Friday, October 18, 2019


There’s a high-school reunion this weekend. It’s got
one of those milestone dates that make you say: “Who? Me? It can’t have been that long... Can it?”

They’ll give us a tour tonight of the school that was built the year most of us were born, and show us what’s changed there since we were 17 and 18. They’ll walk us out to an alumni tent where we’ll hope to find some hot dogs, and then into the stands for the last home football game of the season.

Monday, October 7, 2019

King of the Koniackers

Putting some meat on the biography of an Indiana
gunsmith, I find Joseph Wood on the 1860 census for Clark County, Indiana. He's listed as "gunsmith" born around 1830 in Ohio.

"That's odd," I think. "Looks like he's living in one big house, with a bunch of other guys." I look at the top of the census page and see that it IS a big house: the Indiana State Penitentiary at Jeffersonville.

In the census column for "Whether deaf and dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict," Joseph Wood was noted as being locked up for "Passing Counterfeit Money."