It’s a lovely, lovely Friday here in Lincoln, and it’s also time for another round of This Day in History.
The first anniversary doesn’t apply directly to literary history or to any University of Nebraska Press titles, but it is an important date as far as bloggers are concerned – on this day in 1977, Apple introduced the first practical home computer, the Apple II. And nerds everywhere rejoiced.
Today is also the birthday of Pat Garrett, the American sheriff who shot Billy the Kid. Pat Garrett was the son of a wealthy plantation owner in the south, who, as a young man, moved to Texas to become a cowboy, and then had a bunch of other adventures in the Old West (as seems to be the norm for rebellious young men in those days). He shot Billy the Kid at a mutual friend’s house, twice, late at night. The Kid likely had no idea Garrett was even there, and and even though Billy the Kid was an outlaw, many people believed the way that Garrett shot him was underhanded and sneaky, which later adversely affected Garrett’s political ambitions. Even so, later in his life, Garrett became a friend Theodore Roosevelt. Read more in our aptly titled Billy the Kid biography, Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life, by Robert M. Utley.
A note about posting next week: I’m off to do the Bicycle Ride Across Nebraska, which begins tomorrow and runs through next Saturday, which means that posting will be light next week. And since I have bicycling on my mind, I’m going to leave you with three links:
The first is to our fantastic bicycling book, Bicycling Beyond the Divide, by Daryl Farmer. Farmer rode his bike across the entire Western United States – once when he was in his early 20s and had few responsibilities and energy to spare, and again 20 years later, when his list of obligations was much longer and his stamina much lower. This is a book about bicycling and change – both personal change and the way the Western United States changed and aged during the 20 years between rides. This is a lovely book that was also a 2008 Summer Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
The second is to another bicycling book, Need for the Bike, by Paul Fournel. This is a short collection of Fournel’s thoughts about biking, and it’s so engaging, relatable and well-written that several of my bicycle enthusiast friends keep copies on hand to give as gifts to every avid cyclist they know.
The third is a link to my friend Cindy’s column that ran yesterday in the Lincoln Journal Star. Cindy went for a bike ride with the Chubby Super Biker, a super nice guy and very good writer, who began blogging in 2005 as he embarked on a quest to lose half his weight – yes, half. After shedding more than 100 pounds, Chubby Super Biker began biking and writing about it. If you live in Lincoln and spend any time on the bike trails, you’ve probably seen him.