Four-Fold Visions of

the American West

Reason Versus Transcendence

from Alaska to New Mexico

January 5, 2018

I grew up in Titusville, Pennsylvania, a town of some 7000 kindly souls, located a hop and a skip south of Erie in the famous Buffalo snow belt. Much has changed in the region since I left town five decades ago, but the snow continues. One weather website currently lists Erie as the second snowiest city in the United States, trailing only Billings, Montana, and edging out such contenders for the crown as Anchorage, Rochester, and Buffalo itself. [i] Just two weeks ago, Erie drew national attention when it recorded 58 inches of snow—2 inches short of five feet—on Chris...

August 11, 2017

A year ago next week, Carol, Jake, and I said goodbye to our beloved golden retriever, Goldie.

            Goldie had been with us for nearly sixteen years. At ten weeks of age she came home to Indian Hills, the unincorporated district a few miles south of Carson City where we live. In the years that followed she and I logged, by my rough calculations, some 5000 miles in the rolling hills and steep-sided canyons that reach west from our home into the Sierra Nevada.

            I took the above photo on an October morning...

July 28, 2017

Sometime in 1858, Father Joseph Gallagher, a Catholic priest headquartered in San Francisco, traveled to Carson City for the purpose of establishing a church, the first such in what was soon to become the Territory of Nevada. Gallagher purchased a suitable site. Within two years, the Catholic church of Saint Teresa of Avila stood at the intersection of King and Minnesota streets.

            The church’s early years were rocky. Carson City was a two-bit mining town, many of whose citizens were disinclined to behave in a spiritual manner. Worse, according to a contempor...

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