Thursday, June 03, 2004

Purdue or Per Don't

I'm at The Village Coffee House in West Lafayette, IN and it is a slow connection (see below), but a most tolerable environment... And the coffee is good. Purdue is wireless but I'm not sure that I will be here long enough to make it worthwhile to register as a guest and get a passworded account.

2004-06-03 11:49:30 EST: 81 / 99
Your download speed : 83043 bps, or 81 kbps.
A 10.1 KB/sec transfer rate.
Your upload speed : 101852 bps, or 99 kbps.

I'm here at the heart of my journey. I'm writing a book on Gene Stratton Porter an Indiana writer who worked one hundred years ago. As is so often the case society makes images of people conform to expectations rather than reality and that is certainly what happened with her. She's known as a racist curmudgeon, and unfortunately she did write some things that were not at all appreciative of diversity... but we all reflect the culture we are indoctrinated into and "Heavens to Betsy" (I'm practicing my covert blending techniques) give her a break this was the midwest of 100 years ago... KKK country -- compared to her neighbors she was absolutely enlightened. Anyway I am intrigued by her business strategies, her natural history studies documentation of then disappearing (now gone) wetlands, and her influence on the environmental movement so I am "back home again in Indiana" and busy making contacts with curators, archivists, and editors as well as visiting friends and family... and writing up a storm. Not sure where I will head next... depends who is home and where I can find a free place to crash. I'm currently staying with the woman I studied with in graduate school... a wonderfully eclectic woman named Myrdene. Her most recent edited volume is linked above. She is one of the best minds on the planet. I encourage anyone who can read such intensely rich text to read her work, if you can't make it through that though, read volumes she has edited.

I'm off to work.

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