Journal

Author: Mason Winfield Created: Friday, February 26, 2010
Journal

 Wer, wenn ich schriee, hörte mich denn aus der Engel Ordnungen?  

(“Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic echelons?”)

Rilke

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 Some of you have heard of the new History Channel program The Search for the Lost Giants. A Facebook friend gave me a tag while discussing his enthusiasm for the show, and it’s gotten me updating my comments on the subject. 

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  Some of you may have heard of the new History Channel program The Search for the Lost Giants. A Facebook friend gave me a tag while discussing his enthusiasm for the show, and it’s gotten me updating my comments on the subject of Giant Skeleton Reports (GSR from now on). In the earlier article in this series I commented on the historic reports of human giants, the program, and my meeting with its host. 

Western New York is no slouch when it comes to GSR. In fact, the territory of the historic Seneca nation was actually quite rich in them, as was anything else in the sphere of the Adena and Mississippian trade network. These cultures and those they influenced were marked by a tendency to rework the landscape into massive and often eye-catching earthworks. If you spend even a few seconds speculating that there could have been a pre-Columbian caste, tribe or population of extra-large human beings, the concentration of so many GSR sites along river valleys on the underside of the Great Lakes gets you fancying about ancient kingdoms and echelons of alternate populations. (I hear a Game of Thrones coming, North American style.) For what it’s worth, here are my top ten favorite GSR in Western New York, bottom to top, with comment:

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  Some of you may have heard of the new History Channel program The Search for the Lost Giants. A Facebook friend gave me a tag while discussing his enthusiasm for the show, and it spurred me into updating my comments on the subject.

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 Those of us brought up as Christians were likely taught to see Christ as a pacifist, a saint or a victim. Our most familiar images of Him are pale and halo-crowned; we envision Him as a defenseless infant, a pastoral priest or a noble sufferer. Patient, enduring, borne by angels and resurrected by God, Jesus is hardly an action-figure in contemporary imaginations. He might not always have looked so timid. And Christmas may not always have been Jesus’ season.

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 I lost a friend yesterday, as did the Roycrofters, the town of East Aurora, the Arts & Crafts Movement community, and a broad network of sympathizers around the world. I refer to Edythe Turgeon – the omnipresent “Kitty” – one of the grand characters in Western New York and the spiritual mother of the Roycroft Campus in East Aurora. 

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  Legends of haunted bays, blighted islands and cursed regions have developed on each of the Great Lakes. The reader would be surprised to hear about the portable and vehicle ghosts: “Flying Dutchmen,” in other words, ghost ships. The two most famous–the Edmund Fitzgerald of Gordon Lightfoot’s 1975 ballad and French explorer LaSalle’s 1679 Griffon–are not associated with Lake Ontario, but a number of other reports are, and they may have roots in local history. In deference to my soon to be published book, Spirits of the Niagara Wine Trail, let’s revisit one of them. 


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