New Year’s blessings

This time of year I’m counting the blessings life brings my way: Jack Nisbet’s “Boundaries” columns are one of the biggies for me.

Jack Nisbet Boundaries

It’s amazing, when I pause to think of it, that a local newspaper (North Columbia Monthly) sets aside its featured-article space for an essay on regional history, broadly conceived.

Jack Nisbet, already a prolific author of absorbing books, reliably contributes two pages a month on topics most often touching fur-trade history, Native cultures, botany or zoology.  His columns are illustrated usually with rare historic photos or the delightful art of Emily Nisbet.

He always shows a tie-in with our present lives.  And he always finds the surprise pivotal detail in each story he tells, while bringing his years of research to bear in a greater depth of context than you’ll find anywhere else.

His current column, “Sally’s Shadow”, examines nearly the whole scope of Pacific Northwest fur-trade history from the reference point of one woman’s long life–Sally (Sara), the Okanogan Indian wife of Alexander Ross who is pretty well known in the Chinook Jargon sphere.

An up-to-date index by topic guides you to Jack’s columns posted online, so set aside an hour to be captivated by one unexpected topic after another!