Thursday, December 03, 2009

So Very Not Dead

At the original Hall of Fame.

Vast, Relentless Roaring River

What are you doing right now? I hope you aren't trying to watch the news.

A vast, relentless roaring river of moronic, predictable, paint-by-numbers pretend news: that is what the mainstream media in America feels like if you 'watch' or 'listen' to 'the news.' Flail and scream in the ever-rolling stream of tat!

Tiger Woods' infidelity, shopping, rain storms, shopping! oh look! a cute cat stuck up/down a drain in New Jersey and Now, Over To Shopping Susan, Who Has The Weather For Shoppers: Susan? Well Jim, It's Raining! Taha-haha-ha! Better Mind Those Tulip Pants Are So Expensive That One Bronx Man Has Inked A Deal To Sue That Was Then, This... Is Now:

Newspapers are dying everywhere in America, and if ever — if ever — real news needs reporting, it's now, when hatred of Obama is reaching only the simmer point. But who cares who hates who, in a country this big, where we all hate the government?

Listen: that couple who crashed the White House? That was a dry run for an assassination attempt, even if the dopey gate-crashers or the media, or the authorities, don't seem to realize. Did you hear the quiet sound of a mind somewhere in America shifting up a gear, realizing what is possible? And a carload of killers turn from a dirt road on to a main road.

Take time to note these days of December, to note down on paper, just how insouciant and carefree, care-less, all of America is, and how carefree YOU are, right now. Yes, there's the recession. Yes, there are no jobs. Yes, times are tough, but Obama's battling away in there, there's a lot on his plate, there's Christmas, just mere old Christmas again, right around the corner, another tranche of turkey breast, and the ball drops and it's, yeeeaaaahhh! 2010, jokes and drunks in Times Square, and I bet something awful is driving along a highway right now, some absolute monster of a human being is going to see his or her vial of poison season the whole stew, the pot is going to boil. "There is Death in the pot"! (— 2 Kings 4:38-41).

I have no greater intuition than anyone else I know. But I have an awful feeling. Something horrible is just ahead: "now you're really in the total animal soup of time..."

My Great Uncle Ira's Passport

J. Ira S. Trimble. The 'S' is for Sankey: my Great-Uncle was named after the beloved American hymn-writer, Ira Sankey.

Some family trivia: one day years after Ira was dead and buried, an agitated woman came into my father's toy shop in Dungannon and said she had been in the local Drumglass Graveyard. She had seen the Trimble family plot, she whispered, and it was kept most neatly and properly, as it should be. She remembered the Trimbles. Lovely, lovely men. (In fact, Ira's eldest brother Andrew, was a doctor and chief tuberculosis officer of Northern Ireland).

"But," she whispered, "I... was... shocked... to see... that they were associated with the I.R.A.!"

From how my late father described Ira, I imagine he would have roared with laughter inside his head but would have responded, deadpan: "The Trimble family. Has always Sought. To violently overthrow. The six county military statelet. Of Norn Iron."

And some other trivia: an allograph may be the opposite of an autograph; that is, a person's words or name (signature) written by someone else.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

My Great-Uncle Ira

This is my Great-Uncle, Ira Trimble, who was born and raised in the Dungannistan (Dungannon) area where he lived for his entire life, making a living as a photographer and travel agent. He was a photographer when photography involved cameras such as this brute (below), which in fact belonged to him.
Ira Trimble is remembered for being an eccentric character: the local newspaper, the (hysterical laughter*) Tyrone Courier reported many years ago on an incident that landed him in court, but also reaffirmed his reputation for being a (small d) democrat, a believer in equality and a person of great kindness.

The Courier reported that a vagrant had walked into Dungannon one day and a local police constable spotted him, and assaulted him: the tramp ended up in the gutter, where his already-filthy clothes got even dirtier.

Watching this scene, Great-Uncle Ira intervened on the behalf of the tramp, and - according to the Courier - he threw the constable's coat or overcoat, into the gutter as well. Great-Uncle Ira at the scene and in court later, attested to the police officer's lack of manners towards the man who, though homeless, was - I am paraphrasing - 'no less a human being than the cop was.' The Judge that day sided with Ira.

And now for something new even to me: as I searched for his name online tonight, in the faint hope of finding some more information about him, the Internet churned up the nugget below (I took this below as a screen shot).

It seems Great-Uncle Ira wrote a book or pamphlet about our home town. This image above is from a web site which represents an organization which aggregates old books and scans them so that they can be republished on demand... (as such, that is merely a sample mock-up book cover, but that does not take away from the fact that Great-Uncle Ira wrote a book).

I have the faintest of memories of my father telling me that Ira (who died in the early 1940s if not before) wrote such a book. More soon...!

* The Tyrone Courier is a sure bet in the Worst Newspaper In The World Contest, 20010.