Thanks to National Frontier Trails Museum,


The Jennings Papers / WEST is a masterful work viewing the endurance of members of a family that moved from Pennsylvania to California in the mid 1800s.  

I picked the title from Amazon because of the simple,  “diary” appearance of the cover,  read the preface and couldn’t put it down.  The Allen family, of which I am a proud member, looks to a diary by Sarah Chinkle Allen to unravel its roots.  My family moved from Pennsylvania,  and the Carolinas to Texas during the same period. Our story is repleat with accounts of endurance to rival that of the Jennings. 

For someone who thinks he is camping out when he gets a room at the Comfort Inn without a coffee service, the experience of their kind of endurance is now far from me.  I am soft by their standards.  

When the challenge appears, however, I have to remember that their inspiration is an immediate resource. Theirs, is the stock from which I evolved.  I still have relatives who live closer to those roots than I. A fact of which I am eternally proud. 

Many Americans don’t need to look more than a generation or two for such inspiration.  We are a people hewn from the pith of adventure, unquenchable hope, an earthy faith in our Maker and an inner endurance that embraces the unknown. Such an active memory is the marrow in our bones.