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tv   Book Discussion on The Oregon Trail  CSPAN  February 28, 2016 12:30am-1:31am EST

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70s. i had to get out there every day and there is a boat that only ran and they said it's there's a schoolteacher and she's down at the boston docs every morning from 6:30 a.m. and you can get a ride to the island any day you want. so i got down there and there is a skinny guy there, mid- 20s guy, i remember he had a beautiful sunburn. i felt like we belong together you can just tell that he may have had a wacky upbringing just like me. so not every morning but a few mornings a week that i will go out to the islands i would write back and forth in this little metal boat with a skinny guy by the name of pat calmly. pat went on -- the first time i
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sort of caught up with him the river was why it was made into a movie. so i've been back to savannah few times it is kind of sentimental being here. so what happened is my publicist told me almost a year ago something like that and just as we were making preparations for my book on the oregon trail that there is this think of the savannah book festival. i did not pay much attention at the time because there's so many other things going on but i just assumed it would be the kind of venue like most of my talks were. i go to give a powerpoint presentation and i have a nice one, i'll show them what the oregon trail actually looks like today and explain how we became the first, my brother and i became the first to cross the trail. after that i do somebody readings from my book and
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everything is great. so i do not think much about it and then back in november i called out and i said i wouldn't make sure you have a power play presentation ready, my reading, my talk, and they said oh you don't have to worry about all that. were not doing a powerpoint because you're going to be speaking in a church. were just fine, authors stand up and read from the pages of the book it gets so boring. so she goes, you just come down here, do i have to wear a tie? no, just come down here until the folk what makes you tick.
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[laughter] i was immediately worried because because i spent a lot of money over the years and some of the best offices of psychotherapists in the country. we have have never figured out what makes me tick. so that got me started and i will start this way, i will get to the oregon trail book and a bit and i will leave plenty of time for questions. if that's what folks are interested in. but i want to start this way, i stand before you as someone who with complete plausibility and no prior planning is not only the youngest aviator to fly america coast-to-coast but the first person to take a covered wagon across the oregon trail and a century. so how do you get to that level
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of weirdness, how does that happen? so i thought i would start this way talk a bit about a subject that has always interested me. first of all, we tend to talk about important periods of in life, christening, wedding, second wedding, third wedding as pivotal moments in life. if you remember back in the seventies, gail sheehy published a book called passages and it was very popular at the time. it was all about the traditional shared moments in life, passages that we all have to go through. the only problem i had with what gail wrote was there is a lot of other passages that are equally more important than the official ones that are recognized. for instance is the first job, and i have the a book called the first job and all the crazy antics that happened to me. when i got out of college and
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got a job at a newspaper that put me to work writing obituaries. it had not not occurred to me before i started writing obituaries that the way you spell the last name has any significance at all. people people call up and say i'm not dead and stuff like that. so first job is really important in that book is going to be reissued. but probably the most important and most formative period is called the adolescent turning in, 12, 13, 14, 15, maybe you have children or grandchildren now and they say from what i am reading in the papers that everything is starting earlier now but 12 - 15, the adolescent turning inches this is the. you the. you wake up one morning and everything is waking up everything is going fine and you wake up in the morning and is
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like my hair is not straight anymore. i come from the most embarrassing family on the planet, catholicism is just, i mean when do they expect me to believe that i am consuming the body of christ. all of these things, the priest in school and you're just convinced that your life is horrible at nothing and no one is more miserable than you. so what happened to me at that age was we had an eccentric household, grew up on a farm in northern new jersey in the middle of a republican hunt country. the only problem being we are the only democrats in the whole county and we had 11 kids which was unusual. my dad was quite eccentric. we had a carriage collection of 25 or 30 wagons.
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when we got bored with that we started building airplanes in the barnett stuff like that. all of this interesting stuff. my dad would dad would come home after a big day's work and we had a yellow school bus parked by the barn and we had a lot of kids and friends and he would take us to the dairy queen and this eccentric yellow school bus. i had had a lot to be embarrassed about. my dad at the time was associate publisher of a magazine, in those days we would keep the title publisher for themselves and he was very involved in politics and civil rights struggle. and then the anti- vietnam protest and so forth. so i that age i was really embarrassed about my father getting in arrested and people
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would know that i was coming from a crazy family. my adolescent turning in what i did did was, i did not call for support or get grumpy, or sneak out and drive the car, i became a big reader. reading is so important for the formation of a writer. so what would happen is i would go down there and we would have this pitiful library and all walk-in fireplace and i would i would just love to read. i was a little precocious i think. i went down there is on the shelf you cannot miss it this big long shelf with all the same book, all blue and they said the collected speeches of winston churchill. so i took them upstairs and
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started reading away. it was fascinating fascinating for me. i still can't believe i did it but we learned all about the indian question, virus question, how'd churchill had to stand up and defend the debacle that just happened with the battle in turkey in world war i. the other book that i've found and i was mad at my father about it for a while was the six volume biography of abraham lincoln by carl samberg. i went all the way through that. my little brother is a hey did you finish reading the biography of lincoln, that it started it at easter, this was august or something. i got mad at my father at the end of it because you get to the end of a six volume biography of abraham lincoln, six of volume a
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condensed version of everything. i'm going dad why didn't you tell me it's a must like cliff notes here. and he goes well i do want to spoil the experience for you. so what would happen is because of my, because my dad was very active in politics and kind of a big guy in the democratic party and he quit his job in 1959 to work for the kennedy campaign for a year and then he went back to it and so forth. the people that came out our place on weekends, everyone would come out and we would take them for carriage rides and things like that. there were newspaper columnists, politicians and so forth, i could drop a few names but is not important.
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they would all sit around to get in these big debates about my father's been elaborately there about what are we going to do about vietnam, was the pack went to have on lyndon johnson. i'm sitting there, i'm the only kid in the family that is at all interested to sit and listen to it. the 60s was all about what you think all these eminent people sitting around, when they say what think what's going to happen to lyndon. and i said well i think we have to go back and consider what winston churchill said about chamberlain during the crisis. of these guys would say are all your kids like that? and we got talking about martin luther king and the civil rights
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struggle. there is a point when martin luther king in addition to a civil-rights activity came out and oppose the vietnam war which i have always felt to find him because he said this morality is going to apply across everything, not just civil-rights. but it it was very controversial at the time and my dad was a few people at the time was defending. again where there it's nice beautiful fall day, beautiful views at the windows and the fire is crackling, everybody sitting around, all these bigwigs, what you think. but you really need to consider this in light of the free debates in congress in 1854, i was so what was great about this writing was working for me,
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being a big writer was working for me, my dad recognize me, none of the other kids were interested in this kind of intellectual engagement, my father had because of the depression they have been wiped out by the depression, he had never graduated from high school and they didn't have equivalency degrees or anything like that. no education so he started exhibiting these extraordinary interest in me. later it became meddling and i wrote about it because he was too involved, essentially what he was doing was encouraging me and all my history papers he would send her out to his friends and some included historians, it was a way of getting recognition and this adolescent turning and was starting to work for me in a certain way. the next thing that happened i remembered in my writing career
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that i'm dying to share with you is pretty significant, i went to a little schools in new jersey and it was a boys academy. it was kind like the little school that could, would show up in a station wagon full of kids they had guys that massaged your likes and stuff like that, but so it was up a great place in some ways. they they had a tradition there of freshman hazing. seniors and juniors, any upperclassman could haze a freshman, freshman, asked them to do whatever they wanted. like a senior could tell you to
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shine tissues and you are supposed to carry this little shoe shine kit around. i could tell who the nurse to my class were going to be because these guys were running around with shoe kids practically the begging the senior to tell them. and so there is a guy walking around and i told him to shine my shoes and he did. i was figuring there's ways around the world. i did get to the bus stop and there is a lady that came by, agnes, she to come by in this beat up vw bug. she was kind of old, whenever we were coming up at the bus stop and doing something we were not supposed to be doing it she would come by in the volkswagen. the guys used to moon her a lot, so the senior sought it coming up the road and he says to me
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shine a bare moon to the moon lady she is coming. and i did it, i figured well i can't get out of this one and he is a senior in my culpability is very well here because my accountability is low because a senior maybe do it. that's what i did i gave her a really good bare moon. she screeches to a halt, stops at a pay phone, calls the police and before the bus could come but before the bus could get there the cops come. they actually arrested me and took me to to the station. in help my career. it just help me immensely because everybody has school was that yeah. there are kids that would like cops when i got to the police station the cops -- so i got
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driven back to school in a police car and the kids were hanging out the window. so in those days we had something, it seems so antiquated, catholic schools had somebody called the dean of discipline. and father said i got you now. he said you know i could give you weeks of detention, i got something in store for you. the worst punishment possible. and i said oh okay what, i'm calling your dad at work and i'm telling him about this. so i get home that night and my dad is sitting in their and i
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know it's serious because he is home on time. he did not go to the aa meeting on the way home, he just came straight home. he goes, son and i know he's angry at me is that i'm going to give you a good lesson. i'm not going to get angry, i'm going to show you how this defect in your character, this exhibitionism that you seem to display, i'm going to show you how that can be turned for the good of the world. and i said okay dad. go upstairs to your room and write a letter of apology to this woman. and i said dad that's a great idea, i'll go up there and do it. i remember this was the point in the communication technology when we are making the from the manual to the electric typewriter and i had this little portable smith corona typewriter that i loved. it had a big heavy plastic case
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and later i could drive it around on my motorcycle, it was great. i must have must have known i was going to become a writer. i must have know there is significant there but i didn't at that age just an unconscious knowledge. i wrote some carbon in on the final draft and when i actually got to write about this was when i started to write flight a passage i found the carbon. and i cannot believe it. so i took the letter down to my dad and give it to him. these are not exact but pretty close. race, dear mrs. -- and my dad started reading it. dear mrs. jenks, you cannot imagine how humbled i am to have to write you under the circumstances. i had no idea that my thoughtless, schoolboy prank
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would have such an impact on a woman of such of advanced age and it just went on and on. another sentence was, the sun glinting through the windows of your volkswagen shimmering offer your liver spots and jowls reminded me that i had made a terrible mistake. and my father is reading this in his hands started to shake. he said i can't send this to this lady, you booby-trapped him. she is going to die from a heart and then we will really be sued. he crumbled it up and threw it in the fireplace. so again, writing was working for me.
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my older brother would confront my father and have a fight, i i really knew that was the wrong strategy so i would just do a little maneuver around him and said dad it's a good letter. i will just give you one other example because my notes what's going on in the will talk about the oregon trail book. so writers talk about this pretentious thing, there are things, specific things that happen to you that put you in the direction of becoming a writer. so the other other thing i remember is a few years later i was in high school and this school as trying to be a bigger better place now a successful secondary school.
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in those day everybody had to do really well on at least one or two advanced placement exams because that would help you get into a better college. they're trying to get us into good secular colleges. meanwhile i just become a an obsessive reader. my strategy and it worked well for me in high school colleges i would work ahead in the whole syllabus and by october i would have the whole syllabus read. then i could spend the rest of the time reading what i wanted to read what i wanted to read in those days was novels. what i thought novel meant, is novel because it has sex. that's great because instead of reading my history, what happened was i went in to take the ap exam and father was
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saying you have to get a perfect store. there are three essay questions and the multiple choice. multiple choice was easy. the three the three essay questions were the only three were going to get. whatever you got you had to answer. so father said look if you don't know the material just try anything because if you don't answer that question you're going to be in trouble. so i get in there and my big essay question, and there's two little ones, the big one was telus about that alien expedition ask, that was was the night i was reading lolita. what am i going to do. i really didn't know anything about it so i remember because i
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was a very full of myself and i read harper's magazine and i do remember reading the sentence were somewhat compared the blacklisting. in the 50s to it. so, it was bad. it was almost like you had the fourth volume of carl sanders biography. lincoln is all about how he suspended during the civil war and all the other things he composed of. so i said okay oh and they gave me an out and the was, at the end of the question. and don't be afraid to reflect on the significance of the acts on future events in american history. and i said okay were good.
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so the opening sentence i swear i can still remember it. no history could possibly analyze the various effect without contemplating their influence on president abraham lincolns' suspension during the civil war. i was good. it was like the grease, the catholic catholic schools are great because they teach all the shortcuts and the priest said because we all had to study latin. if you use a lab phrase always put it in parentheses what it means. boy i tell you, is a big deal in school saw the papers come back from princeton and father calls
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you and alone and he holds the paper down low and he gives you big lecture about yourself and then he finally posted outside so there's core one to five with five being the best i got a five. this really impress me. it had big influence on me because i realized well, it's all about the writing. you need a lot of knowledge but in the and it's all about the writing. because i did not know what that act was. these things are graded by college-level historians. i did fine. so is all about the writing and don't be afraid to go in strange directions. i have all these other examples here but we don't have time and i know you want to hear about the covered wagon trip. so the adolescent turning in forced upon me a regiment of
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welcome reading, a lot of reading. then i would get romantically tantalized by all this reading i was doing. it was a period when i was about 19 or 21i just thought it was pretty much the most awful thing in the world that i had not been alive during the civil war. there is no way of making a life in america if you didn't start out after being civil war soldiers. so i was very impressionable and very vicarious. the reading push me vicarious directions. 's about six or seven years ago when i became fascinated by the oregon trail and all of the things about the trail that were true that they never taught us in school, of course you not find them in a hollywood movie. i came across the line, the lost
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document crossing on the oregon trail was in 19 oh nine. 1909. it just did not occur to me that it might be a strange response, that while that's the book i should do take a covered wagon across and read about the oregon trail. and people say you're crazy, you're never going to get there, the wheels are going to break. you're such a weirdo. i'm going like but it feels normal to me. so we bought a team, i got my brother and to come along thank god because he is a much more experience horsemen that i am. he can fix anything. i bought a team of mules from the amish in missouri, very
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close to where he came from. the amish are not allowed to have cell phones and communicate in any kind of modern way that is why yours call the mother cell phone at night because you know they'll be out in the barn doing chores. i i bought this really great team and a restored 1883 wagon, original covered wagon. it took us four months, 79 camps , we camped in pioneer campgrounds, fairgrounds, flying j truck stops are actually good because they have showers. my brother said were going to get in trouble for going in there. i said there's a place to fence the mules, but nobody says word. nobody said a word.
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it took us 29 days to cross wyoming, that includes our wheels breaking and somehow replacing those. twenty-nine days from fort laramie to cookeville wyoming. harrowing things that we had to do, go down the rockies. we had three showers and i can remember each place where we had that shower. so i know you want to ask questions about that and i'm all set. i just want to say that to me even though i can't explain who i have become and what i am doing, i'm going off on another crazy adventure this year. watch those children and grandchildren because it is the adolescent turning in and great things can come from it. thank you very much.
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[applause]. i'm sure there's a few people who read my book or want to read it but you can ask me any question you want. but sure go ahead. >> have you been back to see? >> so the two mules, beauty .., they just don't like me. i took them 2000 miles, they were in harness for four months straight. jake, the middle mule was just a big kindhearted gentle giant. at the end of the trip he it
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would be hard to just sell them mules to the highest bidder so one of the ranchers out there understood this and said tell me what you have in them. so i went out to idaho twice now and mules really know who you are. when they hear your voice so when i got out of that vehicle and at that ranch, and i said hey back, hey buttes, how, how are you. they just take off together. oh no, not that guy. then jake comes over. so. so i still have a great relationship with jake. the meals are fine they are a
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little overweight. this rancher kind of had plans to use them but he didn't. so buttes, the big eater in the game they must feed her a bucket of bonbons every night but they're great to see if they are still healthy. i. i felt very strong that the team that had done something no other team had done going to thousand miles across the plains needed a reward of a good retirement. when you take risk like this good things happen to you in the end. i found a good home for them i spoke with the rancher who has now become a friend just a few weeks ago and they're doing great. >> does the trail still exist? >> so i'll explain that. they would not let me come with a powerpoint.
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[laughter] 2100 miles hundred miles from saint joe, missouri a or independence to oregon city. across the great american desert. of the 2000 miles about 1000 miles our two-lane blacktop's, like highway 26. they follow the river. the reason their paved was her one good example, as early as the 1850s the former pioneers now ranchers and farmers in the west were driving cattle back eastward against the wagon traffic and it was being slaughtered and this beef industry in america was being created in places like omaha. so in world war i the need to get processed meat, precooked
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meat canceled say for this soldiers was enormous. so long stretches of the trail that they have been driving cattle was turned into a highway because a machine have been invented and we had trucks and it was a lot more efficient and reliable getting cattle there by truck. so about 1000 miles is that. mainly backcountry roads or farm and ranch roads. follow the platte river, and follow follow other rivers in whatever road is there. the other thousand miles roughly is the original ruts and i mean original. that's i this is deprivation a power point, there are some beautiful pictures. from castor, wyoming to north-central, to the idaho
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line, the oregon trail is 350 miles of original ruts. you can read the pioneer journal and what you said about it. there is no development just all federal land and ranching. of that thousand miles of open ruts we did sections and other state, 50 miles in nebraska, 350 in 350 in wyoming, 70 or 80 in wyoming. of the 1000 miles of ruts it is still accessible we did about 500 of those miles. for the most part we followed the trail exactly. >> i'm halfway through your book, i really wish you had brought your brother with you. are you going to take them on your next trip? also how did you do your
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research? >> number one to answer your question i go out and give these talks and i think him a big eye because my book was a bestseller in all this. is so important and how i wrote the book, it's it's so good in all of this. someone usually stands up, it's it's usually a woman, house in it? [laughter] we just did an appearance together last week in maine and it goes well and it's good having him in the audience because he always adds when i said here's a picture of the trail and we had that baby back on the trail 24 hours later in the cassette and in the audience, he said excuse me, we? [laughter] because he did all the work. so he was back at work and he
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cannot make the distant events. how did i do my research, it is that adolescent turning in, you are just sort of a happy lost in your books. i did pioneer journals, i read over 100 pioneer over 100 pioneer journals. i read the classic histories like the great platte river road. i paid $160 for a bibliography or of every pioneer journal ever published. just obsessed on it all and it turned out to be great because i knew a lot more that i had to. we get to places misses the recross 2011 it was a high water year. we got to willow springs
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which was a traditional water crossing. it was a little creek we could not get a cross because it was a high water year. it was like a swamp and i could see the org on trail marker on the other side. i knew there something is something called the seminal caught up in the same area. the seminal cutoff was more heavily traveled in the main ruts. so i took some compass bearings and found it. so all of the research paid off. a huge amount of reading, going to museums, going, going back to primary sources as much as i could. if i got somewhere, if i got to a footnote or in wanted to use that information i would go to the footnote and try to get to the original source. believe it or not he thought the book was researched the original manuscript was 85000 words longer than what got published.
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i'm just obsessed with the stuff. >> there must have been a time when coming west off of the high plains, the short grass prairies and the first time they come over a ridge and see the rockies. what was their comment and what was your comments when you experienced the same thing? >> my, when when i experienced the same thing is unprintable. [laughter] you're looking at the rockies now. there is exactly that point in the book and the points where they came off the short grass prairie and first looked upon the rockies was scotts bluff and nebraska. and that bluff to the top of
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mitchell's path, i did this thing in the book where i quoted, i can't remember her name now, it's difficult to remember everything your research but amanda something, when she got to the top of mitchell path and saw the rockies for the first time and what she was looking at was the top of mount laramie, 9000 feet and the purple dome of laramie filled our horizon. about 20 pages later we get there, the book is kind of that tenseness and the real thing that was said was nick was on the wagon with me and he said jesus, we have to cross that? and what i said was 90 miles away, you can see it right
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across wyoming and it is out just the other side of wheatland wyoming. that is is where they first saw the rockies. the thing about the trail that i explained in the book is you actually circuits around you don't go over except this one awful place on the wyoming idaho line that we had to go straight down but that's the place. you go to mitchell pass which is i think highway 52 going over that purple mountain laramie point, laramie peak. >> with adolescent turning in, and the endurance training did that affect you at all,. >> it did, because the thing
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about, we graduated from the same school and the thing about tony is he was our track coach and he is a track coach at a catholic school but he was the most profane man in the state of new jersey. i would not use the actual words but he would say your running like an egyptian today. if you remember i was a good mile or. and i would be coming in and i know i'm going to win but i'm still behind. then he would say pick up those fee, so i learned endurance. so that was the big thing about the trip, my brother and i were
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very proud of it and we would look over at each other and say we do not know many people who can do this. we we would be 18 hours and harness some days. it was just the ability to take monotony and fortunately i learned one important thing, i got very tired on the wagon and i would fall to sleep and that's very dangerous because you can fall into the wheels. so every day by noon even if i was not tired that day i would get off the wagon and nick would drive the team along and i would walk until two or 3:00 o'clock no matter how hot it was. i really needed to do that to get myself back up. the rockies were fascinating because we spent think 42 days above 7000 feet my feeling about
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it is you never get altitude sickness or anything like that until you get up around 12 or 14 because i knew from my flying that you're really not required to put oxygen on until ten. so i thought i was fine not altitude sickness so i started forgetting things we would get to a spot and those who read the book we would have to go over rocky ridge and do not cross rocky ridge, do not take rocky ridge. it's even illegal, the federal government doesn't want you to. we'll take a left at the mormon can't. so we got to the mormon camp so
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finally one other mormon came down. you do know that you're headed straight for rocky ridge. so you can even turn around. and we got there and there's a sheer escalator of rock going up about 300 feet and what are they talking about in the oxygen deprivation included later said will be good because i had that
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oxygen deprivation where you get euphoric and nick would go what's your problem. and i said we would make it somehow. anyone else? >> i just have one more question. you spoke about your brother i know supposed ask a question about him because he's not here. what is the most creative fix he may. he admitted to fixing things. i know you have a lot of his entries. >> i think the most creative fix was, the most creative things he did was he called my mother, my 90-year-old mother back in maine and nick was very critical and
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would always wear by new shirts and get them pressed, and he would say mom it's three meals a jack russell terrier. so he made all kinds of creative fixes, one he did he build this platform of the back of the truck so he could carry another hundred gallons of water. it's sort of a imitation harness and it's consider better for leather on a trip like this because it's durable and strong and so we would not have to do harness repairs. the problem with that harness was at certain very critical junctures in the trip, this
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imitation leather which is not on reinforced plastic would rub against the mules and they would get sores, very bad source. leather will not do that as much because leather is whether to leather. so i come in one night into camp i was carrying water something. nick is going through my backpack and taking belts out. he said you have so many belts, thanks for bringing all these belts. he rebuilt the bridles and other parts of the harness out of my belts, and boy did it work. another word he made them a little on the large side and now when they were rubbing against the mules there is no sores. there were a dozen things like that. it was like an old western, always complaining about something.
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every hundred miles we had to change the wheels, the wheels are heavy, re- grease, put it back on. nick would say yeah every week since we have been gone i've grease these wheels and i have not had a lick of help from my brother. and as i would go over to the wagon when he was greasing the wheels and i was a hit, let me help you grease the wheels, come on you're trying to do all the work yourself let me help you. and he said get your college kid away from my wagon. so there was these beautiful contradictions about him. i don't have any myself. but he was absolutely instrumental for the trip because he could fix anything. so thank you very much, this has
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been great. [applause]. >> you're going to be out in the square to sign books so please let him exit and we look for to seeing you here at the trustees theater tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. to see paul william young. thank you very much. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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>> here's a look at some authors recently featured on big tvs afterwards, our weekly author interview program. senator cory booker recounted the people and personal experiences that shaped his political life. criminal justice professor ed the university of new york discussed his research on violent crime in america. in daly caller senior contributor matt lewis explained that the republican party must re- embrace conservative principles to remain relevant. in the coming weeks on afterwards, washington post columnist will argue that the republican party's adoption of goldwater conservative principles is driving away moderate voters. michael dyson will explore how race has impacted the obama administration. also coming up, former bush justice department official, john, he will contend that executive power has gone beyond the constitutional minutes under president obama.
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this weekend, former nsa nsa and cia director, michael hayden discusses the decision he made as director of both following the events of september 11. when we gathered all of that data in congress then limited access to metadata. it was not constitutionally limited, it was limited by statue. after 911 the president using his article to commander-in-chief authority decided that to the degree this the statue had to be unconstitutional because it was limiting his inherit. that stood out. out. that has stood up in court. on two occasions. the appellate appellate court said -- afterwards airs every
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saturday at 10:00 p.m. you can watch all previous afterwards programs on our website, book >> his chief desire was to put the capital, the seed of governance as it was known on the banks of the potomac. washington was given that task of siding it in a 100-mile swath of the potomac and he actually was given up to, as the constitution says to create a federal district up to 10 miles square. he created a diamond district if you will, diamonds shaped district and you can see the top of the diamond going up to
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maryland as they do. i'm sure you are all familiar. they went down across the potomac to alexandria. that is i think it important thing to consider. he was taking them both sides of the potomac. in the residence act which allowed the president to place the seat of government on the potomac and all of that, it gave him not 1 penny to carry out the job. so it was rather a trendsetting of the congress at the time to vote for something and yet not give it any money.
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so washington had to contend with that and we will talk about that briefly, he also really had to contend with thomas jefferson on one hand to had a vision of the city which was very different. in fact it was not a city at all, it was a federal town. this is rock creek coming in here. you see the town, it was to be about 15 acres the 1200 will be divided into quarter acre lots, jeffersons capital would take in about 20 good twirling houses to those who belong to the government and as many lodging houses and a half a dozen taverns which i'm not sure was enough for the time.
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[laughter] then, washington didn't think that way. we have to remember that, washington invited to come up with a plan. the plan that he came up with and this is by the way the older plan done by andrew ellicott, it was for a city of about 750,000 people. at the time the largest city at the time and the united states is 40000 people in 1790. ellicott's plan which which you see before you is adapted by -- he is the words like empire, american empire, he is the words like wealth and he use -- and
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that was important to. he thought not of the united states as it was a but as the united states would be and could be. jefferson had designed the town town,. [inaudible] designed a city and washington of course went. >> you can watch this and other programs online apple >> here's a look at the current best-selling books according to the boston glow. >> winner of last year's national book award looks at the current state of black america in, between the world to me. next, in dark money investigative reporting jane
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mayer examines how big money has altered the american political system. she will be live on book tv in depth to take your questions to sunday at noon eastern. pulitzer prize winning author makes her nonfiction debut. i look at the boston globe's bestseller bestseller looks continues with being mortal, harvard medical professor and end-of-life care, followed by marie condos. up next is gratitude, gratitude of essays on mortality from the late physician oliver sacks. helen mcdonald rounds out the list with her memoir, h is for -- that is a look at the current bestsellers according to the boston globe. many of these authors have are will be appearing on book tv. you can watch them on our website book >> every election cycle will
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remind us how important it is, it's a home for political junkies. >> .. good afternoon and thank you so much for coming out on this beautiful saturday. it is great to see all of you here.


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