AMERICAN GUIDE WEEK - QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FIELD REPORTS, ASSIGNMENT #1

Take Pride, It’s the American Guide

YOUR ASSIGNMENT, TRUSTED GUIDE:

The original American Guide series of books was produced by the federal government’s Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and ’40s. Your A/G editors unearthed the actual mimeographed field manual from 1935 that was sent out to each WPA state research office. Editors, researchers, and volunteers used the manual as a basis for collecting information on their district.

We’re asking you to do the same. Stay tuned all this week as we release 10 assignments drawn from the 1935 manual for the upcoming American Guide Week (Nov. 18-24). Use these questions as your guide for contributing #AmericanGuideWeek content. First up, Class I - Topography and Climate.  

CLASS I - TOPOGRAPHY and CLIMATE

  • Is your district flat, rolling, mountainous?
  • Is the district arid, semi-arid, fertile? (Nature of the soil, color of the soil, Rain fall, Water shed.)
  • Furnish information on the following subjects: Weather conditions; Climatic idiosyncrasies; Natural phenomena, such as natural bridges, ice caves, cliffs, or ravines; General geologic structure.

BE A GUIDE. SHOW AMERICA TO AMERICANS. 

Between Monday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 24, tag your Tumblr photos, illustrations and writing that answer these questions and describe the America you live in and the America you travel through — people, places and things.

Check out a couple of past A/G posts on topography and climate. Now go out there and describe/photograph/draw what it’s like where you live. 

This is a collaboration, folks: a living, Tumblifying documentary about the USA. You’ll be reblogged or featured on The American Guide.

#americanguideweek

Check out A/G Week assignments here.

* * *

Illustration by Guide to the West, James Orndorf - www.roughshelter.com

AMERICAN GUIDE WEEK - QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FIELD REPORTS, ASSIGNMENT #1

Take Pride, It’s the American Guide

YOUR ASSIGNMENT, TRUSTED GUIDE:

The original American Guide series of books was produced by the federal government’s Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and ’40s. Your A/G editors unearthed the actual mimeographed field manual from 1935 that was sent out to each WPA state research office. Editors, researchers, and volunteers used the manual as a basis for collecting information on their district.

We’re asking you to do the same. Stay tuned all this week as we release 10 assignments drawn from the 1935 manual for the upcoming American Guide Week (Nov. 18-24). Use these questions as your guide for contributing #AmericanGuideWeek content. First up, Class I - Topography and Climate.  

CLASS I - TOPOGRAPHY and CLIMATE

  • Is your district flat, rolling, mountainous?
  • Is the district arid, semi-arid, fertile? (Nature of the soil, color of the soil, Rain fall, Water shed.)
  • Furnish information on the following subjects: Weather conditions; Climatic idiosyncrasies; Natural phenomena, such as natural bridges, ice caves, cliffs, or ravines; General geologic structure.

BE A GUIDE. SHOW AMERICA TO AMERICANS. 

Between Monday, Nov. 18, and Sunday, Nov. 24, tag your Tumblr photos,illustrations and writing that answer these questions and describe the America you live in and the America you travel through — people, places and things.

Check out a couple of past A/G posts on topography and climate. Now go out there and describe/photograph/draw what it’s like where you live. 

This is a collaboration, folks: a living, Tumblifying documentary about the USA. You’ll be reblogged or featured on The American Guide.

#americanguideweek

Check out A/G Week assignments here.

* * *

Illustration by Guide to the West, James Orndorf - www.roughshelter.com

THE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON - SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES
I first moved into the New Mexico high desert some years ago during the start of the monsoon season. Having come from water-rich Minnesota, I didn’t really fully understand its importance.
I vividly recall sitting in an office in full of people and hearing the first drops of rain hit our metal roof and then getting progressively louder and faster.  
One by one, each person in the office got up and walked outside until the entire office was standing under the awning staring, silently, at the rain as it fell and the air turned sweet with a strange earthy perfume I had never smelled.
This ritual was repeated every time it rained for the rest of the summer.
Come the next year, after four nearly cloudless months, I was in the office as the first monsoon rains began. Without even thinking about it I walked right outside and stared at the rain just like everyone else.
The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September.  
This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast.  But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.
The coming of the monsoon ends the dry and clear skies of May and June and begins a daily pattern of slowly building giant clouds until the early afternoon and then, if you are lucky, it might rain a little.  
But more often than not it doesn’t.  
When it does, it lifts everyone’s mood at once and it becomes the most fascinating thing you have ever seen.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON - SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES
I first moved into the New Mexico high desert some years ago during the start of the monsoon season. Having come from water-rich Minnesota, I didn’t really fully understand its importance.
I vividly recall sitting in an office in full of people and hearing the first drops of rain hit our metal roof and then getting progressively louder and faster.  
One by one, each person in the office got up and walked outside until the entire office was standing under the awning staring, silently, at the rain as it fell and the air turned sweet with a strange earthy perfume I had never smelled.
This ritual was repeated every time it rained for the rest of the summer.
Come the next year, after four nearly cloudless months, I was in the office as the first monsoon rains began. Without even thinking about it I walked right outside and stared at the rain just like everyone else.
The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September.  
This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast.  But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.
The coming of the monsoon ends the dry and clear skies of May and June and begins a daily pattern of slowly building giant clouds until the early afternoon and then, if you are lucky, it might rain a little.  
But more often than not it doesn’t.  
When it does, it lifts everyone’s mood at once and it becomes the most fascinating thing you have ever seen.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON - SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES
I first moved into the New Mexico high desert some years ago during the start of the monsoon season. Having come from water-rich Minnesota, I didn’t really fully understand its importance.
I vividly recall sitting in an office in full of people and hearing the first drops of rain hit our metal roof and then getting progressively louder and faster.  
One by one, each person in the office got up and walked outside until the entire office was standing under the awning staring, silently, at the rain as it fell and the air turned sweet with a strange earthy perfume I had never smelled.
This ritual was repeated every time it rained for the rest of the summer.
Come the next year, after four nearly cloudless months, I was in the office as the first monsoon rains began. Without even thinking about it I walked right outside and stared at the rain just like everyone else.
The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September.  
This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast.  But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.
The coming of the monsoon ends the dry and clear skies of May and June and begins a daily pattern of slowly building giant clouds until the early afternoon and then, if you are lucky, it might rain a little.  
But more often than not it doesn’t.  
When it does, it lifts everyone’s mood at once and it becomes the most fascinating thing you have ever seen.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON - SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES
I first moved into the New Mexico high desert some years ago during the start of the monsoon season. Having come from water-rich Minnesota, I didn’t really fully understand its importance.
I vividly recall sitting in an office in full of people and hearing the first drops of rain hit our metal roof and then getting progressively louder and faster.  
One by one, each person in the office got up and walked outside until the entire office was standing under the awning staring, silently, at the rain as it fell and the air turned sweet with a strange earthy perfume I had never smelled.
This ritual was repeated every time it rained for the rest of the summer.
Come the next year, after four nearly cloudless months, I was in the office as the first monsoon rains began. Without even thinking about it I walked right outside and stared at the rain just like everyone else.
The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September.  
This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast.  But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.
The coming of the monsoon ends the dry and clear skies of May and June and begins a daily pattern of slowly building giant clouds until the early afternoon and then, if you are lucky, it might rain a little.  
But more often than not it doesn’t.  
When it does, it lifts everyone’s mood at once and it becomes the most fascinating thing you have ever seen.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
THE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON - SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES
I first moved into the New Mexico high desert some years ago during the start of the monsoon season. Having come from water-rich Minnesota, I didn’t really fully understand its importance.
I vividly recall sitting in an office in full of people and hearing the first drops of rain hit our metal roof and then getting progressively louder and faster.  
One by one, each person in the office got up and walked outside until the entire office was standing under the awning staring, silently, at the rain as it fell and the air turned sweet with a strange earthy perfume I had never smelled.
This ritual was repeated every time it rained for the rest of the summer.
Come the next year, after four nearly cloudless months, I was in the office as the first monsoon rains began. Without even thinking about it I walked right outside and stared at the rain just like everyone else.
The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September.  
This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast.  But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.
The coming of the monsoon ends the dry and clear skies of May and June and begins a daily pattern of slowly building giant clouds until the early afternoon and then, if you are lucky, it might rain a little.  
But more often than not it doesn’t.  
When it does, it lifts everyone’s mood at once and it becomes the most fascinating thing you have ever seen.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

THE NORTH AMERICAN MONSOON - SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES

I first moved into the New Mexico high desert some years ago during the start of the monsoon season. Having come from water-rich Minnesota, I didn’t really fully understand its importance.

I vividly recall sitting in an office in full of people and hearing the first drops of rain hit our metal roof and then getting progressively louder and faster. 

One by one, each person in the office got up and walked outside until the entire office was standing under the awning staring, silently, at the rain as it fell and the air turned sweet with a strange earthy perfume I had never smelled.

This ritual was repeated every time it rained for the rest of the summer.

Come the next year, after four nearly cloudless months, I was in the office as the first monsoon rains began. Without even thinking about it I walked right outside and stared at the rain just like everyone else.

The North American Monsoon, otherwise known as the Mexican Monsoon or the Arizona Monsoon, is a pronounced weather pattern change over the Southwestern United States. It generally starts in early July and continues through mid-September. 

This seasonal pattern change brings moisture up from the Gulfs of California and Mexico. This departure from the normal west to east flow decreases rain on the Great Plains and increases rain on the east coast.  But most importantly, it brings the rains that bring the mountains and the deserts of the Southwest to life.

The coming of the monsoon ends the dry and clear skies of May and June and begins a daily pattern of slowly building giant clouds until the early afternoon and then, if you are lucky, it might rain a little. 

But more often than not it doesn’t. 

When it does, it lifts everyone’s mood at once and it becomes the most fascinating thing you have ever seen.

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

WISCONSIN IN SPRINGTIME - MILWAUKEE 

This winter was one of the longest and snowiest in recent memory. Spring is having a hard time getting on, with cold rain and wintry temperatures all over the upper Midwest. The first bulbs are up and the trees have turned from black to brown. Still, the shadows have retreating snow in them — too cold for the last of the snow to melt. This is spring’s ugly first act, with the explosions of color waiting in the wings.

* * *

Ken Kornacki is a State Guide to Wisconsin. Follow him on Tumblr at aurum-design or on his website, aurum-design.com.

CLIMATE RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC
In February, Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke traveled to Washington, DC, with a group of Nebraskans protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline.  Here are Alex’s words:
I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Does that sound like a terribly midwestern thing to say? But it’s true. I’ve been in Times Square during high traffic, but never in a mob moving together. At times dancing with total strangers because Reverend Yearwood asked you to jump away the cold between speakers. 
Most of the Nebraska delegation bussed out arriving the night before the rally. We met in the basement of a local pub for stretching of legs and instructions from organizers at Bold Nebraska. That night we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers who would only be a blip on giant screen at the rally. Congregating in the morning our numbers were quickly diluted as the crowd moved around the White House. 
* * *
Alex Matzke is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.
Zoom Info
CLIMATE RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC
In February, Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke traveled to Washington, DC, with a group of Nebraskans protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline.  Here are Alex’s words:
I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Does that sound like a terribly midwestern thing to say? But it’s true. I’ve been in Times Square during high traffic, but never in a mob moving together. At times dancing with total strangers because Reverend Yearwood asked you to jump away the cold between speakers. 
Most of the Nebraska delegation bussed out arriving the night before the rally. We met in the basement of a local pub for stretching of legs and instructions from organizers at Bold Nebraska. That night we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers who would only be a blip on giant screen at the rally. Congregating in the morning our numbers were quickly diluted as the crowd moved around the White House. 
* * *
Alex Matzke is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.
Zoom Info

CLIMATE RALLY - WASHINGTON, DC

In February, Guide to Nebraska Alex Matzke traveled to Washington, DC, with a group of Nebraskans protesting against the Keystone XL pipeline.  Here are Alex’s words:

I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Does that sound like a terribly midwestern thing to say? But it’s true. I’ve been in Times Square during high traffic, but never in a mob moving together. At times dancing with total strangers because Reverend Yearwood asked you to jump away the cold between speakers. 

Most of the Nebraska delegation bussed out arriving the night before the rally. We met in the basement of a local pub for stretching of legs and instructions from organizers at Bold Nebraska. That night we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers who would only be a blip on giant screen at the rally. Congregating in the morning our numbers were quickly diluted as the crowd moved around the White House. 

* * *

Alex Matzke is a State Guide to Nebraska. Growing up in Omaha, her friends showed livestock at State Fair; she showed photographs. Follow her on Tumblr at alexmatzke and alzke or on her website, AlexMatzke.com.

SANDSTORM

Remarkable views of a sandstorm, Stratford Texas, April 18, 1935. The dust-clouds approached at 60 m.p.h. and were reported to be a mile high. It came rolling and boiling with varicolored portions that held the onlooker entranced. Pitch darkness came down like a knifeedge. Window ledges were covered until they could hold no more.

This gives just a little indication of the obscuration that was a very common occurance  thruout the southwest in the Spring of ‘35. We lost weeks and weeks of time from dust-storms. Many times in travelling the road was lost to view and even the front of the truck. One had to get out and act as pilot This was taken also in Stratford, May 4, 1935.

—NOAA, George E. Marsh Album

NOAA reports today that for the contiguous U.S., 2012 was the hottest year on record. 1934 comes in a fairly distant second.