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Chapter 115: Bumpkin

January 18, 1906Van Sant & WilsonSterling, Illinois … I must admit it. The trip to Morrison didn’t go well at all.  The entire train ride home, I tried to be philosophical about it.  I’m still new here. I don’t know everyone here. It is going to take more than one […]

Chapter 113: It Begins

January 18, 1906Sterling, Illinois I returned to the office late in the afternoon, after spending a day and a half in Morrison, at court. Our office secretary, Miss Delp, handed me a few letters in a folder that required my signature. No other messages? I’d asked. “No, Mr. Wilson”, she […]

Chapter 112: Outside Looking In

October 11, 2016Chevy Chase, Maryland Those first few weeks in Sterling were an eye-opener for Emmett Wilson. Probably for Nicholas Van Sant as well. It isn’t that Emmett didn’t think he wouldn’t have anything to catch up on once he’d moved from Florida; he had a lot on his list […]

Chapter 100: Van Sant & the Wunderkind

April 29, 2015Chevy Chase, Maryland Even though Emmett knew him from their college days at Stetson University, and had maintained a connection through correspondence, he didn’t know everything about his friend, colleague, and mentor, Nicholas Van Sant. Emmett thought he did; after all, he had good role models before (his […]

Chapter 91: Hello, Old Friend

April 29, 1905Marianna, Florida4:30 p.m. Although my office door was ajar, there was a slight knock. It was Long. “Here’s the afternoon mail,” he said, placing a stack of letters and a rolled up newspaper on my desk. “Anything you need doing before I leave?” “No, nothing. Have a good […]

Chapter 90: The Screw-Up

April 28, 1905Marianna, FloridaWilson & Wilson11:40 am The windows of the second floor law offices of Wilson & Wilson, were open; even though it could get a bit stuffy in April; there was a fresh breeze blowing gently into the outer office/reception room.  At the large oak desk in the […]

Chapter 82: What Luck!

September 15, 2014 Chevy Chase, MD My relationship with Sue Tindal, Deputy Clerk, Jackson County (FL) Clerk of Courts began with a cold call — a cold email message — actually. I admit I dithered over it for a week or more. After decades of being in this business I […]

Chapter 80: The Mayes Factor

In the early 1900s, if you got your name in the newspaper, it was a big deal. It indicated prominence in your community. In Pensacola, these columns were mostly found in the Society section of the paper, with little headings over each news blurb; if you were a businessman or […]

Chapter 78: A Tight-Knit Community

May 28, 1904Marianna, Florida When I got home to Marianna, Cephas and Lula had a congratulatory supper at the house, just family members. At the table, Lula insisted on hearing about the ceremony, the speeches, and the celebration afterwards at the President’s house. After dinner, when we gathered into the […]

Chapter 77: Aftermath

May 27, 1904Jacksonville, Florida Oh, God, my head. I awoke gripping my head between my hands, in a fetal position on the bed. Somewhere, there was this loud pounding that was echoing and resonating on the inside of my skull. The pain was so intense; I opened my eyes a […]