This is True's Current Weekly Issue
To get these issues free by e-mail each week, just subscribe using the form above -- your privacy is Randy's policy. (Or cruise around the web site to see more samples, archive, and info on our terrific book collections of thousands of past stories.)
Since 1994, this is the 1016th issue of RandyCassingham’s...
Ghost Story: When a fire consumed the LeBeau Plantation house in Old Arabi, a neighborhood at the edge of New Orleans, La., investigators quickly proclaimed arson. The house has been abandoned for 60 years, but the current owners were in the process of trying to restore it. Seven men, aged 17 to 31, had broken in to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol, says Col. John Doran of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office. “We all heard the ghost stories while growing up,” says Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann — spirits of long-dead slaves. That led to the men “looking for ghosts, trying to summon spirits, beating on the floors,” Doran said. When that didn’t work, one of the seven, Dusten Davenport, 31, Doran charges, decided to burn the place down. The seven have been charged with burglary and arson. (RC/New Orleans Times-Picayune) ...As usual, the only spirits present were the bottled kind.
Criminal Record: According to his rap sheet, Earl Sampson, 28, is a persistent trespasser who’s been arrested many times at the 207 Quickstop, a Miami Gardens, Fla., convenience store. But according to the Quickstop’s owner, he’s an employee. Alex Saleh grew so troubled by how the police treated his employees and customers that he installed video cameras. They’ve recorded aggressive searches of people, warrantless searches of the business, violent arrests, false reports, and of course arrests for trespassing of people permitted to be there — such as Sampson, who Saleh has told police is an employee. Saleh once invited the police in, agreeing to participate in a “zero-tolerance program” to reduce crime, but he changed his mind after he saw their behavior. Police refused to accept his withdrawal, and when he filed a complaint, they stepped up their shows of force, even sending five officers who stood silently, blocking two aisles. (AC/Miami Herald) ...Is this even about enforcing laws anymore?
Party On: Randy Burbach, the volunteer football coach for Corbett (Ore.) Middle School, wanted to throw a great end-of-the-season party for his team. When he asked the boys on the team for suggestions of where to go, the answer was Hooters — and Burbach went with it. Athletic director J.P. Soulagnet ordered Burbach to pick another venue, and fired him when he refused. “Some might say that this restaurant objectifies women. I would tend to agree,” Soulagnet said. “I think it sends the wrong message to our young men and that saddens and worries me the most.” Burbach fought back. “Not allowing myself to be bullied by a vocal minority is the war I want to win,” he said, and pressed on with the party. Hooters helped out by not only paying for the party, but also donated $1,000 plus 20 percent of the store’s revenues for the day to the school. (MS/Portland Oregonian, KGW Portland) ...If you can’t convince ’em, buy ’em.
Iconic: Norman Rockwell, who died in 1978 at age 84, is still considered an icon for the way he captured the American experience with his paintings, created for the Saturday Evening Post (more than 300 original cover illustrations over 47 years), the magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, Boy’s Life, and many other publications. Multiple U.S. presidents sat for portraits by the idealist American painter. But a new biography paints Rockwell in a different light. He was a high-school dropout. His first wife left him for another man; his second wife apparently committed suicide. He ignored his three sons; “There was a hollowness where the family was supposed to be,” says Jarvis, the eldest. His third wife, the biography says, was “his feminine ideal: an elderly schoolteacher who was unlikely to make sexual demands.” And, it adds, he may have been gay. At the very least, he “had intense emotional relationships with the men and boys who modeled for him,” though there is no evidence of sexual liaisons with any of them. (RC/Albany [N.Y.] Times-Union) ...Yep, that’s the American experience all right.
We Told You Not to Eat in There
Firefighters Use Jaws of Life to Free High School Girl from Locker
Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) Citizen headline
Did You Find an Error? Check the Errata Page for updates.
This Week’s Contributors: MS-Mike Straw, AC-Alexander Cohen, RC-Randy Cassingham.
I Posted “the Norman Rockwell” Story on Facebook this week. It got very little feedback from the Premium readers on Monday, so I was surprised at the negativity over it on Facebook — up to and including that it ended with “the tagline of a racist bigot.” Several others, though, did completely grasp what the story was about, so I know it wasn’t a completely botched effort. Hint (as explained in my blog): the story isn’t about Norman Rockwell.
This is True Didn’t Run a Black Friday special. We didn’t run a Small Biz Saturday special. And there was no Cyber Monday special. Any of those would have been an acceptable excuse to bombard you with more commercial garbage, but it would still be just that: an excuse. I just don’t do Black Friday, let alone participate in the new “shop on Thanksgiving Day” trend that’s now seeing backlash. And even though True “qualifies” as both a small biz and a “cyber” based one, I just have no interest in playing the games, which probably costs me a lot of sales. I simply offer you what I think is more value than the price asked, and try to be responsive when customers ask me questions about what I offer.
This time of year the main question is, do I take gift orders? Yep: always have. Printed This is True books are generally pretty popular, and Premium subscribers get a discount on them. See the assortment here. I have not yet (sigh) succeeded in getting more volumes off to press, but I’m working on it — at some point, there will be a lot of volumes available “at once.”
The Get Out of Hell Free line (not just the cards) is also quite popular: mugs, the laser-engraved sticky-note holder (and refills), and a lot more. You can browse the entire lineup here. Everything has free shipping (in the USA at least), and we’re happy to ship directly to your recipient with a packing slip, rather than an invoice. Sorry, but we don’t have enough staff time available to do gift wrapping.
You can also give Premium subscriptions as a gift. The shopping cart page already has a pull-down (at “Type”) to mark it as a gift, and there’s a little box right there where you can put your recipient’s name, e-mail address, and even a brief message, which I will send out with a gift notice on any date you request — including Christmas day, if you wish. You can even put the order in at the last minute, and I will still get a gift notice out within 24 hours (and often much sooner). So there you go: no hype, and no one-day-only sales — just good value for the price. Hope you like it.
There Were Eight(!!) More Stories in the full edition this week: How to force your pet upon others. Appeals court rules woman who let go of her steering wheel (which caused a crash which killed a passenger) is not responsible for the accident because.... Woman gets phone call in her car, which results in a busy freeway being shut down in both directions on Thanksgiving because.... Man calls police in the middle of the night to ask for help in removing a strange woman from his bed. Couple in bar make strange bet over football game — and a crowd follows them outside after it’s over to watch the bet unfold. Author files suit against her publisher in a case involving sex with shape-shifters and werewolves. Student dies, but school prohibits her classmates from memorializing her. Mom outraged that her son is named to the Honor Roll when he has C’s and D’s on his report card. “Moms” outraged over Kmart commercial, but.... You can still read all of these stories: just ask for your upgrade to start with the 1 December issue. Upgrades start at just $12!
The Latest Posting to Jumbo Joke:
(Huh: I only just this week noticed that Jumbo Joke has broken 1,500 items!)
Ten Years Ago in True: How to catch a thief ...when you have a lot of government-purchased equipment at your disposal. Not Your Average Bear
This Week’s Honorary Unsubscribe goes to Willis Ware. An engineer, Ware worked with early computers — and you won’t believe what he predicted.
True Tidbit of the Week: The conventional wisdom is younger people are lazy — they have a poor work ethic. But a survey of American workers by Salary.com finds that may not be true. More than a third (35 percent) of those between 18 and 25 say they “live to work” rather than “work to live” — the highest percentage of any age group. And what if they hit the lottery, and didn’t have to work to live anymore? They would still keep their jobs, say 59 percent of younger workers; just 32 percent of those aged 51-60 say they would keep their jobs in the same circumstances. (Source)
Subscriptions to This is True are Free athttp://www.thisistrue.com. All stories are completely rewritten using facts from the noted sources. This is True® is a registered trademark. Published weekly by ThisisTrue.Inc, PO Box 666, Ridgway CO 81432 USA (ISSN 1521-1932).
Copyright ©2013 by Randy Cassingham, All RightsReserved. All broadcast, publication, retransmission to e-mail lists, WWW, or any other copying or storage, in any medium, online or not, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from the author. Manual forwarding by e-mail to friends is allowed IF 1) the text is forwarded in its entirety from the “Since 1994” line on top through the end of this paragraph and 2) No fee is charged. We request that you forward no more than three copies to any one person — after that, they should get their own free subscription. We always appreciate people who report violations of our copyright to us.
You can subscribe free by e-mail and get this delivered to you every week.