Author Topic: Early American Life magazine  (Read 18994 times)

Online Robert Wolfe

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2009, 04:37:49 PM »
Alan, I for one appreciated your response and didn't feel that it was inappropriate. I hope we hear more from you on the site. Having a discussion like this one is part of what makes this site great. Thanks. 
Robert Wolfe
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Mike R

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2009, 04:47:37 PM »
Well, it is time to "get real" I think.  The man published his article in Early American Life for crying out loud, not a juried scientific journal or even a serious bulletin for collectors of longrifles!  EAL is a mag for those elite who can afford to buy and retore old houses, collect high dollar antique furniture, etc., and hardly a scientific or serious historical journal to my knowledge [correct me if I am wrong--I at least HAVE read the article in the mag].  I am a scientist who has published in serious scientific journals and who has [and is currently doing so] edited scientific papers for publication.  There is a difference between writing for other professionals and writing "fun" articles for popular, laymen's mags.  Personally, even then I would have couched my statements more cautiously than this author did, but I am not him.  Scientists [and historians] should know to distinguish between fact, inference and conclusions  both in thought and in writing--it is amazing how many professionals do not.  I did not expect critical writing in such a mag--and did not find it.  To so attack a piece, clearly written as a personal take on gun art, seems a bit overdone IMHO.  Sorry. ;)

Offline JTR

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2009, 10:10:34 PM »
Alan,
Itís good to have you here, and I hope youíll continue to be a regular contributor.
I donít know you, other than by name, but have friends that do, and over the years theyíve had many good things to say about your work, and the research youíve done.
Now, as to my response to your recent post, had you included these comments in the original post along with your name, then my comments wouldnít have been necessary. Given the anonymous nature of the internet, I think a lot of people, myself included, tend to doubt things said, especially without benefit of a name to give the comments a degree of credibility.
As Dick wrote above, yourself, Gusler and Kettenburg are the preeminent researchers today, and itís exciting to have you here! Hopefully youíll feel encouraged to write here and share your knowledge and findings with us less knowledgeable, but very interested guys.
Best regards,
John Robbins 
John Robbins

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2009, 12:16:01 AM »
Well, it is time to "get real" I think.  The man published his article in Early American Life for crying out loud, not a juried scientific journal or even a serious bulletin for collectors of longrifles!  EAL is a mag for those elite who can afford to buy and retore old houses, collect high dollar antique furniture, etc., and hardly a scientific or serious historical journal to my knowledge [correct me if I am wrong--I at least HAVE read the article in the mag].  I am a scientist who has published in serious scientific journals and who has [and is currently doing so] edited scientific papers for publication.  There is a difference between writing for other professionals and writing "fun" articles for popular, laymen's mags.  Personally, even then I would have couched my statements more cautiously than this author did, but I am not him.  Scientists [and historians] should know to distinguish between fact, inference and conclusions  both in thought and in writing--it is amazing how many professionals do not.  I did not expect critical writing in such a mag--and did not find it.  To so attack a piece, clearly written as a personal take on gun art, seems a bit overdone IMHO.  Sorry. ;)

I though I could not beat this dead horse any further, however...

Just because EAL is not a scholarly journal, the folks who read it still expect that what they are reading is factual information about the past.  You may not have expected "critical writing", but the readership, (myself included), expected to not have fantasy tales mixed in with the facts without being forewarned.  I have met and spoken to the owner of EAL in the past, and I have no doubt she will be shocked when she discovers what she has published.  She has a very sincere interest in American history, and I don't fault her or the editor for being fooled.  I agree with you that there is difference between "fun" and scholarly publications, but only if the "fun" ones are clearly identified works of fiction, supermarket tabloids or comic books.  A magazine like EAL, even if aimed at a casual audience, still has the expectation of articles not specifically identified as "fiction", as being factual, not fantasy.  In case you missed it, part of Mr. Kafka's article was a clear appeal to that "elite" audience you cite to collect Kentucky rifles.  He even mentions joining the KRA and repeatedly references the specific high prices top rifles bring.  I think those folks, "elite" or not, deserve not to be spoon fed a bunch of fiction under the guise of fact.  A lie is a lie, fiction is fiction, whether it is published in MAD magazine or the National Geographic.  I would suspect that the readership of MAD expect to be fooled with, but the readership of Nat Geo expect facts.  Ask the editor of EAL which magazine she thinks her publication is most like.  

In case you don't wish to, these quotes are from EAL's own writer guidelines:  
"We cover a diversity of topics, all centered around America from its founding through the mid-1800s: ∑ History. For Life in Early America, we seek an interesting presentation of historic life, an unusual event, or a different look at a well-known topic (usually keyed to the publication date). We are sticklers for accuracy, as our magazine circulates among many museums and historical societies, so you should have some expertise in your subject."  "Accuracy is the most important thing you deliver to us. We can guarantee that your work will be scrutinized by experts in the topic about which your write, so please be sure every date is accurate, every name spelled correctly, every address and telephone number verified."

They did not publish this work as a "personal take on gun art", nor did Mr. Kafka present it as one.  They purchased and published it as accurate and factual history, which it is not.  This clearly does not bother you, but as someone who lectures on, promotes and researches the factual history of the longrifle, these are just more myths that myself and other writers, researchers and museum interpreters who take this study seriously, have to waste time debunking to the public and collectors in the future.  They guaranteed him scrutiny, I am making good on that guarantee.  ;D  

Alan
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 09:47:43 PM by RifleResearcher »
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Mike R

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2009, 04:59:42 PM »
Alan, you clearly take the issue seriously, and I appreciate that. I wonder, however, at your characterization of his flighty opinions as "lies"--a bit strong.  They may be wrong, but "lies" implies at least to me a knowing attempt to decieve.  I don't know the author, but I don't think he wrote lies, but rather opinions--whether or not you agree with them.  As to the editors of the mag--they chose to publish the article as is, meaning it passed their process [I am a technical editor and there is a process regulated by the aims of a given pub]; therefore, I don't see this mag as a historical journal, however otherwise well put together.

P.S. the scrutiny should happen before publication in the editing process, not after.  They claim they had experts scrutinize each article.  So?  They used it anyway. A bit of fancy thrown in with an other wise acceptable article [I saw a few other flaws].
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 05:06:59 PM by Mike R »

Offline Stophel

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2009, 10:26:24 PM »
Ha!  It's usually me who's upsetting the apple cart and making people mad!  ::)

Go man, go!   ;D
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2009, 11:50:05 PM »
Alan, you clearly take the issue seriously, and I appreciate that. I wonder, however, at your characterization of his flighty opinions as "lies"--a bit strong.  They may be wrong, but "lies" implies at least to me a knowing attempt to decieve.  I don't know the author, but I don't think he wrote lies, but rather opinions--whether or not you agree with them.  As to the editors of the mag--they chose to publish the article as is, meaning it passed their process [I am a technical editor and there is a process regulated by the aims of a given pub]; therefore, I don't see this mag as a historical journal, however otherwise well put together.

P.S. the scrutiny should happen before publication in the editing process, not after.  They claim they had experts scrutinize each article.  So?  They used it anyway. A bit of fancy thrown in with an other wise acceptable article [I saw a few other flaws].

Mike,
My arm is weakening, but here goes:
You call them, "flighty opinions", fine, I call them "lies".  In my opinion, flighty opinions, when passed off as facts, are lies.  While "lie" implies to you a knowing "attempt to deceive", that is not the only implication of the word.  A quick look at a dictionary will reveal to you that "lie" can also simply mean:

"2.   something intended or serving to convey a false impression.
3.   an inaccurate or false statement."

It makes no difference to me if Mr. Kafka knows he deceived or not, the end result of his article I believe still matches both of the above definitions.  It serves to convey false impressions, and it is has inaccurate and false statements.

For the record, if you reread the quote from the EAL website, they did not submit Kafka's article to be scrutinized by experts, nor did they claim they would.  The guidelines are a warning to author to be accurate and factual because AFTER publication, it would be scrutinized by experts.  Mr. Kafka failed to head that warning, in spite of the fact they guaranteed that exactly what is happening, would happen.  You may believe, "the scrutiny should happen before publication in the editing process, not after.", but that is not the process EAL uses, and they are clear in warning potential contributors of that fact.  Scrutiny can and should happen anytime, before or after something is published.  Once something is published it in no way, shape or form becomes sacrosanct.  Every year, both popular and academic works are outed as being bunk.  Remember "Arming America" by Michael A. Bellesiles?   Remember "Million Little Pieces" by James Frey?  One was an academic work, one was popular non-fiction, both were outed as frauds AFTER publication when they were examined closely and found to be riddled with factual errors, opinions and fantasies not labled as such.  Should critics have just left these publications alone because the authors managed to get them by their editors and published?  Should they have been left alone because some folks read them and did not see or suspect any errors?

Again Mike, I realize none of this effects you personally.  But as I pointed out already, for those of us who it does effect, this kind of stuff stinks.  It muddies the very water that many of us work very hard to clear up.  The fact that you see no problem with "a bit of fancy" and see "few other flaws" does not mean that they are not there, in abundance.  

In closing, Mike, I have no quarrel with you personally.  Again, and for the record, if I come across offensively, it is just an accident.  I am really, really, really, a big fluffy pile of sunshine and rainbows.   "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way."  ;D  

Alan Gutchess
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 09:48:26 PM by RifleResearcher »
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Mike R

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2009, 12:27:01 AM »
I am not trying to have the last word [really]--and I agree with most of what you say--and it is true that all published ideas get scrutinized after publication--that is not what I was trying to say.  At least in the scientific world, and that does not include Nat'l Geogr or Sci. American, critical review occurs prior to publicationand can result in rejection of the paper. Controversial papers [what isn't these days] may get published if they otherwise pass review--sometimes with caveats--and are subject to scholarly attack [usually "lies" are not part of the attack, we are civil]. Rebuttal papers can follow rebuttal papers. Clearly it is possible to purposely deceive [such as the Bellesisles (sp?) book in 'history' or recent cloning claims from Korea], and such rare folks when caught are generally thrown out of the profession. I guess I am just not as close to the subject of longrifle art--one which I do love, however, to get so [apparently] incensed over a bit of fluff in a popular mag.  Obviously you see it differently.  Is that mag the proper venue to write a rebuttal article? I don't think so, but I would welcome a rebuttal article from you or any other thoughtful person who has considered the subject deeply.  I wish to learn, but I am a critical enough reader to recognize BS when I read it. I also remember history and in the past many things once considered BS came to be the accepted theory.

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2009, 02:16:34 AM »
I also remember history and in the past many things once considered BS came to be the accepted theory.

I don't want the last word either Mike, really. ;D  But again, while scientific and historical writings and theories that may once have been scoffed at, often have proven true, I reject that this is what I am talking about here.  I see Kafka's theories as the writing of "Jack and the Beanstalk" when compared to "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age."  Mr. Kindig makes lots of conjecture, and labels it as such.  If I remember, he even challenges the reader to disprove his theories.  He makes up no fictional stories, etc. etc..  Do we all believe that he made no errors?  Are all of this theories correct?  No.  But he presented them in an honest fashion, even in the choice of a title to his book.  

Mr. Kafka begins by acknowledging the romance of the rifle, even debunking a couple myths, setting the reader up to believe that what was to follow would be the truth.  Making up stories like the one of Haga abandoning engraving after the explosion of his shop, rewriting or mistranslating  names so their new meanings match the preconceived notion of the symbolism they should represent, etc., etc., is the realm of fairy tale, not history.  I doubt anyone will ever find real magic beans that make a vine that lets you climb to a giant's castle in the sky and steal his goose that lays golden eggs and thus prove that fairy tale's, "B.S.", to be an accepted theory in botany, history, anthropology, or any other field.  I don't see why we should expect that the fairy tales written by Kafka should have any better chance of being verifiable.

Oh $#@*!  The keepers here at the asylum are kicking in the door.  Fair thee well rifle enthusiasts!  But head my warning!  Clearly my fate is yours if you take all of this too seriously.  I will post again, but only if the magic beans I traded my cow for make a huge vine that I can climb to get over the wall and escape... ;D

Alan Gutchess
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 09:48:51 PM by RifleResearcher »
"Sarcasm: The last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded."
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Offline Ian Pratt

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2009, 03:52:27 AM »
  ...Who was that masked man?


  You mean to tell me I have been wasting my time using an Ouija board to lay out my patch boxes?

Offline b bogart

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2009, 04:11:20 AM »
Ian if you were truly using a Oujia board you wouldn't have to ask that question. :D
Bruce

Offline RobertS

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2009, 07:24:41 AM »
This may be the liveliest discussion we've had since the nine page long "Golden Mean" debate.  (Just an observation, I'm not trying to start anything!) 

Michael

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #37 on: March 06, 2009, 03:16:34 PM »
Alan

DON'T GO!!  DON'T GO!!!!!!!! This is really starting to get interesting.

I was the first one to reply to the original post and as I stated I had some questions about his 'opinions' and 'facts'. Something about the article didnot ring true but not having access to the research and the collections that others have I try to listen and learn every chance I get.

Michael

Offline bpotter

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2009, 05:59:57 PM »
I was trained and work as a research biologist.  I appreciated Mr.Gutchess' (and others) comments concerning academic rigor.  A very enjoyable and useful series of posts.  Exuberant over-extrapolation seems to be a problem common to all sorts of study but every once in a while it can provide a useful hypothesis, or idea,  for further examination.  If the hypothesis are tested well and hold up they become accepted as theory and if subsequently proven irrefutable as a law. That is research, at least in the hard sciences.  It is human nature to want to skip a step or two.

I readily acknowledge that I do not know the first thing about the proper protocol for long rifle study. I do find the subject  fascinating and am always willing to learn.

Thank you  to all concerned with keeping this website going.

Bruce

Mike R

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2009, 06:47:06 PM »
I also remember history and in the past many things once considered BS came to be the accepted theory.

I don't want the last word either Mike, really. ;D  But again, while scientific and historical writings and theories that may once have been scoffed at, often have proven true, I reject that this is what I am talking about here.  I see Kafka's theories as the writing of "Jack and the Beanstalk" when compared to "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in its Golden Age."  Mr. Kindig makes lots of conjecture, and labels it as such.  If I remember, he even challenges the reader to disprove his theories.  He makes up no fictional stories, etc. etc..  Do we all believe that he made no errors?  Are all of this theories correct?  No.  But he presented them in an honest fashion, even in the choice of a title to his book. 

Mr. Kafka begins by acknowledging the romance of the rifle, even debunking a couple myths, setting the reader up to believe that what was to follow would be the truth.  Making up stories like the one of Haga abandoning engraving after the explosion of his shop, rewriting or mistranslating  names so their new meanings match the preconceived notion of the symbolism they should represent, etc., etc., is the realm of fairy tale, not history.  I doubt anyone will ever find real magic beans that make a vine that lets you climb to a giant's castle in the sky and steal his goose that lays golden eggs and thus prove that fairy tale's, "B.S.", to be an accepted theory in botany, history, anthropology, or any other field.  I don't see why we should expect that the fairy tales written by Kafka should have any better chance of being verifiable.

Oh $#@*!  The keepers here at the asylum are kicking in the door.  Fair thee well rifle enthusiasts!  But head my warning!  Clearly my fate is yours if you take all of this too seriously.  I will post again, but only if the magic beans I traded my cow for make a huge vine that I can climb to get over the wall and escape... ;D

Alan Gutchess, former blow hard, former know-it-all, former smart-ass, former self declared King and Lord Master of all Skeptics, former whipper of room temperature equines, former defender of truth, justice and the American way.

I agree...I sense that our main differences in view over this issue, is that I took it from the first read as 'author's fancy' written to stimulate interest in lay readers of a non-juried pub; that I recognized the B.S. in it from the first--most, but not all, of the B.S. is not in the text proper, but in terse figure captions [a good technical editor would have asked the author to support his statements in the text and with references]; and that, not taking the article too seriously, I did not get as incensed over it--maybe just my mellowing with age.   I do agree that he should have put all sorts of caveat words in front of his interpretations--but I from the get-go saw the statements as his personal interpretations.  You are correct that he does not back up certain claims such as the Haga claim, and such things as that deserve a rebuttal.  It is dangerous ground to accuse someone of lying [ask a lawyer]--especially when most folks, given the background of this, I think would agree he was simply mistaken in his interpretations.  I'll give a brief example from my editing experiences: Many years ago now with a fresh Ph.D. in hand, I was asked by the editor of the prestigious Geological Society of America Bulletin to review a few papers being considered for the pub. The first one I got was written by a world famous geologist, Professor at a prestigious Calif university.  I found a fatal flaw in his conclusions--a key conclusion was based on an error in the inferences--inferences based on a mistaken interpretation--presented as a "fact", when it was not one.  I have long felt that this researcher, in his zeal to prove a point, simply misinterpreted his data, did not try to deceive [lie].  He showed a map which he said proved his point [it did not, and in fact, field relationships disproved his conclusion]. He made an observational error. Was his conclusion/interpretation  FALSE? Yes.  Was it a LIE? No.  By the way he held a grudge against me for years afterwards. 
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 06:50:19 PM by Mike R »

Offline JTR

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2009, 10:26:17 PM »
I was really hoping this topic might go some place with some real information... Instead it continues to just be one guy blasting the other guy for lying.
Hate to say it, but that's just getting old.

So Alan, how about some Facts from your point of view? How about some real information regarding your research on the topic?
Eric Kettenburg has written here many times with lot's of enlightening information, so how something from you, as one of todays primary researchers?

I'm certainly interested, and I'm sure several other guys are as well.

John 
John Robbins

famouseagle

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #41 on: March 07, 2009, 03:47:21 AM »
This has been a great discussion - now it turns nasty. :(

projeeper

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #42 on: March 07, 2009, 06:40:59 AM »
as a nubie to this, all the discussion/banter on symbols etc. many of us do not understand the indepth symbolism related to all the inlays, cheek piece lines etc.. mr. gutchess was that you that responded to my question on another forum about the fish side plate?
 what all you knowegable historians need to do is write a chapter or two and we know that it would not cover your area of expertise but would be a great source of information.
  i for one would spend many hours pouring over this information as the more i learn on this subject the more i want to know. please don,t end up like mr. bivins taking all your knowlege with you

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #43 on: March 07, 2009, 11:04:21 AM »
I was really hoping this topic might go some place with some real information... Instead it continues to just be one guy blasting the other guy for lying.
Hate to say it, but that's just getting old.

So Alan, how about some Facts from your point of view? How about some real information regarding your research on the topic?
Eric Kettenburg has written here many times with lot's of enlightening information, so how something from you, as one of todays primary researchers?

I'm certainly interested, and I'm sure several other guys are as well.

John 

It appears magic beans that grow huge vines overnight really do work.  But remember, magic beans are only for planting, not for eating.  (Don't ask me how I learned that, but no one should ever be their own ladder.) 

Preparing once more to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick...

John, John, John.  Now I know you did not mean that last post as harsh as it sounded, I mean who would want to hurt my little old feelings? No "real information"?  I am sorry if the refutation of specific falsehoods and a discussion of what does and what does not constitute valid historic research does not "enlighten" you enough John.  And after all, I awake every morning and ask myself, "What can I do today to make John's life more enlightened?"  ;D

(For those who are interested in the topic of historical research, I did a quick check on Wiki and found a couple of excellent pages that I believe anyone doing research with the goal of eventually publishing or posting online for discussion, should find interesting food for thought...)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_method
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historiography

"How about some facts"?  From my point of view, I thought I had already posted quite a few.  Could you be more specific?  Facts about hidden symbolism?  I thought I had made myself pretty clear that at this point, I don't know of a single scrap of fact about it.  I have only seen wild speculation and fantasies. (How was that, I did not call them "lies" this time.)   I am at a complete loss to add any more.  I have done some more research on Masonic symbols in the mean time.  It is amazing to me how what official Masonic documents have to say about symbolism seems to be at complete odds with what the now unnamed longrifle symbologist says.  I may post it on the new "symbolism" thread, but not here, since I think this started out as a discussion of a specific article in EAL.  So, John, what exactly do you want me to write about here?  I am much afraid that no matter what it is, I will still only disappoint you.  My comments always get "old" quickly.

I don't actually understand why you would be waiting for me, or Eric, or anyone else to enlighten you.  I believe real historical research, (not the fantasy kind), is open and accessible to everyone who is willing to put even a little effort into it, now more than ever with the internet.  It is not, and should not ever be the domain of a few "superstars", but each and every person on a forum like this.  Some of you put me on an awful short list with folks like Wallace G. or Eric K., but I am in awe of more folks than just them, men like the late Sam Dyke, Bill Guthman and Donald Vaughn, or the not so late Arnie Dowd, Robert Lienemann, Gary Brumfield, Jack Brooks, Rich Pierce, Walt O'Conner, Doc Heckert, Steve Hench and a host of others.  I plan on ambushing Eric Armstrong and making him bring me up to speed on Bucks County rifles, my favorite Golden Age school, yet one I know little about compared to him.  I have stared at the rifles, even restored them, but not researched them.  I am embarrassed to be on a list that does not include all of them and dozens more.   Want to be on that list?  Learn to run a microfilm reader, and look at some tax rolls and land documents.  Join Accessible Archives or Footnote, or Ancestry and spend some time in pursuit of the factual life of your favorite gunsmith.  Teach me some fact I don't know.  But please, just don't try and whizz down my leg and try and convince me its raining, or you will face my smart arsed wrath. :D  Also, for the record, I have not on this site, or any other that I am aware of, ever identified myself as an Kentucky rifle expert, "primary researcher", one of the "finest... scholars of the long rifle in the country today" or "one of the "preeminent researcher(s)".   While my ego accepts all such accolades, even those written by John,  ;D  I am usually very careful about identifying myself as merely a student of the Kentucky rifle, no more, no less.  I learned that modesty primarily from knowing the above mentioned folks, especially Bob Lienemann, a true "expert" on Christian's Spring, who rejects such labels for himself for that of "student".   

On this forum, I have clearly identified myself specifically as who I really am at heart,  a blow hard, know-it-all, smart-ass, self declared King and Lord Master of all Skeptics, whipper of room temperature equines and defender of truth, justice and the American way.  I am just a guy who reads a lot, looks at lots of original rifles, and ponders with a critical mind what he reads, sees and hears.  Also for the record, I am training at Lamont Cranston University to know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.   ;)  (Once I master this, I will first check out the cold dark hearts of "Stophel" and Rich Pierce, and let you know what is really wrong with those guys.) But if anyone thinks I am going to brighten their world and shower them with esoteric knowledge of the longrifle, they likely have the wrong man. 

In spite of my natural tendency to question and debate anything that hits my ears or eyes that does not instantly ring true, I really don't enjoy these, "my opinion vs. your opinion" exchanges.  Let facts rule. Let proof rule.  Let documentation rule.  Base your opinion directly on provable facts, and even if in my gut I think you are wrong, I will leave you alone, or at worst, I will debate your interpretation of those facts.  But I won't call you a, well you know, the "L" word.  We can all discuss and debate facts as gentlemen, and with nary a hurt feeling, usually.  But opinions, based on nothing but wishful thinking or fantasies, are not the foundation of an intelligent discussion.  As Dennis the peasant said so eloquently, "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcicial aquatic ceremony!" ???  I am not sure if that was relevant to this discussion, but I always enjoyed hearing it.  I still insist that I am a lovable pile of warmth and sunshine deep, deep, deep, and getting deeper, inside.  So John, please let me buy you a beer sometime and lets talk about things we will surely both agree on, like religion and politics.   In spite of my tone, I harbor no personal ill feelings towards you or any one else that disagrees with me.  I know I will eventually win you over to my point of view.  What's that line from Star Trek, "Resistance is futile.  You will be assimilated.", or is that, "Lie back and think of England.  I always get those two confused. 

Wow, had enough about me and my self guided tour of the universe yet?  If I did not know myself so well, I might think I had a huge ego problem.  Go figure.  To paraphrase an even more foul fellow than myself, "Someone take over, my arm is getting tired."  (If you get that, you should be ashamed if you smiled when you read it.)

Dang it, here come the guards again to take me back to the rubber room.   Me to Doctor, "Doc, it hurts when I do this." (poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick).  Doctor to me, "Then stop doing that!" 
I really need to listen to my doctor more...
 
Alan Gutchess, learning to appreciate more and more the words of the immortal Rick Nelson from "Garden Party": "You see, you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself". 
(Please insert your own sarcastic remark here about not "pleasing myself in public".  Go ahead, I can take it.)  >:(
"Sarcasm: The last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Offline RifleResearcher

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2009, 11:11:47 AM »
as a nubie to this, all the discussion/banter on symbols etc. many of us do not understand the indepth symbolism related to all the inlays, cheek piece lines etc.. mr. gutchess was that you that responded to my question on another forum about the fish side plate?
 what all you knowegable historians need to do is write a chapter or two and we know that it would not cover your area of expertise but would be a great source of information.
  i for one would spend many hours pouring over this information as the more i learn on this subject the more i want to know. please don,t end up like mr. bivins taking all your knowlege with you

ProJeeper,
No, I don't think it was me, at least I don't remember discussing a fish sideplate before.   If you repost this request on the new "symbolism" discussion thread, I have no doubt you will get plenty of action.
Mr. Gutchess  ;D
"Sarcasm: The last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded."
- Fyodor Dostoevsky

Offline Tom Currie

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2009, 04:37:51 PM »
Alan, Thanks for introducing yourself to all of us who frequent this board.

Thanks everyone for the very entertaining thread.

Offline bpotter

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2009, 05:16:49 PM »

(For those who are interested in the topic of historical research, I did a quick check on Wiki and found a couple of excellent pages that I believe anyone doing research with the goal of eventually publishing or posting online for discussion, should find interesting food for thought...)

Thank you.  That was helpful.   

Bruce

Offline Stophel

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2009, 03:23:02 AM »
I am training at Lamont Cranston University to know what evil lurks in the hearts of men.   ;)  (Once I master this, I will first check out the cold dark hearts of "Stophel" and Rich Pierce, and let you know what is really wrong with those guys.)

Mwa, Ha, ha, haaah. (wringing my hands maniacally...)

 8)
When a reenactor says "They didn't write everything down"   what that really means is: "I'm too lazy to look for documentation."

Offline J. Talbert

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #48 on: March 09, 2009, 04:49:00 AM »
Alan,

Welcome to the board, you big squishy pile of love.  Great thread!  I couldn't imagine what turned such a mundane topic into a red hot 4 pager.

Nice to hear from you,
Jeff
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic"  Benjamin Franklin

jwh1947

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Re: Early American Life magazine
« Reply #49 on: March 10, 2009, 08:20:11 PM »
I read with amusement the longrifle article in EAL.  The writer is, de facto,  no "eminent scholar" and I clearly weigh in as an endorser of RifleResearcher's position.  Maybe the reason many of us trained researchers don't dazzle the collecting fraternity with lots of profound stories and new finds is simply because there are few, if any, breakthroughs in true science.  Science  is a slow process, requiring approval by the court of educated opinion, subject to checks and balances, and never cast in concrete.  Truth comes in trickle by trickle, not spewing out of someone's mouth as profound revelation, unfounded in fact, twisted in logic, and penetrated like Swiss cheese with error upon error.

The best that can be said for Mr. Kafka is that he is consistent and predictable.  If he gazed into a horse patty he would see Christian and Masonic symbols right in there.  But wait, there's more.  He won't be content until he finds one or two gullible patty enthusiasts so that he can interpret it to them.  EAL is the dupe on this one.

My primary objection to this rehash of old history combined with idiosyncratic, symbolic conjecture is that the writer suggests that he speaks for the KRA.  To wit: the primary source listed in the WWW for this article is the KRA and its foundation.
Mr. Kafka is entitled under the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to voice his opinions, no matter how unfounded or bizarre.  It is most inappropriate, however, for him to structure things so as to make it appear that he speaks for the Kentucky Rifle Association or its Foundation.  Since the reader is directed to these organizations for further information, as a past president of the KRA, let me say that Mr. Kafka neither speaks for me or for most of my acquaintances and friends in the KRA.  He speaks for himself.  This is one past president who does not buy his tripe, and that is not to say that an occasional symbol...say three fish, for instance, wasn't a symbol of importance to a mainstream Christian. 

The bottom line is that this fanciful and unbaked thinking has been a dirty little secret in collecting circles for some time.  Normally reasonable people keep quiet because they "don't wan't to offend anybody."  Well, this time the author crossed a line, because he suggests that OUR organization, by proxy, endorses HIS views.
We are the ones who should be offended, because he has no right to suggest that you can get further information from us.  Call him (if you can reach him), listen carefully, then make up your own mind on the veracity of the source. 


I'm with RifleResearcher and the educated scientists, historians, and genealogists on this one.  Thanks, men of reason and erudition, for helping balance things toward normalcy.  J. W. Heckert, Harrisburg.PA