A boy’s life on Hawaii’s Big Island in the 1950s revolved around water. My elementary school in Hilo was right by Bakers Beach, a spring-fed pond called Ice Pond, and the Wailoa River. Every day after school, we used to go swimming or diving to catch fish. I practiced holding my breath in the bathtub.
Fort Sumter. Bull Run. Antietam. Vicksburg. Gettysburg. Appomattox Courthouse. These are the places you usually think of when you think about the Civil War. Not Milwaukee, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Des Moines.
At an interesting time in our history, folks started wearing weapons as a part of their daily attire, to work and to play. In the 1830s, citizens of the Mississippi River Valley, in such communities as New Orleans, Natchez, Vicksburg, and Little Rock, armed themselves. They chose small weapons popular at the time—single-shot pistols, sword canes, and knives—as business accessories.