The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.

Pam struck out from the cold today, and caught a non-stop flight. 

And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout.

The weather caused grave concerns,

The departure was in doubt.

A little sunshine, warmth and rest,

She's back again, in old Inverness.

There's joy again in CitrusVille. 

Credit for the first and third sentences goes to Ernest Thayer. I don't know if the others deserve credit. It's from the poem, Casey at the Bat. If you're not aware of the poem, look it up-it's worth reading.

On the way to the airport we came across a historical marker which marked the last Indian attack on a settler's homestead, east of the Mississippi. Everyone should stop and read historical markers. I can't imagine how anyone could not stop and read them.

This marker explained that Seminole Indians killed two children of the Bradley family on May 14, 1856. May 1856 ranks among the most violent and contentious months in American history.

South Carolina Congressman Brooks caned Massachusetts Senator Sumner in May 1856, and a couple of days later, John Brown and his abolitionist crew massacred five people at the Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas. 

Also in May 1856, California Congressman Philemon T. Herbert shot and killed Thomas Keating, a waiter at Washington's Willard Hotel. Herbert (no relation to me) was from Alabama, Keating from New York City. It's likely that slavery and the hostility between the states were at the root of their disagreement, not slow restaurant service.

Elsewhere in 1856, various congressmen beat each other up, and one from Arkansas pummeled Horace Greeley, the New York newspaper editor, not once but twice--on the same day.

If you ever get into a working time machine, don't go back to 1856; you might not make it back.

Pam did make it back here, and brought my mail with her. It's strange looking at mail after having not seen any of it for more than a month. She kindly jettisoned the junk mail, so all I have is the good stuff: offers for easy credit and letters from strangers wanting to assist me promptly and most eagerly in getting millions of dollars.

By the way, the post office never refers to junk mail as junk mail. They receive a fortune from it. I know the post office actually has employees with the title of something very close to "Knowledge Manager." It might as well be "Most Brilliant Person Since Einstein."

I guess we are facing job title inflation. Employees at Apple stores are called geniuses. Seriously. How can they hand out titles like that without being embarrassed? Are they going to start calling themselves rocket scientists*, with the asterisk meaning "not really"?

As for calling things what they're not, consider this: My mail included a couple of pages copied from my college's 2007 alumni directory. My sister mailed them to me, highlighting the fact that the directory has me listed as deceased. I have no idea how they came up with that. 

Not only have I never been deceased, I've only been close to it once, at least to my knowledge. To paraphrase Mark Twain, news of my death is greatly exaggerated. 


Paul Herbert is visiting Citrus County for the month of January, possibly longer if things work out right. He hopes this is his first of many winter trips here from his home in northern Virginia. Paul is the author of “God Knows All Your Names,” “The Jefferson Hotel: The History of a Richmond Landmark,” and “Elinor Fry: A Legacy of Dance in Richmond.” He can be reached at: jeffersonhotelbook@yahoo.com.