I don’t know how old one has to be to recall the original Dragnet television show starring Jack Webb and Ben Alexander. It was a cop show that cut to the no-nonsense quick of the case at hand. As the duo of Joe Friday and partner Frank Smith pursued the case they cautioned every potential witness that they were interested in the facts, nothing but the facts. It was straight police work and at the end of the show, they always had their man in cuffs.
Janet and I watch lots of police dramas, especially from the British Commonwealth. What most have in common is a required amount of police drama coupled with way too much relationship drama. There’s the distraught wife who’s pissed because the hubby loves the job more than her. There’s the angst-ridden teenager whose life is ruined because dad the cop wasn’t there when his first pimple ripened.
Like most mornings I woke up and watched the first half-hour of Morning Joe. Before the thirty minutes had passed, however, I had to witch channels and watch a rerun of Texas Iron. The two lead stories dealt with the insanity and incompetence that currently resides in the White House.
First was a recap of yesterday’s press conference in which Trump defended some quack doctor and her claims about alien DNA being the enemy of religion in America. This woman made the most outlandish claims and Trump supported her on grounds akin to, well she must be correct, she has all her own teeth. Now, put that together with his already telling us to stick light bulbs in our orifices and bleach in our veins and tell me the inmates aren’t in charge of the asylum.
I had bariatric surgery in 2008 and afterward, I came across a small book, Food Rules, that contained a list of very simple, easy to follow, tips for managing one’s weight. A couple of examples is, never order French fries. If you want fries, go to the trouble to do the work, make the mess, and clean it all up. Another is, nothing good for you comes through a drive-thru window.
Anyway, I love books like that. You learn valuable things and you don’t have to tie yourself to reading thousand-page textbooks.
Yesterday, July 17, I had both a physical therapy appointment in Greenfield and a car repair appointment in WCH. With a two hour separation, I decided to take advantage of the blue skies and drive the hills around South Salem and take the back roads to Court House.
The trip began with driving to Salem via Lower Twin Rd and doing the covered bridge. In town, I turned onto Mt. Olive Rd and then Salem Rd over to SR 41. Most of that was as I recall from recent years, a few new homes along with a few in greater disrepair. Before SR 41 I turned left onto Upper Twin and at the top of the hill, I turned left onto Mt. Olive and stopped for a few minutes to take in what is one of the most spectacular views in our area, the valley below that stretches well beyond Good Hope in the far distance. I always wanted to build a home looking North at that location.
Mt. Olive brought me back into Salem and I turned right onto Lower Twin Rd and proceeded to Morgan Rd. It was at the corner of these two roads where I saw my first Ohio deer in 1970 while driving my school bus route. It was in the middle of the road and when it saw my yellow brick it leaped a fence and disappeared into the closest woods.
Morgan Rd. has changed a lot. When I drove a bus on it, it was all dirt and at times dangerous. I succeed in putting my bus into a ditch on two successive days and at the end of the year was presented a trophy, courtesy of Norman Gingerich, and Dave Watts, of a bus being pulled by a wrecker. Several of the homes I picked up kids at have since been torn down.
At SR 28 I turned left to Westfall Rd. and then left onto Parrot, which was a part of Joe Current’s route. I wound my way over those hills and at SR 138 I turned left to Lyndon Rd. where I turned right and made my way to Good Hope.
Years ago some wise sage advised me to never pass up a chance to take a whiz and I had passed up too many. I found myself pulling into the cemetery outside Good Hope in search of a tree. The canopy of old maple trees made the detour well worth it.
An hour at Doug Marine’s and I was back on the road taking the most direct road back home but firm in the renewed knowledge that we live in a beautiful part of the world if you just take the time to go look at it.
Upon waking this morning the news seemed focused on Bubba Wallace, Confederate flags, and Bubba’s need to apologize to his fellow NASCAR drivers. The truth is, until a noose was discovered in his garage I wouldn’t have known Bubba Wallace from Bubba Gump or some guy who runs a gasper goo catch, clean, and cook show on YouTube (now you have something to Google). But, it got me thinking about hangman’s nooses and how I came to become proficient in tying them.
I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s when the main recreation for young boys was listening to Tom Mix on the radio and going to double feature Saturday matinees at the Lyric or Rand theaters. Most cowboy shows had plots that focused on some crooked rancher or banker who had a gang of thugs doing his evil deeds and at its worse, a hero always rode into town and saved the citizenry from these evildoers.
It’s been a little teary-eyed around here lately. I’ve noticed that as a part of aging I find myself experiencing periods of sadness more frequently and I’m sure it’s attributable to witnessing the normalcy or familiarity of life fading away. I don’t know who the popular entertainers are, I couldn’t tell you the name of a professional baseball player, I don’t know what a “Karen” is, and I’ll never understand why anyone would give up beer in favor of flavored seltzer water.
Sunday I watched a PBS documentary about Jewish-Americans who fought in the American military during World War II. So many were first-generation immigrants whose families had escaped the horrors of Hitler’s Europe only to find themselves fighting to free the very places their families had fled from.
One of the most important days in the annual calendar of African Americans is June 19, 1865, or what has become known as Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day). Even though the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery was declared in 1863 it wasn’t until after the war had officially ended that word of the proclamation reached the far corners of the Confederacy, such as Texas where the Union General in charge announced it on June 19, 1865.
For decades defenders of the Confederacy have argued that the secession of the South had little to nothing to do with slavery. It was all about protecting a way of life, a history, a culture, the purity of Southern ladies, or the political idea of states versus national rights.
It is generally claimed that the beginning of the American Civil War began with the bombardment of the Union Fort Sumner in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. This occurred on April 12, 1861, but the succession of Southern states from the United States began when South Carolina seceded in December of 1860. When the war began depends on which action you choose.