Today is the first day of spring. My cousin seems to be under the illusion of many people, including many ignorant TV weather guys that the spring and fall equinox are the only two days of the year that you can balance an egg on its end. That is nonsense. You can balance an egg on the equinox or not do it any day of the year. It has nothing to do with the first day of spring or fall. You can find out more regarding this and other aspects of spring. More importantly, the first day of spring is the annual day for Kelsey’s picnic. Kelsey was Snow White’s beloved black lab who went to heaven about 4 years ago. It was a very sad and hard day here and ever since, Snow White has had a little picnic at dog hill to benefit either animals or kids, both of whom Kelseroo loved on for all of her 15 years. We collect donations for a specific charity and the first year was the Cabbage Patch Settlment House, which said to have been the influence for the famous Cabbage Patch Kids, though the official site makes no mention of how they happened to come up with the name. This year, it is the Shamrock Foundation animal adoption. If you cannot attend today between 5 and 7 pm, feel free to make a donation to the Shamrock Foundation or even offer to adopt a pet. It’s not a shelter but instead focuses on providing homes to many loving kitties and dogs, including a wonderful program for to find adoptions of retired Greyhounds.
On This Date in History: George Hearst was born near Sullivan, Missouri on December 3, 1820. In 1846, his father died so he cared for his mother and worked at a general store and did a little mining. It was the side interest in mining that was the catalyst to the creation of a family fortune and an American dynasty. Hearst, went west with the discovery of gold in California. Hearst went to seek his fortune. Some say that he walked the entire way. After some early tough years, he found his groove, made some fortunate investments such as being involved in the Comstock Lode (silver), the Anadonda mine (copper) and Homestake mine (gold). Now, Hearst had married a 18-year-old Phoebe Apperson from his home town when he was 40. They produced a child they named William Randolph Hearst.
George was a no doubt about it self made man. William had the family fortune behind him but he still went out to stake his own claim. He got involved in a business completely different from that of his father. He bought the San Francisco Examiner newspaper in 1887 and continued acquiring more newspapers until he had a national brand. he became influential in national and interenational politics as he helped fan the flames of war. Hearst if often credited with stoking the fires of the Spanish American War with the reports that he had his reporters file from Cuba following the explosion of the USS Maine. After the USS Maine blew up, Hearst was convinced that there would be some action so he sent a reporter and artist to Cuba. But, nothing was really happening and when artist Frederick Remington wired Hearst saying, “There is no war. Request to be recalled,” Hearst fired back, “Please remain. You supply the pictures, I’ll supply the war. ” Hearst’s inaccurate reporting from Cuba has been analyzed as instrumental in the declaration of war by the United States against Spain. It has been often represented that Hearst wanted a war to help his newspaper sales. Many film historians have suggested that Orson Welles film, Citizen Kane, is a not-so-subtle portrayal of William Randolph Hearst. Between what he had from familial ties and the profits he had made from his newspaper business, William Randolph Hearst became a noted example of the potential for success found in America and the potential excesses of American wealth.
Randolph Apperson Hearst was one of the sons of William Randolph Hearst and, while not as flamboyant or controversial as his father, he still ran the family publishing business. He was more or less overshadowed by the exploits of his father, whose legacy was so great it even shoved the success of family patriarch George Hearst to the back of the history pages. But, the low profile life of R. A. Hearst came to light in a new family controversy when his 19-year-old daughter Patty was kidnapped by the little known Symbionese Liberation Army on February 4, 1974. It is difficult to determine exactly what the SLA was trying to accomplish. Best I can see is that they were a militant group that was trying to bring about sociatal equality. Whatever their aims, the kidnapping of Hearst totally and completely eclipsed any larger message or motive that they had. At first, they tried to swap Patty for imprisoned SLA members. The authorities declined so they settled for the Hearst family providing $70 worth of food to every needy Californian. After the Hearsts had complied to the tune of about $400 million, the SLA did not release their captive, claiming the food was of poor quality. A tape was released on which Patty could be heard saying that her father could have done better. Another tape came out on April 3, 1974 with Patty saying she had joined the SLA and had changed her name to Tania. Less than two weeks later, security cameras at a Hibernia Bank in San Francisco captured Patty holding a M1 Carbine during a bank robbery. In September 1975, she and her SLA buddies were found and arrested.
At her trial, attorney F. Lee Bailey argued that Patty Hearst was a victim of brainwashing. The court appointed Dr. Jolylon West and Dr. Robert J. Lifton to evaluate Hearst and both agreed that it was a fairly common case of mind control brought upon captives by the captors. But, the prosecution had Dr. Harry Kozol who said that Hearst as a “rebel in search of a cause.” The jury bought the James Dean reference and on this date in 1976, Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed bank robbery and sentenced to 35 years. Darryl Hall and John Oates came out with a hit song, “Rich Girl” which was supposedly about Patty Hearst, when in fact, it was about an old girlfriend of Daryl Hall. Be that as it may, Patty Hearst was cooling her heels in prison for two years until President Carter commuted her sentence on February 1, 1979. Apparently at the urging of President Carter, President Clinton Clinton then granted her clemency on January 20, 2001 as part of his pardon list as he left office. Not sure why Carter didn’t do it himself when he was in office if it was so important. Patty Hearst married her bodyguard and has two children. She wrote an autobiography in 1982, Every Secret Thing, and now raises French Bulldogs, which I just adore. But, I wonder if Patty Hearst did get away with bank robbery. I don’t have a clue one way or another and it really doesn’t matter. If you say that her family money and influence is what got her out of jail, you have to remember that it was her family’s money and influence that got her kidnapped in the first place. Otherwise, none of us may have ever heard of Patricia Hearst.
Weather Bottom Line: Forecast is pretty much on line except it will be delayed. The trof lifting with the low getting cut off to our south before migrating our way will be held up by a day. So, Saturday’s clouds will be the only reason why we don’t get to 70 for Kelsey’s picnic and the first day of spring. Rain chances go up late Saturday night and because the front or the storm system doesn’t get her until late Sunday, we will be mild Sunday with a chance of t’storms. Guess here is that any severe chances will be to our southeast. It’s Monday that will be pretty lousy. Still think from where I sit that we don’t get out of the 40’s with showers. Snow will be well west and northwest of the area. Then the warm up gets going such that by the time we get to Thursday or so, we’ll probably be talking about 70 again prior to another t’storm chance followed by another 40’s day. But that’s a week from now. Hope to see you at Dog Hill for Kelsey’s picnice between 5 and 7 pm.