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La Charrette Village

Interested in what Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone, Zebulon Pike, John Colter, President Jefferson and other notables thought about America's newly acquired westernmost village? Enjoy the west...before it became distorted by TV, movies and novels.

Location: Port Aransas, Texas, United States

A retired professor of Food and Animal Science at Texas A&M University, The University of Connecticut and Texas Tech. A cowboy in my previous life...never thought about being a professor or an author.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Whooping Crane Celebration with La Charrette

The Whooping Crane Celebration at Port Aransas, Texas, February 23-26, 2006 was an apparent success. Wendy and Lowell had many compliments on the presentation about her father's role in helping saving three endangered species, the Whooping Crane among them. Larry Walkinshaw studied them both in Canada and at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in 1948-1950. Thanks go to Bernice Jackson of the Refuge for providing this picture of the display at the events Arts and Craft Show. To learn more about Lawrence H. Walkinshaw's amateur life as an ornithologist check-out the title link.

While there copies of La Charrette sold to event participants from New Jersey, Canada, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, California, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and of course Missouri, among states. Many others listened to my telling about life at the village now central to two national bicentennial celebrations.

Friday, February 17, 2006

iUniverse Author Newsletter: January 2006

Introducing Our Newest Star Title, La Charrette by Lowell M. Schake

La Charrette provides the first-ever historical look at America's westernmost frontier settlement, which—over a mere thirty-year existence—managed to leave behind a rich, vibrant legacy that is firmly rooted in local, state, and national history.

A virtual Who's Who of the American frontier, La Charrette documents the life and times of the families who lived in this influential riverbank village in Warren County, Missouri. It also chronicles many legendary heroes who passed through, including Lewis and Clark, Daniel Boone, Captain Zebulon Pike, 'Indian' Phillips, John Colter, Flanders Callaway, Syndic Chartran, and others who helped shape history and forever change the face of our nation.

The author, Lowell M. Schake, was born on Charrette Creek and devoted many years of his life to researching the village where the creek empties into the mighty Missouri River. Before retiring, Schake was a professor at three major universities over the course of thirty years.
Schake said he's had a great iUniverse experience, especially since he became a Star author.
"I derive great pleasure from delving into topics—collect all the available details—to create a seamless, highly readable story to share with others," Schake said. "iUniverse staff have been instrumental in allowing me to achieve this goal. It's just been one favorable experience followed by another in this modern-day mode of publishing. I especially appreciate the 'control' an author maintains within the self-publishing concept."

"The real adventure of self-publishing began when I was asked to apply for the iUniverse Star Program last summer," Schake continued. "La Charrette had had its successes. Yet my selection required input from publishing industry professionals to elevate it to its full potential. Professional reviews and endorsements were needed as was an index, a newly designed cover, a forward plus professional editing."

"None of this would have been possible without a viable working partnership," Schake said. "iUniverse's staff have provided that opportunity to me. From the CEO of iUniverse and beyond, the staff has always worked with me to make correct decisions."

The experience with iUniverse has been exceptional. I recommend this self-publishing house to interested authors. Proceed to the title link to learn more about becoming a STAR author with them. The banner shown above was part of the National Bicentennial Lewis and Clark events at Marthasville, Missouri in 2004. Plan to join us in September 2006 when Corps members "Shout for Joy!" upon returning to La Charrette.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Whooping Cranes & La Charrette


Tenth Annual Whooping Cranes Celebration Features New Speakers

Port Aransas, Tex. (February 15, 2006)—The Tenth Annual Celebration of Whooping Cranes and Other Birds is certain to be more spectacular this year than ever before in the presence of a record number of Whoopers appearing at nearby Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The event will also feature birding tours by both land and sea, the International Crane Children’s Art Exhibit, a Nature-Theme Trade Show and lectures by birding experts for three days, February 24, 25 and 26, 2006.

A new feature at this year’s celebration will detail one of those responsible for saving Whooping Cranes. Family members of Larry Walkinshaw will tell of his exceptional experiences on February 25 at 9 a.m. at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute auditorium. Walkinshaw’s daughter, Wendy and her husband Lowell M. Schake, will share inspiring stories about how one man, as a self-financed amateur, has made a difference in the world of birding. The title of their presentation is “How to Help Save an Endangered Species in Your Spare Time.” He also played a preeminent role in saving the endangered Greater Sandhill Cranes and Kirtland’s Warblers.

Walkinshaw was a Michigan dentist for 40 years. As president of dental societies, the Battle Creek Lions Club, the Battle Creek Boy Scouts, and the Wilson Ornithological Society, as well as serving as secretary of the American Ornithologists’ Union with membership in 20 other bird societies, one might think Walkinshaw had little time to ‘go birding’ or publish his 350 articles and books.

The Schakes will provide a glimpse into how Walkinshaw accomplished what few professional ornithologists have, and how life somehow remained ‘normal’ in the unique family of Larry and Clara Walkinshaw. Wendy grew up with a baby Sandhill Crane in her playpen as her father studied the world’s cranes. His two most signal books are Cranes of the World (shown above) and The Sandhill Cranes.

Recognized as the “Father of International Crane Research,” the Walkinshaw Award exemplifies the highest honor among today’s professional crane researchers worldwide. So intense was his lifelong love of birds that Walkinshaw asked, “Clara, do you think you can love birds as much I do?” when he proposed to his wife in 1931.

The Schakes reside in Port Aransas. They are now writing Walkinshaw’s biography, due out within about a year, and Lowell himself has recently published a book, La Charrette: A History of the Village Gateway to the American Frontier. After retiring from 30 years of collegiate teaching and research, he began pursuing his passion, which was exploring and researching the American frontier, where he grew up as a child. Schake’s book will be available at the events Trade Show. He also volunteers at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, winter home of the Whooping Cranes.

Wendy frequently accompanied her father when studying cranes, including their visit to Aransas Refuge in 1950 when captive ‘Crip’ and ‘Jo’ were nesting there. She was not, however, with her father when he captured the first picture of a Whooping Crane nest in Wood Buffalo National Refuge, Northwest Territory, Canada or when arrested in Cuba as a suspected German spy during WW II. The Walkinshaws traveled extensively studying cranes.

The Whoopers promise to be spectacular, the food delicious and the speakers informative. To learn more about the event, please proceed to the title link


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Questing La Charrette: Interlibrary Loans

Interlibrary loan services were indispensable components in seeking documents from other libraries across the country. The Corpus Christi, Texas Public Library staff provided excellent support. Visit their libraries at the title link and use their services if needed.

Once or twice each week I would pick up a large stack of books or other documents that I had ordered, take them home and proceed to read. First I would comb over the index looking for names, events and of course the name La Charrette. Then I would read promising items and when appropriate make note of any additional reference cited and proceed to order them, reinitiating this entire process.

I always thought myself a bit odd when I would read the index of some promising document as if it were a novel! But that's where cups of 'La Charrette' coffee came to my rescue.

The coffee mug shown here was part of the May 2004 Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Celebrations held at Marthasville...in the shadow of old La Charrette Village.