Howdy y'all, Anita Lequoia here, Founder of Stargazer Mercantile! Welcome to my blog, THE CAMPFIRE CHRONICLE. I hope that you'll stay a while and visit . . . (virtual) coffee pot is always on!

SS Sultana: Mystery at Sea


I often wonder why some historical events are well remembered, while others are all but forgotten. Is it the magnitude of the event, like the destruction of the Twin Towers? Maybe it’s the mystery and intrigue like the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby.  Or perhaps it’s the personal stories that accompany an event, as in the sinking of the Titanic? I’ve been pondering this and it seems to me that,…

The WPA Murals: State of the Art


Cue the theme song to “The Waltons” because we’re traveling back to1935. Allow me to set the stage for you: In Walton’s Mountain terms, those quaint old moonshine making spinsters, the Baldwin ladies, were busy churning out jar after jar of the recipe. On and off of Walton’s Mountain, the U.S. had been smack-dab in the middle of the Great Depression of 1929. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal had…

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900: Taking The City By Storm


As news arrives of Hurricane Joachim making landfall on the East coast, there is no denying that hurricane season is upon us again, and I am reminded of hurricanes past. It’s hard to believe it has been ten years since Hurricane Katrina blew through the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Louisiana. Thinking back on Katrina made me wonder about some of the other most damaging U.S. hurricanes. And by “wonder,” I…

Marriage In The Old West: Love, Honor And Obey


If random Facebook memes are to be believed, everything about years past was good. That’s what makes them the “good old days”, right? Marriages were stronger. Kids were heartier. Parents were wiser. And advice was just plain better. But was it really? Some of the people posting those memes on Facebook might want to check out this book of advice for men, written by Rev. George W. Hudson in 1883—The…

Henry O. Flipper, The First African-American Military Officer


Remember back in the 1990s, when we didn’t have cell phones that talked to us and gave us directions? We didn’t have GPS units to direct our paths either. Well, some rental cars had GPS units, but family cars didn’t. If you wanted to arrive at a specific destination, you were forced to rely on your keen sense of direction, if you had one, directions from strangers if you didn’t,…

The Crash at Crush, Texas: End of the Line


This edition of The Campfire Chronicle is a little difficult to categorize, but basically I am thinking that we need to file it under the general category of “WHAT THE HECK WERE THEY THINKING?” This is one of those topics that reads like it must be satire, but it isn’t. In fact, whoever first said that truth is stranger than fiction must have known about a man named William George…

Marfa, Texas: The Capital of Quirkiness


How many of you remember watching the TV show Hee Haw? Oh, sure, it was as corny as all get-out, but one of my favorite parts of the show was when they would salute little, out of the way spots. Please tell me you remember when someone on the show would say something like, “Hee Haw salutes my hometown, Podunkville, Alabama, population 1,317!” And then the whole Hee Haw gang…

Brownie Wise: The Life of the Tupperware Party


Those of you who join me at the Campfire Chronicle with any regularity know there is a general theme around here. Western. I love all things Western. Sometimes a story doesn’t quite fit into the Western mold, but I still find myself unable to resist telling you about it. This is one of those times. So, go ahead and tie up your horses because you won’t be needing them for…

The Klondike Gold Rush: A Golden Anniversary


I love any reason to celebrate. Seriously, you come up with an occasion and I’ll be there with my fork poised to dig into some cake! Since August isn’t a big month for holidays, I’ve been going through cake withdrawal. Until now! I did a little research and learned that August marks a very special kind of Golden Anniversary. I’m not talking about the celebration of fifty years of marriage….

Native American Boarding Schools: “Kill the Indian, Save the Man”


Many of us remember singing along with the Schoolhouse Rock song, “The Great American Melting Pot” on Saturday mornings. I will admit that I never found it as catchy as “Conjunction Junction,” but it did give us something to ponder. It was a fun little cartoon showing heartwarming scenes of immigrants bringing their own languages and customs and melting right in with thousands of other people to form a country….