THE CELLAR DWELLERS STARRING IN “TWO KNUCKLE HEADS”
Todd Hiltz sent along his latest video and no, I didn’t come up with the title. Apparently he and Dave Wise finally looked in a mirror. Enjoy…
DAN HUGHES…INTERESTING, FUN AND INFORMATIVE
As usual Dan Hughes’ latest podcast was not only informative, it was a lot of fun. The topic? Canadian Pennies! Now you might say ‘big deal’ or ‘who cares’, but do yourself a favor and give it a listen, all the way through. I learned something by doing so and you just might as well. A suggestion….sign up for Dan’s updates. You won’t be disappointed.
IN THE TREASURE CORNER – CANADIAN PENNIES
OH HOW I LOVE TECHNOLOGY…
Okay, are you ready? It’s Curmudegon Time!
Much like my necessities for metal detecting my need to communicate with people 24 hours a day is tied to a home phone and flip phone. Yep, you heard right, FLIP PHONE! I have decided I am not smart enough for a smart phone and even more important, not rich enough to pay for one. Now I know you are thinking “what a cheap bastard” but that’s not true. I can and will spend when needed. It’s just that I have no need to stare at a tiny screen all day to see what my friends are putting on their tiny screens, or check prices in order in order to save a dime or worse yet, to amuse myself playing Candy Flush!
To make matters worse I was about to pay my AT&T bill this morning and I noticed it was almost five dollars more than the normal monthly charge. Baffling because we hardly use our phones and have the most basic package you can find…$69.99 for two phones and 700 rollover minutes per month. We might use our phones once or twice a month and it’s usually for weighty stuff like “pick up bread while you are at the store” or “you left the toilet running” damn it”. As a result we have accumulated six hundred thousand free minutes of call time…unless of course we need to get information, customer service or call 911. That you see costs extra because someone at AT&T has to actually lift a finger.
So I flip over the bill to see what’s going on and I am immediately blinded by a flurry of nickel and dime charges that run off the page. Here’s just a few….
- Administrative Fee 1.22
- Federal Universal Service Chg 3.77
- Regulatory Cost Recovery Chg 1.28
- State Cost Recovery Fee .57
- Texas Universal Service 1.90
- 9-1-1 Service Fee 1.00
- 911 Equalization Surcharge .12
- City District Sales Tax .15
- City Sales Tax .82
- Texas State Sales Tax 5.07
- Dir. Assistance 1.99
- KB used 1.11
So when you add all this up my bill comes out to $1,225.00, plus the title to my car and lawnmower. Well okay, not quite that much but close. Can someone please explain what a ‘Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge’ is? And why you are at it, the ‘State Recovery Fee’ and the ‘Texas Universal Service’? Oh and then you got to love the ‘City District Sales Tax’, ‘the City Sales Tax’ and the ‘Texas State Sales Tax’. I mean what the hell, go ahead, everybody pile on. I also have no idea when we used ‘Directory Assistance’ but I guess the ‘Administrative Fee’ wasn’t enough, and the recorded voice that told us what we needed to know was someone special…
Anyway I paid my hundred dollars for the two calls this month and only cried for about fifteen minutes. I sure miss the days where you just picked up the phone and Mabel would say “hi Dick, what can I do for you?” Don’t believe me? Well it’s true!
AND NOW IT’S TIME FOR A LITTLE HOWLAND
John Howland will take over from here on with his view from his table in the Malamute Saloon. John, based on the timing of this post, have another for me.
$5,000 UP FOR GRABS?
Sunday July 24, 1892 was not a good day for John Ruggles and his brother Charles….
About two months earlier John and Charlie held up the Wells Fargo, Weaverville to Redding stagecoach at a point some five miles north-west of Redding, settling on a location on what is now known as Middle Creek Road, at a point where the stage would be moving slowly and the horses tired from the uphill gradient. They ambushed the stage on May 12, 1892, and all went according to plan, until the guard riding shotgun inside the coach opened-up peppering Charlie with buckshot. More shots rang out, and passenger George Suhr, and Johnny Boyce the stage driver, along with guard ‘Buck’ Montgomery were all wounded. John Ruggles ran up to the seriously wounded ‘Buck’ and finished him off by shooting him in the back with his revolver at point-blank range. Johnny Boyce managed to regain control of the team and drove off as fast as the horses could manage.
Thinking his brother Charlie was mortally wounded, John grabbed the express box he believed to hold $20,000 in gold coins – but in fact it held only $5,000 – made off. The stage finally made it into Redding where a posse was organised and returned to the scene and found the wounded Charlie still lying in the road. He was taken into custody to get medical attention, though at this stage his identity was still unknown. He had been hit thirteen times with buckshot; his most serious wounds having knocked out some teeth and exiting out via his neck.
In custody, he soon recovered well enough to be questioned though refused to say who his partner in the robbery had been; the shrewd Wells Fargo detective John Thacker quickly figured it out. Charlie finally admitted to Thacker his accomplice had been his brother John.
A bounty $1,100 was posted for John’s capture, and on 19th June, in his hometown of Woodland, California, while eating a meal in the Opera Restaurant, he was arrested by Yolo County Deputy Sheriff, Wyckoff, who walked in, sat down at the table next and levelled his pistol at the outlaw’s head. Taken by train back to Redding, John was overcome with joy at seeing his brother was alive and a tearful reunion ensued.
Their trial was set for July 28, 1892. In an effort to save himself and his brother, John sought a deal with the Wells Fargo detective Thacker that the stage guard, Montgomery, had been in on the hold up with them. He told Thacker that he’d hidden the gold in Middle Creek, saying that he’s attached to the strong box a floating device that came within a foot of the top of the water that would help him in finding it later. True or not the $5,000 in gold coins remains unrecovered.
Though precise times vary, nevertheless on the 24th a vigilante group seeking to avenge the cold-bloodied killing of ‘Buck’ Montgomery, forcibly entered Redding jail, dragged the brothers from their cell to a spot where Shasta Street meets the railroad, where they were summarily hanged from a derrick. No one was ever prosecuted for the lynching.
If you ‘google map’ Middle creek Road Redding, this will give you the scene of the crime. Good luck!
A DAZZLING NEW SCHEME
This from the Portable Antiquities Scheme website:
Unearthing the past: Heritage Lottery grant supports new initiative to get the best from archaeological finds
Every year, metal detectorists, farmers and walkers discover archaeological finds that could have important stories to tell us about the past in Wales. But do we get the most out of these discoveries?
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales in partnership with The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales has attracted a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to fulfil the exciting potential of new discoveries. The project Saving Treasures, Telling Stories has been awarded £349,000 to work with finders and communities and enhance the archaeology collections of national and local museums across Wales.
As part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures initiative, which supports museums, libraries and archives in developing their collections through strategic acquisition projects, the Saving Treasures, Telling Stories project will create a long-term collecting culture to underpin responsible discovery and reporting.
The Saving Treasures project will establish collecting networks across Wales, enabling museums to share skills, expertise and knowledge and offering training to interpret collections in new and strategic ways. It will also allow for targeted purchases of newly discovered artefacts to develop national and local collections over a four-year period 2015-2019. This will involve discoveries covering many periods, from the Stone Age to Medieval times.
The project will deliver a three-year programme of community projects, taking inspiration from significant artefacts or treasure discoveries. Museum staff and partners will collaborate with community groups and participating audiences to develop their responses to the portable heritage on their doorsteps. Community project outcomes will be co-presented in local museums and the national museum, with a range of digital media presentations created and captured online.
A lively and engaging website will be developed for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales, as a point of access for profiling discoveries, stories, successes and creative responses relating to the portable heritage of Wales.
There will be bursaries for journalism or media studies students and additional volunteering opportunities linked with collecting, community projects and Portable Antiquities Scheme work.
Peter Wakelin, Director of Collections and Research, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, said:
“Each year hundreds of objects of archaeological significance are found by metal detectorists in Wales and there are some 20-30 discoveries of treasure. This is a crucial resource for understanding the past”.
“Targeted purchases of newly discovered artefacts for national and local collections, collecting activities, ongoing resources and community projects will make a lasting change in bringing together detector clubs, local museums and communities around the stories new discoveries reveal.
“This five-year project will help to create and celebrate a new culture around collecting the portable archaeological heritage in Wales and this generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will help us save more treasures and make them more accessible to wider audiences to tell their stories for future generations.”
Rachael Rogers, The Federation of Museums and Galleries of Wales:
“We are delighted that this scheme is going ahead. It is a great opportunity for museums across Wales to work both with Amgueddfa Cymru and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales to develop their archaeological collections. We particularly welcome the opportunity to work with local communities that this project will bring”.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, added:
“Collecting Cultures was a hugely popular grant programme and we have responded to this positive feedback by bringing it back a second time. Our first Collecting Cultures grants made a real difference to how cultural institutions approached and planned their long-term collecting strategies. Now, five years on, we’re pleased to be able to help a much wider range of applicants, including Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales in partnership with The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales.”
Proof, if proof were needed, that collectors and metal detectorists are getting a big thumbs-up from government as they continue to swell the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s database. Worryingly though, few archaeological societies, especially the amateur kind lauded by Nigel Swift, Heritage Action’s ridiculous, gobby, Chief Mouth and Barford bag-carrier, and one of the loudest, empty-headed detractors of metal detecting, contribute hardly anything.
One has to ask:- Why, if metal detecting is how Barford and Swift would have everyone believe it is; founded on greed, theft, trespass, lies and deceit, why is the government pouring £-millions in to it? Perhaps the smell of bullshit has I suggest, finally reached the nostrils of those in power.
I guess the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ have been ‘sussed’?
“Jealousy is the fear of comparison”….Max Frisch
“The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents”…Salvador Dali
I’ll see you in the bar…