other books–Tree in the Trail (plains Indians and westward-bound pioneers on the Santa Fe Trail), Minn of the Mississippi (snapping turtle), and Seabird (a scrimshaw ivory gull on a whaler)–are all wonderful and chock full of history and adventure.
The film–live action–took a few years to create and entailed its own thrilling adventures and I look forward to a quiet evening viewing. It’s great to have a thoughtful son who remembers fondly those many nights reading Holling’s books at bedtime. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that as a parent you perhaps did a few things right!
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Other good news! The FCC just granted permission for GE’s sale of MSNBC/NBC/Universal to Comcast. And GE’s CEO was just appointed by Prez O to serve on a ‘jobs’ council. It’s always a good thing to consolidate the state-run media. And Keith Olberman is gone, gone!, from MSNBC. Other trolls will fill his vacant time so no actual change in tone there. Hope and change….hope and change!
Some of the parts of the deal I like best are that ‘Comcast will make available to approximately 2.5 million low income households: (i) high-speed Internet access service for less than $10 per month; (ii) personal computers, netbooks, or other computer equipment at a purchase price below $150’ and ‘we require Comcast-NBCU to increase programming diversity by expanding its over the-air programming to the Spanish language-speaking community, and by making NBCU’s Spanish-language broadcast programming available via Comcast’s on demand and online platforms.’
It’s always easier to handle the social justice thingy and income redistribution via regulations and bureaucracies rather than through straight-forward legislation. And besides that, who will notice this happening….coercing a private business to give away goods and services as conditions of doing business.