Sunday, November 22, 2009

How's that again?

While shopping for items I'll use this holiday season, I came across a box of "elegant" plastic tableware.

Plastic forks?

They're plastic forks, people.

Did I buy some? Yup. They were on sale, and they'll come in handy when I'm having a quick lunch at the office.

But elegant? Heh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

History that touches close to home

Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of the Clutter murders. The brutal slaying of a farm family on a quiet Saturday night in November 1959 stunned all of Kansas and spawned "In Cold Blood," Truman Capote's gripping mix of fact and fiction that is hailed as a literary masterpiece.

The tragedy was especially painful for my Aunt Rosemary, Mom's older sister, who lived in Garden City and babysat the Clutter children when they were young. The deaths of the Clutter clan cut her deeply, and bringing it up caused her anger and pain even decades later.

She loathed Capote for fictionalizing the incident and, in her mind, glorifying the killers by paying so much attention to them. In fact, she hated any media attention paid to the case, feeling like it victimized the family - and those who loved them - all over again.

I wasn't born when the Clutters were killed. My next-oldest sibling, Trish, was only 2 months old at the time.

But when I learned of the case and read the book, I was struck by the same fact that undoubtedly unsettled folks everywhere: that no place is immune to the reach of evil.