Just when it looked like it might be safe to leave the beach and go back in the water the beach is disappearing. After more than a year of masks and isolation Peg and I finally got our second Pfizer shots last Friday. We just need to avoid all human contact for one more week. We were anticipating a return to a normal life. Then I read of an alarming new and totally unexpected world crisis, a sand shortage? Yep, that was the cautionary tale screaming from the Internet. I know I should not use my iPhone for anything but ordering from Amazon, but I find it impossible to ignore the AOL pop-ups in my email. I know better but still click on the cleverly worded come-ons beseeching me to read about … [Read More...] about Sans Sand
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College for over thirty years. Campbell is probably best known as George Lucas’ source for the mythology permeating the Star Wars anthology. Good versus evil, light versus darkness, hope versus despair and, throughout human existence, alertness to being alive versus remaining unaware of our experiences. To Campbell, the unpardonable sin is to be unaware, that is, to not be truly alive as we meander through our lives unaffected by what is happening around us. For me, Black History Month evokes an introspection of my callow youth and its blissful ignorance of the difference between my white world and that of my, as we … [Read More...] about The Unpardonable Sin
Joe McCarthy (1908-1957) was a U.S. senator from Wisconsin. He was also a Wisconsin circuit court judge just before being elected to Congress. He brought no honor to either branch of government. McCarthy’s favorite tactic of smearing people was to accuse them of being Communist sympathizers by naming the victims, say a political opponent or a college professor or movie actor, then while holding up a piece of paper say, “I have here in my hand proof of treasonous activity”. McCarthy’s “exposés” were often later exposed to have been unfounded allegations. McCarthy was not but could have been the role model for “Big Brother” of George Orwell’s English novel Nineteen Eighty-Four in which the … [Read More...] about I Have In My Hand
Last Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. Peg and I joined supplicants from numerous Oklahoma communities at the Grant County Health Department in Medford, Oklahoma, population one thousand. Medford is 105 miles from our home in Barnsdall, Oklahoma but there were pilgrims there from even further away. The convocation had the feel of a Hadj with the tiny health department being the Ka’bah and Medford being Mecca. Instead of seeking a later reward we were all beseeching the higher authority, our government, for salvation here and now from COVID-19. The congregation consisted of a continuous stream of persons all of whom had the same color hair, were of similar size and shape and shuffled along as if … [Read More...] about A Goat Roping
Five-foot, four inch tall “Little Jimmy”, James Madison, Jr. (1751-1836), applied his gigantic intellect to melding the Natural Law theory of John Locke (1632-1704) and the Separation of Powers theory of Charles Montesquieu (1689-1755) into the Constitution of the United States. Locke and Montesquieu postulated that all things being equal no person should harm another in his/her life, liberty, health or possessions. They, along with Madison, also believed that every person who has power is apt to abuse it. Therefore, governments are necessary to keep individual power in check but the power of government must also be kept in check. According to Edgar Bodenheimer (1908-1991) in his treatise … [Read More...] about A Delicate Balance
The season of our discontent is set to begin February 08, 2021. Soon we will be forced to talk to our spouses again and eat an actual meal instead of gobble chicken wings during commercials or at half-times. I can feel the ennui closing in. ♫ It is a long, long time from February to September ♫ when football season returns. It is not that I have no interest in other sports, but other than the Olympic downhill ski race and the baseball World Series I just do not want to watch them on television. On the other hand, I will gladly spend four hours watching Goadie Bowl Tech and Reyfert Hogart Junior College drop passes and fumble kick-offs. Such pursuits as yard work and household chores quickly … [Read More...] about Attenuation
I. The Salient Issue One method of grappling with what are the most vital issues America must resolve is to first eliminate those issues that blur our thought process. Five years of partisan ill will have sapped our nation’s psyche. Our health and our economy have suffered as we have found it more entertaining to castigate those who disagree with our political views than to make the hard choices required to battle COVID-19 and its devastation of our society. The events of January 06, 2021 and our reactions to them will either continue us on our downward spiral, or perhaps, America can remember and apply the healing lessons from our history. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Gerald Ford … [Read More...] about Briefly Speaking
There was a time when the largest class of immigrants to the United States came from Great Britain. A large number of those erstwhile Englishmen and their descendants fought two wars with their one-time homeland. In spite of the British going so far as to burn down part of Washington D.C. during one of those wars, we still cleave to Great Britain as our closest ally. Neither we nor the British held grudges. Then about one hundred years after the War of 1812 against our British cousins we joined with them in WWI against Germany. At the end of WWI, even though there were a great many citizens of the United States who traced their lineage to Germany, we signed on to the mean-spirited Treaty of … [Read More...] about Taking Sides
How was that for a New Year’s Eve? On the other hand, just about anybody who chose to could attend a masked ball in 2020-2021 where many of the loud, inebriated strangers eschewed the masks. But one could still engage in or be subjected to rude behavior and wake up at noon thinking “Oh, no!”. ’Ole 19 may have changed our social interactions but human nature does not metamorphosize so quickly; we are still capable of making poor decisions to which we have given hardly a thought. After all, if we have no regrets have we really lived? With memories of such moments in mind, Peg and I spent New Year’s Eve in front of the fireplace, just we two and a bottle of medium-priced red wine. We gratefully … [Read More...] about Scat 2020!
Peg and I like living in the country. Our nearest neighbor’s residence is within sight but not sound. Even the occasional gunshot is but a faint report. No one just walks over as they used to when we lived in town. Of course, with ’Ole 19 raging no one would do so in town either. So town living resembles country living for now. Perhaps a few million vaccinations will reprise neighborliness. Although I find myself gradually becoming acclimated to the solitude. I do not believe I am as yet completely misanthropic but I can sense the progression toward it. Even the occasional arrival of a UPS or FedEx driver now causes an initially negative reaction. There was a time such an event brought forth … [Read More...] about The Prairie Sirens
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Last night about 7:00 p.m. Peg excitedly called for me to join her outside as the dark gray sky gave way to a sliver of moon accompanied by Jupiter and Saturn nearing a point of conjunction, the same phenomenon that occurred about 2,000 years ago. It feels good to anticipate the completion of the astronomical wonder that will occur on December 21, the winter solstice. Perhaps we can consider the return of the “Christmas Star” as a harbinger of a better year to come as this painful year of 2020 begins to recede. That is the traditional interpretation of the Christmas Story, overcoming current adversity and hoping for a brighter future. But many … [Read More...] about A Season of Hope
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Unanimous for Murder
Unanimous for Murder picks up where JUDGE LYNCH! left off. A gripping story of small town murder and judicial shenanigans on the western frontier when the western frontier was east of the Mississippi.
Echoes of Our Ancestors: The Secret Game
Jim’s new novel tells the exciting story of a long hidden but important football game that occurred between representatives of Haskell Indian Institute (now the Haskell Indian Nations University) and professionals from the then Kansas City Cowboys in 1924 at a secret location on the Osage Indian Nation near Pawhuska, Oklahoma - where Jim was born.
“Judge Lynch Holds Court!” That was the banner headline in a Posey County, Indiana newspaper after seven African American men were murdered by a white mob during October, 1878.
Gavel Gamut Greetings from JPeg Ranch
“Gavel Gamut Greetings" is an anthology of topical and historical selections mainly about regional events and personalities that have appeared in my weekly newspaper column, Gavel Gamut.