View from the ellipsis: Feeling dotty today | Mann Overboard

Bill Mann
Posted 4/26/23

Dot’s Right, as famed San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to say when leading off his trademark ellipsis-driven, multi-item columns:

Keep on Truckin’: Am I the only one …

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View from the ellipsis: Feeling dotty today | Mann Overboard


Dot’s Right, as famed San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen used to say when leading off his trademark ellipsis-driven, multi-item columns:

Keep on Truckin’: Am I the only one who seemingly can’t turn a corner here without meeting a UPS, FedEx, or Amazon truck? It’s the result of our having no big-box stores here — and limited shopping options…

Among the featured guests at THING here in late August? A. Who is “Jeopardy!” host Ken Jennings? He and a collaborator are to present “strange-but-true esoterica,” the THING program says…

New Yorker humorist Andy Borowitz’ headline: “Ron DeSantis Hatred of Disney Stems From Traumatic Childhood Experience on Space Mountain.”… And Substack writer Heather Cox Richardson says the Florida governor’s choosing to battle with Disney and his stated plan to put a prison near Disney World “earns him the title of “Dumbo”… True. Anyone who takes on The Mouse’s army of attorneys is missing a few peanuts, or marbles…

If you’re thinking of going elsewhere in July to see fireworks, banned here, consider heading up to Vancouver July 22-July 29 to view that Canadian city’s showy annual Celebration of Light. Barges loaded with large fireworks displays come from several countries to compete in a dazzling pyrotechnic competition out in English Bay ... Plus, watching the show from the nearby beaches amidst sober, considerate people is another big plus ... That recent Leader letter from a reader who wants to restore the big sound chamber at the top of Fort Worden’s Artillery Hill neglected to mention its great nickname: The Cistern Chapel...

…Right-wing publisher/lawsuit defendant “Prince” Rupert Murdoch’s sketchy New York Post ran this classic Page One headline: “Head Found in Topless Bar.”... Hard to disagree with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes: “Trump may have a lock on the GOP Presidential nomination, but there’s no way in hell he’ll be elected.” … Thanks to the impressive number of volunteer and other civic groups who showed up — one estimate is about 80 — to the Connectivity Fair at Blue Heron. Proving again that this town runs on volunteers…

…Quick, call the grammar police: Its, er it’s, bad enough to see educated people misusing its instead of it’s, or vice versa.  And don’t get me started on “less” and “fewer.” And for our advanced class, we’ll be discussing when to correctly use “that” or “which.”  Restrictive-clause mania!

— Hoosier Granddaddy? OK, enough of being dotty today. Here’s a change of pace for you:

My dear old granddad was in the Klan. Nope, not in Alabama, South Carolina, or Tennessee. In Indiana.

But didn’t the Hoosier State fight for the Union against the racist South? Yes, so that explains the surprised reaction this Indiana native gets when I occasionally mention this “family secret”: Indiana was a Klan hotbed.

Seattle’s Timothy Egan, who for years was The New York Times’ most talented writer (his books are superb), recently wrote a piece in the Washington Post about the Klan’s northern heyday 100 years ago.

“Nowhere was the Klan more popular than Indiana, where one in three white males took an oath to ‘forever uphold white supremacy.’ For a time, it was common to see flaming crosses across the Midwest,” writes Egan.

But it wasn’t just Black people the Indiana Klan hated. It was also Catholics. In a PBS documentary a while back about the Klan, it showed a huge anti-Catholic KKK rally on, of all places, the Notre Dame campus.

Unfortunately, thanks to not-so Grandad, my mother was also infected with Klan-type hatred of Blacks and Catholics. She threw the N-word around our house like candy at a Santa parade. Kids always learn bigotry from their parents. Luckily, my father helped me navigate around her dreadful behavior.

As a Hoosier native, I was glad Egan exposed this unfortunate, little-known fact about Indiana. He then notes that the largest KKK rally ever held anywhere, 200,000 people strong, was in Kokomo, Indiana. My mother, alas, was proud of my nasty grandfather’s Klan membership.

— Somewhat along these lines, San Francisco author and NPR worthy Michale Krasny quoted the inimitable Mort Sahl in his recent book about agnosticism: “We were the only agnostics in an all-Christian neighborbood,” Sahl joked. “One night, they burned a question mark on our lawn.”

(PT humorist Bill Mann is at