Faces of Auschwitz signs sponsorship deal with the Michael Frank Family Charitable Fund
— Read on facesofauschwitz.com/2018/04/2018-4-8-faces-of-auschwitz-signs-sponsorship-deal-with-the-michael-frank-family-foundation/
With two rat terriers trotting at his heels, and a long wooden staff in his hand, J.R. Gavin leads me through the woods to one of the old swamp hide-outs. A tall white man with a deep Southern drawl, Gavin has a stern presence, gracious manners and intense brooding eyes. At first I mistook him for a preacher, but he’s a retired electronic engineer who writes self-published novels about the rapture and apocalypse. One of them is titled Sal Batree, after the place he wants to show me.I’m here in Jones County, Mississippi, to breathe in the historical vapors left by Newton Knight, a poor white farmer who led an extraordinary rebellion during the Civil War. With a company of like-minded white men in southeast Mississippi, he did what many Southerners now regard as unthinkable. He waged guerrilla war against the Confederacy and declared loyalty to the Union.In the spring of 1864, the Knight Company overthrew the Confederate authorities in Jones County and raised the United States flag over the county courthouse in Ellisville. The county was known as the Free State of Jones, and some say it actually seceded from the Confederacy. This little-known, counter-intuitive episode in American history has now been brought to the screen in Free State of Jones, directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) and starring a grimy, scruffed-up Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight.Knight and his men, says Gavin, hooking away an enormous spider web with his staff and warning me to be careful of snakes, “had a number of different hide-outs. The old folks call this one Sal Batree. Sal was the name of Newt’s shotgun, and originally it was Sal’s Battery, but it got corrupted over the years.”
I’ve shared this story before, but for those who don’t know, when I was younger it wasn’t a requirement to attend kindergarten. Because of that, my first classroom experience was first grade. I loved my teacher, I loved my school, I loved my entire first grade life. Well, most of it.Two weeks into the school year I was sent to the principal’s office. Now you have to understand, I was a well behaved kid back then. Really, I was. For me to be in trouble was a big deal. My dad was a Drill Sergeant at that time in the military so I knew not to misbehave, and if I did misbehave…well, let’s just say it would be better for me to pack my bags and go live in the treehouse.
I hope you will capture Today
Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York Times; Brain, Child; The Georgia Review; Shenandoah; The Rumpus; Brevity; Fourth Genre and elsewhere. She is a nonfiction editor at r.kv.r.y quarterly, Reviews Editor at PANK, and a reviewer for The A.V. Club. You can read more of her work at www.randonbillingsnoble.com.
Today I read to page 32 in The Folded Clock and loved it so much I started writing a letter to a friend – a real letter, not an email or message or text – to tell her about it. This friend and I used to live in the same city, but now we don’t, so we write letters to each other maybe once a month or so.
I like to write letters. I like addressing the envelope, picking out a stamp that fits the…
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Odd ends from a career as a street cop.
- The night I booked a suspect into jail and went back out on patrol without my firearm. I handled an entire call (with one hand over my holster) before driving back to the jail and retrieving my gun undetected.
- The burglary scene where I left my posse box containing evidence. An hour after returning to the station, I remembered where I left the police report and the evidence, in my posse box at the home of the burglary. One phone call later, I was on my way back to the victim’s house. Not good.
- Driving down Pacific Coast Highway when a couple ran across the street in front of me completely nude and entered an apartment. I stopped in the roadway and immediately was struck in the rear of my police crusier by a woman in an SUV. I had to call for a supervisor to investigate the collision while the culprits escaped.
- The night I drove a drunk to his home instead of to jail. He passed out in the back seat and would not wake up. I had to drag him to the front door but I couldn’t find his keys. Finally I got him inside and left so I could drive back to the city I actually worked in.
- The night I caught the armed robber. A robbery just ocurred in the Cheesecake Factory parking lot. The suspect was described with a gun and a vehicle driving north from the scene. After at least fifteen minutes with no sighting, I stopped on the road north of the restaurant. Apparently he had stopped too because he drove right past me 10 blocks from the scene of the crime. I followed him downtown where he pulled into a parking space, then I held him at gunpoint until backup arrived. He didn’t move. I found the loaded gun and the stolen property under the passenger seat. That was the knight I shined.