Stephen W. Browne Rants and Raves

June 28, 2011

Who is Delle Bolton and what happened to her?

Filed under: Movies — Stephen W. Browne @ 8:47 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for that my apologies to my hypothetical fan base. (I don’t have a hit counter so you readers are kind of like ghosts or angels to me. I might speculate about you, but am not really sure of your existence…)

At any rate, I’m settling in to my wonderful house and getting together regularly and guest teaching with a local martial arts group. Between that and my new newsroom gig, including blogging duties, I’ve been away for a while.

So about Della Bolton. I’m watching the Robert Redford flick “Jeremiah Johnson.” And by the way, Redford never mentioned the historical Johnson’s other monikers, “Crow killer,” and “liver-eatin’ Johnson.”

The notion this guy killed somewhere around 200 Crow wariors in single combat is considered unbelievable these days. White men of the present quite logically ask, why didn’t the Crow warriors just band together in a large enough group, hunt the mountain man down and kill him? Isn’t it nonsensical to suppose the Crow Killer could prevail against those odds?

Not to me.

To a man who understands warriors it’s obvious how this could happen. Once Johnson had a established his reputation, no Crow brave would want to share the glory of killing and taking the scalp of the Crow Killer. They’d have come at him one at a time until some older and wiser head said “Enough!” and made their peace with him.

The actress who played the Flathead Indian woman her tribe gave to Johnson, and whose killing he avenged on the Crows, was played by someone named Delle Bolton.

She actually looks Indian (though I’ve been fooled about this before,) and she’s very beautiful in that cheekbones-to-die-for Indian way. One could believe a man would go apeshit crazy homicidal if she was murdered.

So what happened to her? This is her only film credit I can find on the Internet Movie Database or Wikipedia.

Anyone know anything about her?

Please tell me she got a sample of the Hollywood bullshit, blew it off, got married to a good man and raised a family.

June 13, 2011

Rolle bolle

Filed under: Culture — Stephen W. Browne @ 5:15 pm

“What the hell is rolle bolle?” I can almost hear.

My son Jerzy bowling the rolle bolle.

Well, this Saturday I went to cover a local festival in Russell, Minnesota (pop. 338.) After the parade I went to the local rolle bolle (pronounced “roley boley”) court to have a look at the game and take some pics.

The game is played with wheels called rolle bolles, which are thick but not very large in diameter, and slightly asymmetric like a wheel worn down on one side. Players make up teams generally of 3-4 players. It’s played outside on a dirt court or sometimes inside. Players take turns rolling the rolle bolles towards pegs set in the ground at opposite ends of the court. The object is to get yours as close as possible to the peg. Technique includes knocking your team mates rolle bolles closer, or the opposing team’s away. The winning team is the first to score eight points.

Because of the asymmetry of the rolle bolle it rolls in a wide curve. This makes things interesting.

I only heard of the game after I moved down here. It’s originally from Belgium and was brought here by immigrants who built a nearby town called Ghent (pop. 370,) which proudly proclaims itself “The Rolle Bolle Capitol of the World.”

That’s actually not hyperbole. Rolle bolle has almost died out in Belgium. Local bowlers who went to Belgium in 1978 looking for bowlers had the devil of a time finding any. They did eventually find some, and did some research on local styles of play.

The Minnesota style was described to me by one grandfather who passed his love of the game on to his grandkids.

“A true rolle bolle bowler plays with a rolle bolle in one hand and a beer in the other,” he said.

Nowadays people will come to the area from odd corners of the U.S., Canada, and yes Belgium to compete when anybody cares to hold a tournament.

At any rate, I was covering the event with my kids because my wife was on a business trip. After some of the players showed my nine-year-old son how to bowl, he pleaded with me for $3 to enter the tournament and I indulged him.

Then I realized I had to leave to cover a rodeo down the road. The organizer told me if I pulled him out now, it would screw up the whole round-robin schedule. They’d seriously made plans to play the tournament with a nine-year-old tyro in the lineup!

“Don’t worry, we’ll look after him,” one player told me.

So off I went down the road with my daughter. When I came back the kid was in seventh heaven. The adult players (there were a few other kids and most bowlers started out at an earlier age than his) were patient, encouraging, and very kind. My son was ecstatic he’d scored two goals.

“Daddy our team won!” was how he greeted me on our return.

The atmosphere was one of warm camaraderie and sportsmanship. Play was remarkably casual, with kids sitting on the low fences at each end, and people wandering across the court and stepping around the rolling disks. Except when a player would warn everybody to get out of the way because he or she intended to roll a fast one. One hard bowl hit the low plank fence and knocked a board right off, rolle bolles aren’t light.

The game is cheap to play, and involve the one-time purchase of a rolle bolle with ought to last a lifetime. All that’s needed is a flat dirt court, or a floor in winter, and a couple of pegs.

You can get very good, but you can start competing right away. Players are enthusiastic and excited about winning, but having a good time seems more important to them.

This to me represents the finest in amateur sports.

Roll that rolle bolle!

June 5, 2011

A modest proposal: my plan to fix this country

Filed under: Humor/satire,Politics — Stephen W. Browne @ 9:09 am

The Anthony Weiner story is the gift that keeps on giving.

Rep. Weiner (D-NY) tweeted/sexted a co-ed and first, pushed the wrong button so it went public, then provided a grateful public with the most delightfully idiotic verbal gyrations as he tries to get out of being caught red… handed without telling lies he could be held legally accountable for. (Such as submitting a false police report.)

I know, I know, “innocent until proven guilty,” it seems like everyone is prefacing their remarks with that these days. Oh puh-lease, he probably hasn’t done anything illegal, at least nothing seriously illegal. He’s just made an…. a fool of himself in public.

Unlike his equally idiotic but less arrogant Republican colleague Rep. Christopher Lee (D-NY) he’s not admitting anything, apologizing for anything, or indicating he’s even thinking of resigning.

Heavy sigh, what are we going to do with these big playful boys who run this country (usually into the ground.)

A while back I suggested my personal plan for term limits.

You altruistic public servants can have three consecutive terms in office.

After one, you have to spend at least an equal amount of time making an honest living before you run for any public office again.

Or, you can have two terms in office. After which you spend an equal amount of time in jail.

Or, you can have three consecutive terms in office, after which we take you out and shoot your sorry ass because you’re hopeless.

I now see I didn’t really go far enough. What we need in this country is a governing class given autocratic power for life, like the enlightened rulers of China that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman endlessly gushes about.

So here’s my revised proposal. We announce that as of the next national election, the winning candidates will serve for life, with no constitutional limits on their powers.

THEN we take them out and shoot them the day they are sworn in – and for good measure, anybody who sought the nominations too.

Notice we’d be keeping the promise – election for life. We don’t have to mention how long that life will be…

After all, a great nation keeps its promises.

Powered by WordPress