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Chapter 1

Rebecca McClanahan Indiana University Press ePub

To read another’s diary is to enter a private chamber. When the diarist is a sixteen-year-old girl, the trespass takes on another dimension. And when that sixteen-year-old girl is a long-dead aunt, the world flips on its axis. In the life we lived together, Bessie was seventy years my senior—always, and only, it seemed to me, old. My life stretched before me; hers, I supposed, was already gone. In the diary life we now share, she is nearly young enough to be my own great-niece. Even more disturbing is the time-warp quality of our encounter. Though her words toss me one hundred and ten years into the past, she abides in the pulsing, present-tense now. Sometimes, in the middle of an entry, she disappears for a few hours to attend to ironing or churning, or to answer her younger sister’s call, returning to the page as if out of breath or flushed from the weedy garden’s heat, or rapturous from a sleigh ride with cousins and friends.

Each page of a diary fills only with now. So, Bessie’s diary of 1897 muscles along, day by calendar day, an inchworm making its blind progress with little care for what has gone before and no knowledge of what lies ahead, beyond a girl’s vague landscape of hopes and dreams. I cannot reach through the pages and take her hand, warn her of what is to come. And if I could, would it change her course of action? The global things, of course, will be out of her control: the four wars she will live through, the bread lines, foreclosures and riots, the 1920s march of the Klan through Indiana towns, the assassination of a beloved president. But there are choices closer to home that she might make, roads diverging. If she knew in advance how the lives of those she loves would play out, would she choose not to grow so close to them? Not to visit the doomed family in Wisconsin or take in the smells of her mother’s kitchen or toss the wedding rice over her cousin’s shoulders as she leaps with her groom onto the train platform? Would foreknowledge of her brother’s fate change her actions—her absence at the hard end, the regret she would carry to her death? And if she knew that one day a great-niece would sift through the diary and through stacks of letters and documents that open the closed doors of the family’s past, would she have firmly closed that door? Locked up the evidence and thrown away the key? Or would she have given it all, gladly, into my hand?

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9 The Paleoenvironment of the Bernissart Iguanodons: Sedimentological Analysis of the Lower Cretaceous Wealden Facies in the Bernissart Area

Pascal Godefroit Indiana University Press ePub

Paul Spagna*, Johan Yans, Johann Schnyder, and Christian Dupuis

The Wealden facies at Hautrage and Bernissart (Mons Basin, Belgium) have been investigated following different sedimentological parameters, including lithofacies evolution, mineralogical and granulometric data, and organic matter properties. A six-step paleoenvironmental evolution can be observed in the Hautrage Clays Formation at Hautrage (10 km from Bernissart), in relation with the variation of the base level (deepening upward) inside a floodplain. Three sedimentological units can be recognized in the Sainte-Barbe Clays Formation of the Iguanodon Sinkhole at Bernissart, leading to a 2D modeling of the Bernissart paleolake. A schematic east–west paleovalley map is finally proposed, integrating all the new paleoenvironmental information collected in the Wealden facies from the Mons Basin.

9.1. Log and synthesis of different sequences recognized in the Hautrage Clays Formation in the Wealden facies of the Hautrage pocket. From Spagna (2010).

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Chapter 39 Twenty Sixth Year

William Williams Indiana University Press ePub

August 20. My Son Has been now returned about a month and has brought With him a Young Indian Girl, By name Bashada. She is the Grandaughter of Old Komaloot and not above fifteen Years of Age, altho so tall that she measures at least above Five feet four inches; so that if he could not obtain one of the fair Ladies of his Fathers country he has made it up In length of person as to one of his own sort. But she seems to be of an agreeable temper and Person, so that I am at Ease on that score—were it not for the misery I undergo As to the agony of my limbs, being so much tormented at times that Sleep is a stranger to my nights. Nor can I but Seldom hold a pen or any other light thing in my hand, such A tremor attends me almost constantly. Yet I can Strike Fish or do other laborious work as easy as heretofore. And what adds to my sorrow is that I fear I shall soon be past the power of writing unless my disease should abate, Which I little expect from the nature of disorder which Is Fish Poison; and I am sufficiently confirmed in it As none tasted of it except my Girl America and myself, She being touched with the like simptoms but being young May outgrow it. As for my Part, I can take but little joy or comfort nowadays, but if my disorder continues to gain Ground my days cannot be many more either here or any Where else in this World….

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23 “We Will Fight with Every Means at Our Disposal”

RushJr. Loving Indiana University Press ePub

There were 14 bidders in all, each offering more than $1 billion for 85 percent of Conrail. Two railroads were in the race; the others ranged from a hotel magnate to the owner of several TV stations. Most offers were for paper, but Norfolk and several others made cash bids, each for roughly the same amount—$1.2 billion. Yet that was not an impressive sum, because—even though Conrail still could show no five-year record of consistently strong earnings—the company was worth more than that. It had $800 million in the bank, which was more than half what Norfolk and the others were offering. To keep Norfolk Southern from getting the entire company, CSX had sent in its own bid, but it consisted of a promise to pay off Conrail’s debts and provide some stock.

The battle lines now were beginning to form between NS and CSX, but neither Hayes Watkins nor Bob Claytor wanted war. CSX still hoped that NS would agree to a split, and John Snow was telling reporters that he was certain the other side would ultimately see good sense. NS remained paranoid about CSX’s size, hoping the other company would keep nursing its idea of a partnership and refrain from any open combat while Norfolk bought up Conrail and sold any duplicate routes to small regional railroads, thereby keeping CSX out altogether and establishing NS’s ultimate supremacy.

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10 The Masked Messenger

Rudolf A. Raff Indiana University Press ePub

When Beth and I returned to State College at the end of the long, anticlimactic journey back from Mexico via Oklahoma, we packed our car full of our possessions and set off for Boston to start postdoctoral work. We moved into the entire middle floor of an enormous frame house in Watertown, built about 1900 by a prosperous dentist who had an expansive family to accommodate. Our only pet at the time was a gopher tortoise we had rescued from the highway in Oklahoma. He was charming in his own reptilian way. We’d off er him lettuce and he’d go for it. Once a bite was taken, he’d drift off absentmindedly, lettuce forgotten until he’d catch a glimpse of the green. Then he’d frantically charge back for another bite. We found him a good home with a herpetologist. I settled into Paul’s lab, and Beth started as a postdoc in biochemistry at Tufts Medical School. Boston was an entirely new experience. We quickly found the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Both had wonderful collections and were places we could aff ord to visit on postdoc salaries in an expensive city. Hal White, our friend from Penn State, was now a postdoc at Harvard. His wife Jean was a graduate student at Brandeis University. With them we discovered close-by canoe and swimming streams in New Hampshire and the wonderful Ponkapoag Pond in the Blue Hills nature preserve.

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