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Nature Lecture: "Marshal South Chronicles"

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Nature Lecture:

Marshal South Chronicles

Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles 2 Marshal South Rides Again

Presented by author Diana Lindsay

Join us on Wednesday, March 1st for a Nature Lecture with Diana Lindsay. In the 1940s, writer Marshal South chronicled his family's controversial primitive lifestyle on Ghost Mountain—in what is now Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California—through popular monthly articles written for Desert Magazine. Lindsay will discuss the book she edited and share more about this unique family including never-before-published photos of the family. The lecture will begin at 6:30 p.m. in The Learning Center (TLC). This program is presented in partnership with the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park.

Finally, the true story of Marshal South can be told. The publication of all of South’s Desert Magazine articles in Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles stands by itself. The articles reveal a desert writer that stands in a league with Charles Lummis, J. Smeaton Chase, George Wharton James, John C. Van Dyke, and Mary Austin. In his lifetime, Marshal’s published works include over 50 poems, 30 short stories and essays and 8 novels in addition to 102 articles and poems in Desert Magazine. His works were published in Australia, Great Britain, and the United States—in local and syndicated newspapers and magazines in New York, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, and Texas. The foreword and introduction to the book add new dimensions to the South story that was previously unknown. Readers of Desert Magazine never knew who South really was, and his sudden and acrimonious divorce that ended the "experiment in primitive living" just increased the mystery and rumors. South died soon after the divorce in 1947 and his wife Tanya kept silent for the next 50 years until she died in 1997 at almost 100 years old. Through the years there has been wide speculation about what happened. Even the children never knew the whole story because of secrecy, changed names and dates, and lost and burned records and letters. It was the research for the foreword of this book that unraveled the story of Marshal South. Rider South, who was the oldest of the three children to grow up on Ghost Mountain with its Robinson Crusoe-type environment, wrote the introduction to the book, which includes his memories of life at Yaquitepec. He was almost 13 years old when he left and his memory was very clear. It was a very difficult life, but as a child, he did not know it was difficult. After years of silence, Rider tells the true story and sets the record straight.

Diana LindsayBiographer and historian Diana Lindsay has been writing about the Anza-Borrego region of southern California since the 1960s. Her master's thesis in history and geography from San Diego State University was published as Out Historic Desert: The Story of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park by Copley Books and the Union-Tribune Publishing Company in 1973. It was followed in 1978 by The Anza-Borrego Desert Region—an area guidebook co-authored with Lowell Lindsay and published by Wilderness Press that is now in its fifth edition. Several other publications followed over the years including Anza-Borrego A to Z: People, Places, and Things and Marshal South and the Ghost Mountain Chronicles.

An award-winning photographer, her images have appeared in print in several monthly publications and books. Her investigative reporting skills were developed while working at the Texas tri-state newspaper, the Amarillo Globe-News, where she also wrote a popular hotline column for many years.


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