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As Yogi Berra said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

I got a little freaked out this weekend. But, the story actually starts a couple of years ago.

I have mentioned in passing that I had a great uncle who was a Socialist. He has since passed away, but he has left a legacy. He wrote for a local paper that at least some of my family called a Socialist paper. Many of those papers have been saved, so we have them to look back on his life and examine the things that he wrote about. But, the problem is that those papers are not in a digital format, therefore they are not easy to access. It turns out that maybe he wasn’t quite as Socialist as I had been lead to believe.

I had mainly only heard from my relatives what my uncle had written. And, I was thinking that it might be interesting to read some of the things that he wrote now that I am writing a blog. I didn’t really know what to expect, in that my family had told me how bizarre and strange his ideas were. I became interested in finding out what he had written, but all of those papers were clear across the country gathering dust in some storage closet.

Well, I suggested that we should try to post some of his writings on the web so that we could share them. One friend of the family took on the task of scanning a large number of the columns into a gif format that I could read, but in order to post them on the web I would need to type the columns into the computer. This was a daunting task that always seemed to get a low priority when I considered tasks to do. I received over 100 of his columns which he wrote in the weekly column. I estimate that he must have written at least 2000 over about 40 years. I opened up one file and read about a dancing escapade that he went on to an ethnic recreation center. I was a bit let down by the column. I was expecting something much more political, but I read about dancing.

It must have been luck of the draw. And, unfortunately it was bad luck for the project. I didn’t really feel like transposing a column on ethnic dance into a digital format, so the project took a back seat to other things - like writing my blog.

However, this weekend I decided to send out a Christmas picture to the relatives. Then I decided to clean up my e-mail when I came across an e-mail pertaining to this project. I had forgotten about it, but I thought that I might as well give it another go. I opened up a couple more of these gif files that were simply named by what seemed to be arbitrary number. I read a column he had written in 1971 when he went to a talk given by Madalyn Murray O’Hair. I thought that it was quite interesting from its 1971 perspective. She had just won her school prayer case and she was starting a new religion that she proposed in order to get tax exempt status for businesses willing to be bought by her church. I quickly transposed this interesting article.

I opened a new gif file once again at random and read a 1970 article about Martin Luther King’s sex life. This column was a bit scary to me, because it sounded like something that I might write. My uncle delved into the all the Biblical sex stories. He went on to tell us about new religions like the Latter Day Saints that believed that polygamy was sanctioned by God. I never read that article before - I was nine when it was published. But, what was happening to me? Was I channeling my uncle in some strange way in my current blog? Was there some common DNA that his father and my great grandfather had both passed down to us? Or, was this just a random chance coincidence?

After I had transcribed this interesting column I opened another gif at random. This one was written in January 1958. That was 50 years ago this month. It was about his experience of being called up for jury duty. Suddenly I had a strange déjà vu experience. I had written a blog entry about my jury experience in 2005.

The jury duty column wasn’t the freaky part though. It was his style. He wrote like me. Or, actually he wrote like me before I was born. So, I guess that means that I wrote like him. But, I had never really read any of his stuff. He wrote over 2000 articles for a Socialist paper that my parents wouldn’t even have in our house.

His jury duty piece started by describing the basic process of jury duty. But, as he told his story he told us about his friend who was “being indicted by the government as a conspirator against the Non-Communist provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act.” He told of how he questioned people in the room and asked them what they thought about Communism. He told us how this was a typical jury. And, then he laid the bombshell on us by saying that if he were to be tried on similar charges he would not opt for a jury trial. The conclusion put everything into a nutshell. Americans may not be able to mete justice in every case. Wow! That’s how I might try to make a similar point - it was freaky.

Anyway, if you want to read these pieces they are posted at: “My Mixed Up World.”

If you like what you read you might like to bookmark the page, because I plan to add more articles. And, you might want to read my jury duty article just for grins.


Don’t forget what Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit


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