In honor of Pioneer Day yesterday, I have been reading a record of my great-great grandfather, George F. Richards. Grandpa Richards was not himself a pioneer, but his mother, Nanny Longstroth, was. She and her family were converted to the Gospel in England and gathered to Nauvoo to be with the Saints when Nanny was 11 years old, in the midst of great persecution and with great sacrifice.
Every Latter-day Saint with Scandinavian heritage (there are many of us) should read William Mulder’s Homeward to Zion: The Mormon Migration from Scandinavia (University of Minnesota Press: 1985; reprint Brigham Young University Press: 2000). It is a well-researched and fascinating account of the story of tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints who found the Gospel in their native Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway and then emigrated here more or less en masse throughout the second half of the nineteenth century.
Chris Ayres, an Englishman who is the Los Angeles correspondent for the Times and currently lives in Hollywood, has posted some funny observations about the current heat wave in the Western United States (actually, countrywide). His humorous perspective touches a topic that I’ve often thought of in the past about the settlement of the deserts of the American West.
President Bush is in East Germany visiting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) ahead of the upcoming G-8 summit. I lived in East Germany for two years, including nearly a year in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where President Bush is visiting Merkel in her native region of Germany. He is visiting Rostock, Stralsund, Heiligendammer Seebad, and Trinwillershagen. I have spent considerable time in Rostock and Stralsund but have not been to Heiligendammer Seebad or Trinwillershagen.
We welcomed a new addition to our family on Saturday, July 8. Katherine Sarah Fowles was born at 7:05 a.m. and weighed 6 lbs. 10 oz. She had been so active in the womb that the umbilical cord was wrapped around her body, circling her neck (!) and wrapped in an "x" across her chest. But she was happy and healthy and mother and daughter are doing wonderfully.