Monday, April 29, 2013

Pioneer Tales: My First Deer Hunt

Arkansas Echo

Pioneer Tales
February 9, 1894

I want to also tell a small hunting adventure that did not happen to me here in Arkansas, but in Missouri where we were for eight years before we came here. In that area at the time, the deer were not rare and whoever was a good shot could have deer meat through the entire year.

Now, I had a cornfield that lay fairly high on a mountain. From the corn, I had made, as was the practice there, corn stacks and had placed them together in round corn shocks. One left them standing there as long as he wished or until he had time to shuck the corn.

One day I came there and saw to my horror that most of the corn shocks had been rummaged through, a few were even ruined. Instantly I thought that the pigs had broken out, but after a closer inspection I saw that deer had been there. Wait! I thought. There will soon be roasted deer meat.
Advertisement in an 1894 issue of the Arkansas Echo
A.G. Linzel & Son, 110 East Markham St., Little Rock

I went out toward evening with my rifle and hid myself in a corn shock and waited in case the thing should return. I lay there two, three, even four hours on the lookout, but still nothing wanted to show itself. Soon I became bored and had decided to take a break, when I thought I heard something sniffing and blowing. And as I looked in that direction, a marvelous deer came very cautiously to the corn shock next to me. Here he stood still once again, sniffed around again, and since he did not notice anything suspicious, he began to root through and eat the corn.

I carefully stuck my weapon out and aimed. But damn and blast! What is that? I was shaking all over and I went blind. I could have boxed my ears. I have many times stood in a thick rain of bullets and not flinched, and here in the face of a dumb deer, I got buck fever.

I pulled myself together enough that I was able to take aim and pull. And bang, a shot, and the deer takes off. That serves you right, I heard a voice in my head say. It is not possible that you hit him. But I must have hit him because as I looked more closely at the spot, I saw blood, or as it is called in hunter’s Latin, sweat.
Since there was a bright moon and it had recently risen, I was able to easily follow the trail and noticed that it had lost much blood.

It had made it over the fence and then was gone into the thick woods. Here I lost the trail and returned home sullenly, with the intention of following the trail as far a possible the next morning.

The following morning a young neighbor boy came at about 10 a.m. to the house and asked me if I could loan him my wagon and a horse for an hour. He did not at first want to answer the question “why?” But then he said that he had shot a deer up ahead and that he wanted to haul it home in the wagon.

Advertisement in an 1894 issue of  the Arkansas Echo
Edmund Craig, & Co, 414 East Markham St, Little Rock

Confound it, I said (since everything was immediately clear to me): “Bill, you are lying. You did not shoot that deer! You only found it!” The boy was red up to his ears and quickly admitted it.

I told him that the previous night I had shot the deer and that he probably was lying not far from the fence. I went with Bill and, sure enough, as I had surmised, it lay hardly 200 yards behind the fence where it had collapsed and died.

Since it was the usual practice to give the finder a portion of the booty, I divided the deer with Bill, but I kept the hide and antlers for myself. I had to soon remove them from my sight because they reminded me every time I saw them of my “buck fever” that I had on my first deer hunt.


Introduction to the Pioneer Tales

This pioneer tale is one in a series published in 1893 and 1894 by the Arkansas Echo, a German-language newspaper in Little Rock. The stories are intended to show the challenges and adventures facing German-speaking immigrants when they came to settle in Arkansas. So far, the following posts have introduced the Pioneer Tales and provided translations of most of them:

Pioneer Tales of Arkansas' German Immigrants (background of the newspaper series)
Arkansas Echo, November 3, 1893. THE GOOD OLD DAYS?

Arkansas Echo, November 10, 1893

Arkansas Echo
, November 17, 1893

Arkansas Echo
, December 1, 1893

Arkansas Echo
, December 8, 1893

Arkansas Echo
, December 22, 1893

Arkansas Echo
, December 29, 1893

Arkansas Echo
, January 5, 1894

Arkansas Echo
, January 14, 1894

Arkansas Echo
, January 19, 1894

Arkansas Echo, February 23, 1894 and March 2, 1894


All Rights Reserved

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Vienna Airport is a Mess! (But Not for Long, I Expect)

When I arrived at the Vienna International Airport (VIE) in April, I was surprised to see signs directing me to march through the old baggage claim area to new baggage carousels several hundred yards away. Even more surprising, when I went through the doors from the baggage claim area to the arrival area, I recognized nothing: everything was new. The old Vienna arrival area had disappeared, replaced by a sparkling new building.

After some momentary confusion, and a quick look around, I noted that the new arrival area is curved and narrow, as was the old one, but it also has new stores and restaurants, a nifty new arrival board, better lighting, and improved access to the trains/trams that take travelers into the city.  I found out later that the new arrival area can be as congested as the old one was, but its amenities, including a Spar grocery store and an assortment on bakeries and places to eat, make it gemuetlich.

Here is the new arrival area. The nifty digital Arrivals Board makes
up a large portion of the wall toward which people are facing. 
Travelers exit the door on the right.  They are met by people who
stand outside, separated from the exit doors by a barrier.
Unfortunately, the sidewalks, roads, and parking lots outside the arrivals hall are a mess, resembling the tumult of a busy street in downtown Shanghai, with cars, buses, taxis, and pedestrians converging uneasily in a small area. Also, the outside walkway is saturated with cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes: not a nice welcome to Vienna. This area is not a place to linger.  Nevertheless, it has one improvement: new bus stalls with digital signs providing helpful information about the destination of each bus and its departure time.

Viewing the airport again a couple of weeks later, when returning for the flight out, I found that the construction underway at the airport makes access to the departure halls confusing.  Signs point the way to departure halls 3, 2, 1, and 1a.  Choose the correct one if you can. Hall 3 is not connected directly to halls 1, 1a, and 2. If you need to get from hall 3 to any of the other halls, you must leave the building and find an obscure entrance.

Departure hall 3 is new; it is the second floor above the new arrival area. This hall hosts Austrian Air and its partners. It has a new configuration in a sleek, clean high tech building.

Other airlines use the old halls in another building. To know where your airline is located, you need to find a directory of airlines that lists the building and counter numbers used by each one.  (These directories are posted near entrances.) Fortunately, the Sky Team airlines (Delta, Air France, KLM, and others) are located together in Building 1.  

As with Delta Airlines in major US airports (including Seattle), the Sky Team area has baggage drop-off counters for travelers who have checked in, either on-line or at kiosks in front of the Sky Team check-in booths, and want to check their bags. Unfortunately, this system did not work too well at the Vienna airport because many confused or malicious travelers, without boarding passes, used the baggage drop  counters as check-in lines. The time required to check in those travelers greatly slowed down the folks who had checked in and wanted simply to leave their bags.

Of course, most passengers without boarding passes would not get in the baggage line if some airline agents were around to assist them to use the kiosks to check in or to direct them to check-in counters. Surprisingly, I did not see a single Air France agent assisting in this way. (Because Delta does not operate in Vienna, and my Delta tickets were for Air France code-share flights, I cannot blame Delta directly for poor airport check-in operations).

With an early morning flight, I spent the night before my trip from the Vienna Airport at the NH Hotel (overpriced high-rise tourist hotel, with pretentions of being more), which is located in the airport complex. Last year, the NH was directly across from the arrival area. Now, it is a block up the street from the new arrival hall.

Staying at the NH, I had some time to look around the new parts of the airport and to figure out how I would get to the Air France check-in early the next morning. Without this rehearsal, I likely would likely have had a difficult time finding my way to the Air France counters at 5:00 a.m.
Looking around the airport, I noted that the old arrival hall is now mostly a hole in the ground, though sledge hammers were working throughout that afternoon to dismantle it.  The fencing around the old arrival hall construction site takes up a lane or two of the main road going to chief airport exit and entrance. Because many departing and arriving passengers have to cross this busy narrow street to get to and from parking decks (the airport has several of them), they slow or stop traffic on this crucial road.  At many times of the day, traffic on this road is congested.

Caffe Ritazza lies across the arrival hall from the doors
exiting the baggage area. The restaurant stretches over a long
area and has eclectic (at best) furnishings
Going to a restaurant in the arrival hall at about 7 pm on a Sunday night, I was astounded by the huge crowd that had assembled around the doors that passengers use to exit the baggage area. Large numbers of people milled around the narrow area between the curved barrier that sits a few feet from the exit door and the shops. Many in the crowd were drivers with signs bearing the names of a passenger they were supposed to meet. I didn’t envy them the task of identifying their passengers amid the throngs of people exiting baggage area.  Though the arrival area is new, it appears already to have a congestion problem at peak times. 

While the chaos was disconcerting, I did notice two nice things about the new arrival area.  It has better places to eat, and it has a new, well-marked passageway to the S-bahn and the express train going to the city. In the old arrival hall, it was difficult to find the S-bahn if you didn’t already know where it was.

One remarkable thing about the Vienna International Airport is its neighborhood. Within a short walk to the airport terminal are three high-rise office parks providing space for businesses that need quick access to the airport. Also, it has a multi-story building occupied by Austrian Air. Around the attractive office buildings, parking decks holding about 23,000 automobiles have been constructed. The area is also serviced by banks, restaurants, a grocery store, and some retail stores – all outside of, but a short distance to the airport.

Unlike airports in major American cities, the Vienna Airport is not only a transportation center, with easy access to the city by a regional train (S-bahn) and buses, it is also a business and economic development center. In a few years, the airport will have a link with the new Vienna Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station), and travelers arriving by air will be able to easily catch trains for trips to other Austrian cities and European countries. This new transportation dimension should make the business centers at the airport even more attractive to some firms dependent on air and train service.

Right now, the Vienna Airport is a mess, but the huge investment that Vienna and Austria are making to create modern transportation centers, and to surround them with high rise office buildings, will likely pay economic development dividends for the country long after the airport has been modernized for the coming century. I look forward to seeing the renovated airport when it is finished.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 15-18, 1969: Protesting in a Tree at the University of Arkansas

The year 1969 was full of events providing evidence that big changes were occurring at the University of Arkansas – a shift in thinking and power relations. Two of the big 1969 events were described in previous blog posts. The first was the Muhammad Ali controversy when, in March, the University administration was not intimidated by an Arkansas State Senate resolution opposing his speech, and students laughed at the senators who proposed it. (See

The second event was later in the year when a decision was made to stop playing Dixie at athletic events. The decision came after a vote by the student senate to recommend against playing it the song; that vote was used by the band director to justify an action he had long wanted to take. (see )

A third event, providing more evidence of the changing times, came in April 1969. It was a strange episode, verging on the absurd, and it added to a sense of excitement and ferment among many UA students. Also it showed that some students (and non-students on the edge of campus) opposed and even resented the new thinking that was taking hold: it looked to them as if the hippies, liberals, and maybe, even communists were taking over the campus.  
The Cyprus Tree Still Stands by the
Old Student Union
This event started at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 15 when a 22-year-old man, a former student not enrolled at U of A that spring semester because of financial difficulties, climbed up into a tree and vowed to stay there until noon on Friday, April 18th. He put in place a crude platform middle way up the sprawling Cyprus tree located in front of the Arkansas Student Union building and he brought with him some supplies (he vowed to consume only water and bread during his time in the tree) and a utility bucket.

Before his trip up to his perch in the tree, the man, Stephen R. Pollard Jr., nailed a handwritten message to the tree trunk to explain what he was doing and why. His explanation was partly a New Age message and partly political. In his Age of Aquarius mode, Pollard wrote that he was “totally disgusted in a world where there is no love between people” and that he had decided to “make this small stand to emphasize my beliefs. Being in this tree symbolizes, to me, an escape from the humanity into the world of nature.”  He concluded, “I sincerely hope that my actions will inspire the University of Arkansas population to take note of the world situation and forget their selfishness and quest for personal gains and strive for a better world for all.”

Addressing political issues, Pollard wrote that he totally disagreed with United States involvement in Vietnam, with the policies of the military-industrial complex, and with the presence of military training on the U of A campus. He also said he was opposed to discriminating against minority groups in the country.

That morning of Tuesday, March 15th, I had to be in the Student Union at about 8:30 a.m. for a meeting concerning student elections to be held on Thursday. I walked sleepily by the Cyprus tree, noticing nothing unusual. Little did I know what was about to happen there.

The guy in the tree did not remain undiscovered for long. By midmorning, word was spreading about him, and curious students were trooping over take a look.  Coincidently, that morning a group of about 30 student protesters had assembled on the lawn in front of Old Main where Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets were doing their weekly drills (at the time ROTC was still mandatory for all male freshmen and sophomores). The protestors did a bunch of silly things on the periphery of where the cadets were marching, including playing croquet to distract cadets.  Only one of interfered directly with the ROTC activities
The group announced that on Thursday it would have a picnic in front of the library to protest mandatory ROTC.  A student advisory vote on mandatory ROTC participation was scheduled as part of a student election to be held on Thursday.

As reporters got word about the guy in the tree, they quizzed university officials about what they were going to do.  Dean of Students William F. Denman told them, citing university regulations, that Pollard would not be removed from the tree as long as he did nothing obstructive.

That day I spent some time at the tree in the late afternoon and early evening, stopping by as I was going to the library. Lots of students were passing by or milling around. Like me, some were curious about what the heck was happening. Some were cheered by the spectacle and supportive of Pollard: more than forty people signed and posted to the tree a proclamation agreeing with his message.  Other students were cynical (one noted, eyeing the crowd: what a place for a guy to go if he wants to escape humanity). Apparently, although I did not notice it at the time, some people were angered by what was going on and were plotting ways to disrupt it.

Later in the evening, the darker side of the campus emerged.  Newspaper accounts of Tuesday night told of two different incidents. The first one involved a jeering group of about 50 people who surrounded the tree and about ten of Pollard’s supporters, shouting derogatory and threatening remarks at them, and throwing eggs, bottles, and water-filled balloons.

A second, more dangerous, event came later, after midnight when about 20 persons, “apparently not students” (according to the Arkansas Gazette) arrived and threatened Pollard’s life. Four of them, with knives, ran to the tree and started trying to climb it. One made it high enough to cut a rope holding some supplies. However, two separate newspapers reported, a student who identified himself as an athlete, who had climbed the tree to talk to Pollard, stopped the attack on Pollard. The campus newspaper reported that one person was cut with a knife, though it did not identify who. Apparently, this threat ended when the city and campus police arrived and the would-be assailants quickly left the scene.

After what happened Tuesday night, University administrators decided that Pollard would not be permitted to stay in the tree. The university issued a statement calling the situation dangerous, and said that it had information from UA faculty members that an attempt would be made Wednesday night to forcibly remove Pollard from the tree. Also it reported receiving anonymous telephone calls threatening Pollard.  The university statement said the situation on Tuesday night was one in which “a clear and impending threat was presented to the safety of individuals.”

Throughout Wednesday, large numbers of students continued to congregate around the Cyprus tree to support, heckle, or simply watch what was going on. Those there at about 3:00 p.m. saw Dean Denman climb into the tree to ask Pollard to leave the tree. Pollard replied that he could not in good conscience leave unless he was removed by legal authorities. 
Pollard descends the Tree on Wednesday, April 16.
The Police Officer holding the ladder is Wayne Stout
After Denman returned to the ground, he filed a trespassing complaint with city police, who arrived at about 5 p.m.  The two officers who came to the scene were Assistant Police Chief Wayne Stout, the father of a childhood friend and Jefferson Elementary School classmate, Larry Stout, and John Paul Davis.  Officer Stout climbed up a ladder to get nearer to Pollard to tell him that he was under arrest and order him to come down from the tree.  A picture by Ken Good of Pollard descending the tree on a ladder with Stout watching him was on the front page of the Northwest Arkansas Times and the Arkansas Traveler, plus on page 6A of the Arkansas Gazette.

After his arrest, Pollard was taken to the city police department where he was booked for trespassing and released on $500 bail. Denman explained that Pollard was removed from U of A property to forestall possible injury or damage to university property. He said, “To our knowledge this was our only recourse and it was his wish to be arrested….If there was any other alternative we would have used it.”

Soon after Pollard came down from the tree, Joe Saunders, a campus activist with long hair and one gold earring, climbed up to take Pollard’s place in the tree and vowed that he would stay there “indefinitely.” He explained “If I continue, it will at least look like there is support for what Steve is doing…If I get hurt, it will just show what a messed-up place this is.”  University officials decided they would not remove U of A students who chose to sit in the tree.
Dean of Students, William F. Denman
Wednesday night was again tense. During the evening, until around 1:00 a.m., about 250 supporters and onlookers were at the tree. About 30 supporters circled the tree to defend it. They sat singing songs “with a mixed protest, patriotism and spiritual flavor” and talked among themselves and with a people who the Arkansas Traveler called “agitators.” This later group yelled at Saunders and his supporters. Some of them threw eggs, firecrackers, and a smoke bomb toward the tree. Much of the crowd dispersed when rains came in the early morning.

Thursday was a busy day around the tree. A student election was being held, and large numbers of students came to the Student Union to cast their votes for student officers and on the referendum concerning the continuation of mandatory ROTC.  Also, the students protesting ROTC moved its picnic from another part of campus to the tree because “it was easier to move the picnic than the tree.” 

On Thursday afternoon, Saunders decided that he did not want to spend another night in the tree, and climbed down from the tree at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. He told reporters he got out of the tree because he was scared. He said he had heard threatening remarks made against him by some people near the bottom of the tree and felt that organized groups on the campus were out to get him: “I’m extremely paranoid,” Saunders said, adding that he wasn’t interested in publicity and believed that 23 hours aloft had proven his enthusiasm for Pollard’s position.

Saunders place in the tree was taken over by several students who each went to the perch in the tree for an hour or two at a time. The first shift in the tree was taken by John Little of Releigh, Miss., a graduate assistant in the English Department and Tommy Snow, a student from Mountain Home.

Little told a reporter, “We are here because we believe that tree climbing is part of the American tradition….I believe that people ought to be able to climb trees without bearing the brunt of any redneck who happens to have a raw egg in his hands.”

Fred McCuiston, a student from Little Rock, took the second shift after about an hour. He said he was “for a guy’s right to climb a tree – to dissent.” Five other students were to follow him throughout the night and the following morning.

At one point in early evening about 500 people were at the tree. Again, some came to support, some to watch, and some to heckle. They listened to a rock band, the American Music Festival that showed up to play in support of the tree sitters. The band dedicated songs to “any suppressed people” on the campus and to “that awful looking tree over there [the cypress].”

The spectators also saw “morality plays” put on by supporters to entertain the audience. The final one had Pollard as the star. It was a courtroom scene in which Pollard knelt before a bearded judge, who wore a straw hat and pounded a gavel. The “judge” told Pollard “to stay out of any tree you don’t want to be hung out of.”

Some of the crowd disappeared in early evening, when it came time for the results of the student election to be announced. Usually the results were read in the lobby of the student union, but because of tree hubbub, the announcement was moved up the street to the lobby of the old library.

Thursday night was mostly uneventful. However, it had a little excitement, including the explosion of a firecracker attached to arrow that was shot in the general area of the tree.  Also, at about 2:00 a.m. an unidentified person charged the tree and climbed into the lower limbs, then ran away when campus security arrived. Cold and rain caused the crowds to thin as time passed.  Early Friday morning, a Northwest Arkansas Times  reporter visited the site, finding two people in the tree perch and two people sitting at the base of the tree.

As originally scheduled, the tree sitting ended at noon on Friday when Pollard climbed up the tree a last time to disassemble the platform he had pieced together and lower the boards, along with remaining supplies, to the ground. He was the final person to descend from the tree, to the applause of many of the 100 people watching from below. The observers were singing “We shall overcome.” 

Pollard argued that his actions had been an exercise of his right to dissent. His critics said that his actions suggested that he was a communist and that his protest was damaging to the country and to the University’s “prestige around the country.”

An article in the Friday, April 18th edition of the Arkansas Gazette had a story headlined, “Students Using Techniques of Communists.” It quoted Rep. John Ashbrook, a member of the House Committee on Internal Security, telling the 30th annual meeting of the Freedom Forum at Harding College that “Student radicals are creating campus disorders today by using a time-tested ‘confrontational’ technique that was perfected by Communists.”

 In response to questions, Pollard said he was not a Communist and was opposed to the Communist form of government. He emphasized that he supported United States’ fighting men in Vietnam, but not the policy that sent them there.

Pollard said he viewed the demonstration as a success:

It engendered emotions, good and bad, among University students who I thought were apathetic towards very important issues….It seemed to me before that the only emotions they knew were laughing and crying.”

Pollard said he was gratified that students had openly discussed the issues, both pro and con.

R. D. Rucker, a student from Newport, circulated a petition requesting that the University drop trespassing charges against Pollard.  The petitions, with about 300 signatures, were presented on Friday morning to the University of Arkansas’ Office of Student Affairs. The charges were not dropped, and on May 8th, Pollard was convicted on trespassing. Judge V. James Ptak fined him $25 for the offense, plus $13 costs. He gave him a 10 day suspended sentence. The fine and costs were paid by coins and bills contributed by the 25 to 30 supporters of Pollard who attended the trial.

For a while, Pollard was something of a campus celebrity, but things soon turned bad for him. On December 4, 1970, he and his wife were arrested by Fayetteville police on drug charges. Then, almost exactly two years after his trespassing trial, on May 2, 1971, he was convicted of two serious felony drug charges and give the maximum sentences for each: consecutive terms of five and ten years in the state penitentiary (See Northwest Arkansas Times, May 3, 1971, p. 2).   
Jo Martin, 1969
In the aftermath of this strange tree sitting event, some students – like me – were a bit puzzled by what had happened, but were glad it had. Most students, I think, were appalled by the attempts to harm Pollard and his successors, and wondered who had done those things.  Ultimately, I and my friends on campus were glad that the voices of tolerance had won again on campus. Personally, I though it all was quite a bit of fun that U or A had become a “happening place.”

Afterword:  On Thursday night, April 17, as a band played and hippies sang under the Cyprus tree, the results of the student election were announced to a crowd of nicely dressed students crammed into the entry hall of the old library. It was announced that Jo Martin, an off campus student unaffiliated with a sorority, had been elected president of Associated Students at U of A, defeating Tom Boe, a fraternity member whose candidacy had been supported by the Greeks on campus. She was the first female elected to that position.

Also students had voted in favor of a resolution calling for the abolition of mandatory ROTC at the University of Arkansas.


The summary of events at the Cyprus tree and all related quotes were taken from the following newspaper articles:

Youth Settles in a Tree as UA Students Protest Campus ROTC Program. April 16, 1969 (Wednesday), Arkansas Gazette, p. 4A.

U of A’s Tree-Sitter Removed by Police After Threats Made. April 17, 1969 (Thursday). Arkansas Gazette, p. 9A

Tree Sitter Ousted From Perch, Charged  by U of A Officials. April 17, 1969 (Thursday). Northwest Arkansas Times,  pp. 1-2.

Brenda Blagg.  April 16, 1969 [sic] (Thursday). Protester arrested by Police: Student Takes Indefinite Perch. Arkansas Traveler, pp. 1-2.

U of A’s Tree-Sitter Removed by Police After Threats Made.  April 17, 1969 (Thursday). Arkansas Gazette, p.

Student Ends Vigil in Tree, 2 Replace Him. April 18, 1969 (Friday). Arkansas Gazette,  p. 13a

Cold, Rainy Weather Cools Fervor of UA Tree Sitters. April 18, 1969 (Friday). Northwest Arkansas Times, p. 1.

Four-Day ‘Perch-In” a U of A End; Originator Says Project a Success. April 19, 1969 (Saturday). Arkansas Gazette, p. 2A