October 2013 Newsletter

The October (#25) issue of the FoJMB Newsletter is now available online. Please see the Current Newsletter page for full details.

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Happy Birthday

HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY to THE JOHN MUIR BIRTHPLACE.
Opened 23rd August 2003.
Now approaching 120,000 visitors
Comment in visitors book yesterday from a lady from Holland. ‘What a wonderful museum. I didn’t know of John Muir but I do now. An inspiration to us all’. And a couple from Maryland. The lady told us that her husband proposed to her on Glacier Point.

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June 2013 Newsletter

The June (#24) issue of the FoJMB Newsletter is now available online. Please see the Current Newsletter page for full details.

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3 Photos from Allison’s Visit

13.5 Sierra Pres visit 13.5 Sierra Cl AC&JM stat 13.5 Sierra Cl AC&JT

Outside JMB with Carolyn Gray, Jo Moulin, John Hutchison, David Anderson, Allison Chin, John Thomas and Cllr. Norman Hampshire
Allison and Jo at the John Muir Boyhood statue
Allison and Jim Thompson at the Stewart (or Stuart as they had it then) panel in the Council Chamber
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Visit of Allison Chin

Had a nice buffet lunch in the Council Chamber at Dunbar Town House on Wednesday meeting with Allison Chin, President of the Sierra Club. Also enjoying the lunch were John Hutchison, President of JMT, John Thomas, JMT trustee and chairman of JMBT, Stephen Bunyan, Chairman of Dunbar Community Council, Will Collin and Jo Moulin. I was supposed to walk Allison around John Muir’s Dunbar but my ankle was playing up. Will did the needful.
Allison was fulsome in her praise for the birthplace and said she would spread the word on her return to the USA

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Last Quote

21st April, 2013, the 175th anniversary of John Muir’s birthOn 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.
Last quote
Although I was four years at the University, I did not take the regular course of studies, but instead picked out what I thought would be most useful to me, particularly chemistry, which opened a new world, and mathematics and physics, a little Greek and Latin, botany and geology. I was far from satisfied with what I had learned, and should have stayed longer. Anyhow I wandered away on a glorious botanical and geological excursion, which has lasted nearly fifty years and is not yet completed, always happy and free, poor and rich, without thought of a diploma or of making a name, urged on and on through endless, inspiring, Godful beauty. From the top of a hill on the north side of Lake Mendota I gained a last wistful, lingering view of the beautiful University grounds and buildings where I had spent so many hungry and happy and hopeful days. There, with streaming eyes, I bade my blessed Alma Mater farewell.  But I was only leaving one University for another, the Wisconsin University for the University of the Wilderness.
The world gives grateful thanks that John left the University of Wisconsin for the University of the Wilderness
JM1 JM2
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Additional Two

My thanks to Will Collin who put together the extracts from ‘My Boyhood and Youth’ that we have enjoyed over the past weeks. Will gave 40 extracts although only 38 were required. The additional two are shown below.

I did not vary more than five minutes from one o’clock all winter, nor did I feel any bad effects whatever, nor did I think at all about the subject as to whether so little sleep might be in any way injurious; it was a grand triumph of will-power over cold and common comfort and work-weariness in abruptly cutting down my ten hours’ allowance of sleep to five. I simply felt that I was rich beyond anything I could have dreamed of or hoped for. I was far more than happy. Like Tam O Shanter I was glorious, “O’er a’ the ills o’ life victorious.”

I received my first lesson in botany from a student by the name of Griswold, who is now County Judge of the County of Waukesha, Wisconsin… This fine lesson charmed me and sent me flying to the woods and meadows in wild enthusiasm.  Like everybody else I was always fond of flowers, attracted by their external beauty and purity.  Now my eyes were opened to their inner beauty, all alike revealing glorious traces of the thoughts of God, and leading on and on into the infinite cosmos.  I wandered away at every opportunity, making long excursions round the lakes, gathering specimens and keeping them fresh in a bucket in my room to study at night after my regular class tasks were learned; for my eyes never closed on the plant glory I had seen.

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Quote 37

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

One evening when I was reading Church history father was particularly irritable, and called out with hope-killing emphasis, “John, go to bed! … Then, as an afterthought, as if judging that his words and tone of voice were too severe for so pardonable an offense as reading a religious book, he unwarily added: “If you will read, get up in the morning and read.  You may get up in the morning as early as you like.” … that frosty morning I sprang out of bed as if called by a trumpet blast, rushed downstairs, scarce feeling my chilblains, enormously eager to see how much time I had won; and when I held up my candle to a little clock that stood on a bracket in the kitchen I found that it was only one o’clock.  I had gained five hours, almost half a day!  “Five hours to myself!” I said, “five huge, solid hours!”  I can hardly think of any other event in my life, any discovery I ever made that gave birth to joy so transportingly glorious as the possession of these five frosty hours.

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Quote 36

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

Father’s strict rule was, straight to bed immediately after family worship, which in winter was usually over by eight o’clock.  I was in the habit of lingering in the kitchen with a book and candle after the rest of the family had retired, and considered myself fortunate if I got five minutes’ reading before father noticed the light and ordered me to bed; an order that of course I immediately obeyed.  But night after night I tried to steal minutes in the same lingering way, and how keenly precious those minutes were, few nowadays can know.  Father failed perhaps two or three times in a whole winter to notice my light for nearly ten minutes, magnificent golden blocks of time, long to be remembered like holidays or geological periods…

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Quote 35

On 15 March 1913, John Muir’s ‘The Story of My Boyhood and Youth’ was published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York.  It has constantly been available in the 100 years since. It tells of his early years in Dunbar and then, from ages 11 to 22, of growing up in the wonderful Wisconsin countryside.  His love of nature, awakened in East Lothian, was nurtured in Marquette County and inspired him to change the world’s view of wild places.

Today’s quote

I was fond of reading, but father had brought only a few religious books from Scotland.  Fortunately, several of our neighbors had brought a dozen or two of all sorts of books, which I borrowed and read, keeping all of them except the religious ones carefully hidden from father’s eye.  Among these were Scott’s novels, which, like all other novels, were strictly forbidden, but devoured with glorious pleasure in secret.

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