Troutbirder II - Click pic below to view

Troutbirder II - Click pic below to view
Book reviews plus miscellaneous

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Big River, A Book and Me


In Old Man River, Paul Schneider tells the story of the river at the center of America’s rich history—the Mississippi. Some fifteen thousand years ago, the majestic river provided Paleolithic humans with the routes by which early man began to explore the continent’s interior. Since then, the river has been the site of historical significance, from the arrival of Spanish and French explorers in the 16th century to the Civil War. George Washington fought his first battle near the river, and Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman both came to President Lincoln’s attention after their spectacular victories on the lower Mississippi.
In the 19th century, home-grown folk heroes such as Daniel Boone and the half-alligator, half-horse, Mike Fink, were creatures of the river. Mark Twain and Herman Melville led their characters down its stream in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Confidence-Man. A conduit of real-life American prowess, the Mississippi is also a river of stories and myth.

As a boy I played and fished along the Mississippi River as it wandered through St. Paul below our home on the Bluffs above the river. Later, I even took my fiancĂ©e on a date, a canoe outing near Pigs Eye downstream.  I was  bow and arrow fishing for carp (how romantic and she even married me). Later,  when we moved downstream to teach and raise a family, I still took a boat out into the backwaters. As for the nation,  the Big River has been an important thread running through Americas history and my life as well.  Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating retrospective of the Mississippi and its history… Old Man River.
Addendum:  The really cool thing about the Mississippi as it winds its way between Minnesota and Wisconsin is you never know what your going to catch.  One this day,  I caught Mrs. T. who agreed to come along to read a book and work on her tan. And incidentally Minnesota's State Fish the delicious walleyed pike....:)
 

 

19 comments:

  1. I have never read that book. I should put it on my list!

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  2. I immediately burst out in song when I started reading this post... Love that song (Ole Man River)... It does just keep on rolling along...

    Wow--what a fish you caught... Your Sweetie must have brought you some good luck..

    Merry Christmas.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  3. Every time I have rode the bridge over the Mississippi I look down and wonder what secrets it holds and how has the ecology of the river changed over time. Maybe this book will tell me the real stories. -- barbara

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  4. What a great title for that book and congratulations on that impressive catch! I love your new banner photo with the grand kids too.

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  5. Thanks for the review of the book. And not to mention your own personal history as well. Very interesting catches you made, TB. :-)

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  6. troutbirder - The book sounds interesting, but I like better the anecdote about fishing, dating & romance. (Of course sbe married you. You showed you could feed her!)

    BTW, the picture of you & your family is great. Happy Holidays!

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  7. I tend to forget that the Mississippi is not just a southern river.
    Dave had the same thought I did about your wife marrying you. You proved you could provide for the dinner table. Rather an important attribute to consider in a mate.
    I'll check out that book.

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  8. Spent lots of time on it boating and fishing.

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  9. Last of the red hot fishermen for sure! :)

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  10. WI has the muskie, wouldn't you know? A trophy fish.

    Since NC is on the ocean, we have a saltwater and freshwater state fish. The fresh water is our own brook trout. The red drum is our saltwater. And both are delicious, like your walleye pike.

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  11. I haven't read that book but it sounds like one I would like to read!

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  12. This is definitely not to be confused with the Mississippi River that is a tributary of the Ottawa River and runs through Carleton Place and the northern part of Lanark County.

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  13. Yes, you caught your future wife a fish for dinner. To my notion, the walleye is the only fish worth eating (except for maybe a trout!)

    Cheers,

    Jo

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  14. It sounds like an idyllic life on the river. Exploring and investigating the world around us. That's a big pike! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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  15. Do you know I;ve never had a walleyed pike? Wow, I probably have missed one of life's gourmet natural foods. Nice review, TB. Merry Christmas! I am off to Colonial Williamsburg for Christmas, taking my Meacham's bio of Jefferson to read!

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  16. I hope you and your sweetie are having a wonderful week before Christmas. This time next week, we will have a belly full of turkey!!! Yum!
    Keep warm my friend!
    xo Catherine

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  17. Oh...and then soon be snoozing on the couch... ;)

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  18. Thanks for the book review. I love your picture on the Header. Your son is a dead ringer for you.

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  19. In a short time, Liz and I will be heading out on our mostly annual eagle watching trip along the Mississippi River from Dubuque to Quad Cities. One year we only saw one bald eagle, but usually we see at least 40-60. Beautiful stretch of river through there.

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