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Sneak peak at the Wendell Potter Joske’s Collection

Incredibly beautiful

The Top Shelf

As we are on the cusp of the holiday season, I thought our readers might enjoy indulging in a little nostalgia. Earlier this year, Special Collections received a donation of Joske’s materials collected by Wendell Potter, the department store’s Display Director. The collection contains many photographs of events held by Joske’s including seasonal fashion shows and in-store promotional events.

Fall Fashion models, 1955

Wendell Potter’s display expertise is undeniable when one looks at the photos of merchandising at the downtown store. His talent and direction were most evident in his holiday creations. In the late 1950s, during the holiday shopping season Joske’s Santa took up residence in the Fairyland Castle designed by Potter.[1]

In 1960, Potter took his design skills to new levels with the creation of the much loved Fantasy Land-a Christmas wonderland situated on the 4th floor of Joske’s.

Wendell Potter with the Fantasy Land train, 1960

A…

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Amerikan Rambler: Podcast 39: James I. Robertson

Bud talks with Colin about studying at Emory, being in the White House when JFK died, and his relationship with Robert Duvall.

via Podcast 39: James I. Robertson — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Amerikan Rambler: Podcast 32: The Revolution of 2016

Fredericksburg is a nice place to spend a day thinking about and experiencing history. It’s also a good place to get a cup of coffee. But Colin’s recent visit to Fredericksburg took place in the wake of what historians should be calling the Revolution of 2016.

via Podcast 32: Fredericksburg. The Revolution of 2016. — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Amerikan Rambler: Podcast 31: Gary Olsen

Gary Olsen lives in Virginia, but he grew up in the Boston area, where he studied film at Emerson College. After thirty years in the Justice Department, Gary now spends his retirement days lecturing on movies.

via Podcast 31: Gary Olsen — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: Trump and Putin / Da Vinci’s genius / Sexism and Clinton’s culpability / Tracing your Texas ancestry / A trans woman’s journey as Beyonce

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism.

1. Why Putin Keeps Outsmarting Trump
By John McLaughlin | Politico Magazine | Nov. 17
“The Kremlin leader is trained to lie. Trust me, I ran the CIA: Believing anything he says is folly.”
Also, from The Economist: America’s foreign policy: embrace thugs, dictators and strongmen

2. Puerto Rico’s DIY Disaster Relief
By Molly Crabapple | NYT Daily :: The New York Review of Books | Nov. 17
“Two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit, aid remained a bureaucratic quagmire, mismanaged by FEMA, the FBI, the US military, the laughably corrupt local government. The island looked like it was stuck somewhere between the nineteenth century and the apocalypse. But leftists, nationalists, socialists … were stepping up to rebuild their communities.”

3. Trump era sparks new debate about nuclear war authority
By Robert Burns | Associated Press | Nov. 19
“[W]hat would happen if an American president ordered a nuclear strike, for whatever reason, and the four-star general at Strategic Command balked or refused, believing it to be illegal?”

4. Latino vote
By Bill Lambrecht | San Antonio Express-News | Nov. 19
“Latino success in Virginia and across the country in recent elections continued a run of historic victories in 2017 and left leaders confident of their strategy heading into mid-term elections next year.”

5. What Made Leonardo da Vinci a Genius?
By Simon Worrall | National Geographic | Nov. 4
“Hint: The great Italian artist was interested in everything.”

6. Sexism on America’s Front Lines
By Susan B. Glasser | Politico Magazine | Nov. 6
“Six top national security pros sound off about an adversary closer to home: piggish men.”
Also, from The Atlantic: What Hillary Knew: Hillary Clinton once tweeted that ‘every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.’ What about Juanita Broaddrick?
Also, from the Guardian: I saw how we failed Bill Clinton’s accusers. We can’t do that again
Also, from the New York Post: Let’s just cancel the Oscars

7. ‘Everybody’s Cousins’: Tracing San Antonio Ancestry To 1718 And Beyond
By Norma Martinez | Texas Public Radio | Nov. 17
“A lot of South Texans can trace their ancestry back to 1718 and beyond. For those who can’t, a nonprofit is making it easier to follow their family tree.”

8. Becoming Beyoncé On Stage Helped One Trans Woman Come Into Her Own
By Danny Nett | Fandoms :: NPR | Nov. 19
“At first, she didn’t even have a strong, personal connection to Beyoncé the way people might expect, she says. That came later.”

9. Get lost in this visualization of interconnected global issues
By Robbie Gonzalez | Wired | Nov. 13
“[T]here’s more to Knowledge Maps than pretty diagrams. In fact, the tool’s utility becomes clear when you explore its less-mesmerizing features: a series of summaries and content feeds curated partly by humans and partly by machines.”

10. The Making of an American Nazi
By Luke O’Brien | The Atlantic | December 2017
“How did Andrew Anglin go from being an antiracist vegan to the alt-right’s most vicious troll and propagandist—and how might he be stopped?”

Amerikan Rambler: Podcast 28: Ira Berlin

Dr. Berlin talks about his first plane ride, activism in the 1960s, and why he chose to exchange a lab coat for the historian’s garb. Also, Ira and Colin share their thoughts about the 2016 election.

via Podcast 28: Ira Berlin — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

Amerikan Rambler: Podcast 27: William C. Davis

Over the past forty years, he has focused on the Civil War era and southern history, writing about everything from Jefferson Davis to the Texas Revolution to — as he shows in his newest book — a New Orleans prostitute who claimed to be a Confederate soldier.

via Podcast 27: William C. Davis — Amerikan Rambler: Everybody Has a Story

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