Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Baking today. Not sourdough. Just plain Egg Bread.

 Had to show them the Pacific Ocean, they had been so pushed about and heated.


Now, the guy on the right was smaller to begin with. I just wanted a tiny taste and then I had to have a little more to see if it was as good as I thought it was. It was, as fine and light as cake.

How can you bring yourself to confess your low tastes in mysteries? Deploring Baldacci and remembering Ida Costner.

Some writers you read because they are polite.  Long ago I whined to Lee Child that his books were in print too fine for me to read. He emailed back that I was absolutely right and the next books would be in bigger print. He told the truth and I will read anything he writes because he was such a polite man.

The only reason I would read Stuart Woods, of course, is that he is a sailor (don't care about his flying). He is terrific when you have a half hour flight, or was, before half hour flights turned into 5 hour hassles. I took several weeks to write READING "BILLY BUDD"--13 July to 24 August 1988-- so I envy the man who can dictate a new Stone book in 24 working hours spread over three days.

This is if you cannot get a new Gerald Hammond novel, always the perfect length, between 180 and 200 pages.

What was I doing checking out more than 400 pages David Baldacci is GUILTY of? A good question and I am sorry you asked. At least I can say that I did not read it all. I stopped when a man (Will  Robie) discovers that his father has another son by a new wife.  So this grown man has a toddler half brother? Oh no, oh, no! The new wife identifies the child as hers and "your father's, which means he's your stepbrother." The man corrects her, sort of: "Technically." Then (I flipped through but might have used Amazon as a concordance) on 204 the stepmother (our hero's age) identifies her little son as "Will's stepbrother."

Well, families are so blended now a Kardashian has no idea whether or not a given woman is her regular biological mother or an ex stepmother or former in-law, so we give up the concept of stepmother.

Anyhow, this reminds me of Ida Costner, Mother's aunt, who married an Edwards whose late wife was a Stewart, a cousin of Ida's. Ida had many more children, and when one of the sons was dying he said he wanted his brothers and sisters to take anything he left. Someone asked him if he meant his full brothers and sisters or all of them, including half brothers and sisters. He was dying but he was not ungrateful to Aunt Ida. "I can't tell the difference," he said.

Has any stepmother received so profound a compliment as Aunt Ida did?

One of her brothers is Kevin Costner's great grandfather, another is my grandfather.

Same page of 1840 Polk Co. MO census--Cousin Nicholas Pyle and Glenn-Tucker cousins.

I've seen this before--the strange juxtaposition of people not related to each other but with family connection to my generation from far earlier or far later. Nicholas Pyle was from the Pyles who later became famous (Howard, Ernie) but in the Revolution were notorious as Tories. His grandfather was the Dr. John Pyle of Pyle's Hacking Party. His father, Dr. John Jr, husband of my Aunt Sarah Brashier, lost an eye and part of a hand at that bloody Party, and after the war he and several of his Brashier in-laws and my Patriot Ezekiel Henderson, husband of Elizabeth Brashier (what young men do for love!), went off to where they would not be known, Greenville Co., SC. They were known, after all, and the Pyles went off to KY and Dr John Jr finally to Illinois. Nicholas, son of Tories, rushed to enlist when the War of 1812 gave him a chance, and served right through the Battle of New Orleans to erase the family shame.

And here are the Glenns and a Tucker. The John B. is the John B. E. Glenn who a few years later would have a horse die out from under him in Mexico. 6' 5" tall, black hair, black eyes, probably some Cherokee as well as Choctaw, but from the Renfrewshire Glenns (DNA shows), just south of Glasgow. Other Glenns were tall. His brother George was 6' 4" (we know because he went to Mexico too). A cousin of theirs in Texas, one these Glenns did not know, was even taller, and used to shoot down signs in Kerrville, Texas, whenever he bumped his head on one. Go Cousin Sam! The Glenns I knew in the 1940s were tall, and very dark (with new infusions of Indian blood since 1840). My grandmother, despite having a Glenn mother and being a Glenn two ways, was not tall--or was she just shorter than she had been in youth, like the rest of us? The sister I knew, the one who lived in 3 centuries but not very long in 2 of them, was extremely tall.

Anyway, I wonder if the Pyles rode by where the Glenns lived and if anyone in Polk County taunted old Cousin Nick about the infamous Massacre.

So all the descendants of Dr John Pyle junior are my cousins but none of their cousins who became artists and the war correspondent. I can live with that.

But as triple cousin Lois says, in the South if you are not kin you are connected.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jack McCurdy, great public servant of Morro Bay--who disappeared as if he had never existed

So in the BAY NEWS two months late we learn that the longtime journalist Jack McCurdy had died, without an obituary in the San Luis TRIBUNE.
He was 83. He has been missing from Farmer's Market for a long time. Months? Last we talked there he had persuaded me to buy Sisson's THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION OF 1800. I bought it and read it but never got to talk to him about it. I had other things on my mind and did not look for him at Farmer's Market.
Jack had done fine work on the LA TIMES before coming up here and contributing to the SLO COAST JOURNAL. He had helped fight the power plant here to a standstill. His passing was ignored--he had moved away, sick, and was ignored here.

This is the way it goes for old folks, even old folks with great records of achievement in the lives of their communities?


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sanders has blinded himself to what he has incited:

I am filled with the horrific certainty that Sanders is so obsessed with his new fame, so filled with self-adulation, that he will not stop even when his disciples begin killing Democratic officials. I was afraid of Trump. I am now, after April 13, absolutely terrified of Sanders.

What Sanders will say when his followers start acting like Robert Dear

"I certainly never wanted them to kill Democrats. I just want to reform the Democratic Party, now that I am a Democrat for a few months. It never occurred to me that my incitements could have consequences."