Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Race relations and one dumb ass

Let me try to do justice to this little morality play in three parts:

First, we went to a breakfast at the community college celebrating Martin Luther King Day. Teenage students were in charge of the program. We were not prepared for stunning ferocity or the fierce beauty of the original poems presented by 16-year-old Shanita Ariona Monique Jackson. She spoke of poverty, of culture, of sickness and of family love. Powerful emotions. We were all in tears and honored her with a spontaneous standing ovation that lasted several minutes. She was crying, too. It was remarkable.

A week later, we went to see “Lincoln.” Since we are of a certain age, we favor the matinee showings. Sometimes, we are the only people in the theater. Not this time. More people turned out to watch Daniel Day-Lewis than any other movie we’ve seen here. Just white people. No black people. All the more amazing, since this is the Deep South where to this day the Civil War has different meaning.

Later, around dusk I pulled in to a convenience store to get gasoline. This particular store had been robbed the week before. A big, rough-looking black guy came out of the store and shot me a look. It made me uneasy so I waited to get out of the van until I saw him ride away – on his little Vespa. No real badass rides a Vespa.

Dumb ass. I’ve still got a ways to go. I suppose we all do.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Military Channel debunks JFK conspiracy story

For some reason unknown to me, last night the Military Channel ran an hour long program aimed at debunking the JFK assassination conspiracy theory linking Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.

If you didn’t know, I was operating one of nine in the basement that morning – two video, two still cameras and five movie film cameras. I didn’t realize there were only nine of us. Several times, they showed my film of Ruby shooting Oswald.

Shameless plug: buy our book “When the News Went Live” available cheap on Amazon. Click here. Our book is now in its fifth printing.

I was a 24-year-old cub reporter who had been on my first job as a reporter for about six weeks.

Not only was I green, I was clumsy. And a little dumb. This was Dallas. And I was fresh outta Lubbock.

The week before the assassination, I almost got a ticket for driving the KRLD mobile news unit the wrong way on a one-way street in front of Neiman’s. The cop who pulled me over said, “Son, do you want to report the news – or make it?”

A couple of weeks later, I goofed again. This time I left 50-feet spool of cable and a microphone on the roof of the news wagon. A civilian found it in the middle of an intersection on Lemon Ave. Fortunately, our engineers were able to repair it. Had duct tape been invented?

Not satisfied with such an auspicious start, a few weeks later, I left the big 16mm Auricon camera mounted on a tripod on the taxiway at Love Field and a departing jet blew my rig over. The insurance company said the lens I snapped was worth $1,500.

During the ensuing months, I got punched out three times while on assignments: Gen. Walker knocked me down three times, Ruby’s brother took a swing and so did the sister of an escaping convict.

Some say my personality is flawed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Women in combat?

Military women have been fighting and dying for a decade during both our wars.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy Pearsall was attached to an Army ground unit that was clearing roadside bombs. They had just found their 26th device of the day when one of their armored personnel carriers exploded. And she started shooting.

Quote of the Day -- “Yes, women can do it, and I already have. I can't speak for the men, but I feel that when the bullets were flying, they didn't care that I was a woman, as long as I was pulling the trigger." – Staff Sgt. Pearsall, who served two tours of duty in Iraq.

Friday, January 18, 2013

And now for a little winter

No snow but the heavy rains soaked us. At least 69 downmountain mudslides reported in our area. Patchy ice. But the storm was here and gone so fast it barely made a dent in our supply of Cheetos.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Heavy weather in the Blue Ridge

We're snug in our little cabin awaiting the first snow of the season to reach our valley. The Blueridge Parkway is closed just 30 minutes away. Forecast calls for 2-4 inches here in the holler. Heavy, soaking rains. Mud slides, trees falling, rivers flooding.

Other areas are getting hit much harder. We're cool.

Yesterday, we stocked up on Cheetos.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Define smart

Our dog has begun to like going outside to pee at 4 in the morning whether it's raining or not. She sleeps in her crate and will bark once from the other room. That's my signal.

I suspect this is her version of clicker training.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Wild Rumpus rides again

She’s adept with quips, quiches, and power tools. Now, you can add monsters to the list. Not the chainsaw kind, but the serious kind that hide under your bed and in your closet.

Lyn Ellen Lacy (aka the Mystery Woman for regular readers) is the guest curator for “Sendak and Co.: Children’s Book Illustrations Since “Where the Wild Things Are” that features 170 original drawings by 33 artists. The show runs through Jan. 20 at the Appleton Museum in Ocala, FL.

The show is a draw.

And the exhibition is breaking attendance records. More than 1,000 kids brought their grown-ups to play at the Appleton’s recent “Monstrous Bash” for family day. Click here.

There's a chance the show might go on the road. The museum has received requests from other museums and public libraries across the nation.

Lyn Ellen, also known world-wide as my high school sweetheart, has written four books on children, creativity, and learning. She’s an expert on children’s literature and sometimes insists on reading me to sleep.

I just love her.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Too much snake, not enough oil

When Speaker John Boehner adjourned the House without approving overdue financial aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy he took the art of political slithering to a new low.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It finally dawned on me that I’m watching too much TV. At least around noon.

For years, I’ve enjoyed drifting into my mid-day nap with MSNBC running in the background. That way, my dreams are seasoned from the left.

As I was falling asleep today, I realized I recognize their reporters by just their voices. Even their back bench team.

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