Congressman Scalped! Taxpayer Funded Retreat? Warm-Up


Maybe She Was Just Honoring William Barksdale!

Maybe She Was Just Honoring William Barksdale!

Congressman "scalped"

Congressman "scalped"

On This Date in History: There have been a number of rumbles in the halls of Congress over the years. One of the most famous is the near beating death of Sen Charles Sumner by Congressman Preston Brooks in 1856.  That sounds pretty bad but one source claims that on this date in 1858 the “biggest Congressional donnybrook of all” took place.  Of course the root of both skirmishes was the battle over slavery.

Barksdale-Is That a Rug?

Barksdale-Is That a Rug?

On February 5, 1858 the House was tied up in a fillibuster regarding admitting Kansas to the Union.  By 1:30 on the morning of February 6, many of the house members appeared to be not just getting tired, but also filled with the juice of spirits.  The battle 2 years before was between Brooks of South Carolina and Sumner of Massachusetts. In other words, North vs South.  The same thing happened in the early morning hours when another South Carolinian, Laurence Keitt got into an argument with Galushu Grow of Pennsylvania.  Those folks from South Carolina must have really been all worked up over slavery as it was the first state to seceed and it was at Fort Sumnter, SC that the first shots of the Civil War were fired…by South Carolinians.  Anyway, Keitt called Grow a “black Republican puppy.”

Grow-Tough Guy

Grow-Tough Guy

Such an insult!  Grow retorted that “no Negro-driver shall crack his whip over me!”  Them were fighting words and Keitt followed up by grabbing Grow by the throat.  Grow punched Keitt out.  Slowly, Congressmen from both parties moved into the fray.  Must have been like a bench clearing brawl at a baseball game where two guys go at it and both teams file out on the field and stand around until something else happens.  In this case, something else did happen as a full fledged fight got going like an old west saloon scuffle.  Bodies flew to the ground and many punches reached their mark.  Bodies were bruised and bloodied and a spittoon sailed overhead.  The Sergeant at Arms tried to bring order by beating members with his cane as the Speaker of the

Washburn-Looks Pretty Stout

Washburn-Looks Pretty Stout

 House pounded on his gavel to no avail.  Grow must have been a tough guy because he was still standing and got into it with Mississippi’s William Barksdale.  While the two wrestled about, Cadwalladar Washburn of Wisconsin decided to help out and was prepared to take out Barksdale.  In trying to stand his target up and steady him for a big haymaker, Washburn grabbed Barksdale by the hair.  That action did what the Sergeant at Arms and the Speaker were unable to do.  It brought the melee to a halt.  You see….the hair Washburn grabbed was really a wig.  Barksdale was scalped!  Washburn proudly held up the toupee and the room erupted in laughter as the bald Barksdale screamed in horror.  Wouldn’t you love to see that on C-Span today?

Do as I say, not as a I do:  Speaking of politics…if you recall recently there has been public outrage regarding the bailout and the way that institutions who have received taxpayer money has been spending.  One of the issues was that several companies took the money because they were in trouble and then proceeded to have executive retreats at lavish resorts.  The media went wild and the people were outraged. 

Barney At the Spa?

Barney At the Spa?

Congressional  members got before the microphones to express their dismay.  So, where are the Democrats this weekend?  Why they are at a spa resort at Williamsburg, Virginia having a party retreat!  Now, they proudly say that they take no lobbyiest money to pay for the junket.  While the party is paying for much of it, the American taxpayer is on the hook for some $500,000 for security and such..at least thats what it cost taxpayers in the past.  This time we are paying for a chartered Amtrak from Washington to Williamsburg.  I got that figure before it was announced that the President would be flying  there on Air Force One, which undoubtedly cost the taxpayers even more.  Why they couldn’t get together in Washington where they were already gathered is beyond me.  Let’s see how much press this gets…or if anyone gets a photo of Barney Frank in the steamroom.

Is Admiral Fell Haunted?

Is Admiral Fell Haunted?

I’m back:

  But, you didn’t know I was gone. If I had followed my original plan, I too would be in Williamsburg at this time, though I would not have charged the taxpayers.  I was there last weekend and watched the Super Bowl in solitude.  I also spent a number of days in Baltimore where Snow White and I stayed in the historic Admiral Fell Inn on the harbor.  Snow White thinks she may have seen a ghost. I always miss out.  Really a great place if you get a chance to go there.   If I was a drinking man, I could get into a lot of

Cool Cumberland

Cool Cumberland

trouble in that part of town.  When you drive to Baltimore and back, you go over I-68 where you pass through an interesting town.  Cumberland Maryland has some really cool looking churches and old buildings.  Turns out it goes back to the colonial period and, of course, George Washington slept there!  I got gas in La Vale, which is right next to Cumberland.  If you go there, you can find the what looks like the world’s largest Wal-Mart. 

Missed Giant Bowling Pin

Missed Giant Bowling Pin

But don’t get into the “speedy” line.  It took me 15 minutes and there were only 4 of us in the line.  The first two were Wal-Mart employees cashing checks.  The 3rd person bought just two items.  Snow White was in the ladies room for nearly 20 minutes because some kid had locked all of the stalls and they needed to find someone to crawl on the floor to unlock them.  I guess the folks in La Vale have a laid back attitude…and had the most expensive gas on the entire trip. I guess they like big things in La Vale too.  But I didn’t stop at “the Bowler”.   Still worth a stop in Cumberland if you have time.   Oh…the town of Flintstone isn’t far away.  Let me know if you see Mr. Slate.

GFS-Strong Storms Wed Afternoon?

GFS-Strong Storms Wed Afternoon?

Weather Bottom Line: So, my return brings back with it a warm up and a melting of the snow.  Look for a high near 60 on Saturday with some rain as a little system comes through on Sunday which will hold the mercury in the 50’s.  Now, its a definite pattern shift but it doesn’t appear to be long lived and may prove interesting.  The polar jet stream moves well north and our temperatures will move to the mid 60’s for the first part of next week.  The subtropical jet is crashing into Southern California bringing storms into that drought starved part of the country.  Now, the first wave should develop and move into the Southern Rockies before lifting through the plains.  There may be some severe thunderstorms in the Southern Plains early in the week.  We would just get some rain.  What is curious is that the GFS wants to take the next wave and bring it farther east.  It would dive into SE Texas and then move up just to our west.  It looks like another severe weather potential event breaking out in the Ozarks but I’m not convinced that we don’t see some action around here on Wednesday or Thursday.  Once that system passes, then colder air returns.  Not bitter cold but cold enough.  The storm track seems to want to set up with the wave from the west moving pretty close to our area for several days.  My fear is that there  may be an ice storm in there and potentially some snow situations.  I’d love the snow but I hate ice.  I lucked out this past go-around and maintained my power but I’ve already lost my heat twice this winter and don’t want to tempt fate again.   Keep in mind…all of this is way down the road and is pure speculation at this point.  It’s doubtful that all of the potential events that I just laid out will come to pass…rarely do they all follow the script this far out.  But, there will probably be some opportunities for some items of interest for the second week of the upcoming days.  So enjoy the warmer, relatively sedate though sometimes wet, conditions over the next few days.

8 Responses

  1. I’ve always wanted to go to Williamsburg. What did you think of the characters acting out their colonial parts? Did you meet any famous revolutionary heroes or maybe the Governor. Well, it sounds like you had a good time. Don’t feel bad. I’ve never seen a ghost either. It doesn’t really mesh with my belief system so maybe they ignore me for that reason! That’s fine with me.

    I’ve heard of the Senator Charles Sumner beating but not the free-for-all that you spoke of. (Your “this date in history” was really from yesterday but I guess that’s from your day off.) I hope that we never see anyone coming to blows on Capital Hill again. The divide in our nation seems to be very sharp and the lack of tolerance for the opposing sides reminds me of the days before the Civil War. Of course during that time both sides believed that God was on their side even though they were both reading from the same Bible. Today you’ve got one side who believes that God is on their side and the other that doesn’t want God on their side or anywhere else near them. Also, today there are so many issues that divide our nation and not just one such as slavery. Maybe it’s better to have a bunch of differences than one great big one, I suppose.

  2. Never thought about that last part before. Nice addition. I didn’t really go to Colonial Williamsburg this time except to the college bookstore. I’ve been many many times though. Had an interesting conversation with Colonel Washington. He was sharp. I asked him a question regarding the Quebec Act. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. Afterward, he did something that they usually don’t do and pulled me aside out of character and told me that he thought that the Act to which I referred was not enacted for about 6o days from the time in which he was living. I looked it up…he was right. Amazing to me that he could figure all of that out off the top of his head in an instant like that. Once when we went to Yorktown…Snow White got cross with me because we hadn’t eaten all day. She stomped her foot and crossed her arms. That is the signal that I am in trouble. We went to eat.

  3. Gotta keep momma happy, Bob. If momma ain’t happy then no one is happy. I’m sure that a boy from Texas knows that. If you hadn’t fed Snow White then you might have gotten your own personal re-enactment of the battle of Yorktown–you would have been General Cornwallis!

    Did you major in history in college or has that always been a hobby of yours. I guess President Washington pulled you aside because he could tell that you had advanced knowledge of the topic.

  4. At the time, he was “Colonel Washington”. History was the only subject in which I could consistently get an A. I recall in college there was a guy on my rugby team who had gotten a 1600 on his SAT. He was in my history class. The first exam there were just 3 A’s out of about 300 students. I had one of the A’s and Mr. 1600 got a “C”. He insisted on studying with me and he found that I really didn’t study. But I told him how to do it and he was smart enough to do the rest. He got an A next time around When I was at Florida State, I needed an extra class to maintain the number of hours required for my student loan. So, I took a class on the economic development of the United States. Smoked it. Met for once a week for 3 hours from 7-10 pm. Midterm and Final. All I did was sit and listen and read the material assigned. Only “A” I made at Florida State because the rest was all Physics and Calculus. Those are a bit tougher but I did have an A going into the final for Modern Physics, which was nuclear physics and quantum mechanics. So, when I was here, I got bored and started taking history classes at UL and ended up with an MA in History. Then somehow I got the Deans Citation for Academic Excellence. That turned into my refining and editing my thesis a number of times until it was accepted for publishing in an academic journal. So, I became a “published historian” which I found out is a big deal. When I got the magazine, much to my surprise, my article was the cover feature. So, I’m creating a history career by accident. I always hated it when people called me a “history buff” but my professor says that now that I am published, that I can call myself an historian. That seems a bit over the top but Ill take it. So.that’s the long version.

  5. I am impressed, Bob. Meteorologist extraordinaire and historian! I’ll try to remember to never call you a history buff; that would be an insult. What was your thesis on?

    I managed to graduate cum laude from U of L with a BS in Chemistry. It was mostly due to my electives in which I almost always got an easy A. I had a low B average in Chemistry and science courses. I got all A’s in German. I always say that I was fluent in German for about a month. It is true that if you don’t use a language you will certainly lose it. Ich vergesse!

    I had a friend in college, Bert Rubini, who was one of my regular chemistry “study buddies”. He was very much like you in that he took sparse notes and listened very carefully to the lecture. I, on the other hand, would take very copious notes without paying as much attention. We were actually a very good team. He could look at my notes to remind him of what had been discussed and to get a good idea of what was going to be on the test (six pages of notes on Boyles Law = probably going to be on the test!). He also helped me to understand some things that I missed.

    One of my favorite stories like yours has to do with a class taught at U of L by the famous Dr. Philips called “The History and Philosophy of Science”. The secret to that class was to get as many copies of the old tests as possible since he’d been teaching the class for 30 years (literally) and just recycled old questions. I had a study buddy whom I won’t name who had been holding out on me. He had some old tests that he wasn’t sharing with me while I was giving him everything that I was able to get. I found this out late in the semester but it explained why he was always scoring a few points higher than me. Anyway, about a third of your grade in that class was from the term paper. Long story short, I wound up with an A while Roger got a B because of the grades we got on the term paper. I always found that ironic and hilarious!

  6. Ah yes. Mr. Boyle. Always on a test. I have degrees in journalism, meteorology with a physics minor and history and I am a former member of the NYSE, NASDAQ, Texas board or realtors and Texas Board of Insurance. AMS Seal, NWA Seal, AP award in best weather category in two states. It was determined that my services were no longer needed. I guess others had more impressive credentials and experience.

  7. Time and circumstance, Bob. Well, at least you have many options for employment it seems. Of course a guys like you won’t be happy with just a “job”, right. I’m guessing that you can afford to be a little selective. I’ll keep you in my prayers, buddy, with the Lord’s help.

  8. It’s rather difficult for several reasons. Thank you though. I need all the help I can get. I have a card somewhere that a woman dropped in my pocket some years ago when things were rather rough. I was whining. I kept what she had written. It says, “in God’s time, not yours.” I relation to many others, I am doing quite well at this particular moment.

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