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Buffalo Bill Can Take the Heat

--While thousands of firefighters battled to save forests in and around Yellowstone National Park, others worried about specific trees. Bill Cody feared that the blazes would claim a fir bearing an inscription by his grandfather, Western showman William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody, but a helicopter flight showed that it was safe, despite the fact that trees only 6 feet away had burned. Cody, whose Wild West show was a hit in Europe, had inscribed the tree’s trunk with “Camp Monaco 1913" during a hunting trip to the Shoshone National Forest with Prince Albert of Monaco. The younger Cody said his namesake’s tree was part of a clump of green in the middle of hundreds of acres of black: “It looked just like a pinpoint in the middle of a pie.” Archeologists have worked alongside the firefighters to save not only trees, but also other sites of historical significance. The fate of some will not be known until the sites can be searched when the fires are out. Park naturalist and historian Timothy Mann was uncertain whether the flames spared trees initialed by early explorers, or trees that had rope burns caused when Army troops chasing Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe winched wagons down a steep incline in 1877. Sonya Capek, a park cultural resource specialist, has marked a group of wickiups, cone-shaped Indian huts more than a century old, with metal spikes in the ground that will show researchers where the wickiups stood even if they should burn. And the fires may end up helping archeologists spot other items of interest--arrowheads, stone tools and the like--by burning away thick undergrowth that can hide them.

--A prominent Soviet literary critic said Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of “The Gulag Archipelago,” is a great writer whose banned works should be available in the Soviet Union. In Moscow’s daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, Natalya Ivanova also said the Nobel Prize-winner, a resident of Cavendish, Vt., should be given back his Soviet citizenship. Ivanova said she was lending support to another literary figure, Elena Chukovskaya, who had called for restoring Solzhenitsyn to his proper rank. Under Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s glasnost policy, Soviet journals have published previously banned works by emigres such as Vladimir Nabokov and Josef Brodsky.

--It took a Denver high school English class 29 straight hours to read aloud the epic poems “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” by Homer. Columbine High School teacher Carol Samson had Greek food brought in for the marathon reading, which was begun after a student asked how long it would take.


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