Murder, Kidnapping, Intrigue

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Finally, I finished another book that is not political. I found this book in the Frankfort library using the same system I used in Arizona this winter; walk in, scan the new releases, and take the first book that catches my eye. This time it was the cover art for a book titled The Yellow Packard. I immediately knew it involved old cars, and probably was about the period in history that matched the car.

The Packard car remains in my memory as one of the classier cars on the road. The styling characteristic that turned me on was the grill. Packard spewed elegance, opulence, speed and class.  One of the most popular customers for the Packard were funeral homes, they used them for hearses, flower cars, and limo’s.  I guess having your last ride in a Packard meant one had finally made it to the big time.

Once I began reading, the book held my interest until I completed it two days later.

The author, Ace Collins is someone I never heard of, but upon reading his bio it surprised me to learn he has sixty published novels. Collins is a master of character development, and his writing allows the reader to see what is happening throughout. He does an amazing job with details about the depression era.

I won’t get into details about the plot, because it is a mystery and talking about the plot may spoil the mystery. The plot has many sub-plots expertly woven into the main story. The central theme of the story details how people’s lives changed after the yellow Packard enters their lives. Some of the changes are very positive, and others not so.  Even though the Packard is an inanimate object, in this story the car has a life and becomes as central a character as the people who come to own it.

It was delightful not to read any foul language, nor be titillated by sexual content. Keeping true to form to the depression era the language and morals of the country were much different from what they are today. In fact, I enjoyed the story more because it was clean.

I thought Collins wrapped up the story in a comical way when he did a Perry Mason like ending with all the people who owned the Yellow Packard assembled in one place for a recap of the clues that allowed the FBI to solve the kidnapping, and to unveil of a surprise mystery.

This book is a must read for mystery fans, old car nuts like me, and those who want to learn what it was like during the First Great Depression, or for anyone who enjoys a genuine good story.

Mojave Caper

     This story begins after World War I, in 1934.  Many men from America fought in that war to save Europe from a dictator. Many of them never came home.  The ones that survived wanted to honor their fallen friends. One of them, a WWI Army medic has maintained a memorial shrine in the Mojave for fifty years. The VFW took over after John Riley Bembrey could no longer do the job. 

    The memorial is a cross atop a hill in the middle of God’s majestic and beautiful desert filled with Joshua trees, cactus, and rocky, sandy desolation. They chose the spot because those who went there, to honor the dead, could commune with nature, God, and possibly to speak to a fallen comrade.

     Not many people knew of or heard of this monument until recently when the cross became news. One of our fellow Americans saw the cross, and decided it upset his sensitive psyche. The man, a former National Park Service employee, filed a suit in federal court claiming that the cross was a violation of separation of church and state because it was on federal land, and it upset his sensitive psyche. The court ruled in his favor and covered the cross with plywood to appease him.

     The matter did not end with the plywood.  The ruling was appealed and brought before the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that the cross could stand because it is a symbol for fallen soldiers. Not to mention the bag of worms the court would open. Think of the thousands of crosses in military cemeteries all around the world. The government would have to remove them because we upset one person’s sensitivities.

Within two weeks of the Supreme Court ruling, the cross standing on a hill in the Mojave, disappeared. Who could have taken it? I have some leads for the FBI to follow. Here they are:

  1. the chicken shit employee who started the protest. Not a chance, the guy doesn’t have the balls to perform such an act.
  2. the ACLU. This is a better option. This decision is a loss for them. They would sooner defend a person’s right to atheism than the rights of those who fought and died for that right.  They also have the money to hire thugs who know what a hacksaw is. They themselves would never consider getting their lily white hands dirty outside of court.
  3. Obama. He is a prime suspect because he has claimed that America is not a Christian Nation. The Supreme Court ruling has discredited that claim by giving fallen soldiers an association with the symbol for Christianity. Since the Muslims deny the holocaust, it would not be surprising that they also deny the existence of the hundreds of thousands of crosses in military cemeteries proclaiming Christianity as a valid belief. He also has the resources to make it happen.
  4. the VFW. They may be taking the cross to more secure ground than federally owned land.
  5. lightning. A huge bolt of energy from heaven struck the cross and vaporized it. Surely, a sign that God is unhappy with America and the direction of “Change” we are taking.

     You can add many more possibilities to this list, but they will not bring the cross back. Nor, will another stupid reason bring honor back to the foolish destruction of a symbol honoring our military.

Tracey J Boothe Publishing Blog

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