Joseph Campbell Quotes

Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.  Follow the path that is no path, follow your bliss.

You’ve got to say yes to this miracle of life as it is, not on the condition that it follow your rules.

Cold Cash

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A bewildered and frustrated Sgt. Joe Friday has been working on a cold case for several weeks. 

Despite his best efforts, the renowned detective can’t pin the rap on Willy Martin, a notorious bank robber.  A cool $100,000 has been snatched away from the First National Bank, all in large bills (aka “Benjamin Franklin’s $100).  

Sitting at his desk and checking his notes, Friday’s thoughts keep coming back to the same pattern of thinking.  Since the money remains hot, it is very doubtful that Willy Martin has put any of the money back into circulation.  He’s been under surveillance for weeks, but he hasn’t made any suspicious moves.

Every Saturday morning, Friday meets up with his retired partner, Bill Gannon.  They hang out at their favorite coffee shop and trade war stories from their past cases.

Bill is telling a story about a funny situation which recently took place in Ohio.  He recalls the situation, “A grandmother’s $25,000 went missing from her home.  It was her life savings.”

Friday continues listening, but he is just about filled up with coffee and conversation.  His mind keeps working overtime on the cold case.

Bill’s version of the story begins to become more interesting to his former partner, “No one knew where the money went.  Her grandchildren helped clean her house one day.  They were very thorough, even emptying out the old, spoiled food from her refrigerator and freezer.”

Friday eagerly waits for the story’s finale, as Bill wraps it up, “Her money was stored in the freezer in an envelope, and it was accidentally thrown away.  Fortunately, the trash truck operator found the cold cash before it ended up at the landfill.”

“Bingo!  Cold cash!”  Friday jumps up and thanks Bill for the hot tip.  As his good friend hustles out the door, Bill wonders what is really up. 

On Monday, he heads across town to ask a judge for another search warrant.  The warrant is for Willy Martin’s grandma’s house, more specifically her freezer.  There is a large chest freezer submerged in the depths of her basement.

When Friday shows up at grandma’s door, she seems a bit shocked to see him again.  After all, he searched the entire house several days ago, and nothing was found.  Except, this time the determined Sgt. Friday remembers the freezer in the basement.

With the efficiency of a well-seasoned detective, Friday quickly removes the contents from the overflowing freezer.  Hiding at the bottom of the freezer is a false floor.  He tears open the heavy cardboard to find several envelopes hiding out down below.

As he checks the contents of several sealed envelopes, he discovers the missing loot.  All $100,000 of it!  Even Benjamin Franklin is winking back at the detective, “Honesty is the best policy.”

The detective reads grandma her rights.  Then she suddenly begins singing like a parakeet, “I never knew what Willy put in my freezer.  Honest Sgt. Friday.  He promised me everything was okay while he stayed hidden from the heat, who was checking on his every move.”

Sgt. Friday replies back, “Well, crime doesn’t pay when you are asked to take the heat for hiding someone else’s cold cash.”

While the storied detective calls to make arrangements for officers to pick up Willy Martin, he finally begins to relax.  This challenging cold case has been solved.

   

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Big Sky Treasures #4

Downstream from the steamboat port of Fort Benton, the currents of the Missouri River find ways to hide a mystery from the night.

Montana Territorial Secretary, Thomas Francis Meagher, has disappeared late at night outside of Fort Benton.  In the absence of the Territorial Governor, he is the acting governor.

What has happened to Meagher on this quiet evening on July 1, 1867?

Traveling by steamboat, Meagher appears to have fallen overboard.  His body is quickly swallowed up by the Missouri River’s unforgiving waters, never to be seen again.

Along the Missouri River, a steamboat waits while anchored at Fort Benton, Montana. (courtesy of Pinterest)

No one really knows what actually has happened, or better yet, they are keeping quiet about the dark happenings on this July night. 

Meagher is known to be a heavy drinker.  Is he killed in an accidental drowning when he mysteriously falls overboard?

Or did he succumb to suicide provoked by disillusionment with his shattered, personal dreams?

With many enemies, perhaps Meagher is murdered aboard this steamboat, and his body is forgotten as it conveniently floats far downstream in the swift currents of the river.

This “immortal” Irishman’s life is honored with a high degree of irony.  In an unusual tribute for a relatively unknown man with a dubious past, a statue of him is erected in 1905 and placed on the grounds in front of the State Capitol in Helena.  In the central region of the state, Meagher County is named for him.

Here are a few additional facts about Thomas Francis Meagher:

He is born in Ireland in 1823.

As an Irish nationalist, he participates in the Rebellion of 1848 and is sentenced to serve in a Tasmanian prison.  However, he escapes in 1852, and eventually ends up in the United States.

During the American Civil War, he joins the Union Army as part of the “Fighting 69th” Irish Brigade.  He rises to the rank of brigadier general.

Following the war, his dreams take him to the Montana Territory.  In his future, he hopes to build an Irish-Catholic colony and pursue a career as a U.S. Senator.

Monday Memories: Icy Caper

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Police issue an “All-Points Bulletin” in a flash.  The local jewelry store has been robbed by an elderly man dressed in a white suit.  Patrol cars frantically scurry here and there—no luck!

Detective Joe Friday joins the hunt.  His crime-solving skills are legendary.  He always reminds each interviewee, “Just give me the facts.”

Driving down a quiet residential street, Friday spies a white ice cream vending cart on a corner.  Selling ice cream treats to the neighborhood children, the gray-haired man hands out love and more.

Pulling up behind the cart, the renowned detective surveys the scene.  Calling on his car’s radio for back-up, he knows he can’t wait.  The last of the children walks away with their frozen, sweet treats.

Approaching the man in the white suit, Friday pulls out his gold detective shield.  With a confident voice and a smile, he asks, “Do you happen to have something ‘hot’ on ice today?”

Sweet Caper

Photo courtesy of recipeland.com

Gladys Jefferson lives in a small Americana town, with its single traffic light and the usual safe and comfy feel.  While her husband serves as the town’s unofficial mayor, she has made a name for herself with her renowned and delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie.

On this particular morning, Gladys (rather Mrs. Jefferson) stands on the steps of the unofficial town hall at the Wooden Nickel Café.  She appears very distraught as she tells her husband and others about someone or something. 

Sgt. Joe Friday (yes, you have heard of him before), has been visiting his family over the past few days.  He just happens to be walking down the sidewalk when he runs into the big scene filled with people standing around Mrs. Jefferson.  With his curiosity and stellar detective skills always are alert, he decides to listen in.

“Early this morning, someone or something stole my freshly baked strawberry-rhubarb pie right off of my kitchen window ledge,” Mrs. Jefferson cries out.

Growing more frustrated with each word, she continues on, “I always leave a pie near the window so that it will cool more quickly.”

In a town with a little or no crime, the disappearance of one of Mrs. Jefferson’s famous pies is big news! 

Sgt. Friday waits for the crowd to disperse, and he then approaches Mrs. Jefferson to ask her some questions. 

Unnoticed, Mr. Jefferson skedaddles away quietly and heads back to his office.  He seems a bit perturbed with his wife’s emotional outburst on the main street of their quiet town.

After introducing himself, Friday begins to ask questions as he records some notes on his always-ready notepad.  “Ma’am, please give me the facts about what happened.  Perhaps I can help,” the detective states in his usual calm, professional manner. 

As composed as possible, Mrs. Jefferson restates the facts of the theft to Sgt. Friday.  When she becomes a little emotional, he hands her his handkerchief and reminds her, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Eventually, the detective and Mrs. Jefferson are finished with the interview. 

She reminds Friday, “I only left the pie there for five minutes.  My goodness, what can happen in five minutes?”

With Mrs. Jefferson’s permission, the knowledgeable detective works out an undercover operation which just might catch the thief in the act again.

Sgt. Friday has a hunch about this caper, and he thinks there must be someone, with insider information, aiding and abetting in this crime.  He plans to relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep before laying his trap.

Early the next morning, the seasoned detective hides across the street from the Jefferson’s house.  The large lilac bushes provide a perfect lookout to view the kitchen window on the side of the house.

Right on cue, Mrs. Jefferson sets her freshly baked strawberry-rhubarb pie on the kitchen window sill to cool.  Friday waits patiently to see if his stake-out will lead him to discover some answers.

How are you doing in solving this case?  Do you have a list of suspects?  Stay tuned for the conclusion of this story as Sgt. Joe Friday attempts to solve this “Sweet Caper.”

Icy Caper

person holding ice cream with cone

Photo by Jean Balzan on Pexels.com

Police issue an “All-Points Bulletin” in a flash.  The local jewelry store has been robbed by an elderly man dressed in a white suit.  Patrol cars frantically scurry here and there—no luck!

Detective Joe Friday joins the hunt.  His crime-solving skills are legendary.  He always reminds each interviewee, “Just give me the facts.”

Driving down a quiet residential street, Friday spies a white ice cream vending cart on a corner.  Selling ice cream treats to the neighborhood children, the gray-haired man hands out love and more.

Pulling up behind the cart, the renowned detective surveys the scene.  Calling on his car’s radio for back-up, he knows he can’t wait.  The last of the children walks away with their frozen, sweet treats.

Approaching the man in the white suit, Friday pulls out his gold detective shield.  With a confident voice and a smile, he asks, “Do you happen to have something ‘hot’ on ice today?”