Life Lesson #11

Stop being idle.
Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.
Evaluate situations and take decisive action.
You can’t change what you refuse to face.
Making progress involves risk.
You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

From Miner to Governor: Tasker Oddie

Tasker Oddie
Born in Brooklyn, New York, October 24th, 1870, he lived in East Orange, New Jersey, where he attended school. And from the age of sixteen to nineteen, Tasker Oddie lived on a ranch in Nebraska.

After returning to New York City from Nebraska he attended night law school, from which he was graduated, and in 1895 was admitted to the New York Bar. Then in 1898 Oddie came to Nevada in the interest of his New York employers to investigate conditions in their mining, railroad, banking and other interests in that State.

He uncovered frauds which were being perpetrated on his employers, and as a result they recovered large sums of money which they had lost.

The following year Oddie headed for the mining field, going into the most inaccessible, sparsely inhabited and mountainous districts of Southern Nevada. He underwent hardships, working the most difficult manual labor, learning the practical side of mining as well as the scientific side.

Around 1900, Oddie became interested in the original discovery of the Tonopah mines with his friend, the famous Jim Butler, their discoverer, and they made a fortune in both gold and silver. Goldfield and other important mining camps were soon discovered as the result of the opening up of the Tonopah District, and millions of dollars a year were produced by each of these camps.

Their discovery meant the building of of new railroads, the new towns and the reemergence of mining industry in western Nevada. Unfortunately Oddie was so heavily invested in mining, banks, ranches, stock-raising and other industries that when the panic of 1907 hit, he was unable to weather the storm.

From 1901 to 1903, Oddie was Nye County District Attorney, from 1904 to 1908 State Senator and again from 1921 to 1933 and Governor from 1911 to 1915. During his tenure, women got the right to vote, a state motor vehicle law was sanctioned, mining safety legislation was endorsed, and there were improvements to workmen’s compensation benefits.

He also signed the charter creating Las Vegas on March 17th, 1911. Mount Oddie near Tonopah is named after him, as is Oddie Boulevard in Sparks.

Oddie died February 17th, 1950 in San Francisco, California, at the age of 79. He is buried at Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City, Nevada.

But She was Gone

My friend – I’ll call him Martin for the purpose of this story – is a former deputy sheriff. Martin doesn’t frighten nor shake easily when it comes to encountering unknown situations.

Martin retired about a year ago, so I decided to visit him. Hours later, after driving to Siskiyou County in Northern California, we found ourselves on the front porch of his nearly finished cabin, enjoying the view.

Our conversation moved from one topic to the other until we fell on the subject of the supernatural. That’s when Martin told me a tale that left him frightened and chilled to this day.

He looked deeply into the bottom of the glass of whiskey he’d been sipping, seeing the event in his mind and searching for the words to begin the story. I sat quietly, waiting for him to begin.

“There was no moon that morning,” Martin explained, “So the only real light was from my cruiser’s headlights.”

He continued telling me that he was driving south along Lava Beds Highway, near Tulelake, south of the California-Oregon state line, his headlights piercing the dark along the two lane roadway. As he sped along, looking ahead towards the end of his high beams, only see a lone figure frantically waving to get his attention.

With his red and blue lights flashing, Martin slowed and cautiously approached what he could now see was a woman. He flicked his spot light around to see if anyone else might be nearby, possibly concealed or if she were the victim of a vehicle accident.

After radioing in his location, Martin got out of his cruiser and walked up to the woman. He couldn’t help but notice how young she looked, but how out of style he clothes appeared.

“There’s a woman over there in the irrigation ditch,” she told Martin.

“Okay,” he responded, “Stay here.”

Martin shined his flashlight in the direction the woman pointed, taking a few steps towards the ditch. He could see a smallish form laying in the dried mud.

He turned back towards the woman – but she was gone.

Martin passed his flashlight from side-to-side and could find no one in the area. With the disappearance of the woman, Martin retreated to his cruiser and called into dispatch, asking for back-up.

“As I sat there,” he stated, “I thought about how to best explain how I found what I suspected to be a body in that ditch.”

He then explained that though he knew it to be dishonest and against every thing he stood for, he knew he’d have to lie and falsify his written report about the discovery. I could tell that this bothered him.

“I’m not one that believes in ghosts and shit like that,” Martin told me, “But I don’t know how else to explain it.”

We sat there in silence for some lengthy minutes as he had nothing more to share and I didn’t want to press him with a deluge of questions. I could also tell he was reliving the moment in his head.

Later that evening, he showed me a clipping from a local paper: “An unidentified body was found and Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating. The body was discovered in an irrigation ditch. The sheriff’s office says the body is severely decomposed, and likely had been submerged for two to four weeks in several feet of water in the ditch.”

With a long sigh, Martin concluded, “Guess there’s some crap we’re not supposed to understand in this world, huh?”

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Overheard at the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day:

“Hey, Mom, this stuffing’s great!”

“Why, thank you, son.”

“So how did you get the turkey to swallow it?”

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May you and yours have a blessed and refreshing day. In that spirit I offer this prayer:

Almighty God, giver of all good things, we thank you for the natural majesty and beauty of this nation. They restore us, though we often destroy them. Humble us that we may be made right in your name.

Amen.

Remembering Kidhood

While growing up in Klamath, I played in the dirt and mud, got my ass whipped with a belt, razor-strop or a switch that I had to select, started my school day at MKS with the ‘Pledge of Allegiance,’ used paper bags to cover my school books, had an enforced bedtime, and rode in the bed of Dad’s pick-up truck.  I played in Hunter and High Prairie Creek and the Klamath River, swam in the Pacific ocean at DeMartin’s Beach, rode my bicycle, skated and skateboarded without a helmet or knee and elbow pads up and down Redwood Drive and around Azalea Drive, hung out in the sun without protection, returned glass milk and soda bottles, so they could be sent back to the plant to be washed, sterilized, refilled, and used again.

As a kid, I watched ‘M*A*S*H,’ ‘The Walton’s,’ ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Hee Haw,’ ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’ and the first few years of ‘SNL,’ had a crush on Twiggy, Marie Osmond and Kate Jackson, and only watched cartoons, like ‘The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour,’ ‘Johnny Quest,’ ‘Flintstones,’ and ‘The Rocky-Bullwinkle Show,’ on Saturday mornings, and we had only one TV with only three TV channels (KEET, KIEM, and KVIQ,) and no remote.

I also recorded my favorite music onto cassettes, from KPOD and KRED during the day, KRAK and KEX at night, and a record player with 33-1/3, 45 and 78 rpm on it.

Often my parents sent me to Woodland Villa to buy their cigarettes, which means I lived in a home with second-hand smoke, and by age nine I was washing my sister’s diaper because we didn’t have the throw-away kind, hanging them on the line outside to dry. I was also given the chore of washing and folding all my families clothing.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Mom taught me to blend and stir stuff by hand, using a manual hand-mixer, how to cook dinner and how to set a proper table by her standards. Later she taught me how to sew and iron.

Back in the day, we packaged fragile items to mail by wadding up old newspapers to cushion it. I also had to use a push mower to cut the lawn, I drank from the garden hose, and later played Hide-and-Seek, Freeze-Tag, Kick-the-Can, Red Rover, Hop Scotch, Simon Says, Jacks, ‘Jarts,’ ( those large metal yard darts,) while staying outside all day long, only having to be home by the time the sun went down and the vapor street lamps buzzed on.

I didn’t go to summer camp every year and we made ice cream, using rock salt, every summer.

No one wore seat belts in the back seat and I sat in the middle of the front seat of the car and truck, in Dad’s lap as a little boy, while manning the steering wheel. I also played on metal slides, hung upside down on the jungle gym and bailed out of the swings, scaled fences, climbed trees, played in the woods, jumped off the roof and owned a B-B gun (and never put my eye out.)

Adam and I also jumped on our bunk bed until it collapsed; we ate unwrapped candy given to us by people at the bank, the insurance office or some stores in Crescent City and left to wait in the car for what felt like hours while our parents shopped for groceries at Kacy’s, Jerricks or Pacific Market. I also made and drank stove-top percolated coffee before I was nine, was a latch-key kid before it became a concern, and remember pull-tabs (ever cut your foot after stepping on one down by the river in the Klamath Glen?) and beer and soda steel cans.

As gross, stupid, silly or nostalgic as it sounds, I picked my nose, flicked my boogers, tried cutting my hair when no one was looking, and shaved my face without permission, then thought I had committed suicide when I splashed on a handful of Old Spice on my freshly nicked face. I sang into my toothbrush, used a pay-phone, paying a dime for that call, bought my comic books at Woodland Villa, searched the Squeeze Boxes record bin for bargains, paid a penny at the bubble-gum machine in the Ben Franklin 5 & Dime, ate all the Halloween candy I collected, dreamed of being an astronaut, policeman, fireman, and a hero, wrote in cursive, used a No. 2 pencil and filled in the bubbles on a Scranton test and thought I was special when I was given a hand calculator for Christmas.

There was a time when I played table football with a folded paper triangle, avoided stepping on sidewalk cracks, blew milk bubbles, shot rubber bands at my brother and sisters, let the dog lick my face, used sticks as swords, rocks and pine-cones as hand-grenades and fingers as guns, played combat fighting the Germans, built forts in the woods, the backyard and in the house and climbed trees to the top. I also wrote on my skin, my jeans and my tennis-shoes, worked on my bicycle with Dad’s tools, used a paper map and a compass and our home had a dictionary, a set of encyclopedias, an atlas and a family bible.

I didn’t have a personal computer, a cell phone, or 24-hour TV and I have to say — my childhood was frickin’ fantastic!

Trouble in the ‘Hood’

There was all sorts of commotion going on Sunday morning in our neighborhood. Mary and I were awakened first by sirens and then the heavy thump of a low flying helicopter.

Evidently, a man armed with a rifle, called the Sparks Police saying he was suicidal. They located Robert Brunsvold near Spanish Springs High School, jus’ off Eagle Canyon, but when they tried to talk with him, he drove into the hills behind the school.

Authorities decided did not follow him. Instead they called in the Washoe County Sheriff’s Raven helicopter, which was able to find the  Brunsvold.

Raven personnel were able to get the license plate from Brunsvold’s vehicle, which lead to his identity. Once they knew who he was, they were able to get his cell phone number and talk to him.

For over six-hours as they talked, he shot at rocks, trees and his vehicle, prompting Sparks Police call in the Reno Police SWAT team. Eventually, they were able to convince Brunsvold to give up.

He was arrested and charged with obstructing with a firearm, and possession of a firearm while intoxicated. Brunsvold, a 10-year veteran of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department, has been placed on admin leave.

Also, I saw a large, black unmarked vehicle, much like a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, that left me wondering what its purpose could be, and no one would tell me. It was parked in the lot across from the high school at Shaw Middle School. (Perhaps a modern version of the ‘Black Mariah?’)

It’s stuff like this that make me worry about our civil liberties and how fast they can be taken from us and how we’ll never know who ‘they’ are.

All Hail, Emperor Obama

Obviously, President Barack Obama doesn’t care about the four-million immigrants waiting to get into the U.S. legally. And now, we do have a broken immigration system.

On the evening of 104th Anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, Obama said he would use his executive power to damage the U.S. through so-called ‘immigration reform,’ by blocking deportations of parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents.  This action reportedly affects some five-million illegal’s living in this nation.

He did this despite a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, finding 48 percent of Americans disapproved of his taking executive action, while 38 percent approve it. Among Latinos, only 43 percent approve, while 37 percent oppose.

Republicans argue that his actions are unconstitutional.  Obama echoed this himself, casting doubt on what he could do without Congress’ consent.

Last November, he said, “If I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws, that’s part of our tradition. And so, the easy way out is to try to yell and pretend that I can do something by violating our laws.”

Two months earlier Obama opined: “We’re not going to have them operate under a cloud, under a shadow. But if we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally. So that’s not an option.”

And in February of 2013, he complained: “This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency. The problem is that I’m the president of the United States; I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

Following Thursday’s prime-time speech, Obama headed for Senator Harry Reid’s stomping-grounds of Las Vegas, Nevada, where he signed his immigration order during a press event at Del Sol High School, where he spoke two years ago, claiming he wanted Congress to reform the immigration system. Incidentally, the Pew Research Center reports Nevada has the highest proportion of illegal immigrants in the U.S. at 7.6 percent.

What’s really hiding in the shadows is the news that the U.S. Labor Department granted $1.4 million dollars to Mexico to help enforce its ‘Federal Labor Law Reform of 2012.’ The grant is specifically focused on combating gender discrimination, forced pregnancy testing, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

And where are the Republicans – who said they’d fight Obama’s actions ‘tooth and nail,’ – on holiday through Thanksgiving weekend.

The Great Lava Bed Wars: Battle of Lost River

Without a peaceful settlement by November 27th, Superintendent Odeneal requested Major John Green, commanding officer at Fort Klamath, to provide enough troops to force Captain Jack to move back to the reservation. The next day, Captain James Jackson, commanding 40 troops, left Fort Klamath for Captain Jack’s camp on Lost River.

The troops, reinforced by citizens from Linkville, which is now Klamath Falls, Oregon and by a band of militiamen under ‘Jump Off Joe’ McAlester (also recorded as McAlister) arrived in Captain Jack’s camp on Lost River about a mile above Emigrant Crossing, now Merrill, Oregon, by the 29th. Wishing to avoid a fight, Captain Jack agreed to go to the reservation, but the situation became tense when Jackson demanded the Modoc chief to disarm.

Captain Jack had never fought the Army and though alarmed, he finally agreed to put down his weapons. The rest of the warriors followed suit.

However an argument between a Modoc namedScarfaced Charley and Company B, 1st Cavalry’s Lt. Frazier Boutelle, erupted. The two pulled their revolvers and shot at each other, both missing.

This caused the Modoc to retrieve their weapons and a short battle was fought before the Modoc escaped towards the California border. After driving the rest of the Modoc out of camp, Jackson ordered his troops to retreat and await reinforcements.

‘Jump Off Joe’ and his militia, however pressed the attack against the Modoc. The casualties in this short battle included one Army soldier killed and seven wounded, and two Modoc killed and three wounded.

Another larger band of Modoc, this one under the leadership of Hooker Jim, retreated to the Lava Beds south of Tule Lake. Over the next two days they attacked and killed 18 settlers along the way.

Learning of this, ‘Jump Off Joe’ went in pursuit. But while surveying a dry creek bed on the afternoon of December 3rd, the Modoc warriors ambushed them,  killing all 23 militia members of his command.

Eighteen days later, a Modoc party, scouting from the Stronghold, attacked an ammunition wagon at Land’s Ranch. By January 15th, 1873, the U. S. Army had 400 troops in the field near the Lava Beds.

The largest number of troops were at Van Bromer’s ranch, twelve miles west of the Stronghold. Troops were also stationed at Land’s ranch, ten miles east of the Stronghold.

Col. Frank Wheaton was in command of all troops, including regular army as well as volunteer companies from California and Oregon. The following day, Capt. Reuben Bernard’s men attacked Captain Jack’s Stronghold two miles to the west.

When the attack failed, Bernard withdrew his men by way of Hospital Rock back to Land’s Ranch.

During the next few weeks, the Army moved ever closer to the Stronghold in preparation for another attack. On April 6th, five companies commanded by Maj. Edwin Mason, 21st Infantry, camped at Hospital Rock.

On April 11th, 1st Lieutenant’s William Sherwood and William Boyle walked a half mile beyond the Hospital Rock fortifications carrying a truce flag. The Modoc’s fired on them, mortally wounding Sherwood, who died several days later at the crude field hospital that gave Hospital Rock its name.

Boyle escaped without injury, barely making it back to the safety of his camp.

The following day, the Modoc’s then fired on pickets stationed west of Hospital Rock, forcing them to withdraw. By April 14th, Mason advanced his men from Hospital Rock at night for the second attack on the stronghold.

Two days later, the Army occupied the stronghold — but that would soon change.

It Wasn’t the Democrats!

The Reno-Sparks NAACP wants the Nevada State Assembly Republican Caucus to vacate its recent election of Sparks Assemblyman Ira Hansen as speaker after ‘questionable’ comments attributed to him appeared in a Reno paper. The Reno News & Review’s Dennis Myer, who was Nevada’s chief deputy secretary of state under Democrat Governor Bob Miller from 1987 to 1988, unearthed some old columns Hansen wrote for the Daily Sparks Tribune years ago.

“The Democratic coalition would split asunder if the NAACP & co. actually promoted what black Americans truly desire—educational choice. The shrewd and calculating [black] ’leaders’ are willing to sacrifice the children of their own race to gratify their lust for power and position,” wrote Hansen in one column. “The relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded (sic) darkies. For American blacks, being denied choice and forced to attend the failing and inferior government school system is a form of involuntary servitude. Let’s call it what it truly is—educational slavery.”

Hansen has since capitulated and apologized: “I am deeply sorry that comments I have made in the past have offended many Nevadans. It is unfortunate that these comments, made almost 20 years ago as a newspaper columnist and talk radio host, have been taken out of context and are being portrayed as intentionally hurtful and disrespectful. These comments were meant to be purposely provocative in various political, cultural and religious views. I have the utmost respect for all people without regard to race, gender, religious or political beliefs.”

Even Nevada’s Republican Junior Senator Dean Heller is weighing in: “Assemblyman Hansen’s past comments and positions on race, religion, and gender that have recently been reported give me great concern,” Heller said in a prepared statement. “These comments were insensitive, wrong, and extremely offensive and insulting. Statements like these do not have a place in public discourse.”

Heller has obviously dipped too many times into Washington D.C.’s ‘political punch.’ He says these sort of comments have no “place in public discourse,’ but it is okay to debate the Second Amendment as he publicly supported in April 2013.

Unfortunately, such capitulations and apologies are never enough for those ruled by mob-mentality. They are now seeking a way to use his “I’m sorry,” against him.

Hansen wrote the truth – and it hurts, because it is and always has been the Democratic Party that has kept the Black man and woman on the dole, beginning with the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1866 and Democratic President Andrew Johnson veto. Congress passed the bill a second time, followed by Johnson’s second vetoed, but a two-thirds majority in each house overcame the veto and the bill became law.

Two years later, Congress reenacted the 1866 Civil Rights Act as Section 18 of the Enforcement Act of 1870. Also known as the First Ku Klux Klan Act, or Force Act, it empowered the President with the authority to enforce the first section of the Fifteenth Amendment.

This led to the Civil Rights Act of 1875, sometimes called Enforcement Act or Force Act, which guaranteed Black men equal treatment in public areas, public transportation, and prohibited exclusion from jury service. However, the Supreme Court decided the act was unconstitutional in 1883.

It would be another 82-year before another civil rights law would pass Congress.

The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 ensured all Americans could exercise their right to vote. Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, a segregationist, filibustered the bill for over 24-hours while trying to keep the bill from becoming law.

Three-years later, The Civil Rights Act of 1960 passed, establishing federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone’s attempt to register to vote. Senate Democrats again did their best to keep the bill from becoming law.

This same pattern continued with the passage Civil Rights act of 1964, for which the party took credit, despite a 57-day filibuster by West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, who got into politics as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan. Since then the Black community’s been told time-and-again that it is the Democratic Party that cares for their well-being.

Unfortunately, this is not true, as the party cares only about ‘minority’ votes and political power. To this day, operatives within the Progressive Democrat party are agitating not for civil liberty, but rather social justice, which is the politically correct way of saying, ‘redistribution of wealth, opportunity, and privilege.’

These agitators include the likes of Presidential advisor and MSNBC host Al Sharpton, Texas Congresswoman Sheila Lee Jackson and Maryland’s Congressman Elijah Cummings. Of course, no-one from the NAACP has yet to call on these individuals to step down from their duly elected posts.

UPDATE 11/23/2014: Hansen has stepped down as Nevada Assembly Speaker-elect.

The Internet Lynching of Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is an outspoken Democrat. But over the past several years, Cosby has railed against ‘entitled’ Americans for their ‘thuggish’ behavior and for remaining uneducated.

Cosby — since the 60s — has been telling the truth about society, through the lens of humor.  But now he’s on the Progressive ‘hit list’ of political correctness, for calling out his own ‘people,’ suffering through a series of seemingly endless rape allegations.

Furthermore, these allegations are breaking along political lines.  Progressives have automatically labeled Bill Cosby a “serial rapist,” while Conservatives see the allegations as part of a media effort to control the black vote by targeting popular black people who are at odds with the ‘black community.’

All this attention came after comedian Hannibal Buress told the audience to “Google Cosby,’ then went on to call Cosby a rapist during a performance Philadelphia. Buress admits that he hates Cosby after the elder comedian said, “Pull your pants up, black people.”

Buress is talking about a speech Cosby gave to the NAACP in May 2004 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education that desegregated schools. During the speech, Cosby said the black community could not continue to blame whites for their social problems.

Cosby also criticized black women for having children with multiple partners, black parent’s spending money on sneakers instead of Hooked on Phonics, adding, “We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don’t know a damned thing about Africa.”

Incidentally, Buress’ online stand-up bits have gained in viewership since making his provocative statements. Meanwhile, the ‘Cos’ has been subjected to the cancellation of shows, reruns and appearances — as well as castigation — in the past few weeks.

Yesiree, there ain’t nothin’ like a good old-fashioned Internet lynch mob to keep the rife-rafe in line.

Perhaps

The idea of writing this day feels more like an act of procrastination. It comes from having a number of ideas on the brain and an inability to sort through them, to see which might be most appealing to waste ink over.

There are many political ruminations I could consider, but they are like chicken scat on an egg farm and I don’t feel like dirtying my spirit any further than necessary. Worse yet is the fact that though numerous, they all have the same outcome.

Perhaps another day.

Recently I read two stories from my dear friend, Jeanie French. They were tales of both having been a child, long ago, and being an adult for years since.

Both returned me to where I’d like to be — at least on paper — sharing memories more than opinion, love and not anger at the current insanity of this world. That is if I am to presume it is the world gone mad and not myself.

Further, I have misplaced my ability to make an impression. The idealist in me has wandered away — exploiting neither his imagination and forsaking his mind — filling the dangerous blank page with trivial musings.

Perhaps another day — jus’ not this day.

Piquerism’s Prince

Warning: This article includes graphic material, including naked and violent pictures of murder victims.

tiffany schultz
Bill Schultz of Grass Valley passed away November 27, 2013, in Reno, Nevada. He was born on May 19, 1933, in Salmon, Idaho and grew up in Wells, Nevada.

He was also the father of murder victim Tiffany Paige Schultz, the first of six women killed by Cleophus Prince Jr., better known as the ‘The Clairemont Killer.’ The 21-year-old San Diego State University student and exotic dancer was stabbed nearly 50 times on January 12, 1990.

The investigation into Tiffany’s death began as a ‘routine call’ for patrol officers to look into the report of a ‘woman down.’ The reporting party had found her in his bedroom covered in blood.

Once inside the apartment, officer’s could see Tiffany as she lay on her back, legs spread apart and her arms out on each side and elbows bent. It appeared she had been posed.

They could tell she had been stabbed multiple times in the upper part of her chest. She was clad in only her black bikini bottoms.

An autopsy showed she had been stabbed six times in the neck and another 20 times in the right breast. Her left breast was found to have been stabbed 10 times, with 11 more wounds found on her right thigh and severe bruising to her face.

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Earlier that morning Tiffany was spotted sunbathing jus’ inside the door of her apartment on the second floor of the Canyon Ridge complex. Neighbors would later report that between 11 that morning and one in the afternoon, they heard loud noises from her apartment.

The police found no sign of forced entry, although there was a blood smear on a doorknob, and despite the vicious attack, Tiffany was not sexually assaulted. The officers believed the killer had left by way of the balcony, jumping from the second floor to the ground.

On Tiffany’s hand they’d found strands of hair and lifted some skin cells for genetic testing.

At first investigators suspected Tiffany’s boyfriend, who was arrested and questioned. But with no evidence to hold him, he was released and later dropped as a suspect.

However, since Tiffany worked part-time as an exotic dancer, investigators thought someone may have followed her home. No one yet realized that this was the first of several such assaults in the area.

Janene Weinhold lived on the second floor of the Buena Vista Gardens apartment complex. She and her female roommate were students at the University of California, San Diego.

On February 16, Janene drove her roommate to work around nine in the morning, with plans to pick her up later that afternoon. But Janene failed to show up.

Around 11:30 , neighbor who lived below Janene saw a black man sitting on the stairs. Not long afterward, she heard loud noises in Janene’s apartment overhead.

It was not until around eight that night the roommate made it home. She found Janene’s body on the floor of her bedroom, naked except for her bra and immediately called the police.

One leg was spread and there were multiple stab wounds to her chest. Over the right breast was a small cluster of deep wounds.

When they searched the apartment, they found blood on the door handle and a bloodstained knife in the kitchen sink, with the tip bent. The murder weapon belonged to the occupants.

Because there was no sign of forced entry, investigators believe Janene had either invited her attacker in or he had knocked and then pushed his way in when she answered the door.  Janene had been sexually assaulted, so a semen sample was sent to the lab for a DNA analysis.

Semen was also collected from Janene’s jogging outfit, the carpet, and the bed spread.

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A month passed and another woman reported a disturbing incident in the same apartment complex. Anna Cotalessa-Ritchie also lived on the second floor. On March 25, around noon, she left her apartment to walk to a nearby store.

On her way there, she saw a black man standing at a bus stop, but as she returned, she noticed he was no longer there. Assuming a bus had come by and picked him up, she returned home.

Then she saw him again, coming toward her.

He passed her and she hurried home. As she rushed up the steps, she heard a noise at the bottom of the steps.

When she looked over the railing, she realized the man from the bus stop had followed her. He looked up at her, and then bent down to tie his shoe.

She saw he was faking, because both of his shoes were already tied, so she went into her apartment and locked the door. She never saw or heard the man again.

Eighteen-year-old Holly Tarr lived in Michigan, but she was visiting her brother at the Buena Vista Gardens apartment complex that April with her friend, Tammy. It was her spring break and she and Tammy had decided to spend it in California.

Late on the morning of April 3, they played tennis in the recreation area, and then went to lie out at the pool.  There they noticed a black male watching them from inside the complex athletic room.

Around noon, Holly returned alone to the apartment to take a shower. Tammy, though stayed at the pool for another ten more minutes.

Once at the apartment door, she heard Holly scream and found the door locked. She also heard the telephone ringing inside the apartment, but no one answered.

Concerned because there was no answer, Tammy went to a neighbor for help, who called the maintenance man. He used his master-key, but found the chain on, so he was forced to break it.

As he entered the apartment, he was confronted by a man with a ‘white bag’ covering his head and a knife in his hand. Both Tammy and the maintenance man let the man run by them, thus avoiding being attacked themselves.

Tammy found Holly, still alive and gasping. She had been stabbed once through the chest. The wound was so severe that Holly died before emergency crews arrived.

Needless to say the police were called immediately.

They found Holly’s legs spread, wearing only panties and a bra.

Officers quickly located several key pieces of evidence. This included a shoe print of a Nike Air Jordan which didn’t match any from Holly’s brother’s closet.

A bloody impression from a knife was lifted from the door jamb, and a T-shirt and blood-stained knife were found dumped in a parking lot outside. The knife had come from the apartment and blood on the shirt would prove to be from Holly.
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Tammy also told investigators that an opal ring Holly had worn that morning was gone from her finger.

Using Tammy’s description, officers checked the sign-in sheet of the weight room. Both girls’ names were on it, as was Holly’s brother and one more name: C. Prince.

They soon learned his full name: Cleophus Prince, Jr.

Within a day, police located Prince and asked him about his presence at the apartment complex. He said that he’d worked out until around noon and then went back to his apartment to get ready for work.

He claimed he had left at ten minutes before two in the afternoon. He also refused to be fingerprinted, and since there was no definite evidence against him, the police couldn’t arrest him.

Police also learned Prince shared an apartment with Robert and Robin Romo. He had  told them that he’d been on a date with a woman, adding that he had raped her afterward.

When Robin told him about the recent murder at the Buena Vista Gardens complex, he said he had seen the victim at the pool that morning. Shortly afterwards, Prince moved out.

After that, no one was killed in the Buena Vista Gardens complex.

Profilers from Quantico were brought in to help the task force. They viewed the crimes as high risk for the offender, since they were perpetrated during the middle of the day when other residents could have spotted him and believed the killer was familiar with the apartment complex, perhaps living there.

The FBI knew the killer could enter apartments and slip out without being detected, though the Tarr case didn’t fit this profile, so he might have a record for breaking and entering. They also predicted Prince had approached or accosted other woman in the same area, before the start of the murders.

They added that the murders were possibly the result of a stressful incident in the killers life. Profilers also told the task force they should publicize the list of traits, along with the chance that the offender’s behavior would have changed somewhat since the first murder, which included things like greater substance abuse or secrecy.

People who knew him might recognize his involvement from behavioral clues and his absence during the times of the murders, and provide helpful information. Since he’d been spotted at this apartment complex, Douglas suggested he’d move on and find victims elsewhere.

What profilers anticipated during the first few months of the murder spree proved to be correct, as three more victims turned up in the next several months at two separate scenes. While unfortunate the killer had succeeded three more times, it provided more of a basis for analysis.

The attacks didn’t stop; they changed location.

It was early afternoon May 2, when a woman named Leslie H. was out on the beach near a home she was visiting. She walked back to the house and saw an African-American man standing at the door.

She asked what he wanted and he told her he’d once lived in the house. Then he walked away.

As she went inside, the man pushed his way in after her. He covered her mouth as they struggled, but she managed to get away.

She ran from the house, screaming, and he followed her. When he realized he couldn’t catch her, he ran away.

Less than three weeks later, a man entered the home of Elissa Keller, who lived with her eighteen-year-old daughter at the Top of the Hill apartment complex. The daughter was away, but she spoke with her mother on the evening of May 20.

When Elissa failed to show up at work the next morning, or answer the phone, the daughter went to see if she was all right. She found her mother in the bedroom, dead, under a blanket.

The coroner found that Elissa had been stabbed, leaving a cluster of nine wounds on her chest. She had also been beaten in the face, as well as choked

Her blood-stained underwear lay next to her body, turned inside out.

Investigators believed that the intruder had entered through a window left partly open, leaving scuff marks and a shoe print on the floor nearby. Bloody marks on the bathroom counter bore a strange pattern as well, which served to help make a match if a suspect were developed.

It was the same pattern they had seen at several earlier murder/rape scenes.

The daughter also reported that her mother wore a ring adorned with a gold nugget and that it was missing. Police put out the word to pawn shops, hoping it would turn up.

Later that summer, at the same complex, an apartment was burglarized, and money was taken, both in the form of American and Italian currency. However, before that occurred, there was another murder, this time in a private home in the San Diego neighborhood of Universal City.

Pamela Clarkson left home around eight in the morning of September 13, to go to the Family Fitness Center on Miramar Road. Her husband left shortly afterwards, but their daughter, eighteen-year-old Amber, was still in bed.

A neighbor later told police, she heard Amber having words with someone inside the home. The other voice belonged to a man.

She heard Amber cried out, but then nothing more, so there seemed little reason to be alarmed. Pamela drove in around 11.

Later in the day, when Pamela failed to show up for work and a phone call to the home went answered, a colleague decided to go over to find out if Pamela was all right. It was this woman who came across her body in the entryway of the home.

Pamela was on her back, nude, with her arms spread out at 90-degree angles to her body. She had been repeatedly stabbed, with eleven deep wounds to the upper left chest area.

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From blood trails on the floor, it appeared that she had been stabbed elsewhere and dragged to this location. Near her head lay a bloody knife.

The woman called the police, and they discovered the second victim Amber.

She lay on the floor in an adjacent bedroom. Her breasts were exposed, and she, too, had eleven wounds in a cluster to her upper chest.

Blood from her wounds had also been smeared onto her torso. Another knife lay on the bathroom floor.

A search inside Pamela’s purse revealed that money had been taken. Her wedding ring was gone as well.

Police found a screen removed from a dining room window and the sliding door with marks on it that appeared to have been made by a tool. There were also shoe prints from a male athletic shoe under the dining room window.

While not initially linked to the other murders, it didn’t take long for detectives to tie the string of stabbings together.

Around this time, Prince told friends he was dating an older white woman, a massage therapist. He had a wedding ring he said was hers, and he added that he was having sex with the woman’s daughter as well.

He told the same story to the foreman at the job where he was working. Prince even offered the foreman and a coworker several pieces of jewelry.

It would later be learned that he was taking a sixteen-year-old boy with him as he committed burglaries in the area. He would put socks, jimmy the door locks with a credit card, then take a knife from the kitchen if he needed it.

Prince often followed women from the gym where he had a membership, learning where they lived. He’d watch their homes for the chance to enter and take something.

The teen did not know about Prince’s other activities.

Several people saw Prince motoring away from apartments he had burglarized, driving an older model bluish-gray vehicle with a noisy muffler. The police soon traced it to someone who came to the Family Fitness Center on Miramar Road.

They asked employees to tell them the next time they spotted a car of this description. They hit the jackpot on February 4, 1991, when an employee called to say a man had just driven a 1982 Chevy Cavalier through the parking lot.

That driver was sitting there in his car when officers arrived fifteen minutes later. Officers searched his car and found black leather gloves and wool gloves, along with a steak knife with an eight-inch blade and two folding knives of different sizes.

He had once been listed as a member of the fitness center but had canceled his membership. He had no business being in the parking lot, although people at the club said they had seen him there multiple times.

He gave a reason for his presence there that failed to check out, so they placed him under arrest. It was Cleophus Prince Jr.

Police took fingerprints and a blood sample, questioned Prince, and released him. It would take several weeks to get results, and they had nothing with which to detain him.

Prince quickly left the state, to visit his mother in Birmingham, Alabama. He would soon get himself into trouble there.

He had jus’ been arrested March 1 for a burglary where he took money from a cash register at a dance club and had been released on bond. Unfortunately, three hours later, the Birmingham police learned about San Diego’s interest in him.

They contacted Prince’s bondsman, who then alerted Prince to turn himself in. Surprisingly, he came in, accompanied by his parents.

As this was unfolding, Prince’s biological samples were sent to Cellmark Diagnostic, a DNA analysis center in Maryland. Along with them went samples and items from some of the crime scenes.

Three weeks later, the police learned that there was a match between Prince and the semen samples from the Weinhold rape/murder. It was time to make an arrest.

When officers went to Prince’s last known address, which turned out to be next door to building where the fourth victim was killed, they learned he was gone. Nevertheless, they searched the apartment, turning up an opal ring that matched the description of the one removed from Holly Tarr when she was stabbed.

They learned only 63 such rings had been manufactured and none had been distributed in California. They also got a tip on where he’d gone and alerted the police Birmingham.

He was detained for extradition to California.

At the time, police had linked only five of the murders to him. But a background check soon showed he had lived at the Buena Vista garden apartments during the times of those murders and that he had been dating a woman who lived near Universal City at the times of those two murders.

Furthermore, the shoes Prince owned matched several of the footprint impressions found at the scenes. Following searches turned up the ring that matched missing from Elissa Keller.

She was added to the victim list.

However, DNA evidence was lacking in some of the cases, so the task force met again with profilers at Quantico and they went over the evidence in all six cases. FBI profilers, who were already working the case, were asked to help with providing proof with evidence and psychology that the six cases were related.

The victims all fit a similar type: white and physically fit. Most had been brunette and four between 18 and 21.

The killer had entered each residence via an unlocked door or window, all of them had been stabbed, and five were killed around the same time of day. All were left face-up on the floor of their homes, nude or mostly nude.

Three lived in the same apartment complex and three used the same fitness center. Jewelry was removed from three of the victims, but most telling was the way the deepest stab wounds had been concentrated in the chest area, revealing a focused and controlled rage. Only Holly Tarr had a single wound, but that crime had been interrupted.

In five of the cases, the knife used was from the residence.

The profilers, using information about the race of the victims, their geographic location, the used in entering their homes, the use of a knife, the time at which the murders generally occurred, and the tight circle of puncture wounds left on the chest area. The results indicated there were no other crimes, aside from these six, anywhere near this area, and none around the country with this particular type of wounding pattern.

What was odd for the FBI profilers was having a black serial killer, especially one who crosses racial lines, murdering white women.

Those who knew Prince claimed he was obsessed with sex and often bragged about his relationships with white women. Yet there was no evidence that he’d had any trouble with a white woman that might have made him angry enough to kill.

Investigators learned his father, Cleophus Prince, Sr., had a criminal record. He’d served time in prison for second-degree murder (which he told reporters had been done in self-defense,) and had been arrested after he got out for rape, later reduced to assault.

So, Prince had a role model.

However, both of his parents insisted that the police had the wrong man. Their son, they said, was not capable of murder, let alone serial murder.

They were certain he was being framed. In fact, he had shown no anxiety at all, the police had admitted, during the hour and a half he’d been questioned upon his initial arrest.

Prince’s attorney, Roger Appell, claimed that Prince looked nothing like the composite drawing made from a woman who’d been accosted by a man police believed was also the killer. But the claim that he was the first known serial killer to have crossed racial lines, in the hope to show the improbability of the situation, was not true.

The trial began in the summer of 1993, but not without some problems. Apparently, Prince is a non-secretor, meaning he fails to secrete a blood enzyme in his biological fluids that is present in 75-percent of the male population.

Since the tests did not pick it up, the semen analysis from Prince’s second murder victim, Janene Weinhold, mistakenly showed the offender’s blood type was ‘O.’

Prince, however is type ‘A.’ It took a year to discover and correct the mistake.

As investigators learned more about Prince, they learned he had never had a brush with the law. He completed high school, and had joined the Navy in 1987, being stationed at the Miramar Naval Air Station.

After being dishonorably discharged for stealing, Prince got a job but was soon laid off, so he’d turned to burglary. He enlisted some accomplices, and they donned socks to go in and rob homes without leaving fingerprints.

When prosecutor Daniel Lamborn requested that both Douglas and Ankrom take part in the trial, the court conducted a lengthy pre-trial hearing about their qualifications. Douglas was going to take the stand to provide background about the profiling analysis, while Ankrom would specifically address the series of Clairemont-area crimes.

Defense attorneys protested that they were not psychologists and should not be allowed to make any psychological assessments. The court concluded that the witnesses’ experience and training failed to qualify them to express an opinion about the perpetrator’s probable state of mind, so that aspect of their testimony was excluded.

However, the court accepted that they had enough training and experience in crime scene investigation to testify about analyzing the scenes. It was also deemed probable that the jury would not have the requisite knowledge to understand such concepts as “signature analysis” and linking similar crime scenes, so using an expert to explain it was acceptable; however, because it bordered on psychological motive, they were not allowed to actually use the word, “signature.”

In the end, the prosecution decided to use only Ankrom, since he had been more extensively involved in the case.

When Special Agent Ankrom took the stand, he testified that all six victims had been slain by the same person; his judgment was based on the commonality of the wound pattern and his experience with other such series of crimes. This included recounting the particular details that linked the cases.

Under cross-examination by Barton Sheela, Prince’s attorney, got Ankrom to admit he did not get information involving knife attacks on area women who had survived. He also did not get information on murders in other neighborhoods.

There was an unsolved homicide of a white woman stabbed in her home in the San Diego area, committed after Prince was arrested, and Ankrom had not investigated the crime.

Also, Prince’s roommate testified about a night when Prince came back, with fresh blood on his jeans, to the apartment they shared. He gave a story that he’d gotten into a fight with his girlfriend.

However, he’d often bragged about his burglaries and said he’d stabbed some people to death. He recalled Prince talking about stabbing them in the heart.

They had lived next door to the building where Elissa Keller was murdered. This person had even been involved in some of the burglaries, and he testified about wearing socks on their hands.

He also recalled woman’s jewelry that Prince had in his possession.

As for profiling, an offender’s method of committing a crime can show certain aspects of his personality. However, there’s also the behavior not necessary to accomplishing the crime; a signature.

Prince’s signature is piquerism

He enjoyed stabbing and gouging with a sharp instrument. He aimed at the heart and left breast, stabbing deeply many times. He was stimulated by violence and the knife became a substitute for penile penetration.

Prince was a characterized as a sadist, having sunk the knife in slowly, with satisfaction. In fact, he stabbed his victims to the depth of an erect penis.

Sheela pointed out the eyewitnesses who could not identify Prince as the man they’d seen in the vicinity of the murders. In most of the cases, he said, there was no physical evidence against his client. He described the many differences among the crimes, insisting that they could not be viewed as a whole.

In closing, Lamborn made the case that Prince was a sexual pervert who enjoyed watching blood flow from women’s breasts, and Lamborn emphasized the brutal similarities among the crimes. Then it went to the jury.

The jurors deliberated nine days before they returned a verdict on July 13, 1993. Prince was found guilty of murdering not only Tiffany, but also Janene Weinhold, Holly Tarr, Pamela Clark, Amber Clark, and Elissa Keller, as well as twenty burglaries and a number other charges.

The special circumstance of ‘multiple murder’ was sufficient grounds for giving him the death penalty. He is on death-row at San Quentin.

In May 2007, the California Supreme Court upheld his death sentence; in a 159-page ruling they dismissed the legal briefs Prince’s attorneys had presented. He can appeal this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tiffany’s mother, Ramona Saunders, of Auburn, passed away September 13, 2013 at her home following a long battle with cancer. She was born in 1931 to the late Denzil and Gladys Bronson in San Francisco, California.

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As for Tiffany, she is buried in the Loney-Sanford Ranch Cemetery near Grass Valley, California.

Nevada Broadcast Company Fails to Disclose Donations to Democratic Candidate

Reno, Nevada’s NBC affiliate, KRNV and their parent company gave a total of $40,000 to Ross Miller, the Democratic candidate for state attorney general in Nevada, but failed to mention this during their coverage of the race. KRNV general manager Amie Chapman told CNS News, “This event has nothing to do with Sinclair Broadcast Group. The activity occurred under previous ownership.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Sinclair Broadcasting Group “bought Reno’s KRNV-TV last fall for $26 million.” The company had been owned by multi-millionaire Jim Rogers until his death in June.

An expense report — filed with Miller’s office a day before the November 4 election — shows Miller received a $10,000 donation from KRNV, as well as Sinclair’s KRNV, KENV in Elko, and KSNV in Las Vegas between October 11 and October 30, a day before Nevada began early voting. The say report adds, “KRNV-TV Sierra Communications Company,’ also made a $10,000 contribution on October 10 to Kate Marshall’s campaign for Nevada’s Secretary of State.

The Democrat failed in her bid against Republican Barbara Cegavske.

Meanwhile, Miller lost to Republican Adam Laxalt by a one-point margin. Laxalt, for his part, overcame a 17-point deficit to hold on to a 46-to-45 victory.

Sinclair is one of the largest broadcasting companies in the U.S., operating 164 television stations in 79 markets. Sinclair also owns KVCW and KVMY in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, the Laxalt-bashing continued with KSVN’s Jon Ralston attacking the Attorney General-elect’s military service the day before Veterans Day.

“Let me be clear – we asked straight forward questions about Laxalt’s service, that were never answered,” Ralston said in his opening commentary. “This came after we saw his original Nevada resume that said nothing about prosecuting terrorists. We researched where Laxalt was in Iraq and found no evidence he prosecuted, or in his words, ‘put away’ anyone. He was in a huge detention facility that housed thousands of prisoners.”

And still no disclosure of Ralston’s relationship with Ross Miller’s father, former Governor Bob Miller. In his autobiography, “Son of a Gambling Man,” the former governor thanked Ralston for his writing help:

“Importantly, I also thank my friend Jon Ralston… I am so honored that Jon agreed to help me in this endeavor. He provided immense help in shaping my unrefined vision of the parallels between my life’s progression and that of Nevada. He played an invaluable role in transforming a very raw draft into my life story. I deeply appreciate his help… I certainly owe him thanks for his instrumental assistance in the pages that follow…”

The Mad Scientist

This is a nightmare I had in 1996:

Adam and I were in the same lab class in college. The professor turned out to be a mad scientist who was drugging students.

He had drugged Adam and was trying to drug me. Adam realized what was happening but I remained confused.

Adam followed the professor out into the hallway where I could hear them struggling. I came out into the hall and saw that the professor was bleeding and yelling at Adam about his ‘experiment.’

Adam was walking down the hall. As he moved farther and farther away from us, I took the pencil in my hand and stabbed the professor in the neck.

This is where I woke up.

 

Police Action

They keep calling it the “Forgotten War,” or the “Korean Conflict,” but to my father, it was anything but. He was a teenager when he found himself in Korea, serving with the 67th Air Police Squadron.

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The Korean War was fought from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953. It remains unresolved today, as South and North Korea continue to square off at the 38th parallel.

It was in Korea, while driving a Jeep, he struck a land mine – what is known today as an IED — that blew it up, causing it to tumble several times. Of the four men in the Jeep, two died, one instantly.

Though he received a Purple Heart, Dad never got over the feeling of responsibility for their deaths, even having night-terrors decades after the incident. But this isn’t why I’m sharing this tale.

My dad was a died-in-the-wool Democrat, a believer in a large government and a champion of the ‘little man,’ who, by his own words saw ‘how the Republican party was always taking from the little man and giving to the big companies.” He and I rarely saw eye-to-eye on anything political.

However, one day in 1981, I remember him pointing out how the Korean War was not a war but rather a ‘police action,’ which he didn’t like. While I knew this fact, I had never heard him speak so plainly of it before, so I was a bit taken aback.

He surprised me even further when he stated as if it were a fact: “And mark my words – by 2020 this nation will be a police-state and it’ll be everybody’s fault.”

Where did this come from, I don’t know and he wouldn’t say when I quizzed him on it. But isn’t it odd that we are but four-years from that date and our nations and local law enforcement agencies are so ‘militarized?”

The Bear Verses the Eagle

As Mother Russia grows stronger, the U.S. appears to be getting weaker. Reports say tanks and other military vehicles are pouring over the border from Russia into eastern Ukraine, while the former Soviet Union’s long-range bomber patrols will now include the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico along with California and Alaska.

And the Obama Administration continues to stay mum on the ‘implied threats,’ from the ‘former’ super-power.

Now, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is ordering major changes to America’s nuclear arsenal. As he did so, he described how three air bases had to share a critical wrench needed for attaching nuclear warheads to missiles by express-shipping it from base to base across North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.

That’s akin to ‘telegraphing’ a punch.

A number of problem came to light for the Air Force in the last year and a half, after reports revealed that an independent assessment for the Air Force found signs of “burnout” and higher levels of personal misconduct among missile launch crews and missile security forces, an exam-cheating ring at one missile bases and drug-related investigations implicating missile crew members.

Hagel says he plans to boost Defense Department spending on nuclear forces about 10 percent a year over the next five years — an increase of nearly $10 billion. And while, throwing money after problems will fix some technical issues; it’s unlikely to resolve the lack of morale that comes from sitting in a hole in the ground waiting for the world to go to hell.

And the base in Wyoming — that would be F.E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, my permanent assignment in the late 70s and early 80s.

Getting Don Michaels’ Autograph

We had driven to Fortuna for the day to visit family. On our way back to Klamath, my folks decided to treat the six of us to dinner at the Sizzler in Eureka, California.

This was special as we generally ate whatever snacks Mom made for us in the car. It was less expensive this way.

While eating, I saw a face I recognized; a local news anchor. While I do not recall if he worked for KVIQ or KIEM, I jus’ knew he was a face invited into our living room each evening.

“Look,” I excitedly whispered, “Don Michaels.”

The look that shot between Mom and Dad was one of shock. To this day I don’t know if it was because I didn’t stutter through the sentence or if it was because at nine-years-old, I knew who this man was.

“C-c-can,” I stammered, “I go get h-h-h-his auto-toe-toe-graph?”

Jus’ the thought of doing this made me so nervous I could hardly speak. Dad said I should wait for he and his wife to finish their dinner.

“But, th-th-th-they’re a-a-almost d-d-done,” I insisted, growing more afraid I’d miss my chance to meet someone I thought as famous.

Mom craned her neck to look and agreed with me. That’s when Dad handed me the notepad and pen he always had on himself, giving me his permission.

Before I lost my courage, I jumped up and rushed across the restaurant and approached his table. His wife saw me as I walked up to him.

He turned and said, “Hi, young man.”

I nearly turned and ran because of my bashfulness of the moment.

Instead, I swallowed hard and asked, “C-C-Can I g-g-get y-y-your auto-g-g-graph?”

Without hesitating, he took the pad and pen and wrote out his name. I wanted to tell him that one day I wanted to be like him, but I was fearful my stuttering would take to long to get the sentence out.

So I smiled, “Thank-k-k you,” hurrying back to my family’s table.

Somewhere over the years, I lost that autograph and I forgot about Don Michaels. He eventually left broadcasting and I think he may have gone into politics.

It would be great to know.

Butt — the Confusion

Here are two news stories that could easily be confused:

“The normally bland face of Uranus has become increasingly stormy, with enormous cloud systems so bright that for the first time ever, amateur astronomers are able to see details in the planet’s hazy blue-green atmosphere.”

“Reality TV star Kim Kardashian is the cover girl for Paper Magazine, where she’s photographed from the back, showing the world her bare behind.”

Meanwhile, the European Space Agency has landed a robot or something on a comet with a long-ass name. We need NASA back to make sense of these ‘star sightings.’

The American Star Chamber

There is a secret organization that was formed in 1913 by presidential fiat. It will eventually take control of the U.S. economy because most citizens believe it to be part of the federal government – however it isn’t.

Instead, it is a privatized organization that only pretends to be what it isn’t. Furthermore, it is on the cusp of letting it’s power be known by damaging our currency to the point that this nation will be pushed to the brink of total collapse.

This same organization has instructed other groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, to create a centralized system based on the same design. Lastly, the U.S. rejected this ‘centralized system’ twice after two separate attempts.

Today, we know this secret organization as the ‘Federal Reserve.’

Net-neutrality and Progressive Stupidity

Recently President Obama urged the FCC to adopt tighter regulations on broadband service in an effort to preserve “a free and open Internet.” This means treating the Internet as a utility, so IPS’s would be unable “to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.”

Breaking it down, this means a government regulated Internet.

And there are reasons why Obama and his Ilk are so in favor of such regulatory activities – to protect Progressives from the fall out from videos that appear on services like YouTube. This time it’s Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist who helped Democrats write the Obamacare law in 2009 that stepped on his tongue in October 2013:

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” says Gruber. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”

It’s nice to know what Progressive elites really think about you and me.

Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Baby

From first grade through the fifth at Margaret Keating School, in Klamath, California, the boys in my class (and I suspect other classes too) had a strange ritual about the stand-up urinals, in what was called the ‘little kids’ bathroom. They were called that because they were located in the east end of the building as opposed to the north-wing, where the ‘big kids’ bathroom could be found.

The same thing could be said of the school’s playground.

Anytime we were released from class to use that bathroom, someone would remind us about the formal order of urinal usage. This reminder came in the form of a sing-song-like ‘nursery rhyme,’ that went, “Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Baby.”

It was generally accentuated by a finger wag, pointing out each stall as its name was called.

There were only four stand-up urinals in the bathroom and one had to be quick to get any of the other three stand-ups, before ‘Baby’ was all that was left to use. In fact, unless one of us really, really, really needed to pee, that final stall was rarely used.

Looking back, I am well aware that we were a bunch of weirdos – but such is the silliness of children.

Like Mother

2011

I didn’t like the casserole,
And I didn’t like her cake.
Her biscuits were too hard,
Not like my mother used to bake.

She didn’t make the coffee right,
I didn’t like her stew.
She couldn’t fold my pants,
Not like mother used to do.

She pondered for an answer,
She was searching for a clue.
Then she slapped the shit out of me,
Like my mother used to do.

What Happened to Frein’s Face?

Accused cop killer Eric Frein, one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives, was captured after a 48-day manhunt in Pennsylvania. He’s now charged with first-degree murder, homicide of a law enforcement officer, attempted murder and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

U.S. Marshals Service Task force commander Scott Malkowski told ABC News that once Frein was spotted, they surrounded him, identified themselves and ordered the fugitive to the ground without incident. However looking at his mug shot — taken when he was booked — it appears Frein was beaten following his apprehension.

“He made no attempt to flee and didn’t put up a fight,” Malkowski claimed on camera, as he described how the arrest was made.

Despite Malkowski’s comment, the bridge of Frein’s nose is bloody and appears broken. He also has an abrasion over his left-eye and his left-eye socket looks bruised and swollen as if he’d been struck.

Perhaps, the Department of Justice should take a look at this case. But don’t expect this happen to as the DOJ’s too busy trying to make a case for civil rights violations in Ferguson, Missouri.

What the Army says About Ebola

As the Center for Disease Control continues to claim Ebola is hard to catch and can’t be transmitted through ‘airborne’ means, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases handbook, titled “USAMRID’s Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbook,” warns it can be.

From the chapter, “Viral Hemorrhagic Fever,’ — a category that includes Ebola, — on page 177, it reads: “In several instances, secondary infections among contacts and medical personnel without direct body fluid exposure have been documented. These instances have prompted concern of a rare phenomenon of aerosol transmission of infection.”

The most recent edition was published in 2011, with more than 100,000 copies distributed to both military and civilian health-care providers world-wide.

Death Before Daybreak

It was a chilly morning, jus’ after midnight, November 8, 1947, when the four Reno Police officers, a Captain, a Sergeant and two detectives, entered the darkened hallway of the Carlton Hotel at 218 North Sierra Street, near where the Ace Motor Lodge now stands. By the time the acrid-smell of the gun smoke cleared, two of Reno’s finest would be dead.

When they knocked on the door Reno Detective Sergeants Gene Cowan and Darrell Reid were met with resistance by one of the suspects but were able to disarm him. Meanwhile, Sergeant Allen Glass and Night Captain Leroy Geach entered the adjoining bedroom where they located a second suspect in the bed.

As Geach, 56, removed the blanket, the suspect immediately opened fire; the bullets passing through Geach into Glass, 36. Both were shot and killed, by a teen, “who discharged a .38 caliber super automatic seven times…”

Neither had an opportunity to draw their weapon, let alone return fire.

Alerted to the gunplay, Cowan fired four shots at the man in the bed using gun he had just taken from the other man, striking him once in the side, causing the suspect to quickly throw down his gun and surrender. Reno Police Chief Clayton Philips said the suspect had vowed he’d “never be taken alive,” and had signed a confession that he had killed the two police officers.

Seriously wounded, Geach was quickly taken by ambulance to the hospital; however, he did passed away en route. A mortally wounded Glass died in the hotel room.

Geach had been with the agency for 12 years and was survived by his wife and two sons. He had been born in Montana, coming to Nevada to work on the railroad in Goldfield.

He was elected to the Nevada Legislature in 1927 and later joined the Nevada State Police. He joined the Reno Police Department in July of 1935, having served the citizens of Reno for twelve years.

Glass had been with the agency for three years, having enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII in the middle of his police career. Born in New York, he was married but had no children.

On November 11, 1947, both Captain Geach and Sergeant Glass were laid to rest at the Mountain View Cemetery in Reno following an emotional service. Cowan and Reid, among others, served as pallbearers, carrying their body’s to the grave.

Blackwell was convicted of the murders, sentenced to death, and executed April 22, 1949. Prior to his entering the gas chamber, he told authorities that his life of crime had snowball into its inevitable conclusion because he hung out with “wrong kind of people at an early age.”

Even though Blackwell was only 19 when was executed he had already an extensive criminal background. He was born in Tacoma, Washington, and started to get into trouble when he was very young. He was sent to the Washington State Reformatory, and in 1947 escaped.

He returned to Tacoma and shot and wounded David Wold who was 17 years old. Blackwell said that Wold had squealed on him.

Blackwell then returned to the Washington State Reformatory where he enabled two companions to escape. They then went on a robbing spree throughout Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Nevada.

Nine days after his initial escape from the Reformatory, Blackwell and his companions came to Reno. After robbing Charlie’s Cocktail Lounge at 325 South Virginia Street and The Highway 40 Tavern at 640 East 4th Street, of $3,800, they retreated to the Reno hotel.

Arnold Thomassen, of Syracuse, Nebraska, the 21-year-old man behind the door, was taken into custody without harm. He too was an escapee from the reformatory in Tacoma.

A third suspect, also a fellow escapee 21-year-old James Blake, of San Francisco, was arrested an hour after the shooting, as he returned to the room. He claimed he was only the get-away driver and had nothing to do with the actual robberies.

Thomassen and Blake pleaded guilty to robbery in district court January 22, 1948 and were sentenced to terms of from five to 50 and five to 40 years in prison.

Two days after having been sentenced to death, January 8, 1948, Blackwell was granted a stay of execution by action of the Supreme Court. He had been sentenced by Judge Mcrwyn Brown in district court to die during the week of March 14 to 20, 1948.

The action was said to be a routine legal procedure following the filing of a notice for a new trial by Ernest Brown and Robert Wells, defense attorneys. Their appeal was based on the idea that Judge Taylor Wines had no legal right to disqualify himself in the case after accepting Blackwell’s plea of guilty; and the second that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the killing of Geach was premeditated.

Wines disqualified himself after the confessed slayer entered a surprise plea of guilty to the first degree murder charges. In disqualifying himself, Wines stated, “My views on capital punishment are matter of common knowledge in this court and in this city. My feelings amount almost to prejudging the case. It is something I cannot rid myself of.”

Wines was strongly opposed tp capital punishment for minors. His views on capital punishment would arise again in the case of Laszlo Varga, a Hungarian refugee that was accused of raping 22-year-old Billee Rahe Morning, a Wells, Nevada Presbyterian minister’s wife and then beating her to death with a rolling-pin.

Varga died in Nevada’s gas chamber June 11, 1949. While awaiting execution he attacked and stabbed a prison guard several times with a pocket knife he had concealed on his person.

As for Cowan, he had joined the Reno Police Department in the late 1930s as a patrolman. He quickly rose through the ranks to his assignment in Detectives and acted as a witness to the execution of Blackwell.

At 5:14 that morning, Blackwell was strapped into the chair and by 5:26, he was dead, but not before recognizing Cowan with a nod and wink. An instant later the cyanide pellet, suspended by a string under the death chair, dropped in the pot holding the sulphuric acid , creating the lethal fumes.

He took a deep breath and was unconscious with in seconds, according to official documents, filed by Nevada State Prison Physician, Dr. Richard Petty. Blackwell’s parents escorted his body from the prison to the Garden Cemetery in Gardnerville for burial.

The Silver State National Peace Officers Museum in Virginia City has several items related to this crime, including Cowan’s badge, the handcuffs he placed on one of the suspects, his hand-gun, as well as the gun used by Blackwell to shoot and kill both officers.

Both Geach and Glass are enshrined at the James D. Hoff Peace Officer Memorial, dedicated October 22, 1988, in Reno’s Idlewild Park. The memorial is named after Reno Police Officer James Hoff who was killed in 1979 while working undercover narcotics case by the suspects he was investigating.

The Hunt for Missing Randy Markin

Last month, a friend from high school disappeared from his apartment in Arcata. The local media put out a standard ‘missing persons’ story based on what the police department issued in a bulletin, but it hasn’t brought him any closer to being brought home.

In fact, when I learned Randy Markin had vanished, I wrote up a standard story using the same information provided by the Arcata Police Department. Now, after nearly two-weeks, with no sign of him, I’m on the hunt for more facts.

The best place to start I figure is with the police themselves. I tried to speak with the lead investigator; someone named Garcia, but was politely told, “You need to mind your own business.”

Ouch. While that didn’t come from ‘Garcia,’ as they were out of the office when I called, it intrigued me enough to understand that they might on the verge of a break-though on the case and don’t want some shlub-reporter screwing things up for them.

Okay, then – where next? I turned my attention to the local newspaper reports online, which is usually a good source of information, but involves ‘reading between the lines,’ and can cause trouble if presented incorrectly.

So, as I normally would do in a case like this I am presenting some of the comments left by readers of those newspaper reports, especially ‘Arcata Garden’s is a nightmare,’ in the “Lost Coast Outpost.” This person appears to know Randy well, but was too fearful on the day he disappeared to approach him or even call the authorities.

“I saw Randy on the day he disappeared at around six a.m. sitting outside of my car,” writes, ‘Arcata Garden.’ “I couldn’t sleep that night because I had a very creepy feeling. I ran outside to get dog food that I had left in my car. He was sitting, not moving, leaned back in his wheel chair with his eyes rolled back with vacant or dazed look in them.”

Now here’s the reason this person’s frightened:

“You let those crazy tweekers move in with him under the guise of being his “caretaker” after they tried to burn us all up. If he turns up dead you may be criminally liable at this point.”

‘Arcata Garden,’ concludes, “We told you something bad would happen at Randy’s if you let them illegally hang around.”

In a second posting to the same story on the same day, ‘Arcata Garden,’ confirms that they are afraid writing”… personally have been attacked, threatened, filmed, stalked and harrassed (sic) by the people hanging out in his apartment…Frankly I am scared of all of them.”

But then ‘Arcata Garden’ does something remarkable. They name one of the ‘caretakers,’ as Kim and claims any sign of distress on her part is a show, “…she was off at the casino last night,” adding, “…no caretaker in their right mind would allow that kind of drug activity around a compromised man.”

According to a family source, the apartment manager has changed the locks to his apartment and isn’t allowing anyone in. Meanwhile, someone has tried breaking into his mail box at least once since his disappearance.

Randy is a 55-year-old white male, 6-foot-3 inches tall, 230-pound with long gray hair and brown eyes. He wears glasses and was last seen wearing a tie-dye T-shirt, long leather jacket and jeans.

You’re asked to call the Arcata Police at 707-822-2428 if you know his whereabouts or have information about his disappearance.

Nevada Picks Businesses to Support or Destroy

In September 2014, the State of Nevada announced a grand deal with Tesla, which is going to make lithium ion battery at a factory east of the Reno/Sparks area. The same state authorities are now doing their best to shut down the ride-share program, “Uber,” which started operating in Nevada last month.

The attempt to halt Uber is proof of three things. One is that there is too much regulation in the way of Nevada business and second, the Sandoval administration doesn’t care that Nevada’s citizenry is struggling to find work and that any opportunity to earn a paycheck is a good thing.

Thirdly – it is not the state governments’ job, nor is it the Sandoval administrations duty to pick-and-choose what businesses can and cannot operate in Nevada.

A Real ‘Living’ Hero

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The breakfast of champions has a new, unforgettable face. Lauren Hill has landed on the front of the Wheaties cereal box.

She suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and is a freshman at tiny NCAA Division III Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. Her dying wish was to step onto a college basketball court.

She scored the first and last baskets of Sunday’s 66-55 win over Hiram College, a game that was moved up two weeks to accommodate the fast-deteriorating Hill. An MRI revealed the finding in November 2013 when Hill was a senior at Lawrenceburg High School in Greendale, Illinois.

Compare and contrast Lauren’s story to Brittany Maynard’s, who captivated the national media with her public decision to end her life.

Dichotomy of the Belt Buckle

Nevada turned 150-years-old on Halloween. I would love to buy myself one of those silver cowboy belt buckles that commemorates the anniversary.

I bought one when the state was but 125-years-old in 1989.

As I wrote this down, I realized the dichotomy of the situation and found myself chuckling. That’s because I realized due to the economy, I can’t afford to buy one and yet I’m not yet so broke that I have to sell the one I already own.

Nevada’s 2014 Election Results Delayed

Final election results were delayed Tuesday night and were not posted until early Wednesday morning. Jus’ more electoral hanky-panky involving Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office?

I’ll let you decide.

Washoe County’s Registrar of Voters said this: “State software having trouble reading files for final verification of absentee ballots. Registrar’s office is working with software vendor.”

Remember though — weird stuff happened all across Nevada in 2010 and 2012, so I’m sure there’s a ‘legitimate’ reason behind the so-called ‘trouble.’ Unfortunately we’ll never really know what the real ‘trouble’ was.

The Mixing of Personal Politics and Professional Reporting

It’s been over eight-years now since being fired for personally blogging my political opinion while working as a newspaper reporter. Labeled ‘unethical,’ I was subject of conversation at the local university and the world-wide web.

I honestly don’t think a reporter should be separated from their opinion, but I also believe it is up to the reporter to make certain their opinion is separate from the non-private work they present.

Recently, KOLO-TV’s Sarah Johns, had to remove a Facebook posting that supported a California friend’s political campaign. Someone wrote an email to her station manager complaining, and Sarah being the professional that she is, did as asked.

Her co-worker, Amanda Sanchez was possibly in the toughest position when it came to reporting local political news. Her sister Hillary Schieve is now Reno’s new mayor-elect and not once did I ever hear Amanda speak about her sis’ campaign.

There is also the case of KRNV’s Jon Ralston who used his television show and his blog to slam attorney general-elect Adam Laxalt time and again during this campaign season. Ralston never mentioned once his relationship with former Governor Bob Miller, the father of Laxalt’s opponent, Ross Miller.

In his autobiography, “Son of a Gambling Man,” the former governor thanked Ralston for his writing help:

“Importantly, I also thank my friend Jon Ralston… I am so honored that Jon agreed to help me in this endeavor. He provided immense help in shaping my unrefined vision of the parallels between my life’s progression and that of Nevada. He played an invaluable role in transforming a very raw draft into my life story. I deeply appreciate his help… I certainly owe him thanks for his instrumental assistance in the pages that follow…”

Finally, KTVN’s Erin Breen’s look at the various local and statewide political ads, was the best this campaign season. She went neither left nor right when it came to reviewing the facts (and fiction) of each commercial.

Sometimes the line is very clear — sometimes it ain’t.

Welcome to Your 2014 Mid-term Election

A Democrat friend of mine asked in an email: “What are you going to complain about if the GOP takes both the Senate and House?”

I don’t think she expected the answer I gave her.

“Plenty, since most Republicans in Washington DC are no better or worse than Democrats in Washington DC,” I responded. “The same crap will continue.”.

“After all,” I continued, “I’ve not heard nor seen anyone in either party propose a real plan to eliminate Obamacare, reign in the IRS, or halt the NSA’s data gathering programs, to name a few.”

Once I sent her my reply, I looked up the word ‘complain.’ This is the definition: “To express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.”

Well, I’ll be damned!

Harry Reid Goes After the Bundy Ranch, Again

Senator Harry Reid told Reno’s KRNV in April 2014, “This is not over,” following the stand-off at the Bundy Ranch. He wasn’t kidding having introduced a bill to seize nearly 1 million acres of Nevada — including land involving the Bundy Ranch.

“…Reid last month introduced legislation to withdraw 805,100 acres of federal land in Garden Valley and Coal Valley straddling the Lincoln and Nye county lines,” reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “a desolate area bigger than Rhode Island.”

Taking a deeper look, his plan is in lock-step with the Bureau of Land Managements plan to have 2,767,941 acres in Southern Nevada designated as ‘Areas of Critical Environmental Concern.’ According to Federal Register, Volume 79, No.197, published October 10th, 2014, the BLM has plans to close off the Virgin River and Gold Butte areas, near the Bundy Ranch, to all human activities.

Before the standoff, there was around one million acres of ACECs in Southern Nevada. Since the standoff, the BLM has applied for an additional 1.8 Million Southern Nevada acres — a 280-percent increase.

Reid, whose listed as the bill’s only sponsor, had no comment. His spokeswoman though, Kristen Orthman, said the Nevada Democrat “has long had conversations about how to protect the scenic, natural and cultural values in and around Garden Valley.”

Harkening: The Regathering

“It’s so cold, that I can hardly feel my feet and my fingers hurt when I bend them. But continue pressing on. I’ve decided to stay as close to 395 as possible, while avoiding the towns along the way — people marauding and looting.

Several times over the past several days, I’ve seen large military trucks moving back and forth along the highway. It leaves me puzzled how they can have operating vehicle’s when none of the cars, truck or even the one motorcycle I’ve managed to find will start.

Snow falls from time to time and food is in short supply. I killed a large crow which is awful to eat, hopefully I’ll get a rabbit of squirrel soon.”

Written in faded pencil in a black and white spotted book, ‘Keeper of Flames’ had removed it from the square container, ‘Lives in Woods’ had brought him. He recognized the container as being made of plastic, something that remained in short supply since the ‘New Time Beginning’ had arrived.

The Elder, now in his mid-sixties, had been nearly 23-years-old when his world changed. He knew most everything that there was to know about the world in which the ‘Last People’ had lived in and it was his job to record this history and anything about it.

Often times, late at night as he worked over his desk, he could hear his father say, “Read everything you can and keep a journal because you’ll never know when it might come in handy.” That had been a long time ago and he now strove to teach his son the same.

The entries in the book were few and far between. In the beginning, the author had recorded the day, the date and a time for each entry — but soon that stopped and the entries took on a more primal tone.

“Managed to hide on top of government truck, jumped when it turned towards Eureka and not Klamath. Sprained right ankle. Hobbled but home.”

‘Keeper of Flames’, put the gun down and returned to the plastic box. He leafed through the Bible, the small copy of the U.S. Constitution and a dictionary, before he saw the black folded leather.

“Driver’s license,” he announced as he removed it from what he knew to be a wallet.

He returned it to the wallet and quickly turned his attention back to the skeleton that he had arranged on a long table behind him. Earlier he had noted that there was a piece of metal lodged in the up part of the man’s right hip.

“Possibly, a bullet,” he whispered as he held a chipped magnifying glass over the fragment.

Now, he could feel the burning of his eyes as tears filled their rims. ‘Returns from War,’ he declared to the others as they sat, waiting patiently to learn what ‘Keeper of Flames,’ had discovered.

“Who?” his wife, ‘She brings Happiness’ asked.

Her question went unanswered as ‘Keeper of Flames,’ turned back to the book. He quickly leafed through to the last entry and continued reading, this time aloud.

“Effed up, walked into a pot-grow, shot in the lower gut. Bowl smell. Infection. Death sentence. Found shelter in redwood tree, new as young man. Dying in Klamath. Miss Kay, Miss Mary and Kyle. Will never know what happened to them.

‘She looks Up,’ another Elder asked impatiently, “Who is it and what have you learned, ‘Keeper of Flames?'”

‘Keeper of Flames,’ removed the license and held it aloft, “In the ‘Time That Passed,’ I was a young man. I remember when the ‘Last People’ were taken as I was a part of them. My mother and I lived for three-years in a camp before being released. My father escaped and we never saw him again, though we never forgot him.”

“And?” ‘She looks Up,’ interrupted.

‘Keeper of Flames,’ calmly responded, “In the ‘Time That Passed,’ they called me ‘Kyle.’ This is the name my father, ‘Thomas’ gave me went I was born and this is my father, whom I know call, ‘Returns from War.'”.

The next day, ‘Returns from War’ was laid to next to Mary in the towns’ cemetery. The plastic box, with the Bible, dictionary and Constitution as well as the rest of his clothing and equipment was permanently displayed in the town’s “Hall of Memory,” for all to view.

Harkening: The Losing

Four days later, Kyle walked up onto our porch. He looked tired and said he was hungry, so we fed him what we had available.

Since our water no longer ran, I felt fortunate that I had set up a rain barrel two years before the E-M-P. Kyle drank three Mason jars full before he felt satiated.

“Where’s your family?” Mary asked.

“They went with the fed’s,” he answered.

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“One of our neighbors told me,” he responded, adding, “They’re rounding people up and taking them to camps.”

I felt a cold-sweat rush over me as I thought about this.

It was time to go to ground, walk away from our home, our lives, and our security and disappear into the high desert. I already had a plan set-up in my head that if push comes to shove, we’d walk to where I was raised – the Redwood forest and the Pacific Ocean.

My plan was met with disbelief and consternation. Neither Mary nor Kyle thought it was a plan worth exploring let alone attempting.

It never occurred to me that they wouldn’t want to go, despite the hardship involved. So since they didn’t want to try, I felt obligated to stay with them, though I knew very well the possible risk of becoming wards of the federal bureaucracy.

I’m a historian – and I know what happened to my Red Brothers at the hands of the government.

Despite my family’s decision not to leave our neighborhood, I took action anyway and filled three plastic five-gallon buckets with provisions – including backpacks – and buried them in the desert beyond the nearby dirt airport. I added a Bible, a booklet on the Constitution and a dictionary, jus’ in case.

As I was walking back from the burial site, I saw the large government vehicles as they lined up along Nightingale Way. I dropped to my stomach and pulled my binoculars from my daypack and watched as Mary and Kyle were escorted by armed men and loaded into one of the many trucks.

Suddenly a swell of panic and bile over came me. After puking, I picked up my .22 caliber rifle and aimed at the driver of the truck my wife and son were in.

If they were going to be taken from me, I was going to fight for them. I squeezed off a round and saw the windshield of the truck turn milk-white as it shattered.

My single bullet was met with an overwhelming barrage of machine gun fire. The dirt, the rocks and the dust jumped as if alive in front of the berm I was hiding behinds.

Overwhelmed, my military training kicked in and though it has been more than three-decades now, I retreated into the sagebrush and worked my way back to the base of the hillside that separates Eagle Canyon from the Hungry Valley Reservation. I holed up in one of the hundreds of crevasses as I saw uniformed men search for me.

Once darkness fell, I knew two things – possibly three – but hadn’t thought yet of thought of third one. I had lost my family and I needed to find a way out of the valley and over the hill behind me.

Moving slowly and as quietly as I could, I retrieved the buckets I had buried earlier in the day and pulled together the supplies I needed to make the trek to the North coast of California. As I hoist the heavy Alpine hiking pack onto my bad back, I promise I will return for my family.