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