I Won’t Do It, but I Appreciate It

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Today’s photo was also shot in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, USA.  I have to tell you that I hate yard work – always have, always will. I don’t have a green thumb…if anything, my thumbs would at best be described as poisonous when it comes to dealing with plants. If I try to plant a plant, it’s a sure bet that it’ll die.

That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t appreciate a beautiful garden such as this one – and I admire the amount of work it must take to maintain it. I am glad that there are people in this world who love plants and love to arrange and form landscapes where before there was perhaps nothing but dirt.

Just don’t ask me to do yard work if you want your plants to live and thrive!

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1882, John Ringo, the famous gun-fighting gentleman, was found dead in Turkey Creek Canyon, Arizona.

Romanticized in both life and death, John Ringo was supposedly a Shakespeare-quoting gentleman whose wit was as quick as his gun. Some believed he was college educated, and his sense of honor and courage was sometimes compared to that of a British lord. In truth, Ringo was not a formally educated man, and he came from a struggling working-class Indiana family that gave him few advantages. Yet, he does appear to have been better read than most of his associates, and he clearly cultivated an image as a refined gentleman.

By the time he was 12, Ringo was already a crack shot with either a pistol or rifle. He left home when he was 19, eventually ending up in Texas, where in 1875 he became involved in a local feud known as the “Hoodoo War.” He killed at least two men, but seems to have either escaped prosecution, or when arrested, escaped his jail cell. By 1878, he was described as “one of the most desperate men in the frontier counties” of Texas, and he decided it was time to leave the state.

In 1879, Ringo resurfaced in southeastern Arizona, where he joined the motley ranks of outlaws and gunslingers hanging around the booming mining town of Tombstone. Nicknamed “Dutch,” Ringo had a reputation for being a reserved loner who was dangerous with a gun. He haunted the saloons of Tombstone and was probably an alcoholic. Not long after he arrived, Ringo shot a man dead for refusing to join him in a drink. Somehow, he again managed to avoid imprisonment by temporarily leaving town. He was not involved in the infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881, but he did later challenge Doc Holliday (one of the survivors of the O.K. Corral fight) to a shootout. Holliday declined and citizens disarmed both men.

The manner of Ringo’s demise remains something of a mystery. He seems to have become despondent in 1882, perhaps because his family had treated him coldly when he had earlier visited them in San Jose. Witnesses reported that he began drinking even more heavily than usual. On this day in 1882, he was found dead in Turkey Creek Canyon outside of Tombstone. It looked as if Ringo had shot himself in the head and the official ruling was that he had committed suicide. Some believed, however, that he had been murdered either by his drinking friend Frank “Buckskin” Leslie or a young gambler named “Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce.” To complicate matters further, Wyatt Earp later claimed that he had killed Ringo. The truth remains obscure to this day.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: President James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other hand simultaneously. (Now there’s a skill that’ll really make someone rich, right?!?!?!)

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4 thoughts on “I Won’t Do It, but I Appreciate It”

  1. I’m on the opposite spectrum as you with regards to yardwork. I always lived in the city so I never had a yard until very recently. Now I have a garden, tractor, and the whole nine (I should send you photos). I am very certain this will wear off as I advance in years, as it seems to happen to everybody at some point.

    Also like President Garfield, I also can write in two languages simultaneously. The problem is they are two very obscure languages that only I know…. so it’s a useless talent, really. ;-)

  2. When we lived in the country I had a riding mower/tractor with a rototiller attachment. I really enjoyed that kind of stuff, but pulling weeds, fertilizing, etc.

    As to Garfield and simultaneous writing, you certainly put a different spin on it…I guess I can, too, but again, only I would know what it was because it wouldn’t be in anything like a recognizable language. But then again, I’m not sure I could even do that because don’t you have to think about what you’re pretending to write and I can’t have 2 thoughts simultaneously. Makes me wonder how Garfield did it and if it was really simultaneous or if he was just ambidextrous and would think about something and write it with his right hand and then think about something in another language and write it with his left hand. Curious….

    1. Agreed, weeds are no fun. I’m in the process of blazing a nature trail through the thickest of forested brush on our property. Feels like I’m digging a tunnel, I’m only getting about 10 feet per week – ha!

      I was totally kidding about the handwriting thing. Like you mentioned, I can’t have two thoughts simultaneously. I’m also not ambidextrous, so I’m already impressed by people who can write with both hands. Doing that in two languages is just something else!

  3. Yes, I knew you were kidding…figured you could do like me: scribble with both hands at the same time. I’m SO not ambidextrous…I can barely do anything of consequence with my left hand!!!!

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