Wednesday August 14, 2019


Best wishes and every positive though goes to Steve Sharp who suffered a pretty bad (understatement) motorcycle crash on the Yuba Pass on Saturday, August 10th, family and friends are stepping up to assist Steve and his beloved Jenny Varn through this difficult time. If you would like to help a Donation page has been set up to help with some of the extreme expenses with a blog keeping us up to date with Steve’s progress. We all love you Steve and Jenny and want to be here for you.

Today is 🎂 Milly’s Birthday🍧. There is a rip roaring birthday celebration at the Mountain Messenger  and everyone is wishing Milly a happy happy birthday and you should too.

Tickets are going fast for the Lost Sierra Hoedown in Johnsville Sept. 19th to 22nd., This year will be the best ever… I pretty much say that every year and every year is as much if not more fun and entertaining..

Mojo Green CANCELLED at the Kentucky Mine, Sierra City, CA  Saturday, August 17, 2019, 7:30 PM The Sierra County Arts Council and the Sierra County Historical Society apologize for any inconvenience.   The Mojo Green concert has been CANCELLED per request of the band. Finding an alternative band of Mojo Green’s stature at this late date not feasible.

I know some people think the tRump Trolley is just chugging away with no problems and while before he took office I hoped for the best it is clear the best isn’t happening. In fact the implosion is happening and speeding up. I wonder why tRump can’t see it, although narcissistic sociopaths are known for not being based in reality to how they present to the world and if things aren’t going the way they want then it is everyone else’s fault certainly not his own failings. I have a wish, or a fantasy that tRump will have an epiphany and realize he could resign and walk away with some dignity or continue in his nightmare and end his reign mired in humiliation and disgust maybe even prison. The writings on the wall tRump, the rats are leaving the ship or not climbing aboard. I fear he just doesn’t care and if he destroys our planet and humanity he really doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Just a pitiful piece of flesh who doesn’t care.  I guess I have no respect for the man and really hate what he has done to the Office of the President of the United States. He’s not helping to make us great by any stretch of the imagination.

Read Lou & the Girls, On the Shelf w/Paul, Sheriff’s Log, Columnist James Haught and Robert Koehler, CC’s Postscript, Sunny’s Sea Voyage and lots of local news and things to do..

The  Wednesday photo was taken by Dave & Carol Marshall in the Lakes Basin area on August 12th…. below  are  some of the beauty seen on the trail around the five lakes.

Chapter 2 w/ Lou & the Girls 8/14/19


Good Morning Everyone,
Thursday we decided to keep it lite. So, Gladys just hung around the hotel and Hortense and I decided to walk down to the train station to determine the distance for our adventure on Friday. We determined it was too far to walk. On our walk back to the hotel, we came across Ireland’s National Museum near the River Liffey. We ended up spending a fare amount of time viewing about a quarter of it. It is huge and very well put together! One of the docents gave us WAY more information than we needed but found the information useful.
Not sure how many of you are familiar with the 1916 Easter Uprising, but, I have always found that event very interesting and toward the end, very sad. The 16 leaders of the uprising were taken to Kilmainham Jail by the English, where a very quick trial was conducted and they were sentenced to death. They were executed in a small yard in a small yard at the jail and taken to  Arbour Hill, which is a military cemetery, and buried in a mass grave lined with lime. This cemetery is just behind the museum. We walked there and viewed the location. Very touching moment. I have attached photos below. This was quite a turning point for Ireland and it’s attempt for independence from England. I would recommend anyone who might be interested to google this event. From there, we went back to the hotel and met with Gladys.
Part of the reason for this trip was so I could return to Shanahan’s on the Green to celebrate my birthday. On our last visit to Ireland Charles and Mary Ervin from Sierra City introduced us to this place. I fell in love with everything about Shanahan’s and decided I would like to someday return for a dinner there. So here we are! I would recommend you all google, to learn about Mr. Shanahan and his connection with America and JFK.

I made reservations for dinner here a month ago. So, we board our taxi and off we go! We are met at the front door and invited in. We decided to get there early so Gladys could see the pub downstairs and partake in some libation. Yes, as some of you know, I don’t partake in the consumption of alcohol. However, on our last visit we toured the Jameson Distillery where I was introduced to the flavor of Irish whiskey. So smooth and a wonderful flavor. So, Jameson for Hortense and Lou and Ginger Ale for Gladys. Of course we mixed a little ginger ale with the Jameson. Yes James Gray, I do partake occasionally. See photo below. lol

Time for dinner! They escort us to the third floor and sit us near a window with a view of the garden. There is a regular menu and this night they had a special menu. We went with the special menu and had Filet with fried onions along with Mash (mashed potatoes) and creamed spinach. Of course, a salad before. The salad was amazing! Dinner was absolutely fantastic and the service was second to none! Of course, we have a “bucket-mouth” in the group and that person will remain anonymous but her name starts with an “H, who told our waiter it was my birthday. As you can see by the photo below what Shanahan’s does for you when it’s your birthday. And yes, even Champaign! What a great meal and with two excellent friends and travelers! After dinner Shanahan’s summoned a taxi for us after taking a photo at the front door and back to the hotel we waddled. What a great day! A day I have been looking forward to for six years! Thank you Gladys and Hortense! That’s it for now!
Toora Loora Lay!

Mountain Messenger (birthday girl) 8/14/19


The Don thinking about Miss Jill

Yep, it is true Milly is having a birthday today. Originally it appeared it was going to be a difficult day for Miss Jill, as we all know especially The Don, Milly, Scott, Brutus Penelope, Carl and Sharon… because Miss Jill is often jealous of the attention Milly gets.  It’s not Milly’s fault that she is young and beautiful… I mean it’s not like Miss Jill is ugly or anything.  I have seen The Don pay attention to Milly and wondered how Beloved Irene felt about it however that’s another story for another day. One would think with Miss Jill being an Editor of California’s Oldest Weekly newspaper would give her a sense of security but somehow Milly just edges into everything and Milly suffers on her birthday when Miss Jill tries to claim it. You could soften the blow by giving Miss Jill some small token when you give Milly her gift… anyhow my heart goes out to The Don, it must be really tense in the office.

The Don looking at Milly with sexy look

Send anything you need published to Miss Jill, ROTP (not Milly) at or call directly to 530

Miss Jill’s hair

289-3262 and talk to The Don. For a subscription: send money to Mountain Messenger at P.O. Drawer A, Downieville 95936 or call 530 289-3262 with credit card in hand.. Write to The Don Russell at and tell him you subscribed because the begged you to….. Subscriptions cost –In Sierra County $30 1yr- $50 2yrs / Out of county $35 1 yr – $60 2yrs

Sierra Co ARF 8/14/19


Ten years ago Rachel Guffin walked into the bank, opened an account, and started the Sierra County Animal Relief Fund. Since then ARF has helped hundreds of pets. They have delivered thousands of pounds of food and helped spay and neuter countless animals.

ARF has helped those who were helping others in their communities stepping up to take care of their pets. ARF has done this all with your continued help and support. If you’d like to celebrate our 10 years and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ARF, please consider making a donation. We can’t do it without you!

Gold Nugget Women 8/14/19


The Gold Nugget Republican Women Federated invite you to join them at their meeting on August 21, 2019 at 19 Edelweiss in Loyalton.   We will start our business meeting promptly at 5:00 pm, so please arrive no later than 4:45 pm to check in and get settled.  Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm.  We will have BBQ chicken and hot dogs, and we are asking everyone else to bring a salad, side dish or dessert for the dinner.   The cost for the meeting is $12.00 per person, which includes tickets for the Opportunity and 50/50 Drawings.  Our speaker will be Shane Starr, the District Representative for Congressman, Doug LaMalfa and Shane will speak after dinner. You may join us for dinner and the speaker afterwards or you can join us for the speaker only.   Please contact Mary Ervin at 530-862-1173 if you have any questions

On the Shelf with Paul 8/14/19


Issue 2019 – 13
New Non-fiction on the Shelf at the Downieville Library
In the previous On the Shelf column, we began the list of non-fiction books that have found their way into the library. Here is the remainder of that list:

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast
The Rise and Fall of Stalin, by Robert Payne
A History of Latin America, by George Pendle
Scenic Wonders of America, by Reader’s Digest
Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much, by Anne Wilson Schaef
Dictionary of Word Origins, by Joseph T. Shipley
The Paint Effects Bible, by Kerry Skinner
Designing a Photograph, by Bill Smith
Metaphors Dictionary, by Elyse Sommer
Make It Paleo, by Bill Staley & Hayley Mason
Do Unto Animals, by Tracey Stewart
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism, by D.T. Suzuki
Double Victory: A Multicultural History of America in World War II, by Ronald Takaki
Beat Insomnia with NLP, by Adrian Tannock
The New College Latin & English Dictionary, by John C. Traupman
Life on the Mississippi, by Mark Twain
A Supposedly Funny Thing I’ll Never Do Again & Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Wallace Foster
The Bibliophile’s Dictionary, by Miles Westley
Biddy Mason Speaks Up, by Arisa White & Laura Atkins (juvenile)
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, by Rebecca Wood
Building Bicycle Wheels, by Robert Wright
A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

Also, these Great Courses materials are now in the library:
Tools of Thinking: Understanding the World through Experience and Reason, by James Hall (w/12 CDs)
Masterpieces of Short Fiction, by Michael Krasny (w/6 CDs)
Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft, by Brooks Landon (w/ 4 DVDs)
Consciousness and Its Implications, by Daniel N. Robinson (w/12 CDs)
No Excuses: Existentialism and the Meaning of Life, by Robert Solomon (w/ 12 CDs)
Argumentation: The Study of Effective Reasoning, by David Zarefsky (w/ 12 CDs)

New Fiction on the Shelf at the Downieville Library
Plumas County Library (of which we are a station) has sent several mystery books by author Todd Borg, who has lived at Tahoe since 1990. He has written 17 books featuring ex-San Francisco Homicide Inspector Owen McKenna, who now plies his detective trade in Tahoe. These are the ones we have on our shelves: Tahoe Avalanche, Tahoe Blowup, Tahoe Hijack, Tahoe Ice Grave, Tahoe Kill Shot, & Tahoe Trap.

Summer Reading Programs
The summer is rapidly winding down, and only a couple of weeks are left before people are back to school. But, there is still time for children and youth to take advantage of the reading programs at the Downieville and Sierra City libraries. For pre-kindergarten through 8th grade children, there is the Two Rivers Reading Club, which comes with rewards based on the number of books that are read. For high school students, Downieville High School English Teacher Lynn Fillo, has promised extra credit based on books read from a list that she has supplied. So, if you haven’t already, get yourself to one (or both) of the libraries. Downieville Library is open on Tuesdays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and Thursdays, 12:00 noon to 4:00 PM. Sierra City Library is open from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM on both Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Paramedic Position 8/14/19

“A unique and challenging Field Paramedic/EMS Operations Manager position with the Downieville Fire Protection District and the Downieville Volunteer Fire Department, in a rural, remote, frontier mountain biking, hiking and fishing area, in the Tahoe National Forest in Downieville, CA. Respond to calls, provide BLS & ALS medical care to residents and visitors to western Sierra County working with a highly trained volunteer team of EMRs, EMTs & AEMTs. Responsible for day to day management of ambulance operations, office administration, budget, & training. Preference for 5 years of rural field experience and 2 years of administration and operations experience. Opportunity for Community Outreach & Paramedicine. Must be experienced with Microsoft Office and electronic medical records. Transitional housing available. Must have California Paramedic Licensure, a California Ambulance Drivers Certificate and Nor-Cal EMS Paramedic Certification.”

Bowman Rd Repairs 8/14/19

Bowman Road Impassable While Under Repair

Nevada City, Calif. – A Federal Highway Administration’s contractor will begin extensive repairs of the Bowman Road beginning the second week of August, 2019. These construction activities will last through September 10, 2019.

Portions of the Bowman Road’s low- water crossing of Canyon Creek, southwest of Bowman Lake, were damaged during the winter of 2016-2017. For the previous two summer seasons, certain high-clearance vehicles were still able to proceed through the damaged area and access Bowman Lake.

During the current repair activities, Bowman Road will be impassable to all vehicles southwest of Bowman Lake. Lindsay Lake, Carr Lake, Loney Meadow Trailhead, and other recreational areas south of the repair work will still be accessible.

To access Bowman Lake, Forest visitors are encouraged to utilize the Gaston Road, Forest Service Road 21, near the town of Washington and proceed to the Graniteville Road, County Road 843, which provides access to Bowman Lake.

For additional information, please contact Temoc Rios, Tahoe National Forest Public Services Staff Officer, at (530) 478-6180 or

Repulsive Political Acts 8/14/19

The biggest news of the 21st century  – by James A. Haught

James Haught

What’s the most significant occurrence so far in the 21st century? Worsening weather calamities caused by global warming?

Endless suicide bombings and massacres by religious fanatics in the Islamic “cult of death”?

Snowballing acceptance of gays as equal humans?

Kakistocracy (government by the worst) under a ludicrous president who has told 10,000 countable lies?

Recurring U.S. gun massacres?

All of those are important, and I nominate another:  The remarkably rapid collapse of religion in advanced democracies.  It’s major news with far-reaching impact.

Sociologists are stunned by the abrupt downfall of supernatural faith in Western civilization.  The swift cultural transformation gained recognition in the 1990s and then accelerated.

For example, more than half of United Kingdom adults now have no church identity, according to the latest British Social Attitudes survey.  The Guardian of London reported:

“Fifty-two percent of the public say they do not belong to any religion, compared to 31 percent in 1983 when the BSA began tracking religious belief…. One in four members of the public stated, ‘I do not believe in God,’ compared with one in ten in 1998.”

The London Telegraph added that 26 percent of Britons labeled themselves “confident atheists,” up from 10 percent in 1998.  It quoted researcher Nancy Kelley as saying the surprising retreat of religion is “one of the most important trends in postwar history.”

Similar findings are reported across western Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the like.  Secularism has soared since the 1990s.  Europeans spent centuries killing each other over religion, but now it elicits a mere shrug.

America traditionally was an exception, a faith stronghold, but the United States is joining the secular tsunami.  A recent Gallup poll found that church membership fell twenty percent in the past two decades.  One-fourth of American adults now say their faith is “none” – and the ratio is one-third among those under thirty.

In fact, this country has more nonreligious adults than any other nation except China, according to a 2015 book, American Secularism.

However, like many profound culture shifts, the change is barely noticed in daily life.  Television still teems with big-money evangelists who buy air time to beg for cash to buy more air time.  Politicians (especially Republicans) still invoke the holies daily and demand public displays of the motto “In God We Trust.”

Speaking of Republicans, the GOP relies heavily upon white evangelicals as its political base.  As religion shrinks, the future power of the conservative party is thrown into doubt.

Polls show that born-again whites were 27 percent of America’s population in the 1990s, but now they’ve slipped as low as 13 percent.  Southern Baptists have lost 1.5 million members since 2006.  But those who remain are intensely active in politics.  They gave 81 percent of their votes to Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Why do fundamentalists embrace a vulgar, shallow, obnoxious, juvenile, self-worshiping racist who abuses women and boasted that he can “grab ‘em by the pussy”?  Why do they want the extreme opposite of Jesus?  Wake Forest University church historian Bill Leonard says white evangelicals flock to Trump because they’re in “panic at the precipitous decline of Christianity.”

In other words, conservative Christians feel their dominance of America’s culture evaporating, and they’re desperate.  For example, they spent centuries demonizing “evil” gays – yet most Americans now accept homosexuals cordially, and the Supreme Court allowed same-sex marriage.  It was a crushing blow to the “religious right.”

In fact, repulsive political activity by white evangelicals is a strong reason why many tolerant young Americans renounce religion.

Of course, faith remains strong in Muslim lands (where several nations decree death for ”blasphemy”) and in the tropics (where millions of Africans and Latin Americans are Pentecostals who “speak in tongues”).

But in Western civilization, profound demographic change is happening in this 21st century.  It’s major news, although not fully recognized.

James Haught, syndicated by PeaceVoice,is editor emeritus of West Virginia’s largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail. 

FireHouse News 8/14/19

At the Firehouse compiled by Vicky Tenney


ALLEGHANY: August 5th Firefighter training.
CALPINE: August 8th Medical training. August 10th Responded for an injured male motorcyclist, who was air lifted to the hospital in Reno.
DOWNIEVILLE: August 5th Officers meeting. *Mutual aid response to Sierra City for an ill female who was air lifted to Saint Mary’s Hospital, in Reno. August 9th Mutual aid response to Sierra City for an ill female who was air lifted to Sutter Roseville Hospital. August 11th Responded for the smell of propane. * Mutual aid response to Sierra City for a motorcycle down, an injured male was air lifted to the hospital in Reno. * Responded for SCSO, to stand by at Indian Valley Outpost, a patient was transported to SNMH.
LOYALTON: August 5th Firefighters trained on initial attack, at structure fires. August 6th Responded for an ambulance assist for an ill person. August 8th Responded for a “lift assist”, a person who fell needed this help. August 10th The ambulance responded to assist a person with difficulty breathing in the community of Sierra Brooks.
PIKE CITY: August 8th Firefighter training.
SATTLEY: August 8th Medical training. August 10th Responded for an injured male motorcyclist, who was air lifted to Reno.
SIERRA CITY: August 5th Responded for an ill female who was air lifted to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Reno. August 9th Responded for an ill female who was air lifted to Sutter Roseville Hospital. August 19th Mutual aid response to Sierraville, for an injured male motorcyclist, who was air lifted to the hospital in Reno. August 11th Responded for a motorcycle down, an injured male was air lifted to the hospital in Reno.
SIERRAVILLE: August 8th Medical training in Calpine. August 10th Responded for an injured male motorcyclist who was air lifted to the hospital in Reno.

LNF Supervisor Bumpus 8/14/19

Deb Bumpus to serve as Forest Supervisor on the Lassen National Forest

LNF Supervisor  Deb Bumpus

SUSANVILLE, Calif., August 13, 2019 – The Lassen National Forest welcomes incoming Forest Supervisor Deb Bumpus, who reported for duty on August 5. Prior to coming to the Lassen, Deb served as Deputy Forest Supervisor of the Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona.

She began her Forest Service career on the Plumas National Forest as a Zone Wildlife Biologist. She has also held the following positions: Threatened and Endangered Species Biologist, Sawtooth National Recreation Area; National Fire Plan Consultation Team Lead, Regions 1,4,6; Assistant Regional Program Manager for Threatened and Endangered Species, Region 4; Ecosystem Staff Officer, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest; and District Ranger, Beckwourth Ranger District, Plumas National Forest.

“We look forward to having Deb Bumpus lead the Lassen National Forest in collaboration with our partners, stakeholders and the local communities,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service.  “Improving forest conditions are top priorities for the Lassen National Forest and the entire USDA Forest Service.  Deb’s commitment to these priorities will enrich the work on the Lassen National Forest and the benefits this work provide to the public and local communities.”

Deb also served as Acting Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Plumas National Forest, Acting Forest Supervisor for the Gila National Forest, and Acting Executive Officer for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative in Northern Arizona. “I am truly excited about returning to the northern Sierras, an area I have spent much time. I am looking forward to engaging with our partners and working together to achieve the results we all want across the forest landscape,” said Deb Bumpus, Forest Supervisor, Lassen N.F.

Deb was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, where she attended Tennessee Tech University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management. She received her master’s degree in Forest Recreation Management from Utah State University. Deb was captain of her college’s nationally-ranked women’s basketball team and served as a college basketball and tennis coach. In her spare time, Deb enjoys fishing, golfing, hiking, and volunteering opportunities.

Playing War 8/14/19

Dead canaries – by Robert Koehler

Robert Koehler

“Many people think that the fight for America is already lost. They couldn’t be more wrong. This is just the beginning of the fight for America and Europe. I am honored to head the fight to reclaim my country from destruction.”

This is how the El Paso killer ended his white supremacy screed, posted just before he “went in” and killed 22 “invaders” who were shopping at a Walmart’s store this past weekend. And, as everyone knows, half a day later another armed maniac wearing body armor and sporting a semiautomatic went on a shooting rampage outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, killing nine and wounding 26. And a few days earlier, a gunman killed three people, including two children, at a festival in Gilroy, Calif.

So what else is new? Should we sing the national anthem?

Something is terribly wrong in this country of almost 400 million guns — wrong beyond solution by gun control or increased security measures . . . at shopping malls, schools, garlic festivals, churches, temples, synagogues and everywhere else. Americans are killing each other at an average of one mass shooting a day. How is this possible? What poison is permeating the social infrastructure?

Nearly seven years ago, after the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, sociologist Peter Turchin called the nation’s mass murders, which have been increasing at a dizzying rate over the last half century, “canaries in a coal mine.”

He wrote: “The reason we should be worried about rampages . . . is because they are surface indicators of highly troubling negative trends working their way through deep levels of our society.”

In other words, tragic and horrifying as such events are in and of themselves, they are also collective signals of some deeply embedded flaw in the social infrastructure that must be discovered and addressed. Racism is only part of it. Guns are only part of it.

Consider the media consensus after the El Paso shootings that it was also a “hate crime.” Was this supposed to ramp up its level of seriousness? Innocent people are dead no matter what you call it. Pondering whether it should be considered a hate crime seemed as nitpicky to me as pointing out that the shooter not only killed 22 people but parked his car illegally before entering Walmart.

Here’s what it was: a dehumanization crime. In every mass shooting rampage that has ever taken place, the killer had no personal connection to his victims. They weren’t people, they were either symbols of a social wrong with which he was obsessed or, at best, collateral damage.

Turchin called this “social substitutability” — substituting a particular group of people for a general wrong, proclaiming them enemies because of their ethnicity, religion, presence in a classroom or any other reason.

Engaging thus has another name. It’s called going to war.

“On the battlefield,” Turchin wrote, “you are supposed to try to kill a person whom you’ve never met before. You are not trying to kill this particular person, you are shooting because he is wearing the enemy uniform. . . . Enemy soldiers are socially substitutable.”

They’re gooks. They’re nips. They’re hadjis.

Writing in the wake of a mass murder way back in May (in Virginia Beach), I noted: “War is a combination of dehumanizing and then killing an enemy along with any civilians in the way (a.k.a., collateral damage), and then glorifying the process: that is to say, it’s mass murder plus public relations.”

When we celebrate war, salute it and revere it, we’re not celebrating the corpses in mass graves or the bomb-shattered cities and villages and wedding parties. We’re not celebrating the radioactive fallout, the birth defects caused by depleted uranium or the global military’s unfathomably large carbon footprint contributing to the environmental collapse of Planet Earth. We’re not celebrating PTSD and the high suicide rate among vets.

We’re celebrating the waving flag and the national anthem, the glory and the bravery and the heroism. All this stirs the heart — especially the heart of a young man — like little else. All of which brings me back to the El Paso killer’s screed. He was going off, fully armed, to a shopping mall to kill moms and dads buying school supplies for their kids in order “to reclaim my country from destruction.”

He was playing war. My guess is that they’re all playing war, in one way or another. Whether or not the mass murderer is a vet — and a large percentage of them are — they are giving meaning to their lives by turning their anger and despair into a military operation. When we mix racism in with the easy availability of lethal weaponry, it turns into terrorism, which is to say, collective lunacy — a lunacy surpassed in its scope and human cost only by the lunacy of war itself.

So my question is this: Why can’t we talk about this at the national level? How many minutes of the last two Democratic presidential debates were devoted to the defense budget or nuclear weapons or the 21st-century phenomenon of endless war? Tulsi Gabbard, a vet, used about a minute of her time to address the issue, taking a clear stand against our regime-change wars. Otherwise . . . nada.

Does anyone think that lockdown drills in the public schools or security checks at shopping malls (a recent New Yorker cartoon depicted a woman in a grocery checkout line removing her shoes and putting them on the conveyor belt) will keep us safe? Does anyone believe that our current political system is capable of addressing the prevalence of war and the trillion dollars-plus we hemorrhage annually for “national defense” and prisons and “border security”?

Does anyone doubt that the mass murders will continue?

Robert Koehler(, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Chicago award-winning journalist and editor. He is the author of Courage Grows Strong at the Wound.

CC’s Postscript 8/14/19

The Postscript by Carrie Classon  – “Made to Last”

Carrie Classon

She wore it for one day in 1919 and it looked as if it was sewn with this in mind. 

My grandma’s wedding dress was more than a little worse for wear. It had been folded up in a small box and kept safe by my cousin, Jill. (How Jill ended up with it, I do not know.)

I’m guessing the dress was sewn by a relative of my grandma’s, maybe a sister or one of her many cousins. There was no lining, no reinforcement of any seam. There were raw edges inside. Much of the dress was held together with snaps and there were places that must have been basted together or pinned. I’ve done enough sewing to know that this was not a dress made to last.

“Goodness!” I can imagine whoever sewed it saying, just over 100 years ago, “No one is going to see the inside of the dress. It only has to last for a few hours!”

And it did last. It lasted for the ceremony in the small country church and for the pictures taken that day of my grandpa, recently returned from WWI, grinning broadly with the young woman he called his “dear girl,” and grandma—with a heart-shaped face and an unusual little ruffled cap, with veil attached, set low on her serious brow.  

Now we were going to celebrate the 100th anniversary of my grandparents’ marriage at a family reunion with four of my mother’s remaining five siblings and a good percentage of my remaining thirty-two first cousins and someone decided (my uncle Les, the youngest of the eleven children) it would be a great idea for the dress to be worn. (I’m sure you know how much trouble these youngest children can be.)

My mother was drafted to prepare the dress (also by her younger brother, Les) and my sixteen-year-old niece, Isabelle, was chosen to wear it as she appeared to be the same size my grandma was at the time. 

I’m guessing Les doesn’t know a whole lot about 100-year-old clothing. 

Clothing that lasts for 100 years is sewn with the idea that it will be worn again. It is lined and reinforced and sewn with great attention to detail and made with the best fabrics. My grandmother’s wedding dress was none of the above. 

As my mother and I worked to prepare the dress for the big event, it soon became apparent that this might not be a great idea after all. The dress was terribly fragile. When Isabelle tried it on, the lace in the front—in the most visible location—started to rip right in half. 

This was understandably upsetting to my mother. 

But mom and I worked together to repair the parts we could repair and replace the parts we couldn’t. The veil was long past wearing, so we constructed a new one with similar fabric that (if I say so myself) was a good imitation of the quirky original. 

Everyone assembled in the Eagles Lodge, which my cousin, Gretchen, had festooned with yards of tulle and twinkle lights to make it look like a wedding reception. Isabelle entered the Lodge and smiled good-naturedly for the dozens of photos taken (some by the local newspaper!) and I know my mother breathed a sigh of relief. 

As I looked at my smiling niece, I imagined my grandma in her hastily sewn dress, just twenty years old and about to start a life and a family she could never have imagined. 

“How do I look?” She must have asked. 

“Oh. You look beautiful.”

Till next time,  Carrie

Carrie Classon’s memoir, “Blue Yarn,” was released earlier this year. Learn more at or  

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