'An everyday history,' says Ray Raphael, 'tells of the people, the places, and the times which other books are in too much of a hurry to talk about.' He is a young man, city-born, who settled five years ago in the California north. Fascinated by the place, the people, the minutiae of life in the backwoods, he has put together an 'everyday history' of his own particular 'somewhere'...the coastal hills near the Oregon border.
In a loving narrative, he tells us of the day-to-day story of the ordinary people, animals, and plants that have lived in this place. What an everyday Indian did for livelihood and play. What happens to a forest as it grows and to an animal as it hunts or is hunted. How Russian trappers, Spanish seamen, and Anglo gold miners swept through, changing the lives of the otters, the seals, the forests...and the Indians. How homesteaders, loggers, and finally today's new pioneers came to stay, and how their lifestyles affected the landscape and were affected by it. We learn firsthand about the working day of lumberjacks, professional soldiers, elk (and potatoes); about the 'place' in the woods of rivers, coyotes, the tan oak acorn; and about life on the homesteads and in frontier towns.
In his fine pen-and-ink drawings, Mark Livingston transmutes old historical prints and advertisements, together with new glimpses of the countryside and its creatures, into a feeling illumination of the narrative.
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