Sunday, December 16, 2018


I see this sequence as representing the state of our country.  It's starting to get lighter, folks!

The news of the past week -- starting with the resignation of Zinke -- another rat leaving the sinking ship and good riddance to him -- has been mixed.

 The child dying in US custody at the border is shameful -- and even more shameful to my mind are the heartless apologists who say it was all her father's fault for fleeing the lawless situation in Guatemala. Well, yes. Poor man, he probably thought she would have a better chance at a decent life in the USA. He probably didn't expect to be met with tear gas and rubber bullets.

 But imagine if, when the first news of that caravan of political asylum seekers broke, imagine if our government had sent lawyers and immigration specialists and medics to be prepared to respond to these people. I doubt it would have been more costly than deploying the troops. And it would have certainly been more humane. 

The Texas judge who's taken it upon himself to strike down the ACA has struck fear into the hearts of the many, many people who have enjoyed its benefits.  It will be appealed and probably overturned, I suspect. 

And the Republicans' stripping of power from the duly elected incoming governor of Wisconsin, just as the Republican legislature of NC did several years ago is equally reprehensible.

 But. What if these are the last desperate spasms by Republicans who realize that the end is coming for them?  

Why doesn't anyone want to be Chief of Staff for Individual One? 

Because, at this magical moment in time, the President*, his campaign, his transition team, his business, his administration, his charity, and his family are all under investigation for committing different felonies. 

(I have to restrain myself from breaking into a chant of LOCK EM UP! LOCK EM UP! LOCK EM ALL UP!)

To paraphrase: "The mills of Justice grind slow--- but they grind exceeding small."

The light is coming, slowly but surely.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

In the Jailhouse Now . . .

Unknown photographer

Yesterday I went to jail. 

The old Marshall Jail (the white building above right) to be exact. A group of folks have bought the building (there's a new, much nicer jail, elsewhere) and are hoping to turn it into space for a bed and breakfast or Airbnb type thing along with possible commercial and/or studio space. 

Being fully aware of the historic resonance of the place, they're also working on a project to collect stories about the jail and especially about  the late, legendary E.Y. Ponder --  the High Sheriff of Madison County who didn't wear a gun or a uniform.

Josh Copus, one of the owners, is a friend of Claui's and he knew that John and I had some E.Y. stories. He had already interviewed a few Madison County natives and thought it might be interesting to hear the perspective of some of us 'new people.' (Still new after forty-some years.)

Now I only met E.Y. once, in the course of jury duty. It was John who had the really good story but he said he trusted me to tell it well. So yesterday I did some oral history, mainly what my neighbors back then had thought of E.Y and John's story, that encapsulates E.Y.'s clever and usually compassionate community-based policing.

 Josh was also interested in the dynamics of the new people in the county back in the Seventies (there's a whole second influx of new people now,) and I tried to give a sense of what it was like.

It was a damp chilly day but they had space heaters and videographing equipment set up in what had been an office.

So I talked and talked for quite a while, trying not to incriminate anyone. Eventually, once it's edited, the interview will be up on  The Old Marshall Jail website. I'll be sure to tell you about it when it happens.

Before the interview, I got a tour. They are removing most of the bars and heavy doors, with a view to repurposing them some way. I think some of those bars might make nice headboards.

Many of the cells had a fine view of the river. This lovely antique brick (the building was erected in 1905) is being unearthed from the layers of plaster and paint that have covered it.

I really look forward to seeing all this when it's done.  

Imagine having your own jail to play with! Josh is demonstrating the lever that opens the bars to the cell beyond him.

I had to check it out . . .

A message on the wall!

Har(d)wood's Bed and Breakfast
"When your here,
your family"

I love the jailhouse humor. Buddy Harwood -- no D -- is our current sheriff. ( I wonder if the inmate had been incarcerated by the grammar police.)

It's inspiring to see this project unfolding. To hear some of the first stories and to get a sense of the scope of this project, visit their website HERE

Friday, December 14, 2018

Snow and Shadow

The shadows are so bold on the snow that they have me thinking that perhaps they could be manifestations of a parallel hidden world.

The more I focus on the shadows, the more likely this seems.

What is it like in Shadowland? Quiet and mysterious . . . 

If I look hard enough, perhaps I'll spy some subtle differences between the objects in our world and those in Shadowland.

Perhaps . . .

Thursday, December 13, 2018