Monday, February 29, 2016

Inspiration to visit Great River Road Sites on my Way South along the Mississippi

Here in the Heartland of Turtle Island, around Cahokia and the American Fertile River Bottoms I got the inspiration to continue south along the river to find historical sites of the mound builders.   I am writing from Collinsville Il, just across from St Louis, the gateway city today.  Reflecting on the journey Bobbie and I made together to visit his ancestral family sites in Red Bud and Chester Illinois, and then onto Cape Girardeau in Missouri....

Driving south from Collinsville on a sunny Sunday, we first stopped at St John the Baptist Cemetery west of Red Bud where the Hahn  Family rests including Bobbie's grandma, Gabby, Adele M. Cowell Hahn,  See

Bobbie had photos of himself taken here to connect with his ancestors in a good way in prayer.  An honor to share the day and the journey with my nephew.

Not sure if this is a relative, and as Bobbie found the Cowell gravesites, at St Mary's In Chester, I found a couple of the Hahns..Clara here

And Drs John and Anna Hahn. 
Outside of Chester we visited the site of Kaskaskia, once the early capital of Illinois it says and a place where French Pioneers settled in the 1700's.  

View of the Mississippi from the bluffs as we arrived on a sunny warm and windy day. 

Bobbie checking out the sign describing the destruction of the town of Kaskaskia by the the big river when a channel graves reburied on the hill, above the flood plain.
Another view of Missouri and part of Illinois on the west side of the river here.
View of the river bridge we just drove across from IL into MO, in Cape Girardeau.  Young people on he quay skate boarding in the wind.......we walked the old town looking for a coffee house where we could plug into wifi and rest a bit.  Only coffee place we could find open on this Sunday was a Starbucks out near the freeway!   Easy does it Day.  Spring is springing. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Centering By Singing - St Louis, Cahokia Mounds, and Disc Golf with Nephew Bobbi(e)

Whiteout conditions near exit 60, on Weds Feb 24,  where I was considering exiting to visit Carlinville, where Len C Glessner started the Macoupin Co Herald in March 1879 and lived with his wife in a boarding house on main st.   I deselected the turn and headed to Collinsville to meet up with Bobbi(e)...
 My drive to the St Louis area involved taking I 55 southwest from Chicago, and around Bloomington the light snow, started sticking to the road.  When I got below Springfield I noticed cars in the ditch and semi's were avoid the jackknife urge.

 Grateful to have gotten to Collinsville to check in with Bobbi(e) about the recording studio venue he found through his network in St Louis on Park Ave, Utopia Studio's where we arrived 15 min before our 10 AM booking.  My intention has been to record D/Lakota ceremonial songs , to share in a good way for those interested in learning the olewan, songs in a good way. 
 Bobbi(e) after he drove me over the river into St Louis on I 55 in his mom, Maureen's car, with my drum ready on the floor.
 Bobbie, with the set up using his mac book pro and microphones. Drum with tobacco, kashaka's etc

Sound check in the studio prior to a recording session, Thursday Feb 25, 2016 Utopia Studios. 

Willmore Park St Louis,  Disc Golf in the temps of 40's near pad #1, after we worked our way from #11 through 18 and finished off with 1-3 to call it an afternoon after recording on Thursday. 
Pad #1, at Willmore Park in St Louis.

 1880 Census from Carlinville listing Mary Preston 33 year old boarding house keeper at 447 Main St near bottom of page
1880 census Carlinville with Leonard C (27) and Emma C Glessner listed as boarders at 447 Main Street in the rooming house... his job "printer and editor"
 ON Friday I drove 60 miles north, to visit Carlinville.  Here is the Macoupin Co Courthouse, Carlinville IL on Main St North where I walked to look for a 447, and did not find one. (sandstone)   I did find microfilm of the Macoupin Co Herald, with the head line of LC Glessner edit with the first issue in March 1879 at the local Library. 

Following my vision to be present on the top of the hill at Cahokia, to listen, we choose to arrive at "Monk's Mound' the largest mound at Cahokia around 5 AM on Sat Feb 27.   Filling my chan nupa at the base, we walked to the top of the flat mound with the intention of recording "what came up for us there"  2 of the deer nation were in the shadows there, and I remember, hehaka "those with antlers, antennae" welcomed us.   The sun slowly came up from the east, and with temps below freezing, we soon found a dancing rhythm  to stay warm an in our bodies.....Bobbie set up his outdoor portable studio.   

Our microphone "antenna" with the first light of the sun....above Cahokia, now considered the "City of the Sun" in writings....

Bobbie and his computer and mic set up. 

Bobbie with a demo of Koko's Kashaka's warming dance with the equipment at dawn light. 

Looking to the south east and the visitors center at Cahokia State Park and World Heritage Center in the early morning light from the top of the mound. 

"Monks Mound" sign on the way back to the car.....

Photo of the author carrying my teaching chan nupa down from the hill, prior to smoking with Bobbie D Foster 
 Before going to Maureen O'Halloran Foster's home, Bobbie got a hit to revisit the visitors center, where we both found resources to support our journey's .  Here is a sign that caught my eye around the National Road that started in Maryland and ended in E St Louis....that goes through Ohio, and the effects that road had on tourism and the mounds here.

And the history of tourism and defacing of the mounds and now the recovery process.   Bobbie was led to be more of a participant in the restoration here, and joined as a member of the Cahokia community, as his mom, lives in the area, in Collinsville...

After a day visiting his mom, during midday, we decided to find another disc golf venue.  This one out by rural Lebanon, 9 holes with baskets in the woods where we met a chetan relative, sharp shinned hawk. at hole #5.  
 Bobbie readying to throw at Hole #1 into the woods.
 View of first basket area of Lebanon Disc Golf Course north of town. Horner Park that was not open for the spring season.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Discgolfing in Chicagoland, Glessner Graves in St Louis and Recording songs near Cahokia Mounds

Here in Deerfield IL, where Terrie and Garry host me at the Chestnut Lodge,  on Monday Feb 22,  I discovered a disc golf course between two parks, Keller on the west and Alan Shepard on the east.   Threw the 9 hole course here , as I started the pattern of playing each day to stay in shape walking and throwing.
Example of a multiple use back, with a basket near a playground.  Late February with brown grass and wet thawing ground.

Example at pad #3 of how the course is easily followed without carrying a map.  
 The cement pads here have the # and distance and map embedded right in them.  I nice feature I had not seen before...

#5 is the first one in Shepard Park and a small creek is crossed with the throw with the basket under the evergreen.  Note the walking bridge to the left.  

Final hole in Shepard Park with distinct map on the pad. 
 Final approach to basket #9 on Shepard Park part of the course.

Visit to Graceland Cemetery, resting place of JJ and Frances Glessner.

I arranged a meeting with a MKP man, Burke in the neighborhood by Graceland Cemetery Tuesday Feb 23, and arrived at Graceland around 10 AM.  Got a map and walked to this site, two simple slabs to honor my Glessner relatives by a small lake.

Snowdrops, an early spring flower, shining and greeting me near the grave site on the cool morning.

Frances Macbeth Glessner and John Francis Glessner marker.

John Jacob Glessner Marker 

Immediately thought of my nephew, niece Bobbi(e) when I found this nearby marker with a flautist...

Walked around the lake and found more ornate markers, like this one from the Potter Family  

And a personal favorite for the Goodman family, bas relief  
Went south on US 41, to Hammond Indiana. Pulaski Park has a full 18 holes.
Beginning of the course by the road to the east at Pulaski Park.  

Near the end of the 18 holes, facing NE with my shadow toward a basket at Pulaski Park.  My last disc golf prior to driving south.

Got up early at the Chestnut Lodge and drove south beginning at 5 AM on Wednesday Feb 24, just before Bloomington IL, saw a light snow haze and got heavier as I drove south 

Conditions near Carlinville IL, where I hoped to visit the site of my great grandfathers boarding house at 447 Main St in 1880 and where he published the Macoupin County Newspaper for 3-4 years.

Recording Day Thursday Feb 25,  St Louis Park Ave Utopia Studios.

Here is Bobbi(e) as we arrived at 9:45 for a 10 AM appointment for a recording studio here in St Louis.....

Bobbi(e) setting up our recording session. 

Sound check prior to our recording session.  

Recording set up for our 2 hour session. 
Willmore Park disc golf Course overview, south side of the park.  18 holes and we played 11-18 and then 1 +2 before we found the beginning pad.
Pad #1 of the Willmore Course in St Louis