Sunday, November 11, 2018

ARMISTICE DAY & THE GREAT INFLUENZA PANDEMIC




Today is Veterans Day. Once Armistise Day, it marked the end of the First World War. And today is the 100th anniversary. Here's the thing. A lot of returning troops brought back a new strain of avian flu, and it became known as the Spanish flu simply because the US military left from Spain to get to the US.

The book by John M. Barry is quite scary and sobering. A pandemic circles the globe. One of my aunt's mother died of the flu. Between 50 and 100 million people died from this flue. 3% of the Earth's population. Three per cent. Just a century ago.

A few years back, a soldier buried at Ft. Riley KS had his corpse dug up and his DNA extracted and, guess what? We recreated the flu strain. Yay! You can find vials of it, along with smallpox and the Black Death, at Ft. Detrick in Maryland. Oh, that's right. They have Ebola and the Lassa viruses there, too.

Friday, November 9, 2018

ON THE SUBJECT OF BELLAIR IN PHOTOS...












yiu can compare the overhead Google Earth images from 2012 and again in 2017. That's me looking out of the last house going north (left) back in 1982. On the exact opposite side of town was where general store would have been, in the tree area arounds the N or the 10. If it is still there at all. The building above the numbering is one I helped work the foundation on with the man named Bus Downing that I wrote about in my poem. The house we all lived in is the last one standing on the west side of the street going south (right). The one tall building at the intersection is that of the church.

At the opposite side, where 10th meets 1980th, the Rich family used to live there. The father Steve was the local constable. The son Lane was ready to go into the military as soon as he graduated high school and we wished he would get out and never come back. This was the house where, one summer night 36 years ago, two young hippies from Chicago brazenly stole a can of Hungry Dog dog food from the steps of the Rich family's back porch.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

BACK TO BELLAIR, PROSE NO PHOTOS











I eventually went on to write 75 Terra Strains mini-poems, none kept, many in forgotten small press magazines. I could probably find 10-15 of them. My time spent in Bellair was not that good, but I did make friends my own age, and some much older whom I knew I would never meet again. One piece dates this entire thing. Bus was a fellow who a bunch of us helped dig a ditch, and he spoke matter-of-factly about our ages. This was still the Cold War, and he fully expected there to be nuclear missiles in the air in our lifetimes. Not his. Ours.

THIS HAPPENED TO ME, MUSCLE SPASMS ARE FUN




Sunday, October 21, 2018

MURDER IN BELLAIR: THE TOWN THAT HATED UIC STUDENTS!





 
I've talked about this place. Where I starved during the summer of 1982. The Night of The Hungry Dog. Well, I'm a bit late to the party to find this out, but beautiful Bellair pop. 54 when I was there and pop. 46 now, actually 45, because unless they got the math wrong (highly possible), the woman in the news heading above was killed by a daughter she had when she was 12 years old. I'm going to add more photos and the story tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

HORRORS! 365 SCARY STORIES


Found a copy of this at the Salvation Army yesterday. It was a fun book to be in, and it took reprints. So two of my stories were from very early in my writing career. Career? Ha! Two others were new. Each of the stories ran barely two pages, were not alphabetical, and there was no page break. My story would end amd after a few spaces, the next author and their story would start up.

Of course, the running joke was that it was meant to be a book kept in the wicker basket next to the toilet along with Guns & Ammo and Golf Digest.