I do not really know how to begin this post, so I will begin it with a story my grandmother told me about Douglas, Georgia around 1905.
She was sitting on her front porch, rocking, when a white man who occasionally worked for her family passed by. When he saw her he hid something behind his back. Playfully, she ran out into the street and tried to peer around him. Finally, he stopped her and said, “Oh, you don’t want to see this Miss Leila. It’s a piece of nigra meat. We had to lynch and burn one, and then we decided to cut him up.”
Between 1882 and 1968, there were 3,446 known lynchings of blacks in the U.S. Most were for attempted rape or attempted murder, attempted being a relatively flexible concept, but numerous things could get you lynched, including “independence of mind.” Continue reading →
There were almost as many opinions about David Morgan as there were people in Richfield. Not enough to fix some median that would reveal how average he actually was, yet enough to be bounded by extremes.
To Earl Blackwood he was “…that string bean kid what couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper sack.” Earl Blackwood owned Richfield’s one tavern. Burly men from the co-op guzzled beer there with rawboned ranch hands while listening to honky tonk music and belching at each other. Earl’s son pushed other kids around a lot and walked with a swagger.
The other extreme of convictions about David came from Mr. Thompson. He owned the insurance agency, the Cameo Theater (shows Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, unless the bus from Boise was late with the film), and five of Shoshone County’s biggest potato cellars. To Mr. Thompson, David was “…a nice kid with plenty of smarts. He’s going far, you just mark my words.” His own son lisped and got straight A’s. Continue reading →
Colorado’s massive High Park fire has jumped the Poudre River and is beginning to menace Fort Collins in earnest. This is very bad news. Some experts fear the blaze won’t be contained before fall and if you live anywhere to the east of it you’re probably quite worried, and for good reason. You might well be concerned if you live south or west, too.
Matt Mogk has been out of town for a few days, but whether that’s because he’s been on vacation or he’s been out investigating an outbreak of the living dead, he doesn’t say. I don’t ask either, figuring that some things are better left unknown.
Of course, Mogk, the author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies and director of the Zombie Research Society, would be quick to remind me: “What you don’t know can eat you.” Continue reading →