That was a month whose backside we're glad to see.

Ups, downs, peaks, endless plains with mirages, Shangri-Las on verdant mountaintops, deserts with the cliched punctuation marks of a cactus and a steer skull. Yet everything feels the same.

Good news! I’ve heard from more old friends in the last week than the last ten years, I swear. Sometimes I wonder if I’d heard from them before, and missed it, or dashed off a note without putting 1 and 1 together. It’s also interesting to hear from people elsewhere in the world, because their mood is hours ahead of yours, and often better.

As I said yesterday, better at day’s end, because the fight to fill your hours, or your mind, is done. My wife has no such struggle, still she’s still bombarded with work. Set her up in the sunporch off the bedroom; it’s always been a perfect office space, except for the temperature. It has no radiators. But the new windows have great insulating power, and it’s now warm.

The windows, by the way, were installed by the airport to mitigate the noise of the planes. There isn’t very much noise anymore, and the second I started to type that sentence a plane went overhead. This is the third time that’s happened. I’m starting to think I can summon them by typing.

All in all, good. Good! Took a long walk with the dog, shied away from news sources that are set on firehose-of-misery mode, amused myself by studying a compendium of Advertising Mascots (It’s always nice to see that a fellow whose head is a giant padlock found employment with a company that makes padlocks; worked out nice for everyone), filed a column, wrote something else for the paper, then had a fitful nap. They’re all fitful these days, and I don’t wake with the same energy. I just feel like I was out for dental work.

Daughter made dinner. Wife and Rotaria worked on the puzzle (they’re doing every puzzle in the house, one by one. Checked Twitter, and saw that Terry Teachout’s wife Hillary had died. Wave of dismay. He’s been chronicling her condition for a long time, but more importantly chronicling their lives together, and it’s been a sweet story - usually set to fine music, too, since he posts links to what he’s listening to, and he has fine tastes. We’ve corresponded in internet fashion over the years, since we both have that rueful pang and warm, hopeless, gauzy love for our early 60s childhood in a small good place. (Fargo is larger than Smallville, I think, but the spirit seems the same.) We had dinner one night when he came to town. A wonderful spirit and a keen mind.

All the deaths in the news are numbers reported by big indifferent platforms; they’re like a heavy pillow over your face. When Twitter brings you news of someone’s passing, it’s a dagger to the throat. And it’s usually between a dog picture and someone yelling at a guy who makes pillows.

Time to write another column, even though it's Scotch Night. Friday used to be the only Scotch Night, but I have rearranged the terms. You know what they say - life's short, eat dessert first!

What a stupid idea. I suppose if you've been served your entire order at once and you see a rampaging Mongol horde approaching through the windows of Dennys, yeah, I guess, but if you eat your pudding first it's not dessert. How can you eat your pudding if you haven't eaten your meat?

The man had a point.




It’s 1932.

Uh oh.

Master Minds.”

The “sailor” - Henry Johnson - was the boyfriend of the Lindberg baby’s nurse.

The ladder would be one of the clues - not klews, I’m happy to say - that did it for Hauptmann.

It’s also one of the things that made some people cry BS, insisting Hauptmann was innocent, a railroaded man.

It’s a rabbit hole, if you’ve a few hours.

Or here, if you want something shorter.

The obligatory Pretty Nurse in the middle of it all.

  Other happy news.

Hanged for rape. From the appeal:

The appeal is from a death sentence upon conviction in Jasper County, of rape. The information charges that the offense was committed by defendant upon Bettie Hefley, a girl under the age of sixteen years.

The evidence shows that November 5, 1931, about 7:30 in the evening. Bettie Hefley, fifteen years of age, and Catherine Morris, sixteen, with George Mimms and Norman Parks, both young boys, all of whom lived in Carthage, went for a ride in a Ford automobile. They drove about four miles from Carthage and parked their car in or near an abandoned mine which was about a half *Page 568 mile from the highway. They had been parked only a short time when three men drove up in a Chevrolet. These men were Harry Worden, the defendant here. Lew Worden, his brother, and another man named Paul Stevenson.

They approached the four each with a gun in his hands, ordered them out of the Ford and searched them. They took a bill fold from one of the boys but it contained no money. They searched the two girls also. One of the men then at the point of a gun forced the two boys, Parks and Mimms, to go to another part of the mine. They seemed to have been out of hearing of the other four. The defendant, Harry Worden, then took Bettie Hefley a short distance apart and with threats to kill her friend Catherine Morris forced her to submit to his ravishment. The robbers then drove away in both cars.

It was the last hanging by the state in Jasper County.

You know, there’s low, and there’s low.

Then there’s the stuff they left. In this case, let’s say they chose . . . wisely.

Finally, some frank news from someone who gets it:



Fillers in the “Ants Will Go to Any Length” genre. Can’t let that newspaper space go unfilled!

I tell you, papers were just stuffed to bursting with things in those days.

“If you are a woman executive, in charge of many men and women, it behooves you to look the part.”

Wait a minute I thought that didn’t happen until the 80s or something.



  What the hell, try anything.

Vignettes of life: J. Norman Lynd. It’s a big feature.

On the other hand, it doesn’t have the same expectations as a daily panel. It’s cumulatively amusing, which allows for individual scenes to be amusing, but doesn’t require it.

Would you like to see the entire thing? It'll be along nexy year in 20s comics.

That'll do. Last of the 20s updates today; we've other decades to get to. (Note: there are six sites and 175 pages in The Twenties section not uploaded. It's just ridiculous.)



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