WSV’s Amy East details a week spent in northern Georgia, where she helped a friend and fellow archaeologist dig along the Etowah River at an 1,800-year-old site called Rice Farm.
Zora Neale Hurston is most famous as a fiction writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Her most famous book became the 2005 movie of the same name: Their Eyes Were Watching God. Yet this remarkable, and controversial woman was also a notable cultural anthropologist — and a student of the “father of American anthropology” Franz Boas — whose contributions have only recently begun to be appreciated.
WSV’s Amy East writes, “And, at that point, that’s when I realize I’ve come to a crossroads. I realize I’ve been walking around cut off from myself, numbing myself to the pain, yes, but also numbing myself to the beauty too. As I stand at the crossroads, I know that down one road lies the same — protected and predictable, yet numb — and down the other lies uncertainty — and the ability to feel alive again.”
WSV’s Amy East writes about, well, writing in this week’s Critters, Culture, and Compost. So if you need help transforming “hum-drum passive verbs to some heckin’ action,” Amy’s got you covered.
It’s often said it takes a village to raise a child but the same can be said about an independent, nonprofit news organization. During our Fall Member Drive we’ll introduce or in some cases re-introduce the people who make Watershed Voice what it is today.
Watershed’s Amy East writes, “My brain, bless its little heart, is probably (and maybe optimistically) described as organized chaos at any given moment. Where my husband thrives in an environment that’s as close to sterile as possible, my office (house?) currently has piles of somewhat related materials scattered throughout. And I know where everything is so that, when I need it, I can find it. It drives my husband nuts. I wouldn’t say I run on pure chaos, because pure chaos has me in this particular place and time, but I also fight structure. I’m complicated, what can I say?”
WSV’s Amy East writes, “Having a garden, doesn’t matter how big or small, means living in tune with the seasons. For me, it means focusing less on man-made constructs of time and more on the natural cycle of the earth. Growing food not only feeds your body, but (in my oh so humble opinion) feeds your soul by connecting you to nature. And so, while it can be overwhelming and no short amount of work, I love the bounty of food that each late summer brings with it. I love putting up as much as I can before the frost returns, and feeding my family with homegrown produce through the cold months.”
WSV Columnist Amy East writes, “In researching my own genealogy, I’ve found a number of ancestors who fought for the idea that all men were created equal in the American Revolution, and some that owned slaves. The movement of my ancestors to Cass County was very near to the time the Potawatomi were forcibly removed. Were they involved? I don’t know. Did they benefit? Without a doubt. But just because this knowledge might make me uncomfortable, or challenge how I’d like to see myself, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. When you ask ‘what did you learn that you didn’t know before?’ you don’t get to choose if that knowledge aligns with your worldview. That’s the cost of curiosity, my friend.”
WSV’s Amy East writes, “With the first dumped feeders and somewhat pillaged barn, I got the traps back out this spring. And despite the first two catches going smoothly, I walked to the barn several days ago to be met with a scattering of chicken feathers outside the barn door. Not good. I’ll spare you the details, dear reader, but suffice it to say that it was carnage. As of this writing, I’ve lost eight chickens and we’ve dispatched additional two raccoons, and it’s not over yet. We’ve upped security measures and changed tactics, yet the ringleader is still at-large.”
WSV’s Amy East writes, “Two years ago when we bought our place in beautiful Cass County, I dove into the county’s and my own family’s history, discovering that my ties to the area went deeper than I’d known. There is a richness to the county’s intertwined Potawatomi, European, and African American history that I’d never learned in school, or maybe never appreciated.
“Earlier this year, the Cass County Board of Commissioners saw fit to appoint me to the Historical Commission. As part of the publications committee, I’ll be editing and updating books that share our history with anyone who cares to read about it. Will there be an opportunity for more archaeology, maybe here at home? I’d like to think so, I hope so. There are many, many questions to be answered and stories to be told. Give me a couple years and we’ll see what I can do.”
WSV’s Amy East details the life and accomplishments of the late Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician who played a critical role in the success of the U.S. space program.
WSV’s Amy East writes about a new addition she plans to make to her garden this year. “This year I’m trying amaranth, and since the ‘approximate seed count’ in the bag is 1,200, I won’t be growing just two or three. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m getting myself into with this adventure. And it will be an adventure. There will be the anticipation of planting, excitement as new sprouts poke up out of the ground, frustration of trying to determine weeds from plants, swear words flying in anger as my chickens inevitably discover the plants, and, always, the uncertainty of when to harvest and how to best preserve and cook it.”
On this day in 1606, in Westminster Hall, eight men stood trial for their participation in the Gunpowder Plot. These men, and a number of other religious extremists, sought to blow up Parliament, kill King James I, Queen Anne, and Prince Charles, and place 9-year-old Princess Elizabeth on the throne in an attempt to gain support and undo laws that all but outlawed Roman Catholicism in the country.
WSV Columnist Amy East writes, “The reality of higher education in our country is far from ideal and far from available for everyone. […] The cost of education keeps going up while the quality of education suffers.”
As of 10:59 p.m. Tuesday night, with just under 72 percent of St. Joseph County precincts reporting, Republican Steve Carra led Democrat Amy East for the seat of 59th District Representative in the Michigan Legislature by a margin of approximately two to one. At that time, Carra carried 12,200 votes in the county to East’s 6,775. He also held a significant lead in Cass County. Speaking from St. Joseph County Republican Party Headquarters in Three Rivers around 11 p.m., Carra said his campaign was declaring victory. Results are also in for several other contested, local races.
Watershed Voice sent out questionnaires to over 30 candidates in contested local, state, and national races in St. Joseph County and the surrounding area for the November 3 General Election. In the days leading up to Election Day, Watershed will publish the answers it has received. Amy East, a Democratic candidate for the 59th District seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives, filled out our questionnaire. These are her answers.
The St. Joseph County Democratic Party is hosting an event at Memory Isle Park in downtown Three Rivers this Sunday. Called “Dems on Mem,” organizers characterize the event as a pre-election rally. It will feature a number of candidates for Federal, state, and local offices, and the schedule will also include live music, speeches, and an informal candidate meet-and-greet.
Layne Deuel of Three Rivers writes,
“When looking to vote for one of the three candidates (contending for 59th District State Representative) I ask that you disregard the ‘D’ and ‘R’ next to their names but investigate their policies and how they plan on impacting the 59th for years to come.”