"....The truth is out there."
-- Dr. Jerome Jackson, 2002 (... & Agent Fox Mulder)
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
"All truth passes through 3 stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
-- Arthur Schopenhauer
Friday, June 17, 2011
-- Replaying A Li'l History --
From Christopher Cokinos' "Hope Is the Thing With Feathers":
"That same month, apparently on April 15 , a Louisiana state legislator and attorney named Mason D. Spencer, a man with a penchant for bars and gambling, raised his gun, looked through the sight and squeezed the trigger. He collected his specimen -- triumphantly (and legally, for he had a permit) -- then prepared it for safekeeping.-----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Officals in the New Orleans headquarters of the state's conservation department had scorned verbal reports of Ivory-bills along the Tensas River in Madison Parish, joking about the quality of moonshine available there. These officials could hardly believe their eyes when they found themselves looking at Spencer's specimen: a freshly-killed Ivory-billed Woodpecker...
"...In early April , the expedition trucks [from Cornell] pulled into the only town in Madision Parish, Louisiana, that had electricity -- tiny Tallulah, due west of Vicksburg. There the men conferred with Mason D. Spencer, the attorney who had shot the Ivory-bill in Madsion Parish three years before, and with the game warden, J.J. Kuhn, who later would aid Tanner in his Ivory-bill fieldwork and who is remembered today, years after his death, as a 'remarkable' and 'marvelous' woodsman.
"Allen, Kellogg, Tanner and Sutton crowded into Spencer's law office in Tallulah and studied the maps of the area spread before them. Spencer spoke of wolves -- more numerous here, he claimed, than anywhere else in the United States -- and of panthers and black bears. A Southerner born and bred, Spencer cautioned the visiting Yankees about mosquitoes and the ease with which one can get disoriented in the forest bayous of the Tensas River. And, no doubt, he corrected their pronunciation. It's the Ten-saw, not Ten-sas. 'The talk,' recalled Sutton, ' ...kept us on the edge of our chairs. There could be no doubt that we were in a fearful and wonderful country.'
"Spencer also spoke of 'Kints' -- the local name for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker -- and bristled when Sutton pressed him on the matter. Sutton worried, as did the others, that Spencer could be misidentifying the common and widespread Pileated Woodpecker for the somewhat similar Ivory-bill...
But not Mason Spencer.
'Man alive! These birds I'm tellin' you all about is Kints!' Sutton recalled Spencer saying. 'Why, the Pileated Woodpecker's just a little bird about as big as that.' Spencer used his fingers to show a tiny bird, though the Pileated was in fact only somewhat smaller than the Ivory-bill. Spreading his arms, Spencer yelled, 'And a Kint's as big as that! Why, man, I've known Kints all my life. My pappy showed 'em to me when I was just a kid. I see 'em every fall when I go deer huntin' down aroun' my place on the Tinsaw. They're big birds, I tell you, big and black and white; and they fly through the woods like Pintail Ducks!' "