Capital Punishment

Today is the anniversary of the publication of one of the great literary works of the 20th century. Today is the anniversary of the publication of Gone with the Wind.

But as interesting as the story of the great villain Scarlett O’Hara is, the story of how Gone with the Wind came to be published is even more interesting.

From Today’s Writer’s Almanac:

In 1920, Mitchell fell off a horse and suffered terrible injuries. She sort of recovered from the fall, but she kept reinjuring herself in different ways, and a few years later she had to quit her job as a reporter with The Atlanta Journal and stay in bed. Her husband, a newspaper editor, would go to the Atlanta library and bring her back piles of books to read so she could occupy herself while bedridden. One day, he came home and said, “I have brought you all of the books that I think you can handle from the library. I wish you would write one yourself.”

He then went out and got a Remington typewriter. When he presented it to his wife, Margaret, he said, “Madam, I greet you on the beginning of a new career.” She asked him what she should write about, and her editor-husband gave her the famous “Write what you know” line.

So she wrote about Southern belles, and she expanded upon family stories and the stories she’d heard from Civil War veterans while she was growing up in Georgia. The one-bedroom apartment that she and her husband lived in was cramped, and she called it “The Dump.” She would sit and write in every nook and corner of the tiny place, working in the bedroom or the kitchen or the hallway.

She told almost no one except her husband that she was writing a novel. When friends came over to their place, which happened often, she’d hide the manuscript under the bed or the couch.

But one of her Atlanta friends, Lois Cole, had found chunks of the manuscript lying around that cramped apartment. Cole was now living in New York City and working in the publishing industry. Cole told her boss at Macmillan, Harold Latham, that her witty Southern friend “might be concealing a literary treasure.”

Latham went down to Atlanta to pay Margaret Mitchell a visit and ask her about the novel. Mitchell denied its existence. He spent the day with her, following along on outings with her friends, and asked about the novel again in a car full of her girlfriends. Mitchell changed the subject. But when Latham got out of the car, all of her friends in the car kept up the questioning. One friend was adamant that Mitchell was working on a novel, and asked why she hadn’t shown it to Latham. Mitchell said that it was “lousy” and that she was “ashamed of it.” The friend goaded, “Well, I dare say. Really, I wouldn’t take you for the type to write a successful book. You don’t take your life seriously enough to be a novelist.”

That did it — Margaret Mitchell was furious and galvanized. She hurried back to her cramped apartment, grabbed the assorted piles of manuscript and shoved them into a suitcase, and drove it over to the hotel where Latham was staying. When stacked up vertically in one pile, the manuscript was 5 feet high. She delivered it to him in the lobby, saying, “Take it before I change my mind.”

It was published on this day in 1936, and immediately it was a sensation. Reports abound of people in Atlanta staying up all night to read Mitchell’s novel that summer of 1936. It revitalized the publishing industry. The next year, Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize. Her book was made into a movie starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, and when it had its premiere in Atlanta in 1939, Margaret Mitchell was there at the Loew’s Grand Theater with the movie stars.

The cramped apartment in which Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind is now the centerpiece of the Margaret Mitchell House in midtown Atlanta, which reopens this weekend after a long period of renovation. There are tours of the apartment, historical performances, and a museum devoted to her life and work.

Margaret Mitchell never wrote a sequel to Gone with the Wind. When pushed on the issue, she merely indicated that the story was over and that Rhett would never take Scarlett back.

Years later, whores and thieves, plundered her characters and wrote sequels to Gone with the Wind. Although I do not support capital punishment, I do have exceptions. I do feel compelled to believe that the ultimate penalty is justified in cases where crimes against humanity have been committed – genocide and the raping of the characters of other authors after the creator of those characters has met their maker. Not necessarily in that order.

What the Hades?

I believe that I have figured out what almost everything is in my yard, except for one thing.

Look at the picture below:

Backyard Garden

Anybody out there know what this thing might be?

I understand, that this perhaps isn’t the best picture for plant identification purposes.


On Friday night, Ames on the Half Shell finally was not rained out and that was a good thing.

The band was Otter and they put on a great show. I’ve posted a few pictures from the show in the ALBUM DELETED.

Or you can click on the photo or the link below to check out photos from the night.


There is no Ames on the Half Shell on this Friday. Instead, there is a special 4th of July edition of Ames on the Half Shell on Saturday from 1-6. The Nadas play from 1-3 and The Box Brothers play from 4-6.

News from the Dawg Pound

Monica was featured in a recent article in The Ogden Reporter. In case you missed it, I have kindly placed the text below:

Monica Henning Sharpens he Styling Skills

Monica Henning of Roland sharpened her professional edge and took her hair coloring and cutting talent to the next level at the Redken Exchange in New York City.

Henning was one of the few salon professionals who attended classes at the Exchange Monday, June 1, 2009. Along with stylists from around the globe, Henning learned advanced techniques in hair design and hair color from leading experts in the salon industry.

Classes ranged from color basics to editorial photo shoots. She spent four days in New York City where she not only exchanged tips, ideas and techniques with other stylists but also got the latest information on hair care, hair color and styling products.

This was not Henning’s first trip to New York City. Twice in the last two years she has been to the heart of Greenwich Village, NY at the Matrix Academy. She studied in Chicago and Las Vegas and has had training in Milwaukee, WI as well.

Henning says the two most important aspects of her career are first, her clients, followed closely by her education. She believes that to truly give her clients what they want, and deserve, she must keep her creativity flowing.

Henning is a 1997 OHS graduate and graduated from Professional Cosmetology Institute in 2005 with honors, in color and retail, achieving a level four status. She has since been working at the Salon at Younkers.

See the article in person:


I Can Not Tell A Lie

It is often, most likely, mistaught to the children of America that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree. The story is used as an example of George Washington’s veracity.

I’ve heard the story, but what is most intriguing about the story to me is why he would chop down the tree?

When I moved into my home, I had two mystery trees in the backyard. My hope of hopes was that they were cherry trees. However, the people that examined them determined them to be magnolia or crabapple trees.

As the fates would have it, they were wrong. I have two cherry trees.

Although I did not know that I had cherry trees, every bird in the county did know about my trees. I was warned that I needed to cover the trees with nets to prevent these flying thieves (with apologies to the Bible, they didn’t reap or sow) from making off with my cherries.

I purchased the requisite net and Jesse and I spent close to an hour getting it over the trees.

I Can Not Tell a Lie

I Can Not Tell a Lie

After the nets were up, I ran a sample batch of cherries over to Shannon, my cherry expert, for a determination on whether or not they were ready for picking.

She determined that they were ready to be picked and we scheduled a cherry picking appointment. What I didn’t know, was that this was also a cherry pie baking appointment.

I can not tell a lie. I didn’t really participate in the pie baking, but I have since participated in the pie eating.

Cherry Pie
The Bounty

Cherry Pie
Shannon with the Bounty

Cherry Pie
Shannon removing the pits.

Cherry Pie
Cutting the lattice. It was the first time this cheese spreader had been removed from its box.

Cherry Pie
Shannon making a mess in my kitchen. Actually Shannon still owes me one mess, because I recently tracked mud into her apartment and also left a sizable mess behind when we bound calendars. So I’m up on her 2 messes to 1.

Cherry Pie
Shannon rolling out the pie crust. Both Jen and Shannon are tremendous pie crust snobs. Neither will even consider the remote possibility that a person could make a pie with anything other than crust made from scratch.

Cherry Pie
Removing the pits from cherries is a messy business.

Cherry Pie
Shannon Picking Cherries

Cherry Pie
Shannon Picking Cherries

Cherry Pie
The Proud Owner of a Shannon Baked, extremely juicy Cherry Pie.

After looking at one of the pictures of Shannon picking cherries I thought it might be interesting to Photoshop that picture with one of my favorite Photoshop techniques. I thought it would look interesting due to the nets.

Cherry Pie

Now that I have officially enjoyed the fruits of my cherry trees, I know one thing for certain. If George Washington ever came over to my house and chopped down one of my cherry trees, I would lay him out. Founding Father or not.

Night Flowers: Session 3

I was yet to be satisfied with my images of the alliums, so I wandered back for a 3rd session with the night and the flowers.

When I look at these pictures, I recall the words of Marc Chagall:

“Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers – and never succeeding.”

Night Flowers 3

Night Flowers 3

Night Flowers 3

Night Flowers 3

Night Flowers 3

Night Flowers 3

Night Flowers 3

I am moderately satisfied with one of these pictures.

Skin to Win

A lifetime ago I knew this girl that was entering a wet t-shirt contest. She was explaining to Jesse, Jay and I her strategy for winning this contest.

We tried our best to explain to her that there really is only one strategy for winning a wet t-shirt contest.

That strategy, of course, is “Skin to Win!”

She didn’t believe us.

While you are probably wondering why I am telling you the story of somebody that would sell their dignity so cheaply, the answer is simple. On a recent wet morning, I wandered out of my house and took a few pictures of some wet plants.

I hope you find them to be as sexy as I do.

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

Wet Stuff

If you are wondering, this girl’s strategy was about teasing. She did in fact lose to a girl that knew the cardinal rule of wet t-shirt contests.


On Saturday, June 20, 2009 I headed to Ottumwa with Sara to help Jen and Derrick with the house that they are trying to unload down there.

Before we left, we stopped for lunch at George the Chili King. I had never eaten there, but I called Jen to see if she wanted us to pick up some lunch for her.

Her only response was to remind me that the toilet in Ottumwa does not work that well.

I snapped a few pictures with the phone (although not a great camera, it is the reason I selected the phone) to document my Chili King experience.

One of the bonuses of the trip was getting to introduce Jen, Sara, Jill and Derrick to the greatness of Bonne Finken.

Pictures of Jill and Derrick listening to Bonne Finken.




I wish I had some pictures of the basement powerwashing, but alas, you will have to imagine what that looked like.