One of the unique items I found at the U.S. Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C. was a varied display of train depot replicas made with natural materials. Combined with these depots were trains running throughout the display area.
I really liked the festive, natural environment around the displays – with all the holiday color and excitement. Take a look.
Don’t you enjoy the hometown feeling as you look at this artwork and seeing the trains move about the tracks? There seems to be something magical about trains. They tend to let us escape from our stress a little – maybe giving us a sense of taking a trip.
Here is a little video clip of the various trains in the U.S. Botanical Garden and Conservatory.
Also, while walking through the Union Station in Washington, D.C. we liked their decorations in the central hall. Travelers were scurrying about to reach their destinations. They appeared to like the festive displays, which provided a little brightness in their day.
So, let’s take a ride and escape the pressures – enjoy the beauty, enjoy the season – remembering the efforts God made to bring peace to this world, allowing us to cast our cares upon Him.
Yes, life gets busy, especially during occasions like Christmas and various holiday celebrations. But, let’s not forget to pause some, enjoy the ride, the sights, the sounds of life all around.
Each of us has our own spiritual thoughts and beliefs as we all have freedom of choice. I choose to believe in and trust in the one born to give us abundant and eternal life – Jesus Christ. We can have peace and love, even in the midst of the traveling and the stress of life.
Where is your train depot and which journey do you want to take?
Nestled among the federal buildings, traffic, hustle and bustle, along with trying to drive to keep from crashing while checking for special sites – is a wonderful botanic garden – practically on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
I guess it is befitting so those who work in Washington,
D.C. to be able to have a garden to provide a little stress relief. It’s good for guests too!
I was pleasantly surprised during our visit in late November to see the special displays mixed with the unique garden and conservatory.
Wow, it is amazing to see some of the monuments and special structures build with natural resources.
The displays fit right in with the Christmas and holiday decorations.
I wondered why the sculptures are placed around – particularly dinos? As I researched a little further, I noticed the Colorado area is known for dinosaur fossils.
According to the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, fossils of well-known species of large dinosaurs have been discovered in this area over the last 120 years. Many of the dinosaur fossils discovered at Garden Park area are on exhibit at museums around the country, including the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Fossils of two-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs, dinosaur eggs, and dinosaur tracks have also been discovered in the Garden Park Fossil Area. In addition to dinosaur bones, Garden Park contains 2 significant, rare plant species, Brandegee wild buckwheat and inch milkweed.
Go or stay, when in harms way? To me, that’s a no-brainer. If my life and family is at risk for loss of life, do you think I would stay in a threat environment without making a change? For sure – NO.
However, many people choose to remain in the main threat area during catastrophic weather – such as Hurricane Michael churning in the Gulf of Mexico toward the Florida Panhandle. (Update: Now that Michael has made landfall the decision was made and people have to live with that decision; however, those still in the path of Michael into Georgia and northward can still make an informed decision.)
I’m watching Michael and it brings back memories of Ivan.
I recall working in Florida’s State Emergency Management Center in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan attacked the Florida Panhandle area that borders Alabama.
The Category 3 storm struck with a fury, pushing the ocean on shore and blowing structures apart.
The general public probably doesn’t understand the concept of all the work going on behind-the-scenes in so many emergency planning teams and centers when a disaster strikes. I know! I’ve been there and observed firsthand. It is AMAZING all the dedication and countless hours performed by government employees and volunteers.
Preparations for Hurricane Michael remain similar to those crises of years past as thousands prepare, respond and recover.
People can help. Local emergency management teams know the areas best and they have studied their areas in detail. If they say to evaluate or take certain precautions, please do so. Once the main threat of a hurricane is underway, emergency response teams can’t respond.
I recall a phone call I received during Hurricane Ivan.
A dad called from California stating he was talking on the phone with his daughter who was in a condominium on the beach near Pensacola, Florida. She was in her room a few stories above ground level.
The dad said his daughter mentioned the winds were picking up and she could see the ocean pouring in at the bottom floor. He pleaded for her to take cover and protect herself.
Then … all of a sudden… he heard glass breaking and whirling wind. He had no sound nor response from his daughter. He provided the address to me and asked for an emergency responder to check on her. I advised they will not be able to check until conditions subside. He seemed desperate.
I told the dad I would pass his information to our law enforcement emergency support team and they may be able to relay information to the search-and-rescue teams when they begin their mission as soon as conditions permit.
– Ron Tittle
So…if you have loved ones around the potential impact areas, please encourage them to listen to local authorities and heed their advice.
Also, continue to monitor local and national news.The Weather Channel is excellent at keeping the public updated. https://weather.com/
Everyone should also understand how so many agencies are poised and respond immediately when safe to do so. Currently more than 1,500 Florida National Guard troops are placed in active service by Florida’s governor with thousands on stand-by.
The Guard typically performs planning and staging missions beforehand to ensure their resources are properly placed and ready to move in immediately to the impacted areas.
Many military missions will include helping with search-and-rescue, security, aviation support, moving supplies and equipment, and so many other responsibilities as determined by the State Emergency Operations Center. Usually hundreds or thousands of Guard troops come from other states, along with active duty federal military, Coast Guard and other agencies.
State agencies conduct similar planning and response. Fish and Wildlife Commission teams do quite well in search-and-rescue along with various law enforcement agencies and fire/rescue teams.
The Florida Department of Transportation has emergency operations centers working in conjunction with the states’s emergency management center. They have professional engineers who have already been studying the potential impact of the storm and anticipate how they will respond quickly to assist in recovery. Once conditions permit, teams will provide a damage assessment to ensure bridges and roadways are safe for the public to use. The traveling public must be patient. It takes time to provide sufficient assessments. All of the response efforts are coordinated with the State Emergency Management Center to ensure the most effective and safe response to, within and from the impact areas, and so the proper resourcing can be provided. They also coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Similar to Hurricane Ivan, I suspect many roads will have some of their structure base washed out or damaged in some way to prevent vehicles from crossing. The repairs could take some time.
So! Do you risk it with your life or family? After all, our protection and safety is the primary responsibility of government. Yet we have to take responsibility as well.
The restless cowboys and presumed outlaws have decided there would be a showdown. They began forming at O.K. Corral and had their guns prepared.
According to a timeline by John D. Gilchriese, writer and collector, these are the major events of the gunfight:
The Street Fight – October 26, 1881
The gunfight lasted about 30 seconds.
According to Gilchriese, Wyatt Earp, when asked about the “Gunfight at O.K. Corral,” stated: “It was a street fight between my brothers, Doc, and myself and those who believed they could shoot down the Earps.” Wyatt apparently had a chuckle about the allusion of the “gunfight” at O.K. Corral, that was probably created by fictional writers to make it more exciting.
Wyatt also drew the locations of the shooters as he recounted the scenario.
The exact location of the fight? Freemont Street, south side and east of 3rd Street
Who fired first? Frank McLaury and Wyatt Earp
Who died? Frank and Tom McLaury, Billy Clanton
Who was wounded? Virgil and Morgan Earp
Where did each man stand? (as drawn by Don Perceval)
Did the fight start in the street? No, for six seconds the antagonists were in the vacant lot before they backed into Freemont Street
Where is Sheriff John Behan? Behind Fly’s Boarding House
Where is Ike Clanton and Billy Claiborne? Hiding in Fly’s Boarding House
How would the Earps escape this eventual tragedy? They wanted to prosper in the thriving town of Tombstone, mainly due to the silver ore that was being mined and the businesses developing in the west.
I have to wonder where the town’s people stood on the issues. Did they not care enough to get involved to help those who were there to protect them?
There is an old saying (paraphrased) that for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to do nothing.
What about the families of the Clantons, Claibornes and McLaurys? While there is evidence they too wanted to be business affiliates, but also were entangled with the criminal element, I wonder how their side of the story goes?
Well, as things escalated in Tombstone, Arizona it was becoming inevitable there would be a major clash between outlaws such as The Cowboys and former, as well as present, law enforcers.
It seems like a lot of people were wearing badges but they were having to be replaced regularly. Also, who could you trust to uphold the law honestly?
Wearing a badge as sheriff, deputy or U.S. Marshal apparently wasn’t an easy task, and in reality placed a target on each one. It appears the Earps sure tried their best to not get involved.
The Earps didn’t want trouble as they came to Tombstone to make a profit with their business adventures. They even left their enforcement career behind, hoping to start over, living in prosperity and happiness.
When Doc Holliday came to town he apparently wanted to refrain from conflict too, particularly at the request of the Earps.
However, the provocation of the outlaws continued and he had no choice.
Isn’t that also like life today. People want to disrupt our efforts at home and abroad to better their agenda and disrupt efforts to benefit families, peace and prosperity.
Here is a video clip of Part 2 as the scene continues to build toward the eventual, deadly showdown at O.K. Corral.
Well, this post is primarily about Tombstone, Arizona.
During our travels through Arizona we ventured south through Tucson. I had previously been to Tucson and enjoyed the area then so due to time constraints we decided to visit Tombstone.
According to Wikipedia, Tombstone is a historic city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. It was founded in 1879 by prospector Ed Schieffelin, who was briefly a scout for the U. S. Army headquartered at Camp Huachuca. He frequently searched wilderness areas looking for valuable ore samples. Before the Tombstone name was developed the area was called Pima County, Arizona Territory.
In 1877, Schieffelin used Brunckow’s Cabin as a base of operations and began surveying the area. After many months he found pieces of silver ore. It took months to find the source. According to reports, Schieffelin’s legal mining claim was sited near a grave site. In September 1877 he filed his first claim and named the stake Tombstone. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tombstone,_Arizona for details.)The town was established on a mesa (flat-topped hill) above the Goodenough Mine. Within two years of its founding Tombstone had a bowling alley, four churches, an ice house, a school, two banks, three newspapers, and an ice cream parlor, alongside 110 saloons, 14 gambling halls, and numerous dance halls and brothels. I’m sure the ice cream parlor was the favorite.
Tombstone became one of the last boomtowns in the American frontier.
The businesses were situated among, and on top of a large number of silver mines. The gentlemen and ladies of Tombstone attended operas presented by visiting acting troupes at the Schieffelin Hall opera house. Miners and cowboys saw shows at the Bird Cage Theatre and brothel.
The town grew significantly into the mid-1880s as the local mines produced millions in silver bullion, the largest productive silver district in Arizona. Population grew from 100 to around 14,000 in less than seven years.
At the Santa Rita mines in nearby Santa Cruz Valley, three superintendents had been killed by Indians. When friend and fellow Army Scout Al Sieber learned what Schieffelin was up to, he is quoted as telling him, “The only rock you will find out there will be your own tombstone”, or, according to another version of the story, “Better take your coffin with you, Ed; you will only find your tombstone there, and nothing else.”  [references through Wikepedia)
Tombstone’s Courthouse today provides a good collection of authentic interpretive exhibits, including: the period Sheriff’s Office, artist drawings and interpretations of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Wyatt Earp, mining exhibit area, saloon and gaming room, period lawyers office and courtroom, ranching, and residents of Tombstone. (More information at https://tombstonecourthouse.com/history-of-the-courthouse/)
Life was similar to what one would think as reflected in the western movies. I imagine Tombstone was pretty rough with the mix of the rowdy, criminal, mischievous and law-abiding guests and residents. Additionally, the town was far removed from larger towns where the “rule of law” prevailed.
Eventually, with the wildness of the territory, there becomes a showdown. The next post will highlight that historical event.
Love and blessings,
Beebe, Lucius Morris; Clegg, Charles. The American West: the Pictorial Epic of a Continent.
“Across Arizona”. Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 66 (364). March 1883.
Bishop, William Henry (1888). Mexico, California and Arizona. New York and London: Harper and Brothers. p. 468. Retrieved May 29, 2012.