Augustus Van Horne

Submitted by MEB “Michael Elliott Leander John Bacon”
I have to appologize to all.  I am thinking of an old lawyer who had an office in the small stucco building across from the post office, between the hotel and the telephone building.  His name was Osborne, I think.  It was not Augustus at all.
The name of the movie is “Gone with the Wind”.
I had a note from one receipient of this silliness (vital history) who asked to be taken off.  So I looked at the list and wonder how many more resent receiving our mental excursions?  Conversely who ought to receive them and is not?
Katherine Fay once told mother that the hotel (opened 1867 as the Exchange Hotel) saw many instances of things, behaviors which were hidden from the light of day.  When asked to explain, she just giggled. It is time for the secrets to be revealed.  The closely guarded secrets, the real life of the good people of Pawnee City.  Who will begin?
Before we leave Augustus Van Horne, who was Augustus named for?
a-  Gaius Octavian Caeser of the Juliae?
b-  The life long friend of Marcus Agrippa?
c-  The “first Citizen” of Rome, who ordered the birth of  Jesus of Nazareth?
d-  All of the above?
One day, Maurice Van Horne came to visit his sister-in-law, Mabel, wife of Augustus.  He drove his car up, over the curb, into the yard and left the door swinging open.  Why did Maurice do this?    meb

Submitted by: Bill “Duke” Snyder

t was our freshman or sophomore year and I was playing basketball in the gym over noon hour. Yes, Mr. Bucknell did take to the doctor’s clinic which was located north of the post office. When it was time to get the cast off I went the doctor’s office and John Byries (sp) thought it would be great fun if sawed off the cast. I was taken back a bit but the cast came off anyway. The arm had not healed properly and they sent me to Lincoln to have it re-broken and I got to do the healing all over again. Mr. Bucknell deserved more respect than he got and I wish I could have told him so before he passed.

Ronnie Ray just got a new pet dog (not sure of the breed – probably a speckled redneck). He said that it eats a lot but has not started eating meat yet. Hopefuly soon. His name is Bgawk.

Also, he says that it has a peculiar bark, but the neighbors are impressed, particularly when the sun comes up in the morning.

He has not seen it lift its leg to pee yet but he is sure it will soon.

Bgawk likes to ride in the Hudson but Ronnie has to leave him home because the messes he leaves on the seat is too hard to clean up.  He does OK in the back of the pickup though (Ronnie can just hose it out).

Ronnie likes to take Bgawk into town but people keep their distance because Bgawk has a nasty bite. The people at Neiders will not let Bgawk in the store so he has to be tied up outside. There usually are not too many people in the store when Bgawk shows up so Ronnie can get his shopping done quick.

Bgawk is a great watch dog as long as he stays in Ronnie’s yard. One day Bgawk got loose and ran all over town. The volunteer fire department was assembled with the siren and they tried to lasso Bgawk but he would not have any part of that. When they got close to him he barked (very odd sound, more like a howl) and tried to bite them and chased them off. So they just let Bgawk run wild until he got tired and Ronnie was able to get him into his pickup and take him home.

I am sure there will be some future tales about Ronnie and Bgawk.

I thought you would enjoy these!

Continue Reading »

Bacon and the Crayfish

Submitted by Michael Elliott Leander John Bacon:

A tale from the poor side of town.

My family lived for years in  a tiny house in the west end of Pawnee City.  It was not a neighborhood which one would describe as desirable.  I don’t know if it was on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, but it was beside the tracks.

It was close to Turkey Creek.  Turkey Creek flooded every year, in the Spring.  As it did field mice, snakes and other moving things would surround the house seeking refuge.  The floods rarely lasted very long, a few days at most. But it was impressive to watch the torrents when it did.  Such awesome and rageful power!  And it would take days more for  waters to receed into the banks.

One year, when the water’s return to the creek itself was complete, I walked over to watch it as it still surged.  I did not notice until I turned to go home that I was completely surrounded by crayfish.  Hundreds of crayfish.  Abandoned on the land by the risen water.  There were little crayfish and large crayfish, all sizes and ages, left there  wriggling, bereft of hope.  Yet their eyes seemed trained on me , right there in their midst.  I knew they would come and get me in their despair.

I panicked.  The hair stood up on my head and shivers went up and down my spine.  I began to kill them with rocks. After a carnage, with many casualties, the perpetrator of which was me, I managed to escape.

Back that house I felt like I had done something unforgivable, by my own hand. I still feel that as I write this.  Mom said that if I had picked them up, she would have cooked them.

Submitted by Michael Eliott Leander John Bacon:

It may not be wise, even at this date, to admit to crimes which we committed.  There is a pity in that, but…there is one legend to which people still living can attest or say is bunk:

The High School in Pawnee City was credited for years as being academically of very high quality.  Credit was given to its Superintendent, Wesley R. Bratt.  Equally important was the music program of Arthur Schrepl.  These two were contemporaries and worked at the school over the same decades.

One graduating class, the which I do not know, after graduation ceremonies, grabbed Mr. Bratt and held him out of the second floor window by his feet.I never believed this story.  I can’t imagine it. 

Mr. Bratt exuded an awesome aura.  When he entered a boisterous study hall or classroom, it went quiet.  His presence was sufficient.  He was also willing to help and individual student with studies, math especially. He was respected at a level rare at that time and this.

Mrs. Bratt taught English.  She was equally highly respected. I never had her, and in retrospect wish I had.  I needed a corrective to my lifelong commitment to silliness.

Others have honored the Bratts.  In fact I think there is a foundation established in the name of Mr. Bratt.  Barry Kennedy may have had a part in that.Even in our bedimmed state, we knew we had something special in teachers such as these. 

Allia Gauli in partes tes divisa est.  Would someone fix that? (huh?)

Submitted by Bill Snyder:

The Star Cafe was a family friendly place and dad was determined to keep it that way. Because it was a common meeting place for people of all ages there were times when some felt the need to act out in unacceptable ways.  A kid we called Splash was sitting in one of the back booth and had become very mouthy. Now Splash earned his name from by making huge canon balls at the swimming pool due to his large size. Dad went back to the booth and told Splash to tone it down because he was bothering the other customers.  Splash tried to blow dad off with an inappropriate smart remark. Dad reached over and grabbed this large kid and lifted him up to expose a large bottom. This was apparently an opportunity for dad to apply the belt of wisdom to the seat of misunderstanding. Splash yelped “You better not hit me or I will tell my mom!”  Dad replied “Sonny, your momma can’t help you now.”