Fishing with Hemingway

Prologue Ernest Hemingway lived in Key West from 1928 until 1937 when he left to cover the Spanish Civil War.  The Key West years were among Hemingway's most productive—he completed four novels and some of his best-known short stories. Hemingway was a friend to the Key West wealthy as well...

Jim Elliott Post

Lambdin Purday Milligan, my Great-Great Grandfather, was arrested as an advocate for Indiana’s Underground Railroad.  His arrest and subsequent pardon by President Lincoln was an impressive story and it became our family legend.  Being aware that facts surrounding family legends are often embellished—or forgotten if the ancestor happened to be hanged for stealing horses—I decided to research Milligan’s history.   My search revealed that he never participated in the Underground Railroad and President Lincoln never pardoned him.  The true story of Lambdin Milligan …

There are no comments, click here be the first one!

Saga of the Semicolontop comments

The late Kurt Vonnegut claimed that if you wanted to really piss off your parents, and didn’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you could do for them was go into the arts. Vonnegut was also generous with his advice on punctuation: “Do not use semicolons, they are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing and all they do is show you’ve been to college.” We know the semicolon attaches two clauses that could exist as separate sentences, …

Verne Newhouse,... says:
A very interesting expose of the semicolon; one which is of universal interest.... more
Patricia Majher says:
I love your new website, Jim! It’s nicely organized, attractive in its... more

A few months back, a local newspaper published counterpoint pieces on President Obama’s proposed legislation to increase minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour. Although it has been voted down in a bipartisan vote, the voting public need to stay vigilant on this issue as the Democrats are certain to bring this politically motivated bill before Congress again and again.   Obama used a favorable 2013 Gallup poll to promote increasing minimum wage. He pushed the bill by proclaiming, this is …

There are no comments, click here be the first one!

 We Southerners pretty much agree there is no such thing as too much Southern.  And nothing is more Southern than Collard Greens and Potlikker, especially when presented alongside some fried chicken, black-eyed peas, and a corn muffin.  This is perfection on a plate and it doesn’t suffer a bit if it’s comes in a Styrofoam take-out container from your favorite meat and three.  Collard greens and potlikker, longtime Southern staples, are fast becoming a favorite among culinary all-stars like Hugh …

There are no comments, click here be the first one!

SYMBOL-SEEKER SOCIETY

    James Joyce’s masterful—but incomprehensible—novel Ulysses can be an embarrassment for English teachers.  It puts countless numbers of them to sleep.  And if a few do fight off boredom long enough to finish the book, they more than likely have absolutely no sense of what Joyce has written.  This leaves them with a dilemma: How can they teach a book they either have never read or have no idea of what the book is saying?  Desperate, English teachers decided …

 

Remembering the Milllpond

Ira Alger dammed the Shiawassee River in 1836 and created a millpond.  A settlement soon grew around the Millpond and by the 1930’s, had grown to a small town of 3,500.  One hundred years after Ira Alger dammed the Shiawassee, my family moved to that small town, Holly, Michigan. If you walked past the end of our street, and crossed the Grand Trunk railroad tracks, you would pass the Grinnell Brothers piano factory and the deserted Heinz pickle factory.  Another …

 

SAY NO TO KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS

At a press conference in July 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spelled out the administration’s position on extending unemployment benefits. “Let me say that unemployment insurance … is one of the biggest stimuluses (sic) to our economy. Economists will tell you, this money is spent quickly. It injects demand into the economy, and is job-creating. It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name…”  The administration’s assumption that unemployment benefits will stimulate the economy is based on …

 

ABUSING EXECUTIVE ORDERS

“Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kind of cool.” This is how Paul Begala, former aide to President Bill Clinton, described a Presidential Executive Order. An executive order is a presidential policy directive that implements or interprets a federal statute, constitutional provision or treaty. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that permits executive orders. Presidents justify their use of executive orders through a vague grant of “executive power” given in Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of …

 

Cornbread, Pickled Pig’s Feet, and Regional Nonsense

The one thing most Unitarians can agree on is that they disagree.  I belong to a book club that is much like the Unitarian Church.  We love to disagree.  As a result of our inability to agree on much of anything, not even a name for our group, we simply refer to ourselves as the NoName Book Club.  We reside in Big Canoe, a mostly retired, mountain community 50 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia.  We are congenial, venerable, unfailingly stubborn, …

 

L.S.M.F.T.

L.S.M.F.T. – Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco.  The year was 1946 and you heard the slogan on the radio daily.  It must have worked because it seemed that almost everyone smoked cigarettes.  Smoking made you look mature and sophisticated, although in my hometown, Holly, Michigan, there were very few sophisticates.  The joke was that in Holly, a sophisticate was anyone who could listen to the William Tell Overture without rushing home, worried they might miss the beginning of The Lone …

 

Hemingway’s Hurricane

I was in the Florida Keys on July 4, 1938 to cover the Grand Opening of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway for for the Cleveland Press.  After the opening, I was going on to Key West to interview Ernest Hemingway.  The Press’s editor, Louis Seltzer, knew Hemingway’s wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, from when she was with the paper and convinced her to arrange the interview.  I got the assignment since Hemingway was leaving for Cuba at the end of the week and I was the only reporter …

 
  • Big Canoe Writers Group

    • Full Circle

      by Jim Smith
      There are few of us for whom a particular plant does not evoke special memories. My memory was so touched recently as I sorted through a box of old fo…
    • Second Thoughts

      by Anita Rosen
      Daybreak, he walks into the diner, dirty blond hair caught back in a loose ponytail, pants hanging just right on slim hips. Every female eye drifts to…
    • When the River Ran Backwards

      by Jim Smith
      Abner had about 10,000 acres of the best timber land in the County and was obliged to sell some to pay his taxes. He was tighter than a bull’s ass i…

Jim Elliott © 2016 • Log in