Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday 6/2/24

Mosswood Storefront | Cloudy | Turkey Vulture | Tony Craver | Lotus Pond | Laytonville Grocery | Library Hiring | AVUSD News | Mendocino Headlands | AV Events | County Laureate | Reconnect Work | Ed Notes | Maid Freddy | Yesterday's Catch | Meeting God | Subdued Atmosphere | MEC Juneteenth | Marco Radio | Dogs Welcome | SF Arrogance | Kiss Photo | Martyr Act | No Farmer | Convicted Felon | Gallows Humor | Trump Trials | Singing Stampede | Judicial Assassination | Misanthrope Snoid | Slow Walk | Young Nixon | Keep Movin' | Type O

Mosswood Market, Boonville

A VERY LATE SEASON ATMOSPHERIC RIVER will bring light rain to the North Coast this afternoon, with a period of moderate to heavy rainfall late tonight into Monday. [Light rain will begin to push into Del Norte County and northern Humboldt this afternoon, and then spread southward all along the coast. The potential for heavier rain rates will arrive late tonight into Monday morning….] Heat will quickly build back in by mid next week with interior highs over 100 degrees. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A warm 53F in the fog this Sunday morning on the coast. With a northwest wind & the fog looking to be along the coast only I expect clearing sometime this morning. We now have a 50% chance of rain tomorrow morning, hectic. Clear skies & light winds are forecast for the rest of the week.

Turkey Vulture, Westport Beach at Howard Creek (Jeff Goll)


by Sheriff Matt Kendall

I received a call this evening and was advised that retired Mendocino County Sheriff Anthony ‘Tony’ Craver had passed away in Idaho.

I don’t have a lot of the details other than that he passed away June 1, 2024 at around 1:00 AM.

Tony served the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for 34 years in various assignments. Tony was the Coastal Commander for many years until he was elected and assumed office as Sheriff in 1999. Tony served as sheriff until his retirement in 2005.

Tony was the Lieutenant on the coast which was my first patrol assignment following my service in the jail. He later promoted me to the rank of Sergeant in 1999.

Craver, former DA Norm Vroman and Pebbles Trippet at a marijuana panel discussion in 1999.

Tony had an incredible sense of humor and he truly cared about people. Tony also had a business side which was no nonsense.

If you were ever called to his office he would make his points clearly and without mincing words. Tony always ensured his directions were known and followed by his deputies. Tony also made a point that everyone who walked out of his office left with their dignity intact. He clearly showed how kind a person can be when they are strong and able.

I remember as a very young deputy working the Redwood Summer protests during the early 1990s. We received briefings and directions from Tony prior to deployments to the protests.

I was always impressed with his ability to calm things in heated situations and to hear both sides. During those times Tony often reminded us, we don’t have a side and to simply enforce the law with respect for all. He would also remind us we all had friends on both sides of the line and to treat folks accordingly without being walked on.

These were lessons that have served me well and for that I am very grateful.

Tony remained a friend to me following his retirement and I will miss him.

We will have more details in the next few days.

Mendo Coast Botanical Gardens (Falcon)


by Jim Shields, Chairman, Laytonville Municipal Advisory Council

I’m so pleased to inform everyone that after a six-month unannounced closure, the former Geiger’s Long Valley Market is tentatively scheduled for re-opening within the next 30 days.

For those of you who read my weekly column in the Mendocino County Observer, and other county newspapers, you’re well aware of all the details surrounding the store’s closure orchestrated by former store owner Michael Braught. I’m not going to rehash that abysmal history.

Instead, I’ll provide you with a summary narrative of where everything is currently.

This past Thursday, May 30, I met with the new owner, Haji Alam who is CEO of he Faiazan Corporation, the company that purchased Geiger’s Market from Michael Braught last August. We met at the market for about an hour. I also had my water district office manager Tracey Athey with me, who is a former long-time employee of Geiger’s. I thought it would be a good idea to have someone to advise me who is very familiar with and experienced in the operations of the grocery business. Here’s a brief sum-up of what we discussed and learned from Mr. Alam.

  • The first thing you should know is Alam stated several times his management team is in the process of contacting former Geiger’s employees to let them know that they will be re-hired at the new store. We’ve double-checked on this and former employees have confirmed they’ve been contacted.
  • The name of the store has been legally changed from “Geiger’s Long Valley Market” to “Laytonville Long Valley Market.”
  • The day before our meeting with Alam, on Wednesday, May 29th, a Superior Court judge ruled that Braught had violated certain terms and conditions of the original purchase agreement by not making required payments to Faizan.
  • The judge ordered Braught to turn over the keys to the store so that Alam could begin the re-opening process.
  • The following day when we met with Alam in the store, employees were present cleaning the facility and taking inventory of the store’s equipment and furnishings.
  • According to Alam, numerous items, equipment, and assets that were part of the purchase agreement were missing and/or unaccounted for.
  • Alam stated he will be suing Braught for damages and attempt to get a court order for the return of the “missing” items and equipment.

Another interesting development is that two weeks Braught put his Geiger’s Hopland Market up for sale at $3.4 million.

Also at the same time, Braught put his Montana ranch up for sale; he’s asking $6.6 million.

While no on knows for sure what Braught may be up to with these attempted sell-offs, it appears he may have a cash flow problem

New Laytonville Grocery Store To Appear On Jim Shields Radio Show

On Saturday, June 8th, Haji Alam, new owner of the Laytonville Long Valley Market, will appear on Jim Shields “This & That” radio program on Saturday, June 8th. Shields program can be heard every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live:

Be sure and tune in to learn more details about the re-opening of Laytonville’s Long Valley Market.

Alam will also appear at the Wednesday, June 26 Laytonville Area Municipal Advisor Council meeting. The meeting gets underway at 6:30pm at Laytonville Healthy Start.


Dear Anderson Valley Community,

The end of the year has come quickly upon us and now we celebrate a series of important milestones. Here is our graduation and promotion schedule for the week. Please join us at the Junior Senior high school gym. One of the hallmarks of AV is the joyful celebration of students by their families. Please come and the community is welcome:

Tuesday, June 4: 6th Grade Promotion 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 5: 8th Grade Promotion 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 6: High School Graduation 7:00 p.m.

The elementary site will mark the end of the year with Field Day. This beloved event always needs extra volunteers, so if you can lend a hand please stop by the office.

At the high school amid the last minute preparation for high school graduation, three of our “mad scientist” teachers will be performing a groundbreaking celebration to kick off construction that starts on Monday. That event will be at 12 o’clock on Thursday and feature a little bit of silliness and some popsicles, so you can never go wrong. Join us in the Senior Oval.

Cupples Construction moves in Monday morning to take over the high school site to begin the remodel. I want to thank Dennis Johnson and Guy Kephart for all of their work in moving everything in preparation for this major event. I also wish to thank the staff members that have been impacted by this packing schedule. They have really done a great job and it is so appreciated.

You may have noticed that the basketball court by the domes had a little bit of work being done on the site. This is in preparation for the three portable classrooms. The basketball courts will be restored after the portables are removed.

On a positive note we did have two principal interviews for the elementary site this week. Both candidates were excellent. One of them will be visiting in the next week or so to contemplate if she would like to move from Oregon to Boonville. To all of you who have responded with housing opportunities, I really appreciate it. We will keep you posted. I want to thank both candidates for their kindness and interest.

I would also like to thank the transportation staff for all of their hard work and flexibility this year. A big shout out to Marcia Martinez, Manuel Soto, Soledad Barrosa, and Dennis Johnson. Being a bus driver is an unbelievable responsibility when you’re caring for so many kids every day by yourself, while you are driving down the highway. We don’t say thank you enough. We also appreciate the many times that they change their schedule, as they support our students in going to out of the area events and field trips.

Coach Toohey wants me to remind everyone to be sure to report to the fall sports practices by the dates posted in his updates. Not doing so could result in ineligibility. The rules around sports are strict as far as CIF, so we want to make sure we comply. Also, don’t forget to have your student receive a sports physical. Students that do not have a current sports physical will not be allowed to practice or play. The clinic is available with appointments in the summer and they will grant you an appointment even if it's not yet a year. Please reach out and get that done, so you don’t have any disruption to your students' extracurricular sports.

I look forward to celebrating with you.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

AV Unified School District

Mendocino Headlands (Jeff Goll)



After receiving nominations for over 30 poets, studying the applications of the nominees that chose to be considered, and conducting in-depth interviews, we are excited and proud to announce that the first Poet Laureate of Mendocino County will be Devreaux Baker. All members of the Poet Laureate Committee heartily agree that she embodies so much of what is best in poetry and that she has the skill and commitment to bring that to this county as a whole.

Devreaux Baker

Devreaux Baker has published five books of poetry and received the PEN Oakland Award for her book of poetry, Red Willow People. Her poetry has been published in numerous magazines and journals including The Crab Orchard Review, ZYZZYVA, Persimmon Tree, and Poetry in Flight/Poesia En Velo. She has received the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Poetry Fellowship in Taos, New Mexico, the Hawthornden Castle Poetry Fellowship in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the MacDowell Poetry Fellowship in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Her poetry awards include: the 2022 Fischer International Poetry Prize, the 2019 Barbara Mandigo Kelly International Peace Poetry Prize, the 2017 Joe Gouveia Outermost International Poetry Prize, the 2016 U.S. Poets in Mexico Award, the 2012 Hawaii Council on Humanities International Poetry Prize, and the 2010 Women’s Global Leadership Poetry Award. She has taught in this county with the California Poets in the Schools program and produced The Voyager’s Radio Program of Original Student Writing for KZYX with a California Arts Council Grant.

At this juncture some of you might ask, “What is a Poet Laureate?” It is an honorary position. There is a Poet Laureate of the United States, a California State Poet Laureate, and in recent years many counties, cities, and other entities have also established Poet Laureate positions. A Poet Laureate is generally expected to be a highly regarded writer that will be the public face of poetry for the duration of their term in office (in this case 2 years). It will be the Poet Laureate’s duty to engage with as much of our county as possible to generally inspire us, spread an understanding of the art of poetry, use poetry to celebrate and commemorate certain occasions, and engage in projects of her choosing to enhance our cultural lives.

One of the projects Devreaux Baker will pursue as Mendocino County’s first Poet Laureate is publishing an anthology of Mendocino County Women Poets, Spirit of Place, Volume II to follow the Mendocino Women Poets Anthology; Wood, Water, Air and Fire which was published in 1999 and which she also helped edit.

The new Poet Laureate will be formally acknowledged at the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting on June 4th. At the 49th anniversary and 19th consecutive revival of the Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration on Sunday, June 16, 2024, Devreaux Baker will be “crowned” by the poetry community at Mendocino High School.

At this time we would also like to acknowledge some of the historic shoulders that our current poetry community stands upon: Mary Norbert Korte and ruth weiss (who both died too soon to be honored as our Poet Laureate), Sharon Doubiago (whose health doesn’t allow her to travel here anymore), Dan Roberts (whose health didn’t allow him to pursue his Poet Laureate nomination), and two poets who in the last few months have left this life, Gordon Black (KZYX programmer, and for many years the principal convener of the annual Mendocino Spring Poetry Celebration), and Bill Bradd.

For interviews, to schedule readings, or more information on the Mendocino County Poet Laureate Program go to: Or if you do not have access to the internet you can send snail mail to: Mendocino County Poet Laureate Program, P.O. Box 67, Willits, CA, 95490.

The Mendocino Poet Laureate Committee is Michael Riedell (former Ukiah Poet Laureate, District 2), Blake More (Point Arena Poet Laureate, District 5), Larry Felson (District 4), and Kirk Lumpkin (District 3).

(Mendocino County Press Release)

A READER WRITES: Things are looking kinda scary in Boonville…


GUSTAVO ARELLANO’S essay on the necessity of American in Paris and Rhapsody in Blue prompted me to listen to them again, remembering when I listened to them over and over again after I heard them for the first time because the odd guy in the room next door played them all the time, and in that house there were no secrets.

THAT HOUSE was in the 700 block of Scott was beautifully done from a time the wealthy in San Francisco lived on the heights up around Buena Vista Park from where you could see all the way east through downtown to the Bay and into the Berkeley hills. The beautiful house had fallen, not in beauty but in tenants, having been subdivided into low rent rooms. It's since been restored to its original gloriousness but in '63 it was home to me, a guy who threw himself down the stairs every night, a German baker from the old country who could barely restrain his fascist opinions, and Henry Cohen, a belligerent longshoreman and communist who claimed he'd fought with the Cubans when the counterrevolutionaries hit the beach at the Bay of Pigs.

HENRY seemed to take it upon himself to explain the ways of the world to me. “The trouble with you kid is you're not educated,” not that I argued the proposition, but he meant educated in Marxism whose basic texts put me to sleep and still do although I've mastered the Manifesto, finding nothing in it to argue with.

MY FIRST NIGHT as a tenant, the guy threw himself down the stairs from the shared kitchen. Alarmed, I ran out to the rescue. “Relax, kid, he does that every night. For the attention.” He did, too. Every night about 6. I thought about suggesting less dramatic attention getters for much larger audiences than me, the German baker and Henry the communist, but the stair-tumbler knew how to fall because he never hurt himself. I tried getting some personal history out of him but he refused to talk to any of us, and was out the door every morning to whatever job he held, not that any of us could imagine what he could possibly be employed at.

HENRY was embarrassing as hell to go places with, but I always invited him to wherever I was going because he could be depended on to do something unprecedented in my narrow experience. He'd get in political arguments on the street, constantly hit on women, some of them obvious senior citizens. But his topper was one night in Chinatown at a cheap eats place on Jackson when he walked out without paying, the waiter chasing him down the street. “They overcharged me, kid.” Which was impossible because there was nothing on the menu much over a dollar. I paid, but he refused to reimburse me, calling me a sap for being a party to a rip-off.

I KNEW I could count on Henry to disrupt a party I'd been invited to and sure enough he walked in like he lived there and grabbed a slice of birthday cake with his bare hands and proceeded to issue enough lewd comments on the young women present, including the birthday girl, that the birthday girl asked us both to leave. It had occurred to me that Henry's utter lack of restraint meant he was nuts but, as we've seen with so many people, he was a functioning nut, making good money as a longshoreman, properly regarding Harry Bridges as “the greatest man who ever lived.”

THAT interval was my rhapsody in blue, an American in San Francisco.


High prices, an austere setting, and indifferent service don't do well in a community-based market, in my opinion. We shopped for years at the Hopland Superette (bring back the name and the great neon sign) when the Kong family ran it. It was a center of community, right next to the Post Office. It was cluttered. Featured local wines and allowed customers to charge if needed. Stopping in was like visiting neighbors.

Hopefully, an experienced operator can put this renovated and much-needed market back on track.


This was my first trip to Boonville. That's our maid Freddy holding me. The location is a house we rented next to my aunt's Ray's Resort. One of the resort guests complained about Freddy taking me to the beach we had at the resort on the Navarro River. I don't think they were complaining about me yet, seems they didn't care for black people.

CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, June 1, 2024

Aguilar, Alvarez, Alva

EMILY AGUILAR, Sonora/Ukiah. Domestic battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

NICOLE ALVAREZ, Mendocino. Suspended license, false information to peace officer, unlawful display of registration, probation revocation.

JAYME ALVA, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery.

Clausen, Estrada, Gonzalez

JAMES CLAUSEN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.

ALVARO ESTRADA, Gualala. Failure to appear.

YULIEIDY GONZALEZ-NIETO, Richmond, Virgina/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.

Histo, Ramirez, Thornton

ANGEL HISTO, Redwood Valley. Burglary, failure to appear.

GUADALUPE RAMIREZ, Arbuckle/Ukiah. DUI, resisting.

TROY THORNTON, Willits. Failure to appear.


Warmest spiritual greetings,

Enlightened Spiritual Message from the Bowels of Mendocino County

Upon my return to Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center (following two days of hospital ordered isolation at a Motel 6, resulting from an intestinal infection of Norovirus and E. Coli viruses), the current atmosphere in the dorms is subdued. Aside from the fact that I am told that the Dept. of Health has closed the facility to the general public, the reducing of the number of filled beds continues, in order to achieve a lower more manageable number.

Meanwhile, my exit date remains Sunday June 9th at noon. At present I have no idea where I am going. Of course, I have no idea what the future is at all, either now or until I leave this world. That is just the way it is. Repeatedly I have explained that I am fully realized that I am not this body and I am not this mind. As such, the Brahmic Vrittis or Self or God or whatever you wish to call it is what I identify with, and that makes use of this body-mind instrument. That is the way it is! Period.

I am ready to move on, both from the facility and from the county if necessary. I have two more dental appointments: June 19th for a cleaning in Ukiah and July 19th for the crown replacement in Windsor. Beyond that, I do not have any need to be in Mendocino County. I Hope that everyone will be happy with this message.

Craig Louis Stehr

c/o Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center

1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482


MEMO OF THE AIR: Race hierarchy and miscegenation on Barsoom.

Here's the recording of last night's (Friday 2024-05-31) 8-hour Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and (and, for the first hour, also 89.3fm KAKX Mendocino):

Coming shows can feature your story or dream or poem or essay or kvetch or whatever. Just email it to me. Or include it in a reply to this post. Or send me a link to your writing project and I'll take it from there and read it on the air. That's what I'm here for.

Besides all that, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not-necessarily-radio-useful but worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, such as:

Paul Simon documentary. A collection of interviews and concert shots. (via Roggeo)

Nostril puppet singer. I can open and close my nostrils like little mouths without using my fingers, like this girl does. One in ten people can. If you like this, there are other nose tricks that you might entertain the little nieces and nephews with, like: Get two bright penlights that are just a little bigger around than your nostril holes. You get the kids around you in the dark, turn the penlights on, put them up your nose just a little way, and puff out and suck back in through your nose to make it inflate and deflate. It makes your nose into an orange-ish flashing police car light. (via Tacky Raccoons)

And Hotel California in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Marco McClean,,


by Jonah Raskin

I have been living in San Francisco for three years, and, while I want to love it, I encounter hurdles at every turn that inhibit my wanna-be romance. I have a hard time getting beyond and over what I call “the arrogance of the city” that seems to be unlike the arrogance of any other place where I have lived, from Mexico City to Manchester, England and Antwerp, Belgium. San Francisco, “Baghdad by the Bay,” Herb Caen called it, is unique. It’s perched on the western edge of the continental US, facing the Pacific Ocean and looking over its shoulder at the Rockies, the Great Plains and the cities of the Midwest and the East. It boasts glorious Golden Gate Bridge, the grandeur of Golden Gate Park, and world class museums such as the de Young, to say nothing of its big banks and financial institutions that fleece the wretched of the earth and enrich the coffers of the wealthy.

San Francisco citizens seem to believe that their city is avant garde, innovative, progressive, liberal and at the forefront of artistic and intellectual ferment. They might be living in a bubble, though it is true that the Castro District was once the gay capital of the US and that the city once had a vibrant labor movement led by communists and socialists and an Australian-born organizer named Harry Bridges.

Recently, I attended a panel discussion at the Harvey Milk Photo Center (named after the assassinated gay activist and politician) on the edge of Duboce Park where dogs mostly run free and humans lounge. The panel was held in conjunction with an exhibit titled “SF_Retake” that featured the work of 22 photographers tasked with capturing on film the “picturesque yet problematic post-pandemic locale.” How the locale is problematic no one said; the photos didn’t suggest it either.

The host for the panel told the audience that “nowhere else in the world would you see photos like these.” A glance around the room, followed by close inspection suggested otherwise. One photo depicted a man and a woman kissing and that seemed reminiscent of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic photo of a sailor kissing a woman in Times Square, New York in 1945, at the end of World War II. Another portrayed a fellow with a long beard wearing a tie-dyed T -shirt, and another of a man playing host to a flock of birds who perched on and around his body. It was titled “The Bird Man” and reminded me of the “Bird Man of Alcatraz.”

None of the photos in the Milk Center struck me as particularly representative of San Francisco. Photographers in other cities and at other times have captured couples kissing, hippies wearing tie-dyed T-shirts and humans with birds. What was curious about the panel was that with one or two exceptions the participants spoke in a whisper or mumbled as though talking to themselves and a small circle of close friends.

The presence of the audience seemed to be irrelevant to them. I had to lean forward and strain to hear a word. My friend Jeanne, a SF photographer who documented the punk world in the city in the 1980s, could barely discern anything that was said. Curiously, the only participant who spoke clearly came from New York where the citizens have no trouble projecting their voices over noise. The other participants didn’t seem to want to communicate. They were in my view ambassadors for the arrogance of a city that thrives on arrogance which the dictionary defines as “an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.” That’s San Francisco.

Why arrogance has taken root here and flowered magnificently is an interesting question. It probably has something to do with history that goes back to the Gold Rush, when the world “rushed in” to get rich, when the nabobs built mansions on the hills, the 1906 earthquake, which was news around the world, and the rapid rebuilding of the city in the aftermath of devastation. Also, SF was a key port in WWII and once was both a destination and birthplace for beats, hippies and do comers who helped to drive up property values before the pandemic and before the financial melt down. There is also the view that if you can make it in SF you can make it anywhere, with the city as a Darwinian laboratory where the fittest survive the fog, the wind, and the summers which are notoriously winter-like.

When I ask San Franciscans how they feel about their city they say invariably, “I love it.” Of course I don’t ask those who live in the streets or the permanently unemployed and disenfranchised how they feel about the place that’s 49-square miles. I have concluded that SF isn't so much at the forefront of innovation today as it is an archeological site that preserves the music and the culture of the past. That pattern is evident at “The New Farm” which is located near the edge of SF Bay and where on most Sundays ageing hippie guys with guitars take the stage and play loud rock ‘n’ roll before audiences of aging hippies who drink beer, smoke pot and dance. The sessions are outdoors and they’re free. You might think you’re back in the Summer of Love, or that the Summer of Love never ended.

My view of San Francisco as an archeological site and as a place of arrogance was reinforced by a night at the San Francisco Opera where I saw and heard a spectacular performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. It was staged elsewhere before it was imported to SF. Also, I recently viewed a show at the de Young of the magnificent photos of Irving Penn which had been exhibited in New York in 2017. True, the de Young show featured photos not seen in New York. But they depicted experimental SF dancers, Hells Angels and figures who belonged to the counterculture in the 1960s, when the city could boast of its uniqueness and not be arrogant. If you want the past come to the city Herb Caen called “Bagdad by the Bay.” If you want the future, stay home and watch Netflix, or Amazon Prime and dream your own dreams of a brave new world. But I haven’t given up all hope. In an hour I am going to Black Bird, a local bookstore, to hear Malcolm Harris, the author of Palo Alto and an Occupy activist, talk about his “hopes for the future.” Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.


It is one of the most enduring photos from the 20th century. The Navy sailor whose kiss with a woman in Times Square celebrating the end of the Second World War was immortalized in one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century

In August 1945, George Mendonsa was 22 years old, a Navy quartermaster on leave.

The morning of the 14th, he going to Radio City Music Hall to watch a movie but he never saw the end of the movie.

‘There was pounding on the doors from outside on the street,” George says. “They put the lights on and stopped the show and said, ‘The war is over, and the Japanese have surrendered!’

In that moment of happiness, George ran into the streets of Times Square when he saw the woman in the nurse uniform.

Greta Zimmer, who wasn’t even a nurse. She was a 21-year-old dental assistant from Queens, who having heard rumors about the end of the war, walked over to Times Square from her office on Lexington Avenue.

George says he was so drunk, he doesn’t even remember the kiss. Greta says she’ll never forget it.

On the spur of the moment and caught up with happiness at the end of the war, George grabbed Greta and kissed her, just as Eisenstaedt was ready with his camera and with the flash of the lightbulb caught one of the most beloved photographs in the world.

HOLY COW, 34 FOR 45!

by Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — At Nativity grade school, we grew up steeped in the lore — and gore — of martyrs. For their brave deeds and words, these men and women were stoned, crucified, beheaded, stripped of all their skin, shot with arrows and cooked alive on a red-hot griddle.

So I’m a little surprised my siblings would somehow put Donald Trump in those martyrs’ sainted company.

My sister and brother, disturbed by Trump’s constant chaos and slashing insults, saw their hopes for Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley evaporate.

I called my Republican sibs Friday to see if hearing the word “guilty” ring out 34 times in a New York courtroom had finally severed them from Trump; they are, after all, children of a police detective.

My sister, Peggy, said she couldn’t sleep all night.

“You decided you can’t vote for a felon?” I asked.

“I wasn’t going to vote for Trump,” she said. “But now I am because I thought this whole thing was a sham.”

She tried to donate $100 to the Trump campaign, but so many people were contributing, she said, the site crashed. The campaign said it raised $52.8 million in the first 24 hours after the verdict on the Republican fund-raising platform.

Peggy thinks Alvin Bragg, who boasted when he ran for D.A. that he had sued Trump 100 times while a federal prosecutor, conjured the crime by inflating the charges from a misdemeanor to 34 felonies because he was determined to bring down Trump. She’s furious the jury believed “that lying, stealing ass, Michael Cohen.” Like the CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, she questioned the judge’s small donation to a pro-Biden, anti-Trump political operation. How would Democrats feel if it had been a MAGA donation? And she feels sorry for Barron Trump, the former president’s 18-year-old son.

“I couldn’t get to sleep,” she said. “I was dreaming that I was in jail after a sham court trial. I was thinking that if they arrest me, I’d be out of luck. My father’s dead and two of my brothers are dead. Who else would save me?”

Holy Kafka! Trump’s line about how he’s being martyred for us always seemed risible to me, but I guess it works with some people, even some people close to me.

My sister is not MAGA; she voted for J.F.K. in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Barack Obama in 2008 and wrote in Joe Biden’s name in 2012. But she thinks President Biden has declined significantly and should step aside for a fresh choice. She’s upset about paying over $100 for 10 items at the grocery store. And she is irked by the Democratic fervor to throw Trump in the clink.

“They want to put him in jail three days before our convention?” she asked. “The man is surrounded by Secret Service. What will they do? Put him in a cell with four Secret Service guys around him?”

She thinks that Alexander Soros and other Democrats who want Biden to call Trump “a convicted felon” over and over should be careful, given that Hunter Biden is going on trial in Wilmington, Del., on gun-related felony charges, including one that, as Trump’s lackeys have said about his own charge, is a paperwork violation.

My brother, Kevin, said the moral of the story for Democrats is: “Be careful what you wish for.”

“This reminds me of Republicans celebrating when they impeached Bill Clinton,” he said of Democratic glee over Trump’s conviction, predicting that the “farce,” as he called it, would give Trump a bump, as the G.O.P.’s pursuit of Clinton did for him.

“The 12 jurors didn’t even have the decency to stay out long enough to show they had really considered it,” Kevin said. “You want to talk about election interference, take a look at this.”

Unlike my siblings, I found the guilty verdicts bracing. A dozen Americans had finally sliced through Trump’s reality distortion field and said, simply, “You’re lying and cheating and it’s not right.” Even though the case was a stretch and not the strongest one against Trump, there was something refreshing about the jury doing what no one else around Trump has been able to do — not the inexplicably sycophantish Republican lawmakers, not the corrupt Supreme Court, not the slowpoke Merrick Garland.

The jurors were not Trump’s peers because Trump has no peer in mendacity. But it was great to see the 12 just say no, you don’t slime your way into the presidency by having your creepy gofer pay off a porn star you slept with while your wife was home with a newborn and call it a legal expense.

As Chris Christie told David Axelrod on the “Hacks on Tap” podcast, it may be more instructive to watch how the verdict affects Trump than how the verdict affects voters.

Even though Trump has been styling himself as Al Capone — who also got brought down over bookkeeping sleaze — he seemed rattled by the verdict. A lifetime of slipping away from accountability made him think he was invulnerable. When Trump took the stage near his gilded escalator Friday morning — this time without Melania, who stayed far away from the Stormy trial — he kicked off his revenge tour with a scream of consciousness, pulling out all his old tricks.

He summoned his favorite boogeyman, immigrants with darker skin, saying “millions and millions of people are flowing in from all parts of the world, not just South America — from Africa, from Asia, from the Middle East, and they’re coming in from jail and prisons and they’re coming in from mental institutions and insane asylums.” He said young men are pouring over the border, including terrorists, “from places unknown, from languages that we … haven’t even heard of.” He added, “It’s not like Spanish or French or Russian.”

Migrants, he said, “are taking over our luxury hotels” and yet “our great veterans are living on the streets.”

For Trump, the “thugs” were not the ones who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6; the “thugs” were the lawmakers who investigated the attack on Jan. 6.

The master of Mar-a-Lago played the victim, saying the prosecutors were trying to destroy his life over “a legal expense.” Striking the martyr note, he said witnesses on his side were “literally crucified.”

Anyone who isn’t a lickspittle must be cruelly belittled. Justice Juan Merchan is a “crooked judge” who “looks like an angel but he’s really a devil.”

It’s remarkable to watch the luminaries of “law and order” contort themselves to undermine Trump’s conviction, dues for what Cohen called a “dumpster cult.” The party of law and order evidently doesn’t like any law it didn’t order.

His puckered-up vice-presidential wannabe J.D. Vance evaded Wolf Blitzer’s best efforts to have him disavow Trump’s claim that we live in a “fascist state,” instead lamenting the effort to prosecute Trump for “a paperwork violation.” Speaker Mike Johnson called for the Supreme Court — “I know many of them personally” — to jump in and reverse the verdict.

Trump, meanwhile, projected as always, deflecting criticisms leveled at him and boomeranging them onto Biden. Trump once more painted Biden, 81, as faltering and senile, ignoring the fact that he himself, about to turn 78 this month, has lost a few steps. The suzerain of dishonesty called Biden “the most dishonest president we’ve ever had.” Trump said we have a president and “a group of fascists” that are “destroying our country.”

If Trump keeps railing about himself in apocalyptic terms, it could give Biden an opportunity. And Biden badly needs an opportunity.

My dad was crazy with the farm. Sometimes he'd plant fifteen acres of onions, ten acres of potatoes, five or six acres of carrots, and he couldn't give it away. They were all losers. I just couldn't see myself doing that. I told him in the fall of 1948, I wasn't going to farm no more. I said, 'That's it, Pa. I'm gonna be a fighter. I'm gonna be a world champion.' He said, 'You're gonna get a lot of lickin's.' And I said, 'Maybe so. But I'll give a lot, too.''

— Carmen Basilio


“This reminds me of Republicans celebrating when they impeached Bill Clinton,” he said of Democratic glee over Trump’s conviction, predicting that the “farce,” as he called it, would give Trump a bump, as the G.O.P.’s pursuit of Clinton did for him." Given Trump's start of this race ahead of every other GOP wanna be and his continuous immunity from lawfare attacks, your brother made a simple observation. Will a 34 count conviction end Trump or end any chance of beating Trump? Are there any examples from recent history? And for those cheering the "Convicted Felon", cheer on. There could be a day when everyone says, "President Biden, father of a convicted felon…" It is no secret, every Democrat wishes there was a better candidate to vote "for". Who wants to wake up on November 6th and read above the fold, "Convicted Felon Defeats Biden!"? Maybe the debate will be the ticket that gets Biden to finish his journey, across the bridge to the future. Maybe not. But, I will bet, before the election Biden will claim he is the one that brought Trump down and saved America. I know, he shouldn't say that. I think he will. He can file that with "My uncle was eaten by cannibals" and "Roger Staubach beat me in the Annapolis football tryouts."


by Taibbi & Kirn

Matt Taibbi: All right. Welcome to America This Week, I’m Matt Taibbi.

Walter Kirn: And I’m Walter Kirn.

Matt Taibbi: Walter, where are you? Which is always the first question.

Walter Kirn: I know. We call it America This Week because I am the America correspondent, and I move quickly across the landscape. And today I’m back in Las Vegas, which is my perch for understanding the whole place because 40 million people arrive here every year and then depart, and then 39 million depart poorer. But in the meantime, I talk to most of them about what’s going on, or at least a good sampling, a neat silver cross section, and that’s how I’m so spot on with my analyses and so on. I’m back here taking the temperature of Vegas, which at this point is over a 100 degrees.

Matt Taibbi: Of course.

Walter Kirn: There are people driving around with oven mitts in Las Vegas because they can’t hold their own steering wheels, their cars get that hot.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah, that’s a little bit much.

Walter Kirn: Yeah, it’s getting bad. I’ll be back in Montana next week. I’m retreating from this listening post.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah, you’re like this mythological character who permanently roams the landscape, like an ethereal modern day-

Walter Kirn: right.

Matt Taibbi: … bogeyman or Baba Yaga or something like that.

Walter Kirn: Oh, look, I just got a message from Carole King, the singer, up in the corner of my screen for the Democrat Party. Dude, here’s my big problem and why I want to go back to Montana. I am getting so many emails and messages per day from political candidates, and some of them are hectoring. Some of them are asking me to pledge right now who I’m going to vote for and put it on the record. And then Carole King comes, De Niro is writing me constantly.

Matt Taibbi: Oh, we’ll get to him. Unfortunately, we have to.

Walter Kirn: Yeah. I get at least two messages from him per day. And it’s wanting me to just go into the woods, making me want to go into the woods.

Matt Taibbi: De Niro should just do the thing that he did to Maury in Goodfellas, get behind everybody and put a telephone cord around their necks. I want you to vote for Biden today. Today.

Walter Kirn: First, he has to climb up on his platform shoes though, if he wants to reach my neck, and I’m not very tall.

Matt Taibbi: Oh, man. Well, that’s a good segue into this story. One of many that we’ve tried to avoid because, I don’t know, what’s your reason for not wanting to watch the Trump trial? I have many, but…

Walter Kirn: Okay, good question. First of all, you can’t watch it. You can’t go inside the courtroom. All you can see are these sketches, and then all you can hear about are, Trump fell sleep today, so-and-so, and then these incredibly partisan accounts of what happened. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that’s all over the floor. It’s just hard to follow. And finally, I don’t care because I don’t think the results matter in the end.

Matt Taibbi: Right.

Walter Kirn: They do matter in the sense that successfully getting Trump maybe even behind bars, will be a coup for the powers that be, but I don’t think it’ll matter in the election. There’s so many cable shows to choose from, and this is one, but it has about as much consequence as Stranger Things, as far as I’m concerned, except that it has gotten a little concerning that this is what’s happening now to former presidents in America.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah.

Walter Kirn: In election years.

Matt Taibbi: Whatever you think about the case, and I have complicated feelings about it, but indisputably it’s happening that somebody who’s going to be the major party nominee is possibly about to be criminally sentenced, essentially by his opponent in the race. Not exactly, but-

Walter Kirn: For the crime of being a playboy.

Matt Taibbi: Right. And we’ll get into that. But the coverage of it, the case to me is so inherently ridiculous that I just haven’t been interested in the efforts to prove it, because even proving it overwhelmingly would be ridiculous to me. Unlike, say for instance, the election interference case or any of the things that might come up in the J6 case or whatever.

Walter Kirn: Right.

Matt Taibbi: But then as you say, mostly when you turn on coverage of it, what you get are these hyperpartisan accounts where basically everybody’s just telling you, he’s guilty and here’s what the awesome thing that happened today that proves it. And let’s just give a couple of samples of those. Here we got Ari Melber, and let’s see what he has to say.

Ari Melber: … doing their closing arguments for the defendant. And they finished. I could tell you the scene outside court was more raucous than usual. There were Trump family members, there was Robert De Niro, and I was back downtown with our team of reporters and lawyers at the court today. We were out there. I made some videos, we kept an eye on it. We’re all working together. The closing arguments give jurors the pivotal, final last material. It’s a culmination of a trial that’s featured 22 witnesses across 21 days responding to hundreds of exhibits, thousands of texts, emails, and the call logs, and now it’s all going down today. Prosecutors hammered the defendant as a habitual liar who hasn’t faced consequences. They argued he has escaped justice. They ran through his role in a crime that required silencing women who could upend the campaign. To remind the jury today why Cohen, Trump, and this tabloid empire did all these things, they explained the Trump campaign more than anything in that crucial home stretch of October, they needed Stormy Daniels quiet.

Matt Taibbi: All right. That’s like one example, right? Here’s another one. This is CBS, and watch the casualness with which they bring on the expert, and you’re just told casually that the person’s guilty and here’s why we’re telling you about this piece of evidence.

Lana Zak: Welcome back to CBS News. I’m Lana Zak and the jury in Donald Trump’s criminal trial out of New York has returned to the courtroom and so has the former president. I want to get back over to Jessica Levinson. She has been following all of this for us. Jessica, explain to us what’s going on at the courthouse right now.

Jessica Levinson: The jury’s doing exactly what we want them to do. They’re going through the evidence and they’re trying to figure out whether or not there’s enough here to convict, and they’re zeroing in on what, I think, is one of the key moments in this case, which is the meeting at the Trump Tower. They’re trying to figure out if there was in fact this agreement to hatch and kill negative stories about then candidate Trump, and they’re trying to figure out if they can tie Trump to that agreement. And so all of this has always really been about two things. One, was there criminal behavior? And two, can you tie the former president to it? And I think that the jury here is going to the heart of it. They’re trying to figure out, what was the arrangement between people like David Packer who ran American media?

Matt Taibbi: All right, you get the idea, but I’m not sure that that is getting to the heart of the matter is deciding whether or not there was a catch and kill agreement. Really what the essence of this case, you have to accept the underlying logic of the case, of the indictment to believe that. But whatever, you can just hear it in the voices of all these reporters that, we just can’t wait until this thing is done and we get to report on the guilty verdict and all of that. However, there have been signs of a little bit of unease with some of the things that have happened in the case. But first of all, Walter, what’s your reaction just to the way this whole thing has been reported?

Walter Kirn: Well, I’m going to say something. I’m going to speak from first principles here and get myself in a lot of trouble. I don’t think presidential candidates for major parties who are ahead in the polls should be on trial in the spring of an election year for things that aren’t really, really serious.

Matt Taibbi: I agree with you.

Walter Kirn: Because everything flows in a democracy from our choice of a chief executive, and the choice should be as free as possible and other parts of government, and not parts of the federal government either, state governments, like the one that is carrying out this prosecution should lay their hands off the choice of the American people as to how they’re going to run world affairs, domestic affairs, their economy and so on. But we don’t have that privilege this year, this thing’s happening.

Matt Taibbi: Just to interject, I agree. If somebody like Donald Trump does a kidnapping or steals a million dollars, $20 million, let’s say, or commits a really egregious beyond the pale crime, then okay, then you have to do it. But anything else immediately raises these questions. And this case is so far in the direction of we’re not even really sure this is a crime that it automatically makes you uncomfortable. But anyway, go ahead.

Walter Kirn: Matt, you’ve covered presidential campaigns. How common is it that there are lovers, women, because our leading candidates have been men mostly, who need to be shut up in advance of someone running for president. I’ve heard those rumors with every major candidate-

Matt Taibbi: Every time.

Walter Kirn: … that I can remember. Every single time. This guy’s girlfriend is hanging out in Africa because she can’t come back and they paid for her to stay quiet, et cetera.

Matt Taibbi: Right. And we didn’t report that one, or we shouldn’t have for a good reasons as it turned out, but anyway….

THE TEXAS QUOTE OF THE DAY was written by old-time trail cowboy Teddy Blue Abbott:

Teddy Blue Abbott

"If a storm came along and the cattle started running -- you'd hear that low, rumbling noise along the ground and the men on herd wouldn't need to come in and tell you, you'd know -- then you'd jump for your horse and get out there in the lead, trying to head them and get them into a mill before they scattered to hell-and-gone [The cowboys would attempt to make the cattle run in an ever-tightening circle until they could no longer move.] It was riding at a dead run in the dark, with cut banks and prairie dog holes all around you in a shallow grave…

One night it come up an awful storm. It took all four of us to hold the cattle and we didn't hold them, and when morning come there was one man missing. We went back to look for him, and we found him among the prairie dog holes, beside his horse. The horse's ribs was scraped bare of hide, and all the rest of the horse and man was mashed into the ground as flat as a pancake. The only thing you could recognize was the handle of his six-shooter. We tried to think the lightning hit him, and that was what we wrote his folks in Henrietta, Texas, but we couldn't really believe it ourselves. I'm afraid it wasn't the lightning. I'm afraid his horse stepped into one of them holes and they both went down before the stampede.

The awful part of it was that we had milled them cattle over him all night, not knowing he was there. That was what we couldn't get out of our minds. And after that, orders were given to sing when you were running with a stampede so the others would know where you were as long as they heard you singing, and if they didn't hear you they would figure something happened. After awhile, this grew to be a custom on the range, but you know, this was still a new business in the seventies and we was learning all the time."

—Teddy Blue Abbott, "We Pointed Them North, Recollections of an Old Cowpuncher," 1939


Judicial assassination. The regime in power will now move to cage Trump and shut his mouth. This is getting dangerous and exciting. I wonder how many and which parts of the military and police will side with who. At first probably with the regime in power, but after a time and with a few horrible, violent, spectacles, I predict they will begin siding with the people.


by Robert Manning

Like so many people, I often find myself traveling at breakneck speed — racing along the freeway, jetting around the globe and transporting myself instantly online anywhere I can type into a keyboard. But even though this whirlwind lifestyle takes me to many interesting places, it often leaves me craving more engagement with the world around me.

Similarly, Robert Moor writes in a remarkable book, “On Trails,” that, “From trains to automobiles to airplanes, each time the speed of connection quickens, travelers have expressed a sense of growing alienation from the land blurring past our windows.”

The slow pace of walking can be an antidote to this disconnection.

I find that moving at the more human-scale pace of 2 to 3 mph allows me to experience the world more directly, in more detail and through all the senses. I see the spring wildflowers, smell the pleasing fragrance of the eucalyptus trees, hear the call of migrating birds, taste the ocean’s salt air and feel the solid earth beneath my feet.

It’s common to read that the world is shrinking, but walking reminds me that it’s still pretty big. Writer and humorist Bill Bryson confirmed this when he set out to hike the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. In his engaging book, “A Walk in the Woods,” he writes, “I understand now, in a way I never did before, the colossal scale of the world.” (Consequently, he didn’t finish the hike.)

Walking also helps slow the pace of time. Like many people, my life is often frantic and leaves little time to ponder the more important things in life: family, friends, beauty, purpose. Going for a walk is a welcome respite and offers unusual opportunities for thoughtfulness. California’s iconic hiker, Colin Fletcher, walked the length of the Grand Canyon and wrote about it in his classic 1968 book, “The Man Who Walked Through Time.” Celebrating his days on the trail, he wrote that walking “is the yin to life’s more hectic yang.”

Humans were made for walking. Our remarkable ability to transport ourselves on two feet is a symphony among our highly developed nervous, skeletal and muscular systems, the balance and strength to hold ourselves upright while moving one foot in front of the other for miles on end, over all sorts of terrain, without falling (at least not very often) and doing all this with little conscious consideration. Whether or not we realize it, a walk is a celebration of this evolutionary heritage.

Here in the U.S., we are fortunate to have one of the longest and finest networks of trails in the world. For example, the National Trails System includes 11 National Scenic Trails totaling nearly 18,000 miles, including the Pacific Crest Trail with its nearly 1,700 miles in California. This system also includes nearly 1,300 National Recreation Trails, 93 of them in California.

But walking is not only the business of the natural environment. It has a parallel track in cities. In Paris, it was the flaneur, or bohemian, who famously explored the city’s nooks and crannies on foot in the 19th century and, in the words of the German philosopher Walter Benjamin, went “botanizing on the asphalt.” I like to think of city sidewalks as expansive networks of walking routes offering a lifetime of opportunities.

The Bay Area in particular is endowed with a robust system of trails both urban and natural. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area alone features more than 250 trails. Good bets include Muir Woods Main Trail, Point Bonita Lighthouse Trail and Crissy Field Promenade; together, they show off the region’s astonishing variety of landscapes and diverse cultural heritage.

There’s even more just beyond the city. My walks along Northern California’s iconic long-distance trails — John Muir Trail, Lost Coast Trail, Tahoe Rim Trail and the 40 miles of wild Pacific Ocean beaches along the shoreline of Monterey Bay — have brought me joy, beauty, adventure and satisfaction.

The Bay Area Trail is one of the most ambitious regional trails in the nation. Encircling the bay, more than 350 of the planned 500 miles of this innovative trail welcome hikers and other trail users.

But an epic trek need not take you far from home. San Francisco is one of the most scenic and walkable cities in the world. My life in the Marina District included regular walks along the Marina Green, to the shops and eateries on Chestnut Street, through the Presidio, to Ghirardelli Square, along the Embarcadero, around Nob Hill and in Golden Gate Park.

In “The Lost Art of Walking,” a lighthearted history of taking a stroll, Geoff Nicholson writes that walking is simple; it’s “analog in a digital world.” But I think it can also be profound, and I’m grateful that both people and the world were made for walking.

(Robert Manning is a professor emeritus at the University of Vermont. His two most recent books are “Walks of a Lifetime in America’s National Parks” and “Walks of a Lifetime from Around the World.”)

US President Richard Nixon, on Whittier College Football Team, Whittier, California, Early 1930s


by Satchel Paige

I was born with control. I take two awful hot baths a day. I keep movin’ all the time on the diamond — and I eat nothin’ but fried food.

Why does my arm last so good? Because I take care of Number One — and Number One is here — I take care of the back and stomach muscles ’roun’ here. That gives me balance. That keeps my arm from getting strained. Keep your back strong and your stomach down and you’ll have balance — and balance is what you need out there on the hill. Why, I can stand on one foot for 30 minutes like a statue in the park.

They say too much exercise will get you. Now, I never did see where it got you. I see where it makes you strong, that’s all. I keep movin’ from the minute I step on a ball field. I never do sit still till I come back after the first inning. Before the game, I start fielding bunts, then I hit to the infield, then I chase flies, or work out at third, but I never do throw till every muscle, every single one, is all loosed up. People tell me to sit, rest, not work so hard. They say I’ll break a finger. I tell ’em my hands take care of themselves. I could play the infield if I didn’t pitch.

When I get all loosed up, I get me a catcher and warm up, but I never do throw hard till I’m sure every little muscle is fine and free. I never did throw a ball in the last 13 years without ever’thing was loose and ready.

I never throw ’em cold. No day.

I take a bath, hot as I can stand, when I get up in the morning, and then I take one hotter'n that after a game — so hot nobody else could stand it. Near boiling, that’s how hot I take it. And it has kept my arm from ever gettin’ sore, and it's kept my arm alive. Just as good today as I ever was.

And then I keep movin’ like I say, for an hour before I start to pitch. I bend and whirl and loosen my muscles up before I ever do throw hard at all.

You can eat anything if you keep movin’. Keep movin’ and the fat will never settle anywheres. Fat can't catch hold on you if you keep movin’.

I never do eat anything but fried food — no boiled food, jus’ fried.

In those Latin countries I ate everything. I ate their fruit and I drunk their water while all the other American players on my team stood around waving their hands and hollering about typhoid, and things like that. But I never did get it, not one minute.

They liked me on the coacher lines when I was playing in Puerto Rico. And I liked them. I got so I could speak some Spanish, and I’d get off up into the jungle sometimes to see what it was like. Once we had political trouble and Uncle Sam got us out, but most of the time it was nice. It was more comfortable than any other of them Latin countries because Uncle Sam owned it.

I haven't had a cold in twelve years, either. I never did come North till June or July, and for the last four years I’ve been stayin' in Puerto Rico in winter. Where it's warm.

I like to pitch. I got me in Chicago this week the first overcoat I’ve had in five years, ’cause I'm stayin’ in America this winter. Can’t tell what baseball would be like with all this war talk in the West Indies.

I’ve traveled more than any other professional athlete. I’ve been in all the states of the Union but two —Maine, and Boston.

I’m the easiest man in the world to catch. I jus’ pick up catchers catch-as-catch-can if I’m travelin’ without a team. All he has to do is to show me the glove and hold it there. I’ll hit it. I can knock a box of paper matches out of a man’s fingers at sixty feet. They can hold out two bats, one six inches above the other at the plate, and I’ll throw a ball between them from the pitcher mound.

All a catcher has to know about me is when I’m throwin’ my beeline ball and when I’m throwin’ my jump ball. I throw both with the same overhead motion. Only the bee-ball goes off with my fingers on the smooth hide and rides on the level, while I throw my jump ball with my fingers across the seams. That makes it jump four to six inches.

Three years ago I threw my first curve. Before that I never did bother about it ’cause my fast one was enough. Then I thought I’d save my arm for my old age and began slow curves and a knuckleball. My curve is never fast. I never break it off. Might crack a bone in my wrist. Just a slow curve to fool ’em. The batters can’t believe it from me. They hear about my speed and they can’t believe the curve when they see it. I use it for strike three when I have him three and two. I got seventeen strikeouts in one day this summer on men waiting in that three-and-two spot for a fast one and then gettin’ a slow curve.

I can get that curve right in the heart as good as my fast one.

It’s not only speed and a change of pace that fools batters, but I throw fast balls from three angles — overhand, side-arm, and even underhand.

I use three sets of these here little biceps. Overhand uses one, way out sideways uses another, and up from down there still another one. That’s another reason my arm never does get tired.

I’m not superstitious. But I love to strike out the first batter. In fact I love to strike out all the batters, but particularly the first four. That gives the rest of ’em the idea.

I throw the first time high to each batter as he comes up, and I watch how he lunges at it. From then on I know where he wants it and what he can and can’t do.

I never hit but two men in sixteen years’ pitching. That was one day in 1932 in St. Louis when I lost control. It really scared me, ’cause with my speed I might kill somebody.

It’s been thirteen years since I dusted a batter. I don’t have to, and I don’t want no hitters thinkin’ I’m dustin’ ’em when I throw my first side-arm ball up there. It comes from so far out they think it’s coming right at ’em. But it ain’t. It’s coming right over the plate, and they see it too late.

The hardest to fool batter to fool was Charlie Gehringer of the Detroit Tigers, Yes, him. When they hit flat-footed they’re the best hitters, and he sure stands-there flat-footed. Joe DiMaggio is good, but that Gehringer, he’s real good.

I’ve pitched no-hit no-run games in my time, the most recent in Detroit, but I don’t try for ’em. I like to let a runner or two get on base and then strike out the side with the ball whistling and the crowd screaming.

Once pitching in a series between Negro All-Stars and white All-Stars, I won the game and was on the bench the next day when the whites filled the bases with nobody out. I looked up at Candy Jim Taylor, the manager, and, twiddled my glove, and said: “You want the side out, Candy Jim?”

He gave a nod, and I went out to the mound, walking as slow and confidently as Alexander the time he came on and struck out Lazzeri for the all-time climax of World Series excitement. Now came the great Satchel Paige. That gave ’em ideas too.

As I left the bench, I said to Candy Jim, “You hold up a finger for ever’ out I get. I’ll look over to keep up on things, and you just stand there and sign me where I’m at. I sometimes forget how many’s out.”

Then I went out and threw three times and Candy Jim put up one finger. Three more times and Candy Jim held up two. Three more and Candy Jim made it three. And the crowd sounded like Niagara Falls.

Marine Lance Corporal Ernest Delgado at Khe Sahn, Vietnam, 1968.


  1. Chuck Dunbar June 2, 2024

    Sheriff Tony Craver

    Appreciation to Sheriff Matt Kendall for his remembrance of Tony Craver.

    These words speak to his leadership and humanity:

    “I was always impressed with his ability to calm things in heated situations and to hear both sides. During those times Tony often reminded us, we don’t have a side and to simply enforce the law with respect for all. He would also remind us we all had friends on both sides of the line and to treat folks accordingly without being walked on.”

  2. Matt Kendall June 2, 2024

    I had a nice visit with Tony’s Undersheriff retired Gary Hudson.
    Gary told me a story that really made me laugh. And it truly embodied Tony’s sense of humor.
    Gary said during Redwood summer they were at a protest east of Little River. A team from UPD was there in support. Tony said he was going to the protest camp to talk with Judi Barri and Daryl Cheaney. A UPD officer asked if he wanted someone with him for safety. Tony replied, “Jesus Christ, they’re not gonna eat me. They’re vegetarians.”
    I laughed so hard brought a tear to my eye. I can hear his voice saying that right now.

    • Norm Thurston June 2, 2024

      Tony had a great sense of humor. Tony and I went to meet a couple of County Supervisors and some of the CEO staff to discuss the budget. Early on, one of the supervisors stated that his constituents were served by the city police, so he was not too concerned about funding the Sheriff’s Office. Later in the meeting a staff member came in and handed the supervisor a note. The supervisor left the room for a minute, then came back in and started gathering up his stuff, and advised us that his company’s check book had been stolen, and someone was writing bad checks. As he was leaving the room Tony said “I hope it didn’t happen in the County!”

      • Matt Kendall June 2, 2024

        That captures his wit and sensibility to a T thank you Norm!

  3. Harvey Reading June 2, 2024

    Mr. Natural Meets Gawd

    The descriptions I have read of heaven, especially the ones in the collection of fairy tales called the bible, make me think of somewhere I would never want to be. It would be even worse than a national park during the tourist season, which sadly is getting to be, more and more, the whole effen year…just swarms of yuppies doing their destructive “thing”. Plus, it’s puzzled me, since childhood, how souls manage to walk without slipping on those slippery streets of gold when it rains…

  4. Inside Job June 2, 2024

    “Sick Poet Society” So let me get this straight, the BOS is giving a proclamation to an employee who is a poet. Yet this individual has been off work for about a year due to work stress, leaving the coast short staffed. While the county is stressing itself about the budget, they are going to recognize someone who is being paid by the county to sit at home, travel around and write poetry. I don’t ever remember seeing this on any application in the county. Can I get the county to pay me to do the things I like and recognize my accomplishments in whatever I do? If so, please sign me up. This is just a continuation of Mulheren’s lack of doing anything other than feel good proclamations. What a slap in the face to the employees who are picking up her slack. She gets a pat on the back for writing poems, while her co-workers get nothing.

    • MAGA Marmon June 2, 2024

      I wonder if she’ll write a poem about her fellow social workers who are left with carrying her caseload.

      MAGA Marmon

  5. Kevin Bailey June 3, 2024

    Tony Craver was a man with many sides. I remember as a young deputy on the coast I totaled a new patrol car. I was still on probation and told my wife the best we could hope for was for me to be transferred back to the jail. My Sergeant asked me to write a memo detailing the accident and I wrote a long memo on how my accident was a result of driving to fast for the road conditions and that as a result I was unavailable to provide response to the citizens and backup for my fellow officers, thus jeopardizing the safety of everyone on the coast.

    Tony called me into his office and I steadied myself for the firing or transfer that I deserved. Tony had my memo in his hand when I sat in front of his desk. He looked at me and said “Jesus Christ you’re too hard on yourself. I just want to know how the damn accident happened”. He crumpled up the memo and threw it into the trash. I wrote him a new, much shorter one, and we never spoke of the accident again. I returned to patrol and the rest is history. Tony had my career in his hands, but I think he saw something in me that I didn’t necessarily see in myself. I will always be thankful, for how he handled that. He had his warts like we all do, but I’m sad he’s gone.

Leave a Reply