Spring in the West Village, New York City

Walking home from work last week I came upon a forsythia bush and a dogwood tree. Instant wash of nostalgia. The good nostalgia. The only thing that could have made it better would have been spurts of wild violets, grape hyacinths, tiger lilies, and rocks with salamanders underneath. Okay, and ponds and rivers and stars at night.

Spring, West Village, New York City

Spring in the West Village, New York City

Music at Muse

There was music at a pop up jewelry store called Muse on Hudson Street just now. I passed it by on the way back from the laundry. There were bags of flowers on the table, beautiful flowers I would have loved to have! The woman sitting on the bench in the fur coat seem to be a celebrity of sorts, or maybe the owner of the store. She was being treated with deference The singer had a very nice voice. I should have stayed longer. But I was lugging laundry.

Muse, Pop Up Store, Hudson Street, New York City

Odell Lachney and Derek Chauvin

I’m afraid to watch the trial of Derek Chauvin, but it made me remember a tweet I’d read recently. It was about a New York soldier named Edward Green who was shot to death by a bus driver named Odell Lachney in Louisiana in 1944. Lachney had demanded that Green move to the back of the bus and Green refused. Lachney stopped the bus and walked towards Green. “A white passenger sitting directly behind the drivers’ seat, cautioned Mr. Lachney: ‘Don’t shoot him on the bus.’ Apparently heeding this advice, Mr. Lachney forced Private Green onto the street as he pleaded, “Don’t kill me, I’ll get off.” Lachney killed him anyway. Criminal charges were never filed.

So whatever became of the murderer Odell Lachney? I found a 1951 article in the Atlanta Daily World which indicated that Lachney went right on harassing and abusing people of color. The year before he’d told two African American couples on the bus to be quiet. One of the women refused, and Lachney once again stopped the bus. He went up to the woman and slapped her.

Just picture that. Picture your bus driver coming back and slapping a woman sitting near you. When her husband tried to protect her Lachney attacked him. The only people arrested, of course, were the two African American men defending their wives and themselves. The judge gave them a suspended sentence because they were provoked, he said. “I have also taken into consideration the person who made this complaint and it appears that on several occasions complaints have been filed against him in the city court.” The paper also mentioned Lachney’s murder of Private Green and that “various civic and business groups have petitioned for his removal from his job.”

It’s heart-breaking that horrible people like this can go on, murdering and assaulting people, and there are never any consequences. I’d hoped to find one shred of evidence that justice finally came for Odell Lachney. But I haven’t found much else about him except in the 1930 Census there’s an Odell Lachney who was married at 17 and living with his 17 year old wife Tammie, and a newborn daughter Dorothy Mae. (I think Dorothy Mae was living with an uncle in the next census, and was later married twice.)

The story did make the New York Amsterdam News, an African American-owned newspaper here in New York.

Private Edward Green Odell Lachney

Kazuo Ishiguro

I just finished Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel Klara and the Sun. Loved it, haunted by it. Ishiguro is now officially my current favorite author. I’ve also read Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.

I’m trying to decide which of his books to read next, but all his fans are incredibly divided about his remaining novels. Everyone mostly agrees that Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go are great, but his readers don’t mostly agree about the rest. I’ve gone through the reviews of his other novels and people love them, people hate them, it’s impossible to try to figure out which I might like. There’s no consensus.

Any opinions out there?

Bodhi sitting on Revenge by Yoko Ogawa and A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. I’m trying to decide which to take to work today to read on my lunch/dinner hour.

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa and A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

My DNA Results

I did the Ancestry.com DNA test and disappeared for a couple of days after the results came back. I’m sure I’ll be disappearing many more days in the future, it’s just so much fun. I was able to clear up one mystery. My grandfather on my mother’s side was adopted, and I was pretty sure I’d found his birth parents but now I could confirm it based on the DNA matches that popped up! The weird thing is, I got the most matches on this line, the line I knew nothing about until now. I got the fewest matches on both my father’s parents line, none on his mother’s. Hmmm.

The one surprise was this. I thought I was going to be mostly Irish and mostly German, and I was half right.

45% Irish
24% Scottish
14% England & Northwestern Europe
8% Germanic Europe
7% Norway
2% Eastern Europe & Russia

A picture of my father from his Brooklyn Technical High School yearbook picture. Now I’m curious about Gerhard Hubbe. A quick search doesn’t turn up much. Is he the Gerhard Hubbe who went into forestry and moved to Oregon? And died in 2001?

Brooklyn Technical High School