Jacki Kellum

Juxtapositions: Read My Mind

Category: New York

How to Cut or Trim Away Parts of a Video in Movie Maker and How to Fade


A couple of days ago, I was in New York City and with my iPhone 7s Plus, I captured a few seconds of video footage. Before that day, I had been afraid to use the video feature of my iPhone. It was very simple, and I wish that I had recorded for a longer time. When I got home, I had to figure out how to Upload the video to Youtube. The initial video caught the top of a bald man’s head, and it ended abruptly. I learned how to edit the video to eliminate those issues, and this is what I learned:

To get the movie on my computer, I used the free software Clip Grab and saved it in a file that I prepared for it on my computer.

I opened Movie Maker [also a free program].  I clicked on “Home,” and then I selected “Add videos and photos.”


From the file where it was saved, I clicked “Open.”

The bald head is at the very end.


I manually slid the video to before the moment that the bald head appeared.


I right-clicked on the video’s actual timeline, and I selected “Split.”


After you select “Split,” you will see that the video has two distinctive parts


I did not want the last part, and I clicked on that portion and then clicked “Delete” on my computer.


When I saved the edited video, I changed the name of the edited version, thus preserving the original, tool.

I did not like that the music did not fade and that it ended abruptly. To fix that problem,

Beneath the word “File,” I selected “Fade” and I applied the Fade at a Medium rate.


Go to File – Save Movie – Recommended for this project.


After the file was saved to my computer, I Uploaded it from my Youtube page.


After the tags and the title were added, I clicked “Publish.”

The following is the Edited Video:

The Following is the movie before the edits.

©Jacki Kellum December 4, 2016

Descriptive Writing – Sense of Place – Setting of the Upstate Area of New York in the James Fenimore Cooper Leatherstocking Tales


“As this work professes, in its title-page, to be a descriptive tale, they who will take the trouble to read it may be glad to know how much of its contents is literal fact….But in commencing to describe scenes, and perhaps he may add characters, that were so familiar to his own youth, there was a constant temptation to delineate that which he had known, rather than that which he might have imagined….

“Otsego….lies among those low spurs of the Alleghanies which cover the midland counties of New York, and it is a little east of a meridional line drawn through the centre of the State. As the waters of New York flow either southerly into the Atlantic or northerly into Ontario and its outlet, Otsego Lake, being the source of the Susquehanna, is of necessity among its highest lands….

“Otsego is said to be a word compounded of Ot, a place of meeting, and Sego, or Sago, the ordinary term of salutation used by the Indians of this region. There is a tradition which says that the neighboring tribes were accustomed to meet on the banks of the lake to make their treaties, and otherwise to strengthen their alliances, and which refers the name to this practice.” Pioneers – Introduction

Image result for council rock james fenimore cooper

[Cooper is describing the area of Council Rock, which is the area where he grew up. James Fennimore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans and several other books that were set in the area around his home in upstate New York. In one of the books, he wrote about how the Native Americans would canoe to a big boulder to meet. This big boulder is Council Rock, which is an actual rock that is very near Cooper’s childhood home. The description of the rock in Cooper’s writing of historical fiction is beautiful and when we know that Cooper had first-hand experiences with the rock, we have little doubt that in writing what is supposedly fiction, Cooper was describing from his own memories.]

“Near the centre of the State of New York lies an extensive district of country whose surface is a succession of hills and dales, or, to speak with greater deference to geographical definitions, of mountains and valleys. It is among these hills that the Delaware takes its rise; and flowing from the limpid lakes and thousand springs of this region the numerous sources of the Susquehanna meander through the valleys until, uniting their streams, they form one of the proudest rivers of the United States. The mountains are generally arable to the tops, although instances are not wanting where the sides are jutted with rocks that aid greatly in giving to the country that romantic and picturesque character which it so eminently possesses. The vales are narrow, rich, and cultivated, with a stream uniformly winding through each. Beautiful and thriving villages are found interspersed along the margins of the small lakes, or situated at those points of the streams which are favorable for manufacturing; and neat and comfortable farms, with every indication of wealth about them, are scattered profusely through the vales, and even to the mountain tops. Roads diverge in every direction from the even and graceful bottoms of the valleys to the most rugged and intricate passes of the hills. …Only forty years have passed since this territory was a wilderness.” Pioneers – Chapter 1 – Opening Lines

Image result for Snow catskills NY

“There was glittering in the atmosphere, as if it was filled with innumerable shining particles; and the noble bay horses that drew the sleigh were covered, in many parts with a coat of hoar-frost. The vapor from their nostrils was seen to issue like smoke; and every object in the view, as well as every arrangement of the travellers, denoted the depth of a winter in the mountains. The harness, which was of a deep, dull black, differing from the glossy varnishing of the present day, was ornamented with enormous plates and buckles of brass, that shone like gold in those transient beams of the sun which found their way obliquely through the tops of the trees. Huge saddles, studded with nails and fitted with cloth that served as blankets to the shoulders of the cattle, supported four high, square-topped turrets, through which the stout reins led from the mouths of the horses to the hands of the driver, who was a negro, of apparently twenty years of age. His face, which nature had colored with a glistening black, was now mottled with the cold, and his large shining eyes filled with tears; a tribute to its power that the keen frosts of those regions always extracted from one of his African origin. Still, there was a smiling expression of good-humor in his happy countenance, that was created by the thoughts of home and a Christmas fireside, with its Christmas frolics. The sleigh was one of those large, comfortable, old-fashioned conveyances, which would admit a whole family within its bosom, but which now contained only two passengers besides the driver. The color of its outside was a modest green, and that of its inside a fiery red, The latter was intended to convey the idea of heat in that cold climate. Large buffalo-skins trimmed around the edges with red cloth cut into festoons, covered the back of the sleigh, and were spread over its bottom and drawn up around the feet of the travellers—one of whom was a man of middle age and the other a female just entering upon womanhood. The former was of a large stature; but the precautions he had taken to guard against the cold left but little of his person exposed to view. A great-coat, that was abundantly ornamented by a profusion of furs, enveloped the whole of his figure excepting the head, which was covered with a cap of mar ten-skins lined with morocco, the sides of which were made to fall, if necessary, and were now drawn close over the ears and fastened beneath his chin with a black rib bon. The top of the cap was surmounted with the tail of the animal whose skin had furnished the rest of the materials, which fell back, not ungracefully, a few inches be hind the head. From beneath this mask were to be seen part of a fine, manly face, and particularly a pair of expressive large blue eyes, that promised extraordinary intellect, covert humor, and great benevolence. The form of his companion was literally hid beneath the garments she wore. There were furs and silks peeping from under a large camlet cloak with a thick flannel lining, that by its cut and size was evidently intended for a masculine wearer. A huge hood of black silk, that was quilted with down, concealed the whole of her head, except at a small opening in front for breath, through which occasionally sparkled a pair of animated jet-black eyes.

“The mountain on which they were journeying was covered with pines that rose without a branch some seventy or eighty feet, and which frequently doubled that height by the addition of the tops. Through the innumerable vistas that opened beneath the lofty trees, the eye could penetrate until it was met by a distant inequality in the ground, or was stopped by a view of the summit of the mountain which lay on the opposite side of the valley to which they were hastening. The dark trunks of the trees rose from the pure white of the snow in regularly formed shafts, until, at a great height, their branches shot forth horizontal limbs, that were covered with the meagre foliage of an evergreen, affording a melancholy contrast to the torpor of nature below. To the travellers there seemed to be no wind; but these pines waved majestically at their topmost boughs, sending forth a dull, plaintive sound that was quite in consonance with the rest of the melancholy scene.” Pioneers – Chapter 1

[This post is a work in progress. I am reading all of the books in the Leatherstocking Tales, and I’ll be adding to these observations]

Free Audio Book & Text of The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

Image result for james fenimore cooper the pioneers

james Fenimore Cooper wrote The Pioneers before he wrote the rest of the books included in The Leatherstocking Tales. The book is set in the 1750s.

“The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features an elderly Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton (whose life parallels that of the author’s father Judge William Cooper), and Elizabeth Temple (based on the author’s sister, Hannah Cooper), daughter of the fictional Templeton. The story begins with an argument between the judge and Leatherstocking over who killed a buck. Through their discussion, Cooper reviews many of the changes to New York’s Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail….

“The Pioneers was the first novel of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales series, featuring the character Natty Bumppo, a resourceful white American living in the woods. The story focuses on the evolution of the wilderness into a civilized European-American community. The story takes place in the town of Тempleton, which is said to be modeled after Cooperstown, New York, founded by Cooper’s father after the Revolutionary War..

“Naturalist Ideas: Although not classified as a naturalist novel, Cooper depicts many naturalist based ideas in The Pioneers. His use of language, dialogue and description help to convey this movement within this novel.

“Landscape: In The Pioneers, Cooper thematically debates the complexity of landscape within a new American frontier. The battle between nature and civilization is a constant and competing force within the minds of the characters and in the general surroundings. Cooper evaluates his landscape as one that will be established by a civilization unable to escape its own traits of wastefulness and arrogance.
Characters: Cooper expands the conflict between nature and civilization in his characters. Specifically Cooper writes much more detailed and in depth dialogue for “Natty Bumpo’s” character than he does for any of the others. During these conversations Natty stresses the importance of respecting the land and criticizes the greed and selfishness of mankind. The “civil societal” characters are background characters to Natty’s heroic natural character. He emerges as the antithesis to wastefulness as demonstrated and embodied in the settlers. Cooper’s main theme is wilderness versus established society. While the settlers see wilderness as being tamed by their presence, Natty has a vision of civilized life coexisting with nature. Ideally, he wants to sustain the unique role that this vast unexplored wilderness contributes to the complexity of America.
“It is much better to kill only such you want, without wasting your powder and lead, then to be firing into God’s creatures in such a wicked manner.” (Natty to Judge Marmeduke) – Chapter III, The Slaughter of Pigeons
Description: Alternating between dialogues, Cooper writes vast paragraphs of descriptive writing to paint the natural wilderness. To him, the natural landscape exemplifies a peaceful wilderness. When the dialogue begins, it shows the disruption civilization wreaks on the natural abundance of the wilderness. Cooper contrasts the giving, natural and serene wilderness versus the arrogant and greedy society.” Wikipedia Here

You can read the entire book The Pioners: The Sources of the Susquehanna Free Online by Clicking on the Following Link to Its Location in the Gutenberg Books: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2275/2275-h/2275-h.htm

When you follow the above link [in a different color], you can click on each chapter, one chapter at a time

You can hear the book on tape, as it was recorded by Librivox. Again, for the Audio Book, click on one of the Parts at a time:

Illustration for Chapter 1.


Part 1

Part 2 Begins with Chapter 5

Part 3 Begins with Chapter 9

Part 4 Begins with Chapter 13

Part 5 Begins with Chapter 16

Part 6 Begins with Chapter 21

Part 7 Begins with Chapter 27

Part 8 Begins with Chapter 31

Part 9 Begins with Chapter 36


Thomas Cole & Hudson River Painters – Art to Match the Romantic Views of the James Fenimore Cooper Leatherstocking Tales

Although Thomas Cole was born in Lancashire, he moved to the USA in 1818 and had settled in New York State by 1825. He is considered to be the founder of the Hudson River Painters, a group of artists who painted the same kind of romanticized, idealized nature that James Fenimore Cooper describes in his books. James Fenimore Cooper, the author of the Leatherstocking Tales–which include The Last of the Mohicans–was born in 1789, and he lived in upstate New York, in the Cooperstown area. James Fenimore Cooper died in  1851, and Thomas Cole died in 1848.

When I am reading James Fenimore Cooper’s books, I love to envision the paintings of Thomas Cole and the other Hudson River Painters.


Distant View of Niagara Falls – Thomas Cole [Notice the Native Americans overlooking the water–

This could easily be an illustration for a James Fenimore Cooper Book]


Home in the Woods – Thomas Cole

Working Title/Artist: View on the Catskill—Early Autumn Department: Am. Paintings / Sculpture Culture/Period/Location:  HB/TOA Date Code:  Working Date:  photography by mma, DT2639.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_6_09

Working Title/Artist: View on the Catskill—Early Autumn – Thomas Cole

I love autumn in the Northeastern part of the USA. Every autumn, I dig out my copies of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Those books were written in an area of New York that is near where James Fenimore Cooper lived. I also begin posting all of my favorite Hudson River Paintings, and this year, I am adding Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales to the mix. It all seems to fit.

In my early college years, I studied the English Romanticists–especially William Blake and William Wordsworth. The American Romantic movement shares some of the same themes–especially the idealization of nature.

©Jacki Kellum September 14, 2016



I Have Declared September as the Beginning of My New Year – And I Honor September 11th

Today, it is 9 – 11, and I am celebrating  fall and the beginning of my own personal new year. All of us must also honor September 11th as the day that the USA managed to rise from its tragic devastation. Every Year on September 11, I like to play a video showing Liza Minelli and Pavarotti singing New York, New York. It is my Anthem of Survival.

Because September is traditionally the time that school begins and the time to buy new crayons and glue and to get a shiny new ruler–one that isn’t nicked and scratched–I believe that fall should be the time to start a new year. Fall is also the time of the apple harvest, and I associate apples with teachers and  apple pie with mom and the apple tree with the Tree of Life.

Image result for painting of eve in apple tree

Image result for johnny appleseed

September is also the month of Johnny Appleseed’s birthday. John Chapman was born on September 26, 1774, and he is the fellow who traveled from state to state, sharing apple seeds and a page from his Bible.  Champman always traveled the same route and when he returned from a journey he would recollect the page that he had left before and would leave another in its place. For that reason. John Chapman, who was nicknamed Johny Appleseed, is considered America’s first librarian.

I feel quite sure that most of Johnny’s original apple trees have died, but around each old, dried stump, where the first apple trees were planted, other  apple trees sprang up, and in that way, the USA became an apple-growing country. Johnny Appleseed left other stumps, too. Following Johnny’s example, formal library systems are dotted around the country and all of us bloggers repeatedly share what we know.

But let’s return to apple trees and apples. Because I link apples with the Tree of Life and with schools and teachers and with Mom and her apple pie, I regard apples to be  more than simple pieces of fruit. In my opinion, apples are symbolic of prosperity and growth. And  because the fall is the time for harvesting apples, I see another reason for celebrating my own personal new year during fall, during the time of the apple harvest, and at the time that I honor the fallen on September 11.

Sometimes Rosh Hashanah is celebrated in September, and I had decided that I might simply borrow Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, for myself, but this year, Rosh Hashanah is in October. I know that several primitive cultures had large festivals in the fall, and I decided that I would research to see if  I could find myself a New Year that would always fall in September, and I found one. The holiday is Enkutatash, and it is celebrated on September 11. Enkutatash is the Ethiopian New Year, and September 11 was the time that terrorists attacked my country.


All things seem to point to the fact that from this day forward, my personal New Year will be on September 11.  Certainly, I do not celebrate the falling of the towers in NYC, and I do not celebrate the fact that lives were lost on that tragic day. But I do celebrate that, like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, America has managed to prevail. Tonight, I’ll go down to the water’s edge of my home at the Jersey Shore, and I’ll light a Roman Candle for Life.

“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.” – William Faulkner

©Jacki Kellum September 11, 2016


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