When a vicious killer is caught, sometimes the townspeople lose control of their emotions and take matters into their own hands. While it is a little less common these days, people would sometimes storm the jail to execute the prisoners themselves. Often it was thought that justice would not be served in the court system. People fear the possibility that the killer might get off and be back out in society again. These days, it is pretty hard to storm a jail, but jails weren’t as secure then, as they are now.
On November 9, 1933, Brooke Hart was abducted by two men in his own Studebaker. His family received a $40,000 ransom demand and, soon after, Hart’s wallet was found on a tanker ship in a nearby bay. The investigative trail led to John Holmes and Thomas Thurmond, who implicated each other in separate confessions. Both acknowledged, that Hart had been pistol-whipped and then thrown off the San Mateo Bridge. After Hart’s body washed ashore on November 25, a vigilante mob began to form. Newspapers reported the possibility of a lynching and local radio stations broadcast the plan. Not only did Governor James Rolph reject the National Guard’s offer to send assistance, he reportedly said he would pardon those involved in the lynching. Now, when you have a governor who is on the side on the lynch mob, you have a volatile situation.
On November 26, 1933, thousands of people in San Jose, California, stormed the jail where Thomas Thurmond and John Holmes were being held. The angry mob converged at the jail and beat the guards, using a battering ram to break into the cells. Then, Thurmond and Holmes were dragged out and hanged from large trees in a nearby park. Contrary to the way most of us think, when our emotions aren’t raw, the public seemed to welcome the gruesome act of vigilante violence. After the incident, pieces of the lynching ropes were sold to the public. Though the San Jose News declined to publish pictures of the lynching, it condoned the act in an editorial. Seventeen-year-old Anthony Cataldi bragged that he had been the leader of the mob but he was not held accountable for his participation. At Stanford University, a professor asked his students to stand and applaud the lynching. Perhaps most disturbing, Governor Rolph publicly praised the mob. “The best lesson ever given the country,” said Governor Rolph. “I would like to parole all kidnappers in San Quentin to the fine, patriotic citizens of San Jose.” I understand the anger, but not the method. While the two killers might have deserved the death penalty for their crimes, this was not the way it should have happened. Nevertheless, I guess justice was served…even if it was vigilante justice.
With kids, you never really know what is going to happen. One minute they’re happily playing and the next, one or more are taking sides against another. The funny thing is that often the fighting is so noisy that the adults aren’t sure what happened or who is to blame. Other times the fight is a little bit more of the silent treatment, so often no one really realizes that there was a problem, until it shows up in a picture. That is obviously what was going on that day between my nieces, Jessi and Michelle, while Lindsay wasn’t sure what to make of the whole situation, and the adults didn’t know anything was wrong. Jessi was trying very hard to get the message across to Michelle that she should get out of here!! The funny thing is that Jessi and Michelle get along very well, and are in fact friends, but that day, they were definitely on the outs!! I would love to know what that fight was all about, and maybe one of them will remember it, and tell us…if they aren’t too embarrassed about it. The funny thing to me is the fact that I have looked at this picture dozens of times, but this was the first time that I noticed that anything was amiss. I have to wonder how many others missed it too.
Most kids have times when they wish the younger kids would just get out of here…it just goes with the territory of being older. Unfortunately, there are very few times when they really have control over it. All the younger ones had to do was tattle to a parent, and they got to stay…with the possible exception of the older child’s room. This usually caused total irritation by the older child, who vowed to get even at the soonest possibly opportunity. I have been both the older and the younger child in that scenario and I think that in reality, neither is fun, but if I had to choose, I’d rather be the older child. At least with the older child, they get the a few of the privileges of age.
I think it is so funny to see the candid expressions on children’s faces, because they don’t hold anything back. If they are happy, they look delighted, and when they are mad…well, you know it!! Jessi is normally such a smiley girl, so to see her glaring at Michelle was so shocking. Not to say that she can’t get mad, but those girls get along so well, and really always have, so this look of total disdain was very much unlike them. It looked to me like Michelle, was definitely intimidated by Jessi, and didn’t feel real interested in crossing the imaginary line Jessi had drawn. All I can say is that whatever the problem was, it was probably short lived, and they both lived through the ordeal. I’m sure that later…after they saw the picture, they probably laughed about it for some time.
In church on Sunday, we were talking about patience…a subject that we all need to think about, but often don’t. It brought to mind something that happened to me years ago…on my way to my bridal shower. For those of you who are a part of the Byer family, you will understand how this could happen. And for those who aren’t, the Byer family has a different way of looking at time than the rest of the world. They operate on Byer Time, and that is 30 to 60 minutes later than the time that the clock shows. Unfortunately for some of us in this family, being fashionably late is not something we ever thought was the right way to do things. I happened to be one of those people, due to being half Spencer maybe, while my mother…a Byer by birth, even if she was half Pattan, definitely operated on Byer Time. I will say that time and circumstances can mellow a person, and I don’t stress about the time nearly as much as I used to, especially concerning Byer family functions.
Mom and I were on our way to my bridal shower, and as usual, we were running late, because Mom took so long to get ready. I was ready early, and growling around like a caged lion. Finally we were on our way, with every stop light and every slow moving car in front of me raising my anger level even more. I was driving, and yelling at everything as we went, and I came up on a car a little way before we got to the turn by the Wagon Wheel Roller Rink, that was moving particularly slow…at least in my mind. Mom tried in vain to calm me down, but I was having none of it. I screamed at the woman, and at some point (looking back I’m not sure just where or how) I passed her, screaming and yelling at her all the way
It was at this point that I realized that the woman in the slow moving car, was none other than my Great Aunt Gladys. Now she never said a word about my behavior, but then she didn’t have to. Not only was I horrified that I had acted in such a way toward one of my favorite great aunts, but then I got to face her at the shower. As I said, she never said a word about it, but I had to carry on a conversation with her, hoping that she was still speaking to me, and hoping that my face didn’t show the true level of the humiliation I felt.
I have had several turning points in my life, concerning patience…or the lack thereof, and each one of them has left it’s impressions on my mind. I have to hope that I have learned a few things about that in my lifetime, and I often feel like I have a good handle on it now…until the next episode, that is.
Little kids don’t care if their attitude needs adjusting. All they know is that you made them mad, someone made them mad, or something made them mad. No matter the cause, they will simply tell you, “I’m just mad!” and you get to deal with it. It is usually a very expressive face that is given to this little attitude of their too, but some kids seem to do that look better than others. Even years later, you can look at the picture and know that the person who took that picture is really on that kids bad list right then.
What really fascinates me about these pictures, is not that this little kid is mad, or that they need an attitude adjustment, it is the expressiveness of their anger. Their face and body language so totally tell the story behind their feelings, and often the reason for taking the picture at all. I don’t know who the little boy in the first picture is, except that he is in an old album belonging to my husband’s family, but what I do know is that he looks just like a little gunfighter, who is mad enough at the photographer, to call them out for a gunfight at the OK Corral.
It also strikes me as funny that sometimes the way a kid shows anger can mimic someone from their ancestor pool, whether it is far back or not. My daughter Amy always had a very funny way of showing her anger. It involved not only her face, which was very expressive, but her arms which she crossed in front of her and then pulled to one side. I always thought that was pretty unique to her, until my cousin sent me a picture of our family when my sister, Alena was about 3 or 4, and there was a very similar way of expressing anger just staring at me from the past.
Alena had always had a very expressive way of showing her anger, and my other sisters and I knew not to mess with her much until she was fully awake, which usually involved several cups of coffee, in her early teens. Still, I never remembered seeing that same little display of anger that I thought was so unique to my daughter, Amy. It just goes to show that we all have traits that can be passed down, and it doesn’t always go from parent to child. It often comes from aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents.
No matter where it comes from, displays of anger in little kids can be very funny. Their serious little faces, telling you that you are such a meanie and that you should get a spanking, or better yet be called out to a gunfight, serve only to reduce their parents to giggles. What is even more amazing is that the parents can manage to hold themselves together long enough to snap the picture…which probably makes the kid even more mad.
Tonight we received the news that Usama Bin Laden is dead. As I look back over the last decade, I am amazed at how much has changed. We are a different country than we were before this evil man came on the scene. Bin Laden was a man filled with hate. It was a hatred that was aimed at people of many nations and faiths. Basically this man was insane with his hatred.
With the attacks of September 11, 2001, came a global distrust of others. We were leery of people who looked similar to the 9-11 attackers. We were nervous about anything odd concerning our aircraft. We became untrusting of people of different beliefs and cultures. It had to be, because we had to protect ourselves.
It is a sad thing that people can become so consumed with hate…so possessed!! Usama Bin Laden had become a cancer in the world. And like all cancers the only solution to the problem is to kill it. He would never have stopped. His hatred was so huge that he spent his fortune to recruit people to carry out his evil plans. The world can breathe a collective sigh of relief at his death.
What is unfortunate is that there are others who will continue his hatred and terrorism. Our world has many cells of people who, like Bin Laden, hate Americans and all our allies. We have to continue to be strong in our resolve to rid our world of terrorists. We may never get rid of them, but with each one that is removed, we move the tiniest bit closer to a safer world.
There are a lot of people today that have an irritable habit. Now I know that you are probably thinking that you could name a few very irritating habits, but I’m talking about an Irritable Habit, meaning that something irritates them, and they are irritated the rest of the day. I have the definite ability to fall into that category, if I’m not careful, and I’m sure you do too. Something makes us mad early in the day, and while it didn’t even begin to be something that should have affected the rest of our day, we couldn’t get it off of our mind.
Sometimes, we allow those little irritations to define who we are. In fact, it can feel like being possessed. This is because we have allowed ourselves to dwell on things that haven’t gone our way. Sometimes, we even think that people do thing to irritate us on purpose. We get to where we can’t seem to say a nice thing to anyone. Our attitude becomes sarcastic and mean. Before we know it, anything and everything makes us mad. You see, irritation can become a habit. After a while we don’t even remember how it all got started.
If we can begin to understand that everybody deserves a little understanding, and that they probably didn’t mean to irritate us in the first place, we might learn to forgive and move on to happiness. I had someone tell me the other day that a person I know to be very blessed, is always irritated. How sad is that? This person has so much going for them, and yet the people who mean the most to them are under the impression that they aren’t happy. Now that…is truly sad.
Why is it that we like social networking so much? I’m sure the reasons are as varied as the users…and the moments. I think many of us start out networking just to see what it’s all about, but then we get hooked. We like socializing. We like seeing what is going on in friends lives. We like reconnecting with friends from the past, or relatives who have moved far away. We can see pictures of babies as they grow, or post goofy faces to make our friends laugh. For many of us it can be very addictive.
Sometimes however, I think we just want to have our say without repercussion. Everyone has the right to free speech, right? Well maybe, but I’ve seen plenty of times were someone was chewed out pretty bad for having their say on a social network site. And maybe sometimes that is what they want. The shock factor. I think that when people constantly post negative, profanity filled, angry posts, they are looking for someone to argue with, and hoping someone will take the bait. Now I’m not saying that every negative post is that way, but the constant negative posts…I mean, can anyone’s life really be that horrible? Or do they want attention?
Another type of attention could be the reason too. Sometimes I think people are actually screaming for attention. A good example of this might be the kids who are constantly screaming about how awful their life or day was. Sometimes I wonder if they get much attention at home, but even if some don’t, it can’t always be that way. There are plenty of angry kids out there who have great parents, who spend a lot of time at their wits end. Their kids don’t talk to them, they scream. They are always venting about how horrible their lives are. The problem with that is that eventually they can’t find anything to be positive about. And they go on raging and raging until something finally changes.
But sometimes, the person on the social networking sites is just trying to see if anyone is out there. Loneliness can come in many forms. Sometimes the most heartbreaking things are first told to friends on Facebook. It isn’t a matter of wanting to get information out, it is a matter of feeling like people care. Like you don’t have to face this alone. When we post some of those terribly painful things, we want people to respond. To make us feel hugged…held. To make us feel loved. And for some, who are going through the worst types of pain, the losses, sometimes they are just looking for life after…
I have been noticing more and more children today thinking that the quality of their life and indeed, their very self worth, depends on how their day went at school, or whether a guy/girl likes them, or if their friend is mad at them. These things might seem like their life depends on the outcome, but the reality is that in a few years, none of this will matter. Their school years will pass, and they will look back and wonder what the big deal was.
The negative posts on Facebook, My Space, Twitter and more tell me that even the adults have somehow become caught up in that type of thinking. It concerns me that all the negative posts by adults are teaching our young people that this is just how adults act.
I would like to point out that very few people are still in the same dreary state in ten years, or often even the next day. Most people are going places. They are going to become something. Get married. Have children. Get jobs. These school years are so very short in comparison to the years of a life, that it is like a drop in the bucket of time. Sure, life is a wild ride, filled with its ups and downs, but most of you will survive the “horrible” moments…if you don’t give up on yourself.
So, next time you are tempted feel sorry for yourself about how horrible your life is, remember that today is but a fleeting moment in time, and the ups and downs that go with it, will be long forgotten very soon, because you are going places. Keep your chin up and look forward, to the future. It is just around the corner.
There is so much negativity in our world today. Our children rage over everything. The internet is filled kids and adults cussing each other out on the pages of Facebook, My Space, Twitter and more. The fights are very public and very ugly. And after the original post, come all the comments, some in full cuss mode agreement, while others chew out the person who said such awful stuff in the first place, and then those who try to console the poor abused one. Now, don’t misunderstand me, I know that the life of a teenager and very often adults, can be hard, but is the internet the proper place to vent our anger, and the reality of it is that anger and bitterness just breeds more anger and bitterness.
When we decide to have a “pity party” the goal is to get a lot of people into it and thereby make ourselves feel better, because we know that so many people care about us, but it’s funny how after the party is over, we just go back to feeling bad and because we haven’t tried to be happy in life, we can easily end up being a bitter, hateful, lonely person.
Being angry and raging at the culprit doesn’t succeed in making us feel better, no matter how much we would like it too. When we are angry, we sit an brood over the problem, and continue to get angrier and angrier. And yet we continue to think that getting it all out will somehow help. All we are doing is planting a seed of bitterness by raging in the first place, and watering that seed by brooding over the problem.
We all make mistakes, and quite possibly if we try to be understanding of other people’s shortcomings, they would return the favor. Happiness is contagious, as is kindness, understanding, forgiveness and patience. We should all pass it on.