Save a buck and a tree
You might remember the mesmerizing tale of the Quedlinburg treasures. For decades, no one knew the whereabouts of a trove of medieval German relics--including richly jeweled manuscripts worth millions of dollars--that disappeared from the town of Quedlinburg at the end of World War II. Some considered the disappearance the greatest art theft in history.
Well, it turned out that Joe Tom Meador from up the road in Whitewright was among the U.S. liberation forces that re-took the town. He took the liberation idea too far, stealing the treasures from a cave where they had been hidden for protection from Allied bombing. Meador kept them squirreled away for the rest of his life, hiding them alternately at his mother's house in Whitewright and an apartment in Dallas. Meador died in 1980, and his secret slipped out several years later when his heirs began trying to sell the loot.
Buzz was pumped when we saw a new book out on the matter, eager to read the blow-by-blow of how a North Texas boy pulled off one of the most notorious acts of pillage in modern times.
No such luck. William Honan, some sort of staff writer at The New York Times, has managed to turn a fascinating subject into a remarkably bad book called Treasure Hunt. Honan, it seems, decided the real story was not about the treasures, but about how he covered the story of the treasures.
Trust Buzz. Honan was wrong.
Melodramatic posturing aside, the book's only entertainment value comes when poor Honan actually has to leave New York and come to Dallas for the story. (If you want to read this part, wait a week for this book to hit the discount bins.)
As he tells it, Honan's life was in danger from the moment he set foot in Texas. "I don't think I'm easily spooked, but I reminded myself that I was a stranger in this part of the country and that while I was here I had better conduct myself as if...well, behind enemy lines," Honan writes.
Or try this one: "Apparently, shooting someone who gets in your way in Texas is as natural as yodeling in Switzerland. I guess I'm as brave as the next man, but these thoughts began to give me the creeps."
Bill, we don't shoot New Yorkers anymore. Just authors who come up lame.
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The skeleton wore tennis shoes
What does a stylish skeleton wear in Fort Worth? Last week, The Dallas Morning News answered that question. Reporting on a body that was dug up over in Cowtown, the paper gravely reported that "the skeleton wore tennis shoes and pants pulled down around its ankles, the pockets filled with sand and gravel."
This makes our head hurt. How, we're wondering, does a skeleton stuff its pockets full of gravel? How does it tie its sneakers? And this pants around the ankles thing...we don't even wanna know.
Buzz is thinking that maybe, just maybe, this skeleton was once a living being. Probably walked on this planet just like the rest of us. But maybe we're just anthropomorphizing.