Mini-Ramble

Working on the theory that there is a finite number of hours in a day, I didn’t get a chance to do links this week, save for these:

I knew SOMETHING was up when I saw cars stopped in front of my house a full block from the main intersection of Allen and Madison. At first, I figured that it was an accident, but as I headed to the Price Chopper supermarket, I found that it was a bank robbery at the Trustco, where hostages were taken, just two blocks from my house. The Price Chopper, just beyond the bank, required me to walk nine blocks to get there. When I got home, the helicopter that would pass by occasionally rattled the windows of our house. During the LLWS US championship (won by Hawai’i), Channel 10 interrupted the game three times – in mid-inning!- to announce that there was a situation and that people should avoid driving on that part of Madison Avenue. The Cable News Channel 9 had a scroll, but didn’t, in my watching, interrupt its pre-Travers coverage.

A Republican Dictionary. All you Republicans reading this may be deeply offended. Oh, well.

Book: Hendrix avoided Vietnam with gay ruse. This MSNBC story takes a somewhat salacious angle, I think. But if the draft comes back – the cover story in this week’s Metroland – what WILL keep one out of the army these days?

Speaking of war, my friend Cecily sent me this: The first and only federal conspiracy trial arising out of civil resistance to the Iraq War begins September 19 in Binghamton, NY. Imagine – in my hometown.

Mark Evanier is the self-appointed tracker of all appearances of the characters in the comic strip Blondie in other comic strips, in advance of the 75th anniversary of Mrs. Bumstead and her family next month.

Today is Jack Kirby’s birthday. You don’t know who Jack Kirby is? Horrors! Fred Hembeck has a whole bunch of links TODAYso that you can find out.

Remembering Emmett


Emmett Till disappeared 50 years ago today; his mutilated body was found three days later. His mother allowed photos to be taken of his open casket, and the horrifying pictures helped galvanize the Civil Rights movement, including the “I Have a Dream” speech eight years, to the day, later.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I want to know why it is that I can see that photo in my mind’s eye when the event took place when I was but two years old when it took place. I’m guessing that on the fifth anniversary in 1960, Ebony and/or Jet magazines reran the photos, I saw them and the image seared in my mind to this day.

When I was in high school, a bunch of us raised money for some poor, rural folks in Tennessee. One day, I was (foolishly) walking alone down some dirt road down there. I see a sign indicating that I was about to enter the state of Mississippi. I crossed into the new state, then my mind screamed, “Emmett Till!” and I literally jumped back into Tennessee.

In January or February of 1986, I saw the Capitol Repertory Theater’s performance of Toni Morrison’s Dreaming Emmett, based on his life and death. I don’t remember if was particularly well-acted or -written. All I remember was that I felt again the pain that was Emmett.

The last time I saw the picture in print was when his mom, Mamie Till-Mobley, died a couple years ago.

This year, the case has been reopened by the FBI, with a exhumation and re-examination of Emmett’s remains, based on advances in DNA testing, followed by a reburial in June. Hope that some day Emmett can rest in peace. And it will give me some measure of peace as well.