Monthly Archives: November 2014

ignorance and confidence……….

1912 policeman and crook I gave a talk at the museum a few days ago about a cop who was killed in Arcadia in 1927 . He was the only Arcadia police officer killed while on duty .  An invitation was sent to the Arcadia Police Department , but not one cop showed up . That surprised me . I would have thought that the 1927 murder would have been of interest to them .

They would have discovered that some of the facts in the police memorial pages on the internet are not valid . The shooter , an 18 year old , didn’t die in prison , as the police page states . The shooter was paroled 17 years after going to Folsom . He , and the other two boys , had all been sentenced to life in state prison . The other two were already out on parole by the time the shooter walked .

They all lived to be old men .  The police memorial page states that the shooter died in prison and the other two died soon after being paroled . Sorry . That didn’t happen .

I think that the local cops would be more comfortable with the   “shooter died in prison and the other two soon after they were paroled” story . That’s not as unsettling as the truth .

That’s a funny thing about the truth , and history . We like to believe in our comfortable stories , however mythical . Don’t we , most of us , tend to fit new information into our preconceived belief system ? If the new bit of info doesn’t fit we , many or most of us ,  toss it out . A Simon and Garfunkle song lyric goes : A man hears what he wants to hear , and disregards the rest .

My ninety-four year old neighbor , Don , likes to use the phrase  ‘thinking out of thee box’ lately . Seems like he never heard the phrase before . Now Don’s all for everyone thinking out of the box .  He sees a need for it , he says  . He makes a little box diagram in the air with his fingers when he preaches ‘thinking out of the box’ .

I don’t think out of the box , I think . Don doesn’t think much out of the box, either , but I don’t tell him that . My friend Ivan thinks out of the box , I guess .  Maybe I’ve known one or two other people who are ‘out of the box’ thinkers .

But , more accurately ,  I don’t really know exactly what ‘out of the box’ means , beyond a vague notion . I may have to collect my thoughts . But if I could collect them I’d probably stuff them into the box . I’ll have them ready when Ada offers me a penny for my thoughts . I might pick up some cents .

 The trouble with most folk isn’t their ignorance , but all the things they know that ain’t so . ——Josh Billings

I’m trying to keep in some loose contact with what’s going on in the world and in the country . Turns out there seem to be not just one box out there , but several of them . It’s easy to think out of most of the boxes and to stick with my own .train of thought

I like the Mark Twain quote :  To succeed in life you need two things , ignorance and confidence .


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how about hannibal hamlin

Hannibal Hamlin : Vice President

Hannibal Hamlin

V.P. from 1861 to 1865 . From Maine . First V.P. of the Republican Party .  ( Lincoln was President ).

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Thomas Starr King

Thomas Starr King


November 26, 2014 · 10:04 pm

Polk, Scott , Jackson

James K. PolkWinfield Scott



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washington and madison

Washington IrvingWashington Irving

Dolly Madison

Dolly Madison


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three guys

Horace Greeley

Daniel Webster

Sam Houston

Horace Greeley , Daniel Webster , Sam Houston

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until you got to the oak tree

I wanted to follow-up for a bit my meandering post on trees and doing a good job .  I sparked a couple of oak tree comments and they reminded me of another story .

Several years ago I read a story in the local paper about a man and his oak tree and his neighbor .  The man had a large oak that he said was dead and needed to be cut down .  Native oaks are protected here in California so he needed to apply for a permit . Trouble was his neighbor objected . The neighbor said the tree was not dead , was healthy as a horse , so to speak , and so the cutting down was put on hold . Didn’t make for friendly neighbors month after month as the oak tree owner’s plan to cut the tree down went nowhere . Waiting .

And then .

And then a strong wind , maybe one of our Santa Ana’s , came to town . The winds knocked the sick old oak tree over . It evidently was sick , or dead , after all , and couldn’t resist the wind .  It crashed sideways on top of the neighbor’s garage and crushed it . The neighbor suddenly withdrew his objection to cutting the tree . Well , maybe he didn’t , since he was way too late for that . I remember the story as he suddenly withdrew his complaint , but I suppose that doesn’t make much sense . At any rate , I guess the gods had the last word .

Poetic justice .Dandy man

endings :

1. and they made up and were friends from then on and lived happily ever after …………

2. and the neighbor sued the man and  a. won a huge settlement , or , b. the suit went nowhere

3. they didn’t speak to one another ever again

4   a lifetime legacy ensued of  evil thoughts cast over the broken fence following  prolonged arguments as to who should repair


5. one or the other of the guys moved away from the neighborhoodoakwild ranch near sacramento


I don’t know what actually happened . Maybe they shook hands and went on with life in peace and harmony .




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