Posted on January 19, 2018

Bob Bartlett and Alaska Statehood

This is a reprise of a 2016 post.

One of the main advocates of Alaska statehood was Edward Lewis “Bob” Bartlett. He represented Alaska through many years of statesmanship, and guided the statehood act through Congress, where it passed in 1958. We became the 49th state in January of 1959.

Bartlett’s father came to Alaska to work in the Klondike, and Bartlett was raised in Fairbanks. He returned to the territory after college, wrote for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and married his wife Vide. The Bartletts helped run her family’s mine for a while but found their calling in politics. Bartlett was appointed secretary of Alaska in 1938 and started pushing for Alaska to become a state. He later became our delegate in Congress, then a Senator.

Throughout his time in public service, Bartlett always conducted himself with grace, and made allies which helped Alaska in many causes, including statehood. According to Sam Bisshop’s article run in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Aug. 13, 2003:

“He was of course responsible for statehood—there is no question about it in my mind,” said Fairbanks attorney Mary Nordale. It was Bartlett who finally reeled in House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson, she said.

Many people in Alaska still have personal memories of Bartlett, and everyone I’ve heard speaks highly of him.

“He was just very interested in everybody. He had an enormous number of friends,” his daughter recalled.

I am proud to have gone to school at one of his namesakes, Bartlett High School in Anchorage.

Here’s my main source for this post and a good place to get more details about Bob Bartlett: University of Alaska’s UA Journey website:

https://www.alaska.edu/uajourney/notable-people/fairbanks/bob-bartlett/

Posted on January 12, 2018

#Let’sThinkAbout Critical Thinking

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I usually have a theme of the year that I discuss in some of my blog posts. I’ve spent some time lately thinking about what I want to explore in 2018. There’s certainly a lot going on out there, and several worthy ideas to pursue. Right now, I’m curious about critical thinking, how we learn to use it and how we find the truth when it’s not obvious. It keeps popping up in my writing, and in conversations with others. My husband came up with “fake fake news,” and while that’s good, it may sound kind of flippant in some situations. So I am using “Let’s think about….” or #Let’sThinkAbout for a theme title this year.

Depending on the post, we might think about critical thinking itself. Or we could discuss a resource to help us with our critical thinking. Or we might find an example of something that we can examine with critical thinking to arrive at a conclusion. Or I might find other related ideas—we’ll see where this goes over the course of the year. I’m hoping we’ll find interesting ways to think about this concept and play with it a bit.

To start us out, let’s consider critical thinking. The Cambridge English Dictionary defines it as “the process of thinking carefully about a subject or idea, without allowing feelings or opinions to affect you.” Oxford Living Dictionaries defines it as “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.” I notice both imply some sifting through information in an objective way to arrive at a conclusion. So I would expect we would need to gather information from more than one source, and try to look at things without letting our fears or other feelings get in the way. We’ll start with that, and use our critical thinking skills as we go forward into 2018.  Let’s think about it! 🙂

Posted on January 5, 2018

My Wishes for 2018

Like many of us, I’ve done some thinking lately about what I want to do in 2018, and what I want for all of us in the year ahead. 

 

Here are my wishes for 2018:

May we all give ourselves unconditional love and receive love from others as well.

May we all find joy in our lives this year, in everyday life and big events. 

May we all discover things we have in common with our neighbors far and near.

May we all achieve our dreams, or get a few steps closer than we were.

May we all work together to make the world a better place.

 

 

Portage Lake

 

Happy New Year! May 2018 be a wonderful year for you!!!

Posted on December 26, 2017

#FellowshipofWords Wrap Up: Book Lists

As you may know, I declared 2017 the #FellowshipofWords year and wrote several blog posts exploring how words and books can bring us together. One of the things I enjoyed most was finding books for this theme. Some of these have been mentioned in prior blog posts, and others I have come across throughout the year. The books, alphabetical by author, are from many different genres but all give insight into other people, or show how words can bring us together.

 

Books I’ve Read and Recommend:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (autobiography)

Cowboys and East Indians by Nina McConigley

1984 by George Orwell

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

Fellowship of the Ring series by J. R. R. Tolkien

 

Books on my To-Be-Read List: 

The Fire Next Time and Just Above My Head by James Baldwin 

Grant Park by Leonard Pitts, Jr. 

Louisiana Girls Trilogy by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Flashes of War by Katey Schultz

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance

I encourage you to pick one (or more) and either check it out at your library or support a local bookstore by buying a copy for yourself or a loved one. May the new year bring us closer to our fellow human beings!

Posted on December 15, 2017

Holiday Gingerbread Village

In Anchorage, Alaska, the Captain Cook Hotel displays a gingerbread village during the holidays. Chef Joe Hickel makes it from scratch every year, and it is an amazing thing to see. It’s part of our family’s holiday tradition; we used to take our daughter there before going to Grandma’s on Christmas Eve, and now that she’s grown and out of the house, my husband and I see it as part of our New Year’s Eve celebration. Here are a few photos from last year:

Captain Cook gingerbread 1Captain Cook gingerbread 2Captain Cook gingerbread 3Captain Cook gingerbread 4

Enjoy the holiday season, however you like to celebrate!

Posted on December 8, 2017

Winter Wonderland, Alaska

Alaska is beautiful all year long, but the winter provides great scenery. 

The low sunlight is lovely against the snow and blue sky.

And if you get up north, you have a good chance to see the Northern Lights in the dark sky, too!

 

Here are some shots I’ve taken this winter. Enjoy!

Winter 1, Lynn Lovegreen

Winter 2, Lynn LovegreenWinter 3, Lynn LovegreenWinter 4, Lynn Lovegreen

Posted on December 1, 2017

My NaNoWriMo 2017 Experience

As you may recall, I entered NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year. (See my post from gearing up last month at http://lynnlovegreen.com/nanowrimo-2017/ .) Here’s how it worked out for me:

I wrote most days of the month and finished a rough draft of the third book in my WWII series, set in Fairbanks in 1945. I had fun with it, and completed the draft enough to know what happens and how my main characters end up. There are some places where I left blanks to fill in later, and I closed at 27,466 words. So I didn’t win, in the conventional sense, by getting to 50,000 words. But I met my own goal by finishing a first draft, so I’m satisfied.

For the teen group at the library, the teen librarian wrote thousands of words for his project, and we had three teens who attended throughout the month. They all came up with a concept and main characters and made some progress in their books. So they’re all awesome! And I had a blast writing with them. I hope they’ll come back for our regular teen writing club, and we’ll continue to play around with writing together. That would be wonderful!

Wishing you good reading and writing,

Lynn 

Posted on November 17, 2017

What I’m Thankful For

It’s a crazy world, and it’s easier for me to make a list of things that I’m NOT thankful for—which means it’s a really good time to step back and think carefully about what I AM thankful for. We need to remember that there’s still a lot of good in the world. This isn’t comprehensive, but a few things I am thankful for right now. I hope this inspires you to make your own list.

  1. As always, I am thankful for my wonderful family—they keep me grounded and love me no matter what.
  1. I am thankful for my friends, especially my friends who push me to try greater things, whether I think I’m ready or not. 
  1. I am thankful for good books that give me new ways of seeing the world.
  1. I am thankful for a warm house and hot tea on cold mornings.
  1. I am thankful for living in Alaska, a place of beautiful landscapes and independent yet friendly people.
  1. I am thankful for the American democracy that encourages us not to settle for what is, but reach out for what is best for all of us.
  1. I am thankful for people who try to change the world to make things fairer and greener and better for their neighbors near and far.

What are you thankful for? Answer in the comment section, or post your own list on social media!

Posted on November 11, 2017

Veterans Day

First posted here on 11/11/16:

Veterans Day has always meant a lot to me, as I grew up an Army brat, my husband is a Navy vet, and it was also my mother’s birthday. Here’s a little history of Veterans Day, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, D.C., became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans.

Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day became known as “Armistice Day.”

Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was “the War to end all wars,” November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seven thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.

Armistice Day Changed To Honor All Veterans

The first celebration using the term Veterans Day occurred in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran, organized “National Veterans Day,” which included a parade and other festivities, to honor all veterans. The event was held on November 11, then designated Armistice Day. Later, U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas proposed a bill that would change Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1954, Congress passed the bill that President Eisenhower signed proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. Raymond Weeks received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Reagan in November 1982. Weeks’ local parade and ceremonies are now an annual event celebrated nationwide.

For more information and a Teachers Resource Guide, check out http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/.  Happy Veterans Day, and thanks to all our vets!

Posted on October 27, 2017

NaNoWriMo 2017!

Update November 4:

I’m up to 3869 words so far! Hope everyone is having a good NaNo month.

NaNoWriMo is the nickname for National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge to write a novel from November 1st to the 30th. I’m trying it this year for a couple reasons.

The first reason is that I am leading a teen group of writers at my local library, and we have adopted NaNo for our November activity. We’ve already started brainstorming our novels, and I’m looking forward to working with them as they rise to the challenge and have fun with their writing.

The second reason is that I am looking to recapture the excitement and enthusiasm of my first NaNo experience. Back then, I hadn’t written a whole novel before, and took it on as a challenge. I wrote like mad that month, and soon the words and ideas flowed like a river. I recall one day writing about Bob and Kitty walking home for the USO dance and suddenly thinking, “He’s going to propose!” And he did! That book wasn’t very good, and probably won’t ever be published, but I loved the sensation of characters telling me what to write. That got me hooked, and I’ve been a writer ever since.

 

Do you want to try NaNoWriMo? Check out the adult version at https://nanowrimo.org or the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program at https://ywp.nanowrimo.org.