Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Fifty years ago, on November 22nd, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, Cuban dissidents, the KGB, the CIA, and several other shady characters and ne’er-do-wells. This commemoration will be covered in great depth throughout the various media outlets over the next few days, as it should, and there are numerous new books being published on the events of that time.
Every year, the media predictably circles back to the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, picking off the president with a sharpshooter’s skill while using a poorly-designed rifle and a still-pristine bullet. And yet, Americans are polled annually and they reliably disagree with the mainstream media. Poll numbers put the majority squarely in the conspiracy camp and in agreement with the House Select Committee on Assassinations that actually investigated the assassination and concluded in 1979 that JFK was murdered by a conspiracy. But that fact rarely breaks through the mainstream’s “Lone Assassin” orthodoxy, or its promotion of crackpot conspiracy theories.
A highlight in the coverage will be CBSNews.com’s streaming of CBS News' historic broadcast coverage of the assassination. The extensive online offering will feature the minute-by-minute news broadcasts in real time as they were delivered during the four-day period following the assassination. This special online stream will begin at 1:40pm ET on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 with the first breaking network television news bulletin alerting viewers shots had been fired in Dallas and continuing with the actual CBS News coverage, including the first report from legendary anchor Walter Cronkite and the extraordinary broadcasts from New York, Dallas, Washington and around the world as it unfolded over four days, culminating with the president's funeral. For many it will be a fascinating few days of retrospection, I’m sure.
This leads us very appropriately into the Quote of the Week. This one comes from President Kennedy and I may have used it before but given the timing and having just seen HBO’s “Section 60. Arlington National Cemetery” about a quadrant at the cemetery in Washington DC that is set aside specifically for those killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps his words are as relevant as ever. Back in September 1961 he warned, “Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.” With the horrors of war and its aftermath still going on in both Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the awful situation in Syria, the Congo, etc, etc, etc, and with numerous terrorist groups/governments striving to secure nuclear weapons, one cannot help but think that at some point in the not too distant future he may well be proven correct. Of note: the Section 60 part of the cemetery has been called “the saddest acre in America” by some. As a grieving mother says, “it is also one of the most honorable.”
Onward. Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #144. The Boonville Winter Market is now on both its winter schedule and venue. It can be enjoyed on Saturday mornings at The Boonville General Store from 11am-1pm. #145. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will not be in town until Thursday, December 12. #146. This Friday, November 22, from noon-3pm at The Grange, sees the Apple Sauce and Apple Chutney preserving class take place. Call 895-2999 for details.
And here for your calendar are some of the Valley events over the upcoming holiday period. The Independent Career Women (ICW) have their Christmas Party on Friday, December 6, to which their Dependent Jobless Men are invited. The Unity Club’s Holiday Bazaar takes place on Saturday, December 7. The Community Holiday Dinner is on Sunday, December 8 at The Grange. The AV Historical Society’s always-enjoyable Christmas Gathering is on Sunday, December 15 at the Little Red School House. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are on Wednesdays this year and in between them is, of course, the annual New Year’s Eve party at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville.
Here is the menu for next week at the Senior Center at the Veteran’s Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors for both lunches and dinners and $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomorrow, Thursday, November 21, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Roasted Beef, Potatoes Gravy, Rolls, Sautéed Collards, Barley Salad, Lemon Pineapple dessert . Then next Tuesday, November 26, the menu will feature Ham, twice Baked Potatoes, Roasted Root Vegetables, rolls, Cherry Gelatin, Tabouleh. The Center will be closed on Thursday, November 28 for Thanksgiving. Remember, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.
From our ace roving reporter, The Old Buzzard, comes this story about an “apocalyptic event” that was narrowly avoided.
Buzzard reports, “Pat Hulbert informed me of what happened last week when her nephew Vince Young found dynamite on the Hulbert Ranch, across the road from Gowan’s Oak Tree. ‘Vincent, my late sister Marietta's son, was getting ready for a dump run last week. He was cleaning out the garage where he found two boxes and was packing these onto his pickup when he read the printing on the box. it said “Dynamite.” He sat it down on his tailgate. He then came and told me. I told him to leave it alone. He said, “it must not be his time or it would already gone off.” He then proceeded to get the second box out of the garage and carried them both out in the field, where the old orchard used to be.
“Daddy used to use dynamite to take the old stumps out before planting a new apple tree so it had been there for many, many years. The one box was made by a company that stopped making it in 1946. Daddy was working on the orchard from 1946 to the 70s so it was probably put there around the late 40s. Who knows?
I called Donald Gowan, a friend and neighbor, who is also a member of the local firefighters. He came by and he called the Sheriff and firefighters. They in turn called [the Humboldt County] bomb squad. They made us all leave the property for the night, just in case it might explode. Everyone had to be at least 50 yards from it, so we all had to find some other place to sleep for the night. I stayed overnight with Shirley Tompkins.
“I came back to the ranch the next day at 8:30am as I wanted to see how it was going. I parked where the helicopter lands at the end of our lane and Vincent and his family showed up about half an hour later. The barnyard and field were full of firetrucks, and our local Sheriff Deputy Walker and a bomb squad had also arrived. Tons of men in their yellow suits from our local volunteer firefighters were also there, led by the new chief Andres Avila.
“Everything went as planned. A backhoe dug a trench and a hole for the dynamite to be put into. Then they scraped away some grass around the hole and doused the dynamite with diesel. They then sprayed the whole area outside the hole with water. By 11:30 they were ready to burn the dynamite. It burned for nearly half an hour. If it had not worked the barn would be only kindling and my nearby house wouldn't have any windows left, so I am glad they knew what they were doing.
“At 12:15 I was able to come back up the lane. Lucky was waiting on the porch for her breakfast, wondering what was happening, but guarding her house. What a good cat!
“There will be no cost to us and they finished it in four hours. That is why they asked for the Humboldt Bomb Squad. If it had been the guys from SF it would have cost us. I am so glad they knew that.
“God is Good. If Vincent finds any more dynamite he has promised he will not move it. It just might be his time, the next time!”
Good story, Pat. And congratulations on avoiding your own little Apocalypse!”
Time to take my leave. So, until we talk again. Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, Let us prey. Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.
PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or by email@example.com. PPS. On the sheep, Grace. … Hi, George. hope you and Sheila are well. … Hi, Silver Swan. Behaving yourself? Hopefully not!