Sunday, June 30, 2019

Dust off your resume

"Wages of stupidity is hunt for new job" (Charlie Chan, from The Black Camel)

Image result for the black camel

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A vivid and intriguing simile

"Like a neon-lit tombstone": I heard that expression recently, and it stuck in my mind. Just think what that would look like in a cemetery at night. That is a striking expression.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Yankee Sullivan

Yankee was one of the bad guys in the Louis L'Amour novel Sitka. And, pretty much everything that L'Amour says about him was true. He was a thorough-going thug of the worst sort. He started off in Ireland, served part of a sentence in Australia, and finally ended in California.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Always feminine

She was warm, lovely and exciting, yet beneath it there was steel. It was one thing, he reflected to love a woman. It was quite another to admire her and respect her judgment. Yet he admired her most of all because she was successful at being a woman, she was always and forever feminine.

(from Sitka, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Distaff wisdom

He was aware that it did not necessarily take years to make a woman practical, or experience to make her wise. To a fool time brings only age, not wisdom.

(from Sitka, by Louis L'Amour)

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Alan Napier's relatives

His is one of those familiar actor faces that you may recognize, but whose name you probably do not. Alan Napier became famous as Batman's butler on the 1960s television series. He also was the pharmacist on The Beverly Hillbillies who quoted sonnets to Granny when they went to London.

Napier had some important connections. He was a first cousin once removed of Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He was also a great-grandson-in-law of Charles Dickens.



Monday, June 24, 2019

America's first arch-villain enemy

Long before there was Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein, there was Banastre Tarleton. At the Battle of Waxhaw Creek in 1780 during the Revolutionary War, Tarleton's soldier's ignored the white flag of surrender and massacred the American troops, killing 113 and severely wounding 150. In his operations in South Carolina, Tarleton alienated colonists by arbitrary confiscations of cattle and food stocks. When Tarleton was involved in the surrender at Yorktown, special arrangements had to be made to protect him because of his unsavory reputation.

Image result for banastre tarleton

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Just a good cattleman

"Bonelli hires gunhands?"

"He surely does! He's revolutionized the cow business in this neck of the woods. He drove fifty head into the hills three months ago, and now they all have four or five three- to six-month-old calves!"

Bowdrie chuckled. "Sounds like an enterprising man."

(from "The Killer From the Pecos," by Louis L'Amour)

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Think before you mount

He had become a disciple of the old western adage that "brains in the head save blisters on the feet." A little rest and meditation often saved a lot of riding over rough country, and right now he had a lot to think about, when he got around to it.

(from "More Brains Than Bullets," by Louis L'Amour)

Friday, June 21, 2019

Learn it early

Bowdrie studied him, and was not fooled. Young he might be, but this boy was no coward and he was responsible. In Bowdrie's limited vocabulary, to be responsible was the most important word.

(from "Bowdrie Passes Through," by Louis L'Amour)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Job's daughters

Job's children were killed early in that prophesy, but late in the book they were "replaced" with seven sons and three daughters. The names of the sons are not listed, but the daughters' are, which, I would assume, means they are worth noticing. Jemima, Kezia, Keren-happuch.

Jemima was a daughter of Daniel Boone, of course. And, overlooked by some perhaps, Kezia was one of the female citizens of Boonesborough in the television series. Perhaps we might prefer today to omit the second half of the final daughter's name, but use the spelling of the first half. "Keren" would be a unique (and biblical) spelling of a common name.

The Bible says that "in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job." And their names are as beautiful as they must have been.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Mingo's blue blood

The character Mingo on the Daniel Boone TV show (played by Ed Ames) was supposed to have been the son of the 4th Earl of Dunmore. Oddly enough, this was a real person. Since Kenneth Randolph Murray was the Earl (the 11th) at the time of the program, one wonders if they cleared beforehand any possible legal objections before attaching an illegitimate son to the family name.

John Murray was a Scottish peer and the last royal Governor of Virginia. He has previously been the Governor of New York and later was Governor of the Bahamas, so he was an important figure in colonial affairs.

The current Earl (the 12th) is Malcolm Murray, a native of Australia.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Ed Ames made a good Indian

With his dark skin coloration and high cheekbones, singer Ed Ames looked the part of an Indian on the Daniel Boone television series. He was of Ukranian Jewish heritage. I did a quick check of pictures of other Ukranians, and no one that I saw had nearly the distinctive facial features of Ames. So, he must have been somewhat unique in that regard. In fact, of the four Ames Brothers in the family singing group, he would have been singled out for the part immediately.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Fatigue notwithstanding

          When Matt reached up to help Kris from the saddle she almost fell into his arms. "I am sorry," he said, and he held her in his arms for a moment. "Truly sorry."
          "For better or for worse, Matt - remember? I asked for this. I bought it with my eyes wide open." She drew back her head to look at him. "But I am tired."

(from The Key-Lock Man, by Louis L'Amour)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

I mean, REALLY quiet

What I wanted was a good used saddle, and there was a reason. I was of no mind to ride into Apache country with a squeaky new saddle. Now, any saddle will squeak a mite, and it's a comforting sort o sound, most times; but when there are apaches around any sound more than your breathing is liable to get you killed.

(from The Lonely Men, by Louis L'Amour)

Saturday, June 15, 2019


"Very difficult to explain hole in doughnut, but hole always there." (from Charlie Chan in Paris)
Image result for charlie chan in paris

Friday, June 14, 2019

Not realistic, but a good yarn

Television programs based on real-life situations are notable for stretching the facts a good bit, and the Daniel Boone show from the 1960s was no different. In the show, Daniel had two children, who appeared to be about ten years different in age, with Jemima being older than Israel. In real life, Boone had ten children, and Israel was about three years older than Jemima.

Second, Fess Parker, who portrayed Boone in the show, was 6 feet 6 inches tall, and the theme song described Daniel as "a big man." The real Daniel was not particularly large and did not ordinarily wear a coonskin cap. However, Parker had worn one in the previous movie about Davy Crocket, and the feature was continued in the television show. The real-life Mrs. Boone was supposed to have been an fairly attractive woman, but it is doubtful that she had the dazzling beauty of Patricia Blair, the actress who portrayed her on television.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Not a very happy group

We were men with sorrows behind us, and battles too; men with regrets behind us of which we did not speak, nor too often think. With none to share our sorrows or regrets, we kept them to ourselves, and our faces were impassive. Men with no one to share their feelings learn to conceal those feelings. We often spoke lightly of things which we took very seriously indeed.

(from The Lonely Men, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Colt revolving shotgun

One of the most fearsome weapons that Louis L'Amour mentions in his novels is the Colt revolving shotgun. It does not take much imagination to see why.

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Monday, June 10, 2019

The gun code of the West (according to Louis)

He was a good man with a gun, but a man who used one sparingly. He never threatened, never swaggered, never laid a hand on a gun unless to draw it, and never drew unless to shoot. And he never shot unless to kill.

(from Kiowa Trail, by Louis L'Amour)

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Hop Sing and the hijacking

Actor Victor Sen Yung became famous as one of Charlie Chan's sons in the movie series, and then later as cook Hop Sing on the Gunsmoke television program. In 1972, he was on a Pacific Southwest Airlines flight, which was hijacked. The FBI stormed the plane, and in the ensuing gunfire Yung was shot in the lower back. He and another wounded passenger survived, but a third passenger and the two hijackers were killed.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Young love on the frontier

She looked straight at him, with a smile on her face, and at nineteen the smile of a strange girl is a glory to the blood and a spark to the spirit, carrying a richer wine than any sold across the bar of a frontier saloon.

(from Kiowa Trail, by Louis L'Amour)

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Live for the moment

He was forever commenting to me on how few people actually lived now. Most people, he said, exist in an emptiness between memory and anticipation, but never live in the moment.

(from Kiowa Trail, by Louis L'Amour)

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Concerning Lady Oranmore and Browne

Her screen name was Sally Gray.
After she married Oranmore and Browne, the couple
settled at Castle Mac Garrett, County Mayo. Although she had
never before been to Ireland, she happily left her career
behind and developed a passion for gardening. But the estate
no longer had the financial support which had been provided
by the second Lady Oranmore and Browne, the former Oonagh
Guinness, and the rural economy in Ireland was declining
Lord Oranmore and Browne ended up rearing pigs in the
drawing room in the hope that animals raised in such
surroundings would command a higher price.
Lady Oranmore and Browne, who died on September 24,
continued to enjoy lunching at Simpson's and Wilton's. She
remained unflappably good-humoured even when she became
stuck in her bath.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Always on stage

"He must act. That is true," he replied. "Whatever he does and however keenly he does it, he sees a row of footlights in front of him."  (from The House of the Arrow, by A. E. W. Mason)

You know people like that, don't you?

Monday, June 03, 2019

In the brig

We always hear of people being tossed "in the brig" as punishment on shipboard. So what exactly is the brig? It is a Navy or Coast Guard jail. Since the room on board a ship is already limited, you would expect a brig to be especially cozy, and you would be right. Below is a picture of the brig on board the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier.
Image result for brig on a shipboard

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Should have been on the stage

"You may take this from me, my friend. All women who are great criminals are also very artful actresses. I never knew one who wasn't."

(from The House of the Arrow, by A. E. W. Mason)

Saturday, June 01, 2019


"The two girls had recognized from their first coming together that privacy was the very salt of companionship." (from The House of the Arrow, by A. E. W. Mason)

How true that is! No matter now "cozy" the situation is forced to be due to circumstances, the participants have to make some allowances for "space" for each individual. Otherwise cabin fever will consume them.