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James “Wood” Hite (1850-1881) was born in Logan County Kentucky and was first cousin to the James Bros. He joined the James-Younger gang was killed by Robert “Bob” Ford. At the time, Jesse James was living as Mr. Howard and had given up on crime. The Governor of Missouri offered Bob Ford a pardon if he would get rid of Jesse James. After killing Jesse James, Bob Ford became a hunted man and was later killed. Charles Ford, his brother, was hunted by Frank James and later committed suicide. What tangled webs we weave….

[Wood Hite has a hat, Jesse James’s home]

Names matter

Names are important. I gave my eldest son a middle name—Wayland as in Wayland Smith, supernatural smith and armor craftsman. The archaic name is Welandaz—crafting one. A certain English barrows/mounds, one can leave a small coin and an unshod horse—when they return, the horse is shod. My son is quite good with fixing/crafting things.

Take a deep breath

Stromatolites: Colonies of photosynthetic cyanobacteria AKA blue-green algae. Some colonies in Australia are 3.5 BILLION years old—older than my mother-in-law. They are responsible for putting the oxygen in our atmosphere. If you can breathe, thank a cyanobacteria.

Extinct or not?

Really big birds: Giant Teratorn fossils (about 5 million years ago) have been found in Argentina. With wingspans of 20 feet and weights of 150 pounds, they didn’t have many enemies. Resembling vultures, rumors of their survival persist.

2009 Production Scanning | ImageDigitizationSpecifications v1.0 | Epson Perfection V750 Pro

Wyatt Earp and Kentucky

The Earp Kentucky Connection. James and Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp’s older brothers were born when the family lived on a farm in Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky. The mother of the Earp Brothers, Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp, was born in Ohio County. (Virgil wearing a hat)

Hayes State Park, Irish Hiils, Michigan: The Wamplers Lake Dance Pavilion was built by the WPA about 1935 and has been torn down. It was once the home to famous Big Bands. This is my tribute to it. (Mystery Hill was across the road)

Dance Hall, July 1959

Charles Suddeth

Jitter buggers once ruled the dance pavilion,

Glenn Miller bopped to “In the Mood.”

Someone dropped a 45 on the turntable,

Ricky Nelson warbled “Lonesome Town.”

Bobby soxers danced barefoot,

We sat on the floor and watched.

Dance with the girls, said my aunt,

I shook my head and hid in the shadows.

Another 45 plopped down,

Buddy Holly belted out “That’ll be the Day.”

A man wearing a string tie muttered,

This past winter, Buddy’s plane crashed.

I caught up with the other boys,

We played tag in the warm night.

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Almost forgotten genuis

Founding Father: Bo Diddley (1928-2008) was a bluesman whose use of hambone, hambone rhythms was foundational for rock and roll. If you listen to Buddy Holly’s music, you will often hear Bo’s hambone, hambone beat. Around 1985, I was excited to see Bo Diddley perform live at the Kentucky State Fair.

Bad boy? Good boy?

George Henry “Beanie” Short (about 1838 in Cumberland County Kentucky, died January 4 1865 Monroe County) He left the Rebel Army and raided Turkeyneck Bend near the Cumberland River. He was caught and hung. My great-grandfather’s family (Bill Short) considers him a hero, Grandma’s brother was Ben Short. My great-grandmother’s family (Alcy Anderson) was Union. Grandma, Ova Della Short Suddeth, called him her 2nd cousin.

Anachronism

Annie Fellows Johnston (1863-1931) wrote the Little Colonel series of children’s books in Peewee Valley, Kentucky, 5 miles from my house. Though they were popular enough to become a Shirley Temple movie, they were about a retired Confederate colonel. The Confederate Retirement Home was also in Peewee Valley, no coincidence. Today the Little Colonel Playhouse in Pewee Valley is going strong.

Whisper his name!

Cernunnos, Horned One, is a Gaelic God, often equated to Dis Pater or Pan. Others connect him to Pluto, Underworld god, leading to associations with Satan. Nowadays many think of him as the Green Man, a benevolent God. He takes a fine picture.

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