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2019.12.03 22:05 lettertoapostle How can we deal with myriad accusations of sexual harassment and abuse leveled at Joseph Smith?

In this day when all around us men in positions of power and influence are being made to account for their cowardly abuse and harassment of women, I think it altogether appropriate to raise the issue of Joseph Smith’s proclivity in this regard.
In the last few years Comedians Bill Cosby and Louis C.K., as well as actors Jeremy Piven, and Kevin Spacey have been accused as well as producer Harvey Weinstein, NBC anchor Matt Lauer and the man who currently sits in the Oval Office.
Sexual harassment is hardly a new phenomenon, but the deluge of disturbing allegations of sexual assault and harassment by powerful, high-profile men has prompted an increasing number of brave women to come forward with their harrowing tales of sexual abuse and harassment declaring, "me too!"
We are all familiar with Lord Acton’s dictum that, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The one thing all of those above have in common is power. The power of their position, the power of their wealth, the power of their celebrity.
We have reports of Joseph Smith freely and openly bragged about his use of women. “He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked, that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this"
("Interview with William Law. March 30, 1887," Daily Tribune: Salt Lake City, July 31, 1887).
In 1827, Levi Lewis accused Smith of trying to seduce sixteen-year-old Eliza Winters and reports hearing Smith and Martin Harris say that, “adultery was no crime.”
In 1832, we find Eli Johnson “furious because he suspected Joseph of being intimate with his sister Nancy Marinda Johnson.” It was this issue that led to the tarring and feathering of Smith and his near castration.
A year later in 1833, Mrs. Alexander quoted Polly Beswick as saying: “It was commonly reported, Jo Smith said he had a revelation to lie with Vienna Jacques, who lived in his family. Polly told me, that Emma, Joseph’s wife told her that Joseph would get up in the middle of the night and go to Vienna’s bed. Polly said Emma would get out of humor, fret and scold and flounce in the harness. Jo would shut himself up in a room and pray for a revelation. When he came out, he would claim he had received one and state it to her and bring her around all right.”
“Mrs. Warner [sic] Alexander, Statement [1886], original in Stanley A. Kimball Papers, Southern Illinois University; typescript in Linda King Newell Collection, MS 447, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.”
In that same year, 1833 Miss Hill, a servant in the Smith household claimed that Smith made indecent proposals to her, “which created quite a talk amongst the people,” and which Smith supposedly admitted to Martin Harris.
In 1933, Smith’s legal wife Emma witnessed Joseph ‘sealing’ the family’s 16-year-old maid in the barn. William E. McLellin tells us that Emma witnessed their actual copulation through a crack in the barn.
William McLellin, Letter to Joseph Smith III, July 1872, Community of Christ Archives
At some time before 1886, Sarah Pratt said that “Lucinda Harris who was a married lady, a very good friend of mine. When Joseph had made his dastardly attempt on me, I went to Mrs. Harris to unbosom my grief to her. To my utter astonishment, she said, laughing heartily:"
“How foolish you are! I don’t see anything so horrible in it. Why I am his mistress since four years!”
W[ilhem] Wyl [pseud. for Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal], Mormon Portraits: A Study Based on Fact and Documents (Salt Lake City: Tribune Printing and Publishing, 1886). 60.
Sarah Pratt. Sometime in late 1840 or early 1841 John C. Bennett, Joseph's friend reported that he told him that, “he was smitten by the "amiable and accomplished" Sarah Pratt and wanted her for one of his spiritual wives.” Sarah was at the time married to another man.
Smith told Sarah, "Sister Pratt, the Lord has given you to me as one of my spiritual wives. I have the blessings of Jacob granted me, as God granted holy men of old, and as I have long looked upon you with favor, and an earnest desire of connubial bliss, I hope you will not repulse or deny me."
To which Sarah replied, "And is that the great secret that I am not to utter, am I called upon to break the marriage covenant, and prove recreant to my lawful husband! I never will.” She added, "I care not for the blessings of Jacob. I have one good husband, and that is enough for me."
To which Smith replied, "Sister Pratt, I hope you will not expose me, for if I suffer, all must suffer; so do not expose me. Will you promise me that you will not do it?”
"I will ruin your reputation, remember that" (Bennett 1842a, 228-31)
In the fall of 1841, Melissa Schindle was staying with the widow Fuller, who had recently been married to a Mr. Warren, in the city of Nauvoo, tells us under oath that Joseph Smith came into the room where she was sleeping at about 10 o’clock at night, and after making a few remarks came to her bedside, and asked her if he could have the privilege of sleeping with her.
John C. Bennett, letter dated 27 June 1842, “Bennett’s Second and Third Letters,” Sangamo Journal, Springfield, Ill., 15 July 1842. Reproduced in Bennett’s History of the Saints: or, An Exposé of Joe Smith and Mormonism (Boston: Leland & Whiting, 1842), 253–54.
In 1841 Catherine Fuller Warren also swears under oath that Smith got into bed with her without her invitation.
Ibid, p.14
Joseph secretly “slept” with young Emily Partridge according to her own testimony under oath and certainly, without Emma’s knowledge or consent, Emily testified that she “roomed” with Joseph while Emma was somewhere else in the house on the night of their ‘marriage.’
Mormon Enigma, p. 144
As well, according to Benjamin F. Johnson, living in Ramus, Illinois, on May 16, 1843, Joseph shared a room with Eliza, the “daughter of the late Bishop Partridge. “Again, without the knowledge or consent of Emma.
Mormon Enigma, p. 145
Emma discovered that sixteen‐year‐old Flora Woodworth was carrying a gold watch that Joseph had given her in August of 1843. Realizing the implications, Emma demanded that Flora give the watch back. Smith reprimanded her, but Emma refused to be quiet on the carriage ride home. William Clayton, Joseph’s secretary, that he had to employ “harsh measures” to stop her complaining. This raises the question, did Joseph physically abuse Emma.
An Intimate Chronicle, p. 118
While there could be more, we now know of a surety that he had at least ten teenage brides, two just 14 years-of-age:
Fanny Alger, 16 Sarah Ann Whitney, 17 Lucy Walker, 17 Flora Ann Woodworth, 16 Emily Dow Partridge, 19 Sarah Lawrence, 17 Maria Lawrence, 19 Helen Mar Kimball, 14 Melissa Lott, 19 Nancy M. Winchester, 14?
Did he have sex with these young girls?
Here’s what Helen Mar Kimball, just 14 confided to a close friend in Nauvoo about her marriage to Joseph Smith:
“I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.”
Any reasonable person knows that Helen meant it was sexual. As Jeremy Runnells puts it, “This is Warren Jeffs territory,” and had Joseph Smith conducted himself in this manner today, he would have rightfully been imprisoned as Jeffs has been.
The sexual nature of Joseph Smith’s polygamous relationships must be acknowledged as the LDS scripture repeatedly stress it:
“… for they are given unto him to multiply a replenish the earth and to bear the souls of men.”
FairMormon in trying to justify Smith's sexual relationships with 14-year-olds says, “Joseph Smith's polygamous marriages to young women may seem difficult to understand or explain today, but in his own time such age differences were not typically an obstacle to marriage.”
https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy
FairMormon; please. ‘… Difficult to understand and explain today.’ Look at Warren Jeffs, the jury that put him away for life had little difficulty ‘understanding’ why, like Joseph Smith, Jeffs married very young girls. As the prosecution ‘explained,’ convincingly, it was all about SEX.
I am sorry but a 37-year-old man ‘marrying’ a 14-year-old girl was very rare and certainly viewed with a jaundiced eye in Illinois in the 1830s and 1840s and the church’s attempt to make it sound like young girls barely out of puberty marrying middle-aged men was commonplace is deceitfulness.
And let’s not forget it was also illegal.
The notion that it was common in 19th-century America for girls 12 to14-year-old girls to marry is a myth. Just go to your town hall and ask to see the marriage records of the 1800s and you will see how unusual it was. So unusual was it for a 37-year-old man to marry a 14-year-old girl, that as I show in my Letter to an Apostle www.lettertoanapostle.org by use of 1840 US Census data, this 37/14 cohort was likely the only such union in Illinois or New York that year.
I am not sure what point FairMormon, the church current cadre of apologists is trying to make by stating that, this child was instructed to marry the portly middle-aged Joseph Smith by her Dad.
"My father was the first to introduce it to me, which had a similar effect to a sudden shock of a small earthquake. When he found (after the first outburst of displeasure for supposed injury) that I received it meekly."
Compton, Todd (December 1997), In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City: Signature Books.
Don't forget 'dad' was Heber C. Kimball, the same guy who made the statement, “I think no more of taking another wife than buying a cow.”
What a poor child.
What a Dad!
submitted by lettertoapostle to MormonDoctrine [link] [comments]


2019.12.03 21:53 lettertoapostle How can we deal with myriad accusations of sexual harassment leveled at Joseph Smith?

In this day when all around us men in positions of power and influence are being made to account for their cowardly abuse and harassment of women, I think it altogether appropriate to raise the issue of Joseph Smith’s proclivity in this regard.
In the last few years Comedians Bill Cosby and Louis C.K., as well as actors Jeremy Piven, and Kevin Spacey have been accused as well as producer Harvey Weinstein, NBC anchor Matt Lauer and the man who currently sits in the Oval Office.
Sexual harassment is hardly a new phenomenon, but the deluge of disturbing allegations of sexual assault and harassment by powerful, high-profile men has prompted an increasing number of brave women to come forward with their harrowing tales of sexual abuse and harassment declaring, "me too!"
We are all familiar with Lord Acton’s dictum that, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The one thing all of those above have in common is power. The power of their position, the power of their wealth, the power of their celebrity.
Joseph Smith freely and openly bragged about his use of women. “He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked, that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this"
("Interview with William Law. March 30, 1887,"Daily Tribune: Salt Lake City, July 31, 1887).
In 1827, Levi Lewis accused Smith of trying to seduce sixteen-year-old Eliza Winters and reports hearing Smith and Martin Harris say that, “adultery was no crime.”
In 1832, we find Eli Johnson “furious because he suspected Joseph of being intimate with his sister Nancy Marinda Johnson.” It was this issue that led to the tarring and feathering of Smith and his near castration.
A year later in 1833, Mrs. Alexander quoted Polly Beswick as saying: “It was commonly reported, Jo Smith said he had a revelation to lie with Vienna Jacques, who lived in his family. Polly told me, that Emma, Joseph’s wife told her that Joseph would get up in the middle of the night and go to Vienna’s bed. Polly said Emma would get out of humor, fret and scold and flounce in the harness. Jo would shut himself up in a room and pray for a revelation. When he came out, he would claim he had received one and state it to her and bring her around all right.”
“Mrs. Warner [sic] Alexander, Statement [1886], original in Stanley A. Kimball Papers, Southern Illinois University; typescript in Linda King Newell Collection, MS 447, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.”
In that same year, 1833 Miss Hill, a servant in the Smith household claimed that Smith made indecent proposals to her, “which created quite a talk amongst the people,” and which Smith supposedly admitted to Martin Harris.
In 1933, Smith’s legal wife Emma witnessed Joseph ‘sealing’ the family’s 16-year-old maid in the barn. William E. McLellin tells us that Emma witnessed their actual copulation through a crack in the barn.
William McLellin,Letter to Joseph Smith III, July 1872,Community of Christ Archives
At some time before 1886, Sarah Pratt said that “Lucinda Harris who was a married lady, a very good friend of mine. When Joseph had made his dastardly attempt on me, I went to Mrs. Harris to unbosom my grief to her. To my utter astonishment, she said, laughing heartily:
“How foolish you are! I don’t see anything so horrible in it. Why I am his mistress since four years!”
W[ilhem] Wyl [pseud. for Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal], Mormon Portraits, or the Truth about Mormon Leaders from 1830 to 1886, Joseph Smith the Prophet, His Family and His Friends: A Study Based on Fact and Documents (Salt Lake City: Tribune Printing and Publishing, 1886). 60.
Sarah Pratt. Sometime in late 1840 or early 1841 John C. Bennett, Joseph's friend reported that he told him that, “he was smitten by the "amiable and accomplished" Sarah Pratt and wanted her for one of his spiritual wives.” Sarah was at the time married to another man.
Smith told Sarah, "Sister Pratt, the Lord has given you to me as one of my spiritual wives. I have the blessings of Jacob granted me, as God granted holy men of old, and as I have long looked upon you with favor, and an earnest desire of connubial bliss, I hope you will not repulse or deny me."
To which Sarah replied, "And is that the great secret that I am not to utter, am I called upon to break the marriage covenant, and prove recreant to my lawful husband! I never will.” She added, "I care not for the blessings of Jacob. I have one good husband, and that is enough for me."
To which Smith replied, "Sister Pratt, I hope you will not expose me, for if I suffer, all must suffer; so do not expose me. Will you promise me that you will not do it?”
"I will ruin your reputation, remember that" (Bennett 1842a, 228-31)
In the fall of 1841, Melissa Schindle was staying with the widow Fuller, who had recently been married to a Mr. Warren, in the city of Nauvoo, tells us under oath that Joseph Smith came into the room where she was sleeping at about 10 o’clock at night, and after making a few remarks came to her bedside, and asked her if he could have the privilege of sleeping with her.
John C. Bennett, letter dated 27 June 1842, “Bennett’s Second and Third Letters,” Sangamo Journal, Springfield, Ill., 15 July 1842. Reproduced in Bennett’s History of the Saints: or, An Exposé of Joe Smith and Mormonism.(Boston: Leland & Whiting, 1842), 253–54.
In 1841 Catherine Fuller Warren also swears under oath that Smith got into bed with her without her invitation.
Ibid, p.14
Joseph secretly “slept” with young Emily Partridge according to her own testimony under oath and certainly, without Emma’s knowledge or consent, Emily testified that she “roomed” with Joseph while Emma was somewhere else in the house on the night of their ‘marriage.’
Mormon Enigma, p. 144
As well, according to Benjamin F. Johnson, living in Ramus, Illinois, on May 16, 1843, Joseph shared a room with Eliza, the “daughter of the late Bishop Partridge. “Again, without the knowledge or consent of Emma.
Mormon Enigma, p. 145
Emma discovered that sixteen‐year‐old Flora Woodworth was carrying a gold watch that Joseph had given her in August of 1843. Realizing the implications, Emma demanded that Flora give the watch back. Smith reprimanded her, but Emma refused to be quiet on the carriage ride home. William Clayton, Joseph’s secretary, that he had to employ “harsh measures” to stop her complaining. This raises the question, did Joseph physically abuse Emma.
An Intimate Chronicle, p. 118
While there could be more, we now know of a surety that he had at least ten teenage brides, two just 14 years-of-age:
Fanny Alger, 16Sarah Ann Whitney, 17Lucy Walker, 17Flora Ann Woodworth, 16Emily Dow Partridge, 19Sarah Lawrence, 17Maria Lawrence, 19Helen Mar Kimball, 14Melissa Lott, 19Nancy M. Winchester, 14?
Did he have sex with these young girls?
Here’s what Helen Mar Kimball, just 14 confided to a close friend in Nauvoo about her marriage to Joseph Smith:
“I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.”
Any reasonable person knows that Helen meant it was sexual. As Jeremy Runnells puts it, “This is Warren Jeffs territory,” and had Joseph Smith conducted himself in this manner today, he would have rightfully been imprisoned as Jeffs has been.
The sexual nature of Joseph Smith’s polygamous relationships must be acknowledged as the LDS scripture repeatedly stress it:
“… for they are given unto him to multiply a replenish the earth and to bear the souls of men.”
FairMormon in trying to justify Smith's sexual relationships with 14-year-olds says*, “Joseph Smith's polygamous marriages to young women may seem difficult to understand or explain today, but in his own time such age differences were not typically an obstacle to marriage.”*
https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Joseph_Smith/Polygamy
FairMormon; please. ‘… Difficult to understand and explain today.’ Look at Warren Jeffs, the jury that put him away for life had little difficulty ‘understanding’ why, like Joseph Smith, Jeffs married very young girls. As the prosecution ‘explained,’ convincingly, it was all about SEX.
I am sorry but a 37-year-old man ‘marrying’ a 14-year-old girl was very rare and certainly viewed with a jaundiced eye in Illinois in the 1830s and 1840s and the church’s attempt to make it sound like young girls barely out of puberty marrying middle-aged men was commonplace is deceitfulness.
And let’s not forget it was also illegal.
The notion that it was common in 19th-century America for girls 12 to14-year-old girls to marry is a myth. Just go to your town hall and ask to see the marriage records of the 1800s and you will see how unusual it was. So unusual was it for a 37-year-old man to marry a 14-year-old girl, that as I show in my Letter to an Apostle www.lettertoanapostle.org by use of 1840 US Census data, this 37/14 cohort was likely the only such union in Illinois or New York that year.
I am not sure what point FairMormon, the church current cadre of apologists is trying to make by stating that, this child was instructed to marry the portly middle-aged Joseph Smith by her Dad.
"My father was the first to introduce it to me, which had a similar effect to a sudden shock of a small earthquake. When he found (after the first outburst of displeasure for supposed injury) that I received it meekly."
Compton, Todd (December 1997), In Sacred Loneliness:The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith, Salt Lake City: Signature Books.
Don't forget 'dad' was Heber C. Kimball, the same guy who made the statement, “I think no more of taking another wife than buying a cow.”
What a poor child.
What a Dad!
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2018.11.13 04:48 gscs1102 The Unresolved Mysteries Surrounding Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln's Engagement and Marriage: Part 4


Introduction: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9rhmzi/the_unsolved_mystery_surrounding_abraham_and_mary/
Part 1: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9s0d7g/the_unresolved_mysteries_surrounding_abraham_and/
Part 2: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9ua5sf/the_unresolved_mysteries_surrounding_abraham_and/
Part 3: https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9ujnfj/the_unresolved_mysteries_surrounding_abraham_and/

In March, Speed wrote his sister that he was melancholy, and that he would probably be returning home.

“I endeavor to persuade myself that there is more pleasure in pursuit of any object, than there is in its possession. This general rule I wish now most particularly to apply to women. I have been most anxiously in pursuit of one – and from all present appearances, if my philosophy be true I am to be most enviably felicitous, for I may have as much of the anticipation and pursuit as I please, but the possession I can hardly ever hope to realize . . . There is nothing here but some of the very cleverest fellows that God ever made – the truest friends and warmest hearts – that is worth living in this country for.”

It is generally argued that this refers to Matilda, and it well might. But it's hard to know. I think it is possible he was pursuing several women in the hopes of finding a wife before he left. His home was a plantation, where he probably was not close to large groups of eligible women. But he was close to Louisville. Perhaps he thought he'd be a better catch in a less wealthy city like Springfield.

On May 18, shortly after Speed returned to Kentucky, he wrote to William Butler, who was close with both Lincoln and Speed. Lincoln got his meals and laundry done at the Butler home while sleeping with Speed, and it seems Speed may have done the same. Butler was married with young children, and his wife's younger sister, then about 17, lived with them. Her name was Sarah Rickard. She will come up later. Speed indicated he'd received updates from Butler's wife:

“I am glad to hear from Mrs Butler that Lincoln is on the mend. Say to him that I have had but one attack since I left Springfield and that was on the river as I came here – I am not as happy as I could be and yet so much happier than I deserve to be that I think I ought to be satisfied —”

It is unclear if Lincoln was still dealing with his original breakdown, and what Speed's issue was. It is generally assumed to be hypo-related, and an attack of anxiety or depression makes sense. But from the time of year, it could have been malaria. Although I'm not sure how bad that was in Illinois. The disease manifests intermittently - you are struck down by fever, chills, and lethargy for one day, a few days, or longer, then get better, then crash. These kind of statements about "attacks" are in many letters, and the river trip took at least a few days. But unless the follow up question is a non-sequitur, it seems to indicate unhappiness. And that brings us to another question - what is up with Speed? He clearly feels he did something wrong or somehow irresponsible. It's also not clear why he doesn't write to Lincoln himself, but Lincoln was probably living with the Butlers, and it may not have been necessary for him to be writing all of them all the time. They could give each other updates.

Speed never spoke much of Lincoln once Lincoln became President. He was naturally reticent and lived in Kentucky, a border state, which was in a state of extreme turmoil trying to remain "neutral." He and other (often slaveholding) elites wanted it to stay Union; large amounts of the populace leaned Confederate. He was quietly involved in a balancing act and really could not get into his history. After the assassination, I think the simplest answer is that Speed was stunned and upset and had no idea what to say, nor did he want to "cash in" on their relationship. Herndon pestered him for information on Lincoln - he obliged, though it is unclear what he gave Herndon permission to use - he considered Herndon a friend who he could chat with off the record. He eventually sent letters that he thought were "of any interest," after initially saying they were too personal. He clearly did not include all of them, but what he did include was very revealing. If they had a homosexual relationship and some of the cryptic language hints at that, I don't see why he would have turned them over. He certainly did not have to, and they were awkward in any event. It is odd that he chose these letters (but Herndon may well have requested letters from the period he actually lived in Springfield).

But more business-like ones in later years are in existence. It's hard to tell, but it seems like there aren't many later ones because they drifted apart and things got awkward. C. A. Tripp's book argues this has to do with their romantic relationship (and his analysis is certainly interesting), but I think his reasoning could apply to any close relationship. Namely, Speed was very focused on making money in banking, running is plantation, and cultivating fine flower gardens (this was a passion of many men at the time). Lincoln had little interest in wealth or plantations (and had some contempt for them), admittedly disliked flowers, and was pursuing a political agenda that was slowly threatening political stability in Kentucky and the nation at large. They also had their "hypo" episodes and kind of bowed out of society at points.

In any event, he sent Herndon the originals in 1866.

They start on June 19, 1841. Taken from Tripp's The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, it describes a local true crime mystery (how appropriate!) It is so long that I am unfortunately going to have to cut out most of the story, but he clearly wanted Speed to vicariously participate in Springfield events. The gist is that they thought someone had been murdered, but then found out he was allegedly alive.

Dear Speed: We have had the highest state of excitement here for a week past that our community has ever witnessed; and although the public feeling is somewhat allayed, the curious affair which aroused it is very far from being even yet cleared of mystery. It would take a quire of paper to give you anything like a full account of it, and I therefore only propose a brief outline. The chief personages in the drama are Archibald Fisher, supposed to be murdered, and Archibald Trailor, Henry Trailor, and William Trailor, supposed to have murdered him. The three Trailors are brothers; the first, Arch., as you know, lives in town; the second, Henry, in Clary’s Grove; and the third, William, in Warren County; and Fisher, the supposed murderee, being without a family, had made his home with William. On Saturday evening, being the 29th of May, Fisher and William came to Henry’s in a one-horse dearborn, and there stayed over Sunday; and on Monday all three came to Springfield (Henry on horseback), and joined Archibald at Myers’s, the Dutch carpenter. That evening at supper Fisher was missing, and so next morning some ineffectual search was made for him; and on Tuesday, at one o’clock P.M., William and Henry started home without him. In a day or so Henry and one or two of his Clary Grove neighbors came back and searched for him again, and advertised his disappearance in the paper. The knowledge of the matter thus far had not been general, and here it dropped entirely, till about the 10th instant, when Keys received a letter from the postmaster in Warren County, stating that William had arrived at home, and was telling a very mysterious and improbable story . . . When the doctor’s story was first made public, it was amusing to scan and contemplate the countenances and hear the remarks of those who had been actively engaged in the search for the dead body. Some looked quizzical, some melancholy, and some furiously angry. Porter, who had been very active, swore he always knew the man was not dead, and that he had not stirred an inch to hunt for him; Langford, who had taken the lead in cutting down Hickox’s milldam, and wanted to hang Hickox for objecting, looked most awfully woebegone: he seemed the “wictim of hunrequited haffections,” as represented in the comic almanacs we used to laugh over; and Hart, the little drayman that hauled Molly home once, said it was too damned bad to have so much trouble, and no hanging after all. I commenced this letter on yesterday, since which I received yours of the 13th. I stick to my promise to come to Louisville. Nothing new here except what I have written. I have not seen Sarah since my long trip, and I am going out there as soon as I mail this letter. Yours forever, Lincoln

One important part of this is the reference to Molly. Molly was a popular nickname for Mary, and Lincoln usually called her this up until the birth of their first child, after which he usually called her "Mother." Yes, I know that creeps some people out. I know that Mike Pence called his wife that recently at a public dinner and people were appalled, but all I could think in answer to the "who does that?" was "Lincoln did."

The "drayman" reference confirms this is Mary Todd. And he is apparently comfortable making casual references to her as "Molly."

The other important part is the reference to Sarah. When Speed sent the letters to Herndon, he told him he had erased the name Sarah wherever it appeared, but if he had missed one, Herndon needed to erase it. Apparently this one got missed. The theory is that he somehow rejected Sarah Rickard, Butler's sister-in-law, and that may be why he was telling Butler he was happier than he deserved to be - as if acknowledging he'd done something wrong. It's somewhat unclear how that relates to Speed's letter to his sister which indicates he was pursuing a woman, but it may be that he sort of led Sarah along accidentally while seeing this other woman, who may have been Matilda. Speed was known as a lady's man, so there are multiple possibilities.

It's also possible that this as a different Sarah. Lincoln had been gone a few weeks, as he acknowledges, but he generally lived with the Butlers. What does it mean that he is "going out there"? One thing that occurred to me but has never been suggested is what Speed referred to years later, a "girl" he was "keeping." A prostitute. But not a "common" one. Due to fear of STDs, a man or group of friends might support one woman and set her up in an apartment etc. In some cases this was more like having a casual girlfriend, but this was the time of the lady or prostitute dichotomy. Speed claimed both he and Lincoln slept with this woman, according to Herndon. Some argue Herndon misunderstood a joke (Speed's alleged story is that Lincoln found out he didn't have the money to pay this woman, and, ever honest and averse to debt, he got out of her bed before anything happened), or that Speed was trying to assert their heterosexuality. But it was never intended to be publicized and the notes were later found in Herndon's papers, so that seems unlikely.

He'd arrived a few days before, and on June 17th, Mary wrote Mercy that Lincoln "deems me unworthy of notice, as I have not met him in the gay world for months. . . . I would that the case were different, that he would once more resume his station in Society."

In mid-August, after the court session wrapped, Lincoln headed to Louisville.

Mercy had left to marry James Conkling, and Mary wrote her in June:

The last two or three months have been of interminable length . . . after my gay companions of last winter departed, I was left much to the solitude of my own thoughts, and some lingering regrets over the past, which time can alone overshadow with its healing balm.”

This seems to take her back to March, when the legislature adjourned and all the eligible men went home, ending the social season. One of her gay companions may have been Matilda - not sure when she left. Were they also Lincoln and Speed? The Hardins?

Speaking of Lincoln's associate E.B. Webb, who may have gone with them to Jacksonville at Christmas, she wrote to Mercy:

“in your last, you appeared impressed with the prevalent idea that we were dearer to each other than friends, the idea was neither new nor strange, dear Merce, the knowing world have coupled our names together for months past, merely through the folly & belief of another, who strangely imagined we were attached to each other, in your friendly & confiding ear allow me to whisper that my heart can never be his, I have deeply regretted that his constant visits, attentions && should have given room for remarks, which were to me unpleasant, there being a slight difference of some eighteen or twenty summers in our years, would preclude the possibility of congeneality of feeling, without which I should never feel justifiable in resigning my happiness into the safekeeping of another, even should that other be far too worthy for me, with his two sweet little objections.”

In case it isn't clear, Webb was an older widower with two young children, and apparently people thought they were serious. It is interesting that Mercy thought this - maybe she had no idea about whatever happened with Lincoln? She also indicates a person mistaken about this spread the news. The phrase "resigning my happiness into the safekeeping of another" shows how seriously she took marriage, and how significant it was to woman in general. "We had such a continual round of company, gayety && last winter, that after their departure the monotony of the place was almost unbearable,” she said, before explaining she had now “become habituated to quiet.” She spoke of Conkling, and mentioned receiving letters from Speed in Kentucky, as they were friends.And then she wrote this:

His worthy friend, deems me unworthy of notice, as I have not met him in the gay world for months, with the usual comfort of misery, imagine that others were as seldom gladdened by his presence as my humble self, yet I would that the case were different, that he would once more resume his Station in Society, that ‘Richard should be himself again,’ much, much happiness would it afford me.”

This is almost certainly a reference to Lincoln. As Randall put it:

Mary’s way of expressing herself in her letters, while frequently incisive and witty, is often problematic. Her sentences can be fragmentary and elliptical, while her punctuation is consistently inconsistent. Because of these problems the passage above about Lincoln is difficult to interpret. Assuming that the phrase “for months” marks the end of a sentence, what follows seems to mean something like this: “As misery is said to love company, I comfort myself by imagining that other people have been just as infrequently gladdened by his presence as I have been.” The final line of the passage – “much, much happiness would it afford me” – is almost universally taken as clear evidence . . . that she wanted Lincoln back.

I would say that it is evidence that she felt bad about whatever had happened and his collapse, and wanted him to be happy and "himself", socializing not with her specifically so much as all his friends, which is a much more significant thing than wanting him back. Randall then asks:

But if she had her heart secretly set on getting Lincoln back, why, near the end of this letter, did she offer a teasing suggestion of a new interest? Noting that Douglas has been elevated to a judgeship (as part of the packing of the Illinois Supreme Court), she refers to his having been a former admirer of Mercy, who was now engaged to Conkling. “Now that your fortune is made, I feel much disposed in your absence, to lay in my claims, as he is talented & agreeable & sometimes countenances me.” If this is a letter of one who is pining away for Lincoln, the pining is well disguised. But disguised it may well be. Though she affects great intimacy with Mercy in these letters, our perspective enables us to see that she actually played her cards very close to the vest.”

So we do have contemporary evidence that Douglas was a suitor, long before it would have been fun to pose him and Lincoln as rivals for her love as well as in debate.

Lincoln had a great time with Speed and his family, and Speed came back to Illinois with him and September to wrap some things up. The next letter really doesn't relate to this series, but I think it is useful to read. He lived like a king and goofed around with Speed's siblings, bonded with Speed's mother, and generally probably got his first experience in a happy, loving, stable family. He ended up writing to Speed's sister when the boat they were traveling on back made a stop.

When we left, Miss Fanny Henning was owing you a visit, as I understood—Has she paid it yet? If she has, are you not convinced that she is one of the sweetest girls in the world? There is but one thing about her, so far as I could perceive, that I would have otherwise than as it is—That is something of a tendency to melancholly—This, let it be observed, is a misfortune, not a fault—Give her an assurance of my verry highest regard, when you see her—

At some point during Lincoln's visit, Speed fell for a pretty 16-year-old orphan who lived with her uncle (yes, this sounds kind of creepy - he was about 26 or 27 I think). Both he and Lincoln ultimately went for women about 10 years younger. The uncle wouldn't let her out of his sight, so Lincoln posed as a raging Democrat and engaged him in political debates while Speed took her out to the porch, and in a short time they were engaged. Lincoln seemed to really like her, but he may have just been trying to support and encourage Speed. But he seems to have psychologically assessed her pretty quickly. As you will see, this topic is important to Lincoln, and he shows in many ways more wisdom than most people have now about depression and anxiety. I am not sure why Fanny was visiting the Speed family for the first time without Joshua, but obviously the relationship was serious.

So they spent a few months in Springfield. The record then starts around January 3, 1842, right around the time Speed left go to home. He planned to marry in February. These letters are much analyzed but rarely printed in order, which I think matters to the interpretation. They have been called "extraordinary" and are the most personal letters ever found of Lincoln's. Lincoln apparently gave Speed this letter as he was leaving.

My dear Speed:
Feeling, as you know I do, the deepest solicitude for the success of the enterprise you are engaged in, I adopt this as the last method I can invent to aid you, in case (which God forbid!) you shall need any aid. I do not place what I am going to say on paper, because I can say it any better in that way than I could by word of mouth, but, were I to say it orally before we part, most likely you would forget it at the very time when it might do you some good. As I think it reasonable that you will feel very badly some time between this and the final consummation of your purpose, it is intended that you shall read this just at such a time.

The enterprise is almost certainly Speed's marriage. Lincoln then gives an excellent analysis and description of what it is like to struggle with anxiety and/or depression, clearly indicating that Speed struggles with these issues.

Why I say it is reasonable that you will feel very badly yet, is because of three special causes added to the general one which I shall mention.
The general cause is, that you are naturally of a nervous temperament; and this I say from what I have seen of you personally, and what you have told me concerning your mother at various times, and concerning your brother William at the time his wife died.
The first special cause is your exposure to bad weather on your journey, which my experience clearly proves to be very severe on defective nerves.
The second is the absence of all business and conversation of friends, which might divert your mind, give it occasional rest from the intensity of thought which will sometimes wear the sweetest idea threadbare and turn it to the bitterness of death.

The "intensity of thought" quote is an illuminating one, and Lincoln also makes it clear that he believes mental health problems run in families. However, Lincoln does not seem to think that he himself has a nervous temperament, but that he has defective nerves worsened by bad weather. Lincoln probably was talking about depression; while he experienced intense anxiety about certain things, and to have very dark moods, his temperament was famously calm and even.

The third is the rapid and near approach of that crisis on which all your thoughts and feelings concentrate.
If, on the contrary, you shall, as I expect you will at some time, be agonized and distressed, let me, who have some reason to speak with judgment on such a subject, beseech you to ascribe it to the causes I have mentioned, and not to some false and ruinous suggestion of the Devil.

The crisis is Speed's wedding. Lincoln suggests he has experience with these feelings, and encourages Speed to attribute them to essentially freaking out - his nervous temperament, the lack of distractions and ability to dwell, and the great change he is about to make in getting married. What he should not attribute his distress to is "some false and ruinous suggestion of the Devil." I can't shed any light on that one, but he probably means the doubts that tend to creep in and keep somebody from doing what is right. My best guess is that the "suggestion" would be that he does not love his fiancee enough to marry her, or that she won't be happy with him, or that the marriage is in some other way a mistake. What experience Lincoln had in bad weather, and when, seems to be a key question. It's not clear why the bad weather would be specifically "on his journey," but perhaps Lincoln was just referencing that he would be traveling. Or may be he is talking mainly about the journey, because that is where Speed would have no distractions. Lincoln probably intended for him to receive another letter when he actually landed back home.

“But,” you will say, “do not your causes apply to every one engaged in a like undertaking?”
By no means. The particular causes, to a greater or less extent perhaps, do apply in all cases; but the general one,—nervous debility, which is the key and conductor of all the particular ones, and without which they would be utterly harmless,—though it does pertain to you, does not pertain to one in a thousand. It is out of this that the painful difference between you and the mass of the world springs.

His opinion on the statistics is quite interesting, as is his bluntness. It seems incredibly likely that Lincoln thought Mary had a nervous temperament, because she definitely did. His recognition of this issue probably played a large role in his dealing with her behavior, and he must have known it going in. He probably also knew that he was very reassuring to anxious people.

I know what the painful point with you is at all times when you are unhappy. It is an apprehension that you do not love her as you should. What nonsense! How came you to court her? Was it because you thought she desired it, and that you had given her reason to expect it? If it was for that, why did not the same reason make you court Ann Todd, and at least twenty others of whom you can think, and to whom it would apply with greater force than to her? Did you court her for her wealth? Why, you know she had none. But you say you reasoned yourself into it. What do you mean by that? Was it not that you found yourself unable to reason yourself out of it? Did you not think, and partly form the purpose, of courting her the first time you ever saw or heard of her? What had reason to do with it at that early stage? There was nothing at that time for reason to work upon. Whether she was moral, amiable, sensible, or even of good character, you did not, nor could then know, except, perhaps, you might infer the last from the company you found her in. All you then did or could know of her was her personal appearance and deportment; and these, if they impress at all, impress the heart, and not the head.

So here is the crux of the matter: Speed isn't sure he really loves Fanny; he may have "reasoned himself into it," for one reason or another. It's a bit strange that Lincoln implies Speed fell for her the first time he "heard of" her, without any apparent conversation. But we don't have details on their meeting. Lincoln indicates Speed was a flirt, and his reference to Ann Todd is interesting. Ann was Mary's younger sister, who eventually moved to Springfield. But I can't find any record of her being in Springfield before Lincoln's wedding, though it is entirely possible she visited. Lincoln makes it seem like Speed had quite a flirtation going on with her. Mary also had a cousin named Ann Todd, who seems to be a more likely candidate, but some other sources seem to discount this. A slight possibility is that Speed courted Mary's sister in Kentucky.

Say candidly, were not those heavenly black eyes the whole basis of all your early reasoning on the subject? After you and I had once been at her residence, did you not go and take me all the way to Lexington and back, for no other purpose but to get to see her again, on our return in that seeming to take a trip for that express object?

I have to figure out the details on this trip, but Ann Todd lived in Lexington at the time, so I do wonder about Speed's possible connections to the family.

What earthly consideration would you take to find her scouting and despising you, and giving herself up to another? But of this you have no apprehension; and therefore you can not bring it home to your feelings.
I shall be so anxious about you, that I want you to write me every mail. Your friend LINCOLN

You can probably see why people believe there may have been a homosexual relationship here. It is definitely possible. I feel like at least one of the letters would have contained a more obvious hint in that direction if it were the case, as these letters were never intended to be public. But there is a theory that Speed (and Lincoln) worried about marriage because they feared impotence, not being attracted to women. It should also be pointed out that men at this time often did fear impotence with "respectable" women, because they had been taught to treat them reverently and never touch them indecently. Men frequently had dalliances with less respectable women prior to marriage, but then found it difficult to transition. Lincoln's point about how Speed would never prefer Fanny to break up with him, despite his doubts, is a good one. That type of nagging doubt always suggests some better result is out there somewhere, that the current choice will doom everyone. The fact that he is confident of her interest and loyalty and would be horrified if she withdrew it suggests that they are on the right path, and any other choice would be more likely to cause problems than to improve the situation. It's a grass is always greener situation - if she had rejected him, he'd be chasing her, not worrying that he shouldn't be with her. But because he has the comfort of having "no apprehension" about her love, he's now inventing problems with the situation.

The next letter is dated a month later, but it seems to be the next in the series, likely delayed by Speed's traveling, including a trip to visit Fanny. But given that Lincoln had admonished him to write "every mail" it is unclear how often he wrote. The apparent context is that when he returned home, he learned Fanny had left for a better climate due to poor health. They seemed to fear something like tuberculosis, and a quick trip to a drier climate was the usual prescription. If it was tuberculosis, it was known to be fatal (although a lot of things were erroneously diagnosed as tuberculosis, so this may not have been a definite assumption.)

Dear Speed: Springfield, Ills. Feby. 3- 1842-
Your letter of the 25th. Jany. came to hand to-day. You well know that I do not feel my own sorrows much more keenly than I do yours, when I know of them; and yet I assure you I was not much hurt by what you wrote me of your excessively bad feeling at the time you wrote. Not that I am less capable of sympathising with you now than ever; not that I am less your friend than ever, but because I hope and believe, that your present anxiety and distress about her health and her life, must and will forever banish those horid doubts, which I know you sometimes felt, as to the truth of your affection for her. If they can be once and forever removed, (and I almost feel a presentiment that the Almighty has sent your present affliction expressly for that object) surely, nothing can come in their stead, to fill their immeasurable measure of misery. The death scenes of those we love, are surely painful enough; but these we are prepared to, and expect to see. They happen to all, and all know they must happen. Painful as they are, they are not an unlooked-for-sorrow. Should she, as you fear, be destined to an early grave, it is indeed, a great consolation to know that she is so well prepared to meet it. Her religion, which you once disliked so much, I will venture you now prize most highly.

This seems a bit strong even for the time. Lincoln believes watching family members die is worse than doubts about marriage? I understand in their own way the latter can be more likely to drive you crazy, and that at the time death was so common that it was something people were more prepared for in some sense. But clearly, Lincoln thinks this is a good thing - Speed's shift to fear about her health indicates he does really care about her, and isn't wrapped up in his own impulses and interests. Again, grass is always greener. Now that there's a chance her death will prevent their happiness together, he focuses only on that happiness, not on whether he could be happier elsewhere.

But I hope your melancholly bodings as to her early death, are not well founded. I even hope, that ere this reaches you, she will have returned with improved and still improving health; and that you will have met her, and forgotten the sorrows of the past, in the enjoyment of the present.
I would say more if I could; but it seems I have said enough. It really appears to me that you yourself ought to rejoice, and not sorrow, at this indubitable evidence of your undying affection for her. Why Speed, if you did not love her, although you might not wish her death, you would most calmly be resigned to it. Perhaps this point is no longer a question with you, and my pertenacious dwelling upon it, is a rude intrusion upon your feelings. If so, you must pardon me. You know the Hell I have suffered on that point, and how tender I am upon it. You know I do not mean wrong.

Again, Lincoln seems to be pushing it. He was noticeably affected by death his whole life, which was a constant thing at that time - I think he knew that even if you don't love someone, you aren't always calmly resigned to the death of someone you know well, or even one you don't. But we don't have Speed's letters, so presumably the tone indicated a level of concern consistent with deeply caring about the person.

I have been quite clear of hypo since you left,---even better than I was along in the fall.
I have seen Sarah but once. She seemed verry cheerful, and so, I said nothing to her about what we spoke of.
Old uncle Billy Herndon is dead; and it is said this evening that uncle Ben Ferguson will not live. This I believe is all the news, and enough at that unless it were better.
Write me immediately on the receipt of this. Your friend, as ever LINCOLN

Here's Sarah again. As Lincoln was presumably living with the Butlers, I have some doubts this is Sarah Rickard. As I mentioned above, a possible guess is a "non-respectable" woman that Speed had a relationship with. But I have no idea.

Dear Speed: Springfield, Ills. Feby. 13. 1842-
Yours of the 1st. Inst. came to hand three or four days ago. When this shall reach you, you will have been Fanny's husband several days. You know my desire to befriend you is everlasting---that I will never cease, while I know how to do any thing.
But you will always hereafter, be on ground that I have never ocupied, and consequently, if advice were needed, I might advise wrong.

Speed had announced he was getting married February 15th. Why Lincoln delayed several days in responding is unclear - probably he didn't know what to say. The last line has always seemed very profound to me. Rarely is someone so upfront about admitting they simply do not have the experience with so serious a matter to attempt giving advice. And I think he truly did see marriage as that serious a matter. And he recognized that it greatly altered one's obligations and approach to life.

I do fondly hope, however, that you will never again need any comfort from abroad. But should I be mistaken in this---should excessive pleasure still be accompanied with a painful counterpart at times, still let me urge you, as I have ever done, to remember in the dep[t]h and even the agony of despondency, that verry shortly you are to feel well again. I am now fully convinced, that you love her as ardently as you are capable of loving. Your ever being happy in her presence, and your intense anxiety about her health, if there were nothing else, would place this beyond all dispute in my mind. I incline to think it probable, that your nerves will fail you occassionally for a while; but once you get them fairly graded now, that trouble is over forever.

The term "excessive pleasure" is interesting. He almost seems to be getting at a bipolar-type condition that Speed suffers from. Or perhaps that he's just very idealistic and gets carried away by things, but that his nervous temperament tends to bring him crashing back to earth.

I think if I were you, in case my mind were not exactly right, I would avoid being idle; I would immediately engage in some business, or go to making preparations for it, which would be the same thing.
If you went through the ceremony calmly, or even with sufficient composure not to excite alarm in any present, you are safe, beyond question, and in two or three months, to say the most, will be the happiest of men.
I hope with tolerable confidence, that this letter is a plaster for a place that is no longer sore. God grant it may be so.
I would desire you to give my particular respects to Fanny, but perhaps you will not wish her to know you have received this, lest she should desire to see it. Make her write me an answer to my last letter to her at any rate. I would set great value upon another letter from her.

Some, particularly those who support the theory of a homosexual relationship, see this as Lincoln intentionally planting doubts and sabotaging Speed's happiness. Possible, but I see no reason to view it that way. I think he just knows Speed well enough to be concerned, and is probably also thinking of his own experience and trying to avert it. The reason I don't think impotence is the issue is that the concern is about the ceremony, apparently. I guess there was concern that Speed would just freak out at the altar. Lincoln's letter to Fanny does not survive.

Write me whenever you have leisure. Yours forever.
A. LINCOLN
P.S. I have been quite a man ever since you left.

So now he wants Speed to write whenever he has leisure, not every mail - he likely felt unintentionally rejected, regardless of his relationship with Speed - someone else had priority on Speed's time and confidence.

That postscript has generated much controversy. The first impression people get is usually that he's bragging about having sex with someone or multiple people. Again, it has been suggested he did this to make Speed jealous or something. I think this interpretation is very reasonable, but it could also be some inside reference to almost anything - that Lincoln had become more emotionally stable, or really just some sort of inside joke. Robert Burns, a favorite poet of both who was wildly popular, wrote a poem that might relate to this reference. From Wikipedia:

"Is There for Honest Poverty", commonly known as "A Man's a Man for A' That" or "For a' That and a' That", is a 1795[1] song by Robert Burns, written in Scots and English, famous for its expression of egalitarian ideas of society, which may be seen as expressing the ideas of republicanism that arose in the 18th century.

It's basically about having the self-respect, independence, and self-reliance to be "a man" and not chase fashion and public applause. But that's just a guess. It seems like the common use of "quite a man" meant a ladies' man.

I hit the post word limit, so I have to stop this before we get to the letter received *after* Speed's wedding.

What do you think of the letters so far?

submitted by gscs1102 to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]


2018.09.06 08:03 TheGothMistress13 It Couldn’t Happen To Me...

To start off with I am a 20 year old female from Springfield Illinois. Not nearly as large as Chicago but just large enough to see new people everyday. Home of Abe Lincoln so we get a lot of tourists, ya know, the usual. This happened the other day, September 4th 2018 to be exact. My day went as normal for a Tuesday, got up at 7, went to school, then came home around 3 after having lunch with my mother. I laid down to take a nap and my fiancé Austin woke me up at 6:30 when he came home from work. He soon left for his second job and I laid in the guest bed in my office for a few minutes scrolling Facebook. I had been seeing all these stories of women almost being abducted by sex traffickers and being a 5’7” 325lbs woman I never thought it would happen to me. I’m too big and most of the girls targeted are smaller and easier to grab. About 9 as I’m playing Sims I remembered that the next day was my dads birthday so I texted my fiancé.
“Hey, don’t forget tomorrow is my dads birthday. I’m going to run to Walmart, do you want me to wait for you to get home or do you just want me to go?”
“You go ahead, I’m tired and I won’t be home till at least 10. Just text when you get home”
“Ohkay, I love you” “.....I love you too”
I grabbed my purse, slipped on my grey fluff ball shoes and headed to my car. I’d done this so many nights, even at 3am when I was bored at the age of 17 so I thought nothing of this excursion at 9pm. I pull into the parking lot and park a little ways back because I just got a new car and people who go to the Walmart near my house are kind of rude and will just ding your car for no reason.
I got into the store, got a cart, and proceeded to grab a cake for my dad, and a couple things for dinner the next day. I strolled down the main aisle near the food and turned into the women’s section, looking at leggings then remembering I was there for my father. As I made my way to the men’s section on a main aisle a man caught my attention. Standing and staring at a display of children’s underwear and holding a couple items in his hands. He smiled at me and said hi, and me being the polite midwestern girl I am smiled and responded “Hi”. As I turned the corner he called out to me and I stopped, turning in his direction. Now I don’t remember the complete conversation as he spoke very broken English with a heavy Hispanic accent but it started with him wanting to see a tattoo I have on my back. I’m used to people wanting to see it so I allowed him to pull my shirt down a couple inches at the collar to see it and his fingers grazed my spine where the tattoo is. I never gave him permission to touch my body, only my shirt to pull it down and I turned around. He then started in with “how are you? You’re very sexy. Do you have a boyfriend? Is he here with you? What’s your name? How old are you? Do you live around here?” I responded with short to the point answers and the response to my name was Harley (even though it’s not, it’s just a name I give to strangers) and he asked to add me on Facebook. I declined saying I didn’t add people I didn’t know. He had his phone in his hands but only the camera was facing me, he didn’t let the screen tilt away from his abdomen. Then he asked me a question that chilled me to the bone “will anyone notice if you left this area of the store” I didn’t reply as I was still trying to understand the question and he elaborated saying “will anyone notice if you left the store”. I responded at this point with “yes my fiancé is out in the car waiting for me. But I need to go, I have shopping to do” and as I tried to turn around he gave me an unwanted hug, grazing my shoulder and exposed part of my back with his fingers. I left quickly and headed to the T-shirt section of the men’s area. I heard the man very close on the next aisle talking on the phone in Spanish. Though I have a Hispanic last name I know nothing of the language except to say that I don’t speak it. I hurried away from that area, making random turns and running down aisles trying to make sure he couldn’t find me. As I found myself in the feminine products aisle I noticed I was getting cold chills but sweating profusely like I had just ran a mile. I found a bench in the garden center and sat down, grabbing my phone to text my fiancé about the incident. He told me not to leave the store and he would be there as soon as he could, I looked at the time and it was 9:45. How had so much time passed? I didn’t even remember being there almost an hour. As I walked the store he sent me a text saying he was outside, I walked to the front, bought my items, and headed out the front. My fiancé was sitting in front of the entrance in his car waiting for me to come out and I waved to him, then I noticed the black truck with windows tinted so dark i couldn’t even see inside, that was parked a mere 5 ft from the entrance facing the wrong way. As I glanced at the truck then to Austin the truck was thrown into reverse and the driver sped off though the parking lot and parked at the exit. I hurried to my car and threw my stuff in, locking my doors and not even bothering to plug my phone into the aux cord to call my fiancé. We got nearer to the exit and the trucks lights never came on but as we turned onto the new road extension the truck turned with us. They never turned their lights on or even tried to stay hidden, there was no traffic as we reached the light. I stayed slouched in my seat, praying to whatever god was out there that this person didn’t follow me home. As we got nearer to my house a wave of relief filled me as the truck turned off onto a side road. We got to my neighborhood and took every turn we could, just in case they tried to make it seem like they had given up. We got home and I ran inside as my fiancé stood on the porch, scanning both ends of our street. I collapsed on the couch and cried. I talked to an old teacher of mine a little later and he put out a theory that when the man had touched me there was a form of date rape drag that was on his wax covered fingertips that could be absorbed directly into the skin. That’s why I got hot with cold chills, I’m not sure what I could have done differently other than ignore him. I’m just glad that I stayed aware of my surroundings and had the smart idea to contact my fiancé. I never thought it would happen to me. Stay safe ladies.
submitted by TheGothMistress13 to DarknessPrevails [link] [comments]


2018.08.27 04:22 iminterestingplease Part 37.

It's slowing down a little. Sorry about the quick posts.
6290.(History change.)Do you remember the 1992 Hurricane Iniki in Hawaii being a Category 5 instead of 4?(Has there been lots of harsh weather, and has it appeared in places it normally doesn't hit?)
https://www-m.cnn.com/2018/08/23/us/hawaii-hurricane-iniki-1992-wxc/index.html
6291.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Betty Brant(Betty Brandt?)being portrayed by Parker Posey in the original Spider-Man trilogy instead of Elizabeth Banks?(Did Elizabeth Banks come out of nowhere for you?)(Did Parker Posey not exist?)(Has the spelling of dachshund changed again?)(Allien/Alien)(Forcus/Focus)(Privillege/Privilege)(Octoberfest/Oktoberfest)(Hippo nostrils keep changing size.)(Veggietable/Vegetable, and is the pronunciation off?)(Liver Worst/Liverwurst)(Are words with Thermo, Andro, and Hydro pronounced different?)(There are two new holes in the rib cage.)(Is February pronounced different?)(Black chickens now don't lay black eggs.)(Statue Of Liberty is now part of the color phenomenon.)(Lucky Music Live/LuckyMusiqLive)(Lots of things that no longer exist.)(Rhonda Rousey/Ronda Rousey)(Was Ronda not an acceptable spelling of Rhonda?)(Toxic Kool-Aid/ToxiQ KoolAid)(Was it Cumerbun, Cuberbun, Cuberbund, Cumerbund, Cummerbun, or Cumberbun?)(Did stick-like mantises not exist?)(Easter chickens now exist.)(Didn't Shameless end a while ago?)(Lee Harvey Oswald is now wearing a different outfit when he got shot.)(Kung Fu Hustle is hard to find in an English dub.)(Lots of new photos of the old wild west now.)(Have you heard of Elizabeth Olsen?)(Are the ancient Indian stepwells off in any way?)(Has Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver changed again?)(Has the BWD logo changed?)(Does the Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends logo look off?)(Triple, and quadruple rainbows.)(Rainbow colored owls.)(Ant people hieroglyphics have been found.)(Was it spelled heiroglypics?)(Is the Sex And The City logo off?)(Has the Ride Wit Me(Ride With Me, or Must Be The Money?)music video by Nelly changed in any way?)(Do any of his logos look off?)(People think Barack Obama was president in 2005-2007.)(Alga/Alge/Algea/Algae)(Is the pronunciation off?)(Anything else off?)(Z vs. S at the end of certain product names.)(Let's Do It For America/Let's Do It For Our Country)(Any of the lyrics off?)(Is the Grease 2 logo off?)(Was it Seimen, or Seimens?)(Lots of new great walls, and other things.)(Did Craig Mack die way before March 12, 2018?)(Stephen Carl Stephenson/Stefán Karl Stefánsson)(Lots of T.V. channel, and app, and website logos have changed.)(Lots of Music Choice channel names have changed.)(The Queen Of England damed Elizabeth Taylor.)(Deja Vu/Déjà Vu)(Winnebago sharks now exist.)(Pink sycamore now exists.)(Do any of the Doctor Dolittle logos look off?)(Was the first of any word in a title always capitalized?)(Jhene Aiko/Jhené Aiko)(Has Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen changed even more?)(All the robot landings on Mars that happened before Curiosity.)(Is Michelangelo's David off?)(Jim Cary/Jim Carry/Jim Carrey)(Does the Hotpoint logo look off?)(Does the Lindsay olives logo look off?)(Yoda bats now exist.)(Did FAO Schwarz not close three years ago, and were they not planning on reopening?)(The Mississippi River sometimes runs backwards.)(Sperm can now last up to 9 days inside females instead of 3, or other numbers.)(Has the Pinterest logo changed again?)(Was Terrance not an acceptable spelling of Terrence?)(The famous "I'm walking here!" quote is now said by Dustin Hoffman instead of Al Pacino.)(Thelma Hopkins/Telma Hopkins)(Wobbegong now exists.)(Carrhartt/Carhartt)(Other spellings?)(Cotton ball moth now exists.)(Patagonian Mara now exists.)(Weird looking trees.)(Super dangerous island.)(Collar And Bow has changed.)(Didn't Willie Nelson die?)(Marty Robins/Marty Robbins)(Lots of more stuff in Back To The Future has changed.)(The Baco's name spelling, logo, and package design are completely off.)(Bugs sometimes fight each other with their front limbs.)(Eddie Murphy is now the singer of Party All The Time.)(Did person names never have apostrophes in them?)(Really gross rare form of yoga, and other weird types.)(Did WhatsApp use to have a like, or heart feature?)(The Bon-Ton logo, and name are off, and the company keeps going out of business, and some of its subsidiary logos are off.)(Mercedes Benz/Mercedes-Benz)(Alexis Nicole Sanchez/Alexys Nycole Sanchez)(Babies in Sweden can sleep in freezing temperatures.)(The S in Ulysses S. Grant can either stand for Simpson, or nothing.)(Abcyeah/ABCya!)(Area codes are now changing.)(Is anything about Men In Black 3 off?)(Has The Truman Show in any way?)(Secret chambers, and backup areas all through our bodies that benefit us now.)("Shave, and a haircut, six bits."/"Shave, and a haircut, two bits.")(Was Richie not an acceptable spelling of Ritchie?)(Ritchie Rich/Richie Rich)(Judy Garland had a stunt double in The Wizard Of Oz.)(There are sharks that can live for 400 years.)(m(StarStar)(There's a fake moon going around the earth.)(Harlan David Sanders/Harland David Sanders)(Was he not a real person?)(Did Henry Kissinger die a while back?)(Russians landed on the moon about 10 years before we did.)(Did Bob Newhart a while back?)(Are any celebrities' names pronounced different?)(Did Bill Anderson die a while back?)(There is a movie from 1987 about Nelson Mandela titled Mandela starring Danny Glover)(There was an attempted assassination of Franklin D. Roosevelt.)(Rosevelt?)(Transparent fish caught in New Zealand.)(Dorothy's shoes are now sometimes black, and her now changes a lot in The Wizard Of Oz.)(Old video of underwater cable laying.)(Babuska(Babushka?)dolls are now mostly known as Nesting dolls.)(The van in Back To The Future is remembered as many colors?)(Did She Looks So Perfect by 5 Seconds Of Summer change again?)(Do you remember "I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore Toto.", "I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore Toto.", or "I got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore Toto."?)(Was it something else?)(Rekall VectoRECALL VECTOR)(Do you remember David Bowie dying in 2017, or 2018?)(Weird green spider with tons of babies on its back.)(Mysterious coin from the future.)(Weird bear dog found.)("The numerator goes into the denominator."/"The divider goes into the dividend.")(Metro Golden MeyeMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer)(Mistake in Pirates Of the Caribbean where you can see the Adidas tag in Jack Sparrow's hat.)(Anticrepuscular sky shows "second sun".)(Rusha/Russha/Russhia/Russia)(Was there never a glitch in The Cleveland Show theme song?)(Two-headed snakes are becoming mire common.)(Gasoline seems to be less flammable.)(T-Rex hands look off.)(Wasp with extremely large stinger discovered.)(Mystery boat washes up on Ireland.)(World's oldest botanical gardens.)(Frog fish now exists.)(The Mad Hatter's hat has changed color in the cartoon movie.)(99 million year-old beetle found preserved.)("If you got a problem yo I'll solve it."/"If there's a problem yo I'll solve it."/"If there was a problem yo I'll solve it.")(Do any of his logos look off?)(Patagonian Cavy now exists.)(Cassowary now exists.)(The ice cream in the Cold Stone Creamery logo is off.)(Missy Elliot/Missy Elliott)(Do any of her logos look off?)(Squirrels now sometimes walk on two legs.)(Have Marge, or Lisa Simpson's necklaces changed color?)(The ending song to Black Panther changed.)(Nimbus Monkeyshine Ale/Nimbus Old Monkeyshine Ale)(Anything else off?)("Why don't people understand my creation?"/"Why don't people understand my intentions?")(Anything else off?)(Jailed Abroad/Locked Up Abroad/Banged Up Abroad)(Wasn't Warren Buffett married to an Asian woman?)(Is the "Right tool" scene in No Country For Old Men off in any way?)(The Long Green Mile/The Green Mile)(Sea monkey ad no longer has trident.)(Was the girl smiling on the "We can do it!" poster, and is her muscle off?)(Anything else off?)(Cafe Rio logo has changed.)(Were the ruby slippers from The Wizard Of Oz retrieved years ago instead of recently?)(Wasn't John McCain actually known as Songbird John following his imprisonment?)(Was it something else?)(Anything else off?)(Have you heard of woolly donkeys?)(Didn't John McCain die years ago?)(CNC/C&C)(Wasn't the Apple logo a full apple before, or was the bite different?)(Joe CrockeJoe Cocker)(Aldi's/Aldis/Aldi)(McGriddle/McGriddles)(Were McDonald's Chicken McNuggets never specific shapes?)(Bill Murry/Bill Murray)(New weird Subway logo.)(Have you heard of the ancient stepwells in India?)(Lots of off colored eggs now.)(Portuguese Man O'War(Man Of War, or Man-Of-War?)now exists.)(Monstrous alligators, and crocodiles spotted.)(Jeff Goldbloom/Jeff Goldblum)(Other spellings?)(Anything else off?)(Does Ozzy Osbourne's name keep changing?)(Sea pig now exists.)(Burt Reynolds died again on September 6, 2018.)(Hall & Oats/Hall & Oates)(Walter Mathou/Walter Matthau)(Other spellings?)(Jack Lennon/Jack Lemmon)(Other spellings?)(Was it spelled Congradulations?)(The Jackson family had 11 kids?)(Anything else off?)(Africa by Toto lyrics keep changing.)(Lines in The Wizard Of Oz keep changing.)(Paul Simon's Graceland album release date changed.)(Human civilization goes back more.)(Giant octopus species discovered.)(The new Jackson family members have music careers.)(7 sisters star constellation has 9 stars.)(Stingrays keep changing.)(Shield mantises now exist.)(Trivia vs. Trivial.)(Halley's Comet spelling keeps changing.)(Blue scorpions now exist.)(Big cats are much friendlier.)(Gorillas, and other primates seem smarter, and friendlier.)(Halley, Hailee, and other weird spellings instead of Hailey, or Haley.)(Hailey Steinfeld/Hailee Steinfeld)(Anyone with the name Willie, or Hailee is off.)(Chicks now jump off cliffs onto rocks below sometimes.)(Red The Bum/Brett The Bum/Fred The Bum)(The DVD logo doesn't bounce around a specific screen when you pause a DVD.)(Praying mantises now attack hummingbirds.)("We're off to see the wizard!"/"You're off to see the wizard.")(Was it always the same?)(Royals have their own pyramid on Balmoral estate.)(Here We Go Loopty Loo/Here We Go Looby Loo)(Anything else off?)(Have any of the lyrics in Lucy In The Sky By Diamonds by The Beatles changed?)(New glowing rocks.)(Off colored slugs.)(Novograd/Novogorod)(Lots of song changes.)(Parker Brothers is now the original creator of Monopoly, and other stuff is off.)(Scenes in Miss Congeniality changed.)(Comedienne is now a word.)(Einstein-Rosenberg/Einstein-Rosen)(H.E. Shepard/E.H. Shepard)(Other spellings?)(Many changes to the band Rush.)(Wild strawberries, and other things.)(Sam Kinison died for a different reason now.)(Henry James Fonda/Henry Jaynes Fonda)(The Chevy logo changed again.)(Foxes now have black fur, and not white fur.)(Toyger now exists.)(More aircraft changes.)(Lots of more R, and A, and messed up T, and more squished letters, and upside down, and reverse letters.)(Geneology/Genealogy)(Barry Hearn is now alive.)(Steven King/Stephen King)(Is the Hot 'n Now(Hot And Now?)logo off?)(Other spellings?)(Is the Reno Tahoe logo off?)(Oarfish now exists.)(Tear Drop memorial now exists.)(Mark Sheldon/Mark Shelton)(Veiled marble statues now exist.)(Bryce Courtney/Bryce Courtenay)(Courtenay is now an acceptable spelling of Courtney.)(Dogs can purr.)(Souless/Soulless)(FilmakeFilmmaker)(House cats can growl.)(Jerry Stiller is now alive.)(Ric Flair is now alive.)(Stan Lee is now alive.)(Julie Andrews is now alive.)(Crow's beaks have changed color, and other things.)(Limp Biscuit/Limp Biskit)(Lots of song lyric changes.)(More 9/11 changes.)(Do any of their logos look off?)(There are now 15 Egyptian deities(Diety?)when there were less before, and Amun-Ra(Was it spelled different?)is now multiple gods together.)(Santa Catalina salad dressing/Catalina salad dressing(Other spellings?)(Wiley Coyote/Wile Coyote/Wiley E. Coyote/Wile E. Coyote)(Other spellings?)(Ing to In' everywhere.)(Keith Oberman/Keith Olbermann)(Transexual/Transsexual)(Other spellings?)(The Flintstone Kids is now a thing.)(Mozart wrote a piece called Lick Me In The Ass, and has wrote many gross things.)(Apollo Guidance Computer now exists.)(Discobulus statue changed, and lots haven't heard of it.)(The Silence Of The Lambs, Star Wars, Star Trek, Dirty Harry, Sunset Boulevard, and The Godfather lines keep changing.)(Do you remember Narwal, or Narwall?)("Greed is good."/"The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.")(“I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like victory!”/"I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn’t find one of ’em, not one stinkin’ dink body. The smell, you know, that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smells like victory.")("Stay away from her, you bitch.”/“Get away from her, you bitch.”)(Ensure is now made of milk concentrate, and not milk, and the logo changed.)(Nordic flags don't have centered crosses.)(Lots of new muscles.)(Frogfish now exist.)(Aircraft powered by steam.)(Was it Mrs. Butterworth, or Ms. something?)(The original Porky Pig looks wrong.)(The Secret Life Of Walter Smitty/The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty)(Prince Phillip/Prince Philip)(Robert Duval/Robert Duvall)(13th Man Rule/10th Man Rule)(Was it another number?)(Didn't Krang never have an antenna?)("Tangled up in blue."/"Tangle up in blue.")(Ing to In' lyrics.)(Any of his lyrics look off?)(Theater Of Pain/Theatre Of Pain)(Brian ForresteBrian ForesteBrian ForsteBrien Foerster)(Brian ForresteBrian Forster)(Roahl Dahl/Ronald Dahl/Roald Dahl)("Warmest sunshine softer than a sponge."/"Warmest sunshine softer than a sigh.")($100 bills changed again.)(Do any of her logos look off?)(Panda dolphin now exists.)(John Lennon now has purse in the backstage photos of Abbey Road)(Cailou/Caillou)(Are any of the channel names it was broadcasted on off?)(White painted Easter Island eyes.)(Likeable/Likable)(Hairless rabbits now exist.)(Jimmy Fallen/Jimmy Fallon)(The Ying Yang Gang/Ying Yang Twins)(More Billy Joel lyric changes.)(More changes to the clothing of Pebbles Flintstone, and her belly button is now exposed.)(Australian flag, and flag history keep changing.)(Did cabbits not exist.)(There are over 21 moon landings.)(Splenda, or other alternative sugars never used in certain sodas.)(The history of IIII vs. IV now says IIII has been around longer, and IV wasn't used in Roman times.)(Square, rectangular, or diamond waves now exist.)(Dark City has changed.)("When you come to shoot, shoot don't talk."/"When you have to shoot, shoot don't talk.")(Saturn's rings are dull instead of colorful.)(China has lots of fake cities, and copycats like Paris, France.)(There is a porcelain doll face in the ocean from the Titanic.)(Did Gene Simmons die on January 22, 2010 for you, or another time?)(Rory from Gilmore Girls does a report on Hillary Clinton, and not Anne Frank.)(The Offsprings/The Offspring)(Dennis Norton/Denis Norden, and did he die in the early 2000's, or another time instead of September 19, 2018?)(Heintz/Heinz)(Has the pronunciation of Caillou changed?)(Has the Galaxy High School theme song changed?)(Penske, and DHL trucks now look orange, but are yellow.)(There is a debate going on about Gatorade, and Powerade, and how one flavor is yellow, or green.)(The light green vests people wear are a color debate.)(Weird looking clocks.)(NOAA now exists.)(Vogelkop now exists.)(The streets now have puddles in the Back To The Future, and The Karate Kid movies.)("Meat is meat.", and a missing Hannibal scene.)(Color phenomenon.)(Capcom logos changed.)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Brant
6292.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Rick Moranis dying?(Did Harold Ramis way before February 24, 2014?)(Anything else about Harold Ramis off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Moranis
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Ramis
6293.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember crows never being able to snowboard?
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/snowboarding-crows-the-plot-thickens/
6294.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember DMT not being a thing?(Did it not go by other names?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
6295.(Band name change.)The Tramps/The Trammps(Do any of their logos look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trammps
6296.(Famous Actor name change.)Walter Goggins/Walton Goggins
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walton_Goggins
6297.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Ben Bova dying?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bova
6298.(Famous Politician name change.)Julia Bishop/Julie Bishop
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Bishop
6299.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the stars on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame being a different color?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Walk_of_Fame
6300.(Movie Scene change.)Do you remember Kevin McCallister smacking his face more than once in the aftershave scene?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_qu4ZBCU6Fc
6301.(Music Lyrics change.)"It's been awhile."/"And it's been a while."("Since I could."/"Since I couln.")("I've seen the way the candle lights your face."/"I've seen the way the candles light your face.")(Stained/Staind)(Do any of their logos look off?)
https://genius.com/Staind-its-been-awhile-lyrics
6302.(Music Lyrics change.)"There's a thousand people."/"A thousand people."(Stop Hey What's(What Is?)That Sound?/Stop Children What's That Sound?/For What It's(It Is?)(Do any of their logos look off?)
https://genius.com/Buffalo-springfield-for-what-its-worth-lyrics
6303.(Spelling change.)Pulmonary Aveolus/Pulmonary Alveolus(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulmonary_alveolus
6304.(Theme Song Lyrics change.)"Flying through the sky."/"Zooming through the sky."
https://genius.com/Billy-straus-little-einsteins-theme-song-lyrics
6305.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the Spanish Sahara not being a thing?(Were the mouth, and nose closer together?)(Is the neck longer?)(Was there never snow, or palm trees in England?)(Brittany Spears/Britney Spears)(Lots of US states look off.)(McDonald's M has changed again.)(Carol King/Carole King)(All Sesame Street characters have different eyes.)(Butterflies will now eat chicken feed.)(Jammin' by Bob Marley changed again.)(The famous sailor kiss photo changed again.)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Sahara
6306.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Suriname not existing?(Did it not go by other names?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suriname
6307.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Nikola Tesla, and Trump not being connected?
https://www.history.com/news/nikola-tesla-files-declassified-fbi
6308.(Movie name change.)Hedwig And The Angry Itch/Hedwig And The Angry Inch(Book too.)(Do any of the logos look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedwig_and_the_Angry_Inch_(film)
6309.(Famous Landmark name change.)House Of Hapsburg/House Of Habsburg(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Habsburg
6310.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Eddie Murphy never having a music career?(Were all the famous songs he did done by other people?)(Anything else off?)(Did he not do a song with Michael Jackson called Whatzupwitu?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Murphy_discography
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatzupwitu
6311.(Spelling change.)Whitch/Which(Sandwitch/Sandwhitch/Sandwhich/Sandwich)
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/which
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich
6312.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these bands not existing?
https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-10-greatest-obscure-metal-bands-from-the-1970s-who-should-have-been-huge
6313.(Famous Wrestler name change.)Nicolai Volkoff/Nikolai Volkoff(Other spellings?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Volkoff
6314.(Famous Wrestler name change.)Paul Ordorff/Paul Orndorff(Other spellings?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Orndorff
6315.(Company name change.)Arthur Anderson/Arthur Andersen(Price Water House Cooper's/PricewaterhouseCoopers)(Ernest & Young/Ernst & Young)(Kidder Matthews/Kidder Mathews)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Andersen
6316.(Famous Actor name change.)Keenan Thompson/Kenan Thompson
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenan_Thompson
6317.(Song Title change.)"If I ruled the world."/"If I rule the world."(Anything else off?)(Lauren Hill/Lauryn Hill)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_I_Ruled_the_World_(Imagine_That)
6318.(Famous Singer name change.)Morrisey/Morrissey(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morrissey
6319.(Music Lyrics change.)"Don't take it."/"Don't tear it."(Was it always the same?)
https://genius.com/Nine-inch-nails-terrible-lie-lyrics
6320.(Music Lyrics change.)"Ain't talking 'bout love."/"Can't talking 'bout love."(Was it always the same?)(Ing to In' lyrics, and song title.)(Anything else about the lyrics, and song title off?)(Do any of their logos look off?)
https://genius.com/Van-halen-aint-talkin-bout-love-lyrics
6321.(Celebrity death that didn't happen.)Do you remember Rowan Atkinson dying?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rowan_Atkinson
6322.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember "Made in China" being on something meaning everything about that product was made in China?
https://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/business/worldbusiness/made-in-china-labels-dont-tell-whole-story.html
6323.(Celebrity death date change.)Do you remember Chet Baker dying in 1961, or 1993 instead of May 13, 1988?(Anything else off?)(Are there now missing chapters in the film The Wizard Of Oz, and lots of other stuff?)(Did Rex Reed die of AIDS(Aids?)in the 1990's?)(Anything in the A Day In The Life song off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chet_Baker
6324.(Spelling change.)Brat Worst/Bratwurst
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bratwurst
6325.(Phantom movie.)Do you remember Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd not existing?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumb_and_Dumberer:_When_Harry_Met_Lloyd
6326.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these Donald Trump cameos not happening?(The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, The Job, Suddenly Susan, Sex And The City, The Drew Carey Show, Two Weeks Notice, Spin City, The Nanny, The Associate, The Little Rascals, Zoolander, Eddie, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Quantum Leap, and did he not do WWE appearances?)(Did he not win the election at first?)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yosAVMB47-Y
6327.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things being different, or not a thing?(Sand cats, blue dye spinal cord cure, transformer owl, more changes to Mount Rushmore, the great molasses flood, sneezing marine iguanas, phantom clowns of 1981, coaxial rotors, ice discs, genetically modified 3 parent babies of the late 90's, rhesus macaques in Florida, more flag changes, twins conceived, and born at different times, sea sheep, poitou donkeys, tear drop grapes, more changes to the Statue Of Liberty, Pallas cat, Angora rabbit, Dianne Feinstein, macroevolution, Chimeron, more geography changes, more The Creation Of Adam changes, more sculpture, and painting changes, Japanese Geta, and foot binding, more changes to Shiva, Vancouver, California, Usa, Õita, China, Texas, made in USA means USA, China, made in the USA is the actual USA, Mexican grizzly bear, London beer flood, history of Hawaii.)(Video below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xxr9L7mjGGs
6328.(Music Lyrics change.)"You make a grown man cry."/"You make a dead man come."(Was it always the same?)(Start It Up/Start Me Up)
https://genius.com/The-rolling-stones-start-me-up-lyrics
6329.(Music Lyrics change.)"To buy you things."/"To buy you thing."(Hard Day's Night/A Hard Day's Night)(Anything else off?)("Squandered my existence."/"Squandered my resistance.")(Lots of Bridge Over Troubled Waters stuff has become Bridge Over Troubled Water.)("I can't change time."/"I can't trace time.")(Do any of his logos look off?)("Stand up for your right."/"Stand up for your rights.")("Heaven is on the earth."/"Heaven is under the earth.")(Have any lyrics in Back In The U.S.S.R. by The Beatles changed?)(Anything else off?)
https://genius.com/The-beatles-a-hard-days-night-lyrics
https://genius.com/Simon-and-garfunkel-the-boxer-lyrics
https://genius.com/David-bowie-changes-lyrics
https://genius.com/Bob-marley-and-the-wailers-get-up-stand-up-lyrics
https://genius.com/The-beatles-back-in-the-ussr-lyrics
6330.(Treaty name change.)Kyoto Accord/Kyoto Protocol
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol
6331.(Fictional Character name change.)Gus Frey/Gus Fring
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gus_Fring
6332.(Special name change.)Treehouse Of TerroTreehouse Of Horror
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehouse_of_Horror
6333.(Company name change.)Amber Crombie & Fitch/Ambercrombie & Fitch/Abercrombie & Fitch(Does the logo look off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abercrombie_%26_Fitch
6334.(Music Lyrics change.)"Make believe that you'll always have me."/"Make believe that you're always happy."(Ing to In' lyrics.)
https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/godsmack/awake.html
6335.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these cities, and similar places not existing?(Santa Claus, Indiana.)(Intercourse, Pennsylvania.)(Idiotville, Oregon.)(Toad Suck, Arkansas.)(Eighty Eight, Kentucky.)(Eighty Four, Pennsylvania.)(Ding Dong, Texas.)(Cut And Shoot, Texas.)(Saint-Louis-Du-Ha!-Ha!, Québec(Quebec?), Canada.)(Hot Coffee, Mississippi.)(Knockemstiff, Ohio.)(Two Egg, Florida.)(Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.)(Cookietown, Oklahoma.)(Glen Campbell, Pennsylvania.)(Accident, Maryland.)(Big Arm, Montana.)(Chicken, Alaska.)(Coupon, Pennsylvania.)(Dogtown, Alabama.)(Embarrass, Minnesota.)(Eureka, California.)(Eureka, Kansas.)(Experiment, Georgia.)(Fertile, Iowa.)(Frankenstein, Missouri.)(Gaylordsville, Connecticut.)(Hazard, Nebraska.)(Hell, Michigan.)(Hippo, Kentucky.)(Imalone, Wisconsin.)(Kickapoo, Kansas.)(Los Baños, California.)(Marrowbone, Tennessee.)(Mexican Water, Arizona.)(Mock City, Washington.)(Money, Mississippi.)(Mosquitoville, Vermont.)(Ninety Six, South Carolina.)(Nothing, Arizona.)(Oatmeal, Texas.)(Office Hall, Virginia.)(Okay, Oklahoma.)(Paw Paw, West Virginia.)(Pee Pee, Ohio.)(Pie Town, New Mexico.)(Pigeon, Michigan.)(Protection, Kansas.)(Red Shirt, South Dakota.)(Rough And Ready, California.)(Searchlight, Nevada.)(Spread Eagle, Wisconsin.)(Tightwad, Missouri.)(Toast, North Carolina.)(Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico.)(Twig, Minnesota.)(Unalaska, Alaska.)(Uncertain, Texas.)(Virgin, Utah.)(War, West Virginia.)(Waterproof, Louisiana.)(What Cheer, Iowa.)(Whynot, North Carolina.)(Y City, Arkansas.)(Zap, North Dakota.)(Monkeys Eyebrow, Kentucky.)(Bumpass, Virginia.)(Anus, France.)(Windpassing, Austria.)(Humptulips, Washington.)(Yolo County, California.)(Boring, Oregon.)(Hooker, Oklahoma.)(Weed, California.)(Batman, Turkey.)(Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales.)(Why, Arizona.)(Dildo, Newfoundland And Labrador,(Newfoundland?)Canada.)(Lickskillet, Texas.)(Cheesequake, New Jersey.)(Nowhere Else, Australia.)(Titty Hill, England.)(Santa Claus, Georgia.)(Puke, Albania.)(Fartsville, Indiana.)(Poopsdale, Indiana.)(Cool, California.)(Beer, Devon, England.)(Disco, Tennessee.)(Fear Not, Pennsylvania.)(Rest And Be Thankful, Argyll And Butte, Scotland.)(Surprise, Arizona.)(Climax, Pennsylvania.)(Arsenic Tubs, New Mexico.)(Dismal, Tennessee.)(Double Trouble, New Jersey.)(Moron, Mongolia.)(Satan’s Kingdom, Vermont.)(Who’s Thought It, Texas.)(Cabbage Patch, California.)(Silly, Belgium.)(Sweet Lips, Tennessee.)Polkadott, Ohio.)(Punkeydoodles Corners, Ontario, Canada.)(Bread Loaf, Vermont.)(Clam, Virginia.)(Egg, Austria.)(Eek, Alaska.)(Hurt, Virginia.)(Monster, Netherlands.)(River Styx, Ohio.)(Bumble Bee, Arizona.)(Porcupine, South Dakota.)(Doghouse Junction, California.)(Bangs, Texas.)(Soda Springs, Idaho.)(Bluff, Alaska.)(Placentia, California.)(Fries, Virginia.)(Dinosaur, Colorado.)(American Fork, Utah.)(Concrete, Washington.)(Briny Breezes, Florida.)(Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.)(Canadian, Texas.)(Superior, Wyoming.)(Atomic City, Idaho.)(Coward, South Carolina.)(Three Way, Tennessee.)(Winnebago, Minnesota.)(Last Chance, Iowa.)(Speed, North Carolina.)(Oblong, Illinois.)(Colon, Michigan.)(Pink, Michigan.)(Blue Grass, Iowa.)(Popejoy, Iowa.)
http://mentalfloss.com/article/27987/15-places-strange-names-and-how-they-got-them
https://thoughtcatalog.com/michael-koh/2014/01/52-weird-names-of-places-in-the-united-states-that-you-just-cant-believe-are-real/
https://www.rd.com/funny-stuff/36-funny-places-to-live-around-the-world/
https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/the-35-weirdest-city-and-town-names-in-the-usa/
6336.(Music Lyrics change.)"The Red Queen's lost her head."/"The Red Queen's off with her head."(Anything else off?)
https://genius.com/amp/Jefferson-airplane-white-rabbit-lyrics
6337.(Phantom movie.)Do you remember The Bourne Identity from 1988 not being a thing?(The Born series/The Borne series/The Bourne series)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bourne_Identity_(1988_film)
6338.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember this viral photo being a beach, or a door?(Anything else off?)
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/fl-reg-is-it-beach-or-door-twitter-photo-20180831-story.html
6339.(Music Lyrics change.)"She's been all around the block."/"She been all around the block."("There's been as many hands on her as the knob on a door."/"There's been many hands on her as the knob on the door.")("She will ride through the flames of Hell."/"She will walk through the flames of Hell.")(Anything else off?)
http://www.metrolyrics.com/she-loves-my-cock-lyrics-jackyl.html
6340.(Music Lyrics change.)"Like a blister in the Sun."/"Like I blister in the Sun."(Do any of their logos look off?)
https://genius.com/Violent-femmes-blister-in-the-sun-lyrics
6341.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the cover art for Little Nicky being different in any way?(Does the logo look off?)
https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/little_nicky/
6342.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember it being more certain that King Arthur, and everything surrounding him actually existed?
https://www.history.com/news/was-king-arthur-a-real-person
6343.(History change.)Do you remember there being way more bras burned during the women's protests than there actually were?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_America_protest
6344.(Date change.)Do you remember the first air-to-air missles being made around 1930, and not as far back as 1916?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_Prieur_rocket
6345.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the company in Total Recall being called Recall Incorporated instead of Rekall Incorporated?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Recall_(1990_film)
6346.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Jason Bateman, or someone else starring as the older version of Zac Efron in 17 Again instead of Matthew Perry?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/17_Again_(film)
6347.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Selena Gomez always snapping her fingers, or using her wand to make the logo appear in the Wizards Of Waverly Place theme song instead of looking in her bag?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizards_of_Waverly_Place
6348.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Double, Double, Toil And Trouble being about a Halloween sleepover instead of what it is now?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double,_Double,_Toil_and_Trouble
6349.(Album Logo change.)Do you remember the kid holding a bat on the Regional At Best album cover by Twenty ØNE PILØTS?(Anything else off?)(21 Pilots?)(Do any of their logos look off?)
http://twenty-one-pilots.wikia.com/wiki/Regional_at_Best
6350.(Song Title change.)What About Angels/Not About Angels(Any of the lyrics off?)(Do any of their logos look off?)
https://genius.com/Birdy-not-about-angels-lyrics
6351.(Date change.)Do you remember Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius(Jimmy Neutron?)being released after The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius(The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron?)instead of before?(Any of the logos look off?)(Anything else off?)(Debby Derryberry/Debi Derryberry)(Was Debi never an acceptable spelling of Debby?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Neutron:_Boy_Genius
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Jimmy_Neutron:_Boy_Genius
6352.(Music Lyrics change.)"You think you the mob?"/"You think you mob?"("Motherfucking belts."/"Motherfucker's belt.")("We bad boy killas."/"We bad boy killa.")(Anything else off?)(Do any of any of their logos look off?)(Ing to In' lyrics.)
https://genius.com/2pac-hit-em-up-lyrics
6353.(Music Lyrics change.)"She's still my lady."/"She's still my baby."(Any of the other lyrics off?)(Do any of his logos look off?)
https://genius.com/Charlie-rich-behind-closed-doors-lyrics
6354.(Famous Actor name change.)Stephen Anell/Stephen Amell
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Amell
6355.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things being different, or not a thing?(US flag changed again, Sphinx changed again, Vitruvian Man changed again, Mount Rushmore changed again, The Creation Of Adam changed again, The Last Supper changed again, Mary Magdalene history changed, The Thinker changed again, 10% of people have a spinal abnormality, or having a 6th vertebrae, giant otters changed again, the moon tilted, changes in the rules of wisdom teeth, human feet changed again, lots of new sea creatures, scientists turn sunlight to fuel, plant that copies other plants, pink wasn't always for girls, and blue wasn't always for boys, and FDR, and other boys around his time dressed like girls at a young age, gypsy horse, silver horse, qinling panda, 100-year-old self-playing violin, 1939 radio wave driven fax machines first patented in 1843, du temple monoplane with steam engine 29 years before the Wright Brothers, the boy with no brain that regrew brain after birth.)(Video below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zIRvieS8LHA
6356.(Music Lyrics change.)"The hills are filled."/"Hills are filled."("Driving down the freeway."/"Driving down your freeway.")(Ing to In' lyrics.)
https://genius.com/The-doors-la-woman-lyrics
6357.(Movie name change.)Face Off/Face/Off(Other logos, and similar things used around the movie changed too.)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Face/Off
Add-On: Do you remember Santa Claus having buttons on his suit?(Chris Cringle/Kris Kringle)(Other spellings?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus
6358.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the phone booth in the Bill & Ted movies saying Telephone instead of Phone?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Ted%27s_Excellent_Adventure
6359.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Atlantis being described as a continent instead of a city on an island?(Was there more assurance it existed?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantis
Add-On: Do you remember these things not being pink, or green?(Video below.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-ydjJQONpCU
6360.(History change.)Do you remember Benjamin Franklin only using a key in the kite experiment, and not a bottle?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kite_experiment
6361.(Spelling change.)Qualude/Quāālude(Other spellings?)(Is the pronunciation off?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methaqualone
6362.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember these things being different, or not a thing?(Risso's dolphin, pygmy killer whale, some sharks are warm-blooded partially, Sumatran rhinos, Tamaraw, Poitou donkey, Cary Grant never says "Judy. Judy. Judy.", Sgt. Joe Friday "Nothing but the facts ma'am.", or "Just the facts ma'am." is never said, and other stuff surrounding it is off, and the Dragnet logo changed, "Made up of whole cloth." is now a saying, Al Gore never says "I invented the internet.", alligators, and crocodiles used to be completely violent, lots of animals are more aggressive, and pee, and poop on themselves, and each other, and other places, elephants leak out gross stuff everywhere, Sarah Palin never says anything like "I can see Russia from my house." during the 2008 campaign, and other stuff surrounding it is off, Charles Boyer never says anything like "Come with me to the casbah." in any movie,(Does the movie cover logo look off at all?)"Badges, we don't need no stinking badges." is not the actual quote from The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre, rattlesnakes now climb trees, and disappearing from certain places, carbon dating is completely off, red heifers have already been bred, cicadas making weird sounds, and disappearing from certain places, colorful new birds, and weird new bird sounds, crows look different, plans to build third Israel(Isreal?)(Is the pronunciation off?)temple, lots of geography changes, lots more Adam's apple changes, and other body changes, hoodwinker sunfish, and there is more than one kind of sunfish, and they look off, Always On My Mind by Willie Nelson changed again, Bar Mitzvah used to be spelled, and pronounced different, more of Einstein's life has changed, more changes to tardigrade, Lazarus sign, lots more info on Nikola Tesla, and his existence is a change for some, more weird scarab beetles, more changes to Statue Of Liberty, ancient virus responsible for human conscious, water molecules found in Jupiter's Great Red Spot(Big Red Spot?), lung fish, weird nose tricks, more changes to Mount Rushmore, more changes to Shiva.)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2eyqmbCwv0E
6363.(Movie Quote change.)"That's a fact Jack."/That's the fact Jack."(Razzle Dazzle/Razzle-Dazzle)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FOzub_ghAbM
6364.(T.V. Show name change.)Galaxy High/Galaxy High School(Is the Team Galaxy logo off?)(Kid Video/Kidd Video, and is the logo off?)(The Biscuits/The Biskitts)(The Quicky Koala Show/The Kwiky Koala Show)(Anything else off?)(Is the 6teen(16, or Sixteen logo off?)
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0229405/
6365.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember the iconic door chase scene being popularized, and created by Scooby-Doo?
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ScoobyDoobyDoors
6366.(Music Lyrics change.)"Hey, good looking."/"Hey hey, good looking."/"Say hey, good looking."(Ing to In' lyrics.)(Anything else off?)
http://www.metrolyrics.com/hey-good-lookin-lyrics-hank-williams.html
6367.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember Isaac Hayes quitting South Park because he passed away instead of Scientology?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Hayes
6368.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember fire hydrants being only red, yellow, and sometimes silver?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_hydrant
6369.(Movie Quote change.)"I'll be your huckleberry."/"I'm your huckleberry."
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=R8OWNspU_yE
6370.(Restaurant name change.)Romano's Macaroni And Grill/Romano's Macaroni Grill(Was it something else?)(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romano's_Macaroni_Grill
6371.(Music Lyrics change.)"They wrote you."/"I wrote you."
https://genius.com/System-of-a-down-lost-in-hollywood-lyrics
6372.(Fictional Character appearance change.)Do you remember Freddy Krueger always having a red, and green sweater instead of red, and black, or dark gray?(Anything else off?)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddy_Krueger
6373.(Can't think of a title.)Do you remember this game only as Bean Bag Toss, and nothing else, and were they only known as bean bags?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornhole
submitted by iminterestingplease to Retconned [link] [comments]


2017.06.19 22:58 feedreddit Why Liberals Hate the New Obama Biography

Why Liberals Hate the New Obama Biography
by David Greenberg via POLITICO - TOP Stories
URL: http://ift.tt/2sjDnfa
Apart from journalists assigned to review it and a book editor who considered publishing it, I have yet to meet anyone who has read, or is reading, Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, the phenomenal new biography of the former president by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David J. Garrow. Although the book made No. 14 on the New York Timesbest-seller list—no mean feat—it stayed there just one week. This is a little surprising, because Rising Star has got to be one of the most impressive and important books of the year. It’s a masterwork of historical and journalistic research, Robert Caro-like in its exhaustiveness, and easily the most authoritative account of Obama’s pre-presidential life we’ve seen or are likely ever to see. It’s also a terrific read.
Garrow’s research alone makes his book essential for anyone who wants to understand our recently departed president. Early headlines pounced on his discovery of, and interviews with, a previously unknown Obama girlfriend: Sheila Miyoshi Jager. Now a professor at Oberlin University, Jager was a graduate student in anthropology (just like Obama’s mother) when she lived with Obama in his community organizing days. He proposed marriage to her and even continued to see her a bit after he began dating Michelle.
But the revelations about Jager are just the most sensational of innumerable new and often fascinating details Garrow reveals. He interviewed more than a thousand of Obama’s friends and colleagues, and Obama himself for eight hours, and unearthed documents from every stage of the president’s life: his undergraduate poetry and his law school exams, an unpublished policy manuscript he co-wrote, his evaluations as a professor at the University of Chicago, his annual tax payments to the IRS, an opposition-research dossier from his 2004 U.S. Senate primary campaign, letters he wrote to his most serious girlfriends and even the diaries they kept of their years with him, including frank (though not lurid) accounts of sex. What’s more, Garrow’s meticulous reconstructions of Obama’s formative years in Chicago organizing and of his political education as a state senator are unparalleled. It’s a stunning and indispensable work of history.
So why isn’t the book on everyone’s nightstand? No doubt some readers have been deterred by its formidable length; at 1,460 pages, 1,078 of them narrative text, it’s not so much a doorstop as a nightstand itself. But some would-be readers have mentioned to me a prominent pre-publication dismissal by the dean of book reviewers, the New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani, who trashed Rising Star (in her lead paragraph no less), as “a dreary slog of a read … bloated, tedious and—given its highly intemperate epilogue—ill-considered.” Four days later, a caustic viral tweet by the Washington Post’s David Maraniss (a Pulitzer-winner in his own right whose admirable—though briefer—Barack Obama: The Story Garrow’s volume effectively supersedes), probably scared off more readers: “Will say this once only. David Garrow, author of new Obama bio, was vile, undercutting, ignoble competitor unlike any I’ve encountered.” Maraniss, whom I know a bit, is a decent and generous man; he doesn’t lash out lightly.
No question, Garrow’s jabs at his rivals, especially the two other Davids who’ve authored major Obama biographies (Maraniss and Remnick), are unnecessarily sharp, and probably altogether unnecessary. Rising Star quotes from the negative or mixed reviews those writers’ books received and folds in some cutting asides for good measure: Jager tells Garrow she’s glad to hear from “a first-rate historian” (that would be Garrow) instead of a journalist; elsewhere, Garrow bemoans that “scores of journalists” looked into Obama’s high school years and yet “no more than two would take the trouble to even telephone, never mind visit, the only other black male student” at Punahou, the academy he attended. Garrow also subtly drops in mentions of his own previous books, touting their appearance, for example, in the footnotes of the never-published manuscript that Obama wrote with his law school friend Rob Fisher. This coy self-referencing is more wry than grandiose, but it surely didn’t charm adversely inclined reviewers. (Garrow, I hasten to add, is often magnanimous, too; throughout Rising Star he praises many writers whose books and articles he finds illuminating.)
More notable than the digs at his competitors are the gratuitous and even petty swipes at Obama himself. Garrow notes, for example, that while Obama was on his “modest” book tour for Dreams from My Father, his celebrated 1995 memoir, the future president “mispronounced W. E. B. DuBois’s surname, wrongly using a French enunciation” in one interview. He tells us, too, that the letters Obama sent as a state senator to Illinois housing officials on behalf of the shady real estate developer Tony Rezko were “grammatically incorrect.” But who among us hasn’t split the occasional infinitive? Even Rising Star—as fluidly, briskly and engagingly written as it is—contains in its pages a dangling modifier, a misplaced apostrophe and “impact” used as a verb.
The gotcha tone is most pronounced when Garrow compares his research to Obama’s recollections of his own life, which are continually exposed as incomplete, exaggerated or inaccurate. In Dreams and in other retrospective accounts of his past, Garrow finds, Obama overstated his facility in learning Indonesian, misrecalled a disturbing magazine article he read as a kid about a black man bleaching his skin, inflated his own importance to the Punahou basketball team, wrongly described himself as a bad boy during his teens, mischaracterized his post-collegiate work for the New York Public Interest Research Group and fudged or misstated the record in countless other ways.
Garrow seems to take pleasure in catching Obama in these mistakes, and I suspect that Rising Star’s critics were put off by his manifest skepticism about the Obama legend. Obama, after all, still has his cheering gallery. In the last year of his presidency, media coverage displayed much of the same solicitous protectiveness toward him that was rampant during the 2008 campaign and never quite disappeared, a sense that this phenom was somehow … different from all other politicians. Many of Obama’s long-standing admirers seemed during his valedictory months to want to restore the shining vision of him that reigned in 2008—the quasi-messianic figure, the rare authentic voice amid a fallen political world. This image was, of course, a carefully crafted illusion; Garrow quotes Bob Schieffer, the longtime CBS newsman, conceding, with understatement, that “maybe we were not skeptical enough” about Obama’s candidacy. But that sentiment, however common among workaday Washington journalists, was never widely shared among the literati and the intelligentsia.
If Rising Star comes off at times as captious, it’s because, I think, Garrow is so doggedly determined to get to the real Barack Obama, to peel away the layers of mythology—including self-mythologizing—that surround his now-familiar story. As Garrow shrewdly notes, there have been, at least since the uplifting 2004 Democratic convention address that catapulted him to stardom, two Obamas. “The public image of who he is is not who he actually is,” Fisher, the law school classmate, explained. Or, as Obama himself put it, “There’s me, and then there’s this character named ‘Barack Obama.’” Garrow’s remorselessness in deconstructing the character, the public persona—and in seeking instead to recover and present the real, lesser-known Obama—is what makes Rising Star such an unforgettable and valuable book. But it’s also what imbues the biography with its exacting, sometimes censorious tone.
A recurring theme of Rising Star is the discrepancy between Obama as he was and Obama as he portrayed himself to others—in love letters, in interviews, in Dreams from My Father. It’s no scandal that Obama should prettify his life story for public consumption, especially if, as Garrow persuasively argues, he was eyeing a political career when he wrote Dreams. We all chisel a little in our self-presentations, especially politicians. What gives Garrow’s exposure of Obama’s self-fashioning its special frisson is the prevailing image of the president as a squeaky clean, non-political truth-teller. You expect Bill Clinton’s My Life or George W. Bush’s Decision Points to be a self-serving political document. But a lot of people really thought Dreams was something different. When we read, toward the end of RisingStar, that Obama told Oprah Winfrey, “The biggest mistake politicians make is being inauthentic,” it’s hard not to appreciate Garrow’s irony.
Thus, in contrast to Obama’s image as a religious man, Garrow tells us that even in Hyde Park he visited Jeremiah Wright’s controversial Trinity Church irregularly and, as far as his Chicago friends could see, he “did not have a religious bone in his body.” Most of us think of Obama’s progressive bona fides on social issues like gay rights as beyond reproach, but Garrow documents ever-shifting stands on same-sex marriage, depending on the political moment. During the 2008 campaign, Obama famously defused questions about the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers by calling him “a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago, who I know,” but Garrow shows the relationship to have been closer than the candidate let on. (Obviously no one should hold Obama responsible for Ayers’ despicable deeds four decades earlier. The real outrage was what Chicago Magazine called the “widespread willingness” by Chicago intellectual society “to disregard” the violent pasts of Ayers and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, who was the more famous of the pair until 2008.)
Obama’s instinct for self-fashioning was evident early in his career. Garrow quotes a young Obama telling his ex-girlfriend, Alex McNear, in a letter that he was “one of the ‘promising young men’” at the financial data analysis firm where he worked after graduating Columbia University in 1983. “Without effort, I find I can perform with flawless grace,” he wrote to her, “patching up their insecurities, smoothing over ruffles among the co-workers.” But given his colleagues’ starkly different memories of him—“someone not interested in other people,” “really just kind of kept to himself,” “self-involved,” “somewhat withdrawn”—Garrow concludes that Obama’s self-rendering to Alex “beggared belief.”
Garrow likewise finds that Obama consistently denied “the strength of his addiction” to nicotine. Numerous acquaintances over the years volunteered to Garrow vivid memories of Obama’s compulsive smoking. In college, he was remembered as having burned through multiple packs a day, and he did so again in later years when under stress. In law school, he merrily puffed away out in front of Gannett House, home to the Harvard Law Review, because a city ordinance prohibited it inside. In Chicago, he savored a ritual smoke after a workout, a basketball game or a round of golf. He kept a pack in his bag as a law professor (when students saw it, “people were like, ‘Ugh!,’ shattered,” a student recalled). And he still enjoyed “a lot of cigarettes” later in life, until he gave up smoking altogether around 2011. Of course, Obama’s downplaying of his smoking is hardly grounds for consternation, and perhaps little different from Franklin Roosevelt’s attempts to minimize the effects of his polio. But it’s one more discrepancy between the public and private Obamas, and a symbolic one.
Notwithstanding its persistent skepticism toward Obama’s self-portraiture, Garrow’s book is far from unrelievedly negative. He also fact-checks right-wing biographies like Stanley Kurtz’s Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, dispensing with their caricature of Obama as a flaming socialist, and, as a political liberal Garrow seems to have no ideological quarrel per se with his subject. In some instances, his research shows Obama in a decidedly favorable light. He makes clear for the first time just how absent Obama was from his daughters’ upbringing—stuck down in Springfield or on the campaign trail or in Washington—and how deeply this absence saddened him. A man named Allison Davis, a Chicago mentor of Obama’s, remembered his friend weeping after Malia displayed her new ballet steps. “I’m never at home,” Obama lamented. “They’re growing up and I’m missing out.”
Garrow’s debunking goes into high gear when he gets to Dreams from My Father. That book, whose lyrical style and affecting narrative seduced many voters after its 2004 reissue, still furnishes the version of Obama’s early life that most people subscribe to. Even though Obama was candid about having altered key details of his life in Dreams, including creating composite characters, the book was nonetheless marketed as a “memoir” and “autobiography” and taken by readers to be a reliable account of his life. Garrow, however, dwells on the substantial amount of invented material in Dreams and ultimately pronounces it, maybe too severely, “historical fiction.” He also discloses that Fisher, Obama’s Harvard Law School buddy and frequent collaborator, was considerably more involved in conceiving and shaping the book than has been previously known. As Brent Staples remarked in his Sunday New York Timesreview, Rising Star “is clearly intended to break the 44th president’s monopoly on his personal narrative” that he established with Dreams. It certainly does so.
The unreliability of Dreams is of more than passing interest to Garrow. According to Jager, Obama crossed a line in how he portrayed her, abusing his literary license. Along with his previous girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, and perhaps others, she was folded into a composite character, left unnamed. Dreams described the character as white even though, Jager told Garrow, “I don’t consider myself exclusively white, as I am half Asian.” As Jager saw it, theirs wasn’t a relationship between a black man and a white woman but one between two interracial Americans. “Barack is as white as I am,” she told Garrow.
Jager also told Garrow that the scene, in Dreams, that precipitated their breakup—a bitter row about race after they saw a play by an African-American playwright—misrepresented the issues that actually divided them. In Jager’s telling, the searing fight took place after they saw an exhibit at Chicago’s Spertus Institute about the 1961 Adolf Eichmann trial, a very different context. Where Dreams portrayed the lovers’ rift as at bottom a function of racial difference, Jager, while acknowledging the racial component of their strains, insisted she was mainly upset that day that Obama, in her recollection, was less than unequivocal in condemning “black racism”; it was at a moment when the overt anti-Semitism of Steve Cokely, a black mayoral aide in Chicago, had become a cause célèbre in local politics. To Jager, what doomed their future together was Obama’s incorrigible “realism,” his perpetual readiness to accept and work within given realities—a trait she saw developing in the course of their relationship—while she wanted him to display moral courage.
The lovers’ disparate accounts may be attributable to differences in memory or even in contemporaneous perception. Still, Jager’s observation about Obama’s pragmatism—ratified by so many of Garrow’s brigades of interviewees—gives Rising Star its other abiding and unifying theme. Eventually, it leads Garrow to his damning judgment about Obama, much quoted, that “the vessel was hollow at its core.” That verdict is too harsh; indeed, some of those who were left cold by Obama’s often vapid hope-and-change rhetoric of 2008 later welcomed signs of his hardheadedness and calculation as proof that he knew how to play politics. But Garrow is persuasive in highlighting this pragmatism as a key element in Obama’s bildungsroman.
On the whole, Rising Star delivers what its subtitle promises: a new account of the “making” of Barack Obama—and in two senses of the word. As noted, Garrow unpacks the creation of Obama’s public image as we know it today. But he also helps us see the making of the other Obama, the forging of Obama’s inner character, and in particular the emergence of the will and drive that he developed in these years, mainly in his time as a community organizer. Obama in this period began to speak to Jager, and occasionally others, of his “destiny”—which was a reason he gave Jager as to why they couldn’t marry. (Jager never says that Obama concluded that he had to marry an African-American woman for his political advancement, but their mutual friend Asif Agha told Garrow, “He said that, exactly. That’s what he told me.”) What is clear is that around this time, Obama came to feel that he had a calling for greatness, and that sense of destiny transformed him, nourishing his pragmatism and fueling his ambition.
Garrow’s Obama may be less impeccable than the demigod of popular lore, but he is also more complex, more interesting and, finally, more human. Obama’s charisma and sense of destiny, recorded so carefully by Garrow through the words of his interviewees, were vital qualities in his sudden rise to the pinnacle of power, and to win the presidency next time, Democrats will need to find someone else with a touch of the magic he conjured in 2008. But Garrow is a historian, not a political consultant, the historian’s job isn’t to bask in the radiance of charismatic individuals. It is, rather, to limn the complexity that makes them mortal.
Interestingly, Obama himself once addressed the perils for a movement of pinning its political hopes on a single magnetic leader. After leaving Chicago for Harvard, he was invited back to reflect on his community organizing experiences in a roundtable discussion in September 1989. To the jeers of some of the assembled, he said that the election of Chicago’s mayor Harold Washington—still beloved in his circles—had raised hopes for grand changes. But in the end, he added ruefully, Washington was “an essentially charismatic leader” whose reforms hadn’t gone deep enough to leave a lasting tangible legacy after his untimely death or to hold together his political base once he was gone. Almost alone among the discussants, Obama seemed to understand that to succeed in politics—the art of who gets what, when and how—it was necessary to do more.
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2013.08.14 18:47 tabledresser [Table] IamA Metra (Chicago) train conductor AMA!

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Date: 2013-08-13
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Questions Answers
How do you get a job as a conductor? What level of education is required? Go to Metra's website or one of the freight railroads that operate Metra's trains. Burlington/Sante Fe or Union Pacific. I am a high school grad and I will make around 100k this year...
How in the hell...100k.. It is what it is. A good union, COLA raises.
100k?!?! That's more than most government lawyers and teachers make. Talk about a well connected union. I agree. It is.
Concerning the "M" and "F" stamps on monthly tickets: Do you have any guidelines or procedures on how to deal with people who are (for lack of a better term) gender-variant? For example, a man in drag or a woman with very short hair in a men's suit? Or just a person going through a sex-change? Have you ever accidentally screwed up? Honestly, if I can't tell with a decent amount of certainty what their gender is and they have a pass, good enough for me. If someone wants to go to those lengths to get a free ride, have at it. When I was newer we had a man who dressed like a woman but was clearly a man but presented themselves as a woman. He/she had a female monthly. It was all good.
Why does Metra even mark the ticket in the first place? If it's to make it so you can't let you wife borrow your pass, then that's ridiculous. Short of putting your picture on it the male/female marking is the next best thing.
If someone gets on and can't pay for a ticket what do you do? It depends. Do they look like they are going to work or is it the junkie wanting to get off at an inner city stop for their fix? Job guy stays, junkie goes. You really develop a feel for people and while I may not always guess right, I feel most of the time I am. Hey, people forget their passes, wallets, cash. What positive do I gain by tossing some poor guy off the train and making him late for work? Nothing.
What would you do in this situation (if a rider forget his wallet)? If I knew them to be a regular rider and I would seem them again, I'd square it up next time I saw them and let them get to work.
Might be a touchy subject, but have you ever been conducting while someone decided to step on the tracks? I always remember hearing about this happening 2-3 times a year and cannot imagine how horrible that would be. I have been working a train three times where a pedestrian was struck and killed by my train. All three were fatalities with one being an accident and the other two suicides. Talking with other conductors, the suicides are what they are and there is no use hammering yourself over it. The accident was the worst because the kid thought he was in the clear but wasn't. All three were fucked up messy and it is a lot worse for the engineer because he is behind the controls and he has front row seats of the carnage.
My father, who worked closely with Amtrak downstate, once told me that its far more rare for a conductor to have not at some point in time been involved in a pedestrian fatality. Would you say this is accurate? Absolutely. I have been involved in three of them. I will say that Operation Lifesaver has really been stressing their point the last few years and without any official data to go by, I'd say pedestrian incidents are way down the past few years. To sum it up, it is rare to find a conductor with a decent amount of seniority to NOT have had a pedestrian incident.
I'm just curious of if you were on the MDW line last year when someone got hit right before Bensenville (inbound). I was on that train and I have always wondered if it was an accident or suicide. I was not on that train. I know the incident but suicides are rarely reported as part of the story.
Do you have any friends or heard any stories from people working the CTA? I don't take Metra that often as I'm in the city proper and drive to get everywhere else, but I see plenty of screwed up on the CTA these days. Keep up the good work! I really don't know any CTA employees. I occasionally ride the L and am rather bemused at the whole operation. It's like watching a 5 year old throw a bunch of shit in a mixing bowl and somehow he made a decent looking cake that taste's like shit.
Oh man if you do know of any, i would really like a L conductor AMA. Me too!
What is the craziest thing you have seen as a conductor? Wow...I've seen blow jobs, brutal fist fights, what I think was 2 seconds before sexual intercourse, chicks making out on a dare, July 4th firework night, Blackhawks post Cup rally (that was completely nuts) are the more memorable things.
Wow! I rode the Metra daily to my job downtown for a year or so, and I never saw any of that. I guess I was in the boring car. Again off peak and weekend summer trains are a different animal then your rush hour trains. Think about it...
Rode the train into the city and out for the Blackhawks rally; can confirm the rowdiness. I may have partially been one of the loud ones (I was pretty drunk, so sorry.) That's ok. My train into and out of the city was cool. And I am a huge Hawks fan!
What is, in your opinion, the maximum people would be willing to pay for a single fare? It depends. On a weekend the cost now is 7 dollars for unlimited Sat/Sun travel. That is outrageously low. When you consider gas and parking in downtown Chicago, double that and it is still a bargain. I think the monthly fares as they sit now are fair.
Do you ever question if you are actually in an endless loop in the source code? When I first hired out and I was stuck working night/weekend trains during the Taste of Chicago, yeah, some endless looping going on there. Puke in the aisle's and lavatories every night.
What about Lollapalooza? If I remember the last time I took the Metra after Lolla they had locked all of the bathrooms. I would never do that. Whoever did that, did that unilaterally and not under a METRA directive.
Thanks again! Last question, do you prefer to say "upper deck", "up top", "tickets upstairs" or another variation? Up top.
I'm sure you're relatively busy at most times since Chicago is such a busy city anyway, but how do major events such as Lollapalooza or sport playoff games affect your job? What are things I can do as a passenger that often attends events like this to make your job easier? DONT drink like there is no tomorrow! Please! That is the worst. Having 2 frat boys get on the train with a case of Natty Light and down it by the time we get to Chicago is the worst because there is a chance you will see them later. METRA is the best way to get to the city. I understand that. But act like you have been out in public before for Christ's sake. And I will tell you...the busier a train is, the shorter the ride.
I ride MDW and always wonder how do you guys know whos tickets have been punched or when new people get onto a different train how do you know? Great question. For me, it was taking mental photographs of my assigned coach(es) before each new stop and then filling in the blanks (prior empty seats) with fresh faces. After a while you get really good at at. Of course, if we aren't sure we just ask the person... :)
Well thats some talent. So many people on and off. If I was a conductor alot of people would ride free because I'd never remember.. You'd be surprised at the untapped talents that lie right under the surface. :)
I never really understood how flag stops are supposed to work. What is your advice on what to do if you want to get off at a flag stop? Get on at a flag stop? I saw one web site that says you are supposed to hold a burning newspaper if you want the train to stop at a flag stop? I find that hard to believe. I wouldn't wave a burning newspaper because if I was the engineer and saw someone waving a burning newspaper I'd be like "fuck this" and blow right past you. I would carry a red bandana perhaps and wave that, make your self visible as much as possible without looking like a crazy person. On the train just find a conductor and tell him you wish to exit at wherever.
Hey, Which line are you on? I might have ridden on your train! I don't want to get into specifics like that because sooner or later someone will ask a good question and I will give a good answer and I kinda like my job and my co-workers so if I told you I work on line "A" and the shit gets deep on this thread I can see a grand inquisition going down where 90 some odd trainmen are interrogated...lol.
What have you seen change the most over your time working this job? Ticket collecting. It used to be a snap. Now it seems half the people do not hear you enter a car greeting them with a "TICKETS, PLEASE!" because they have their ear buds in or are wrapped up in a text or their ipads or laptops. This truly has been the biggest change I have seen. Technology is no friend of the conductor...lol.
, thanks for doing what you do! My question is what does it take for you to kick someone off your train? "Fuck You" seems to do it.
I'm a single 23 year old female and want to do what you do, where do I start? Go to www.metra.com and find the careers link or go to a freight railroad that operates Metra trains like BNSF or UP. If you have a resume send it to Metra for the hell of it. ATTN: Metra Human Resources 547 W Jackson Blvd Chicago, IL 60661.
What is your opinion of the recent Metra scandal and what do you think will be the fallout for employees such as yourself? The Metra board is a joke. Political appointed board members with ZERO railroad experience leads to...well...what we have going on now. If METRA was a publicly traded corporation where board members had to actually answer to somebody, it would be a whole new ball game. As far as fallout for us little guys? I don't see much if any. Sure, some passengers crack wise or try to lump us in with the corruption but it doesn't bother me. Thick skin in this job is a must.
Thank you for the response. I think you guys do great work, and are super important to the economy of the region. Thanks! I really do enjoy my job and have met some great people along the way. (see what I did there?)
Well, Metra formed after private railroad companies went bankrupt in the 70s. Doesn't seem like anyone knows how to run a railroad. I'm sure it's not easy but BNSF, UP, NS, CSXT CN and CP sure seem to have it down.
Aside from the Rock Island and Milwaukee Road going belly up, the freight lines wanted out of the passenger service because it wasn't as profitable as freight.
Do be fair, if Metra was a publicly traded company you would be making a less than half of what you make now. So you can't really try and play both sides of it. Just be happy you are benefiting monetarily from it. Did I give the impression I wasn't happy with my pay?
Is working one line preferable to working another, or is it all the same for you guys? Like do people fight to get on the UP-NW train vs the MD-W or something? Good question! From what I hear talking to some guys at UP, the west line is fantastic but guys on the west line and guys on the north line are on different rosters so they are stuck where they are at. At the end of the day it's all about where you live. Say I live in Joliet. If the Milwaukee District North line was the shit, would I drive all the way to Fox Lake to go to work or would I drive 5 minutes to Joliet station? Most jobs start at the outlying point...FYI.
Interesting! what roster would you be on if you lived in the city? or would they just make you drive out to the route's terminus for your shift? Actually I would love to hold a job that starts and ends in the city but not a whole lot of those on my line and the one's that do start their pay less than the one's that don't. It's all about the Benjamins still...
Do you think there should be more or less laws against feeding pigeons and squirrels on the platforms? Can the train go backwards? I mean if you don't stop soon enough and go past the platform, can you bring it back? Do you think that the cars should be separated (like they are here in chicago), or should there be one big car, like on the London tube? Metra trains operate on a "push/pull" system. The Engine either pushes or pulls the train, so yes, they can back up if they miss a platform. One long car? Sounds cool. Squirrels and pigeons gotta eat too!
How easy is it to get a free ride on a metra train? Well if you are going just one stop on a rush hour train, it can be rather easy. Get on in the front, walk through the train like you belong there and when the train pulls into the next station, walk off. A longer trip requires a bit of craftiness. Don't lock yourself into a bathroom, we look for that. Moving about may help your chances if you look like you belong. That is the key. A scumbag on a rush hour train who looks shady probably is.
The other day my girlfriend and I were riding from libertyville into the city and the conductor never asked for our tickets, we were just sitting on the upper deck haha. I'm guessing it was a packed train on a weekend? Not that that matters.
Do you think Metra should be adding or cutting service? Also, are there some stations that should be built or eliminated? METRA should be a cash cow but they managed to shoot themselves in the foot with awful decision making. With gas prices what they are and charging folks an arm and a leg to park downtown, cutting service would have a negative impact on the local economy because people would cut a lot out of their personal budgets if they had to drive into the city and park there. As far as stops, yeah, there are some that should disappear but again, it's politics. If you strip town "A" of it's depot because ridership doesn't warrant it you will piss off the wrong politician and Springfield bill "A" may not see as much support/money then it would otherwise.
That would explain the Rock Island line having like 12 stops between 91st and Vermont street. There's no way Beverly needs that many damn stops. That would. Cronyism runs rampant inside Metra...
How often do you get into issues with people claiming they already got their ticket punched or shown? Do you notice someone who got on at a stop but refused come forth with a ticket when asking for them after that stop? The off peak trains are notorious for people "chisling" their way into a free ride. They will say just that. "The other guy punched it". I will simply go to the "other guy" and confirm it. Also, each conductor's ticket punch leaves a different shape on a ticket so if someone hands me a scraggily looking ticket, I compare it to the punch marks of the guys I am working with. When someone gets on my train and heads straight to the bathroom, that's a red flag and I will wait on them to come out.
What's your favorite stretch of railroad? And your least favorite? Least favorite coming into the city in the morning. Most favorite is that last mile to my outlying point in the evening. ;)
How long are your shifts? It sounds like you don't like the job all that much. What do you think? I do like my job. There is good and bad but with some established seniority, it get's better due to better runs. I work 13 hours a day.
13 hours in a day!!! Dang you work a lot! Sounds like hard work. It's a lot of back and forth. I'll put it this way...I would notice if someone's house was painted.
WTF does "late arriving equipment REALLY mean"??? It means that train "A" from Chicago is headed to Aurora. It then turns around at Aurora and goes back to the city. Let's say that train A was 40 minutes late getting to Aurora and now, as train "B" it is late getting to Chicago...because of the delay getting to Aurora. It's also the default automated announcement for your garden variety delays. Don't get me started on those... :)
I knew it was basically a bullshit excuse. haha Thanks for the insider info!!! It's really embarrassing when EVERYONE knows we are late because, say, the train in front of us is having a problem. Then someone at Metra will send out a message that says "This train is currently operating 13 minutes late...due to...HEAVY PASSENGER LOADING." Everyone looks at me like "You guy's need to get your shit together.".
Is your job fulfilling? About average, I guess.
Are you saying the state doesn't pay a dime for Metra? That is not what I am saying. I am saying is that my pension is from railroad retirement...a federal agency.
What do you think of the TSA that's been spotted at Union recently? Necessary or no? Probably as effective as TSA at O'Hare...
They're a bunch of professional toothpaste confiscators, really. But I'll be damned if I have to get my nuts touched or run through the backscatter to get on an Amtrak to Champaign. I'd rather walk than deal with that shit. Not sure of the financials but I'm guessing the Feds pay to have those guys walk around the depot and scope out chicks. Sure, it's no cost to Metra but I have never seen them do anything constructive. Not that they don't...but I have never seen it.
Quiet Cars: How do you guys really feel about them? My conductor in the morning makes an announcement about them (BNSF) but the ones in the afternoon seem like they could give a shit. Most of us could give a shit. Look, it's public transportation and to set TWO cars aside and crown them as silent is ridiculous. And the people that sit in said cars are obnoxious about other's making so much as a peep. In the summer, when tourists and commuters meet head on in a quiet car...holy shit. Yeah, no use for them and I got better things to do than babysit a quiet car. Sorry for sugarcoating it... ;)
How do you know whether a monthly pass is actually a color copy? Well they have color changing characteristics on them but in all honesty, during a harried rush hour "sweep" of ticket collecting, we take YOUR word for it that you are an upstanding member of society who would NEVER use a counterfeit ticket. And remember, anything METRA train related ultimately ends up as a federal whatever so being caught with a counterfeit ticket could land someone's ass in hot water.
But, who cares? I purchased a ticket for unlimited rides, for one person, to take Metra. Why does it matter if I give it to a female member of my family to use for a day? I never understood that. You purchased it for unlimited rides for you. Not for anyone else. With your reasoning, one person on a coach could have a monthly and just pass it along to the next person and so on and so on. We'd be out of business in no time.
Thanks for explaining that! As a man, I always thought the M just stood for "monthly." You bet.
Do you think one day soon your job will be replaced by automation? Not completely but I think you will see just one conductor on a train eventually as new forms of ticketing and a doomsday budget scenario present themselves.
Metra is supposed to join CTA and Pace on a "unified fare system" (aka Ventra) by 2015. Given that's an entirely electronic tap cars and not a paper ticket, how do you think this will affect your job? Also what do you think of the proposal to turn the Metra Electric into a rapid transit line? I can cut paper tickets pretty fast. Not sure the speed of an "e-transaction" but I'm guessing it will be a bit slower than the method we use now. Take than very unscientific formula and add a crowded train and it equals uncollected fares. I guess ultimately if it better serves the rider then sure. However, Metra comes up with a bunch of proposals that never come to fruition. See the S.T.A.R line as a prime example...
I am a Chicagoland native and I ride the Metra trains all the time, and I always see/hear about people who may/may not be homeless just ride the trains back and forth from one end of a line to the city, especially on weekends. Is this a common problem and how do you feel about it? When I worked weekends, I saw this all the time. A homeless person will hang out at a station and ask people who just got off for their weekend ticket or they will board the train and fish one out of the garbage can or maybe they will buy one out of their own pocket and have a warm place to hang out for the day. Most of the time this wasn't really a problem other than some bad body odor but once in a while we would have to bounce a belligerent off the train. Overall, it never really bothered me but I can see how someone wouldn't want to spend an hour train ride near someone who is pretty ripe.
Do you think it was a good idea to get rid of the bar cars? I miss them! I don't think it affects riders either way because you can grab a tall boy in the depot for your ride. They were kinda cool though...
There's a few of you very kind, hardworking conductors that actually police the quiet cars. Thank you if you're one of them. What can we do to have quiet hours during night commutes after rush hours. Can't stand the obnoxious drunks after 18 hour days. The bathrooms are terrible and smell outside in train car. Who can we send an email discussing this. One person keeps putting the bathroom scent candle next to seats. What's the real story behind the train switch failures? What are the conductors feelings over the metra CEO/chairman golden parachute fiasco? Will my monthly prices ever come down? Thanks I know the good ones do exist. Not sure if they will ever have off-peak quiet cars. What I used to do when I worked nights was that I would usher the drunks into one car and leave the rear car open to "decent" folk. That seemed to work just fine. I know other guys do that as well. Yes, the bathrooms are terrible. The tanks back up and the smell is God awful. Switch failures are just that. A lot of the interlockings (where multiple train lines converge and cross one another) are old as dirt. Over 100 years old in fact and they seem to go down at the drop of a hat. Im not sure, short of tearing them out and rebuilding them, what can be done. Winter is worse than others and strangely enough, ever notice that switch failures seem to happen in clumps? Like there will be 7 in a week then nothing for a month or so. The former CEO was in over his head. He was hired from a bus company in LA and suddenly he was in charge of the 2nd largest commuter rail agency in the country? Really??? I think it was definite hush money because he has the goods on a ton of people, Im sure. The rash of board members resigning says enough. Don't see the cost of your ticket getting smaller, sad to say.
You ever been on the BNSF? I usually ride RI, but had to leave from Naperville once. The whole armed guard thing freaked me out a bit. During festivals and what not it is not uncommon to see a armed police officer on the train. I welcome them with open arms. You should too.
I'm not saying it's a bad thing. I was just surprised. I've never taken RI during a festival, since I live in Chicago, but there's normally no guards on the train. I was surprised there was on BNSF. It's no secret here that the freight railroads that operate Metra trains is where one in my profession would rather work. Those places are run by railroaders and they just seem to get it. True story: A good friend of mine works as a Metra conductor for Union Pacific and I met him for lunch at Ogilvie on my layover. As I was walking towards him he was talking to a guy I didn't recognize and they were both laughing their asses off, doubled over. The conversation ended up a handshake/bro hug combo and when I asked him who the guy was he said "My boss." Fucking kidding me???
Do you happen to know how to become an engineer for passenger train companies? Is it like getting a CDL? Also, how do conductors usually signal to the engineer when the train can continue? There is a light in the locomotive/operating cab that tells the engineer when all the doors close. When they are at a station and the doors open, the light goes off. When the doors close, light goes on and off they go. Best way to get an engineers license is hire on with a freight company. Metra LOVES to hire engineers from the freight companies because their training program is top notch.
My wife rides downtown every day and a few times (usually at the beginning of the month) she has forgotten her monthly pass and doesn't have cash. Fortunately she's a regular, so they just ask to show it the next day, but what is Metra policy if someone is short on money or realizes they don't have any cash on them? Basically it is to cut them a break. We understand things happen and people forget their wallets, purses, passes etc. Seeing that it is a regular definitely helps my decision process.
What are your thoughts on Ventra? I know Metra isn't using it at the moment, but if I recall correctly there's a rule in place mandating a common system for CTA, Pace and Metra by 2015. IF it will make my job easier I am all for it. Don't hold that 2015 law near and dear. Railroads have a way of extending such deadlines...
Having heard mostly negative things about Ventra so far (especially in comparison to the current CTA system), I sincerely hope they at the very least use a different system if/when everyone gets standardized. Don't hold your breath. This was RTA approved and the RTA oversees us so this may be a case of what's good for the goose is good for the gander...
Would you recommend this job to someone who wants a 9-5 office alternative? how's the pension/benefits? Railroading in general isn't for everyone. In train service you will start out on call, 24/7. Terrible on the family life. It get's better with time. The pension is real good. I don't pay into social security, I pay into railroad retirement. Health insurance is excellent.
Would you ever question someone with a discounted ticket? For example, I can assume someone can get their hands on a discounted ticket from someone else (say a high schooler) and use it. Or do you only care that it is a valid ticket? My favorite pastime is questioning an adult with a reduced fare ticket (obvious age (seniors) physical and mental handicaps aside). The legit ones are military. Lots of people out there have a kid buy them a reduced 10 ride and sooner or later they will get busted.
If they get busted, what are the consequences? Shaming them publicly in front of other riders and then confiscating the ticket and then making them but a correct one is my method...
You ever have to defend yourself because someone attacked you? Yes. All I can say is that they had no idea what was in store.
Yeah...you'd know. I'm pretty sure this guy actually was Seth Rogan, just researching for a role or something. I honestly do not recall ever hearing he was riding around as a conductor doing any research for a film. What line to you ride?
How do you keep track of the zones for people who prefer not to leave their ten-ride/monthly displayed on the upper level? It's basically an honor system. You have 1300 people on a train with sometimes 3 conductors. What can you do other then have faith that people are honest? Do people buy a D zone ticket and stay on the train until the H zone? I'd bet my house on it. Some guys do what is called a double sweep meaning they do an initial sweep out of the city then enroute do it again. It's not Metra policy that they do this but they just do it and that is one way to have a checks and balances I suppose.
What's the most stressful situation you have ever found yourself in while in the conductor's seat, if any? The blizzard of 2011 was no fun. Switches froze up and delays were approaching four hours with a train load of very angry and impatient people who naturally assumed it was all my fault. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. :)
Link to www.youtube.com ah, I almost forgot about this :) Great vid, Diode. Were you west bound out of Union or Ogilvie?
Do you conduct on the Union Pacific northwest line? I am a conductor on one of the Metra lines ;)
he works a shit ton of hours. A little of both...
There's no way a government lawyer, teacher or engineer should be valued at often 50% of a Metra conductor. This is public sector unions run amok at its finest. Should I take a voluntary cut in pay?
If you want Illinois to fix its pension problem, maybe. My pension has nothing to do with the state of Illinois. Are you willing to take a cut in pay. Of course you are not.
The conductor is back in one of the train cars. It's the engineer who may need counseling, having seen the person step in front of the locomotive. Agreed. The engineer doesnt care if the guy was a suicide or not. He just watched a guy die.
I find the key is body language. We're pre-programmed to feel uncomfortable bothering someone who looks busy. Also, I notice that pretending to be asleep works with female conductors, but not males. Perhaps it's a nurturing instinct thing. The sleep thing cracks me up. So you just got on my train and you fell asleep in 30 seconds? Ok. Yeah, you may be on to something their with the male/female thing. I wake them up.
Is there a way to get a discount on a 10-pass. I use them a lot, and they're so expensive. We used to have a 10 ride discount where you would actually pay the equivalent of nine rides and get the 10th one free. The ex-CEO did away with that so a ten ride ticket costs the same as 10 one ways. The upside is that it is more convenient to carry one ticket instead of 10 plus you can share a 10 ride with other people in your traveling party.
Last updated: 2013-08-18 16:13 UTC
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