Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pending execution in Texas

I have missed a number of executions. No excuses, just a confession.

Tonight I signed a petition on behalf of Beunka Adams. His execution is scheduled for April 26, 2012 in Texas.

In 2002, Richard Cobb and Beunka Adams robbed a store and took three hostages, two women – Candace Driver and Nikki Dement – and one man – Kenneth Wayne Vandever. They drove the hostages to a field where Vandever was shot and killed. Both women were wounded.

Beunka Adams has never denied his involvement in the robbery, but he has always claimed that he didn’t shoot anyone and that he tried to stop his co-defendant from harming the victims. Adams’ co-defendant confessed to the shooting and the two men were not tried at the same trial. It is suggested that the jurors were convinced that Adams fired the gun because of evidence being held from them. Reports also suggest that Adams has not received adequate legal representation.

I grieve for Kenneth Wayne Vandever and all who loved him; I grieve for Candace Driver and Nikki Dement. What happened to them was brutal and unconscionable.

However, the execution of Beunka Adams by the State of Texas will not bring them back; it will further the cycle of violence and brutalize our society. I believe that the use of the death penalty as an instrument of justice places the state in the role of God, who alone is sovereign. In a representative democracy, the use of the death penalty places citizens in the role of executioners. I reject that role and say, “Not in my name.”

You too can sign the petition.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty

Not quite the same

Wandering through the Half-Price Bookstore on Thursday evening, I came across several versions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. I decided that watching the trilogy – or at least as much of the trilogy as I could – would prove fitting entertainment for what could be my last night in the Shire.

I own the extended versions – they reside in Cleveland and serve as the basis for a family Christmas tradition. I pondered buying another set but, to save some bucks, opted for the original releases. They only cost $2.00 each.

I have enjoyed watching them – about half at the Shire and half at the Shire on the Hudson. Good, good stuff, just not the same as the extended versions.

It has been a good ride. I am glad I got them. I can’t wait to see the extended versions again.

See you along the Trail.


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Filed under Family, Movie


Long line
slowly moves,
privilege whines.

20 April 2012 


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Filed under Poem, Travel

Shelter in the storm

Time and again, I would return to the Shire to find that the electricity had gone out. The clocks showed me that. Power seemed somewhat fragile.

Yet two years in a row, when snow and ice sent Louisville into a deep freeze, the Shire provided shelter in the storm for me and served as a warm place of refuge for friends stranded in the city, for friends whose homes, as had many in other parts of the city, had lost power.

See you along the Trail.


Filed under Family, Friends

The pain comes

Every morning,
the pain comes.
Upon waking,
the pain comes.

Different places,
the pain comes.
Different degrees,
the pain comes.

Constant companion,
the pain comes.
Keep on going,
the pain comes.

UA 3460
17 April 2012

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Filed under Poem

Dismantling the Shire

The evening saw, not the Scouring of the Shire (written by Tolkien but not used by Jackson), but the Dismantling of the Shire. That word doesn’t really fit either. Let me write a bit about what happened and see if a fitting word emerges.

A few years back, more than I can remember at this point, Tricia and I purchased the Shire – a three-bedroom condominium in Jeffersontown – east of Louisville. It served us well and became a site of hospitality for co-workers, folks who worked on projects with me, family members, and even an Obama campaigner. Not counting family, I think twenty people stayed at least one night at the Shire. Some stayed a few more.

When I moved to New York, the time came to sell the Shire – no Sackville-Bagginses being present to take it off my hands. That has proven easier to say than to do. Over time,we have removed different items. Some given away; some thrown away; and some sold. Still no one appeared on the horizon to buy the Shire itself. But that may change soon. Or not.

In any event, with Tricia and I both in town (it does happen), we used our time to sort through the remaining items. When I leave on Friday, little will remain in terms of household goods. Some large pieces of furniture will remain. But we will have dismantled the Shire, for all intents and purpose.

An era slowly draws to a close.

See you along the Trail.


Filed under Family, Friends, Photo

Growing up?

It was one of those: “I’m not real sure what to make of it moments.”

Tonight was laundry night. Always a high point. Although there was some urgency as I go on the road tomorrow. Clean clothes always helps make the journey pleasant.

The washing completed, I placed the clothes in the dryer and returned to my apartment to watch Daniel Day-Lewis find Madeline Stowe again – no matter where she went. I have long ago lost track of how often I have viewed this one. We first got it as a VHS and we may still have it.

Things timed out so that the movie ended about when it seemed the time to go check the laundry. I got there early – about a minute remained on the dryer.

Fascinated, I watched the cycle spin to an end. All sorts of clothes tumbled past. Yes, I am one of those who puts everything in the same load.

After a few seconds, I noticed that while there were different items of clothing, there was a dull sameness to them. Pastel blues. Whites. Blacks. Grays. A brown or two. Dull. Dull. Dull.

Have I grown up? Do I need to do anything about this? I wonder.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Movie