Bad Word. Well, Jeny’s little procedure last week turned out to be cancer. Right after I got the call about her diagnosis, our grandson Kyle called to say he has COVID. This is his second bout. He is asymptomatic but he is in quarantine for 14 days. That means he will not be able to attend the wedding of Miller, Scott’s youngest son .

Our family planned to be together for the first time in 3 years at the wedding. I am not sure which was worse news for Jeny, cancer or the family not being together.

Good News. We spent the weekend knowing she had cancer without any more information. On Monday, we went to the oncology surgeon. He was very positive. The cancer was caught very early and he believes a hysterectomy will remove the cancer and she will probably not need chemotherapy or radiation. The surgery will be robotic. We will not know for certain if she will be clear of cancer until tests are complete, but we are very hopeful.

Eighteen years ago, I went through a very similar situation. My prostate was removed by a robot and with its removal my cancer was removed. We are praying for a similar result for Jeny. We thank you for your prayers and expressions of concern.

Her surgery will be in May, so to her great delight Jeny will be able to attend our grandson’s wedding. She we be able to see all of our grandchildren except Kyle who will remain in quarantine.

Sculpture from the lynching memorial in Montgomery Alabama

Wrong Definition. I did not have time to develop a long blog because my mind was on other matters. I did encounter one topic, that in my continual attempt to be a life-long learner, brought me new knowledge.

My learning started when I read the lynching with “the most victims at one time” occurred in New Orleans. Eleven men were killed when a mob broke into the jail on March 14,1891.  When I read the details of the mob behavior, I was surprised to learn the men were shot not hung. My surprise led me to understanding the proper definition of lynching.

I have lived with a misunderstanding of lynching for years. I always thought a lynching involved hanging. Only this week, as I studied the topic, did I learn the accurate definition: Lynching is when a mob kills for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial. The most common manner is by hanging but the proper definition includes other forms of killing.

Sculpture from the lynching memorial in Montgomery Alabama

Mob massacres. Lynching and mob activity are topics I am uncomfortable thinking about, but with my failure to even know the definition of lynching, I decided to learn more. I became curious about whether the report that the New Orleans mob lynching was the most at one time was accurate. As it turns out, 17 people were lynched at one time in Los Angeles on October 4, 1871. In Gainesville Texas, during October 1862, 41 men were hung within a short period of time.

In my experience, most curious information about each mass lynching is — none of the victims were black. The eleven in New Orleans were Italians; the 17 in Los Angeles were Chinese and the 49 in Gainesville Texas were white Yankee sympathizers. I assumed mass lynching would have involved blacks because of the role of lynching in our racial history.

The number of blacks killed by lynching is highly disproportionate to whites, but I was surprised to learn the primary reason for the disproportionality is the number of blacks lynched in four states: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia. Outside of those four states whites were frequent victims of a lynching.  Prior to 1850 whites were the primary ones lynched. Mob mentality can be color blind.

An excellent article was written a few years ago in anticipation of the development of the outstanding memorial in Montgomery Alabama honoring known black victims of lynching. It is worth a look.

It can be found at —

Epidemic. America has an epidemic of gun violence but we also have an epidemic of disrespect for other people’s lives and property. As the lynching information shows, as racial massacres show, as first Nation massacres show, we have a long history of such violence. Students of history understand mobs and massacres are a frequent blight on our history. The mob violence in Washington D.C. as well as many cities around our country is not a new behavior.

 I still believe our problems stem from the failures of heart and soul. I believe faith, not politics nor demonstrations, provide the best hope.



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