Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Mountains, molehills & the need for coffee

Wikipedia image

I've been busy the last couple of days writing scripts for the annual Chariton Cemetery Heritage Tour, scheduled for late afternoon on Sunday, Sept. 20. 

We'll be focusing this year on occupants of the Stanton Vault, built during 1887 by Dr. James E. Stanton --- who owned the cemetery at the time --- as upscale housing for the deceased. It contained 30 crypts, many of which still were occupied by a variety of interesting people less than a century later when it was demolished.

The occupants were removed at the time of demolition, then reburied in something of a heap in the footprint of the structure, their final resting places marked by funeral home markers embedded in strips of concrete --- now deteriorating. We'll focus on a few of these mostly forgotten people.

But that research effort has cut seriously into my time for outrage. Fortunately, others have carried on.


There seems to be a good deal of unrest in Ohio --- offset by celebration in Alaska --- now that President Obama has authorized a name change for North America's highest mountain peak from Mt. McKinley to Denali, the name applied to it by Alaska's original occupants.

Alaskans of all political persuasions have lobbied a long time for the change, but it has been stoutly resisted by Ohioans, most effectively by that state's congressional delegation, because that state was the home and now contains the burial place of President William McKinley, assassinated some six months into his term during September of 1901.

The McKinley name was suggested, however, during 1896 --- five years earlier --- by a gold prospector who also happened to be a political supporter of the future president.

Personally, I'm pretty happy about the change. But if I were a McKinley --- an old and honored name in Lucas County --- it's possible I might feel otherwise. So far as I know, however,  our McKinley delegation has not been heard from on the matter. If I were involved with the Chariton newspapers, I think I'd localize this story a little by asking.


Down in Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis seems to have run out of legal options after the U.S. Supreme Court late yesterday denied her petition for a stay on lower court rulings that directed her to issue marriage licenses to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Davis stopped issuing licenses altogether after the June Supreme Court decision that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry. To issue a license to a same-sex couple, she argued, would violate her Christian conscious.

The difficulty is, she's an elected public employee who has taken an oath to uphold the law of the land, whether she approves of it or not. 

This apparently is the morning she'll have to decide what to do next: Observe the law, quit or continue to resist and face fines and potential jail time. Which will it be?


There are all sorts of other things that have outrage potential --- the "save the cross" debate continues to simmer in Knoxville, for example.

But the most outrageous thing that's happened personally this week involves coffee --- I neglected to buy a new supply yesterday and am trying to get the day started with tea.

It isn't working, sun's up --- and I have to get myself to HyVee and quick or I'll never get anything accomplished today.

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