Why do you think that Tom DeLay is grinning in his mug shot like it's picture day for first-graders?
Tom DeLay is a smart guy. That smile comes because that guy got some street smarts in him. Somebody must have told on him, but he knows the Bush administration has his back. He's gonna make that case disappear there's gonna be some type of glitch where they can't prove it. That's what I tell y'all. That smile comes from the fact that they ain't got nothin' on him.
Smile, because you're innocent until you're proven guilty
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While he was digging in Elmwood Cemetery a couple of weeks ago and not with a shovel Richard Stewart came across what he calls a "bombshell."
See, 36,000 souls are buried in the old cemetery on Truman Road including notable local Looses, Gregorys and Meyerses but not all are well-documented. So Stewart, inspired by the famous cowboys in the movie Tombstone, has spent three years as a volunteer historian there. He has learned about the men from Quantrill's raids and the friends of Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp buried there, and he has written 179 juicy histories and archived them at www.historickcelm wood.org. But when he researched one S.A. Barret, he made the cemetery's biggest find yet.
Turns out Sarah Barret was one of the four women who played major roles in the life of President Abraham Lincoln. When Lincoln went to Springfield, Illinois, in 1837, he stayed with a couple, Elizabeth and William Butler. Also staying with the Butlers was 9-year-old Sarah Rickard. As she grew into a foxy young thing, she became close friends with honest Abe, whom historians say wasn't all that great with the ladies. Nonetheless, Lincoln took Sarah to the theater to see her first play.
Stewart read that while Sarah and Lincoln dated, he made a halfhearted proposal of marriage by hinting that the biblical Abraham and Sarah were husband and wife. Sarah would later tell interviewers that, had she known that Lincoln would be president, she might have paid more attention. She eventually married Richard Barret.
Elmwood's sloppy files had listed Sarah as a "Barrett," with two T's instead of one. But Stewart cross-referenced the Barretts in his graveyard with the address that Sarah provided in a 1907 Kansas City Star interview and the address listed in Sarah's and Richard's obituaries. Apparently the couple came to Kansas City later in life, grew senile, and moved in with a daughter. Richard died in 1908, Sarah in 1911.
"This is the biggest find in Elmwood Cemetery history," Stewart says. "It rewrites 130 years of what we knew about this cemetery."
He wants the board that oversees Elmwood to apply for all kinds of Lincoln-related grants to make long-needed repairs, such as to the leaning concrete wall on the cemetery's "back 40," which threatens to take out a whole line of headstones.
Such cash couldn't come soon enough. Many of the trusts set aside by wealthy occupants for the upkeep of their plots ran out long ago. Apparently "forever" lasts longer than a bank account.
Kim Noble, she of the British lilt heard most afternoons on KCUR 89.3, has been the subject of quiet debate for some time. She triggers our skepto-meter when she insists on pronouncing the word schedule as shedule, despite her 11 years in Kansas City. Is Noble's accent fake? She bravely let us put it to the test with this "Are You Really British?" quiz we concocted.
Pitch: Where are you from in England?
Noble: I was born in Plymouth ... but I adopted London.
Pitch: What time is high tea?
Noble: There's afternoon tea, and then there's high tea. Even the Brits get that mixed up. I think you mean tea and crumpets and scones and clotted cream, right? That's four o'clock.
Pitch: All right. What comes after x and y?
Noble : Zed!
Pitch: What is a lorry?
Noble: A what?
Pitch: A lorry.
Pitch: I hear it's a word for truck.
Noble: Oh! It's a lorry! Yes, a truck. A lorry is a truck.
Pitch: When's the last time England won the World Cup? Noble: 1969.
Noble: Close. I know where I was, too. I was actually down in Cornwall. When Germany equalized in the last minute of regular time, my father uttered an expletive that turned the air blue, stood up and broke a chandelier. My mother said, "Was that necessary, darling?"
Pitch: What are elevenses?
Noble: Oh, God, elevenses! I haven't heard that for ages. It's your snack at eleven o'clock in the morning with coffee or tea.
Pitch: Last question. When was Waterloo?
Noble: I don't know. My English history was dreadful.
Pitch: That's OK. June 18, 1815.
Noble: Good grief!
Pitch: See, you did fine.
Noble: Well, of course! Because I'm English!
Pitch: We could bother KCPT Channel 19's Nick Haines next.
Noble: He's from Wales. I adore Nick. He's so smart. Got a great sense of humor. Nick and I and some other Brit, I don't know who it is, are going to host this British comedy marathon as a fund-raiser on KCPT on November 5. You didn't ask me what Guy Fawkes Day is, but Guy Fawkes Day is the 5th of November. It commemorates when Guy Fawkes tried to assassinate King John as he went to open Parliament. The attempt was foiled, and he was executed. That day, in the evening, that's our firework day. We light off fireworks and also build a big bonfire out of wood and roast sausages and potatoes and burn an effigy of Guy Fawkes.