Monday, 25 June 2012

Obit of Old Jake McKlanahan

13 January 1884  -   31 December 1979
Word was received here to-day from Huntsville, Texas that Jake McKlanahan has departed this Earth to be with the Lord.    He had been sent up the last time for being habitual, and that gave him a pretty long term.   Everybody here in Dime Box remembers when Jake was sent up, because we all can remember that the inmates at the TDC went on a hunger strike when they found out Jake was coming to their unit.   An accommodation was reached when all the prisoners were given 18 months credit, and all the ones waiting for the chair were commuted to time served and released.  Jake never seemed to have a whole lot of friends anywhere he went.
This is a group of Czech settlers in Dime Box, Texas at their Catholic Church's
 parish meeting.  The fellow second from the left in the second row is Jake
 who snuck in for the free beer and sandwiches.  This is the meeting in 1909. 
  He kept saying "Ich bin Ihnen sehr dankba".     Jake was unaware
 that the Czechs in that part of Texas do not get along with the Germans
 in that part of Texas.  They shook him out of 6 bits of silver and ran him off
 the property.   Jake just never seemed to fit in.

     It wasn't long after he left that the entire town left and set up New Dime Box, just down the road.   According to the County Register, this weekly newspaper that brings folks the most recent obituaries, weddings, and such, the townfolk said that the stench stayed behind even after Jake had been gone for a couple of months.   So they up and moved the town up-wind.
    Jake was born in Busted Butt, Texas and lived there 'til he and his whole family were run out of town after Jake set fire to the livery and killed 30 or so horses and mules of good shod and tooth.   Jake said he had only been trying to square accounts after doing 18 months for attempted sale of a horse that belonged to the Oates's Livery and not to Jake.   The McKlanahans weren't really bad people, but they never seemed to fit in with the rest of the folks.   When they moved into Cut and Shoot, Texas they bought a cabin in the Coloured part of town.   Within a week all the Coloured Folks had moved over to Abilene, and vowed to never come back.
Dime Box, Texas to-day
     In an interview with the Abilene Avalanche newspaper, the McKlanahan people said that they had Indian blood...some Apache and some Cherokee....but that resulted in a lawsuit.   State District Court 344 in Abilene had a jury that awarded the Tribal Council  of the Five Apache Tribes and the National Cherokee Tribal Council 100,000 Yankee dollars each for defamation by the newspaper for having printed such a damaging story about the Indians.
     People all over are waiting to see where Blackstone's Funeral Parlour and Hardware Supply is going to try to bury old Jake.   The story is that they're going to try to do it by night.  No preacher, Catholic or Protestant, will say words over Jake and nobody we know of intends to go to his funeral, if one is held.   No pallbearers have been named and there is no list of survivors, because most of the survivors are either dead or in prison anyway.
      Now, we have been told by some important political folks that if you all would like to, in lieu of flowers, you all can give the Obama Re-election Campaign a memorial contribution, of a minimum of 50 yankee dollars, in cash or check.   Jake didn't like flowers too much anyway.  He seemed to like warm beer and Spam that had done spoilt a little.


El Gringo Viejo renders proper credit to Debbi Robertson for this fine photograph.  Thanks, Debbi!
(Yes, Virginia, there really are two communities in Texas named Dime Box and New Dime Box.  They're not too far from Runge, Texas   It is an area with lots of Czech and Bohemian folks who settled in there, beginning with a trickle shortly before the War Between the States up through the early 1900s.   They are, like the Polish in Texas, people with very little imagination, but very intelligent. Very good farmers and ranchers, and they are very clean.   They tend to vote Republican in these days, and they tend to poke fun at themselves.   They will admit to still being a bit wary of the Germans who live to their north and west, but the Germans vote Republican too.  The Czech, Poles, Germans, and Bohemians, in many ways, are "typical Texans" raised to the stereotypical.   Boots, hats, rodeos and barrel racing, FFA, gun-racks, pick-ups by the hundreds at Old Lady Ranocek's funeral....religiously rooted....good people.
     But Jake is not too real.   The suggestion about giving money to Obama instead of sending flowers to Jake's funeral, however, is real.   Obama is not like these folks, because Obama and his people are whitetrash.) 

Thank all OROGs, each for his or her patience, time, and attention.
El Gringo Viejo