Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Shooting in Pumpkin Seed Valley

This is a story from a newspaper about my Great Grandpa Brown's grandma, my great, great, great grandma. She lived to be 103 and still had the bullet in her neck. It was near her juguler so they were not able to remove it.

Chimney Rock Transcript
Bayard Co., Nebraska
May 9, 1890

On Friday forenoon May 8th a terrible tragedy was enacted across the Platte in the Pumpkin Seed Valley, Banner County, some 16 miles directly south of this village. Charles Clark, a young man of 23, a somewhat noted character in the neighborhood and semi-desperado of the Cowboy Order, shot and wounded Miss Eunic McIntyre, a lady of 25 and then deliberately fired a bullet into his own brain. He died instandly. The cause of this insane act was in maddening passion-love. Clark desired to marry and Miss McIntyre repulsed his advances and utterly refused to become his wife. The beginning of the affair is said to have originated in Missouri when they were much younger. Coming to Nebraska a few years since a location was made on the Pumpkin Seed, where Clark followed the avocation of cowboy while holding down a claim. Miss McIntyre and her brother also occupied claims in the same neighborhood. Time passed on and Clark became infatuated and at different times had proposed marriage and had been rejected. He has written teh lady upon several occasions, and only a day or so before his terrible death and written her for a definite and final answere to his suite in wihch he threatened her life if again refused, also saying they would both die.

At about 11 o'clock a.m. on Friday, he visited the cabin where Miss McIntyre resided and upon her refusal to comply with his request, pulled a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver and fired. The first shot entered the front edge of the left armit and ranged upward following the left collarbone, stopping at the latter third, directly below where it could be distinctly felt. The second shot entered the anterior armpit of the upper half of the arm, ranging upward and outward, missing the bone altogether, making a clean exit.

Miss McIntyre, in atempting to escapre, ran out the south door, but Clark ran around, met her, coolly inqiring if she was seriously hurt. She fell to the ground, exclaiming "Charley, you have killed me," and feigning death, knowing he would shoot again if not deceived. Believing her to be dead, Clark seated himself on a box near her, twice placing the gun to his head in a hesitating manner. After moments of delay, however, he crossed the room, placed the revolver to his had and pulled the trigger, the ball entered the center of the right parietm bone ranging upward, backward and slightly upward. A Mr. Oliver, an old and feeble gentleman, witnessed the shoting and remonstrated with the assassin but his efforts were ineffectual.

The affair created intense excitement in the neighborhood and the wonder is that Clark failed in killing his victim, he being accounted the best shot in the Valley, often exhibiting his skill as a marksman and boosting his ability t shoot anyone on sight, but this instance he failed.

Miss McIntyre is represented as a lady of refinement and culture and is highly esteamed in the community. She passed through a terrible excitement and trial with true bra ery and fortitude.

Drs. Lonquest of Bayard, Lamb of Redington, and Sherer of Freeport were summoned and the lady was cared for, the ball extracted and she was made comforted and will recover.

Coroner Fletcher and the sheriff of Banner County took charge of Clark's body, holding an inquest resulting in a verdict of suicide. His remains were buried in the Pumpkin Seed Valley.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Funny allowance from US customs

I was searching customs to see if I would be allowed to bring a kris into the US and this is what I found:

Switchblade knives and other spring-loaded knives are prohibited and may be subject to seizure. (There is an exception for one-armed persons.)

Why Do They Do It?

Indonesians seem to do crazy things for no apparent reason.

A few preliminary examples:

Taking all of the straws from juice and tea boxes and holding them at the counter. They never tell you they do this, you just have to know that the straw is at the counter. For weeks I just thought I had been choosing the juice/tea box without a straw!

When buying things from Gramedia or department stores (or similar places) there are usually at least three people and an equal number of papers you must go through before you are aloud to make your purchase. You choose your item and a person takes it from you and gives you a number. You then go to the counter and show your number and claim your item. The person there then writes you a ticket which you take to the cashier. The cashier rings you up and gives you a receipt and a copy of your ticket which he/she has either signed or stapled or both and you then take that ticket to the original counter where you are permitted to claim your item, with they have usually double bagged and stapled shut. So time consuming and silly!!!!!!!!

Garbage/ Recycling Bins without labels. Around campus there are so
me very smart looking new recycling and garbage bins. They are brightly coloured and there is a set of four about every 10 meters. However, these bins have no labels so there is no way to tell which rubbish goes where! Unless of course I'm forgetting that blue is the universal color for plastic and orange for paper!

Random Things When in Indonesia

Since I have moved in with Tom the electricity has gone out nearly every night. Since there is only once room with A/C the only bothersome part has been not being able to see. In a way it has actually been nice because without electricity there are not many distractions. Every thing is darker and quieter. This has also meant that Tom and I have had plenty of opportunities for engaging conversation.

One night I came home and thought it was strange that all the lights were out and all the houses on Ringalli were quiet. I was opened the door only to be scared half to death by Tom opening the door at the exact moment with a light shining from about the level of his forehead as if he were some disastrous offspring of an alien and a cyclops. Once my heart slowed to a normal pace Tom and I stayed up chatting about the trouble of trying to bank (or take care of anything back home really) when in Indonesia, especially with the added interference of louder than necessary motor bikes... grrr!!!

Just last night the electricity went out again. This time I was trying to finish up packing however, so it was a bit annoying. We remedied this by driving my motor bike just inside the front door and shining the headlight into the living room. I had to be quick though so as to not die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Once I had finished packing we turned the bike of and Lisa and I entertained Tom with some lovely singing. Our performance included such treasures as American Pie, Some Kind of Wonderful, Hallelujah, Mary Jane's Last Dance, Elephant Love Melody, Let's Do It, and Hotel California. You're welcome, Tom ;-)

Confrontation in the Pore!

I just made it in to Singapore. I'm on a stop-over on my way to Montana for Christmas. My flight departed at 7:30 in the morning so Tom woke me up bright and early with coffee. Thanks Tom! :-)

Getting to the airport (thanks to Rika's husband), checking in, landing and taking off all went smoothly. However, when I arrived at Changi airport I had forgotten to declare the kris that was packed in one of my suitcases. Now, I know this sounds like a really stupid thing to do, but to be fair I was never given a slip of paper with which to make such a declaration. So, my luggage was going through screening and one of the airport workers suspiciously asked me if I had anything to declare. In my ignorance I assumed he was talking about the Orang Tua I had in my bag, so I said yes. However, when I opened the bag I was surprised that he was actually looking for a knife!

Before I was taken over to the customs office I had to wait while they searched the man's luggage who was behind me. This man was a little flake of a thing, American I think, and he was completely rude. I told him I was sorry because they thought he was with me, and I thought that was why they were searching his things too. His response was, "yeah, you don't bring a f**king knife the size of your arm into an airport." Now, I thought this was very rude, and it turned out that they were searching his bag because he had some sort of large piece of metal in it that was showing up on the screen.

Once at the customs office I noticed there was a Dutch guy there and an Australian guy there. It turned out they were there for the same reason, illegally smuggling swords into Singapore. It was a big ordeal and they asked 10 million questions and threatened to seize the sword, but once the police were called in things were sorted pretty quickly and to my astonishment I was allowed to keep the kris! So, you had better really appreciate it, Bren.

I also met this lovely woman on the MRT when leaving the airport. Her name is Marylynn and she is from Sussex. She helped me with my luggage and I accompanied her to the market to buy some mincemeat pies for Christmas. She helped me all the way to Little India and even bought me lunch. We have plans to meet and walk around the Botanical Gardens when I come back through Singapore in January.

I'll be enjoying some delicious Indian food later and I'm staying at Footprints Hostel again, so I should be able to get a good sleep before heading to the airport at 4:00 am!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Great Wayang Debate

As Tom has mentioned in his blog we, Adam, Tom, Lisa, and myself, have been having an ongoing debate as to which is the correct way to view a wayang performance.

Tom and I both agree that wayang should be enjoyed from the side opposite the Dalang and gamelan. This is best as the shadows are what is supposed to be watched, not the wayang themselves. However, at every wayang performance I have been to in Java the people are sitting on the same side as the Dalang and the gamelan. The light is very bright and the shadows are obviously not seen from that side. Adam seems to think that because Tom and I are not Javanese/ Indonesian we are not allowed to comment on the appropriate way to watch a wayang performance. I strongly disagree with this. If I were eating burritos and fajitas for Thanksgiving dinner, an Indonesian would certainly be in the right if he were to say that was not what the Pilgrims had intended and that I was salah.

The best part of this story is that I was given a small, but satisfying bit of support tonight. Adam, Lisa and I rented The Year of Living Dangerously and took it to Moviebox to watch. After the hellish ordeal at Moviebox (which is a regular occurrence and I will have to write about another time) we were finally directed to the viewing room. The night before Adam and I had stopped briefly at one such wayang performance, and again the audience was on the wrong side. So the debate was somewhat refreshed then.

To my complete surprise and delight the opening seen of the film was a wayang performance being viewed from the shadow side! I immediately began to laugh and Adam as well, which he quickly followed with a "shut up!" It did not stop there though. Later on in the film one of the central character of the film and the narrator devoted an entire scene to the importance of wayang and the importance of watching the shadows rather than the puppets. It was brilliant timing and I'm sure it was very difficult for Adam to sit through. We had a nice laugh about it.

Unrelated as this is I feel I should mention it. In another scene in the movie Mel Gibson goes to a party in what I assume if Bogor where he just happens to bump into Sigourney Weaver. Sigourney is looking very sultry in a thinly strapped orange and red checkered dress. The music is lively and just before they begin I commented that Sigourney would start with a sexy "shoulder dance." Just then she did! It was fantastic and just confirmed the ongoing rumor that I am omniscient! ;-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ACICIS Christmas Party

The ACICIS Christmas party was tonight at the Yogya Village Inn. There was plenty of food, secret Santa, and an awards ceremony.

For his secret Santa gift Tom received a Rubik's cube and a fancy holder to go with it. I received chocolate and James a cigarette/ cell phone holder, but Adam's was the best of all. He received a motorized go fish game! We played several rounds and I won all but 2, and on of those was a draw. This game is fantastic and provides endless hours of entertainment for all. Who would have guessed!?

One of he funniest parts of the evening was the awards. I will list them here:

KATE - The Lola Award for taking a bit lama with some of her loading. Kate thought that both Padang and Bali were part of Java and also thought that loading lama meant actually loading stuff onto the back of a llama.

TOM - The Pecinta Alam Award for liking a bit of alam. Tom has watched birds, been chased by ducks, savoured the fresh air and adopted and cared for wayward geckos. He is also rumoured to have drunkenly staged a real-life cicak versus buaya fight using a buaya he bought on the black market. Entry was 500k Rp and the cicak fought nobly but ultimately lost.

CHRIS - The Marriage Material Award. Chris always knows exactly how many days are left until his pacar gets here and has (as far as we know) remained setia despite the legions of Indonesian girls drooling over him and trying to get his HP number.

LISA - The Yes Man Award. Lisa is gung ho, always up for stuff and has never turned down an invitation to something (again as far as we know).

DIMI (JAMES yes) - The MacGyver Award. Dimi is able to fix anything ever and also saved the lives of a family whose car had stalled on train tracks in front of an oncoming train. Seriously.

LAUREN - The Onward Christian Soldier Award. Lauren receives this award for bringing Jesus to the people of Indonesia through karate, which we would like to ask her to demonstrate now if she wouldn't mind.

SIMON - The Some Like It Blonde Award. Simon receives this award for managing to find a Swedish girlfriend in an island full of black-haired women.

PAUL - The Why Do We Even Bother Award. Paul receives this award for repeatedly turning down invitations to stuff, especially stuff he has asked to be invited to.

ADAM - The Fashionable Gentleman Award. Adam receives this award for having by far the most impressive collection of both Batik and Hawaiian shirts.

SAMIRA - The Javanese Princess Award. Samira is Javanese and has gone to enormous lengths to avoid squat toilets. She also lives in a hotel.

BRI - The Valium Award. During her time in Indonesia, Bri unwittingly consumed Valium to the point of dependency. She has also displayed an ability to stay positive through difficult times that makes it seem like she is perpetually on Valium.

JEMMA - The When In Rome, Do As The Indonesians Do Award. Jemma has gone native with extreme dedication and has improved her Indonesian language greatly as a result, though she will deny this fervently.

NYSSA - The Cute Kid Award. Nyssa has a very cute kid who is universally adored and extremely photographed.

MADDIE - The I Own The Moon Award. Maddie officially owns the moon, as America got there first and she is an American. While there are technically other Americans in the ACICIS program, Maddie owns the moon and I think we all can agree it is in good hands.

PETER - The If You Go On Safari You Will Probably See The Rare Javanese Rhinoceros More Than You See Peter Award. Peter has a rich full life in Jogja, a lovely local girlfriend and many girls with secret crushes on him, but he is like some rare jungle bird that you try to see in the jungle but you can't see it because it is elusive.

The Staff

ELE - The Naughty Nurse Award. Ele receives this award for freely dispensing and consuming the forbidden drug codeine and for sticking it to the condescending and patriarchal Indonesian medical system.

PHIL - The God Award. Phil receives this award for being an invisible but omnipotent and ominous force in the ACICIS universe.

SINTA - The Where The Bloody Hell Are You Award. Sinta answered the call of our great nation's intimidating tourism advertisements and deserted us for several weeks to eat steak in pubs, pet kangaroos in wildlife parks and learn some Aussie slang.

FICKRY - The Simple Social Butterfly Award. Fickry has delicately flitted around campus this semester in his new role as ACICIS assistant, people person and chief dosen headcracker. Those of you who have been bonceng'd by him before will understand that 'delicately flitting' in a Fickry context means careening around on a motorbike at terrifying speeds.

It was a really fun evening and I am happy to see my ownership of the moon finally being recognized. :-)