A view from Lick Skillet by Gerald Largen: Why would anyone risk jail for a newspaper?

-A A +A

Sometimes one comes upon the most profound, or apt, descriptions of things in the most unexpected places.
So it was the other day as we were reading one of the Maggody series of mysteries featuring Chief of Police Arly (short for Ariel) Hanks of the tiny Arkansas town of Maggody, population 755, written by Joan Hess who resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
On page 37, of Muletrain to Maggody, published by Simon and Schuster, Inc., in 2004, a tale centered on Civil War reenactors, she comments upon a certain group that, “... their resentment simmered despite their ignorance.”
With only a few moments of reflexion, we are sure that you, gentle reader, can call to mind a whole tribe of folks constantly, and noisily expressing their resentment, with an even larger group quietly expressing their resentment, without the least knowledge or understanding of what they are resenting, or why they are resenting it.
In fact, there is a whole political movement now with us composed of members whose resentment of things is exceeded only by their ignorance.
The less they know, the more they resent.
For those of you of a more metropolitan background, we feel it incumbent upon us to keep you apprised of applicable local folkways.
We told you the other day about a recent cold snap being known as “Blackberry Winter,” and previously we had identified for you “Dogwood Winter.”
Well, this past week we are fairly certain that we have experienced that meteorological event know as “Whip-poor-Will Winter.”
The reason that we qualify naming this event to being fairly certain is because we have not actually heard the Whip-poor-Will’s call, nor seen one of the birds so named, but we think it likely that we have just missed hearing or seeing them, which is easy to do, whereas it is difficult not to see the profusely blooming dogwood trees or blackberry briars after which the other two winters are named.
In all likelihood this is the last substantial cold-snap we will have this spring, although on rare occasions there is another, which was usually called “Indian Winter”.
When we wrote our warning about the dangers of radical Islam last week, little did we suspect that the day after the publication of that column news would be released that would add weight and urgency to that warning.
We refer, of course, to the arrest by the Federal authorities of the Florida Imam and his sons for their activities in raising and transmitting a large sum of money to the Taliban/al Qaida forces fighting and killing our servicemen and women in Afghanistan.
As the reader knows, Imams are the leaders of the Islamic Faith.
It has been said that they serve “a function similar to that of a priest or rabbi.
He conducts religious services, performs marriages and funerals, gives counseling, and teaches adult and children’s classes.”
Obviously these are men of great influence in the Islamic community.
We may never know just what poisonous seeds this imam has planted in his Florida mosque, until and unless these seeds mature and bear fruit such as those of the Virginia imam whose teachings lead to the Fort Hood slaughter of service men by the army doctor who had been indoctrinated by this imam’s teaching of hatred for the United States and their people, even though he was himself a native born American citizen.
It is gratifying to learn that Attorney General Holder’s Justice Department is not going to allow such anti-American behavior under the cloak of freedom of religion.
Faithful readers may have noticed that we have over the years utilized the Chattanooga Times Free Press as the source for items we have written about.
It may also have been noted that in the past few weeks such references have been few.
The reason for this is that there is in our fair community someone who has decided to steal our copies of the Times Free Press in the early hours of
the morning shortly after Mr. Bridges, the carrier has made his delivery.
We first subscribed to the Chattanooga paper when it was still just the Chattanooga Times, owned by the original company that Adolph Ochs, the owner not only of the Chattanooga Times but also the New York Times, established after his brief career in Knoxville, back in the late Nineteenth Century.
The late Elizabeth Stinnet Pruit was a local reporter for the paper at times, and forty or more years ago she also undertook local delivery of the paper and asked if we wished to subscribe.
Since the Nashville Tennessean had discontinued local delivery, we agreed to subscribe with Lib (or Liz as she later was known on her radio appearances), and we have been a subscriber ever since.
Since we closed our office in town, we have imposed upon our friends at various locations to have the paper delivered to them, including Brown Funeral Home, Sweet and Spicy Cafe, and Tom McFarland’s law office out on North Kentucky Street.
When Tom moved his office down to Race Street in the old Kingston Bank and Trust Building, he graciously agreed to continue allowing delivery of our paper to the new location.
Three or four weeks ago, we started missing papers, and after this happened a few times, we called the paper to see what was the matter.
They contacted Mr. Bridges whose family has delivered the paper to this area for several years.
He in turn called us to assure us that he had delivered the paper every day, and we are sure that he has.
Although we have greatly missed the paper, we did not wish to blow up the filching of a newspaper into a cause celebre.
But since the theft has continued to the point that we now only get one or two issues out of the seven which we have paid for, we have concluded that the theft is deliberate criminal conduct and must be stopped.
Accordingly we have filed a complaint with the police and when the culprit is identified, we will assist the prosecution in any way possible.
To aid the police, we call upon the honest people of Kingston to keep any eye out for anyone coming out of the entrance foyer leading into the Star Physical Therapy Clinic and Tom McFarland’s law office on Race Street, in the early morning hours bearing a rolled up newspaper to report the identity of the thief to the Kingston Police Department.