U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves: The Real Lone Ranger!

Bass Reeves

Bass Reeves bronze statue

Bennie: son

{ son Bennie}

Throughout the years, many people have asked the question, if U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, the former slave was the true inspiration behind he television series “The Lone Ranger?” Well, let’s travel down the road and back in history and time a little bit and put some of these pieces together and also in addition add some historical facts represented by others sources and factual information.
Bass Reeves was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory. During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense. Taken from Wikipedia

Born to slave parents in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas, Bass Reeves would become the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi River and one of the greatest frontier heroes in our nation’s history. Owned by a man named William Reeves, a farmer and politician, Bass took the surname of his owner, like other slaves of the time. His first name came from his grandfather, Basse Washington.

Working alongside his parents, Reeves started out as a water boy until he was old enough to become a field hand. In about 1846, William Reeves moved his operations, family, and slaves to Grayson County, Texas.

Bass was a tall young man, at 6’2”, with good manners and a sense of humor. George Reeves, William’s son, later made him his valet, bodyguard, and personal companion. When the Civil War broke out, Texas sided with the Confederacy and George Reeves went into battle, taking Bass with him.

FLEEING THE WAR:

It was during these years of the Civil War that Bass parted company from Reeves.

After hearing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Bass proclaimed himself to be a free man and escaped.

His flight landed him in Oklahoma Territory, where he was embraced immediately by the Cherokee. It was here that he learned to ride, track, shoot, and speak five Native American languages fluently — all skills that would serve him well. He lived with the Seminole, Cherokee, and Creek Indians, learning their customs, languages, and tracking skills. Here, he also honed his firearm skills, becoming very quick and accurate with a pistol.

“Freed” by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and no longer considered a fugitive, Reeves left Indian Territory and bought land near Van Buren, Arkansas, where he became a successful farmer and rancher. A year later, he married Nellie Jennie from Texas, and immediately began to have a family. Raising 11 children on their homestead — five girls and five boys, named: Robert, Lula, Sally, Benjamin, Newland, Harriet, Homer, Edgar, George, Alice, Bass Jr. The family lived happily on the farm. During this time, oral history states that Reeves sometimes served as a scout and guide for U.S. Deputy Marshals going into Indian Territory on business for the Van Buren Federal Court, which had jurisdiction over Indian Territory.

SPIFFY DRESSER AND MASTER OF DISGUISE:

At a time when the average man was about 5’6”, Reeves was a towering 6″2. He was broad at the shoulders, narrow at the hips, and said to possess superhuman strength. The first black lawman west of the Mississippi, Reeves cut a striking figure on his large gray (almost white) horse, while wearing his trademark black hat and twin .45 Colt Peacemakers cross-draw style. He was usually a spiffy dresser, with his boots polished to a gleaming shine. He was known for his politeness and courteous manner. However, when the purpose served him, he was a master of disguises and often utilized aliases. Sometimes appearing as a cowboy, farmer, gunslinger, or outlaw, himself, he always wore two Colt pistols, butt forward for a fast draw. Ambidextrous, he rarely missed his mark.

HIS CALLING CARD:

He was known to give out silver dollars as a calling card.

The tales of his captures are legendary – filled with intrigue, imagination, and courage. On one such occasion, Reeves was pursuing two outlaws in the Red River Valley near the Texas border. Gathering a posse, Reeves and the other men set up camp some 28 miles from where the two were thought to be hiding at their mother’s home. After studying the terrain and planning, he soon disguised himself as a tramp, hiding the tools of his trade – handcuffs, pistol, and badge, under his clothes. Setting out on foot, he arrived at the house wearing an old pair of shoes, dirty clothes, carrying a cane, and wearing a floppy hat complete with three bullet holes. Upon arriving at the home, he told a tale to the woman who answered the door, that his feet were aching after having been pursued by a posse who had put the three bullet holes in his hat. After asking for a bite to eat, she invited him in and while he was eating, she began to tell him of her two young outlaw sons, suggesting that the three of them should join forces. Feigning weariness, she consented to let him stay a while longer.

As the sun was setting, Reeves heard a sharp whistle coming from beyond the house. Shortly afterward, the woman went outside and responded with an answering whistle. Before long, two riders rode up to the house, talking at length with her outside. The three of them then came inside and she introduced her sons to Reeves. After discussing their various crimes, the trio agreed that it would be a good idea to join up.

Bunking down in the same room, Reeves watched the pair carefully as they drifted off to sleep and when they were snoring deeply, handcuffed the pair without waking them. When early morning approached, he kicked the boys awake and marched them out the door. Followed for the first three miles by their mother, who cursed Reeves the entire time, he marched the pair the full 28 miles to the camp where the posse men waited. Within days, the outlaws were delivered to the authorities and Bass collected a $5,000 reward.

HIGH POINTS OF REEVES CAREER:

One of the high points of Reeves’ career was apprehending a notorious outlaw named Bob Dozier. Dozier was known as a jack-of-all-trades and an all hands-on type of guy when it came to committing crimes, as they covered a wide range from cattle and horse rustling, to holding up banks, stores, and stagecoaches; to murder and land swindles. The type of guy one would never want to take home to meet their parents. Because Dozier was unpredictable, he was also hard to catch and though many lawmen had tried to apprehend him, none were successful until it came to Reeves. Dozier eluded Reeves for several months until the lawman tracked him down in the Cherokee Nation. After refusing to surrender, Reeves killed Dozier in an accompanying gunfight on December 20, 1878.

CHARGED WITH MURDER:

In 1887, Reeves was charged with murdering a posse cook. Like the many outlaws he had arrested, he was tried before Judge Isaac Parker. He was represented by United States Attorney W.H.H. Clayton, who was a colleague and friend. In the end, Reeves was acquitted.

TRACKING AND ARRESTING HIS OWN SON BENNIE:

One of the hardest things in life for an officer of the law would be to have to track down and arrest one of your own children. As we know, when an officer takes an oath to uphold the law, that oath should be taken seriously and with Bass Reeves, it was an oath he would not break, not even for one of his own children. One of his sons, Bennie Reeves, was charged with the murder of his wife. Deputy Marshal Reeves was disturbed and shaken by the incident, but allegedly demanded the responsibility of bringing Bennie to justice. Bennie was eventually tracked and captured, tried, and convicted. He served his time in Fort Leavenworth in Kansas before being released, and reportedly lived the rest of his life as a responsible and model citizen.

THE FINAL YEARS:

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, Bass Reeves, then 68, became an officer of the Muskogee Police Department. He served for two years before he became ill and retired. After retiring, Reeves health began to decline further, and he died of Bright’s disease (nephritis) in 1910.

He was a great-uncle of Paul L. Brady, who became the first black man appointed as a federal administrative law judge in 1972. Excerpt taken from Wikipedia.

STATUE UNVEILED IN REEVES HONOR:

In May, 2012, a bronze statue of U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves was unveiled and stands in Pendergraft Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

QUOTE: “Maybe the law ain’t perfect, but it’s the only one we got, and without it we got nuthin” – Bass Reeves

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Clark Gable, III Cause of Death Revealed

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I wanted to wait until the autopsy results came back before writing about this story.

I have never seen a Clark Gable movie, but have heard from others who have that he was a great actor and humanitarian. A classic movie lover myself, so I plan to watch some of his movies soon.  It’s such a tragedy that his only grandson died so young.

Clark Gable, III the only grandson of the famous Hollywood actor, Legend and Icon, Clark Gable died at his Dallas, Texas home at age 30, on Friday, February, 22nd his family sadly revealed. His finance’ Summer happened to be the one who found him unresponsive in his bed. The couple have an 18-month-old daughter named Shore.

I do know of the television show named “Cheaters,” and have watched it, years ago. In some ways I thought it was a good thing to bust those cheaters, but the other side of me was thinking, why would you want your dirty laundry aired on national television? I didn’t watch too many episodes of it.  It’s such a tragedy that this young man lost his life from an accidental drug overdose of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alprazolam (Xanax).  The medical examiner also noted his history of abusing marijuana, alcohol, and Xanax.

His mother, Tracy Yarro Scheff, confirmed her son’s death on Instagram. “It is with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark,” she wrote. “He passed this morning. I will always be next to you my beautiful son. Mom.”

Mrs. Scheff, 56, who was married to John Clark Gable, Clark Gable’s son, told US media her son had struggled with addiction in the past. “I don’t know if that took his life, but I know that wasn’t what he wanted to do,” she said.

Kayley Gable, his sister, shared the tragic news on Facebook.

“My brother was found unresponsive this morning by his fiance and didn’t wake up,” she wrote on Facebook. “I LOVE YOU CLARKIE I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you, my heart is broken and shattered RIP.”

The 30 year old Gable listed actor George Clooney as a major influence in his life. “His ability to take on and master such diverse roles is a real inspiration and strong influence on me, especially while growing up as a young model and aspiring actor as a teenager,” Gable noted.

According to his site, Gable was an avid lover of the outdoors and listed surfing, skateboarding, fishing, skydiving, and RC aerial photographer and drone videography as some of his passions.

Taken from Daily Mail.com

Scheff revealed that Gable had sought therapy for addiction in the past, and several members of his family had struggled with drug abuse.

She said her marriage with Clark’s father, John Clark Gable, ended over his addiction problems, and that John’s brother died from an overdose aged 27. The bereaved mother also revealed Clark’s three siblings have had issues with drugs.

‘My current husband, we’ve been together 27 years, and he’s 32 years sober. It’s a struggle that is real,’ she said.

‘I have four children, all of them have struggled,’ Scheff added. ‘I have two younger boys with my current husband, Jason. I think one of them is fine, he just likes to party, but the baby has struggled. He’s got a year sober, he’s 17 and doing great.

‘I have a daughter that’s seven months pregnant. She’s doing great now, but she’s struggled too.’

A colleague of the late 30-year-old also told DailyMail.com that Gable had used drugs.

Bobby Goldstein, Cheaters creator and show Executive Producer, said that he was aware Gable took drugs but said it never affected his work. ‘While it’s true I have heard from others that Clark indulged in drugs, of the many years, almost a decade I’ve known him I never saw him on drugs,’ he said.

‘Clark was a beautiful boy, he was a beautiful soul. He was the spitting image of his grandfather on screen and I’ve never thought of him other than the most earnest, kind, loving friend and it’s been a great pleasure to work with him. ‘He was a great colleague and a great host on Cheaters.

In a Facebook post, Gable III’s sister, Kayley, revealed two generations of apparent dysfunction and possible substance abuse. She shared texts, purportedly written by their father, John Clark Gable, in which he accused his son and daughter of using their grandfather’s name “in disgrace.” John Clark Gable also refused to pay for the costs of his son’s funeral and said he didn’t want him buried next to Clark Gable in the family plot at Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.
Kayley Gable responded by threatening to write a tell-all that would let the world know “the truth” about their apparently messed-up family.
As it turns out, Gable III was buried next to his maternal grandparents in Provo, Utah, on March 9, Kayley Gable revealed on Facebook. Excerpt taken from the East Bay Times:

 

 

 

 

 

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SKY BURIALS

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I am only posting a photo of the vultures that feast at these burials. The video is linked below for those who wish to watch.  Viewer Discretion is advised.

Burying our dead is very popular in Christian and Muslim religious faiths. For centuries burying has been the oldest and most effective way to honor the dead. These days cremation is becoming a more and more choice among many and is more affordable than the classic funeral. The cost of a funeral can average anywhere from $5k to 10k and higher.

Many people choose to bury their loved ones so they will have a place to go and visit them and keep the grave clean of weeds and trash.

In other religions, they prefer to burn the dead body. It is largely believed that the human body is composed of five elements that are the sky, water, earth, air and fire.

In the Hindu religion the human body is burnt. It is believed that when the body dies, the soul moves out and goes to heaven or hell according to the deeds one committed through  their life on earth.

There are places in this world where the culture believes in what is known as “Sky Burials.”  The Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) occupies roughly 471,700 square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) of Central Asia to the northeast of India. Encompassing some of the highest peaks of the Himalayan Mountains and the least explored regions on the planet, the average altitude for a Tibetan settlement is roughly 16,500 feet (5,000 meters) above sea level.

These burials are practiced in the Chinese provinces and autonomous regions of Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia, as well as Mongolia Bhutan, parts of Sikkim and Zanskar which are parts of India.

Although these burials may be considered taboo to those who are accustomed to attending funerals and seeing their loved ones lowered into the ground, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. It is not taboo to those who live in regions in the world where the ground may be too frozen and hard to bury their dead, they don’t have access to formaldehyde to sanitize the body of the deceased or the means to embalm their dead.

The locations of preparation and sky burials are very much understood in the Vajrayana Buddhist traditions as charnel grounds. Excerpt taken from Wikipedia. 

This ritual fits with Tibetan Buddhism’s religion, tradition and beliefs that human beings have an interconnectedness to the environment.

Below you will find a video of a sky burial. Viewer Discretion is advised.

 

THE UNDERRATED SWAMP PEOPLE – A POEM

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This is one of my favorite shows.

I have so much respect for the men and women gator hunters!

Late to bed early to rise,
body aching, eye on the prize.
Bills to pay, food to buy,
tags to fill, no time to slack.

Guns full of ammo,
vehicles filled with gas.
Bate on the lines, gators to catch.
Knocking on heavens door every hour of the day

Poaching thieves stealing gators,
population must be kept in check.
Hot heat, stinky meat,
Money made gator hunting, so sweet.

When you’re born on the bayou it’s never easy,
only the strong can and will survive.
Swamp People, our underrated heroes
who protect us all from gator growth and

                  DEMISE

Continue reading “THE UNDERRATED SWAMP PEOPLE – A POEM”

When Fear Became Reality!

I remember as a young girl overhearing a conversation my mother was having with some female friends from church. We were never allowed to be in the same room while adults were having adult conversations. This particular day, I left the room as told, but listened outside the door. It would be a conversation that would haunt me until adulthood. I never disobeyed my mother, but for some reason that I still can’t explain today, I took it upon myself to listen in on the conversation she was having with women of the church.

The conversation they were having was of a woman who had lost her husband. I was about 10 or maybe even 11 or 12, but what struck me was when one of the women used the word “WIDOW.” I didn’t understand the word then but I can tell you it terrified me to the core. I do remember what was stated and it went like this: Sister …..just lost her husband and my heart goes out to her, because now she is a Widow and her life will never be the same. I should never have been listening in on grownups conversations. The word WIDOW was new to me, I had never heard of someone being called this before and for some reason I was too young to understand, it terrified me.

I remember asking my mother what the word meant and she telling me and even though she always had a way with comforting me and my siblings, this word still frightened me. Unknowing to me, one day, I would become the word, title and name that terrified me so much. The word nightmares are made of. That word only one could think that only happens to other people, but could never happen to them. My sweet little bubble that I was living in suddenly burst!

June 4th, 2012, Grief and Widow rang my door bell and when I answered, it became the greatest, challenging, horrific time of my life. The word I was most frightened of and it’s best friend showed up at my door, moved in and began a reign of terror on my life.

There is nothing more menacing and painful than Grief, and to be accompanied by it’s best friend Widow, is almost too much for any person to comprehend. My husband was my best friend, someone I could always talk to, share my dreams, ambitions, goals, as well as the things that frightened me and went bump in the night with.

Never would I ever imagined that the one word that terrified me so much would show up at my door! I have learned to accept the fact that I am a “Widow,” but I will never allow it or it’s friend Grief to hold me down and neither should anyone else, whether you are a Widow or Widower!

This is a lonely journey, but one we all can conquer.

The Struggle is Real!

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We have all heard the saying, “The Struggle is Real.” Many may not know what that phrase means, but as we read and listen to the news each day, and go through our day to day lives it becomes pretty clear as to what it means. Each and every one of us is fighting a battle of our own; and for many, the struggle is more real than one could ever imagine!
Here lately I’ve noticed on Facebook more and more friends stating how depressed and/or stressed they are, and asking for prayer. We have to admit, our jobs can be very stressful and adding to that stress are our bills in which we can’t escape, family illnesses and other issues, the cost of groceries going up higher and higher, gasoline prices soaring, plus those who commute back and forth to work in heavy traffic experience lots of stress due to their daily drive.

I know people who don’t watch or listen to the news anymore because they say it stresses them out and they feel as though the media reports more negative news than positive news. As we continue with our daily tasks and go through life, we all should think of things we can do to keep our stress to a minimum and continue encouraging one another as much as possible.

We all live in this world and there is no escaping many of life’s situations, but we can reach out to others in need and be a pillar of support. The struggle is real, and everybody needs somebody! We can’t live in this world all by ourselves!

KRISTOFF ST. JOHN – The Death of a Soap Opera Star

 

I haven’t blogged about grief in a while, but had to write about this sad story of how that thing called “GRIEF” can cause such destruction and lead to death.

I can remember vividly watching soap operas with my mother and grandmother. One of the soaps watched was “The Young and the Restless.”
They watched others, such as “Days of Our Lives.”
These soaps were a daily part of many women and men’s lives and each person who glued themselves to the television had their favorite actor or actress.
I can remember when this tall, young, handsome actor came into the Young and the Restless back in the early 90s, playing the character, Neil Winters. His acting skills were on point and he never missed a beat as far as his lines were concerned, or at least what we could see.

St. John began playing Neil Winters, a cosmetics executive who struggled with infidelity, alcoholism and many other issues, on “The Young and the Restless” in 1991. He recently resumed this role in January, completing nearly 1,700episodes of the show.

St. John would go on to win two Daytime Emmy Awards during his long tenure on the CBS soap opera “The Young and the Restless,” which brought him fame and fortune and a star-studded cast of great friends that were more like family.

Born on July 15, 1966, in New York City and grew up in Bridgeport, Conn., and Los Angeles. His father, Christopher, was a producer, director, and actor; his mother, Maria, was an entertainer. Both parents inspired their son to enter show business.

Early Acting Years:

His television career started with an appearance on the sitcom “That’s My Mama” in 1975. He played a young Alex Haley in “Roots: The Next Generations” (1979) and had a recurring part on the television version of “The Bad News Bears,” on which his father also appeared. He was also seen on “Family Matters,” “Martin,” “A Different World,” “Diagnosis Murder”

Personal life:

St. John was married and divorced twice. He had a son, Julian (1989–2014) and a daughter, Paris Nicole (born 1992) with his first wife, boxer Mia St. John. Julian died by suicide on November 23, 2014, following a long history of mental illness. St. John was married to Allana Nadal from 2001 to 2007, and they had a daughter, Lola (born April 15, 2003). On August 31, 2018, he then eventually dated again and became engaged to Russian model Kseniya Olegovna Mikhaleva.

St. John was a vegan and animal rights advocate and appeared in two PETA ad campaigns.

St. John was at increased risk for several mental and physical issues due to the death of his son, Julian St. John, who died of an apparent suicide in 2014 while in a mental health facility. Kristoff St. John became a “suicide loss survivor,” part of an unwilling group of millions of Americans left behind by loved ones’ deaths, who take on a mantle of grief and often shame and guilt. It is not uncommon for those left behind after the death of a loved one to feel some form of guilt. At some point in time, they feel as though they should have been there to save their loved one, and unfortunately, the guilt sets in and takes hold of the survivor. His son, Julian, an artist who suffered from schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction, committed suicide by asphyxiating himself with a plastic bag at a mental health care facility in Long Beach, Calif., in 2014. Mr. St. John and wife, Mia, accused the staff of negligence, and filed a lawsuit against the facility and aired their grievances in an interview on the television show, “Entertainment Tonight.” Mia was also quoted as saying in a 2017 statement to Entertainment Tonight, “No parent should ever have to bury their child, and for those who do, it is a nightmare that haunts you forever.”
The lawsuit was settled in 2017.

On Jan. 21, St. John retweeted a tweet about the loss of a child that reads: “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them.”
He also responded to the tweet, writing: “Never a truer word was spoken. Thanks for posting this.”

Sadly, Kristoff St. John was found dead on Sunday at the age of 52.
The cause of death has been deferred “pending an additional investigation” after an autopsy was completed Monday, according to the coroner’s official website.
Parents of suicide loss survivors, especially, may have lifelong needs as a result of their loss and be especially afflicted with feelings of guilt and responsibility, according to a 2012 article in the medical journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience.

Suicide Lifeline: If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS

A grove of blossoming flowers is beautiful as far as the eye can see, one of the most

mysteriously alluring places one could ever hope to be. The American Cherry

Blossoms are lovelier than one would imagine, filling the air with the faint and

sheer lilac and rose qualities, accented with creamy vanilla and soft, almond-like

aroma from their pale pink flowers.

Walking through the grove is a complete dream with bees buzzing, butterflies

fluttering, in one of the earth’s most majestic natural wonders. While strolling

beneath those ephemeral petals and marveling at how amazing mother nature

could create such an intense scene for all to behold. Taking it all in, held bondage

by its beauty, you must continue to be enthralled by this captivating oasis of

flowers.

The Japanese Sakura (or Cherry Blossoms) – 

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Spring in Japan can only mean one thing: cherry blossom.Sandwiched between the

long, bitter winter months and the sweltering humidity of summer, spring is by far

the most popular time for tourism in Japan – both domestic and international. The

atmosphere at this time of year is infectious, with parks packed with revelers and

supermarket shelves stacked with the latest blossom-flavored snacks and drinks.

The cherry blossom (or sakura) “front” sweeps along the length of the country each

year, beginning with Okinawa in the far south in February and working its way

along Japan to northern Hokkaido in May. A variety of factors can affect when the

cherry blossom comes into bloom: a particularly cold winter can mean that the

flowers come out late, unseasonably mild weather can usher them out sooner, and

heavy rain can mean that the trees drop their petals much quicker than otherwise.

For this reason, the forecast is followed avidly throughout the sakura season!

Dates – 

The cherry blossom usually begins to bloom in Okinawa in around

January/February, passes through the middle of Japan in March and April, and

finishes with a late bloom in northern Hokkaido in May. In areas of high altitude,

the blossom also arrives rather later than in low-altitude regions.

Tokyo usually sees its first blossoms in the dying days of March, with full bloom

falling around April 5. Kyoto follows a day or two later, while the mountainous

areas around Takayama and Matsumoto bloom about two weeks later – beginning

in mid-April. For a more accurate idea of where and when the cherry blossom will

be blooming this year, take a look at our wonderful new sakura infographic! Slide

the slider and you’ll see the cherry blossom front as it moves from south to north.

 

As you make it to the end and take in a deep breath, you began to wonder if you’re

ready for the whole adventure to come to an end? The sweet Cherry Blossoms of

the US and the “Sakura,” Cherry Blossoms of Japan are a fascinating site to see.

One great experience for the whole family, but the peak blossoms only last a week

or two.

Managing Depression During the Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, many of us push harder than ever by keeping ourselves busy and believing we are really just fine. That is until we stop for long enough to realize how exhausted we really are. Many feel they can’t afford to slow down, but at times like this, it is more important that we take time to replenish our inner resources. According to experts, more people become depressed or anxious during the holidays than any other time of year, due to an increase in demands, family issues, being unable to manage expectations and also increasing financial worries and wanting to fulfill your Christmas list for family and friends. This can lead to feeling overwhelmed by multiple responsibilities, not to mention your monthly bills.
FAMILY ISSUES:
The holidays are synonymous with family, so any and / all family related issues may come to the forefront during this time such as loss, dysfunction, addiction, disconnection, abuse, separation, estrangement, divorce, and financial issues. If you are someone who is already working on managing your depression, this will be an additional emotional roller-coaster and burden. This is something that won’t go away on its own without effective communication, love, and support.
Unfortunately, when we get wound up too tight, it can be hard to figure out how to unwind, but I’d like to share some simple ways to relax that can be beneficial for your mental and emotional well-being and make your days a lot more enjoyable and comfortable. My suggestions include rest, laughter exercise, plenty of water and healthy eating.
Sometimes it is hard to admit that we need to rest, but it’s a simple truth. When you sleep, not only are you physically recharging your system, you are also giving your mind and eyes time to rest as well. For those very reasons, it is extremely helpful to establish a regular sleep routine. By sticking to it as much as you can, you should be rested and ready to face those busy days ahead. Even when you aren’t actually sleeping, you can still rest your mind by finding some pleasant activity to do for short periods, like reading a book, playing a puzzle game, working on a favorite hobby, or just relaxing, listening to some soft music. Music is a powerful way of loosening up and releasing built up stress.
As for my next suggestion, many have probably heard it before. If you want to relax, find reasons to laugh. Laughter oxygenates your blood and relieves stress, which in turn boosts your immune response. It naturally improves your mood and even burns off a few calories as well! In order to get your daily dose of laughter, enjoy a pleasant visit with friends, read a funny book, or watch shows on the television that make you laugh. I guarantee that a good 15 minutes of laughing will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
And let us not forget about exercise. Exercise helps boost your endorphin levels and is good for your heart and blood vessels. Even if your schedule is busy, try to set aside time for daily exercise, even if it’s just 15 minutes. Walking around the block several times during lunch, making a short dash to the local park, or even putting music on at home and dancing through a few songs will do wonders for your body and mind!

The 1927 Christmas Day Shootout

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It was a night the town wanted to forget.

The end to a year of tension in the small city — a place that dreamed of growing into an industrial magnet — that boiled over into violence.

In less than 10 minutes, five men lay dead in the street; another would die later from his wounds. Twenty-six children became fatherless. In a parked car 150 feet away, a little boy cowered in the cold as an exchange of shotgun blasts at close quarters shattered a window and blew away the car’s radiator cap.

It was Christmas night 1927 in South Pittsburg, Tenn., and the violence was all but inevitable.
This deadly clash, fueled by politics and a fight over attempts to unionize the town’s largest employer, will be commemorated today on the site of the shootout with a historic marker memorializing those killed and recognizing an event that for decades was spoken of in hushed tones or, most of the time, not at all.

In the mid-1920s, company owner Henry Wetter wanted to operate his stove factory on Cedar Avenue as a nonunion shop, but many of the company’s employees and four local unions wanted it to remain unionized, according to a 2004 Tennessee Historical Quarterly article written by Dr. Barbara S. Haskew and Dr. Robert B. Jones III., both formerly of Middle Tennessee State University.

Rather than give in, Wetter closed the factory’s doors to union workers at the end of 1926 and surrounded the plant with barbed wire.

Inside, a skeleton crew of nonunion workers labored under the angry eyes of strikers outside on Cedar Avenue.

In the year that followed, Wetter’s decision caused the local economy to suffer. Residents faced increasing fear, anger and picket lines. Many chose sides. Republican Marion County Sheriff Washington Coppinger led one group of union sympathizers. Ben Parker, the town’s night marshal, led the other faction.

In the fall of 1927, the Wetter company posted a man with field glasses on the roof to identify union workers who passed by the shop in violation of an injunction issued that summer prohibiting union supporters from “picketing and patrolling” near the plant.

South Pittsburg Mayor Alan Kelly, representing Wetter, prosecuted some 70 union men for defying provisions of the injunction, convicting 11 of them.

The injunction was dissolved at the end of November, but workers still were locked out when Christmas came, with only strike benefits to provide for their families.

The split was visible in the two community Christmas trees — one erected by the city and the other raised by union supporters. Union and nonunion men armed themselves and nonunion workers were escorted to Wetter by armed company guards.

On Christmas morning, a group of more than a dozen angry men accosted Kelly on the street, demanding that the guards and strikebreakers be disarmed and threatening to do it themselves.
Emotions ran high through the day, and a deputy saw city Marshal Ewing Smith push a union member and draw a gun on him. When the deputy tried to intervene, Smith and other city officers, including Ben Parker, aimed their weapons at him.

The deputy notified Coppinger of the incident.

Around 9 p.m., Coppinger and three other deputies arrived and encountered the “city gang” at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Third Street. A group of men with shotguns jumped out of a car and joined the city officers, among them some Wetter guards.

Coppinger told the group he wanted no trouble but said he would have to arrest the officers who had drawn their guns on his deputy.

In moments, shotguns fired and history was made.

Onlookers reported that there was an initial hail of gunfire, a lull, then an endless exchange of fire as the city and county forces blasted away at each other, separated by a bare 30 feet. More than 100 shells were found at the scene, and gunshots pocked the brick of nearby buildings and shattered store windows.

The governor called the National Guard to restore order.

And the city buried its dead. The shootout claimed the lives of Coppinger, his deputy Lorenza A. Hennessey, Parker, Smith, Wetter guard Oran H. LaRowe, and South Pittsburg Police Chief and county deputy James Connor.

Twenty or more men were believed to be involved in the shootout and at least four were injured but survived. Those receiving slight wounds were, John Holden, Lafayette Nelson, and Charles Tidman. As a guard against other trouble that might arise between citizens as a result of Sunday night’s street battle, the city authorities were soon in touch with Governor Horton who rushed to the scene troops of the Tennessee National Guard, under Lieut. Col. Bushhotlz who at once took up their work of patrolling the streets of the city.