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Three heavy boxes


You’re looking at three heavy boxes on that bottom shelf there. They’re physically heavy because they’re full of paperwork. But much bigger deal: they’re emotionally heavy because they contain everything I own that’s related to Randy Weaver and the horrors his family endured. Correspondence with Randy from jail. Notes from his trial. Notes and photos from my visit to his home (including the spot where son Sam was murdered by fedthugs).

I want them gone.

I was “political” before Ruby Ridge. Afterward, I was … different. Heartbroken. Outraged. Radical. I knew everything had changed the moment I saw those fuzzy images from Idaho on my little antenna-connected boonie TV. I threw myself at that story like I’ve never done before or since with anything, traveling back and forth to the trial, the site of the siege, and the jail where Randy was held. There was a terrible, terrible wrong done and I (one of many, I know) felt it was my place to right it.

I became friends with Randy and we made a verbal agreement to write his story together. Gerry Spence put the kibosh on that. I think Spence planned to write his own book on Randy (and after defending him so ably, pro bono, it was certainly a perk he deserved, though it was a terrible blow to me). In the end, Randy just became a chapter in another Spence volume. Later Randy and daughter Sara produced their own book about the siege, one of those sad, awkwardly written, ungrammatical patriot-movement works that touches those who are already inclined to be moved but never reaches beyond the choir. It broke my heart again to see it.

The best book still remains Every Knee Shall Bow : The Truth & Tragedy of Ruby Ridge & The Randy Weaver Family (later released under a different title) by Jess Walter. Walter was a Spokane Spokesman-Review reporter who covered the trial. He went on to co-author a very big book on the O.J. Simpson case and has since become a prolific and successful novelist. He’s had a New York Times best seller, won an Edgar Allen Poe Award, and was a finalist a few years ago for the National Book Award. He deserves every accolade he’s received and he began by telling the Weavers’ story exactly as it deserved to be told.

So what to do with those three heavy boxes? I once thought about writing a novel from all those notes. But time passed. I never did. Now so much has changed (in my life, in the way the feds choose to deal with “political” resisters after Weaver and Waco, in the world in general) that I can’t imagine ever doing anything with the contents of those three boxes.


It’s now time to start the long, slow slog of renovating the back section of my house. When I moved here in 2013, I moved from a house that had a garage, an attic, a basement, and beaucoup closets. No such things here. All my tools, prep-gear, spare furniture, and mathoms got shoved into the derelict back wing. This spring is the time for moving things out or shuffling them around so that floors can be torn up and rotted foundation beams replaced.

Newly built closets got some of the stuff. The garden shed got a bit. The local thrift store has received its share of donations. But there’s still so much to go — including those three burdensome boxes.

When I told a fellow writer that the boxes were telling me, “Either do something useful with us NOW or pitch us in the Dumpster,” he objected that they were just three little boxes. They couldn’t possibly take up that much space. Besides, surely I could find some use for those documents. What about going through them and scanning the useful ones into the computer?

He’s right, of course. Objectively.

But unlike most writers, I’ve never been a Keeper of Info. I once burned all my family photos. Boxes of my old schoolwork, transcripts, and report cards — out. I threw away 40 years of journal entries that I’d assumed I’d keep forever. The moment I was done writing the documentary film Innocents Betrayed, I hauled a two-foot stack of research materials into the yard, tossed it into a barrel, and (illegally) watched all that genocidal horror go up in smoke.

Each time I’ve done something like that, I’ve felt lightened. Even when the items in question don’t bear the weight of photos of a broken family or notes on a tragedy. It just feels better, cleaner, lighter in every way to have the past gone. Especially any part of the past that carries heavy, but fruitless, emotions.

So please, please don’t tell me about the “practical” things I could do (or not do) with those boxes. I’m not interested in hearing about cheap storage units or in getting suggestions that I store them in the rafters or whatever. My writer friend is correct; these are three smallish boxes and in a purely practical sense there are many ways of dealing with them.

But that’s not the point. The point is that memory is so heavy. Memory takes up so much space and carries so much awful weight.

Those boxes are still telling me, “Do something useful with us or let us go.” I tell you, the temptation to release them to the past forever is strong …


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 27, 2015 11:58 am

    Seems that the story has been told, whatever the outcome or who did and didn’t get the message. So many other stories each day, so many needing to be told and never seeing the light of day. But that isn’t the responsibility of any one person or group, obviously.

    I’d say, pick a nice morning and light the fire…. 🙂

  2. Joel
    Joel March 27, 2015 12:19 pm

    Yeah, what ML said. The book’s been written. (I completely agree with you about Every Knee Shall Bow, it’s excellent. Haven’t followed anything else that writer has written.) If you have an idea for a novelization it would have to be pretty loosely based, because Ruby Ridge is pretty ancient history and nobody but the choir will get it anyway.

    If you don’t have the novel in mind, get rid of it. It’s an anvil you’ve carried around quite long enough. Of course ‘get rid of it’ doesn’t necessarily mean destruction. Is there some other would-be writer interested in the topic who’d take them off your hands?

    Either way, store them no longer. I’m pretty sure we’ve had this discussion: You’re not obligated to suffer for your art.

  3. Kevin Wilmeth
    Kevin Wilmeth March 27, 2015 12:27 pm

    Well, they’re yours, so you get to decide. Seems simple to me. 🙂

    And I’d never argue against a need to be free of them. Far better a whole Claire, than a damaged Claire plus a bunch of papers that hold information we already know. (Details aside, of course, but I suspect that if there was anything in there that was urgently new and revelationary, you’d have said so long ago.)

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I’m in this “life” thing for the people, not the papers. Yes, I understand the value of source material, but that value makes more sense in a saner world than this one anyway; and I’d not be surprised if the reach of your persona, delivering the same information bit by bit over time, has not far exceeded what the papers might ever have done, or might do. As I know I’ve said before, Claire, the biggest part of all you have done for me, you did long ago, and it cannot be undone. Boxes and papers just can’t compete with that.

    Perhaps you’ll find an archivist who wants them. Maybe you’ll bury them somewhere, or have someone else do it for you. Who knows? You get to decide, and in my book at least, if it frees you, then QED it was a good choice.

    Part of this is selfish, of course. I want a whole Claire because you are still of value beyond words, even if you did first “get through” to me many years ago now. The style of your observations is and remains unique, and I want to keep them healthy and coming as long as possible. 🙂

  4. Pat
    Pat March 27, 2015 12:54 pm

    My “v*te” makes it 4-0 — get rid of them. But make it complete — burn them, or shred first and then burn them. No burying, giving away or otherwise leaving them in someone else’s clutches; they’re too personal, and could be subject to misinterpretation or misuse.

  5. just waiting
    just waiting March 27, 2015 1:24 pm

    5th vote for a nice, cleansing fire! Let the flames devour the weight and watch the smoke carry your burden away!

  6. mary in texas
    mary in texas March 27, 2015 1:28 pm

    Shred, burn, get rid of them. I shredded al lot of things several years ago and felt much better. Not that they were all that important, but they were THERE. Now I’m free of them and won’t be saving that sort of thing anymore.

  7. Tahn
    Tahn March 27, 2015 1:31 pm

    Good Lord Claire, What a burden.

    Not being a writer I can offer no help or advice except maybe, what would Mr. Zelman suggest if he could? Can they be used to persecute or prosecute that low life Lon Murderer thug? Could they be used to write a defense manual and help others in a gulch somewhere provide better security? Could they help the Weaver family and would they want them? Can they help others in any way? A library for future historians?

    I don’t know those answers of course but maybe there is a way they could be beneficial to freedom. If not, then let them be gone and be beneficial to your freedom. Good luck and God Bless You!

  8. Ellendra
    Ellendra March 27, 2015 1:35 pm

    If there’s something in there that you think could do some good, then I’d say offer them up to other trusted writers, but put a time limit on that offer. Make sure it’s clear that if the boxes are not claimed by X date, they will be burned.

    And then follow through on it.

    If there isn’t anything you think would do some good if it were published, then I’ll add to the pile of suggestions to just burn it. Sometimes the past has to be let go that way.

  9. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas March 27, 2015 2:55 pm

    Does the Mises Institute or the Independent Institute, for example(s), maintain a document repository, intending to become a full, historical reference library someday? Of course I suppose you may not want some of your material out there, and I see that all of the regulars here are cheering your bonfire. But I can imagine a future book which refers to parts of your story and thereby influences some future generation in ways we would wish. Yours to choose,and you would set me a good example with your flames, as I pay too much storing material worth less than what’s in your boxes.

  10. Karen
    Karen March 27, 2015 3:21 pm

    If you’ve maintained contact, perhaps you could send them to Randy Weaver. Otherwise, add a vote for disposal.

  11. jed
    jed March 27, 2015 4:10 pm

    Oh, Claire, how apropos. I’ve just started the process of going through boxes, intent on dispensing with things I’m tired of storing. Nothing so weighty, except in the purely physical sense, but still with a sense of continuity in my life. But then really, I have no current, and almost certainly no future, need for a lot of books and magazines which I’ve saved because there’s something I think I want to refer to later. Well, it keeps getting later. If anyone in CO wants some back issues of Sky & Telescope, American Rifleman, or Radio Electronics, they’ll be heading for the dumpster soon. Books, gawd, I have boxes and boxes. Old Sci-Fi mostly. Some I will keep.

    But I get the impression these 3 boxes you have are something of an anchor, keeping you from sailing onward. Certainly, there’s a feeling of attachment too, which I’m sure is difficult to let go of. But unless you have a real burning desire to write the story, seems as if it’s time to let it go.

    I’m with Ellendra. Maybe someone would like to have them? Someone such as Vin Suprynowicz? David Hardy is another name that comes to mind. But maybe, just knowing they’re still out there wouldn’t provide that same sense of release, which it seems you’re trying to get.

  12. Claire
    Claire March 27, 2015 7:04 pm

    Well, thank you very much for this shining Commentariat moment, guys.

    I’m surprised at the number of v*tes for simply being done with the heavy boxes (and in flames, too; you do understand very well).

    On some specific points:

    Kevin, thank you, but if I sounded damaged, mea culpa. Burdened, yes. Damaged, no. And even the burden isn’t that big a deal. Just something I’ve become aware of as the time comes to clean out all the spaces, mental and physical.

    Tahn, there’s nothing in the boxes that would put the murderer Horiuchi or his bosses behind bars. If there were, I’d have put it out in public years ago.

    firstdouglas, jed, Joel, and Ellendra, I hadn’t thought about the information in the boxes being valuable to anybody at this late date. But you made me realize I at least need to go through everything before deciding. Thanks for that.

    Karen, I haven’t been in touch with Randy Weaver in years, but my impression even as far back as 1994 or so was that he wanted to move beyond the memories.

    Most of what’s in these boxes is info that’s already known in the world, and the parts that aren’t known are mostly my personal take on things. How magnetic a presence Gerry Spence was at the trial. My horror at standing where Sammy was killed. Visiting the Weaver property and realizing for sure for the first time that the feds were lying through their teeth about what happened up there (because their version of events was absolutely, physically impossible). There are some documents from other trial-watchers, who kept a network informed day-to-day. Things like that. And of course a folder of my letters to and from Randy.

    Nothing of any great value either as new evidence or meaningful history. Still, it was life-altering once.

  13. Claire
    Claire March 27, 2015 7:06 pm

    Oh, and jed — good luck on the de-stuffing. Yeah, it’s hard sometimes. But liberating. Hope it goes well.

  14. jed
    jed March 27, 2015 7:30 pm

    Thanks, Claire. A lot of won’t really be that hard, other than the time/effort of getting stuff out of storage and going through it. I’ve already decided to be just hard-nosed with myself on the “do I really need to keep this” question.

  15. LarryA
    LarryA March 27, 2015 10:27 pm

    Any place close to you that takes paper for recycling? When I cull paperwork, that feels better to me than burning, but YMMV.

  16. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair March 28, 2015 5:39 am

    I threw four old boxes out from the room that they’ve been sitting in for 10 years or more and my wife locked me out of the house. When she asked me back a few days later, I decided it was my opportunity to be rid of her. I now expect to move into a 600-square-foot two-bedroom apartment on April 1. I’ll be getting rid of lots of stuff to fit there. It felt great to trash the LP records I’d been carrying around for 35 years, but hadn’t played in over 20. It felt great to trash a bunch of old clothes I never wear any more. I separated my books into the few I’ll keep and the majority I’ll trash (trashing all the old political screeds). I expect it will feel not so great to sell a few of my rifles that I’m not shooting any more, and even greater to use the proceeds to finally get a couple of handguns now that I’m no longer under the thumb of the People’s Republic of New York (Vermont ain’t perfect, but black rifles in the Walmart says a lot).

  17. Shel
    Shel March 28, 2015 5:45 am

    Being a (possible) pack rat who sometimes feels sympathy for the hoarders on TV, I don’t feel qualified to give advice about the boxes 🙂

    You did help to regurgitate the memories of Randy Weaver’s yellow lab shot in the rectum, his dead son, the outrageous report of the U.S. Marshalls, Vicki shot in the face (with Horiuchi changing his story) and falling on their infant, the shotgun wielding robot on the front porch taunting the children about breakfast, the militaristic “rules of engagement” of obtuse origin, and his legal exoneration thanks to Gerry Spence. Spence, BTW, got a little crazy in his own writing, saying that everything has a right to live, including squirrels, asking “Did you ever see a starving squirrel?”

    I’ve read Weaver’s book. He wondered why he wasn’t killed when he went to pick up his son’s body. I figure either the Marshalls had retreated out of range or somebody developed a conscience at the individual level. I also think that his daughter’s courageous choice to step behind him to be a shield as they walked back in the front door probably saved his life. I didn’t know about Walter’s book; it sounds objective. Thanks.

  18. Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume
    Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume March 28, 2015 5:56 am

    Claire, please don’t destroy the materials. At least offer to give them away and ship them freight collect. There is no telling what another mind might mine from them or what kind of historical value they might hold in 100 years.

  19. jed
    jed March 28, 2015 6:29 am

    Wow, Bill. This is a real year of change for you.

    I’m not going to be getting rid of my LP vinyl. There’s music in that collection I still want to listen to.

  20. Alertjaay
    Alertjaay March 28, 2015 6:34 am

    It’s not what we take with us when we leave this world behind us, It’s what we leave behind us when we go. We cannot take it with us so, deal with it now. I understand the work and especially the attachment to these three heavy boxes. Ask Randy and family if they want them. If not, fire has a way of cleansing.

  21. Stryder
    Stryder March 28, 2015 6:37 am

    Sometimes you just need to be able to abandon your baggage.

  22. KiA
    KiA March 28, 2015 8:09 am

    jeez. so dramatic with the burning — on a backwoods home blog nonetheless.
    i don’t oppose it, but how about in a practical sense: paper briquettes?

    personally i’m a keeper. i don’t remember what i keep. so i could lose them and i won’t know what i’ve lost. but the moment i see them, i remember. i can’t bring myself to perform self induced physical amnesia.

    if you do decide to keep it, having a feeding scanner capable of double sided scanning in 1 pass would prevent you from going thru them. in digital form, they’ll occupy such relatively little space that there’s no point in going thru them to sort the useful ones.

  23. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal March 28, 2015 8:19 am

    I think the papers should be archived somewhere. You might think it has all been said, but each person’s perspective is different and it would be a tragedy to lose your perspective on the events and aftermath.

  24. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed March 28, 2015 8:22 am

    Hmmmm. Well on a philosophical level, I really hate to see information destroyed forever.
    The idea of converting it into electronic form where it will take up less space is a fair one, but it takes time and headspace to do that. And, it should, on some level be accessable by somebody, otherwise it might as well be destroyed.

    I can certainly sympathize with wanting to be liberated from it, though, as a packrat bordering on a hoarder, I am not one to talk.

    A thought:
    are you still in touch with Randy? Maybe ask him?

  25. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 11:47 am

    I just tried going through the first box and was too upset to continue. Upset for the monstrous crimes committed against the Weavers (when their only real “crime” was a desire to be left the hell alone). But also upset for the person I was back then — hopeful, naive, unaware of the depths that perfidy could reach, and thinking I could right wrongs.

    The first material I happened to pull out of the box was the most personal. My letters to Randy. My notes from interviews with his friends. And (something I didn’t even know I still had) copies of my journal entries from the days of the siege, when I only knew Randy as “the man on the mountain.” But already I felt a powerful identification with the Weavers (something I never felt during the Waco standoff). I got the shivers, reading those journal entries and seeing how sucked in I was from the very first.

    Without going into detail (because what happened to the Weavers is 1000 times more important than anything that ever happened to me), I got sucked in by my own passions. But I got badly burned later by some very cynical machinations — and those were on the part of the supposed “good guys.” I was extremely naive and insufficiently armed and armored.

    I realized I don’t ever want anyone to see the contents of those boxes. There’s very little of historic value and too much personal humiliation in them. But after reading those few bits it now seems harder than ever to think about ridding myself of that “anchor.”

    Weird. Paradoxical. I fear I sound overly dramatic. I knew my involvement with Weaver had changed my life, but being reminded of how it changed it was like being pummeled with a blunt emotional object.

    I’ll probably put the boxes away for now then throw them out eventually without looking into them again. Sorry, my historian/archivist/hoarder friends.

  26. Pat
    Pat March 28, 2015 12:52 pm

    I went through that emotional upheaval several years back after looking through some letters sent to and fro. They were almost embarrassing to read, to realize how naive I was (in my 30s yet!), and to remember specifics that were said and done in the name of trust.

    Sometimes it’s better not to look back, but to put your head down and plow forward. Your self-realization will thank you.

  27. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 12:57 pm

    Thank you, Pat. And sadly understood.

    I honestly don’t know how so many people can look back on their lives and feel anything from pride to calm acceptance about their own starry-eyed or otherwise foolish younger selves. I often wish, these days, that I’d simply been born cynical so that I wouldn’t have had to go through all the pain of becoming cynical.

  28. Pat
    Pat March 28, 2015 1:41 pm

    “I often wish, these days, that I’d simply been born cynical so that I wouldn’t have had to go through all the pain of becoming cynical.”

    No, that wouldn’t work, either. If young people were so cynical, they may not bother to try. As it is, they’re so sure of themselves, that that’s how ideas get thought, and things get done.

    Strength is in rising above it, and maintaining *some* degree of hope, and belief in the goodness of man, that cynicism doesn’t overcome you. (For it is our fellow man, not nature or society, that brings on cynicism.)

  29. Kyle
    Kyle March 28, 2015 1:44 pm

    Claire, have you considered scanning/digitizing all those materials so you don’t have the weight of those boxes (and quite possibly, to share with us as well?).

  30. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed March 28, 2015 2:57 pm

    Heavens Claire….

    I don’t like to look back at who I was 20-30-40 years ago. The word ‘cringeworthy’ keeps leaping up. and ’embarrasing’.

    But, it was that guy who brought me here today. He may not exist anymore, but I do owe him the benefit of the doubt.

    Burn it then…and be done with it.

  31. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 4:20 pm

    You’re speaking wisdom, UnReconstructed. And yeah, “cringeworthy” is a good word. (How can we be so dumb when we think we’re being so smart or so cool?)

    I can forgive my old self a lot of dumb things. But I have trouble forgiving myself when I’ve been overly trusting or naive. Dunno why. I can shake my head ruefully and laugh about the drugs I ingested or the time my 18-year-old self weaved down the expressway at 97 mph (in a Rambler station wagon, yet) just for the hell of it. But when I’ve trusted where I shouldn’t have trusted, believed where I shouldn’t have believed, hoped where I shouldn’t have hoped … I get really upset with my old self. And heck, in this case I was truly old enough to know better. Just a quirk, maybe. But it’ll be a while before I feel okay again, having read those documents.

  32. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 4:24 pm

    And yes, I will burn them. I just can’t bring myself to do it right now. But it needs doing and I’ll do it.

  33. Karen
    Karen March 28, 2015 4:59 pm

    “But also upset for the person I was back then — hopeful, naive, unaware of the depths that perfidy could reach, and thinking I could right wrongs. ”

    I doubt any of us would live long enough to have these looking back episodes if we started out as realistic, cynical and hardened as we frequently become.

    I had a somewhat similar experience years ago when I came across a book of poetry I’d written during my years in a relationship that only a very young girl would ever have gotten into. It was incredibly sad to see the gullible needy person who’d written that crap(not implying your writings were crap). I chose to dwell on the positive growth that had occurred since then and the book did go into the woodstove, never to mock me again.

    I will not, however, completely give up my inner Pollyanna. The degree to which you cared may have been one of very few saving graces for Randy Weaver. Naïve as it may appear in hindsight, we often have no idea how our words and attentions may affect others and the future.

  34. Shel
    Shel March 28, 2015 5:26 pm

    I agree that whatever you need to do, you should do. It will make for some delay, but they could become fire starters next winter. That way you will get some constructive use out of them.

    While I would have made many cringeworthy mistakes anyway, some decent guidance would have helped in cutting down the number. I never really got it; not everything should have to be learned the hard way.

    Thanks again for bringing up Walter’s book. There are several on Amazon for $0.01 each. I think I’ll spring for one. Not that it matters this time, but do you get credit if we use a link in a posting, or do we need to us the “Amazon” link in the intro?

  35. jed
    jed March 28, 2015 5:44 pm

    Can’t really say it better than Unreconstructed.

    Glad that you’ve come to a decision. That, by itself, should make a big difference.

    This reminds me a bit of a discussion we had, not too long ago, about life-changing decisions. As Jayne so aptly put it, “Shoulda woulda coulda”. Well what’s done is done, and here we are.

  36. jed
    jed March 28, 2015 5:55 pm

    @Shel – use the Amazon link in the intro.

    And don’t forget that quote from Will Rogers: “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” Not accusing you of having bad judgement, because I don’t think you did wrong in getting involved. But where would you be today, had you not done what you did?

    I’ll disagree with Shel, though. I’d do the whole ritualistic burnination trip. Well, maybe not for the whole pile, but certainly for the most moving pages, which are now at hand. Having done so, I might be content with shredding the remainder. I hope the environmental police are not going to be an impediment. (And I can already hear your response to that.) 🙂

  37. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 6:25 pm

    “Thanks again for bringing up Walter’s book. There are several on Amazon for $0.01 each. I think I’ll spring for one. Not that it matters this time, but do you get credit if we use a link in a posting, or do we need to us the “Amazon” link in the intro?”

    Shel — You can use any of my Amazon links, the one at the top or any link in any post. As long as you enter Amazon through one of them, everything you buy during that Amazon visit will be credited to me. Thanks for asking!

  38. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 6:29 pm

    “I chose to dwell on the positive growth that had occurred since then and the book did go into the woodstove, never to mock me again.”

    Salute! Karen. Well handled (and oh yeah on “never to mock me again”).

    I’m starting to wonder if this is a largely female phenomenon — the burning of old sorrows. Well, females and poets, maybe. I expect a lot of the guys are saying, WTF????

  39. jed
    jed March 28, 2015 6:45 pm

    Ah, I was thinking of links posted in comments being ones that wouldn’t have the referral.

    If I could find one that didn’t suck, this would be where I would post a link to a video of Christine Lavin performing “Sensitive New Age Guys”. Oh well.

  40. Claire
    Claire March 28, 2015 6:54 pm

    jed — And you’re right about that. Links posted in comments don’t have the “magic” code (unless someone takes the time and knows how to put the code in).

    “Sensitive New Age Guys.” LOL, I don’t know the song, but spare me the concept!

  41. Ellendra
    Ellendra March 28, 2015 8:03 pm

    “I can forgive my old self a lot of dumb things. But I have trouble forgiving myself when I’ve been overly trusting or naive.”

    Trust is a form of attachment. And when it’s broken, it rips a spot open and leaves a wound.

    It sounds like the wound is still there.

  42. LarryA
    LarryA March 28, 2015 9:42 pm

    I’m starting to wonder if this is a largely female phenomenon — the burning of old sorrows.

    Nope. I have a box of files from my old teaching partner. (The one I dedicated my novel to.) They’re old enough to be discarded, but I just can’t trash them. Although as I said earlier, they’ll be recycled in our shooting range compost pile instead of burned.

    But I have trouble forgiving myself when I’ve been overly trusting or naive.

    Love is a many-splintered thing. And yeah, I’ve said my share of “Why didn’t I see that coming.” And contributed to that feeling in others enough to make me blush.

    But when you take that leap with someone and it works… O.M.G.

    (Sorry. Coming up on the 46th anniversary of the Best Decision I Ever Made.)

  43. Shel
    Shel March 29, 2015 5:24 am

    As to guilt re being overly trusting and naive, I likely have a competing number of fishhook wounds in my mouth. With everything, there’s a flip side. My never married (i.e., “old maid”) excellent high school math teacher would have a saying a day on the blackboard. She started with hers, which was “The road to learning is long and hard.” That’s fair enough. She then went around the room and had a different student come up with a saying for each day. I can’t even remember mine, so it couldn’t have been much. But another student, being an intelligent smart aleck, put up the only other one I remember: “The trouble with being a liar is not that no one will believe you, it’s that you cannot believe anyone else.” Although I can in no way relate to someone who has that problem, it may be at lease as hard to fix as ours is. Our teacher, lacking in life experience, took it down as inappropriate.

  44. Tahn
    Tahn March 29, 2015 1:12 pm


    Maybe the story to write is not about the Weavers, except as a background perhaps, but your transformation that their story invoked in you. Could help others. Don’t know. Good luck!

  45. david
    david April 1, 2015 6:23 am

    Sometimes, our emotions and memories can slow us down in our path forward. Many people call it ‘baggage’, and we drag it around. It often weighs more than we think. Sometimes, I’ve had to just accept that something happened the way it did for whatever reasons existed at the time, and let go of it all. For some things there just aren’t ‘answers’ to, aren’t any solutions that will make them feel better, or easier to live with.

    I was at Kent State on ‘that day’. Several years later, I picked up a weird hitchhiker whom I discovered a long time later to be Jeffrey Dahmer. Those things didn’t bother me much, but both permanently altered my view of politics and personal security. It was personal events that became my baggage, like suitcases with bricks in them. I just had to let it all go – emotionally and physically too. So I tossed the memory items.

    If you can’t ‘let go’ of the boxes, hide them away until you’re more comfortable with the memory and have less sense of obligation toward the boxes. That way you can ease yourself out of that time and situation. They will always make a nice fire… but it doesn’t have to be this week, even though you sound as if you are almost ready.

  46. Claire
    Claire April 1, 2015 7:56 am

    david — that was lovely. And creepy.

    Perfect advice on the fate of the boxes and their associated mental baggage.

    And you and Dahmer alone in your car? Ack. (My own too-close encounter was with Charles Manson, and though we had significant one-on-one time it was in a public place and was before his murderous gang was in full operation.)

    Kent State … still a heartbreaker. How those Guardsman managed to fire into a “dangerous mob” yet hurt only bystanders …

  47. david
    david April 6, 2015 5:46 am

    Claire –
    The rest of the Dahmer story gets really creepy. But I won’t tell it here. However, you have my email address from my comments, so if you want the rest of the story email me and I’ll reply with the details. It wasn’t really too bad – he apparently had not started on his claim to fame lifestyle as yet. But when I relate the details most folks get the shivers at least briefly – mostly I suppose because of what he did later.

    There’s more to the KSU May 4th story too. But of course, the details may be less interesting than you think. Just as I think the Dahmer story is not all that interesting, but others sometimes do. So I’ll tell you that one if you want to read about it as well.

    I honestly don’t find either THAT interesting or frightening. I look on them as pivotal learning experiences which have altered my outlook and left indelible lessons. I relate the stories for the same purpose, but I feel like most of the people who know them now think of them more as ‘party stories’.

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