A Little (Really A Lot!) Extra

When I first penned Moon and Sunn I included a truck load of chapter endnotes. I felt I needed to verify just about every historical detail of the entire book! After endless research editor Bobby Haas's not so subtle comment, let's just say, was more than mildly offensive. "What you have here is an encyclopedia of everything Moon Sunn. If anyone ever wants to write a book about your dad, your work will be the primary source." I can laugh now, just barely :), knowing he was right. However, some of you history buffs might be interested in the endnotes, so I've decided to post them here. WARNING: I know some of you could care less and that's ok. I'll post a few chapters at a time and as we go try to highlight some deleted stories and other historical points of possible interest. So, here goes.

Chapter End Notes:


1 Ted Talk, Anne Lamott, Vancouver, BC, April 2017

2 Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith, The Complete Authoritative Edition, p. 57.

3 Hamlet and His Problems, Thomas Sterns Eliot, 1919 “The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an “objective correlative”; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion.”

4 East of Eden, John Steinbeck


1 “A River Runs Through It”, Norman Maclean, University of Chicago Press, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories is a semi-autobiographical collection of three stories by American author Norman Maclean (1902–1990) published in 1976. I’ve read and pondered A River Runs Through It numerous times over the years. Norman’s fathomless journey coming to terms with Paul’s death; the interplay of memories and pain resolved over time beside swirling currents, deep waters and prized trout haunted me and became the genesis of this story.

2 The Westminster Shorter Catechism; The Westminster Shorter Catechism is a catechism written in 1646 and 1647 by the Westminster Assembly.

3 A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean, p. 3

Chapter 1-Mack Sunn

1 From “Aurora Leigh”, by Elizabeth Browning, 1806-1861.

2 The New Madrid Earthquakes, Wikipedia, “The 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes were a series of intense intraplate earthquakes beginning with an initial earthquake of moment magnitude 7.2–8.2 on December 16, 1811, followed by a moment magnitude 7.4 aftershock on the same day. Two additional earthquakes of similar magnitude followed in January and February 1812. They remain the most powerful earthquakes to hit the contiguous United States east of the Rocky Mountains in recorded history. The earthquakes, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory and now within the U.S. state of Missouri. The epicenters of the earthquakes were located in an area that at the time was at the distant western edge of the American frontier, only sparsely settled by European pioneers.”

3 New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture

4 Bald Cypress, www.homeguides.sfgate.com, “A bald cypress tree will feature an average height of 50 to100 feet and a spread of 25 to 30 feet when mature. It will grow an average of 1 to 2 feet per year in most locations. In contrast, a fast-growing tree, like a river birch or red maple, can exceed 3 to 5 feet per year and a slow growing tree, like a magnolia, will only grow 1 foot or less per year.

5 St. Francis River; Encyclopedia of Arkansas.net “Part of the St. Francis River between Lake City (Craighead County) and Marked Tree (Poinsett County) is known as St. Francis Lake or the “Sunken Lands.” Here, the river dropped six to eight feet during the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811–1812, causing the river to “drown” and form a large, swampy overflow area. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission now conserves more than 27,000 acres of this overflow area as the St. Francis Sunken Lands Wildlife Management Area.”

6 Steamboats; Encyclopedia of Arkansas.net “Any factory goods from ceramic table wares to pianos traveled at least part of the way by steamboat, and even for isolated farmsteads, the wagon journey at the end was only a few miles from the riverside landing to the house. Cotton, corn, livestock, wool, bricks, lumber, staves, logs, and other products traveled only a short way to the docks.”

7 George McClellan Son, Born in 1895 near Sacramento, Kentucky.

8 The History of Cross-Cut Saws; Wikipedia.net, “Two-man saws were known to the ancient Romans, but first became common in Europe in the mid-15th century. In America, crosscut saws were used as early as the mid-17th century, but felling saws only began to replace axes for felling trees in the late 19th century.”

9 What Lewis and Clark Ate, Tori Avey, Rocky Mountain PBS, 2013, pbs.org

10 Plueger; wikipedia.com, “In 1880 Ernest A. Pflueger started the Enterprise Manufacturing Company in Akron, Ohio to make fishing tackle.”

11 Backlash; lifehack.org, “Backlash happens when the lure slows down after casting, but the spool does not—resulting in a tangled mess of line, also known as a “bird's nest.”

12 Braided Line, wikipedia.com “Braided line was one of the earliest types of fishing line, and in its modern incarnations it is still very popular in some situations because of its high knot strength, lack of stretch, and great overall power in relation to its diameter. Braids were originally made from natural fibers such as cotton and linen, but natural fiber braids (with the very rare exception of braided silk).”

13 Bass Fishing; New World Encyclopedia, “While smallmouth bass were sought by some fly fishermen, most bass fishing was done by sustenance anglers using poles and live bait.”

14 A History of U.S. Baitcasting Reels, February 23, 2001, David Turnbull, outdoornews.com, “One of drawbacks with the early reels was the unkindly and sinister act of the line to back up on the spool what is commonly known by many frustrated fishermen as a “backlash” and a variety of other well-chosen adjectives. Without the aid of a mechanism to wind the line on the spool evenly, everything was done by hand. Adding a wet, persnickety silk line to the fray did not help, either.”

15 The Moonlight Bait Company; mrlurebox.com, “Horace Ball and Charles Varney created the Moonlight Bait Company in December of 1908. Horace Ball was the janitor in the county courthouse in Paw Paw, Michigan, and made some of the early Floating Night Baits right there in the courthouse basement.”

16 Remington Model 11, Wikipedia, “The Remington Model 11 was the first auto-loading shotgun made in the United States. Savage Arms also licensed the design from Browning and produced it as their model 720 from 1930 to 1949.”

17 Martin Luther, The Works of ML, vol. 1, p. 116.

18 Ruby Cockrell, sonkeeper.com, Personal thanks to Kelly Swick for her diligent research of the

“Sunn Family”. Kelly graciously presented her thorough research to me as Christmas gift in 2007. Thanks!”

19 A Dougboy’s Age, The Legal Genealogist, www.legalgenealogist.com, “The year before the U.S. entered World War I, Congress passed the National Defense Act, which lowered the age to join without parental consent to 18. So, the law at the time both did and didn’t allow teenagers between 16 and 18 to enlist.”

20 The American Expeditionary Force, Library of Congress, loc.gov, “Although the first American troops arrived in Europe in June 1917, the AEF did not fully participate at the front until October, when the First Division, one of the best-trained divisions of the AEF, entered the trenches at Nancy, France.

21 World War I United States Military Records, 1917 to 1918, wiki; familysearch.org “The United States entered World War I in April 1917. Over 4.7 million men and women served in the regular U.S. forces, national guard units, and draft units with about 2.8 million serving overseas. There were 53,402 killed in action, 63,114 deaths from disease and other causes, and about 205,000 wounded.”

22 Gas in the Great War, James Patton BS, Military Historian, US Army veteran and WW1 Feature Writer, University of Kansas Medical School, Medicine in the First World War, kumc.edu, “The most commonly used gas in WWI was ‘mustard gas’ [bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide]. In pure liquid form this is colorless, but in WWI impure forms were used, which had a mustard color with an odor reminiscent of garlic or horseradish. An irritant and a strong vesicant (blister-forming agent), it causes chemical burns on contact, with blisters oozing yellow fluid.”

23 Base Hospital No. 30, One Hundred Years Later –The Work of the Hospital, Kelsi Evans, August 7, 2018, blogs.library.ucsf.edu, “The field hospitals and clearing stations, while out of range of small arms fire, were often still within range of enemy artillery and aircraft. Despite these hazards, teams of nurses, doctors, and surgeons worked to stabilize their patients, clean their wounds, and prepare them for evacuation to the base hospitals located well out of danger.”

24 The Army’s Message to Returning WW1 Troops? Behave Yourselves; David Chrisinger, New York Times Magazine, July 31, 2019. “An excellent article describing the woes of reentry and the US governments attempt to socially engineer the public's perception of “shell-shocked” soldiers.”

25 Armistice Day, Library of Congress, loc.org; “WW1 ended at 11am on the 11th of November 1918. This became known as Armistice Day-the day Germany signed an armistice which caused the fighting to stop. “President Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day the following year on November 11, 1919.”

26 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mayoclinic.org “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

27 Heart Disease in the First World War, Frederick Holmes, MD; Professor of Medicine Emeritus and of The History of Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, “It is likely that the rigors of basic training identified some men with underlying, undiagnosed heart disease and they were given medical discharges. Of those who made it through basic training in the United States without incident and got to France to serve, the physical demands of trench warfare may have uncovered their hidden aortic insufficiency or mitral stenosis and have gotten them to a base hospital. Beyond this, damaged heart valves often become infected with indolent bacteria, such as several varieties of streptococci, and become further damaged and produce heart failure. With no antibiotic treatment available at that time these men probably died. By contrast, heart failure of several other sorts was responsive to treatment with the drug digitalis. In any event, soldiers with diagnosed heart disease were sent to evacuation hospitals and then returned to the United States for discharge from the service.”

28 The Management of Chronic Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Diseases Among Soldiers of the United States Army; Hench Philips (Colonel, Army of the US) and Edward W. Boland (Major, Army of the US); ard.bmj.com, “During the First World War about 93,000 American soldiers developed some sort of rheumatism. In addition to the 24,770 cases of acute articular rheumatism (rheumatic fever), there were 17,372 cases of "valvular heart disease”.

29 Strep Throat, Mayoclinic.org, “Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. If untreated, strep throat can cause complications, such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a specific type of rash, or heart valve damage.”

30 Shell Shock, psychologytoday.com Nov. 20, 2011, “Shell shock is a term originally coined in 1915 by Charles Myers to describe soldiers who were involuntarily shivering, crying, fearful, and had constant intrusions of memory. It is not a term used in psychiatric practice today but remains in everyday use.”

31 Choctaw County, Mississippi, choctaw.msghn.org, “Choctaw County was formed in 1833 from land that was ceded to the United States by the Choctaw Nation. Choctaw County's story begins earlier than 1833. Pioneer hunters and traders began settling in the area due to friendships between the Choctaws and the French.”

32 The Choctaw Plaindealer, The Library of Congress, loc.gov; “Title: Choctaw Plaindealer (Ackerman, Miss.) 1887-Current. Weekly. Vol. 1, no. 1 (Aug. 26, 1887).”

33 Papa and Mamie, (Addie Mabus Moss), Moon’s maternal grandparents.

34 Mack Sunn; Ruby Cockrell correspondence, sonkeeper@yahoo.com, “You will find Mack Son in the Arkansas 1920 census in Poinsett County, Greenwood Township, district 204. He was living with James E. Son (grandpa and grandma) along with Will (William, my dad) Mable, Alvie (my dad's kids from a previous marriage.)”

35 Peabody Hotel, memphisheritage.org, “After a 1923 fire at its original location at Main and Monroe, the Peabody Hotel moved to this site and into its new building in 1925.”

36 US Post Office, 39735

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