Thursday, July 18, 2013


It’s a jungle out there.

The city is stewing.  The streets are roasting.  The roof is on fire. 

Baby, it’s hot outside, during these final days of the Strong Sun Moon.

Citybillies, take cover wherever you can.

This is not my weather of choice, this is not my season.  After all, I am an Elk of the Thunderbird Clan, born under the Long Snow Moon of mid-Decembertime, but I refuse to stay inside.

Can’t let this brutal heat wave keep me off these scorching streets and away from those steamy woods, still lots to catch and hunt.

Nice try, Coyote.

Windows down and sunglasses on, I’m going out, through the swelter and into the sizzle, head-first into the fever.

Gotta love the burn.

This might make me sound like a glutton for punishment but I’m going straight for it.  I’m going hunting for the highest, hottest totem of this season.

Set the controls for the heart of the sun.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


It’s Independence Day Weekend here in Philadelphia.  What a fine time to be in the city.

Block parties and live music, barbecues and picnics, burgers and ice cream, sparklers and fireworks, road-blocks and detours, this city truly lives up to the standards and expectations of Founding Farmer John Adams, who once wrote that Independence Day ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…

…with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.

Well, actually, he always thought it should be celebrated on the Second of July.

Sorry, old man.

In the Fourth we trust…a celebration of the tried and true totems of American history: the bald eagle and the buffalo, Yankee Doodle and Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty…

…the light bulb and the television and the arcade game, the steamship and the automobile and the space shuttle, the pioneer and the cowboy and the rock star…


…and that Old Glory herself…

…that grand old flag we call the Stars and Stripes.

In the spirit of Independence Day, I made a quick pit-stop to pay my respects to our most famous seamstress, Betsy Ross.

She’s buried, right there in Olde City, at 2nd and Old Sassafras Streets, underneath that monumental American elm…

…rocketing over the colonial courtyard, bursting with heavy branches high up in the muggy Coyote sky.

Or, at least, we’re told that she’s buried here.

It turns out that Betsy Ross’s funeral was held on 5th Street.  Twenty years later, her body was exhumed and moved to the now abandoned Mount Moriah Cemetery near Cobbs Creek in West Philly…

…and then, just in time for the Bicentennial of 1976, her body was moved again to this half-museum-half-gift-shop restoration, to be closer to the parade of her colonial brothers and sisters.


Or was she?

Rumor has it that, back in 1975, her gravediggers found no bodily remains under her tombstone there in Mount Moriah. 

Only a few bones, found elsewhere in the family plot, were hastily authenticated as Betsy Ross’s and moved to this courtyard…

...just in time for the opening of the Betsy Ross Bridge in 1976.

It doesn’t matter.


Like we say here in America, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

And so the legend stands.

She’s buried here, First Seamstress of the United States, the beautiful and noble widow who made, with her own blistered hands, the very first version of the American Flag.

Or did she?