The Theater!

In ancient Greece an art form emerged from the annual worship of local gods. A competition then developed and poets worked through human conditions crafting tragedy. The three masters of the art form reflect three different periods of Grecian social, literary, and religious development.

Aeschylus wrote from a high religious purpose and motivation. He wrote plays that celebrated the faithful rituals and actions. In places within his work there is a glimpse of the traditionalist and the fundamentalist. In his work lurks the superstitious awe of the simmering mountaintop, the striking lightening bolt, or the rattling earth.
Sophocles wrote from the context of a social and intellectual transition period, where society was questioning the old ways, the old gods but still felt it important to pay lip service if nothing else to the old thoughts. They provided respectability, acceptance, and recognition through a common pantheon. More and more there is the touch of the cynic, the jade, and the disbeliever.
Euripides wrote in a Grecian post-modern era where many wished to deconstruct the past and recast their future free of the restrictions of their 'primitive' past. Yet, Euripides saw, as many of the authors did, that under the mythic stories of the Gods and their challenges could be found metaphor for the realities of human life.

Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all: only our characters are steadfast, not our gold.



The idea of a woman as warrior is not merely a 20th century feminist agenda item. From ancient times come tales, images, and facts supporting women as warriors in a variety of cultures.

Despite centuries of carefully preserved preconceptions and biases about how women functioned in history there is ample historical, archaelogical, and mythological resources to indicate the horizon was wider than many suppose. In all times women were daughters, wives, mothers, heroes, cowards, gladiators,warrior queens, battle leaders, soldiers, and marauders.
There are some who even postulate that there were battle units in ancient Biblical culture. The women in Exodus who 'sit beside the door of the tabernacle' may have been an honor guard of female soldiers. Deborah, the prophet and judge, had to accompany the army or the general would not go into battle. A mysterious phrase in the Old Testament refers to 'hornets' who swept through and fought off opposing forces. Could Deborah, whose name is traditionally said to mean 'bee', have relly been instead a 'hornet'? Her 'name' could then have been a title or label referring to her activities as a soldier or warrior.
Ancient Greek historians promoted the derogatory idea that a tribe of warrior women, who have come to be called in total Amazons, cut or burned off a breast in order to better shoot an arrow or throw a lance. Obviously the idea was to suggest, as Greek culture did through various of its philosophers, that women were inferior and had to be like a man to be able to do anything outside their own narrow construct of the home or the bedroom. Aristotle wrote that women were merely 'deformed men' ; human seeds who had failed to become the fully human male of the species.
A good article with links to some fine art is here.
Recently the US Army named its first female 'Best Warrior of the Year', 26 year old Sherri Gallagher. Of this soldier the US Army wrote: "Sgt. Sherri Gallagher of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, who represented U.S. Training and Doctrine Command at Best Warrior, beat out 11 other competitors from the Army's major commands. Gallagher, who is currently stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., is one of the top long-range rifle shooters in the country."



All the Little Children. M. Hudson. 2011.
In the land of Ozzie & Harriet Nelson, I Love Lucy’s crazy simple life, and our stereotypes of how good the ‘ old days’ were, it is unsettling to review some criminal cases.

In April of 1947, a tornado wrecked havoc in Woodward, Oklahoma and a little Joan Gay Croft, 4 yrs old, was taken from a make shift trauma ward in a basement by two unidentified men, and was never seen again. Strangely, a 12 year old girl was found after the storm and no one ever came forward to identified her or another girl of about Joan's age (who was also blue eyed and blonde haired). 

Most disturbing was California police had found a small girl of roughly the same age in the hands of a pedophile in that state who had been terribly abused. Initially, it was hoped she would be the Croft child but that was not the case.

The previous month a little 8 year girl was taken from Fort Atkinson, Wis. Georgia Jean Weckler was taken Mar. 27 (1947). Like Joan Gay Croft, the unidentified children of April 9, and others at the time, their full story remains unknown.

This early connection of the Croft girl to pedophiles, the similar kidnapping, and the unidentified child’s body,  raise disturbing questions based on known behaviors and preferences of child molesters. In our continuing naïveté we assume ‘sex slaves’ and ‘child prostitution’ is a modern situation. Unfortunately, people have been dealing in children as commodities for a long time. It has been theorized that some abductions of children over the decades have been to supply the demand for children to be used in this manner. This brief survey is limited to female victims but if enlarged to include males and other locations it  could provide some clues as to trends and identify possible perpetrators.

In March of 1953, Spring Valley, NY the bodies of two girls Marjorie Boudreau (8) and Esther Nagy (5) were found in Rockland County. One had been stabbed and the other died from a blow to the head, apparently from a rock. They were found in a wooded area not far from a stretch of road called Hungry Hollow. [“Two Little Girls Are Murdered.” Oklahoma (March 9, 1953) pg.1]

In July of 1954, 7 year old Judith Ann Roberts of Miami, Florida was taken from her home in the night. Her nude and blood covered body was found in a thicket on the shores of Biscayne Bay. She had been bound, blindfolded, and her head battered. [“No Clues Found in Child Slaying”. Oklahoman. (July 8, 1954) pg. 40]

In April of 1955, 7 year old Barbara Gaca was raped, stabbed and beaten not far from her home in Detriot. She had vanished on the Thursday previous on her way to school. Her body had been found in a secluded dumping ground. [“7-Year-Old Child Brutally Murdered.” Oklahoman (April 1, 1955), pg. 43].

In 1956 a mystery emerged between Kansas City and Oklahoma City when the body of a child of about 3 or 4 was confused with another child. [“Riddle of Slain Child Deepens.” Oklahoman (March 31, 1956) pg. 1]. Again, it appeared children could disappear and no one care.

In August of 1960, a Merced, California 6 year old, Angie Stewart, was found, her body showing indications of murder, in brush within Yosemite National Park. An army Warrant Officer, on orders to ship out to Korea, had been picked up. [“Missing Girl’s Body Located”, Oklahoman (Aug. 16, 1960), pg. 1].

In February of 1961, the body of 4 year old Edith Kiecorius was discovered in a littered room on a rooming house. Her body, showing evidence of being raped and beaten, was found amid dozens of empty bear cans and an empty whiskey bottle. [“Girl’s Body Found in Littered Room”, Oklahoman (Feb. 27, 1961) pg. 31).

In April of 1962 the bodies of two 6 year old girls, Stephanie Hanna and Paula Cram, were found in an abandoned refrigerator in San Fernando, California. Paul Cram was a foster child living with the Hanna’s and she had been raped while Stephanie had been knocked out. Both girls were stuffed in the refrigerator where they suffocated. [ “Girls Found Slain in Old Refrigerator”, The Oklahoman (April 25, 1962) pg. 45].

In June 1966 in Aurora, Colorado a nine year old, Paula Steinbach, was found in a cave under a shed used as a playhouse. It appeared her clothes had been disarranged. [ “Body of Girl Found in Cave,” The Oklahoman (June 30, 1966) pg. 42].

In December of 1969, six year old Kathy Adams was found in an abandoned farm house in Rice County, Kansas after being kidnapped by a man. The man then drove her to an abandoned area, had her remove her clothes, and then left. She made her way a couple of miles and saw the empty house, broke in and covered up with an old blanket. The owner of the property luckily found her the next morning, alive and unharmed. [“Officers Find Missing Girl”, The Oklahoman, (Dec. 27, 1969) pg. 32].

In May, 1967, 7 year old Cindy Cleland, of Sierra Vista, AZ vanished from her home on an army post. Four days later her nude and mutilated body was fond in dense undergrowth on military land. Initially, an area teen was arrested. [“Arizona Had Missing Girls Mystery Also”, Oklahoman (Aug. 9, 1967) pg. 9]

In late June of 1967, a 6 year old, Janelle Haines, whose father was also in the army, went missing. Some eleven hours later, her body was found between her home and officer’s club. [“Arizona Had Missing Girls Mystery Also”, Oklahoman (Aug. 9, 1967) pg. 9]

On Thursday July 6, 1967, Judith Elwell, age 5, disappeared from near her home in northwest Oklahoma City. To this day no one has seen or heard from her. [Greiner, John. “Case of Two Missing Girls.” Oklahoman, (Aug. 8, 1967) pg. 1]

On Thursday, August 3, 1967, Brenda Lois White, age 6, disappeared from near her home in Midwest City, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City). A witness said he saw her in a white car with ‘fins’. In early November, her body was discovered in eastern Oklahoma County. It was in a shallow grave on an isolated old farm lot. [ Rogers, Jim. “Boy’s Description of Car Spurs New Kidnap Quiz,” Oklahoman (Aug.10, 1967) pg. 1; “Remains of Brenda White Believed Found…” Oklahoman, (Nov. 20, 1967) pg. 1]

August 11, 1967, two sisters, Roberta Barili (6) and Cecilia Barili (7) had gone missing on Wednesday and their bodies found the next day in Los Angeles. They had been raped and strangled. Nearby were footprints and eight empty beer cans. LA Police had suggested a possible link to the Oklahoma City-Midwest City disappearances. [ “2 Los Angeles Tots Slain”, Oklahoman, (Aug. 11, 1967), pg. 11]

August 13, 1967, in Oklahoma City four children were forced into a white, four-door sedan but escaped when the man stopped in a parking lot. They were identified as: Leellen Scott, 12, Leonard Scott 8, and Mike Bradshurd 12, and Patsy Newberry 10. [Rogers, Jim. “Four City Children Abducted”, Oklahoman, (Aug. 13, 1967) pg. 1]

In August of 1967, a 3 year old Hutchinson, Kansas girl named Rene Talbot went missing and Oklahoma City police and Midwest City police explored a possible connection to their two missing children. [“Police Study Kansas Case”, Oklahoman (Aug. 23, 1967), pg. 19]

In September of 1969, the body of 7 year old Donna Golish of Sherman, Texas was discovered in a pasture. She had gone missing on a Wednesday and her body was discovered on a Thursday. Her parents had lived on Perrin Air Force Base in Sherman. [ Rogers, Jim. “City, Texas Child Killings Compared.” Oklahoman (Sept. 12, 1969) pg. 9.] .

One of the gauges of a truly good society has to be how do we treat the 'least among us' ? The elderly, the handicaped, and the children? When children - those society should gather to itself and protect from harm - are abused and murdered we all must grieve. We must all assume the task of keeping it from happening again. We must all decide to protect and love 'all the little children.'



As a child in Wellington, Kansas there was a railroad yard not far from where we lived and although all the children were instructed to never go there, this was cheerfully ignored. Usually home to mountain like piles of gravel, sand, or piles of rails waiting to be used by the repair crews, on one occasion a passenger care from another time mysteriously appeared and stayed there only a short time before it was moved.
The interior was similar to the image shown here; the seats were a faded burgundy velvet with large tufts in the back seats. The ceilings were faded but showed glinting gold beneath layers of dirt and dust. The wooden floors were covered with old newspapers and more dust. Brass lamps, or what remained of them, hung periodically from the long ceiling. The windows were opaque with grime and dust.
We climbed up the steps at the back and took excited turns peering into the dim interior with a common sense we were seeing something very special. No one wanted to pry open the doors, no one wanted to climb over those seats, and no one wanted to play on this train. It was like the old woman we might meet on the street. We stood a little taller, remembered out manners, and politely took our leave.
Where did the car come from and where did it go? A true mystery of history about a day where a train out of its time paused to allow a group of children a glimpse into the wonder and glory of a past day.

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