Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Eli S. Ricker: A Cautionary Tale

When one of my students, who is engaged in researching and drafting a research essay, described her intention of finding more than three times the required number of sources, I made a reference to Eli S. Ricker in my comments.

Eli S. Ricker, who was a county judge in Nebraska during the late 19th century, spent more than a decade collecting research on the interactions between American settlers and the Native people, with the intention of writing a book titled The Final Conflict Between the Red Man and the Pale Faces. He is known for having interviewed witnesses to Wounded Knee, for example. He became so engrossed in the research, collecting more than 1,500 pages of notes, that he never wrote the book.

As a cautionary tale for students and writers, the story of Eli S. Ricker emphasizes the importance of recognizing when to put the researching aside in favor of the writing. Research, although often more enjoyable than the writing, must come to a stop at some point.

Eli S. Ricker’s research has since been collected by Richard E. Jensen and published as two volumes, Voices of the American West, Volume 1: The Indian Interviews of Eli S. Ricker, 1903-1919 and Voices of the American West, Volume 2: The Settler and Soldier Interviews of Eli S. Ricker, 1903-1919.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Pictures From the Park

This last set of pictures comes from the park across the street from where I live.  These pictures cover a three or four day period in late October.

Color Within the City

Within the city where I live, it is possible to find a few secluded spots where the trees are particularly pretty.  As a colorblind person, I sometimes have problems distinguishing the subtleties because the reds in the first picture tend to create big splotches of color. The farmstead in the second picture is now threatened with an industrial park and the construction of houses to the south. That construction is not visible in pictures two through six.

Autumnal Transformation

This autumn has been a particularly colorful one where I live. I am adding two pictures below that show the transformation in one scene over the course of four or five days.