Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, February 13, 2015

Are We There Yet?

Jay Edwards

More randomness.

Imposter. In last week’s “The Week,” there was a story about Jimmy the groundhog in Prairie, Wisc., biting the ear of the town’s mayor during a Groundhog Day ceremony. Then Jimmy, unlike Phil in Punxsutawney, Penn., predicted an early spring. But Phil never bit the mayor.

Then there was the kid in the 3rd grade down in Texas who got suspended because his friend believed him when he said he would make him vanish, using his “Hobbit” Ring of Power. The boy’s dad commented, “I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence. And if he did, I’m sure he would bring him right back.” Just think of the possibilities, though.

Over at the recent Waste Management Phoenix Open, a row of Crowd Pleaser port-a-potties overflowed, causing less than ideal situations for those nearby. We don’t make this stuff up remember.

In other sports news, I had to appreciate the cockiness of Seattle Head Coach Pete Carroll, who I have not liked since his USC Trojans spanked Arkansas 50-14 back in 2006. But after the disaster at the end of this year’s Super Bowl, Carroll remarked, “If the pass hadn’t been intercepted, it was a really good play.”

I watched the movie ‘Infamous” the other night with KM on TV. It’s about Truman Capote and his research for “In Cold Blood.” Sandra Bullock played Capote’s good friend Nell Harper Lee in the movie. After she had accompanied him to Holcomb, Kansas, where the murders took place, she informed him after a few weeks she needed to return home to “begin working on my second novel.” Glad it’s finally coming out.

I read “In Cold Blood” when I was a senior at Catholic High, picking up mom’s old copy after the guidance counselor at school confiscated another of her old paperbacks from me, “The Betsy” by Harold Robbins. “You don’t need to read these types of books,” the counselor advised. “And you may want to look into some branch of the military as a career.” I heeded neither the warning, nor the suggestion, but always wondered why he stuck that old worn paperback of mom’s into his briefcase rather than the trashcan, which was closer.  

As much as I had enjoyed the “porn” of Robbins, it was soon a distant memory as I began the nonfiction novel that was Capote’s masterpiece. 

The first paragraph on the first page begins – 

The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”

I was already hooked. And then – 

At the time not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them – four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives. But afterward the townspeople, theretofore sufficiently unfearful of each other to seldom trouble to lock their doors, found fantasy re-creating them over and again – those somber explosions that stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbors viewed each other strangely, and as strangers.

There probably aren’t many of you who haven’t read it. And even if you have, way back there in high school, it’s worth a revisit. But you might need to sleep with a light on for a while if you do.

One more recommendation. Missa Miller, here at the paper and I have a few things in common, we both love UConn Women’s basketball and riveting TV dramas. We’ve been through “Dexter,” “Homeland,” “Breaking Bad,” and I think “House of Cards.” 

Missa has been telling we for weeks to check out “The Blacklist,” which I finally did and now can’t stop. I think it’s my new favorite.

Jay Edwards is editor-in-chief of the Hamilton County Herald and an award-winning columnist. Contact him at jedwards@dailydata.com.