Boy Scouts Centennial: Dan Beard and Ed Dodd

June 21, 2010

Dan Beard, a founder of Boy Scouts of America, and cartoonist Ed Dodd, photo dated (incorrectly) February 14, 1950 – Georgia State University Library Photography Collection, Atlanta Area Photographs from the Lane Brothers and Tracy O’Neal Collections

Dan Beard, a founder of Boy Scouts of America, and cartoonist Ed Dodd, photo dated (incorrectly) February 14, 1950 – Georgia State University Library Photography Collection, Atlanta Area Photographs from the Lane Brothers and Tracy O’Neal Collections

Daniel Carter Beard was best known as an illustrator of children’s adventure books.  He founded a group for boys, the Sons of Daniel Boone, in 1905.  That group was merged into the Boy Scouts of America at BSA’s founding in 1910.

Ed Dodd (November 7, 1902 – May 27, 1991) was an illustrator and cartoonist, probably best known for his comic strip “Mark Trail,” which is still carried in many newspapers today.

According to his listing at Wikipedia:

Ed Dodd went to work for Dan Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America, at the age of 16. Dodd worked at Beard’s camp in Pennsylvania for thirteen summers, where he honed his writing and illustration skills under Beard’s guidance. Dodd became a scoutmaster and the first paid Youth and Physical Education Director for the city of Gainesville, Georgia.

Another story of Scouting providing a career for a kid, another story of Scouting providing a career for an illustrator (see also Norman Rockwell, and the Csataris).

Dodd was a Georgian.  This photograph, dated February 14, 1950, shows a meeting of the two illustrators, with Dodd appearing older than the 16 he was when he first met Beard.  The photo is in the collections of the Georgia State University Library, in the Atlanta Area Photographs from the Lane Brothers and Tracy O’Neal Collections.  We might assume it was taken in Georgia, perhaps at Dodd’s “Lost Forest” home and workshop.

We know that can’t be the right date, however, since Dan Beard died in 1941.

Who can shed more light on this bit of history?

Updates:  See comments below — among other things, we know that the February 14, 1950 date was the date that a duplicate negative was made.  Please note in comments if you have further details.


Mark Trail strip on NOAA's 200th-2D-MarkTrail650

Click on image: Marke Trail on NOAA’s 200th anniversary; King Features Syndicate

Ed Dodd and others in his studio at Lost Forest, Georgia, drawing the comic strip Mark Trail - Wikimedia

Dodd and others working on “Mark Trail”: The Mark Trail studio was on the second floor of Ed Dodd’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the Lost Forest at the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs, Georgia. At work are (l. to r.) Ed Dodd, Jack Elrod, Tom Hill and Rhett Carmichael. The 130-acre Lost Forest was the model for the fictional Lost Forest National Forest in the strip. Dodd’s house was located on Marsh Creek, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River. Wikimedia photo and caption

  • Sadly, Dodd’s Lost Forest was completely burned in 1996.  I can find no information on any of the studio surviving the fire (anyone know differently?).   Dodd was honored in 1991 with the naming of the Mark Trail Wilderness Area, in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
  • According to the official information at King Features Syndicate, Jack Elrod first assisted Dodd, then in 1978 took over the creative writing and drawing of the strip when Dodd retired and Tom Hill, who had done the Sunday strips, died.  Elrod was a Boy Scout when he first met Dodd, in Dodd’s role as Scoutmaster.  The Scouting links are strong in this strip.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Chamblee54, for showing the way to the Georgia State University photographs.

[Editor’s note: Georgia State Library keeps changing the link url on the photograph; if you find a higher resolution version, please, please let us know where it is!]

Dan Valentine – Such goes life, part 3

June 21, 2010

By Dan Valentine


In Houston, in the days before I left, I used to pass a homeless black man in his twenties or thirties on the street. I’d go to say, “Hi,” and he would lower his head, wouldn’t make eye contact. You tend to do that when you’re homeless. You feel you’re to blame, that something is wrong with you. He would spend his afternoons at the Clear Lake Library, as I often did. He’d sit at one of the computers for an hour or so and play poker. Soon after, the entire second floor stank to high heaven. But no librarian, not a one, told him to leave. Good for them! It was his only sanctuary in a world of daily/nightly hell on Earth.

The day the Danes departed for parts down the hall, I picked up their empty glasses and coffee mugs–set here, set here, all around the dorm – and put them in the kitchen sink. A sign reads: “Por favor lave sus trastes” (Please wash your dishes after use).

Salzador was standing by the counter. I turned to go and he said, pointing to the sign, “Don’t forget to wash them!”

“They’re not mine,” I told him. “And I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to wash ‘em.” And I walked out.

I believe in helping out. I believe in treating people like you’d like to be treated. As I once wrote before, my bestest friend gave me my present moral compass: If this is all there is (and that could very well be), we have to help one another get through it, best we can.

I told this to a wanna-be singer-songwriter in Nashville one night, and he was aghast. Without fear of punishment from above, humans would rape, plunder, and pillage beyond belief. (As if they don’t already.) Without the incentive of some sort of reward after death, why bother doing what’s right? I guess that says it all. We all see the world through different eyes. We all sniff the scents of the world through different noses.

If the Danes had just said something. I would have gladly taken a shower, right then and there; slept somewhere else; removed my soiled clothes from the room. They were in a plastic bag in the corner by my bunk. Whatever. But they were having a grand ol’ time at a fellow-traveler’s expense, a stranger down-on-his luck somewhat. If they hadn’t been drunk, they may have even read the sign above the toilet and put two-and-two together, but they were too busy turning around, male members in hand, and shouting to their fellow mates, waiting in line, to “Suck on this!” “Eat me!”

But back to Salzador and the “don’t forget-to-wash-them” episode.

To be fair to him, perhaps he is unaccustomed to seeing a guest return the cups and glasses of others back to the kitchen. And, later that night, after he’d left, I did wash the glasses and mugs. Plus a small saucer half-filled with cooked rice, another coffee cup, a soup ladle, a steak knife, a frying pan, and a spatula with dried egg on it. Oh, and two other glasses on the counter. Hell, why not? Least I could do. Nobody else was going to that night. Not the Danes. They were out drinking again with Salzador, buying him rounds, I’d guess. He’d let them use his washer and dryer.

Visitors to hostels very rarely read the signs or carry out what’s said on them. At the hostel in Nashville, guests after a night on the town in Music City would wake up hung-over, make themselves waffles, whatever, and leave a mess. The people who worked there – I was one  – would clean up after them without a word said. It was our job.

Another afternoon here, shortly after, I’m telling a single mom from Knoxville, early twenties, on the verge of homelessness, with a baby, about my Danish experience. She, in turn, told me she had been playing with her little girl out on the veranda, splashing sprinkles of water on her from the hose, the baby giggling happily, when a young male guest said, “At least the ‘baby’ is getting a shower.” It hurt her. “He was probably referring to me,” I said. No, she replied, he was speaking of her. (“I smell a rat in Denmark”–Shakespeare.)

This afternoon, I walked into the hostel after a walk, and Salzador was behind the front desk. He smiled and gave me the two-finger Peace sign. All is forgiven. (Valentine, I told myself, don’t take things so personally.) I stopped to chat. I told him I’m seriously thinking of walking across the United States in the fall. San Diego to Manhattan. He said he’d like to join me. He’s always wanted to see Salt Lake City.

Then he said, “Dani’el, do you want a burrito? I bought three.” And he handed me one, for the second time since I’ve been here.

Such goes life, ever-so-often.

But anyway, my present-fellow dorm mate – a retired firefighter from the Bronx – just walked in, after taking in some of the local sites, and said, “Y’know, there’s a big Turkish bathhouse just down the block.”


“Yeah, you should check it out. It’s just down the block.”

A not-so-subtle hint-hint? Pardon me while I go take another shower.

But wait! I hear cars honking on the street outside. Mexico just defeated France in the World Cup! Two-zip! Priscilla told me earlier: Many had sworn their souls on the Good Book that if Mexico won, they would swim nude on the beach. Yes, you can swim naked on the beach here. Salzador says, “You can do many things naked on the beach here.” So, instead of yet another shower, perhaps I’ll simply stroll down to the beach and skinny-dip with the many beautiful senoritas in their victory celebration.

Vendor on the beach in Ensenada, Mexico

Vendor on the beach in Ensenada, Mexico

Annals of DDT: Malawi ponders DDT use against malaria

June 21, 2010

Here’s a news story that Richard Tren and Donald North hope neither you nor anyone else will read.  It says that Malawi is pondering whether to use DDT for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) to fight malaria this season — and it lists several other nations that use DDT in exactly that way.

Why do the Chronically Obsessed With Rachel Carson (COWRC) like Tren and North hope you won’t see it?

It says DDT is being used broadly against malaria, in several nations on two continents.  That directly contradicts one of their favorite claims, that environmentalists (always unnamed) prevent the use of DDT anywhere.  It also shows clearly that DDT is not banned in Africa, another claim they like to blame on unnamed environmentalists and “left” do-gooders.

Facts of the malaria fight are that the consensus among serious malaria-warriors favors the integrated pest management schemes Rachel Carson wrote would be the savior of pesticides, in 1962 (in international circles, it’s called integrated vector management, “vectors” being the carriers of disease).  Quite to the contrary of Rachel Carson’s being the cause of needless deaths to malaria, her methods are saving lives.  The death toll from malaria is lower now than it was when DDT was used more broadly, and used outdoors.

Malawi going for DDT to fight malaria

Nyasa Times, June 20, 2010

Malawi is contemplating to start using DDT, an organochlorine pesticide, as a precaution in the fight against malaria in the country.

Chris Kang'ombe, Malawi Secretary for Health - Nyasa Times

Chris Kang'ombe, Malawi Secretary for Health - Nyasa Times

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Chris Kang’ombe (pictured) said in Lilongwe during the launch of this year’s anti-malaria campaign themed, “Malungo zii (Kick out malaria)”.

“We know that our friends from Zambia and other countries are using it as an indoor residual spraying and it is working, so we are looking into it if we can do the same,” said Kang’ombe.

According to 2004-2009 statistical data provided by the UN, World Bank, WHO and UNAIDS, there were 4,204,468 reported malaria cases, 12,950 estimated malaria deaths and 7,132 reported malaria deaths in Malawi.

“We sent a team to Zambia to do a research on the use of DDT in fighting malaria and once the recommendations are made we will see what to do. We know that they are successful but we have to look at what effects DDT has on environment and agriculture taking into consideration that our economy is agro-based,” he said.

Some commentators and activists have raised concerns about DDT contaminating the environment if it is used in vector control. As with the other insecticides used in IRS, DDT causes minimal or zero contamination of the wider environment. Because DDT does not escape into the wider environment, it poses little or no threat to wildlife.

Results from the 2008 MIS demonstrated the dramatic progress Zambia is making in its fight to control malaria. Since 2006, malaria parasite prevalence in children has been reduced by 50%, and moderate to severe anemia has been reduced by more than 60%.

DDT is not only highly effective in malaria control, but it is also significantly cheaper than the other insecticides that are suitable for indoor residual spraying (IRS). It is easy to use and safe for both the residents of houses sprayed and the sprayers themselves.

More people than ever are sleeping under bed nets and two-thirds of all households are protected by at least one ITN or indoor residual spraying.

Use of DDT to fight malaria has been increasing since it was endorsed in 2006 by the World Health Organization and the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), a U.S. aid program launched by former President Bush.

USAID provides approximately $26 million per year to Malawi under PMI to purchase and distribute about 1,600,000 long life insecticide-treated bed nets, according to its Malawi office fact sheet.

“It is also used to purchase and distribute a national supply of over 6.6 million doses of life saving artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) drugs, implement an Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) programme for 28,000 households and provide preventive treatment for malaria nationwide for pregnant women attending antenatal care,” reads part of the report.

PMI activities began in Malawi in 2007 and the U.S. government has committed a total of $107 million for addressing malaria over the five year period of 2007-2012.

“With six million cases of malaria per year in Malawi, the fight against malaria is far from over but through close collaborations between the governments of the United States and Malawi and other partners, we are making progress,” said Curt Reintsma, USAID Mission Director.

In 2009, data showed that use of ITNs by vulnerable children improved to 61% from 37% in 2005.

“We rededicate our partnership between Malawi and the United States to defeat this preventable and treatable killer,” said Reintsma.

Kang’ombe said the ministry has been implementing several malaria control strategies aimed at reducing the burden of malaria to a level of no public health significance in Malawi. These strategic areas which are coordinated by the NMCP includes; Malaria Case Management, Intermittent Preventive Treatment for pregnant women (IPTp) where women are routinely provided with at least 2 doses of SP during pregnancy.

“Integrated Vector Management is another major strategy that the ministry of health is implementing as one of the control measures for malaria in Malawi. This involves distribution of Insecticide Treated Mosquito nets and Indoor Residual Spraying. Operational Research, Monitoring and Evaluation and Information, Education and Communication/Advocacy are some of the cross cutting strategic areas that are also being implemented,” said Kang’ombe adding.

Some nations which are using DDT are: Ethiopia, South Africa, India, Mauritius, Myanmar, Yemen, Uganda, Mozambique and Swaziland, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Eritrea, Gambia, Namibia and Zambia.

DDT may have a variety of human health effects, including reduced fertility, genital birth defects, breast cancer, diabetes and damage to developing brains. Its metabolite, DDE and can block male hormones.

See also:

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