Vine and Alvin


I stopped by Tamastslikt on my way to Portland to talk with curator Randall Melton about some Indian artifacts that Alvin Josephy had left for the Josephy Library at Fishtrap. In the course of conversation he said that he had met Alvin a couple of times, most importantly when he was a student and had gone to Boise for a conference at which Alvin and Vine Deloria were speakers. The day after the program, he had bumped into Vine and Alvin eating breakfast at Denny’s Restaurant, and the two elders had been gracious in talking with the young students.

Which reminded me that Alvin liked Denny’s—I’ve eaten a couple of meals with him and Betty at the same Boise spot—and it reminded me that Alvin and Vine served together on the Board of the Heye Museum of the American Indian in New York, and, when the merger with the Smithsonian occurred in 1989-90, both moved to the new Board of Read The Article

McCullough and Josephy—part 2

I mentioned in an earlier blog that Alvin hired David McCullough at American Heritage. I implied that Alvin began working for and hired David for the magazine, but in fact Alvin’s first job and his hire of David were in the book division of American Heritage. Alvin would later become editor of the magazine.

Parallels: David McCullough was a lit major in college, and had been a journalist with Sports Illustrated and the United States Information Agency when Alvin hired him at American Heritage. At some point, McCullough came across a batch of photos of the Johnstown flood. He had grown up in Pennsylvania with stories of that catastrophe, so his interest was aroused, and he went to the bookshelf. Finding no acceptable history of the event, he determined to write it himself. The Johnstown Flood was his first book.

Alvin was working at Time Magazine when he came across the Nez Perce story. He had been a print and Read The Article