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Monthly Archives: March 2009

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Detroit News, March 30, 1931. Operations were consequently down-scaled to the release of 1,000 white doves.

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Detroit News, April 29, 1931. It used to be standard practice in adultery-related divorce suits for the cheated-upon parties to sue the third party for “alienation of affections.” Essentially the seducer or seductress had robbed of them of a lifetime of lovin’, and they were entitled to cash compensation for that loss. But then it was ultimately up to a judge or jury to determine how much all that lovin’ was worth. What were the criteria? In the above case, the jury is implicitly measuring love by the pound. But there had to be hurt feelings to go around when an award came back $30K light. Even the new possessor of the runaway spouse has to feel insulted on some level, even if he or she is catching a huge financial break

But then there’s this other case to consider, from Detroit News, March 19, 1931: Read More »

slays-wife-selfa Detroit News, April 27, 1931. Somehow I would expect pheasant breeders to be a highly-strung bunch, but still . . .
Not sure whether we are meant to pick up on some coded implication of hanky-panky involving the slain wife and her bedroom guest. Calling the latter “hysterical” is a tad unfeeling, though, whatever the facts of the matter.

hard-luck-5-21-31a1Detroit News, May 21, 1931. Poor fella’s bad luck even extends to the quality of the image reproduction of his story. I will transcribe:

“LAUREL, Del., May 21.–Weathering the severe drouth which it the agricultural section, Leon Tyndall suffered a severe injury to his foot which sent him to bed after he had tried to jump from beneath a falling tree.
Scarcely had be recovered when he was taken ill with appendicitis, and had to undergo an operation.
Then an automobile truck killed one of his best mules, and he caught his hand in a ripsaw and severely injured several fingers.”

I sympathize. But I’m also glad to read that Mr. Tyndall had auxiliary mules of reasonable quality to fall back on.

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Detroit News, May 16, 1931. We are to believe that this woman killed herself by fire rather than sleep on a holding-cell bench? Yikes. But it could be. One of things that freaks me out about this tabloid world is the extent to which people at the time were capable of all these really extreme physical acts. Lately we’ve been focusing on the whole acid-throwing thing, but sooner or later I’ll be unleashing my ax murder stories, and my suicide-by-strait-razor stories.

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Detroit News, May 21, 1931. The hard life of a freelance clothesline-installer. You have to wonder what the skill set was for that job. Good at climbing? Good aim with a crossbow?

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Chicago Tribune, November 23, 1922. I wish people simply wouldn’t do this sort of thing. And no, I don’t have access to the picture on the back page.

ghoulsa Detroit News, May 5, 1931. Pardon the fuzzy reproductions, but allow me to transcribe:

“The grave of Frank Chamberlin in the Evergreen Cemetery at Port Creek, disturbed three times since he was buried eight years ago, was opened Tuesday at the direction of the Monroe County coroner, to set to rest rumors that the grave held valuable Oriental rugs and jewelry. Benjamin R. Moore, right, sexton of the Port Creel Evangelical Church, is shown spading the grave, assisted by John Van Houten. Inset is of Mrs. William DeBaun. Chamberlin was her first husband.”

So: Word somehow got out among Michigan’s shovel-toting, cemetery-defiling set that Chamberlin’s grave was a storehouse of pharoanic treasure. Hence the distressed expression on Mrs. DeBaun’s phyz.

I’m wondering: Is grave robbery about to witness a big comeback? If so, the time may be right to invest in umbrella- and spade-related infomercials.

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Detroit News, May 17, 1931. As a wee lad, I used to put coins on the tracks in the hope of finding them again when the train had rolled by. If and when I found them, they’d be all silly-puttied and elongated. But I’m thinking the sort of childhood memory described above would be hard to live with in the long run.

roy-sloane-5-12aDetroit News, May 12, 1931. Kinda makes me think, Crap: what have I ever done with my life?

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