All Posts By

James C. Schaap

Essay

What to see at Little Big Horn

The hill where Custer died "When you get to the Visitor's Center, look for the blue dress--it belonged to Judy's grandma," she told me. “Judy” is her friend. I’d just met both at the mission school—middle-aged, Northern Cheyenne women. "Both…
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Agency stories

Maybe it was the little chapel she’d insisted on showing me, a place she thought any visit to the Northern Cheyenne mission wouldn’t be complete without a peek inside. I was tired and had miles to go, but her resolution…
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First Cry in a Stable

It's not a new story. I wrote it more than a decade ago, so it may well show its age. But I thought I'd try it, a father and daughter story, at Christmas. It's a bit longer than a normal…
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Divisions

Once you find the road in—the place is very much out of the way--the signs tell the story. I’ve visited twice, often enough to guess the state of Kansas gives other historical sites first dibs on overall maintenance. Marais des…
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Hog-Hunting and Tote Bags

Got it this morning. Had no idea mature human beings could or would hunt hogs from helicopters, but this Texas outfit thought I might just take a shot.Ten years ago, we stayed at a gorgeous South Dakota hunting lodge, way…
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Gerald Bosch: A Life

It's all so understandable. From the vantage point of 75-plus years, the war seems ancient history. Besides, so many of those who fought had no desire to bundle up memories and lug them home in a service bag. Many wanted…
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Revelation

"Some of them just got too big for their britches." People said that occasionally, that some farmers who went down during the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, went in too big too fast and got blown off the land by a…
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Father Baraga on shore

You’ll drive a long way to find a sandy beach on Minnesota's north shore. That humpy stuff roiling beneath your feet looks and feels like lava, which it is, surprising as that may seem with not a mountain anywhere close.…
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Acknowledgements

Truth be told, there weren't all that many people around. I was a little disappointed in the size of the crowd--three or four dozen, most of them, like me, decidedly on the far side of their forties. A pandemic is raging…
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Home-Schooled

A couple of weeks ago, out west on the Oregon Trail, I couldn't help being astounded by both the clockwork and the sheer number of Union Pacific long-haulers passing, one after another after another, on their way east, each heavy…