Sunday, May 20, 2018

News of the World by Paulette Jiles


News of the World by Paulette Jiles is a great piece of Texas historical fiction.  In my estimation, it catches the tone of the time and location as well as Lonesome Dove or Cormac McCormic's Border Trilogy and a National Book Award Finalist as well. 

The main character, Captain Jefferson Kidd,  is a twice widowed Confederate veteran who makes his living as an itinerant news reader. He carries the most recent newspapers from one remote settlement to another in north Texas charging anyone interested to listen as he reads articles aloud. He's lived through three wars and fought in two of them. He enjoys the comparatively peaceful life on the road.

In Wichita Falls, he's offered $50 to deliver a young White girl to her family in San Antonio. The army has rescued her from the Kiowa Indians. Four years earlier the Indians attacked her family ranch. The child, Johanna, saw the Indians slaughter her family.  She was adopted into the tribe and has forgotten her native language and customs.

The 400 miles from Wichita Falls to San Antonio is dangerous territory with rough terrain. Two criminals set on stealing Johanna to sell as a prostitute follow them.

The two develop a bond along the way. Johanna gradually recalls her English but hates wearing shoes. She’s remarkably resilient for a child who has seen horrific bloodshed and been kidnapped twice.

Once they reach San Antonio, Johanna is clearly not welcome by her aunt and uncle. Captain Kidd is faced with a moral dilemma. Does he leave the child where she legally belongs or does he kidnap her for a third time?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

If there are no animals in heaven, I don't want to be there.

It happened again, someone dumped a dog at the dog park. A golden lab was found running frantically back and forth from the entrance through the several hundred acres in search of its owner who was nowhere to be found.

It was rescued by a young couple who although they hadn't the ability to assume responsibility for the animal, did know one of the park rangers and were sure they could find someone to care for it in a responsible manner until a proper home could be found.

It's interesting to note that the former owner left a collar on the dog stamped with a phone number. It was no longer in service but did leave a means for locating the person who dumped the dog. I hope there is a law that was broken and that some caring soul in the rescue group will go to the trouble to track down this thoughtless moron.

I hope when each of us gets to the pearly gates, our pets will be sitting at the feet of St. Peter to help determine if we're eligible for admission. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Aggressive Grasshopper

Our five-year-old grandson is on a soccer team. His father told him to be more aggressive at which the child replied, "I can't be more aggressive. I'm not a grasshopper."

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Bless Her Heart

It is socially acceptable in the South and Southwest to say anything about anyone as long as the statement is either prefaced or followed by "Bless her/his heart" or "God love her/him".

I made up this example, but it's perfectly possible. "Bless her heart. Her grandma ran a house of ill-repute where her momma was the most popular girl, and she's living up to the family reputation."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Misplaced Spouse

I go to way too many funerals these days, and the number of widows among my circle of acquaintances seems to increase daily. Despite all the sadness, I'm always amused to hear a woman speak of her husband as "lost".

Every widow knows the exact location of her husband. She made the arrangements, sat on the front row at the funeral and would have stood watching as the coffin was lowered into the grave if the mortuary allowed.

He's not lost; he's dead.

And don't get me started on those who say someone has "passed" when they mean the person has died.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Attention NRA

To Whom It May Concern In The NRA:

The assailant in Nashville this past weekend was naked from the waist down. This was his second attack. Last summer he was arrested for suspicious behavior at the White House and was also armed at the time. Considering his behavior, it should come as no surprise that he, like most every other mass shooter, has a history of mental problems.

Just as the beer manufacturers end every advertisement with a plea to the consumer to drink responsibly, the NRA should consider allotting some of its lobbying funds to a campaign for the establishment of a mental health care system in this country.

There are no long-term mental hospitals available to those without unlimited resources. Most of the homeless as well as the agitated people who express their illness by shooting into crowds are  desperately in need of extended treatment.

It would be an inspired public relations campaign for NRA. Please do this for the good of your organization as well as the country. You have the ear of our government. I urge you to use it for the good of us all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Presidential Body Language

Our Commander in Chief is often photographed in a seated position hugging himself. He's clearly ill at ease. Is it guilt or has he finally realized he's out of his element or a combination of the two?

He also seems even more orange now than earlier in his administration.