There's life in the old town yet!
Here was a cheerful message from our Town Crier, Kathy Schoendorfer, that arrived in mid-August of this Pandemic Summer:
First an update: Our 99 year old friend Capt. Tom Moore (he is 100 now) was indeed knighted by the Queen for raising 38 million pounds for health workers by walking 100 laps in his small backyard. He had expressed the hope that she wouldn’t be too heavy with the sword on his aged shoulders, but she also has age in her 90-some-year-old shoulders so she pulled it off with royal aplomb. Congratulations Sir Tom!
The only human remains from the prehistoric Clovis Culture, over 12,000 years old, were found in 1968 on the Anzick Ranch in the Shields River Valley, 175 miles from Ovando. DNA revealed that his family were the ancestors of 80% of all native groups in North and South America. The remains of another child were later found nearby from the same period. At the time, the Anzick Boy was the oldest human found in North America, but the remains of a people from 13,000 years ago have since been found in Idaho. Not so far away.
In the photo below, Sarah Anzick and her family are about to rebury the remains of the Clovis children. Around them are members of tribes from Washington, Oregon and Montana.
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Now Montana has a new claim to an ancient past and this was a surprise out of left field! Not old bones but Dusty Crawford from the Blackfeet Reservation who fulfilled his Uncle’s dying wish that he get a DNA test. CRI genetics traced his line back 55 generations with a 99 percent accuracy rate. Very rare because the ancestry often is clouded that far back. It was, they told him, like finding Bigfoot, it was so unlikely.
I have been following the career of the young Russian piano prodigy Elisey Mysin, whom I introduced to you a few letters ago. At the time of that performance, his feet didn’t reach the pedals, but here is a current update. His feet DO reach the pedals as he plays a Mozart piece for 4 hands with young Ivan Bessonov. You will see that he is still, well… a little boy, whose playing is extraordinary, not to mention the acrobatics. Do watch!
Speaking of art, Ovando has a surprising number of talented artists. Here is just a partial list with links to websites that will give you an even better idea. Some of their work appears at the Blackfoot Store, like Brady Stone's metal art, and the Blackfoot Angler. In some cases, if the time is right, you can visit their studios. Call first to be sure.
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Cabin Fever Originals - Jewelry by Angela Williams
Andrea Morgan, Rooster Arts
LaVonne Jorgenson Pottery
Those following these letters will know that I am always looking for some of the myriad examples of human resourcefulness, humor and imagination in the time of COVID. From Clara Igonda in Pasadena comes yet another scene that brings a smile: This one from Barcelona.
A World-Class Opera House in Spain Reopened With a Concert for Thousands of Potted Plants
2,292 plants were on hand to watch UceLi Quartet perform Puccini's "Cristantemi."
Or there is the boy who used his unique talent of solving the Rubik's cube in record time while on a pogo stick (I kid you not) to raise money for people suffering from COVID.
In August, a double miracle: National Zoo's Great Panda Mei Xiang finally gave birth--a much celebrated event for this endangered species and especially for this 22 year-old Panda. The second miracle is that nature would have such an enormous mother give birth to such a tiny creature. The babe is the size of a hairless mouse and Mama is challenged to get hold of it safely. The tiny thing seems to be all lungs, so what you can't see you can certainly hear.