A Memorial Day Story……..

Seventy-nine years ago, give or take a day or so, a B-17 Flying Fortress began a flight into Germany on a bombing run. The airplane was crewed by some of America’s finest generation, young airmen who fully understood the perils of soaring over Germany to further the war effort and bring Hitler and his minions to defeat. The B-17 was a formidable airplane, heavily armed and flown by well trained crew members one of which was a young Missouri Lieutenant named Melvin Meyer. Lt. Meyer had no way of knowing that on this day, he would meet the man about which the Bible in his flight jacket was written. It would be 79 years before the Lieutenant would be buried in his beloved Missouri, with full military honors.

A B-17 falls from formation, fatally hit on a bombing mission.
The Lieutenant and his crew

There is a gaggle of individuals who call themselves “History Flight” that work to locate the remains of our servicemen and women killed in combat. After the Lieutenant’s plane went down, his remains were deemed to be unrecoverable, as was the case with so many of our warriors who disappear in the fog of combat. Relying on electromagnetic scanning, high resolution maps and old military maps this group utilizes the latest in technology to locate crash sites and such with the help of archaeologists who are a member of the team. This crash site resulted in the discovery of the complete outline of the bomber with the engines and cockpit clearly discernible. After mapping the location of the aircraft, the archaeologists went to work and recovered both human remains and personal items that led to the identity of Lt. Meyer. Of interest, his Bible was located in a pocket of his flight jacket, oriented over his heart. The Master already knew Lt. Meyer and welcomed him home to that special place in heaven reserved for our warriors.

Lt, Meyer’s burial, so close to Memorial Day, says a lot about our country and our people. We honor those over this long weekend that have died for our country. Sadly, we often lose track of just what the Holiday means. Most Americans have no idea what it is like to awaken on a given day and begin another deadly confrontation with one of our enemies. They will not feel the cold shiver, even on a hot day, that results when you close with an enemy, knowing that one of you is not going to live beyond that moment. This was the day, for so many, that life ended in a blinding flash. It is a character building experience, both humbling and elating when you are the victor. This holiday is about those that did not win their engagement and came home having given that last full measure.

A warriors boot, recovered from the crash site

Take a moment over the holiday to say a prayer. In your thoughts to God, mention those that have died guaranteeing you the immense freedoms this country enjoys. Take an extras moment to thank Lt. Meyer…..and welcome him home to Missouri. It is the least we can do.

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead.


We Found The Bates Hotel In Indiana…….

This week we enjoyed a productive trip back to Cleveland, Ohio where a final series of tests indicated I would likely be around for a while longer. We have learned to be efficient in our 750 mile drive to and from the Clinic, establishing our favorite motels and restaurants along the way. My last test on Tuesday ran us a bit late as the doctor wanted to explain the results personally, causing us to leave town later in the day than planned. No problem, we would drive until tired and find a motel along I-70 for a few hours sleep before the final stretch home. This is a risky strategy as we stopped somewhere between our known locations. We found the Bates Motel of movie fame. I’ll explain.

We found it but escaped before Norman showed up!

Sharon and I are frequent commenters on both Trip Advisor and Yelp, always candid and never cruel. We have had terrific luck relying on Trip Advisor for recommendations as we tour the country. The commenters on the motel we chose got it wrong, with rave reviews and suggestions of cleanliness and comfort. If ever you have wondered about the concern with AI, our experience here might help, as either the commenters are lying or we are seeing AI at work. We were oblivious as this place had won an award in 2022 on Trip Advisor.

This hotel was far from “quaint” and “showing a little age”. It was decrepit and worn out. I am sharing this experience not to disparage the place, run by a gentleman (Norman Bates?) from a third world country, carefully ensconced behind a glass booth in the “lobby”, as in the end we laughed about the experience. Sharon, Tazzy and I opened the door to our room, under the outdoor stairs, to find a stained white bedspread that was every bit as thick as a sliver of parchment. I hopped down to the office and made my concern known to “Norman”, who smiled and apologized. We were exhausted and decided that if I could survive sleeping in a Vietnamese ditch while being shot at, we could survive a few hours here. The bed was mushy, obviously long overdue for replacement and the A/C was loud enough to cover the sounds of chainsaws and such in the middle of the night. We hopped into bed and attempted to sleep when I asked Sharon if Tazzy was still with us as the crack between the door and jamb was sufficient for him to wiggle through. We laughed about our skills in seeking only the best in accommodations. The toilet was not equipped with seatbelts which it needed to keep from being thrown off into a plastic tub that had been shoehorned into the space reserved for a shower.

We dozed off, I am sure with one eye open. About 1 AM the A/C quit, sparing us the noise but returning the room to a stuffy, humidity laden torture chamber. The ambience was enhanced by the faint odor of sweat and disinfectant. We were both awake. We jumped up, dressed and departed after a leisurely three hours of bliss and hit the road. Honestly, you would need hazmat gear to raze the place, which is obviously indicated. Our adventure was not quite over, though, as we needed fuel.

We stopped at a smaller truck stop where I was met by a lady of the night wearing ONLY a bed sheet, shawl style, hurrying to the restroom while her fiscal analyst waited in the car to hustle her back in service to the parked trucks out back. Time is money to these independent contractors. Sharon also saw this hard working woman and we shared yet another laugh. I-70, in Indiana, is bad but as I live and breathe, it is hell after dark. We made it to St. Louis just after daybreak and coasted home better for the experience.

After Tazzy’s deposit is returned, I intend to provide Trip Advisor with a factual overview of the place, but meanwhile when you are anywhere near Indianapolis, choose your accommodations carefully. There really is a Bates Motel. Our RV never looked better………another lesson in the books!

Have a great week!


Courting An Early Death……..

Like a lot of folks my age, I am carrying a few extra pounds. As a result of my fondness (really an addiction) to good food, I am meeting new doctors who specialize in metabolic health, the key to longevity. Is it too late? Have I crossed the line causing irreparable damage to my health? Can I reverse the subtle trend that annoy many of us as a result of paying attention to what is good, rather than what is good for us? My recent experiences with a nutritionist and a book that she recommended says yes, there is every reason to believe that it is never too late, until a damning diagnosis occurs. Am I in a position to offer dietary advice to my readers? Nope, I am not. I can however recommend a source of information that should leave you with eyes wide open and a different view of your diet.

The man’s name is Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL. By training he is a pediatric neuroendocrinologist who is more than up to the task of challenging our food industry, one leg of a deadly three legged stool with Big Pharma and Big Government completing the triad. The man makes a compelling case against processed food and sugar, two foods America loves and that are killing us without firing a shot. We have all been exposed to the evils of processed foods and sugar, but being exposed and having it driven through your heart like a stake in a vampire’s chest are two different things.

An eye opening expose of what is wrong with the way we eat, and who is responsible. Self control is a small part of the equation.

Our government is subjected to obscene amounts of money in a food industry lobbying effort second only to the automobile industry. The other culprits are modern medicine which is fixated on symptom relief rather than cures, heredity, and convenience. The Doctor has written two captivating books, “Fat Chance” and his new “Metabolical”. I have read both and have never been more startled than I am after the revelations in his latest, “Metabolical”. What we eat forms the foundation of chronic disease which is not “druggable” but is “foodable”. The evidence is incontrovertible, metabolic disorders are the basis for untold misery in the form of our unprecedented levels of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Our incredible array of processed foods are not just toxic, they are addictive as a result of the sugar infusion designed to make food super palatable in place of the previously condemned fat, a war that should have never been declared. America’s food industry is the enemy of good health, driven by a single word “profit” and they will stop at nothing to achieve their monetary goals. Our Congress is in their pocket and leaving it up to us to cause change. This won’t happen without understanding nutrition, something we take for granted and know little about. Read this book and for the first time in your life, you will get it. With definitive evidence, Lustig demonstrates the relationship between food and our startling increase in chronic, non-infectious disease. Buy the book, read the book and I can guarantee a different outlook on what and how you eat. Lustig lectures internationally and is recognized for his tremendous body of research validated knowledge. His quest is an obsession, and we should thank the Master for folks like him.

The bottom line. “This book will open your eyes to a powerful food industry that is failing at it’s core task”. So says Jeffrey D. Sachs, PhD, professor at Columbia University and president of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. “A beautifully written expose’ to a broken system that begs to be repaired”. Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, director of the World Food Policy Center and dean emeritus Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.

Don’t take my word for it. Processed food is a charade, and we are wildly anticipating the next sugar laden mix of chemicals, preservatives and crap the food industry is currently conjuring up. It is NOT too late to become knowledgeable and condemn an industry that is serving up the next brightly wrapped convenience for us to enjoy on our way to chronic disease.

Have a great week!


A Dog Story……..

I often write about Missouri, my long adopted state that has so much to offer. It is at the heart of America, where east meets west and north meets south. For folks like me, having spent years on a family farm in South Carolina and again helping Sharon on her family’s farm in central Missouri, it is nearly the perfect location. We enjoy a solid reputation for livestock production and automobile production, two industries that are far apart. We also enjoy a reputation as a state that’s harbors an inordinate number of puppy mills, where the life of a dog means no more than a check for a few dollars, with the pup’s health and welfare secondary to profit. Today, I write about a dog that has a short recorded history, but deserves so much more. A warning is in order….the dog dies.

We don’t, at this point, know the history about the pup in the picture accompanying this article. The Sarcoxie police say she was dumped from a white pickup truck in a convenience store parking lot. She knew the folks that left her bewildered and scared, chasing after them until they drove out of sight. We know, from the photograph, that she had a few years on her, evidenced by the greying muzzle. She was described as a sweet girl by the responding officers. She was alert, staring into the distance, waiting for her family to return. She found her way onto the Interstate, somehow sensing this road was the answer to her abandonment, a way home to the folks who unceremoniously dumped her. Instead, it led to her death.

I am sorry little girl, from the bottom of my heart.

The responding officers found her badly injured, having been hit by one of the thousands of vehicles that travel on the highway. Sure, she was just another dog on a road, a combination that more often than not leads to death for the pup. The officers made sure she was humanely put down, ending her physical and mental anguish. If you would, consider this piece her eulogy, the least I can do for her. I have never understood folks who dump dogs. My career has seen me removing the collars from many dogs killed on a highway in an effort to locate the owners and let them know where their pet can be found. I have retrieved badly hurt dogs from roadside and taken them to a local vet where care could be provided and in many cases a humane death was their only relief. I will also tell you that I have grown soft in matters involving the critters we are charged with protecting. I walk out of movies where the dog dies. Something about an old trooper with tears streaming down his face just doesn’t add up.

I’ll end with this. This dog shows signs of human interaction and nurturing. She was, after all, trying to locate the treacherous asshats that dumped her. You see, my softer nature does not extend to humans who have no decency. In fact, I damn their callousness and have no regard for them whatsoever.They can quit wondering if someone adopted their pup, she is dead as a result of their inability to fulfill an obligation they made to her at some point in time. The old girl’s suffering is over and she is at the rainbow bridge, waiting to return a loyalty that doesn’t exist. Thank you to the Sarcoxie Police Department for providing her with some dignity in death. She deserved that. The police have indicated they will charge the folks who dumped this pup, so please feel free to share this post. At the bridge, the pup would still lick the hand that dumped her….it is up to us to slap that hand.


A Single Tooth…..

He was, by any account, a great kid, the epitome of an all American young man, the middle child in a family of five siblings. He was also a good student, graduating from Lincoln High in Lincoln, Nebraska. Like so many of us back in the ‘60’s he was happiest with his head under the hood of a car, tinkering with stuff to the extent his aptitude and shade tree talents would let him. Endemic to this generation was the smell of scorched rubber at the start of a drag race, a ritual designed to establish a pecking order among the car crazy. It was speed that lured Larry into the military where he earned his wings as an Army aviator, a vocation that routinely resulted in young helicopter pilots being hurried into a jet bound for Vietnam. He was one of those chosen for this duty.

CWO Larry Zich

Larry Zich sold the hopped up engine from of his beloved ‘57 Chevy and used the money to buy a ring for his wife, Debbie. They were married in May of 1969. He was on top of the world, a new wife and the new wings of an aviator serving in a war that all thought was a little less intense than the preceding years, but a war never the less. On April 3, 1972, Larry was the co-pilot of a Huey on a routine flight near Quang Tri City in Vietnam. The pilot radioed ground control, indicating they were lost, a not infrequent event in Vietnam as a result of less than stellar maps and before the advent of modern navigational aids such as GPS. Weather was also a factor, resulting in the deaths of more than a few airmen in every war. The crew and passengers were never heard from again. It vanished, without a trace, and the wreckage was never found. Debbie was soon visited by the usual military contingent who explained that Larry was missing in action, a status that she lived with for many years. “Missing” leads to thoughts of captivity as a POW and finally resignation and acceptance of the ultimate fate.

The Army is part of a vast bureaucracy and sometimes things are lost or mistakes are made. In 1988, a Vietnamese immigrant to the US arrived here with an odd souvenir from his war torn youth. He had in his possession a single tooth, part of the remains he recovered from what he described as a terrible helicopter crash back home. The military took possession, but was unable to make an identification from this tooth. Apparently a dental X-ray was misread and the tooth was of no value until October of 2022, when the mistake was discovered and the tooth was identified as one of Larry’s molars. Further forensic analysis confirmed the identity. Debbie, who has since remarried after a lifetime of involvement in missing/pow interests had the answer she needed. This discovery was revealed to her through a television news cast. A shocking closure to a lifetime of wondering. To this day, she says Larry Zich was her first love and that he has been there with her every day of the 51 years since he vanished.

At home in God’s Valhalla

In early June, CWO Larry Zich will be laid to rest, with honors, at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery. Another patriot who believed in America and who demonstrated his faith in our country with his ultimate sacrifice. The hell that is war is never far from those touched by the experience. It took awhile, Larry, but you are finally back home, where you belong. God bless you sir. I salute your return.

Have a great week.


Another Missouri Treasure…..

This past weekend, Sharon and I motored over to Mansfield, Mo. to attend the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed garden show, located a few miles from town on Baker creek. She has shopped there before, each time returning with a couple of their monster cinnamon rolls baked on the premises. Little did I know there would be thousands of folks attending this event from all over the United States. Agriculture is in our blood and we were right at home among the folks who share our interest with gardens, large and small. I was pleasantly surprised at this event and enjoyed the day immensely.

The Baker Creek Seed Catalog

The founder of this seed business, Jere Gettle, began this venture in 1998 as a hobby farm where he doubled down on his boyhood fascination with seed. His expertise and interest soon resulted in the expansion of his heirloom seed business from some 70 variations of seed to well over 10,000 varieties on display in one of his 1.4 million seed catalogs distributed annually. Heirloom seeds are not your genetically modified offering seen today, rather seed with it’s roots going back to the days of the family farm and/or garden. His seed stock includes such delicacies as “French Breakfast” radish seed, dating back to pre-1885 France in origin. His seed is not limited to vegetables, with a bountiful display of flower and herb seed as well. There is a ‘Seed House” on the farm where many of his offerings are on display and can be purchased. He also ships seed world wide, with an international reputation for excellence.

There were many private vendors lining the street in Pioneer Village
Inside the Baker Creek Seed House

During this show, several country, make that blue grass, bands rotated between two sound stages, replete with bales of straw as seating, wowing the crowd with fingers flying on guitars, violins (fiddles), mandolins and banjos setting the mood with several vocalists singing to this music. I love blue grass and these ensembles did not disappoint. There is a restaurant on the premises serving up country vittles as well as the aforementioned cinnamon rolls, each a meal in themselves. The big attraction was a gorgeous display of tulips, in full bloom, delighting the many camera toting visitors with their color and beauty. The Pioneer Village is relatively small, but well thought our with plenty of room to stroll through the old buildings all built on the site.

“One More Dollar” pickin and grinnin

There are also a number of green houses for folks to stroll through with guided tours being offered. All of these attractions were free of charge after paying a nominal parking fee, designed to keep the crowd at a manageable level. You were required to purchase your parking permit on-line, as there were no provisions made for drop in crowds. The Ozarks never ceases to amaze me, and this relatively unheralded treasure is yet another reminder of the back to earth nature of the people in this region. Kids were well behaved, as would be expected from mostly rural folks and dogs were welcome, on lead. It was a terrific way to spend the morning and I will certainly plan on attending again next year. The music alone was well worth the drive to Mansfield.

Heirloom cabbages…….ain’t those pitiful Wal-Mart Cabbages, believe me
As might be expected, I ran afoul of the high sheriff

I hope to see you there next year. An hour in this seed house will result in a garden that is the envy of every neighbor within 10 miles, seed as God intended, not altered in a lab somewhere……

Have a great week!


Woke, Broke, And Complicated…….

If you are old enough to have seen generational change, you have uttered the words “kids, these days” with an appropriate expletive to complete your thought about folks known as Generation Z-ers or Zoomers. You can be assured that our folks said the same things about us, but there has been no generation delivered into a world of tech, war and instant communication like these kids. For the record, I am referring to kids born between 1972 and 2012.

Born into a different, rapidly changing world

Conventional wisdom says that first born kids are leaders and scholars, middle born kids are team players, and the youngest child is an irresponsible class clown. So much for pseudo psychology. Can we, though, form generalizations about generations such as the Z-ers and Boomers? Turns out we can.

The Z-ers gave us such terrific pastimes as eating soap (Tide Pods), are thought to have short attention spans, are politically liberal and (gasp) are afflicted with mental health issues. Well, very few ate the pods although a check on their preferred lunch menus would show a taste for healthy stuff as opposed to the carb and fat preferences of folks in my generation. There are, however, generalizations that are applicable.

Z-ers are definitely tech addicted. Instead of a can of snuff imprinting their jeans it is a cell phone. Instead of cute pictures of a car or nature they exchange pictures that would make Hefner blush, all in real time. The information at their fingertips is astounding, with a few keystrokes delivering recipies for nuclear fission or tragedy in real time. (It is worth noting that recent studies show indications the females in this generation are, for the first time, having more sex than males, probably as a result of the instant gratification that instant access to pornography delivers via the smart phone and computer). My generation dreamed of cars, these kids dream of the latest tech fad.

Do the Z-ers have short attention spans? Yes they do. Their spans are in the neighborhood of 8 seconds (seriously) which is 4 seconds less than millennials. This is, again, fueled by tech which delivers information is short, accurate bursts. Now for the bad news. Z-ers are liberals, overwhelmingly. They believe capitalism is declining and their views reflect this on issues such as abortion, marijuana and the protection of LGBTQ “rights”. This propensity toward liberalism, and yes, socialism, is more pronounced in Z women than men. The Z-ERs also are deeply concerned about the health of the planet with “climate change” a top concern. In my generation, climate change would have meant a prediction of thunderstorms tomorrow.

Last up is mental health. These kids were born and have lived in a non-stop era of war on terror. They live with mass school shootings and are more familiar with lock downs than residents of a soviet gulag. Their trust in government is shaky. They resent authority and have a jaundiced view of policing. Service in a uniformed profession is less appealing than ever. Is it any wonder they’re anxious and jittery in general?

In total, this isn’t a bad generation. They are vocal, disrespectful of authority and are in the hands of educators who fuel their anxiety and rebelliousness. They are not failing us, rather we are failing them. It is not that conservatism isn’t a great alternative to liberalism, it is that we have choked off the conservative viewpoint at every turn. This is a generation to watch, tech savvy, anxious and free wheeling. These folks are, indeed, woke broke and very complicated.

Are you doing your part?

Have a great week.


A Winning Strategy…….

As often happens, an evening of banter and shallow concern with the status of our country led Sharon and I into a deeper conversation about the success of the Democratic Party in America. This writing is not a fluff piece, rather it is an attempt to frame a powerful political movement that is on a roll while conservatives sit back and wring their hands. Whether you like him or not, the Trump prosecution for monetary issues surrounding his alleged dalliance with a porn star is a clear indication of the scorched earth policies that are serving the Democrats very well. We are burning Trump at the stake while Gentleman Joe skates through his clear connections to a foreign enemy with the loving support of an adoring press and social media controllers. Here is how an old cop from the Ozarks see’s it.

Republicans are facing an uncertain future as the political landscape evolves

The Democrats, who hang together with the tenacity of a television glue ad, have devised a strategy that Machiavelli would marvel at. Truth and honesty is not in their recipe for ultimate control. They clearly understand how to exploit the inherent weaknesses in a Democracy to gain power and thus perpetuate their ultimate goal, total control. As examples of this exploitation, the Soros backed socialist agenda has delivered a number of major city prosecutors who do not prosecute, thumbing their noses at the rapidly declining concept of “rule of Law”. Major cities are predominately under Democratic control which feeds the decline of these same cities in a quest to promote woke agendas. The Democrats, through the feckless policies of Gentleman Joe, have infused our military with wokeness to a degree not imagined just a few years ago. The Democratic incursion into our schools at every level insures generations of like minded folks that will soon enough be in charge of America.

No description of their tactics would be complete without noting the other pillars of their strategy. Our police forces are increasingly being led by woke administrators who are steadily eliminating the tools that have always been effective in maintaining law and order. The Democrats virtually control the tech world and are transforming our media to champion their ideologies. Our disastrous monetary policy is in the hands of the tax and spend woke movement within Congress. The counter balance to this transformation is supposed to be the Republican Party, the same party who cannot close ranks on something as innocuous as Daylight Savings Time. This being said, the best of the Democratic strategy is yet to come.

The Democratic strangle hold on social media opened the door to their success in the last Presidential election. The corrupt Biden relationship with China was quickly smothered and still smolders under the blanket of protection afforded by the media. Now we have this business of AI, or Artificial Intelligence, that most of us don’t take the time to understand. It represents a supreme opportunity to control our world. AI can be groomed to lie and infiltrate virtually every aspect of our existence. We are playing with a force that few, except the visionaries that are creating this beast, can completely understand. Most of these visionaries are liberal bastions of consciousness and will most certainly structure the entire phenomenon to suit the liberal, Democratic party’s needs.

While the issues are apparent to some conservatives, the solutions are not. When you give folks like Biden the reigns, it is a liberal dream come true. He has lost the mental capacity to make rational decisions, a tragedy exploited by the Democratic Party principals in their pursuit of absolute control of the world as we know it. Add in the rapidly expanding power of the tech world and we have the perfect storm. This old officer believes we are on the precipice of absolute domination by the Democratic Party. If you have stayed with me to this point, remember my admonition. Artificial Intelligence will be the plain brown wrapper the end of conservatism comes wrapped in. As sure as the silence of a snipers bullet, most will never see or hear it coming.

Have a great week!


Size Doesn’t Matter……..

She walked in wearing a starched white coat bearing her name. This was my first meeting with Dr. Yi Qin, MD. She is a diminutive lady standing around 5’4’’ and weighing no more than 90 pounds. I quickly learned that 70 of those pounds are brains. She is a gastroenterologist whose specialty is dealing with esophaguses that are less than cooperative. She had researched the information forwarded from the doctors who were guessing my problem to be spasms of the esophagus, which for the uninitiated closely resemble a heart attack. I could see immediately there would be no guessing with Dr. Yi Qin.

Few Doctors rate a 5 out of 5, she is really a 6!

I have previously written about the Cleveland Clinic and it would serve no purpose to further reinforce my firm commitment to this facility when you are up against a serious issue. I was tired of running to an ER every time my esophagus decided to express it’s displeasure with something in my lifestyle that offended it. Dr. Qin ordered an esophagram, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and manometry. In hillbilly terms that translated into a scope down the gullet, drinking 20 gallons or so of barium while being x-rayed and having a thin tube passed through your nose into your stomach and swallowing 15 sips of water while the tube measures swallowing pressure. They knock you out for the scope, smile while you gag the barium down and offer their sympathy while trying to swallow the nose tube without throwing up. It was a long day…but productive.

Sounds ominous, but it isn’t. It is mind over matter, like a boxer keeping his head in a fight to avoid getting his head pummeled. The good doctor definitively diagnosed esophageal spasm and prescribed a heavier dose of Omeprazole as well as a nifty little anti-acid not available in America, except through Amazon, named Gaviscon ADVANCE. Hopefully, I’ll no longer need the nitroglycerin tablets that controlled the spasms before visiting with Dr. Yi Qin. These remedies also preclude me from flipping a coin when these attacks happen, heads a heart attack, tails the old esophagus.

Heartburn sufferer? A much stronger anti-acid available only on Amazon

Back to the premise for this piece. There are many really good things that come in small sizes. For instance there is the genius of Dr. Yi Qin and a small plastic bottle of a UK produced anti-acid. We are fortunate in America to be blessed with health care at every level that is the envy of most of the world. I hope this writing reaches you well enough to enjoy the spring season when nature awakens……and able to enjoy it with good health. Take care of yourselves and have a great week. Oh, and when your grandmother told you it was the little things that count…….now you know why!


The Irish Evolution From Criminal To Cop………

It is the day after St. Patrick’s day, the day where we celebrate the death of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, whom legend has it drove the snakes out of Ireland when there were no actual snakes there. One could easily surmise the “snakes” were the pagan inhabitants of early Ireland that the good Saint converted to Christianity. With certainty, we know Ireland is a relatively rough and tumble country, racked by political and religous strife throughout history. Out of this past, a cliche’ rooted in truth, was born, that of the “Irish Cop”. How did this happen, you ask?

St. Patrick’s day is marked by parades, shamrocks, corned beef and cabbage, a degree of ribaldry and lot’s of green denoting the Emerald Isle. The early Irish were a rough hewn people, mostly rural who settled their differences with fists and certainty. They were among the poorest of immigrants to America and were reduced to manual labor in the big cities during the 19th and into the 20th century. Their existence was viewed as the “Irish Problem” by the civic leaders of the day. They were often involved in petty crime and prostitution and stereotypes began to develop. Forward thinking leaders thought that by assimilating them into the police culture, the Irish Problem would be mitigated. All of this was happening under a broad umbrella of Catholic/Protestant conflict, only recently brought under control in the motherland. Being Irish meant being rough around the edges and handling conflict at a base level. Enter a black population, post Civil War, and the Irish of the day had yet another ethnic group to be handled with street justice. The Irish, it was thought, were ideal candidates for police service. They began to thrive in the police culture and today can be found in police service all over the country in rather disproportionate numbers. Indeed, the longest reigning Police Commissioner in New York was Raymond Kelly, an Irishman, one of a number of Irish descendants to fill that role. In the early days of policing, jobs were tough for the Irish, and policing was not considered a refined and attractive occupation, ideal for a hard drinking Irishman who could handle situations with fists, boots and a club.

An Irish Cop delivering an in-flight adjustment

Historians generally agree the country’s first Irish cop was one Barney McGinniskin, an Irish laborer from the streets of Boston. He was tossed out of the service just 3 years later when a fiercely anti- Catholic bunch of Neanderthals took control of the state legislature. Seeing the writing on the wall, the Irish began working their way into political power as much a result of their rapidly increasing numbers as anything. More and more Irish cops led to the hiring of their friends, and they began their quest for power in police service. They also still controlled street gangs and organized crime, thus they controlled both sides of the crime equation. They are still evident in police forces today where their past has taught them to remain loyal to their heritage. So it is, we have an understanding of the meaning and origin of the hard drinking, scrappy “Irish Cop”.

Perhaps the legendary discord between the Hatfields and McCoys is the best American example of Irish heritage at work. This issue wasn’t to be settled until blood was spilled. A 19th century Irish Cop had no problem drawing blood in the resolution of a street scrap…and a legend was born. Certainly, it can be argued, the application of the early Irish style of street resolution to petty crime has a place, but may be gone forever in the face of a kinder and gentler style of policing. God love the Irish, folks in my professional heritage, who solved problems back in the day that stayed solved. Raise a glass of Guinness next St. Patrick’s day in honor of a good old fashioned “Irish Cop”. They made America better.

Have a great day!