Today is the Autumn Equinox, night and day are equal. Ancient and modern Celts celebrate this day as Mabon “Great Son.” The Welsh say that Lugh, God of Light, is defeated by his dark twin, Tanist, so darkness prevails over light. Nowadays Mabon is a harvest festival especially associated with apples.

Talk Like a Pirate!

Who lives in a pirate ship over the sea?

The old seadog

Who is peg legged and drunk as can be?

The old seadog


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Seven Seas (I think, for we are sorely lost)


Avast Mateys,


Arrgh. Fair warning, landlubbers. Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. In past years, we have been far too easy on thee. Today, I shall show no mercy on those what flouts this solemn day.

Me lads, load the cannons with grapeshot and cannonballs! Step lively! Fire at will at these hard-headed landlubbers!

This year, we have greased the gangplanks, so all will slide into the sea. And me boys are ready to keelhaul landlubbers. Sharks are trailing us, waiting for supper. This day, they will wax and be fat as whales.

Me rum is messing with me ears. I hear a band playing “Halls of Montezuma.” How dare the US Navy bring in the Marines! If I can find me cutlass and me eyepatch and me crutch, they will lament the day they unfurled the Stars & Stripes in me presence.

Lads, hoist high the sails and fire a broadside, double-time! Sink that ship before Marines board us! I can’t swim, so we must be the victors.

Polly, come back! Stay off that Navy ship! If I catch you, I shall barbecue you feathers and all.  Me head is reeling. Now where is me rum?

When that Navy ship is at the bottom of the sea, we shall deal with those who ignore Talk Like a Pirate Day. Now, where is me musket?

Oh, me head is reeling.


Now be done with it!

The Old Seadog



Haunting: Willie was a distillery worker who was killed by rolling bourbon barrels. Now he haunts Louisville’s Whiskey Row at Oshea’s Irish Pub. (CJ interview of Old Forrester employee)

Another Haunting: General Nelson, a Union Civil War General, was murdered in the original Galt House Hotel by another officer. Flying glass at Doc Crowe’s, a bar, is said to be his fault.

Yet another Haunting: A nun who died in an 1865 Galt House fire haunts the basement of Doc Crowe’s.

Angel’s Share: The evaporation in a whiskey barrel. The older the bourbon, the more the Angel’s Share.

Devil’s Cut: The whiskey present in the barrel’s wood. It can be extracted, but do you want to risk the Devil’s wrath? (also known as the Devils’ Share)

Crow’s Nest: The bourbon barrels stored near the top of racks in the Crow’s Nest. This is said to be the best bourbon. Don’t tell the pirates!

Fairfield, Kentucky was home to the McKenna Distillery. Henry McKenna came from Ireland before the Civil War and started his distillery. Fairfield was also once home to a hotel, opera house (I saw it from the outside), bar, poolhall, & other businesses. The distillery closed down in the 1970’s & all that is left of Fairfield is a post office & grocery. The last time I went through I did not have a camera, but the closed-down distillery was still there.

McKenna bourbon is still available & I recommend it. I believe it is made nearby in Bardstown.

Sip responsibly.



Racism, history, and popular culture:

Everyone knows that Pocahontas saved the life of John Smith by stopping his execution. She had fallen in love with him, except that she was only about 10. John Smith’s first journal entry does not mention her involvement. Only years later did he make the claim. But it was okay, she was just an Indian princess. John Smith did change her age to 13 or 14, back then I suppose a marriageable age. And he wrote of another girl rescuing him from non-Christian Turks, so few people believe his story.


By Mattaponi tradition, Pocahontas married Kocoum, a Patawomeck chief’s brother. Though William Strachey wrote about the marriage, Disney and everyone ignored her first marriage to a heathen Indian. They lived with the Patawomeck and had a child Ka-Okee, Little Goose. Many of the Patawomeck are descendants, including singer Wayne Newton.


Pocahontas died young under strange circumstances. Her death has been described as illness on the voyage home. Except that she died when the ship was on the Thames River, hardly leaving time for her to be ill. The Mattaponi and Pamunkey tribes insist that she was poisoned to prevent her from returning home. The English colonists wanted Mattaponi and Pamunkey lands.

I plan to write about her life, making it as close to Mattaponi/Pamunkey traditions as i can.

[the painting of her is controversial, but it is all we have]

Three ghost colonies

The Colony of Transylvania existed from 1775 to 1778 when the Virginia General Assembly declared the colony’s charter void. Its borders were land between the Ohio, Kentucky, and Cumberland Rivers—central Kentucky and a small portion of north central Tennessee. The capital was Fort Boonesborough.

The State of Franklin (AKA Lesser Franklin) existed from 1785 to 1791. It only ended after much legal wrangling and one small battle. Though it started after the Revolution, it existed under the Articles of Confederation. It was located in north-eastern Tennessee. The first of three capitals was Jonesborough.

East Florida and West Florida were British colonies that remained loyal to the British during the Revolution. They included lands in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Capitals were in Pensacola for West Florida and St. Augustine for East Florida.

Though there are no real ghosts, I can see possibilities for writers, especially for alternative histories. Transylvania University in Lexington Kentucky bears one name. Are there other ghost names out there?

SCBWI Midsouth

The September Louisville SCBWI Social will be a week late because of Labor Day.

Anyone from Kentucky, Tennessee, & surrounding states is welcome.

Monday, September 10, 6 to 8 pm. No RSVP required.

The 1st hour will be for socializing, the 2nd hour for optional critiques. Writers can read for 3 minutes. Illustrators always welcome.

Barnes & Noble’s Café, 801 South Hurstbourne Parkway, 1 mile north of I-64, on the right. This is NOT the Paddock Shopping Center B&N.
It is free. You do NOT need to be an SCBWI member. For more information, contact Charles Suddeth csuddeth@iglou.com  502-339-9349, c 502-649-9944



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